UM Sports Trivia

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

Grizzly football fans are excited to see that Montana opens the 2012 season hosting Joe Glenn and his new team, the University of South Dakota Coyotes. And next October, the Grizzlies will make their first visit to North Dakota in 39 years. Montana and UND had a long-running rivalry. Most of the games when the Griz hosted the Sioux were played in early September before classes began at UM. Those games were held in either Billings or Great Falls.

Former Griz quarterback and coach Brent Pease moves from Boise State to Florida, filling the offensive coordinator position left vacant by the departure of Charlie Weis. A big part of Pease’s appeal for the Gators may come from this score comparison: In September, Boise State beat Georgia 35-21, while 8 weeks later in another neutral-site, game the Bulldogs defeated the Florida Gators 24-20. Next season, Pease will coach against one school he saw while a Grizzly assistant. Jacksonville State will play Florida at Gainesville on November 17. The JSU Gamecocks from Alabama came to Missoula in 1993 for a non-conference game against the Grizzlies.

Dane Fletcher is a Bobcat among Patriots. The Bozeman native and former MSU star is an important special teams performer on kick-off and punt coverage for the New England Patriots. The Patriots face the Baltimore Ravens Sunday for the AFC title. Fletcher was a talented baseball player and turned downed offers from larger schools in both football and baseball to stay in Bozeman and play for the Cats.

Happy Birthday Blaine Taylor of ODU. Photo courtesy of Yahoo.A belated happy birthday to former Griz coach Blaine Taylor, now coaching at Old Dominion. Taylor turned 54 on last Saturday and topped it off by guiding his ODU team to win over Hofstra. Taylor has won the last five games played on his birthday dating back to his days at Montana in the1990’s.

Speaking of birthdays, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith has a good birthday for being a QB in the play-offs. Smith shares a May 7th birthday with Hall Of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas who quarterbacked the Baltimore Colts to three World championships in his long career.

A pivotal moment in last Saturday’s Northern Colorado win over Eastern Washington in Greeley occurred when an Eastern Washington player signaled for a time out that the Eagles didn’t have. Northern Colorado converted the subsequent free throws that it was given for the technical foul that was assessed. Similarly, in 1996 the Montana Grizzlies lost a game, in part, to a late call for a timeout when Montana had run out of time outs. However in the case of the Grizzlies, it was an early non-Conference game rather than a league contest.

*****************

Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumedmascot.

Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament

When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.