UM Sports Trivia

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

For the first time in their 47 year history the Atlanta Falcons will host an NFC Conference title game. The Falcons won a Conference title in January of 1999 but that game was played at the Metrodome in Minnesota.  The Falcon’s only other NFC title game experience was in 2005 when they lost to the Eagles in Philly. Interestingly enough Atlanta has been to the super Bowl more recently than the San Francisco 49ers who hope to end an 18-year draught with a win Sunday. The Forty-Niners have played once in the play-offs at Atlanta; The Falcons won a defensive struggle in the NFC Semi-finals 14 years ago.

Thursday Night Southern Utah comes to town to face the Grizzlies for the first time in Conference. Bill Evans will be missing for the Thunderbirds. Evans, a recent Griz assistant, brought the T-Birds to Missoula as the coach at Southern Utah; The T-Birds are coming off an emotional 1 point home loss to Evans and his new team the Idaho State Bengals.

From 2004-2009 the Montana Lady Griz won 12 of 13 meetings with the Montana state Bobcats, but since the start of the 2009-10 season things have been different in the rivalry. Over the last 3 season MSU has won 4 of 7 encounters with UM including 2 wins in Dahlberg Arena and one last March in the Big Sky quarterfinals. Saturday afternoon’s showdown between UM and MSU could go a long way to determining the regular Big Sky champs and the host of the league tournament. It has been 4 years since Montana hosted the women’s conference tournament while MSU’s only regular season title came in 1993.

Former Hamilton prep star Ashley Albert, now Ashley Brumwell, is one of the Cats leaders.

Lady Griz sophomore Maggie Rickman leads the Big Sky in free throw accuracy during the conference season. Rickman, from Helena, is 12-12 from the line in Big Sky play.

For the first time in 17 years the AFC title game will be played at the same location two years in a row, Gillette in Foxboro Massachusetts, home of the New England Patriots. In 1994 and 1995 the Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the AFC title game losing to San Diego the first year but beating Indianapolis the next year. This is also the first time in 25 years the AFC title game has been a rematch from the year before, The Pats beat the Ravens by 3 last January. In 1986 and 1987 The Denver Broncos scored narrow wins over the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Final.

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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.