UM Sports Trivia

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

The match-up of the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers offer two good omens for the Montana Grizzly football team for 2013. The fall after the Ravens and Niners last Super Bowl win saw the Grizzlies reign as the king of FCS football. In January of 1995 Steve Young led the Niners to their fifth Super Bowl title and then in December of 95′ Dave Dickenson led the Griz to their first national title. In January of 2001 it was Ray Lewis and the Ravens claiming the franchise’s first Super Bowl crown and once again the following December the Griz led by John Edwards won another FCS title.

How long has it been since these two Franchises won the Super Bowl?  One marker is who sang the National Anthem before those Super Bowl wins. The last time the Niners won the Super Bowl Kathie Lee Gifford sang the Anthem and before the Ravens 2001 win it was the Backstreet Boys. Alicia Keys has the honor this year.

Joe Flacco is not the first former Delaware Blue Hen to be a starting quarterback in a Super Bowl. In January of 2003 Rich Gannon got the start for the Oakland Raiders in their loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This is only the second time that the Super Bowl is a match-up of the teams that had lost the Conference title game the previous season. After Super Bowl XXX, Dallas and Pittsburgh met after each had fallen short in their conference finals the previous season.

Teams from the NFC have won 4 of the last 5 Super Bowls; Pittsburgh recorded the last AFC win in February 2009. Prior to the 2007 season the AFC had won 7 of the previous 9 Super Bowls.

Fifteen years ago Grammy-winning singer Jewel handled National Anthem duties at the Super Bowl. This year Jewel will be playing in the Super Bowl. Not the singer Jewel but the Forty-Niners running back Jewel Hampton a rookie out of Southern Illinois.

A little motivation for the Dallas Cowboys and their fans. With San Francisco’s appearance it means that since the last Super Bowl appearance by the Cowboys 12 of the other 15 NFC teams have played in the big game more recently than Dallas. The only other NFC teams with a longer Super Bowl draught than the Cowboys are the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins.

While the New Orleans Super Dome will be the hub of the sports world Sunday things will also be “hopping” in another place on Sunday. While the Ravens and Forty-Niners are deciding the pro football title, a couple hundred young cheerleaders will be competing in “Glam Jam” at the Adams Center.

Ken Staninger –1950-2013

Missoula lost one of its great sports personalities Saturday when Ken Staninger lost his battle with Cancer at the age of 63. Staninger saw his sports career cut short by injuries from a motorcycle accident while he was attending Colorado State. In the late 1970’s Staninger began his career as a pro football agent, mostly as a favor to former Griz players. Staninger had devoted clients from across the west. Staninger’s most famous client was one he had to work very hard to get a shot in the NFL, The Washington Redskins were very happy they took Staninger’s advice on Mark Rypien who guided the Skins to a Super Bowl crown. Staninger made sure his clients knew how to manage their money and also wanted his client to be involved in their community. Ken Staninger coached his own sons from T-Ball through Senior Little League and was not fazed by the short attention spans of 8 and 9 year old Little Boys.

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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.