UM Sports Trivia | June 2

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

The NBA finals are now set as the Miami Heat try to become the first Eastern Conference team to win back-to-back titles since the Chicago Bulls ran off three titles between 1996-98. San Antonio is 4-0 in the finals having won titles in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007; the 2007 series featured a young Labron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers being swept by the Spurs.

Twenty years ago this week two things occurred in sports one a first and the other a last (at least for the time being). On June 3, 1993 the Montreal Canadians claimed their 17th Stanley Cup title in the previous 38 seasons with a 5-1 win over Wayne Gretsky and his Los Angles Kings. The 1993 Cup win was the 26th in 38 years for NHL teams based in Canada, but since the ’93 Cup none.

Two days after the Canadians won the Stanley Cup historic win in the Belmont as Long shot Colonial Affair won the ride with jockey Julie Krone aboard. Krone became the first female jockey to guide a horse to a win in a Triple Crown, although Rose Nigerski could match Krone’s feat this Saturday aboard Mylute.

Last weekend Valparaiso men’s basketball coach Bryce Drew brought five of his players with him to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. Each Valpo player had a turn at singing solo.   We can think of two Missoula basketball coaches that given a chance would do a great job having their team sing in the Seventh Inning stretch at Wrigley. Hellgate coach Jeff Hays is a lifetime Cubs fan and likely would have his guys in “Championship Form” for the Cubs. When he came to UM Robin Selvig was a Music Education major, he just didn’t realize that he would become ‘Concert Master” for the Lady Griz for over a third of a century.

The Washington Redskins have drawn public criticism from public officials on their unwillingness to change the team’s nickname and logo.  The question was asked “why the team is called the Redskins?” The franchise began in Boston in the 1920’s and shared Baker Field with the baseball Boston Braves–and as was common at the time–took the same nickname as the baseball club. By the late 1930’s the football Braves wanted to have improvements made at the stadium–something the baseball Braves were unwilling to do. When the franchise moved to Washington they had to find a new nickname and in 1939 the name Redskins was a widely used nickname for sports team (the University of Utah for many years was known as the Redskins.) The District of Columbia police department and the Washington Redskins have had a strong relationship as few teams have been more cooperative in arranging events that are actually “sting operations” to bring in law-breakers.

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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.