UM Sports Trivia | Week of Oct 7

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

Fifty years ago this coming Saturday (October 12, 1963) the Montana Grizzlies hosted the Idaho State Bengals in UM’s Homecoming game. It was much more than a football game to cap off a weekend with the Old Grads it was the first game in the history of Big Sky Conference. Many schools in the new league viewed the Big Sky as stepping stone to the Western Athletic Conference, but the WAC in 2013 doesn’t have football and the Big Sky is going strong. Idaho State beat the Griz 14-13 to spoil homecoming. The Griz would have to wait until the Big Sky’s 7th season to claim its first football crown.

Saturday night UC-Davis will become the 15th different school UM has faced as a member of the Big Sky Conference. The Grizzlies’ only other visit to Cal-Davis was in September of 2009 when the game was halted for over half an hour as the stadium lights went out and then had to be allowed to slowly come back on.

The Griz have lost 5 of their last 7 road games dating back to the 2011 season, the wins were last season at Northern Colorado and Weber State.

This is the first time since 1998 the Griz have made two trips to California in the same football season, fifteen years ago the Griz lost at Northridge but won at Sacramento.

The “celebrity appearance” of Sammy the Squirrel at the Presidents Cup golfing event brought to mind a bit of presidential trivia. Back in the 1950’s President Dwight Eisenhower had a putting green installed just outside the oval office; problem was no body had thought that the trees around the putting green were inundated with Squirrels. Finally the National Park service came in and set several large traps for the squirrels and found less populated homes for the critters.

The Montana and Southern Utah volleyball teams are not at the top of the standings, but Friday night’s match-up could feature some outstanding work in the middle. The Griz and Thunderbirds are the top two teams in the Big Sky in blocks. The match will feature 3 of the top blocking leaders in the Big Sky. Southern Utah’s Taylor Heine tops the league in blocks with Montana’s Brooke Bray third and Natalie Jones fifth. Jones is a remarkable student athlete. For much of her elementary and secondary education she was home schooled.

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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.