UM Sports Trivia | Week of Jan 13

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

For the first time in 24 years both the NFC and AFC Conference title games will be played in the west with the potential of a Denver-Seattle Super Bowl be played in the New Jersey Meadowlands. In January of 1990 San Francisco and Denver hosted and won their respective conference title games. The last 3 seasons the visiting team has won the NFC title with Green Bay, New York, and the Forty-Niners going on the road to punch their Super Bowl ticket. Even with their mutual success in recent years the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots have never before met for the Conference title.

If the Montana Grizzlies need any historical references to motivate them after 1-3 start they can look back 40 years. Jud Heathcote’s 1973-74 Grizzlies had shown promise in the pre-conference, but had struggled out the Conference gate. Those Griz proceeded to go unbeaten the rest of the way in Conference play forcing a play-off game with Idaho state for a trip to the NCAA tournament.

Keeping track of the basketball will be particularly important for the Griz Thursday night when the University of North Dakota comes to Dahlberg Arena. The Sioux have three of the top 4 Big Sky leaders in steals, with Jamal Webb, Troy Holt and Jaron Nash. Montana and North Dakota are 1-2 in the league in assist to turnover ratio.

Northern Colorado small forward Tim Huskisson was born with a unique connection to UM basketball. Huskisson was born on December 11, 1992 in Springfield Missouri the very same date that the Montana Lady Griz team was playing Missouri State in Springfield.

Along with being ranked in several other stats categories Lady Griz junior Kellie Cole is currently leading the Big Sky in scoring with over 22 points a game in Conference play.

When it was announced that the Montana Grizzly football team would open next season at the University of Wyoming one of the attractions of the match-up was a rematch of a sensational quarter rivalry from 2009. By far the two top quarterbacks in Oregon prep football in 2009 were Salem prep star Brent Smith and Jordan Johnson. Unfortunately it appears that Smith is opting out of the “rematch” by announcing recently that he is entering his name for the 2014 NFL draft.

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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.