UM Sports Trivia | Week of Jan 6

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

As disappointing and frustrating as giving up 91 was last Saturday in Sacramento what might surprise even the Lady Griz is that Montana still leads the Big Sky in scoring defense at just over 62 points per game.

Eastern Washington was the pre-season favorite in the Big Sky but struggled during pre-conference schedule. The past two seasons Montana and Eastern Washington met in the third game of the Conference with the winner not faring as the loser in the rest of the Conference race. Two years ago Montana beat Eastern in Cheney but the Lady Griz ended the schedule in fifth place. In 2013 EWU won the early season encounter but it was Montana winning the Conference title.

Eastern Guard Haylie Hodgins’s mother Karen Murray starred at the University in the early 1980’s and was a starter on the Washington team that won the first Lady Griz classic back in 1981.

Eastern center Laura Hughes was such a versatile athlete that in high school she qualified for the state track meet in both the weights and the sprints.

Portland State is keyed by two Oregon State transfers. When the OSU women’s program suffered from a “meltdown” Katie Lans and Angels Misa took refuge at PSU. Misa has been ranked among the national leaders in rebounding over the past 2 seasons.

Portland State has had either feast or famine in recent years. The Vikings reached the Big Sky title game each year from 2009-11 but hasn’t made the field the past two seasons.

It was 39 years ago this coming Saturday that for the first time Montana’s women basketball began its first season as part of the official UM Athletic Department. To open their new era the Lady Griz beat MSU 36-32.

Three of the last 4 seasons the Grizzly men have swept the Eastern Washington Portland State road trip, no small feat considering the rigors of a Big Sky road trip.

Only 3 teams left in the NFL play-offs have celebrated a Super Bowl title since 2000, New England, Indianapolis and New Orleans.  While Carolina, Seattle and San Francisco have played in the Super Bowl over the past 10 years.

After leading the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl win after the 2009 season Peyton Manning and the Colts were eliminated from the post-season the next two years by the San Diego Chargers

The Saints came marching into Seattle three years ago as Reigning Super Bowl Champs only to get rudely bounced out of the play-offs by the Seahawks.

This is the 10th time over the past 13 seasons that Tom Brady has guided the New England Patriots in the AFC semi-finals which led to 5 AFC championships over that span.  The last time the Colts won a play-off game with anyone other than Peyton Manning at quarterback was 18 years ago when future NFL coach Jim Harbaugh led Indy on a surprise run into the AFC title game.

The rivalry between the Panthers and Forty-Niners dates back to when Carolina joined the NFL in 1995. Carolina was placed in the NFC West and tormented the Niners for much of the 7 years the two teams were divisional foes. Carolina might want to keep in mind their 2008 conference semi-final game. The Panthers were also the NFC’s second seed in 2008 only to be upset by the Arizona Cardinals.

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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.