UM Sports Trivia | Week of May 12

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

A bevy of former Little Grizzly Football players have been taken In the NFL draft, but not until the Miami Dolphins selected Jordan Tripp has a player who played his entire amateur football career in Missoula, been taken. Tripp is a third Generation Grizzly. His grandfather, Gene Tripp played for the Griz in the early 1960’s with teams that won just a total of 13 games over his career. Jordan’s dad Bryan Tripp was a starter in 1989 when the Griz claimed their first two post-season wins in program history. Jordan was on a pair of 3 play-off teams and 3 Double-digit wins over the Bobcats in Bozeman. Tripp joins a Dolphins franchise that hasn’t had a play-off win since January of 2001. The last time the Dolphins won a Super Bowl,  Jordan’s mom Lisa Nagle was in Miss Walterskirchen’s first-grade class in Bonner.

The end of the Craig Robinson era at Oregon reminds me of another set of political-athlete brothers-in-law from Montana. Montana Governor Steve Bullock has to deal with media every day in his job and be interviewed quite frequently. Bullock’s brother-in-law starred for the Grizzly football team in the 1990’s but refused all requests from the media for an interview. Dan Downs was a high School All-American at Helena High and came to UM and was a major factor for the Grizzly defense’s success in those years, but never granted an interview to any form of media.

Fifty years ago this week The Elks Temple hosted a gathering that drew media and fans from throughout Montana. Missoula County High School star basketball Mike Lewis was about to announce where he would take his basketball skills to play College basketball. Lewis was a high School All-American who had drawn interest from school across the country. Lewis stepped to the microphone and the man standing next to him was Vic Bubas the head basketball coach of the Duke Blue Devils and Lewis told the faithful he was headed to Durham North Carolina to join a program that had reached the two previous Final Fours and had lost to UCLA in the 1964 title game. Lewis would go on to help Duke reach the 1966 Final Four where they lost a heartbreaker to Kentucky in the National Semi-finals. Lewis would go on to play 6 seasons in the old ABA and helped the Indiana Pacers win 2 league titles. Lewis’ first varsity game at Duke was on December 3, 1965 when the Blue Devils hosted the US Military Academy and their new head coach Bobby Knight.

A little World Series tidbit in May. Until 1961 Major League baseball had just 15 major League franchises a format in place since 1903. In 1961 an era of expansion began that would season 14 franchises added over the next 37 seasons. Of the expansion teams the New York Mets were the first to win a World Series taking the crown in 1969. From 1992 to 2003 teams from the expansion era won 6 of 11 World Series. Since 2004 there have been 10 World Series and each has been won by a franchise that predates 1960. The Florida Marlins in 2003” were the most recent “Newbies” to win a World Series.

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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.