UM Sports Trivia | Week of August 11

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

HOO-RAY!!! For the Zootown Senior Softball Team who played for the Senior Softball World series title. To put the Zootown team’s achievement in a little perspective: in extensive research we discovered only one youth baseball team from Montana that played for a “World Series” title  and that was the 1960 Billings Royals Legion baseball team featuring future major League star Dave McNally.

There are a couple of College football coaching changes worth noting as teams prepare for the start of the 2014 season.   Willie Fritz quickly revived the program at Sam Houston and led the Bearkats to back to back FCS title game appearances and now Fritz will try and guide Georgia Southern into the FBS.  Mark Whipple led the University of Massachusetts to a national title and a string of play-off appearances, including a national semi-final win over Montana at Washington Grizzly Stadium. Whipple left UMass for a string of assistant jobs in the NFL, but now Whipple has returned to UMASS to see if he can’t perform some more magic for the Minutemen as they try to adjust to life in the FBS Mid-American Conference.

Griz FlagAmong the seven worst records in the MLB for 2014 the teams have combined for 7 World Series appearances in the last 7 years. Teams that were recently great and now are struggling include the Red Sox, Rangers andPhillies.

Forty years ago this week Richard Nixon resigned as president of the United States. Nixon was a huge football fan and wasn’t above calling coaches to offer suggestions. Nixon was the original “37” holding that spot in the list of US presidents. Also, during the Nixon Presidency the Grizzly football program had a winning record (the first time UM had a winning record during a president’s tenure in office (33-21).

Twenty years ago this week FOX Sports televised its first NFL game, an exhibition between the Chicago Bears and New York Giants. The game itself was unremarkable except for the TV graphic that showed the score and time for the game up in the right hand corner of the screen. The “scoreboard” has been a part of most telecasts throughout the game ever since.

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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.