UM Sports Trivia | Week of Sept 1

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

Saturday the Montana Grizzly football team goes for its 14 win in the last 16 home openers when they faced the Central Washington Wildcats. The last time the CWSU cats were in Missoula was 2008 and the Griz needed a late field goal to claim their 25th consecutive regular season win. That ’08 Central Washington team featured Kalispell native Mike Reilly at quarterback.

This is only the fourth time the Griz have played a game on September 6th. In 1974 the Griz venture to British Columbia to take on Simon Fraser coached by Missoula native Pokey Allen. Pokey and the Clansmen defeated the Griz. In 2003 the Griz lost an 18 point second half lead and lost at home to North Dakota state. Finally, in 2008 the Griz won a dramatic 29-27 win at Cal Poly.

It was forty years ago Saturday that Griz coach Mick Delaney picked his first ever win as a head coach as his Great Falls Bison defeated Borah High from Boise.

This is the first time both the Grizzlies and MSU Bobcats have lost their season openers since 2000, The Griz rebounded that season to reach the FCS title game while MSU went winless that season.

Sophomore wide receiver Ryan Burke was a big hero on Saturday making several clutch catches and threw an option pass to Josh Janssen. Burke is not new to being a hero. Like many of his Grizzly teammates Burke gave a bone marrow sample to be put in a database for possible donations. In December Burke was a match for a Leukemia patient and underwent the process to donate bone marrow.

For the fourth time in six seasons the Griz had a game delayed, three times by lightning and once by a power outage. In 2009 the Griz were in a tight battle at Cal-Davis when a significant part of the stadium lights malfunctioned delaying the second quarter by 30 minutes. The next season the Griz’ lopsided win over Western state of Colorado involved lightning strikes that caused nearly an hour delay that was combined with halftime.   In 2011 it was nearly two hours after the scheduled kick-off that the Griz got started at Knoxville Tennessee due to lightning and a severe downpour.

As August ends the Los Angles Angels have the best record in major League baseball, but that doesn’t mean the Angels can start planning a World Series victory parade. Over the last 16 years only once has the team with the best record at the end of August won the World Series. The Yankees in 2009 is the only team  to top the majors at the end of August and then claim the world Series. One thing to note is that in 2011 the St Louis Cardinals had the 11th best record in the majors but when late October came it was the Cards uncorking the champagne.

Denver Bronco fans who figure “Our team played in the Super Bowl last season so we should be a favorite this year,” It has been 42 years since the Super Bowl loser has rebound to claim the Lombardi Trophy, that was the famed 1972 Miami Dolphins.  For the Seattle Seahawks they are out to become the first NFC team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since Troy Aikman led the Dallas Cowboys.

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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.