UM Sports Trivia | Week of May 4

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

University of Montana sports have blessed over the years with the support at their games by their grandmothers. However, it’s noteworthy when a regular at games is the grandmother of one of the coaches. Pauline Neilson loves nothing better to watch the UM softball team play both in Missoula and also traveling to watch the team in some road contests. Mrs. Neilson is the grandmother of UM pitching Melanie Muechel. Pauline had been a figure in Missoula softball for over 60 years, and was instrumental in getting leagues established on Missoula’s North side.

To accommodate Title IX requirements and for budgetary reasons, 30 years ago this month UM decided to drop Mens tennis as a part of reduction in sport. Wrestling and gymnastics would soon be dropped permanently also.  For two seasons there was no mens tennis team but it was revived after private donations made some improvements possible. Given new life the program began the climb to Big Sky prominence.

Good News for Montana Bobcat basketball fans with the tournament being staged in Reno Nevada. The last time the Big Sky tournament was held in Reno was 1986 and the Bobcats staged three upset to win the Conference and a trip to play St. Johns in the NCAA tournament.

keyboardSix times between 1985 and 1994 the Big Sky men’s tournament was held at a site designated before the season.  In 1990 Boise was expected to be a title contender, but flopped badly meaning the tournament went on with the home team notplaying.

With their second win this season the MSU Bobcat football team will have won 54 games during the Presidency of Baraack Obama more than any other president in Bobcat history. The Bobcats won 53 during the Presidency of George W. Bush.  Another President that seemed to help MSU football was that of Lyndon Johnson as the Bobcats went 5-0 against the Grizzlies during Johnson’s time in the white House. Ironically Johnson was himself a Bobcat having attending Southwest Texas State whose mascot is a Bobcat.

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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.