On Saturday me and many other Montanans (I am a first-generation Montanan) watched the 113th annual Brawl of the Wild football game between the Montana Grizzlies and the Montana State Bobcats.
The old travel budget here at The Western Word is a little lean, so I had to watch it on television. The game was carried on a channel called “Root Sports” which “is the nation’s premier regional sports network providing a unique and special experience for local sports fans, sponsors, teams and media partners.”
They did a decent job, and it was televised in HD (Did you hear that Beartooth NBC?).
The announced attendance at the game in Bozeman, Montana, was 21,527.
The Grizzlies beat the Bobcats 28-14. The Griz were able to carry the (rather large) “Great Divide” trophy around Bobcat stadium to rub in the victory.
The headline about the game on the ESPN webpage is a little confusing, “Canada lifts Montana past Montana State 28-14.” Although some Montanans can see Canada from their kitchen window, they were talking about a player named Jordan Canada, who hails from California. They also have “Dallas, from Phoenix; Cleveland – he was from Detroit; and Tex…well, I don’t remember where Tex come from.” (Just kidding with that last sentence – it’s always good to place a Forrest Gump quote in a story.)
Like I wrote last Monday, if you are a politician then the “Brawl of the Wild” game is the place to be. You have to attend and shake hands with folks and wave a lot. You also have to act like you enjoy football – you have to be seen.
We have two political winners in that category who went above and beyond the call of duty and were interviewed by a sideline reporter for “Root Sports,” which I said earlier “is the nation’s premier regional sports network providing a unique and special experience for local sports fans, sponsors, teams and media partners.”
So this was a big ‘effing deal.
First we had Republican U.S. Representative Steve Daines who is running for U.S. Senate. Daines, a Bobcat fan, was quick to talk about his “friendly wager” with Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, a Griz fan. Daines was also quick to point out that his dad was a Griz (showing that he is a true politician).
A little later Democratic U.S. Senator Max Baucus showed up on my Sony television screen. The sideline reporter mispronounced his name, calling him Bay-cus. Old Max strung together a couple incoherent sentences about teamwork and smiled a lot. It was painful.
Last Monday I also wrote about the Daines curse that was placed on the Bobcats – I called it being Daines-ed. It is part conspiracy theory, but it is also rooted in factual evidence.
In case you missed that column, here are the facts. On Wednesday, November 6 in Bozeman, Bobcats quarterback DeNarius McGhee led a group in the Pledge of Allegiance at a “Special Event” for Congressman Steve Daines. This is the day that Daines announced he was running for U.S. Senate.
Since that day, the Bobcats have lost every game – three of them. They did not make the playoffs. McGhee has thrown only one touchdown pass and has three interceptions since that day.
The Bobcat season, as well as McGhee’s college career, ended with the loss to the Grizzlies. We may never know if the curse can be reversed, but hopefully Daines will think twice before he invites college athletes to his political events.
Congratulations to the Montana Grizzlies for their win and making the playoffs. They received a bye this week, and then they get a home game in Missoula on December 7. You can see the official Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) bracket HERE.
Of course, I will be watching the Griz. I’m a Montanan!
## BE THANKFUL ##