I know I am guilty of liking my job too much so I apologize to everyone who tires of my statements noting this obvious point. Unfortunately for the people who wish I would just shut up, right now is one of those times where I can’t help but exclaim my joy with what I do. Currently I am engaged in a very fun and busy week. The fun definitely overshadows any stress or anxiety that might creep up through the busyness as I navigate through these important days. Of course, this fun I speak of is just not enjoyed by me but by many of my fantastic co-workers as well, fun that is only afforded to us because of the awesome student-athletes we have at The University of Montana. Here is a glimpse into this exciting week:
Yesterday our men’s basketball team found out who they would play in ESPN’s BracketBusters series. BracketBusters is a slate of basketball games that pairs mid-major programs together who would normally not play each other. Although it can be a burden on coaches and players because it takes them out of the conference groove and gives them an extra game to prepare for which usually will do nothing for what the intended marketing purpose of the series states, it is exciting to see who we draw.
After much speculation on who the Griz would play, a curve ball of sorts was thrown. Instead of staying out west and taking on Long Beach State or Utah State or instead of traveling out to the middle of the nation for a date with Northern Iowa, Wayne Tinkle and his team received notification that they would be traveling to the opposite side of the country to face Davidson. So as I got word out via our social media outlets and as our athletic director quizzed me on the state and then the city of where Davidson is (I answered correctly…Davidson, North Carolina), I observed with interest the reaction of our fans. Overwhelmingly Griz Nation got pumped up for the match up. With the fact that Davidson made the Elite 8 in 2008 and made it to the NCAA Tournament last year combined with the west vs. east rare meeting mystique it was hard for most fans not to like. I definitely enjoyed the anticipation of the announcement followed by the surprise opponent and the television announcement (will be televised on ESPNU on February 23) and finally anchored by the positive reaction from our fan base.
Tomorrow is one of the biggest days of the year: Signing Day. As I made clear in my post from last year, National Signing Day is beyond exciting and nerve wracking for coaches, players, and fans. The amount of coverage, scrutiny, and importance placed on this day will not be surpassed by many others on the calendar. Once again, I get to have a hand in the coverage that our department will give the supporters of the Montana Grizzlies. Working with staff members more talented than me, starting at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning we will provide exclusive, instantaneous, and accurate information on the Griz Class of 2013. From 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. I will run the web and social media portions of our coverage, letting fans know right when a prospect becomes part of this year’s class. Combined with the brilliant highlight videos, the press conference, the live stream, the official release, the organizing of the culminating signing social event in Kalispell, and most importantly the countless hours put in by the football coaches to land these recruits, a lot of work has gone into Signing Day 2013. I definitely look forward to tomorrow.
Last but not least, our men’s basketball team returns home this week for two home games. Sitting at first place while holding a perfect 12-0 record in the Big Sky Conference, it is an understatement to say it has been fun watching the team play this year. As excitement, fan support, and importance grows with each game, it seems as if the game production does too. With lots planned over these next two games it is a good investment for all of my Missoula readers to get out to Dahlberg Arena this week. On Thursday evening, Montana will host Northern Colorado in our Go Red game. Make sure to wear red as we raise awareness for heart disease. Saturday night Montana will take on North Dakota, quite possibly the best opponent left on the home schedule. Saturday night’s game is a MAROON OUT so please wear your best maroon Griz gear to the game. Both contests start at 7 p.m. in Dahlberg Arena. I can’t emphasize how special this year’s team is…make it a priority to attend.
BracketBusters, Signing Day, and a Griz basketball homestand…not a bad week! So now that I took roughly 500 words to once again brag about my job, I think I should give it a rest for a couple hours. But please make sure to follow our Signing Day coverage tomorrow on www.gogriz.com and PLEASE, PLEASE make sure to attend the basketball games this week. Go Griz! Don’t Blink.