Camaraderie With Montanans in Charlotte: Attending a Griz-Cat Satellite Party

On Friday night, I pitched an idea to Sidney. It started like this:

“Hey, do you want to go to Charlotte tomorrow?”

She looked at me a bit puzzled. That was the easy part of it all. I now had to tell her why I wanted to make the four hour drive to the Queen City. You see, Sidney is not a fan of football. The reason why I wanted to go to Charlotte was to watch a football game. In a bar. To watch two teams she couldn’t care less about.

Although I have converted Sidney into a Griz fan (check the shirt she is wearing), I didn't know if she would want to go to Charlotte to watch the football team play on TV.

Although I have converted Sidney into a Griz fan (check the shirt she is wearing), I didn’t know if she would want to go to Charlotte to watch the football team play on TV.

Yesterday, the football teams from the University of Montana and Montana State University played in the 116th Brawl of the Wild. Like other big time college football rivalries, efforts are made to bring alumni together who live out of state to watch the game. This is achieved through what is called a satellite party. The alumni associations from Montana and Montana State recruit grads to team up together and host these satellite parties at various locations around the nation.

As an alum and former athletic department employee of UM, I still have a strong allegiance to the Grizzlies. I have wanted to attend a satellite gathering the past two seasons but because of Coastal Carolina home games, I was unable to. This year, with the Chants playing on Thursday night prior to Griz-Cat weekend, it opened up my schedule to attend a watch party. Out of the roughly 88 Brawl of the Wild satellite locations in the United States, Charlotte was the closest one to me.

Despite being skeptical that Sidney would embrace the opportunity to give up a weekend to watch my old college team, it wasn’t a hard sell at all. She actually said she would love to go. What a wife!!

We arrived at the Charlotte Griz-Cat satellite location at around 1:30 p.m. (2 p.m kickoff). The particular venue was called Taco Mac, a beautiful bar/restaurant that has a similar concept to that of Buffalo Wild Wings. When we approached the place, it had a GO GRIZ sign on the front entrance. It gave me a warm feeling and it felt like I was coming home in a way. Taco Mac has an entire upstairs private area that was reserved exclusively for the Griz-Cat watch party. We walked in the room and admired the maroon and silver decorations while also picking up some Griz promo items.

Seeing the Go Griz sign at the entrance to Taco Mac in the SouthPark area of Charlotte made me feel welcome.

Seeing the Go Griz sign at the entrance to Taco Mac in the SouthPark area of Charlotte made me feel welcome.

It was at this time that I met Justin, a 1999 Montana grad who was the Griz organizer of the watch party. I would later meet Travis, the Montana State organizer of the watch party. Both guys worked together to provide a great experience for all who attended.

It goes without saying that whenever you see something Griz-related on the other side of the country, you must take a photo with it.

It goes without saying that whenever you see something Griz-related on the other side of the country, you must take a photo with it.

Sidney and I sat down and watched as Griz and Bobcat fans started to trickle in. For me, this was a great thrill. Living in South Carolina, you rarely come across someone who lived in Montana, let alone someone who went to the same university that you did. It was almost too much for me to handle. I felt compelled to go up to each person who was there and find out their story starting from where they grew up to what year they graduated to why they ended up in the Carolinas.

Sidney and I at Taco Mac for the Griz-Cat satellite party.

Sidney and I at Taco Mac for the Griz-Cat satellite party.

Sidney and I sat next to a couple who graduated about 30 years before me. Despite the age gap, we still had a lot in common. Both actually lived in the same residence hall I did my freshman year, both enjoyed some of the same bars I regularly went to during my years in Missoula, and both shared the same Griz Pride that I still store in my heart.

It was a complete joy to talk with the Montana State folks as well. While 200 miles separate Missoula from Bozeman, about 2,000 miles separate the state of Montana from the Carolinas. Thus, it was very apparent that although when we attended our institutions it seemed like the differences between us were great, when we met on common ground in Charlotte it was entirely different. While we still had our Griz and Cat ties, we were all proudly Montanans. It was just so nice to talk with people who could properly pronounce the word “Butte” and who still appreciate FCS football in an area dominated by the SEC and ACC.

At halftime, the party attendees, both Griz and Cats, took this photo.

At halftime, the party attendees, both Griz and Cats, took this photo.

Throughout the game at Taco Mac, the Griz fans would cheer when our team made a play and the Bobcat fans would cheer when their team made a play. It was a great back-and-forth. Of course I desperately wanted Montana to win. As a student and as a staff member, I grew to hate the Cats. I relished in the fact that our athletics program, especially over the past several years, always seemed to crush Montana State. But as I alluded to above, when you are separated from that atmosphere only to be reunited with people from both sides at a location thousands of miles away, it humanizes you.

A look at the main floor of Taco Mac from upstairs where our party was held. The venue was awesome and had just about any beer on tap you could want.

A look at the main floor of Taco Mac from upstairs where our party was held. The venue was awesome and had just about any beer on tap you could want.

Although it stung that my Montana Grizzlies were upset by Montana State on Saturday afternoon, I felt no animosity toward the Bobcat fans right by me who were basking in the glory of their 24-17 win. In fact, I actually felt happy for them.

I want to thank the alumni associations from both Montana and Montana State for organizing these satellite parties. I especially want to thank Justin and Travis for putting on the Charlotte gathering. I had a great time and hope to be back next year (just with perhaps a different result). Don’t Blink.

The Week Before Thanksgiving

Just a week away from Thanksgiving, are you excited yet? I sure am. With Turkey Day on my mind I present to you my weekly Thursday rundown blog post. How about we jump right in?

Buffalo Wild Wings Visit: Only in my blog would you find someone ramble on about an ordinary BWW dining experience. This past Saturday, Sidney and I went to eat after the Chant football game. In a rare move for me I ate something other than wings. I ordered the Italian burger and let me tell you, it was loaded. It was two patties, pepperoni, garlic sauce, AND mozzarella sticks. It was a miracle that I didn’t die from a heart attack right then. It was probably even more of a miracle that I managed to keep my food down after I watched the women’s UFC fight between Jessica Eye and Leslie Smith on the restaurant’s big screens. Eye almost took off Smith’s ear as blood splattered everywhere. My hatred for UFC will be for another blog post.

This was my Italian burger that I ate at Buffalo Wild Wings on Saturday night.

This was my Italian burger that I ate at Buffalo Wild Wings on Saturday night.

Newspaper Love: Our student newspaper here at Coastal Carolina University is called The Chanticleer. Over the past couple of issues, #CCUSocialMedia has had a focal point in both. In the issue that came out a couple weeks ago, Wyatt Davies did a story on our Yik Yak Takeover. You can read it by clicking here. This week the newest issue came out and I had the honor of being the feature in a piece by Dylan Cordaro. You can read it by clicking here. While I enjoy coverage from the professional media organizations, it is nice to have the work I am doing  featured by the population I am trying to serve the most, our students.

A photo of the physical copy of the latest story that dealt with #CCUSocialMedia.

A photo of the physical copy of the latest story that dealt with #CCUSocialMedia.

Football Saturday: I am beyond excited for college football this Saturday. I will be on the sidelines as the Chanticleer football team goes for an unblemished 12-0 season as they face Liberty at 1 p.m. in Brooks Stadium. As it is a rivalry game with a lot at stake I expect a hard-hitting and intense contest. A win for Coastal will cement a top seed in the playoffs, a Big South Conference championship, and a regular season #1 ranking. After I finish up my work from the game I will be off to my favorite bar to watch the Griz-Cat football game. I will be yelling hard as Montana looks to improve its already lopsided edge in the Brawl of the Wild Series with another victory over Montana State. I couldn’t say it when I was working for UM but I can say it now: Grizzly Athletics in every single facet is so incredibly superior to Montana State! I never tire seeing that point made time and time again. I can’t wait for kickoff.

Brynn and I on the field after another #GrizCat football victory in 2013.

Brynn and I on the field after another #GrizCat football victory in 2013.

Hair: Tonight I have the pleasure of attending my first play in ages. I will be attending Coastal Carolina University’s production of “Hair.” I am looking forward to seeing our talented students act and sing on stage. A big bonus is that Robin Russell is directing the production. Robin is the host of “Coastal Now” and has provided me with tremendous support and encouragement since I started my “Social Circle” segment on the show. I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to send some of that support back her way by attending tonight’s play.

This is the door that leads to the Black Box Theatre at Coastal Carolina University. As you can see, it is decorated for "Hair."

This is the door that leads to the Black Box Theatre at Coastal Carolina University. As you can see, it is decorated for “Hair.”

I Meet My Niece Next Week: This latest update on Mikayla is special because it is the last one I have to make before actually seeing her for the first time next Tuesday. Now 11 weeks old she is flailing her arms and kicking her legs like crazy. My family says she is just as excited to see me as I am her. Counting down the days!

Here are the latest photos of Mikayla. I meet her soon.

Here are the latest photos of Mikayla. I meet her soon.


Well folks, I am off to a play. Thanks for your readership. Because of my Mick Delaney tribute post on Monday, this has been one of the best weeks ever for Don’t Blink. Make sure to cheer hard for the Chants and Griz this weekend. Don’t Blink.

Dominating Your Rival #GrizCat

Nothing beats defeating your rival. Well, let me rephrase that: Nothing beats defeating your rival over and over again.

Tonight both Montana basketball programs defeated Montana State, securing a season sweep resulting in a 4-0 combined record by the Griz and Lady Griz over the Bobcats this basketball season. It is a testament to blank a rival school on the hardwood, let alone the utter domination I am about to explain.

Besides just basketball, Grizzly teams this season went undefeated against Montana State in revenue-generating sports (football, volleyball, and basketball). With the two volleyball victories during the 2013 season and the BIG football win in November added with the 4-0 basketball record the Montana Grizzlies came out with a spotless 7-0 record against MSU.

Defeating Montana State in Bobcat Stadium this past November was definitely a sweet moment.

Defeating Montana State in Bobcat Stadium this past November was definitely a sweet moment.

But by no doubt the most satisfying exclamation point at the end of the #GrizCat rivalry came over this past weekend. With both the men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams finishing ahead of Montana State at the Big Sky Conference championships our athletic department wrapped up the title for the inaugural Blue Cross Blue Shield/Town Pump Brawl of the Wild year-long competition.

This is the nice piece of hardware we get to keep for defeating Montana State in a yearlong competition.

This is the nice piece of hardware we get to keep for defeating Montana State in a yearlong competition.

This athletic season the Griz and Bobcats entered into a competition that incorporated the 13 different sports that both schools have. I won’t get into all the small details but each time we face off against Montana State in a game or meet, points are at stake. There are 16 different competitions with 17 points up for grabs. By Saturday evening Grizzly Athletics had already reached the magic number of 9 thanks to the efforts of our indoor track teams.

Tonight the lead stretched even more. First the Lady Griz defeated Montana State in Bozeman. Then, just a couple minutes later the Griz dropped the Bobcats 53-50 here in Missoula. It was an awesome game to work with a loud and engaged crowd. When the clock read zeroes on the Dahlberg Arena scoreboard the other scoreboard keeping track of the year-long rivalry showed 11-2 in favor of the Maroon and Silver.

Although not the prettiest game tonight it was good enough to sweep the Cats in basketball this season.

Although not the prettiest game tonight it was good enough to sweep the Cats in basketball this season.

As I have said in previous blog posts, a healthy rivalry makes everyone work harder. I do all I can to make sure the areas I oversee triumph over the equivalent areas at MSU. My co-workers do the same. But in the end the ultimate victory is when our student-athletes dominate our friends from Bozeman. After all, this phenomenon called intercollegiate athletics is 100% about the student-athletes. Without them I wouldn’t have a job. Without them there would be a lot of people both young and old looking around for inspiration.

Congrats to our student-athletes for wrapping up the inaugural Brawl of the Wild year-long competition.

Congrats to our student-athletes for wrapping up the inaugural Brawl of the Wild year-long competition.

Congrats to all University of Montana student-athletes for really elevating Griz Nation in this state. What do you say we get those final four points still available in the competition? Go Griz! Don’t Blink.

Thursday Night Run Down

Time of the week to once again cover a few random topics. You ready? LEGGGGOOOO…

Rock Concert at Gym: These days on social media a big topic people like to parody are gym stereotypes (never mind that I wrote about it over two years ago). One of the stereotypes that you always hear about is the “singing guy”. This individual decides to sing along with whatever is on his iPod. Sometimes he belts the whole song out, sometimes he goes in and out with the chorus, or sometimes he will just randomly yell one or two phrases from the song. Today I witnessed a spin-off of the singing guy.

During my noon workout a dude with a tattered cut up black shirt and ball cap walked into the gym with a big ol’ set of headphones on. Although it wasn’t his wardrobe that made him standout. Rather his exaggerated motions of playing the air guitar and pounding on the imaginary drums caused enough people in the crowded area to step out of his way that others couldn’t help but look. He must have had angry, powerful music playing or just been on drugs (or both) because this guy looked like he was playing the concert of his life. Guitar one second, drums the next…over and over. I hit the track to run and when I came back to the weight area of the facility he was still pacing back and forth rocking out. I usually never smile at the gym but today I did.

Welcome Back Winter Weather: By all accounts we have had a relatively mild winter in Montana. Yesterday, however, the cold and snow came back. Today the cold, snow, AND wind came back. It was an absolutely brutal day to venture outdoors. Just my walk from my car to my office gave me about all I could handle. Never underestimate the life-sucking power of the Montana Hellgate winds. Of course I had to return a rental so that added another unpleasant 20 foot walk in the elements for me. I didn’t particularly enjoy my drive home this evening either. Blowing snow, slick roads, and low visibility made for an adventure.

Hey Winter, I talked to like six people today and they all said that you didn’t need to come back to Montana this season. We would all love it very much if you left for good now. We didn’t mind sunny skies and 35 degree temperatures.

Montana Basketball Update: One of the reasons why I am doing a quick post tonight is because our men’s basketball team is just about to tip off against Southern Utah in Cedar City. You can view my updates by following the official Twitter account of Griz basketball, @UMGRIZZLIES_BB. The men’s team needs this win tonight to climb up the conference standings a bit and to gain some momentum for Monday night’s Griz-Cat game in Bozeman.

The Lady Griz host Southern Utah on Saturday evening as they attempt to build on a successful season so far. They will then play Montana State in Dahlberg Arena on Monday evening. Yes, it is a very unfortunate arrangement. This year the Griz-Cat basketball games aren’t held at the same site on the same day as the result of an unbalanced travel partner schedule. Thus on Monday evening the men’s basketball team will square off against Montana State in Bozeman at the exact same time that the Lady Griz will tip off against MSU in Dahlberg Arena. With Idaho entering the league next year this problem will be resolved.

Fighting For a Parking Spot: School is back in session at the University of Montana and that means the parking lots are filled to capacity by 9 a.m. each day. I do get the luxury of picking my spot in the morning but if I happen to leave work for any reason during the day I have to fight and strategize to get a spot when I return. In order to secure a space in a timely manner I make sure to practice a few tricks.

First off I never stalk someone the second I see them possibly walking to their car but I do keep an eye out and set myself up for an easy route if they are in fact leaving. The second I see them click their door opener and I see the lights on the car blink I slam on the accelerator, turn on my blinker, and wait the person out. If I am competing against other cars for potential spots I am getting as far away as possible from them and covering as many rows as possible to find a vacant spot. It does no good to scour a row that a competing car just went down and it does no good to go at the same pace as a competing car either. Efficiency and speed! If a spot opens up and I get to it the second that another car does I always defer the space to the other person if the driver is a female. If the driver is my gender I will try to force the car that is leaving to back out in the direction of the opposing car so I can slip in before the driver shifts into drive (I am actually lying, I always try to allow the other person to take the spot).


Have a great night everyone! Drive safe in the winter weather and finish out the work week strong tomorrow. Don’t Blink.

Another Great Weekend for Grizzly Athletics

It has been one of those weekends where I sit back and let the pride, thankfulness, and awe of getting to work in the University of Montana Athletic Department just engulf me. Although I am always so proud to be part of something as special as Grizzly Athletics, weekends like this always give you an extra jolt of joy. Three awesome things happened to the Maroon and Silver this weekend that has everyone associated with the University of Montana and really the whole community of Missoula on fire right now. Let me brag for a little bit.

Griz-Cat Triumph: Let me start with the best. Yesterday in Bozeman, the Montana Grizzlies and Montana State Bobcats squared off in the 113th Brawl of the Wild. In a game that at the start of the season any MSU fan would say the Griz would get trounced in, Montana went into Bobcat Stadium and doubled up the Cats, bringing back the Great Divide Trophy to our department with a 28-14 victory.

This one was sweet. I felt very fortunate to stand on the sidelines and watch yet another trouncing of Montana State at the hands of our student-athletes and coaches. While I might have felt a little bad for the record crowd who turned out in Bozeman to watch their team’s playoff hopes die, I felt exuberant for Griz Nation. After Jordan Canada scored the last touchdown of the game and put his finger to his face to quiet the Montana State student section once and for all, the celebration was on. It literally made my year watching my good friend Norm Jones take the trophy out to midfield where the offensive line dutifully picked up the large award and carried it around the stadium for two renditions of the fight song before planting it at midfield where the team then gathered around it to say a prayer. After looking at the scoreboard one last time just to confirm that the Griz had added yet another notch to its side of the lopsided Brawl of the Wild record, I turned around and walked out of Bobcat Stadium with a big smile on my face.

With the final score behind us, Brynn and I enjoyed the victory in Bobcat Stadium.

With the final score behind us, Brynn and I enjoyed the victory in Bobcat Stadium.

Griz Volleyball Wins on Senior Night: The Griz volleyball team turned a great day into a spectacular day when they defeated Sacramento State on Senor Night. Although a little concerned that I might miss the match because of the Griz-Cat football game running long and the unpredictability of the road conditions from Bozeman to Missoula, I walked into the West Auxiliary Gym in the middle of the first set.

This year I served as the Marketing Director for the Griz volleyball team so I became very passionate about the squad, especially its four seniors. After a couple years of not making the Big Sky Conference tournament, the team clinched a spot this past weekend. With one goal in the books, the next goal of winning on Senior Night was attainable. The Griz didn’t let the opportunity pass them by as they defeated Sacramento State in five sets.

Instead of running the game from the scorer’s table I got to watch the special victory as a fan from the stands. Seeing Brooke Bray, Kayla Reno, Kortney James, and Megan Murphey go out as winners at home made my night and capped off a memorable day for Grizzly Athletics.

Congrats to our volleyball seniors (Brooke Bray, Kayla Reno, Kortney James, and Megan Murphey) on great careers.

Congrats to our volleyball seniors (Brooke Bray, Kayla Reno, Kortney James, and Megan Murphey) on great careers.

Griz Football Receives a Playoff Bye: After Montana dumped the Cats on Saturday afternoon, the question on everybody’s mind was when the Griz would play in the playoffs. Would they receive a bye or would they be playing Thanksgiving weekend on November 30? The debate raged everywhere from message boards to social media to the bus I rode home from Bozeman. With so much talk swirling around I asked our Sports Information Director what he thought our chances were of getting a bye. He told me 50-50.

I woke on Sunday morning anxious for the announcement. I wholeheartedly believed the team should be given a bye but understood the case against them and with the 50-50 prognosis that Dave gave me, I tried to get prepared for both scenarios. I followed the announcement on Twitter and the wind came out of my sail a little as they started to reveal the first several eight seeded teams (the ones who get byes) and Montana was not represented. After the announcement of seven teams without Montana being one of them, I thought I would be working in Washington-Grizzly Stadium on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. But right when I started to wonder who our first round opponent would be the eighth and final seed was announced and much to my excitement it was Montana.

Of course the bye is most important because it will give our team the chance to heal up, rest, and play a team that they get to watch a week prior. But for us staffers in the athletic department, it also gives us a very nice holiday weekend. I now get to a plan an extended holiday break in Spokane with my family and I couldn’t be more excited. All I can say is thank you so much to the football team for making this a possibility!

Montana will face the winner of Coastal Carolina and Bethune-Cookman on December 7.

Montana will face the winner of Coastal Carolina and Bethune-Cookman on December 7.


It truly is a great time to be a Griz (even though it always is). Congrats to our amazing student-athletes and coaches. This is going to be one happy Thanksgiving. Don’t Blink.

Returning Laughter Back to Rivalry Week: Memes

Last night I read my good friend Shaun Rainey’s blog post on why he enjoys the Griz-Cat football rivalry so much. One of the reasons why he looks forward to it is a relatively new concept that in my opinion has completely invigorated not just the Brawl of the Wild but rather every single rivalry in the nation. For probably just a couple years now this new yet simple form of media has helped fight against the unoriginality and cliché driven nature that had started to define many of these passionate head to head battles across the country.

I am talking memes.

Memes? Yes! As in the basic presentation of a picture accompanied by a line or two of user generated text that conveys a joke, insult, or point. Back in the day we would just call them picture captions. But with the proliferation of the internet and social media combined with the specific physical appearance of such images, we have entered the fancy term of “meme” into our lexicon.

You gotta love memes!

You gotta love memes!

At this time I can’t necessarily say that overall I am a big time lover of memes. While I always got a laugh out of the Willy Wonka ones, I find many of the ecard and mass generated poorly developed memes stupid. However, I do appreciate many of the memes that poke fun at a certain side of big time rivalries. Not only do they deliver a good laugh but they have helped to break up a streak of lameness that started to run rampant.

I would always get up for rivalry weeks but I started to really dread friends, bloggers, message board users, and social media addicts who thought they were funny by reciting or posting generic jokes that poked fun at the other school. I am talking about the jokes that went like this: “How do you get a graduate of ___________ University off of your porch? Pay him for the pizza.” Or this: “What are the longest three years of a ___________ University student’s life? Freshman year.” Or this: “How do you keep a ____________football player off your yard? Put up a goal post.”

Not only are the above jokes very old and practically not even funny anymore but they are completely unoriginal. They can apply to every single school in every single rivalry. There is absolutely no personalization or cleverness with them. But for some reason people would still tell them and still post them. You would get an e-mail that said “Oregon jokes” or you would see a thread on a message board that said “Montana State jokes” and you would read them and they would contain the exact same stories and one liners, the only thing changed was the name of the school. How stupid. They really weren’t Oregon jokes or Montana State jokes, they were just recycled rivalry jokes.

I welcomed sport rivalry memes with open arms. Finally there was something that channeled the creative juices of fans and enabled them to think up some very cunning and very funny jokes. Memes center completely on a photo so you must find an image that is specific to one of the schools in the rivalry. Once you have a unique photo you are going to go the distance to create a unique caption. You aren’t going to ruin a good photo with a terrible clichéd one liner. Instead you are going to think up something so that the second someone looks at the meme they are going to fall over laughing.

Although I started to see the positive change last year, I have immensely enjoyed the explosion of rivalry memes this year. The increase of memes has brought the decrease of the terrible jokes. People no longer have time for that garbage. Fans are now hungry for clever visual jokes that poke fun at the culture and ways of the rival school. During this Griz-Cat week I have seen some hilarious memes from both sides. Naturally some do cross the line but for the most part it is spirited, passionate fun. Don’t get stuck resorting to the unoriginal and overdone. Instead embrace the new avenues available to bring fresh laughs to rivalry week. Don’t Blink.

November 19th Through the Years

If you read this blog enough you that in addition to this daily public record that I write, I also have a daily private record that I write. Yes, I am a big time journaler. For almost fifteen years I have written a detailed summary of every day within that span that I have lived. About five months ago I merged my blogging and journaling together. I wrote a post where I used my journals to give you a summary of every June 26 that I had lived for the past ten years. That particular post got descriptive and it also got very long.

I decided tonight to go with a condensed version of what I did in June. By condensed I mean I am only going to go back five years and I might leave some of the detail out. Keep in mind that deciding to do a flashback of November 19 was a totally spur of the moment thing. This date holds no significance to me and as you will see, no earth shattering events occurred. Here we go:

TODAY, Tuesday, November 19, 2013 – Typical busy day with Griz-Cat week in full swing. Got even more in the mood for the big game by attending the weekly press conference and the first practice of the week in the rain. After work I went to the local hospice center where I volunteer at and made about 20 phone calls to people reminding them about an upcoming community event.

Friday, November 19, 2012 – I created our UMGRIZZLIES Instagram account. One year later it has 2,306 followers and I have posted 609 different photos/videos to the account. Also on this day, Christie overheated our microwave in the office and filled up the whole area with thick smoke. The microwave was totally ruined and we had to take it outside where we were able to open the door and take out the charred bag of popcorn.

Saturday, November 19, 2011 – The cheer squad, some fellow staffers, boosters, and myself boarded a bus and we headed over to Bozeman for the 111th Brawl of the Wild. With everyone expecting the #1 ranked Montana State Bobcats to easily win the game, the Grizzlies had other ideas as they kicked the snot out of the Cats, 36-10. Standing on the sidelines watching our football team pull off the upset was a pretty neat deal. To this day it is one of my fondest memories.

Friday, November 19, 2010 – On this day I spent the morning prepping for the football game the next day, conducting a Monte rehearsal, and getting a workout in. I then spent the afternoon working sporting events. Our Griz basketball team played a very rare 3 p.m. weekday game against Montana Tech. The contest was never close at all as the Grizzlies pounded Tech. After that game I picked up my equipment and moved from Dahlberg Arena to the West Auxiliary Gym where I worked the 7 p.m. volleyball match against Weber State. Staying with the blow out theme, our volleyball team swept the Wildcats, 3-0.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 – I worked a pretty regular day and then worked out at 6 p.m. I grabbed a bean and cheese burrito at Taco Del Sol and then my friend Dan and I went to the Missoula Maulers hockey game where it was Mascot Night. During one of the intermissions they had the mascots play (rather attempt to play) a game of hockey on the ice. Besides Monte and Mo and the Maulers mascot, you also had costumed characters such as Red Robin, the Little Caesars guy, and a local taco mascot. It was quite entertaining.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 – I rolled out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and walked to the gym for my 6 a.m. workout. Later on in the day I worked on my semester statistics project with one of my group members, Jamie Groy. Man, that project brought about a lot of stress. Staying true to my broke college student ways, I donated plasma after lunch. I weighed in at 188 pounds and I got paid a whole $20 for an hour of discomfort. Later that night I got to experience the famous Jaker’s Happy Hour for the first time.

BONUS: Friday, November 19, 2004 (decided to throw this one in just because it is the oldest record I have here at my apartment…I have older journals located at my parents’ home in Spokane): Ahhh…my senior year at Mead High School. We had an easy workout for zero hour weights. In Accounting we worked on chapter 14. In Trigonometry we took the non-calculator portion quiz of chapter 3. In my Art-History class we looked at Byzantine art. In AP Government I got my 43/48 test back. I then went to basketball practice where I was a manager. I then came home and did homework and watched the Gonzaga basketball team beat Portland State. I then watched highlights of the ugly NBA brawl between Indiana and Detroit.


Thanks for getting in the time machine with me and going back through the years. Remember, you are never too old to start journaling. It has been very rewarding for me. Don’t Blink.

Griz-Cat Week 2013

Griz-Cat week has arrived and there is no better time to be a Montanan! (even if you are an import like me). This Saturday the Grizzlies and Bobcats will meet in Bozeman for the 113th football meeting between the two schools.

As I said last year, I realize that this game probably doesn’t hold the weight and tradition that some of the other rivalry games across the nation do but to this state and to me, this is where the buck ends. Griz-Cat is so much more than a football game to the people of the Treasure State. For many, it is a measuring stick for each person associated with the rivalry to see where they personally match up compared to their rival.

Although I always keep an eye on what MSU is doing, during this week I especially like to see how the areas that I directly oversee compare to those of our rival. For me that means I look long and hard at our website, social media, mascot, and a few other things in relation to Montana State (I like where we are at). Other people do the same thing with their respective areas. State supremacy is on the line this week and everything must be thrown into the equation.

Of course the most important thing in that equation is the football game on Saturday. A school could hold every single advantage on the other school but if it lost the game on the gridiron, all of those accomplishments mean nothing…at least for that day. As is well documented, the Grizzlies have crushed the Bobcats overall in the Brawl of the Wild. Currently Montana enjoys a 69-37-5 edge in the series. But please go ahead and throw every rivalry cliché in the book at me right now, I realize records mean absolutely nothing for games like these.

Montana will have its work out for them on Saturday. Montana State is playing at home and no doubt they will play with a lot of anger and urgency as they try to end a two game losing streak and make the playoffs. The Bobcats have several marquee players on their team who will undoubtedly bring their “A” game this weekend. The Grizzlies will have redemption on their mind. After dropping a close game last year to the Cats, Montana will go into Bozeman looking to add another “W” to the Griz-tilted overall Brawl of the Wild record while possibly securing a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

For myself I am beyond excited for the game on Saturday. Among working the 2009 Montana-App State game, going to the NCAA Tournament, and working that faithful tournament championship Saturday where we sent both our women’s and men’s basketball teams to the Big Dance, the 2011 Griz-Cat football game is one of my favorite memories during my tenure working for Grizzly Athletics. I hope to have a similar experience when I go to Bozeman this weekend.

To all the Grizzlies and Bobcats out there, have a great Griz-Cat week! This is a wonderful time for the state of Montana to celebrate two great universities. A few reminders: 1. Use the #GrizCat hash tag for all Tweets, Instagram photos, and Facebok posts. 2. Be respectful to the other side at all times. 3. Remember that kick off is at noon in Bobcat Stadium on Saturday. Enjoy the week and Go Griz! Don’t Blink.

Bringing Out the Throwbacks

I am always quite fond of bragging about my job and getting overly excited about the cool things I get to do for it. This morning I once again had a smile stretching from ear to ear as I watched two of our basketball players, one male athlete and one female athlete, participate in a mini photo shoot on our arena floor. Sporting copper and gold jerseys last worn in the mid 1990’s, our university photographer snapped several shots of our two athletes in the throwback gear that themselves and the rest of their teammates will wear on January 19 when we host Griz-Cat retro style.

Don't these throwbacks looks sharp?

Don’t these throwbacks looks sharp?

I could hardly contain my own excitement looking at our two players suited up in their sharp looking old timer jerseys to bring myself to wait out the one hour window between the time that the pictures were taken to when our photographer uploaded the images to when our athletic director tweeted out the first glimpse of the retro glory to all of Griz Nation. But by the time our AD sent out his most important tweet yet on his day old account with about 40 other people following suit by retweeting it, my nervous excitement had leveled out and I could enjoy watching our fan base go nuts at the prospect of a Griz-Cat Basketball Saturday with one of the most exciting twists ever.

Behind the scenes at the throwback photo shoot.

Behind the scenes at the throwback photo shoot.

What is it about throwback jerseys? To be honest, I don’t think it is that much of a mystery. As I have written about before, people love to reminisce about the past. People like to look back at times that took place years ago and use their selective memories to blow up the positive images. One way to connect with these memories is through clothing, and specifically in sports, uniforms.

We certainly can’t accuse professional and intercollegiate officials and marketers for not recognizing this little fact about human nature. Throwback uniforms are a HUGE business. Every team seems to have at least one throwback night. People go wild in their seats when their favorite teams wear old uniforms and many go wild at the merchandise stand as well. I mean let’s be honest here, if you consider yourself a sports fan, I guarantee that you have at least a couple throwback apparel items in your closet.

Research shows that the demographic that really buys into the throwback theme is the younger generation, the people who barely remember a certain era or don’t remember it at all. I can totally attest to this! As a Mariners fan growing up I thought the old school inaugural logo of the anchor-like “M” placed in the star was the coolest thing ever. I had a hat and a couple shirts with the old mark and I felt the same excitement when the Mariners would don those old jerseys a couple times each year that I did this morning during the photo shoot. Never mind that the old sailor type logo was hideous, as I said before, we all have a grandiose outlook on the past. Things seemed better back when, even if they were actually not.

Like with any good thing, the use of throwbacks can be taken overboard. Some Major League Baseball teams will wear old school jerseys on a weekly basis while some teams have completely brought back their retro marks and reinstituted them as their primary logo. However, you won’t find any of that oversaturation at Grizzly Athletics. As fans know from football, bringing back the old colors is a very uncommon occurrence, something that happens only on special occasions. Everyone in Montana knows that when the copper and gold comes out it is big time. Because of this, there are a lot of people counting down the days until January 19. Don’t Blink.