Visit any store while you're out running errands this week and you'll probably notice a lot more team gear being worn across Montana. At Costco in Billings on Monday, it seemed that a solid 25% of the shoppers I encountered were wearing either Bobcat or Griz shirts, hats, or hoodies.

Even if you're not much of a sports fan, or are new to the state and don't care about either team, you're essentially obligated to choose a side. It's your Montana duty as a citizen. Families are occasionally divided when it comes to Team Bobcats or Team Griz, but usually, team loyalty passes from one generation to the next.

Missoula and Bozeman. Credit Canva
Missoula and Bozeman. Credit Canva

If you live in Bozeman or Missoula you will 9/10 times be a Bobcat or Griz supporter accordingly. That's expected. Here in Billings (and most of eastern Montana), we seem more evenly divided. I'd say close to 50/50 Bobcats/Griz. The debate may arise among fans talking trash about which animal would win in a fight. Let's break down some numbers.

Don't pet this kitty. Credit Canva
Don't pet this kitty. Credit Canva

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) facts and figures.

  • Weight - Average adult bobcats weigh between 15 and 35 pounds according to Montana FW&P.
  • Size - 28 to 37 inches long and 1.5 to 2 feet tall (about twice the size of a housecat).
  • Speed - Up to 30 miles per hour.
  • Climbing skills - Excellent
  • Bite strength - 548 Newtons (stronger than a coyote, snow leopard, or cheetah)
Imagine this big boy coming at you. Credit Canva
Imagine this big boy coming at you. Credit Canva

Grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis) facts and figures.

  • Weight - An average adult grizzly bear weighs between 400 and 600 pounds, although some may get much larger.
  • Size - Up to 8 feet long and 3.5 to 4 feet tall.
  • Speed - Can charge at bursts up to 35 miles per hour.
  • Climbing skills - Good
  • Bite strength - 1410 Newtons (one of the strongest in the animal kingdom).
Aw, look at this big tough bear. Credit Canva
Aw, he's so big and strong. Credit Canva

Who would win?

Hands down the grizzly bear. As much as it pains me to say this as a Cats fan, it's true. The grizzly bear is one of the most vicious creatures in North America. A - Z Animals notes that not only would a grizzly completely dominate the much smaller bobcat in a hypothetical brawl (they rarely spar with each other in the wild), but the ferocious bear could take on five bobcats at once and still come out victorious. Jeff Ewalt from ZooMontana quipped,

What do you get if a grizzly and bobcat fight in the forest? A boo-boo cat. Compared to a griz, a bobcat’s not all dat.

As for who will win on the field at Washington Grizzly Stadium, we'll find out Saturday starting at noon. It should be a great game.

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