Let’s Do Cat-Griz in Butte, on St. Patrick’s Day
OK. If I'm reading this story right, the Montana State Bobcats and the University of Montana Grizzlies will not be playing a football season this Spring. The Cats and the Griz will not be eligible for a Big Sky Conference Championship, nor will they be eligible to play in an FSC football championship game. But, why can't we do a Cat-Griz game? Let's do it in Butte. On St. Patrick's Day.
According to the KGVO news report posted by Denny Bedard on Friday:
Both Montana schools are now looking to develop a schedule that allows each team up to two live competitions, falling in line more closely with the traditional spring practice period. Opponents and exact dates are still to be determined.
Can you imagine a Cat-Griz game from Naranche Stadium in Butte? It would be epic.
The new Naranche Stadium, named after former Bulldog and Montana Grizzly Eso Naranche who was killed during World War II while serving in North Africa in 1942, features the expected modern upgrades. Butte, though, managed to preserve the history and character of the old stadium, where President Harry Truman delivered a speech during his re-election campaign in 1948.
That was part of a write-up from Slim Kimmel for The Billings Gazette.
When I spoke about the Cat-Griz game last Fall, I threw out the idea on the radio for holding the game in Butte. After the radio show, I got a great note from a former Butte sports reporter who told me that they've done it before. And, of course, he was right. Here's the numbers from 406 MT Sports:
The Brawl of the Wild was played in Butte from 1926-1950, first at Clark Park, later at Butte High School from 1939-1950 (except 1942-1945).
A more recent story from 406 MT Sports says, "A ’Cat-Griz game is not scheduled for now, though nothing is concrete."
PRIOR POST from Sept. 29, 2020: THE CATS AND GRIZ SHOULD PLAY THIS NOVEMBER, EVERYBODY ELSE IS…
I got a tweet Friday afternoon from one of my Bobcat friends (I graduated from The University of Montana). He said:
Hey @aaronflint let’s make the @MSUBobcats / @UMGRIZZLIES game happen this year.
I got to thinking more about it over the weekend. He's exactly right. Not only is he right, but Montanans could and should make this happen.
Remember when officials tried telling you parents that you wouldn't be able to watch your kids play during their high school games? Montana parents united and rose up with the mantra "let us watch." It worked, and some schools were forced to reverse their policies.
We can do the same with the Cat-Griz game this year. Why can't the Cats and the Griz play one game in late November? Yeah, you won't have the 26,000-plus fans packing into Washington-Grizzly Stadium, but the kids can still play. Plus, you could broadcast the game on Montana radio and tv stations. Heck, why not play the game in Butte, Billings, or even in Eastern Montana like Glendive or Glasgow?
Here's the deal- "all the top-tier of college football conferences are now planning to play this fall," as CNN reports:
All the Power Five conferences -- SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten -- have announced plans to play this season. The Pac-12 announced Thursday they'd begin play on November 6.
I couldn't care less about the Big 10, the PAC this, or the PAC that. I care about the Big Sky. And our kids should be able to play. Let's make a Cat-Griz game happen this November.
By the way, if you hadn't heard: Some University of Montana football players were forced to apologize for criticizing the COVID-19 restrictions in Missoula, and for calling on the public to contact local officials with their feedback. Here's my reaction via Twitter: