For many Montanans across the state, this week is a time when emotions run high! Whether your blood runs blue and gold or maroon and silver, everyone has a stake in the game when it comes to the Brawl of the Wild aka Cat/Griz.
The passion for Montana football also runs deep for many of our employees. We asked a few to share what Cat/Griz means to them and to give us their predictions for the outcome of this year’s game.
Bob Burns, Missoula Market President, Griz Fan
What it means: “A win by the Griz means family bragging rights for the next 364 days!”
Prediction: “The Griz will take back the trophy with a 28-17 win over the Bobcats.”
Paul Pahut, Bozeman Market President, Bobcat Fan
What it means: “The Brawl, to me and my family, is like a religious holiday and everyone knows we will be there. The final emotional build up is an entire week long process. My 9 and 12 year olds have grown to love the build up and will hopefully go to the game this year, weather permitting.”
Prediction: “It will be a tough fought win for the Bobcats with a 27-24 final score.”
Brandon Dwyer, Missoula Commercial Loan Officer, Former Grizzly Football Player
What it means: “The brawl of the wild is the ultimate showcase for displaying the highest level of athletic achievement the state of Montana has to offer. For me, a native Montanan from Kalispell, being a Montana Grizzly football player meant an opportunity for me to “serve my state” by using my athletic talents to bolster that belief. It was an incredible honor to be a Grizzly and being involved in one of the oldest rivalries in college football has been tremendous and I loved sharing my state with all of those out-of-state players on the roster.”
Prediction: “41-17 Grizzlies.”
Travis Wright, Miles City Senior Credit Officer, Former Bobcat Football Player
What it means: “I grew up as a third generation Bobcat football player. As a kid I would often hear stories from my grandfather and dad about past Cat-Griz games, former players, and the importance of the rivalry to my family and the State. When I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to play in three rivalry games, I always had a special sense of pride in knowing that I was a part of an event that means so much to so many people.”
Prediction: “105-0 Cats”
The History of Cat Griz
Saturday, November 23rd marks the 119th Brawl of the Wild, which will take place at Bobcat Stadium in Bozeman. The rivalry between Montana and Montana State began November 26, 1897 in Bozeman and is one of the oldest football rivalries west of the Mississippi. Montana leads the series 72-40-5. While UM holds a sizable lead in the all-time series, Montana State has won more conference championships (20) and more national championships (3). UM has won 18 league titles and two national titles.
This year, the Griz are hoping to break the Cats three game winning streak and bring the Great Divide Trophy back to Missoula. Last year the Cats enjoyed the greatest comeback and most amazing finish in Cat-Griz history at Washington-Grizzly Stadium when Montana State rallied from a 22-0 deficit to a 29-25 win by forcing and recovering a fumble after Montana advanced the ball to within one-foot of the goal line with 14 seconds to play. The win also earned the Bobcats a berth in the FCS playoffs.
While Cat and Griz fans may not agree on much, Paul Pahut says there is one belief Montana football fans all share. “The best Cat/Griz experience is from the stands, whether in Bozeman or Missoula. You can feel the passion and excitement of the fans on both sides!”
There’s no doubt that passion and excitement will be on full display for this year’s Brawl of the Wild. Enjoy the game!
If you are interested in hearing about one of the most memorable Cat/Griz games in the history of the rivalry, our good friend Rocky Erickson has shared this incredible story. Thanks Rocky!