The fierce rivalry between the Cat and Griz football teams has been a staple of Montana tradition for ages. With no professional sports teams in the area, Montanans live for the Cat-Griz rivalry, and it has been described as one of the best football rivalries in the country. In honor of the tradition that this game brings, lets see what it was like for some of our ancestors, when they experienced Cat-Griz in 1973.
You wake up in your dorm and tune into KGLT, the MSU’s flagship FM radio station. The morning starts off with a rather bleak affair, as news from the Vietnam War comes over the radio waves. You then hear Creedance Clearwater’s iconic song “Fortunate Son”, as you get ready to walk out the door.
When you walk out of the door, you see a number of different construction projects are going on all at once. The university is experiencing growth, and as a result they are building more and more structures surrounding Centennial Mall. As you walk down the Mall, you see a cowboy and a hippie walking together, like their differences don’t matter. You think to yourself, “now that is the beauty of MSU.”
After a good breakfast, it is time to head over to the football game. The crisp fall air, screams football and the snow from the previous storm is still on the ground. Your friends are at the stadium already. They might have been at a tailgate hours before the game. As fans walk into the stadium, the crowd grows. You find an open seat with the rest of the students cheering on the Cats.
Bobcat Stadium is full of Montanans coming from all over the state. Both the marching and pep bands are playing the MSU fight song, and the crowd begins to rise with excitement. The national anthem plays, and the teams run out onto the field.
A lot is riding on this game. Both teams are currently the best teams in the Big Sky and the University of Montana is on a three-game win streak against the Cats. Expectations are running high.
In a stunning game full of stingy defense, the Cats come out on top with a decimating 30-0 win over the Griz, securing the title as the best team in the Big Sky.
After the game, you head back to your dorm and get ready for the night ahead. A local rock band is playing downtown, so you and your friends go to the popular dive bar, R Bar, to get a drink and socialize with the rest of your generation. Then you might make your way to one of the many frat houses for the party of the night. Since schools have been less stingy on drinking at frats, you don’t have to worry about getting in academic trouble (not that you would care either way). Plus the drinking age is 18, so every student is at the party.
Then Sunday comes along and you are transported back into reality, left with nothing but the memories of Cat-Griz Weekend.
This was Cat-Griz back in the 70s and as you may note, not a lot has changed. MSU has definitely kept up with the traditions of our ancestors, by partying down to the bars after the game. It also helps that the Bobcats have beat the Grizzlies three years in a row. Like every other Cat-Griz weekend, this one is slated to be a historic one.