Here are the 5 best takeouts from Montana’s biggest game.


What a weekend!

Thousands of Montanese flocked to Bozeman for the 121st Brawl of the Wild. Not only is it the biggest game of the year for the state, but it was extra special with the arrival of ESPN College Gameday on Thursday.

What will surely go down as one of the greatest weekends in Montana history ended with a big win for the home team and the return of The Great Divide trophy to Montana State University. The start of the game looked like a shootout between the two teams as both marched onto the field on their first possession and scored.

However, any hopes of a close game were quickly ended when the Bobcats took over and appeared to dominate their biggest rival. In the end, the score seemed closer than it actually was.

Montana Flag Background Fabric Texture – Flags of the United States

So what have we gained from all this? What have we learned in recent days? Let’s take a look at the top 5 takeaways.

#5. ESPN made the right choice by choosing Bozeman

I know a lot of Montanans were upset last year when Missoula tried to get ESPN College Gameday to travel. I have no doubt the Griz faithful would have been warm and welcoming, but there was just something about that College Gameday leg with the Bridgers in the background that felt “right”.

#4. Both universities have large fanbases

Someone told me the first two fans to show up for ESPN College Gameday were best friends. One is a Cat fan and the other is a Griz fan. Rumor has it they arrived at 5:30 p.m. the day before. In fact, there were all kinds of stories of people showing up in the middle of the night not only to be part of a unique experience, but also to show their pride and passion for the teams they had chosen.

#3. Cat fans and Griz fans can coexist

We all know the history of the rivalry. We all know here in Montana you’re either Team Cats or Team Griz, however, as someone who’s spent hours with both on Saturday, I’ve seen a lot of people in blue and gold and brown and silver who had fun together.

I was also shocked to see the civil discourse between the two fanbases on social media. In fact, I’ve seen far more Griz fans wishing the Cats luck than I’ve seen talking trash. Of course, both teams still have obnoxious fans, but from where I was standing, before kick-off, everyone was having a great time.

#2. MSU is now the state leader

This will no doubt excite a lot of Griz fans, and I certainly don’t mean to offend, but it’s become clear; Montana State University is now at the top. Griz fans will point out the overall toll and all that, but let’s be honest here. MSU has a leg up on UM and that has become pretty clear over the past few years. These things tend to fluctuate over the years, and right now the state of Montana and its leaders are in the driver’s seat.

Credit: Townsquare Media
Credit: Townsquare Media

#1. Touchdown Tommy is a leader on and off the court

Not only was he all over the field yesterday, running, throwing and scoring touchdowns, but after the game the kid from Butte said something we should all listen to. Mellott reminded us all how hard the players work on both teams and that every week they give it their all, so let us rise above all disrespect and recognize the sacrifice these student athletes are making to ensure that we can enjoy our Saturdays in the fall.

It seems that if football doesn’t work out for Mr Mellott, he could certainly pursue a career in politics or human relations.

All in all, it was a great weekend for Montana. Now both teams are in the playoffs and will host games. As we all know, at this time of year anything can happen. Personally, I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

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