Here are the top 5 take-a-ways from Montana’s greatest game of all time.

What a weekend!

Thousands of Montanans flocked to Bozeman for the 121st Brawl of the Wild. Not only is this the biggest game of the year for the state, it was also 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 in a big win for the home team and the return of the Great Divide Trophy to Montana State University. It looked like a penalty shoot-out between the two sides early in the game as both marched down the field on their first possession and scored.

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

Fabric texture of Montana flag background – flags from USA
Belya

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

#5. ESPN made the right choice with Bozeman

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

#4. Both universities have large fan bases

Someone told me that the first two fans who showed up for ESPN College Gameday were best friends. One is a Cat fan and the other is a Griz fan. Rumor has it they showed up at 5:30pm the night before. In fact, there have been all sorts of stories of people showing up in the middle of the night not only to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but to show their pride and passion for their chosen teams.

#3. Cat fans and Griz fans can coexist

We all know the history of rivalry. We all know that you’re either Team Cats or Team Griz here in Montana, but as someone who’s spent hours with both on Saturday, I’ve seen a ton of people in blue and gold and maroon and silver having a great time together.

I was also shocked to see the civil discourse between the two fandoms on social media. In fact, I’ve seen a lot more Griz fans wishing the Cats luck than I’ve seen them talking trash. Of course, both sides always have obnoxious fans, but from where I was standing everyone was enjoying themselves before kick-off.

#2. MSU is now the state leader

This will no doubt upset a whole 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 record and all, but let’s be honest here. MSU is a step or two ahead of UM, and that’s become quite evident over the past few years. These things tend to ebb and flow over the years, and for now, the state of Montana and its leadership are calling the shots.

Photo credit: Townsquare Media
Photo credit: Townsquare Media

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

Not only was he all over the field yesterday, running, shooting and scoring touchdowns, but after the game the Butte kid said something we should all listen to. Mellott reminded us all how hard the players on both teams work and that they give their best every week. So let’s overcome the disrespect and acknowledge the sacrifice these student-athletes are making so we can enjoy our fall Saturdays.

It seems that if football isn’t working for Mr. Mellott, he certainly could have 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, anything can happen during this time of year. Personally, I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.

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