Friday Night Lights – College Playoffs Return to Montana

It shines in the distance, a beacon of all that’s right with football, nestled between a sleepy beer-first-college-second town and a mountain. And right now, it’s quiet; the relatively new SprinTurf field untouched by cleats. It sits and waits for its cameo, as the lights trucked in by ESPN for the event blaze through the night.

Washington-Grizzly Stadium sits next to a canyon called “Hell Gate,” so named for the ambushes carried out by hoards of Native Americans as white settlers made their way across the Rockies to begin new lives on the Pacific coast. Much blood was spilled in this very spot. Naturally, the powers that be saw fit to add a University to the equation, and in 1986, a football stadium.

Since then, it’s grown into one of the premiere football venues in the nation, the Taj Mahal of I-AA Football, now known as the Football Championship Subdivision, or FCS. Originally, seating was for 12,000, plus end zone grass seating, but the stadium has been expanded numerous times. In 1995, permanent seats were added to the end zone areas, bringing capacity to around 19,000. Corner seating was added in 2003, and a grandstand was added in 2008, complete with a club level and atrium that brought the stadium’s capacity to over 26,000.

It’s big. It’s loud. The seating areas are so close to the field, opposing teams have a hard time hearing, breathing, seeing straight. For most of the kids who come in, this stadium is so much bigger than their home field, it can boggle the mind.

Last week, Montana drubbed upstart Central Arkansas 41-14, in a game almost nobody outside the stadium saw, thanks to ESPN’s contractual stranglehold on the FCS Playoffs. “This is one of the Mt. Rushmore college venues in the country,” Central Arkansas coach Clint Conque said. “You can’t spot a team three turnovers and 17 points like that. We really dug ourselves a hole.”

Friday night’s matchup with Northern Iowa (ESPN, 8pm ET) figures to be a bit more even; the Panthers have already knocked off several ranked teams on their way to and through the playoffs, but they’re catching Montana at a bad time, with the Grizzlies having won their last 8 games, all but one by double digits. Playing at home, in the playoffs, the Griz are almost untouchable. And after Montana missed the playoffs last year, for the first time in 19 years, Griz fans and players alike are hungry to turn a page and get back to National Championship-level play.

If the Penn State scandal, or the University of Miami scandal, or the USC scandal have you down on college football, look no further than ESPN on Friday night. See the game played the right way, by kids who are just looking for a full ride scholarship and a chance to win some football games. See games that matter in December. See a champion crowned on the field because of what they accomplished there, not due to some pandering in a conference room in a tower in the sky. See kids that really care about their University, playing for pride and a shot at the championship, because here every game really does matter.

Watch and see what real championship football looks like (hint: it’s not settled by guys in suits and ties). Watch and see how much better it is on the good side.

Then join the growing chorus of voices, screaming for the death of the BCS and the rise of a playoff system in major college football.

Oh, and as for this game, make mine Montana 31, UNI 20.


  1. BRING ‘EM OUT, BRING ‘EM OUT, BRING ‘EM OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Go Griz.

  3. Thanks! We are proud we have kids that play for the love of the game. It’s GREAT to be apart of the GRIZ-Nation.

  4. montanakate says:

    WE ARE GRIZ NATION!!!! WGS will be rockin’ tonight!!!

  5. Time to die, UNI. Bring on the kittens for round two.

  6. Glenn Berglund says:

    When I saw the name of this blog and that it was about the upcoming Montana/UNI game I thought it was about what happened the last time UNI was in Missoula for a game. For those who missed it, here is your Daily Dickpunch from December 15, 2001.

    Dave DeCoite Punched from fanplay on Vimeo.

  7. Go Griz! Great article, but Hells Gate wasn’t named that because of Indians attacking settlers, it was named that because French Trappers who followed Lewis and Clarks path west came into the valley and saw remains of Salish Indians who had been killed by Blackfeet Indians.

    It was native on native violence that gave the canyon it’s name, not native and settler conflict.

  8. Magic Sam says:

    Thanks for setting me straight, Grrizz! I’d never heard that before. But either, way… GO GRIZ!

  9. Let’s go Griz!

  10. Cal Poly Bill says:

    Great article; Washington Grizzly Stadium Rocks! It’s an absolute shame that Div 1A does not have playoffs. We should boycott the BCS games to show our disgust.

    • Tony Herbert says:

      Great article and you are absolutely right Cal Poly Bill. If we all boycotted BCS games things would change. If we don’t it never will. Let’s start a movement, called Occupy BCS.

  11. GO GRIZ!

  12. “If the Penn State scandal, or the University of Miami scandal, or the USC scandal have you down on college football, look no further than ESPN on Friday night. See the game played the right way, by kids who are just looking for a full ride scholarship and a chance to win some football games.”

    Give me a break! Why isn’t that fact that Trumaine Johnson is still playing after obstructing a peace officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest not a scandal? I bet it becomes one as soon as the Griz football season ends. Hopefully sooner than later!

    • You must be a Bobcat and/or so called “peace officer”, either way you should get your facts straight before judging a situation that you were not a witness too. And by the way , this affects your life,how? These are kids that I hope learn from their mistakes…by the way, how old are you?

  13. martin kaldahl says:

    The best college football atmosphere anywhere!!

  14. What a great article. All of us in Griz nation feel this way about the FCS and Washington Grizzly Stadium. We consider it an honor to be a part of it and we honor and enjoy all of the teams and fans that we get to know hosting these excellent events. Welcome back UNI. We look forward to playing your team again!!

  15. That’s right, baby! GO GRIZ!!!!

  16. Pat Coyle says:

    It will be a perfect cold winter night
    ESPN has brought in the light
    With football in hand and
    Fans in the stands
    The Griz can make playoffs
    seem so right.

  17. Cassie Gruebele says:

    Thanks to the Griz for an early Christmas present:) Let’s keep it going!!! We Believe!!!

  18. Excellent story.

  19. Tony Romo said in an interview when asked about the effect of crowd noise after game against Seattle “I played at Washington Grizzly Stadium, I know all about crowd noise”.

    Trying to find a link to it on youtube but can’t.

  20. Missoula Griz Fan says:

    We love our Griz!! Thanks for this great article.

  21. Montana Grizzly Bob says:

    Great Atmosphere for a Friday Night Football Game. The BCS and all of the Bowl games could really get a clue how to make a National champion. The Bottom line you win, you keep playing, you lose, you go home. That’s the recipe of how a National Champion should be crowned. Thanks for the great article.

  22. BRING IT!! Goooo Griz!!

  23. Hi there, You have done an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and personally
    suggest to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this web site.

  24. Some offers are completely free and you submit your email address,
    while others require you to complete some promotional offers first and will end up costing you a small amount of money.
    By doing research many customers are finding that they can get a
    HDTV at a very low price by simply being patient and waiting for these
    very popular TVs to go on sale. – All Toning and Athletic Footwear For
    The Family On Sale; sale prices vary.

  25. Hi, I do think this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it ;) I’m going to revisit yet again since I
    saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best
    way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  26. Wonderful beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your web
    site, how could i subscribe for a blog web site? The account
    helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit familiar
    of this your broadcast provided vibrant transparent concept

  27. These are in fact impressive ideas in regarding
    blogging. You have touched some nice factors here.
    Any way keep up wrinting.

  28. Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.

    When I look at your blog in Opera, it looks fine but when
    opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, wonderful blog!

  29. Hello are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own.
    Do you need any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  30. Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to understand a lot about this, like you wrote the e-book in it
    or something. I think that you just can do with some % to pressure the message home a little bit,
    however other than that, this is wonderful blog. A great read.
    I’ll certainly be back.

  31. Good answers in return of this difficulty with genuine arguments
    and telling all regarding that.

  32. With havin so much content do you ever run into any
    problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My website has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either
    authored myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all
    over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help stop content from being stolen?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

  33. But a look at credit inquiries, which show that other
    lenders have asked for your credit short term car insurance score, recently introduced an
    enhanced version of its popular cashback card. Remember that these lenders are more likely short term car insurance to be paying off your balance without
    adding interest to your balance. Track your FICO score.
    They short term car insurance say her credit cards
    have a facility where you can cut corners so that every bill is paid on or before the due date, is rated.

  34. I blog often and I genuinely appreciate your content.

    Your article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep checking for new
    information about once a week. I opted in for your Feed too.

  35. I really like it when people come together and
    share thoughts. Great blog, continue the good work!

  36. I know this web site provides quality based articles or reviews and extra material, is there any other website which offers these kinds
    of stuff in quality?

  37. This form of tenosynovitis does not cause the finger
    to lock into the palm of the hand, and although it can be
    manually straightened with force, it goes right back to the bowed position.
    These instructions are written in a very long molecule called DNA, which stands for deoxyribonucleic acid.
    Start off slowly and set tiny objectives for oneself.
    You don’t want your Halloween holiday portraits to be so overdone that the subject is not recognizable.
    Though you can have this consequence if you happen to go overboard.

  38. I rarely leave comments, but i did a few searching and wound
    up here Friday Night Lights – College Playoffs Return to Montana – The
    Daily Dickpunch. And I actually do have a couple of questions for
    you if you do not mind. Could it be simply me or does it look like
    some of these remarks appear like written by
    brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are writing at other places, I would like to
    keep up with everything new you have to post.
    Could you make a list of the complete urls of your shared pages like your linkedin profile,
    Facebook page or twitter feed?

  39. Superb blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m
    a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a
    free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many choices out there that I’m completely
    overwhelmed .. Any tips? Bless you!

  40. This is a habit most people do when they get up every morning.
    Complete with Meg’s signature hat, glasses, and pathetic expression, this Mii is sure to darken the spirits of anyone who happens to look upon her.
    The most important thing is to take timely care of the skin.

    It is essential to properly warm up before any strenuous exercise,
    if you repeatedly ignored the importance of warming-up
    before your working out, without knowing the consequences of doing so.
    If an exercise application is not part of your weight
    loss efforts, you are setting yourself up for failure.

  41. This reduces the death benefit is there health insurance as well.
    The cost of living continues and if inflation soars as predicted, an
    existing life insurance for spouses and he or she
    is the major provider for you and your family.

  42. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it
    but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you
    might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

  43. However, another banking source said that while the number of teachers retiring in 2010 was double that of the lifetime mortgage.
    It is a process in which a retiree increases money against the horsebox
    insurance value of your home is denoted by simple calculations.
    The article” So, why not continue horsebox insurance working at a temporary or part-time job than if they had retired at full retirement age at a time. Under current social security rules, you can pay for them in that stage.


  1. […] Indecision, Inadequacy of BBWAAManchester United’s No Good, Horrible, Very Bad DayFriday Night Lights – College Playoffs Return to MontanaThe Education of a Redskins Fan, Part OneAround the League – Orton’s Poon Finger, […]

  2. […] tackling ability (or in Montana State’s case, lack thereof), leadership and intangibles. Montana has all of these qualities in […]

  3. […] My write up and preview about Montana Grizzly football, as well as Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula. Not the greatest thing ever written  by any […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: