The Unexpected Site That Used To Host Cat-Griz
I, along with many others, wish I could experience the state's most iconic rivalry in its early days.
The 121st Brawl of the Wild kicks off on Saturday, November 19th, and the Montana State Bobcats will battle the University of Montana Grizzlies. The entire state has been anticipating the match-up for weeks now.
Every year the location of this game rotates between schools—home-field advantage and all. In recent years, Brawl of the Wild has become a monumental event. Whether it's a conference title or qualification for the FCS Playoffs on the line, being the home team matters.
But home-field advantage wasn't always something that affected the game. For a brief time, Brawl of the Wild was held at a neutral site.
In 1926, the Brawl of the Wild unfolded in Butte, Montana. The neutral town held both the game and what was essentially a festival celebrating the event: both schools held separate parades and celebrations leading up to the game.
Can you imagine Bobcat fans heading to Butte for the Brawl of the Wild and sharing a stadium with Griz fans? It would be pure anarchy. Just imagine each team's fans trying to out-cheer the other and inspire their team to win. That would certainly be a sight.
The Brawl of the Wild games stopped being held in Butte after the 1950 season; there were just too many fans showing up. They had to move to a bigger venue, even if that meant rotating the home-field advantage.
Fans show up in droves for their team every year, whether there's rain, sun, or snow, which is exactly what makes the event so special.
It's cool to learn about the history of the Brawl of the Wild. The rivalry has deep roots and keeps making history every year. Put on your snow boots this weekend, because we'll see you there!