Big Sky Conference

‘Cats, Griz deal with stark reality of no football in 2020

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Smoke from the wildfires raging in California and around the Western United States settled into the Missoula and Gallatin Valleys earlier this week.

What is usually a symbol signaling optimism for a new season on the horizon (even if it come with poor air quality) is also accompanied by the promise of the return of students to Montana’s largest college campuses and the eventual clearing of smoky skies.

This year, the hazy smoke instead is symbolic of the uncertainty for what the future holds at Montana State University and the University of Montana.

Unclear days the last few weeks of August usually also serves as the precursor to the undeniable ignition sparked by the return Bobcat and Griz football. But this fall around the state of Montana, the college football stadiums will be empty.

For the first time since World War II, there won’t be a Gold Rush game at Bobcat Stadium in Bozeman nor will the cannon booms echo through the Hellgate Canyon after Montana scores a touchdown at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

Instead, two of the most passionate fan bases in all of college football will be forced to wait until at least the spring of 2021 (and more realistically, until next fall) to watch the ‘Cats and the Griz take the field. Even when the smoke clears, it will be much harder than usual to see what lies ahead.

Smoke from the wildfires raging in California and around the
Western United States settled into the Missoula and Gallatin Valleys earlier
this week.

What is usually a symbol signaling optimism for a new season on the horizon (even if it come with poor air quality) is also accompanied by the promise of the return of students to Montana’s largest college campuses and the eventual clearing of smoky skies.

This year, the hazy smoke instead is symbolic of the uncertainty for what the future holds at Montana State University and the University of Montana.

Unclear days the last few weeks of August usually also serves as the precursor to the undeniable ignition sparked by the return Bobcat and Griz football. But this fall around the state of Montana, the college football stadiums will be empty.

For the first time since World War II, there won’t be a Gold
Rush game at Bobcat Stadium in Bozeman nor will the cannon booms echo through
the Hellgate Canyon after Montana scores a touchdown at Washington-Grizzly
Stadium.

Instead, two of the most passionate fan bases in all of college football will be forced to wait until at least the spring of 2021 (and more realistically, until next fall) to watch the ‘Cats and the Griz take the field. Even when the smoke clears, it will be much harder than usual to see what lies ahead.

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Photos by Brooks Nuanez or noted. All Rights Reserved.

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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