Who’s your rival?

#KickinWithKolby — Thoughts from a Native sports fan #Sportzball

Hey everyone, I’m back! Did you miss me?

I certainly missed y’all. My apologies for the absence over the last two weeks, it’s been crazy busy out here in the nation’s capital but I wanted to make sure you know #KickinWithKolby ain’t dead!

Now that we’ve exchanged pleasantries, let’s get to this week’s discussion — rivalries!

Rivalries are something we’ve all been subject to at some point in our lives. Whether it’s between siblings, schools or even amongst colleagues. Yet, they are most prevalent in athletics and just another reason why sports are so fun and amazing.

There are bitter battles between fierce opponents at every level of competition. From high school to the pros, among individuals and teams, rivalries bring out the best (and occasionally the worst) in all of us.

I won’t lie to you and say I’ve been a saint throughout my life when it comes to trash talking players and fans of rivals, but those words certainly couldn’t be printed in this column. Chalk it up to being in the “heat of the moment.”

Now, there are a lot of great rivalries out there that have been played for a long, long time. Army-Navy, Duke-North Carolina, Yankees-Red Sox, Barcelona-Real Madrid are just a few that come to mind; but there are so many more.

One of my favorite things about college football rivalries in particular are the trophies and oh boy, there are some interesting ones! I mean Indiana and Michigan State play for the “Old Brass Spittoon” and the “civil war” between Oregon and Oregon State is for the rights to the Platypus trophy. Apparently it originated as a combination of their mascots, the Ducks and Beavers respectively.

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While we’re on the subject, the best trophy (and rivalry for that matter) you may have never heard of is the Brawl of the Wild. A clash between the Montana Grizzlies and Montana State Bobcats. In fact, it is the oldest, active college football rivalry game west of the Mississippi.

Just for transparency, I am certainly a little bit biased being from “The Last Best Place” myself but that doesn’t make my argument any less valid.

This Saturday, Nov. 23, the Griz and Bobcats will meet for the 119th time in Bozeman, Montana, in a game that is sure to have playoff implications. Unfortunately, the bad guys (Montana St.) have won the last three years.

Although the overall record of the series is firmly in the Grizzlies favor, 72-40-5. And yes, I realize that doesn’t equal 118, the Griz had to vacate a win from the 2011 season.

It’s a game that pits Montanans against one another and in certain cases, divides houses. You can be on one side or the other, there certainly is no in-between.

UM-MSU house divided
(Screenshot, Amazon.com)

I’ve had two brothers go to MSU, one had the senses to remain a Griz fan, while the other is a traitor. Don’t worry, we still love him though.

While this is a weekend I certainly miss being back home, this is also a weekend that shows pieces of home are never truly far away. The network of Montana stretches far and wide and I’m looking forward to chummin’ it up at the Brawl of the Wild watch party with my fellow UM alumni and displaced Montanans out here on the east coast.

Certainly, this is not unique to Montana and something we sports fans all have in common. There will always be an opponent you love to watch lose. Even though it might not be rivalry week in your neck of the woods, it is back home for me.

So with all that being said, GO GRIZ GO! 

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Kolby KickingWoman is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today. He is Blackfeet/Gros Ventre from the great state of Montana and currently reports and lives in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter - @KDKW_406. Email - kkickingwoman@indiancountrytoday.com

Comments (1)
No. 1-1
Karen6542
Karen6542

Here in Buffalo, NY, we have a few sports rivalries. In football, we have two-really, two! One is against the Miami Dolphins....SQUISH THE FISH!!! This year, its a rivalry we've won. And, there's our REAL nemesis, the New England Patriots. Why do we hate the Pats so much? We really have things in common. We both play in open, unroofed stadiums-we both know what its like to play in 90 degree heat, and we know what its like to play in 10 degree cold. Our fans know what its like to come home from a game, sunburned. Or, with numb toes, fingers, and noses! Their stadium is in Foxboro, not Boston; ours is in Orchard Park, not Buffalo. And, most of our fans, are blue collar workers. Really, the only reason why we here in Buffalo should hate the Pats, is that Rob Gronkowski, one of their best ever players, is from Amherst, a Buffalo suburb. And, in hockey, the Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs...what can I say? Buffalo is a hockey town with a drinking problem...our favorite beer is LaBatt's. A Canadian brand. Maybe we are jealous of Toronto, because no American brewery has ever produced such a fine pilsener. And Toronto the Good? For years, Torontonians came to Buffalo, for a wild weekend. Toronto was just too sedate. Now, Toronto is the city to go to, to get wild and crazy. You go to Buffalo, to see architecture by H.H Richardson, Louise Rumsey, and Frank Lloyd Wright. But, every match up between the Leafs and SAbres, no matter which arena, there are plenty of the opposing teams are in the stands. Drinking LaBatt's.



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