Montana Grizzley Football: Quarterfinal

Games like this . . . they could make me a football fan.

We don't go to a lot of football games anymore since regular season games are usually Saturday afternoons– right when all the kids have games (two different soccer games and MS football). Besides being so busy, it gets really expensive really quickly when you have so many tickets to buy.

A little pre-game hockey at the tailgate
But, we have a few boys who love football. This was a big ESPN-televised playoff game so there was a lot of excitement the whole week before. Also, it was under the lights. The University has only done this a few times for ESPN televised games (they bring in portable lights--the field doesn't have them) so that makes it even cooler.

The crowd ready for kick off:
The University won their first national championship just as I was starting college. I know I'm getting old, but it's pretty amazing how much this program has grown in the last 15 years.

They've added another national championship, made five more appearances in that game, and taken home the conference championship nearly every year.

Not sure if it was quite a full moon, but it had to be close!
They routinely sell out the 25, 000+ capacity stadium. They start games with sky divers and have a 35 foot "GrizVision" screen in the south endzone. There's a huge band, a mascot who also has some national titles and the National Guard firing a canon with each touchdown.

The environment there is pretty amazing, and I'm sure a pretty impressive home field advantage. As we sat watching the game with the kids we told them about the "old days" when I was in college. When the stadium had less than half as many seats as it does now. When we sat in the end zone on the regular old grass. When the players on the field played on real grass too.

Zoran & Dev
Azia watching the scoreboard intently. Zoran was keeping an eye on the score too– tracking time left and possessions and downs. But after Azia got cold and a little bored in the middle of the second quarter she began cheering for the clock to wind so she could go back to the food and fire at the tailgate.

She likes the excitement surrounding the game a little more than actually watching football. I sort of get that too. 

The crowd was sort of unreal. Three or four hours of this:

Picture of our crew– minus Lex

Fireworks for the win . . . on to the semi-final game!

Israel practicing some of Monte the mascot's tricks
And more tailgating after the game. . .

A pretty great evening of football, family, friends and food!

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