BUTTE — Montana athletics director Kent Haslam says the rivalry between the Griz and Montana State needed no more fuel to its fire.

That might be the case, but the two schools added a little for good measure Thursday afternoon.

The schools gathered at Metals Sports Bar & Grill in Butte to announce the formation of the “The Brawl of the Wild,” a yearlong series that will crown a winner based on points accumulated throughout the athletic year.

Similar to the President’s Cup, awarded annually to the Big Sky Conference’s best athletic programs, the winner of the yearlong competition is determined on a system based on points won in football (3); basketball (4); volleyball (2); cross country (4); indoor and outdoor track and field (8); tennis (4) and women’s golf (2).

“It’s nice to take the trophy from one weekend in football to all year long and make it correlate with all of our sports,” Montana State head coach Rob Ash said. “I think all of our athletes will come together and compete as a group of athletes all year to see if we can win the trophy. I think it’s a great idea, a great concept, an innovative concept and an awesome way for philanthropy coming back to our schools.”

MSU athletics director Peter Fields joined Ash, Haslam, Grizzlies football coach Mick Delaney and a host of media in the historic bar, which has hosted the Brawl of the Wild winner’s victory dinner the past four years, according to bar manager Ray Ueland.

All four discussed how the event marked an exciting time in the rivalry’s history.

“This adds a level of excitement to the rivalry and brings some cohesion to our student-athletes,” Haslam said. “It recognizes the hard work that the student-athletes do in all the sports and the importance of this rivalry.”

The event has been a work in progress but struggled to find financial backing. Initially an idea of Bobcat Sports Properties and Grizzly Sports Properties, entities of the media rights group Learfield Sports, the event finally found corporate sponsors in Town Pump, a Montana-based gas station and convenience store chain, and health insurance group Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Montana. The first event of the competition takes place Oct. 21 when the Bobcats volleyball team visits Missoula.

“We’ve been at both schools for about six years total and this is the first time we were able to bring the ‘Brawl of the Wild’ on paper, so we’re really excited about it,” said Cameron Oliver, the general manager of Bobcat Sports Properties.

The competition was lauded for attempting to bring attention to some of the more overlooked sports. Fields said the event would heighten awareness of matches and games that struggle to draw large attendance numbers.

The football game, which had its countdown clock officially started by event emcee Pat Kearny on Thursday, has generally overshadowed track and field and women’s golf, among others, as it draws intense state interest when the two square off every November.

Ash told a story of a time he asked his wife to buy him a tie. She came home with one Ash described as a “very nice looking tie,” but he objected to wearing it because of a certain color.

“It had maroon stripes on it,” Ash said to laughter. “It didn’t say anything on it, just the wrong colors.

“I don’t have the quite the tradition Mick does of being a native Montanan my entire life; I’ve just been here seven years. … What I didn’t realize in the state of Montana, Cat-Griz isn’t just a rivalry of the game, it’s a lifestyle. And it goes on 365 days a year.”

Kearny, author of “The Divide War,” a history of the two schools’ football rivalry dating to 1897, advocated for the competition on behalf of the work student-athletes at the schools accomplish that often gets overlooked. Kearny said he thought shedding more light on the work the schools do in the classroom and in the community was an important aspect.

A news release said the competition will “feature a dedicated community service component showcasing the exceptional outreach by University of Montana and Montana State student-

athletes,” though those results are not considered in the scoring.

Kyle Sample can be reached at ksample@dailychronicle.com or 582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @kylesample_bdc.

Montana athletics director Kent Haslam says the rivalry between the Griz and Montana State needed no more fuel to its fire.

That might be the case, but the two schools added a little for good measure Thursday afternoon.

The schools gathered at Metals Sports Bar & Grill in Butte to announce the formation of the “The Brawl of the Wild,” a yearlong series that will crown a winner based on points accumulated throughout the athletic year.

Similar to the President’s Cup, awarded annually to the Big Sky Conference’s best athletic programs, the winner of the yearlong competition is determined on a system based on points won in football (3); basketball (4); volleyball (2); cross country (4); indoor and outdoor track and field (8); tennis (4) and women’s golf (2).

“It’s nice to take the trophy from one weekend in football to all year long and make it correlate with all of our sports,” Montana State head coach Rob Ash said. “I think all of our athletes will come together and compete as a group of athletes all year to see if we can win the trophy. I think it’s a great idea, a great concept, an innovative concept and an awesome way for philanthropy coming back to our schools.”

MSU athletic director Peter Fields joined Ash, Haslam, Grizzlies football coach Mick Delaney and a host of media in the historic bar, which has hosted the Brawl of the Wild winner’s victory dinner the past four years, according to bar manager Ray Ueland.

In some form, all four delivered words discussing how the event marked an exciting time in the rivalry’s history.

“This adds a level of excitement to the rivalry and brings some cohesion to our student-athletes,” Haslam said. “It recognizes the hard work that the student-athletes do in all the sports and the importance of this rivalry.”

The event has been a work in progress but struggled to find financial backing. Initially an idea of Bobcat Sports Properties and Grizzly Sports Properties, entities of the media rights group Learfield Sports, the event finally found corporate sponsors in Town Pump, a Montana-based gas station and convenience store chain, and health insurance group Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Montana. The first event of the competition takes place Oct. 21 when the Bobcats volleyball team visits Missoula.

“We’ve been at both schools for about six years total and this is the first time we were able to bring the ‘Brawl of the Wild’ on paper, so we’re really excited about it,” said Cameron Oliver, the general manager of Bobcat Sports Properties.

The competition was lauded for attempting to bring attention to some of the more overlooked sports. Fields said the event would heighten the awareness of matches and games that struggle to draw large attendance numbers.

The football game, which had its countdown clock officially started by event emcee Pat Kearny on Thursday, has generally overshadowed track and field and women’s golf, among others, as it draws intense state interest when the two square off every November.

Ash told a story of a time he asked his wife to buy him a tie. She came home with one Ash described as a “very nice looking tie,” but he objected to wearing it because of a certain color.

“It had maroon stripes on it,” Ash said to laughter. “It didn’t say anything on it, just the wrong colors.

“I don’t have the quite the tradition Mick does of being a native Montanan my entire life; I’ve just been here seven years. … What I didn’t realize in the state of Montana, Cat-Griz isn’t just a rivalry of the game, it’s a lifestyle. And it goes on 365 days a year.”

Kearny, author of “The Divide War”, a history of the two school’s football rivalry dating to 1897, advocated for the competition on behalf of the work student-athletes at the two schools accomplish that often gets overlooked. Kearny said he thought shedding more light on the work the schools do in the classroom and in the community was an important aspect.

A news release said the competition will “feature a dedicated community service component showcasing the exceptional outreach by University of Montana and Montana State student-athletes,” though those results are not considered in the scoring.

Kyle Sample can be reached at ksample@dailychronicle.com or 582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @kylesample_bdc.

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