BUTTE — It’s the 121st meeting of the Cats and the Griz, and some of the greatest players to ever play for both teams came from right here in the Mining City.
“Bobby Hauck loves having Butte guys on that team, they bring some emotion and toughness to the team, and some spirit to the team,” said Jaison Carriger of Butte, former Grizzlies player from 2004-05.
Both teams are going to need toughness and spirit when they battle for the Great Divide Trophy on Saturday.
“The Bobcat-Grizzly rivalry, you got to throw the records out because it’s a rivalry game and anything can happen,” said 1973-76 Bobcat Don Ueland.
Butte twins Dan and Don Ueland both played for Montana State in the early 70s and are considered some of the greatest Bobcat players of all time. They also beat Montana in all four matches, but wins never came easy—especially their senior year.
“After the game, we showed no excitement or anything and Sonny Holland had to come into the locker room and say, ‘you guys got to realize you just beat the Grizzlies,’ and we were kind of disappointed because everybody expected us to walk all over them, and we didn’t,” recalled former Bobcat player 1973-77 Dan Ueland.
Many players from both teams grew up with one another and were friends. But there are no friends during the Brawl of the Wild.
“You’re friends with them in high school, but in college it’s like, hey, I respect you, I definitely respect you, but this week, I do not like you this week,” said Carriger.
Jaison says there’s still a tradition among the Butte players on the Grizzlies team who do a chant before each football game. The chant goes something like this: "We’re the boys from Butte, the land of rocks and ditches…" and the rest is too explicit to print.
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“Right before they go out the tunnel, the boys from Butte will go into the showers where it echoes and it’s louder and they yell it out, everyone starts banging and we’re ready to roll,” said Carriger.
Everyone will be ready to roll this Saturday.
“People come from all over the country to watch this game and then there’s neighborhood watch parties all over the country to watch this game,” said Don Ueland.