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While she had a terribly restless night and several times managed to arise to reposition herself, Skyy is with us and made this Vox a happy camper.

It is not that I expect here to keel over or not wake up – which at her age could happen – it’s that once a large animal goes lame it is just torture to see them struggle.

And if during her groaning if she whined or showed outward signs of pain it would be a no-brainer.

But today she again started to use both rear legs, is having less problem getting up and continues to show joy when I arrive.

This is not the first time I have had such an occurrence with my nearly 14-year old yellow lab.

But I think this hitch in her get-along may well have occurred because she slept wrong on the limb, had some bothersome cramps or at the best just saw an opportunity to get more people food than usual and convince me to join her of the floor.

But whatever it is, at least for now, I guess she has decided to reserve a place in front of the Big Screen and watch bucketball as it is time for conference tournaments.

And with the usual parity it should be something else.

Talking to my pal Billy Bob last night – a hoop expert I might add – prognosticators sometimes have to change up their predictions because of the upset taking place on the screen behind them as they are speaking out.

Watched quite the insightful interview with Gonzaga coach Mark Few last week. He doesn’t say much and seldom does in-depth interviews, even often sending his assistants to do halftime and post game.

I didn’t see it all but I was interested that he addressed his team about being undefeated pointing out that they now are on the verge of a single weekend – two games – from finishing the league season unbeaten.

Not only has no one ever done that but all another team can do is equal their mark. They would accomplish a record that cannot be broken.

I wish the Zags would have been beaten by someone. Now they have every target on their back.

No. 1, Unbeaten, overrated tag because of the WCC schedule – you name it.

There’s little doubt this is the best team in school history but every game from here lends to further credibility.


Hall of Fame

By Mick Holien

Headed to Billings today to be a part of the induction of the second class of the Montana Football Hall of Fame.

There’s a social tonight for the some three dozen volunteers that have been recruited to put wheels on this affair which will attract more than 400 people to the Red Lion.

And there’s press availability for the eight inductees who will attend prior to the Saturday night banquet.

Posthumous recognition will also be accorded University of Montana phenom “Wild Bill” Kelly and legendary athletic trainer and player Naseby Rhinehart.

For a admirer of sports lore the Montana Football Hall of Fame nomination letters were …well I can say is it was a blast to be a part of.

And with the momentum this banquet has gained, I just can’t wait until the next one.

And you know you can be a part of all this.

All of the nominations rules are on the website as are photos and some of the player’s and contributor’s profiles.

I got to meet Aldo Forte when he was inducted into the Montana Sports Hall of Fame in Missoula in the inaugural class in 1993.

But let’s face it with a name like that, and certainly no offense intended, he should have been from the streets of the Mining City.

Forte was one of a trio of players, along with Jim Dorsey and Rhinehart that came to Missoula in the thirties.

A “hog molly” - you’re going to have to ask me on this one – and a defensive lineman he was stalwart in the historic ’37 season when Montana won six straight and vied not only for a Rose Bowl spot (they were playing against the big boys in the Pacific Coast Conference then) but after a mud-bowl upset loss at Idaho received a Sun Bowl invitation to face Texas Tech but finances kept them from participating.

Drafted by the Bears as the 191st pick, Aldo played on the championship teams of 1940 and ’41, being named All-pro in consecutive seasons.

Stops in Green Bay and Detroit followed World War II, but upon his return he landed an assistant coach’s position with the Lions for the next 15 years including championship outings in 1952, ’53 and 1957.

An impressive career indeed.

Just sayin’  

Here for the Remainder Really

By Mick Holien

Can you believe how rumors get started and all from the most innocent of observations.

Now I suppose since you have seen many stories about some of the sports stuff that I have liquidated.

I always planned to do it that way and acquired things like the rest of you collect salt and pepper shakers or maybe stamps or coins.

And then I added fuel to the fire when In My Opinion continues.

I did the unthinkable and gave away my bed to the first comer who contacted me less than five minutes after I put it on the Internet.

Now I know how things can get started. A recent newspaper story apparently left people with the impression I was destitute and thus a go-fund-me page was started and quickly accumulated more than 3,000.

After I found out about it I quickly ceased the operation and made sure the money was refunded with all of my thanks.

But moving along came the word that the word on the street was I was selling my house and moving away.

Well that was certainly news to me since I love where I live and the freedom it affords even if once in a while it is a bit more than I can handle, thus favored roommate.

After the third inquiry that came from someone who had been skiing at the Big all winter I just decided to figure out what was happening.

That’s when he pointed out that people figured since I gave my bed away the rest would be close behind and I would be out of here.

Well rest assured I bought a new bed that got here the day after my last one left and thanks to Dr T Skyy is rebounding, seems in really good spirits, has less problem getting up and even goes for the occasional walk.

So here’s the deal I’ll leave the hill when someone grabs my heels and pulls me down the long driveway.

Skyy’s miracle drug is just an anti inflame but it sure seems to be doing the job after just five doses.

But she almost is acting like a puppy and suddenly requires a lot of attention especially late in the day. No problem she gets it.

So you are going to have to put up with my musings.

Just sayin’

Some Kind of Tournament


From a field of 68, the top NCAA teams have been winnowed to the Sweet 16 and with the upset defeat of Villanova there will be no repeat champion this season.

Brackets were blown up early and I think even before the field was down to 32 I heard somewhere – probably in a tweet – that just 100 ballots in a huge contest remained perfect.

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Big Bad John

The measure of a man is the breath of those left behind and the strength of their journey.

In the case of my friend John Odlin the more than 350 people who showed up for his Friday funerals speaks volumes of the former and manner in which he dealt with the extended pain he endured one illustration of the latter.

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Be Irish

Greetings from this Norwegian-English guy on the day that everyone’s Irish.

And after all I’m kind of in the neighborhood right. It’s ‘less than 200 miles between Great Britain and Ireland but some 1600 to Norway.

The Irish of Notre Dame did their part barely helding serve yesterday by slipping past Princeton in the opening round of the Dance.

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Worst yet best trip to Duke

Some of the most enjoyable Grizzly basketball trips – not so much for the outcome but for the venue – occurred when playing in some of the most historic venues in the country.

The whole story on another day but sitting courtside to broadcast a game on Nell and John Wooden Court at UCLA still gives me chills.

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A few flights

Seeing the graphic pictures of the plane carrying the Michigan hoop team halfway in a ditch at the end of the runway spurs memories of just a couple of Grizzly trips that indeed were grizzly but the outcome proved favorable, even if the game results were not.

And in several hundred thousand air miles it is a testament that not only have I never lost anything or had a piece of luggage delayed, none of the troublesome scenarios were aboard a commercial carrier.

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Monumental No. 100

Welcome to a very special edition of In My Opinion or if like they do it on cable- this just in. happening now, breaking news.

Can you believe it since Oct 17 this is: In My Opinion” No. 100 - the Century mark and here you said we couldn’t last.

So looking back on what I have shared with you in the last four-plus months, I think there is a good possibility that I will never get another date at least anywhere this program airs.

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Boat Time?

Even though my property remains covered with snow and the thawed amount has left large puddles creating nothing but trouble for delivery drivers, I receive an annual sign that spring is right around the corner and Flathead Lake can begin that seemingly slow process to full pool when in my opinion continues

Daylight Savings provides that annual sign that spring thaw might be underway.

Or it could be selection Sunday where generally my perfect bracket is spoiled Tuesday after play-in games in Dayton.

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More Hall of Fame

The prestigious second class of the Montana Football Hall of Fame anxiously awaits a couple of weeks before their induction.

Of fitting inclusion are the posthumous recognition of legendary athlete and athletic trainer Naseby Rhinehart and equally legendary athlete a different spectrum of infamy in “Wild Bill” Kelly.

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Long Overdue Hall

This month’s class to be inducted into the second class of the Montana Football Hall of Fame is dominated by former Grizzlies.

And with suggested criteria including an extended professional career in addition to either playing a year at a Montana college or two years at a state high school, with the success at the University of Montana I guess that should come as no surprise.

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There just are times in one’s life when a lack of sleep is quite detrimental.

In my case often working several jobs to make ends meet I have always been accustomed to functioning well with a minimum or just what was available.

But tell me oh Captain now that more hours are readily available why I am sleeping less during the night – often waking at 5 a.m. – only to further rely on power napping during the day.

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Lesson learned - Not!

Boy did I learn a lesson.

It is not difficult to load my scooter in the back of my pickup.

And I am sure many of you have driven by and seen me with a hoist attached with the scooter halfway into the bed getting ready to head down the road.

I only say that because I think I have only encountered a few other devices at least in my area that have a similar set-up.

But sometimes when I am going a short distance I just head down the way, leaving the truck, to return in a bit for the further drive.

I believed I had this short jaunt handled but Saturday I paid the price.

I just completing a five-hour stint at the Trade show in Ronan and I figured a libation was in order.

It was just past 4p.m., with even at this time of year, plenty of remaining light.

So I told my pal Don and his trusty sidekick Wolf, no that’s a dog but it could be – oh never mind - to go down the road and I’d meet them.

With plenty of battery in the scooter out I headed and while the road was OK when I go there the parking lot consisted of dirt and a series of water-filled potholes. Well what did I expect?

I made it to the ramp at the front – somewhat surprised - but upon getting to the door I encountered an approximate two-inch drop from the threshold to the floor.

Well no problem cuz if Wolf can’t help – good dog – after all there was the big redhead, Don.

After encountering a few gentleman, in the loosest interpretation – wrestlers – their mentality I fully understand cuz my college roommate was so inclined - there you go fellahs a wrestling mention and thanks for listening - I was ready for the trip back.

Diminished light I thought well that’s OK I’ll have Don follow me.

Snow storm? Well that’s alright I have a heavy coat and my Oregon State Beaver hat.

Wrong and quickly I had second thoughts but forged bravely ahead but on the pavement … sitting down of course and drenched.

Hearing a car approaching, I pulled to the side of the road to what was a Tribal Police SUV who didn’t bat an eye. Not that I could have seen him bat an eye.

I hues an old bearded guy heading down the road in an unlighted scooter in a snow storm – well you get the drift.

I’m guessin’ it’s not that an unusual sight.

Ten minutes and a soaked Mick was really ready to load up.

Several lessons here but I’m going to let you visualize, then verbalize them for yourself or better yet share them with me the next time.

One of my roommates drove by the opposite direction, waved and politely suggested a few.

Just sayin’

Quite a Weekend

Again in the midst of a winter wonderland, talk about a load of overnight snow and here I thought the Mission Valley possibly had seen the end of it.

Flathead Lake is only in my memory, covered by a storm and some fog, and the pine and fir looking north out my office window are weighted toward the ground by the white stuff.

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Gonzaga's Inaugural Loss

Let the debate begin.

If a team has come through the regular season in a dominating fashion, do they benefit from losing a game prior to the start of tournament play – be it conference or NCAA Championships-or does it make any difference to their psyche.

The subject of undefeated regular season has special significance for me since I started following Gonzaga university long before they were tagged the Zags.

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A Bit of a Challenge

Is it just me?

No I’m not going to complain about the weather because I have always said if there’s nothing I can do about something, it is not going to affect me.

And I also always have joked that a tough winter does a good job of keeping those folks from warmer clients from relocating to my corner of God’s Country.

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7-B Boys Chipper

Talk about drama and because of the lack of newspaper coverage, fans who can’t attend games are relegated to getting the information second or maybe third-hand and that’s a shame.

It just seems to me with a bit of planning sports departments could locate a fan, a parent or administrator that could provide a two-paragraph synopsis for all games in addition to a box score especially at tournament time.

But after all radio is always there but sometimes just for one team.

I spent the weekend at the 7-B boys and girls Divisional Tournament at Ronan.

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Tournament Banter

There just is no better time of year and not just because of such a roll of great hoop.

I just had to chuckle Thursday night when stopping for a usual late fast-food fix on Polson hill.

Lined up about five deep at the order menu when I finally got to the window, the gentleman who seemed a bit out of sort asked if there was something special going on.


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Right Place at the Right Time

The move of a former Grizzly roundballer involved more than a change in his first name illustrates if you get into the right situation with the right team it increases your chance of blossoming.

And for Jacob, not Jake, Wiley it took a couple of transfers from the University of Montana to find his sea legs and with a bounce here and there what he lends in the post season might well make a difference in the results of the Big Sky Tournament Championship and eventual NCAA Championships representative.

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A Little More Time

While she had a terribly restless night and several times managed to arise to reposition herself, Skyy is with us and made this Vox a happy camper.

It is not that I expect here to keel over or not wake up – which at her age could happen – it’s that once a large animal goes lame it is just torture to see them struggle.

And if during her groaning if she whined or showed outward signs of pain it would be a no-brainer.

But today she again started to use both rear legs, is having less problem getting up and continues to show joy when I arrive.

Read more ...

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