By Mick Holien
I guess I don’t remember when I became attracted to the history of sport.
It probably occurred in the mid 90’s when I decided to research my first book “Odyssey to a National Championship,” co-published by University of Montana Sports Information Director Dave Guffey in 1998.
The soft cover 181-page, table-sized edition is an illustrated 100-year history of University of Montana football which took me approximately five years to research, write and publish.
In those days there was little self-publishing and required jobbing out the work to find someone to bring the exhaustive project to print which never would have occurred had it not been for legend Missoula publisher Stan Cohen at Pictorial Histories.
A good KGVO pal Bob Townsley masterfully did all the photo work and somehow, with his strong encouragement, we published as I remember 3,000 copies.
It just was a labor of love because I had little money and ne o way to get financial assistance, but Bob was the driving force convincing me if I did not document the history there would be no future record.
I suppose also being driven by winning the chipper and following that victory with a 14-game run to the title game only to be beaten by Randy Moss and Marshall, I figured there would be quite a market for the book.
The challenge was we knew nothing about marketing the publication and even with Stan’s help lost far more money than we had.
The point is perusing the annals of Montana football lore thanks to the red book compiled by Jiggs Dahlberg, spending countless hours researching micro-fish for newspaper accounts of games and other publications I could get my hands on wetted my appetite for athletic history.
And can you believe it of course I didn’t own a laptop so most of the nearly 100,000-word publication was written on legal pads that I still have.
There have been two other books since then and the historical backgrounds and publications I have acquired now sit here surrounding me as my archive.
My latest project is in the works and I’ll share it with you someday…just sayin’