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.