By Mick Holien
It has always been interesting to me to watch the effect sports have on its home and adjoining community, its people and even its reputation.
The question of the day is who do you root for?
One would initially think that some people root for certain teams – especially those out of their area – out of spite or maybe just for an underdog, make conversation or even worse an altercation but fun is rolling around in there as well.
After all those die-in-the-wool Cub fans finally got their due and if television is accurate they certainly made the most out of it and for generations to come will be those teams and players whose names were brought up, correctly pronounced and seemingly worshipped for generations to come.
Ask any Cleveland fan when was the time the team actually made a decent draft pick. Oh yeh there were a few that even contributed and the lowly Indians. Don’t even go here. And then there is LeBron and his up-and-down dealing with the franchise.
And now this the fresh turn of every season, that time when nobody really even recognizes the roster and just knows all of last year deficiencies have been taken care of.
Arguably the entire recent atmosphere of the University of Montana and the City of Missoula and state of Montana for that matter changed in 1969, maybe less so in 2001.
Why just slightly in ’96 you ask? Well when you go the playoffs every year win two titles in six years and consistently rank in the Nation’s top 10, well one gets spoiled.
In 1970 it was Jack Swarthout who came from Texas three years earlier and returned to his Alma Mater to dominate the ranks by running the single wing to perfection and did just that winning 10 consecutive games in ’69 and ’70, but both seasons crashed to conclusion when JV players were not allowed to compete.
Quarterback Dave Dickenson got off to a good start and is still the Nation’s most popular, but the city was transfixed by the 1995 run when new bright and beautiful gear was seen everywhere.
The stadium has continued to expand and stay filled and other needed support facilities now surround it.
But a better example of all comes from Las Vegas hockey. In its first year the Golden Knights stand just four wins from Stanley Cup immortality.
And the franchise has taken the lead in recognizing the grief the city is feeling, honoring their names and photos.
And fans have responded packing the arena even for practices so anyone becoming a Vegas fan?
The two have created a perfect storm that the Celtics might struggle in.