A Change of Season

The California bats were hot and the bubble burst for that great group of youngsters from Billings as San Bernadino wins the USA side and moves to the grand finale.

But the Big Sky All Stars epitomized those ideals of character, courage and loyalty mentioned in the Little League handbook.

And what more can we ask for than moving so successfully to the national stage and it also gave Brent Musburger the best of opportunities to brag about the Treasure State and spin a tale about John Elway’s baseball career while his father, Jack, was a member of the University of Montana football staff.

Maybe the most amazing stat was the comparison of the number of little league leagues – 827 in California to 29 in Montana – and yet these were the two teams in the chipper.

Former Grizzly Mark Sulser, who made it back to the title game after his Billings Senior football team won Friday night, talked about the difficulty of watching versus being able to coach, something I think most of us can relate to even if we don’t know a thing about being a coach.

Isn’t there a bit of coach in all of us fans.

So now we can turn our attention to the task at hand – Supporting every endeavor as the Grizzlies make their way through the 2011 football season.

In talking to people in Knoxville last week I can tell you this – After Appalachian State’s victory against Michigan in the Big House, there will be no overlooking the University of Montana.

But I was somewhat amused when they twice referred to the Grizzlies as a Division-2 opponent and were surprised when I told them that Nate Montana would not start at quarterback.

But I’ll give them a pass since I’m just beginning to learn about the Vols as well but I know this much early on: They’re on a four-game regular season winning streak with a double overtime Bowl game loss to North Carolina at the end of a 6-6 season.

Maybe Tennessee isn’t the program it once was but mark my words, they’re headed back to SEC prominence under Derek Dooley, who of course comes from a bit of football hierarchy lineage.

Let’s see if the Grizzlies can stall that move just a taste.

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