Deep mascot thoughts, UNCUT

To fulfill one of my duties as the official UM blogger for Monte’s bid in the Capital One Mascot Challenge, I answered some questions for Danielle at, who is running the blogger competition. She recently posted profiles of all the bloggers based on the answers to these questions.

Now, because my passion for mascots runs deeper than is typically considered “normal,” my answers were quite long and were edited down significantly for the profile, which is completely understandable. Unfortunately, some of the more humorous excerpts didn’t make the cut, and the world has now been deprived of these thought-provoking observations and theories in mascotology.


But do not fret, dear Squirrel Thoughts reader — your loyalty has deemed you worthy of an exclusive peek at what some mascot experts are calling “a stroke of pure genius,” as I’ve posted my answers in their entirety below. Enjoy!

Why did you apply to represent the University of Montana for this blogger challenge?
Because win or lose, I love Griz football. But I won’t for a second pretend to understand the nuances of the game ― I know very little about play calls, formations, coaching decisions, etc.; I’m usually just watching whichever player I think has the ball (I fall for fake hand-offs quite often).

I’m more about the camaraderie that comes with experiencing a game at Washington-Grizzly Stadium on UM’s campus. Sure, Wa-Griz only holds about 25,000 people ― small beans compared to the 100,000-plus some big-name college stadiums accommodate ― but you wouldn’t guess that the first time you heard the deafening roar following a Grizzlies touchdown.

And what I lack in football knowledge, I make up for with my expertise in mascotology. That’s right, I just made up a word, but there’s really no other way to explain my obsession with UM’s mascot team, which includes Mo and Rocky, along with the indefatigable Monte, of course.

Plus, I know Griz Nation will step up to crown Monte the first three-time Capital One Mascot of the Year. How can I be so sure? Because, even though he came up short, Monte received more than 200,000 votes during his epic battle with ODU’s Big Blue. That’s more than one-fourth of Montana’s population. You other schools in your densely populated states, with your millions of people and fancy-pants big cities, may think you have an edge in this contest. But face it — when it comes to fan dedication, you ain’t got nothin’ on Griz Nation.

How do girls compare to guys when it comes to being ‘fans’ of their teams/schools/mascots?
I’m not sure about all guys, but my boyfriend doesn’t seem to share my fascination with UM’s mascots. The Griz will be storming toward the end zone, and instead of paying attention to the game, I’m tugging on his sleeve and gesturing toward where Monte and his adorable little-brother mascot, Mo, are doing the worm, and their dopey yet lovable balloon cousin, Rocky, is trying to impersonate them. We both miss the Griz touchdown and have to settle for the replay on the JumboTron. I’m perfectly fine with this, since it’s not like I really understood what was going on anyway. The BF, however, is less than thrilled, and threatens to move seats if I keep distracting him with my silly mascot infatuation.

Share one memorable experience about your time at your University/time at a game/watching a game.
Last December, when the Grizzlies beat Appalachian State to earn a trip to the FCS national championship game, the high temperature in Missoula that day was a crisp 17 degrees. By the start of the second half, a bone-chilling wind had whisked a blizzard into Washington-Grizzly Stadium. But with the score gridlocked at 17, no respectable Griz fan dared leave the stadium, and it was clear this wasn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill football game.

The flurry settled in, completely blotting out the green turf, and I swear you could feel the stadium shake from the collective shivering. The Griz began charging down the field just as the fluffy flakes really started coming down, and the announcer roared, “WELCOME TO MONTANA FOOTBALL!” UM went on to score a touchdown with 1:31 left in the fourth quarter and held off a Mountaineers TD attempt in the final seconds to win. I don’t mean to get all unicorns-and-rainbows on you, but it was kind of magical.

How do you show your school spirit?
I once tackled a fan from our rival school to the ground because he tried to swipe a stuffed Griz paw off my hand. He was twice the size of my 5-foot-2, 110-pound frame. Poor sap never even saw it coming.

Any unique ways you plan to get votes for your mascot?
To know Monte is to love him, so all I have to do is introduce him to the rest of America. Plus, I work in the public relations department at the U, so I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. 😉

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Danny Davis on October 9, 2010 at 12:48 am

    I intentionally vote for the other mascots. Screw Monte.


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