Will’s World: Cat-Griz? Griz-Cat? Bueller?

There are few rivalry names as descriptive and succinct as Cat-Griz. In merely two syllables the name adequately describes the event in question; it’s a game between the Bobcats and the Grizzlies, conveniently condensed for all. Not only is it well made, it’s fun to say. The name starts strong with the “ka” sound that’s a biting call for attention, while ending with a satisfying “zz” sound, thus encapsulating both strength and cool. It’s a great name for a great game.

So it only makes sense that some Grizzly fans are trying to mess it up.

I don’t know when it all started, but over time I’ve seen a concerted by the hardcore grizzly fans to turn the beautiful Cat-Griz name into the confusing, contorted name “Griz-Cat”. In my opinion, this change is roughly on par with some of history’s worst changes that include New Coke, the Dodgers moving to Los Angeles and Craig Ferguson leaving late night television.

When I was growing up (instead of growing out) all of my Grizzly friends called the game “Cat-Griz”. They justified this by saying, “It simply sounds better. Besides, the Cats need to be first in something.” This was the age of Dickenson, Ah Yat and Edwards, making the critique tough but fair.

Nowadays this is starting to change amongst the Grizzly faithful. To combat this, I’ve devised a series of fool-proof arguments (except for the fool who wrote them) that will prove once and for all that Cat-Griz is the superior name.      

First, it’s alphabetized correctly. Throughout the course of human history, the default order for a list of names is typically alphabetical. It’s certainly what I grew up with in school.Illustration by Kalie Murphy          

“Bruener, Ian”


“Connelley, Davis”


“Hamel, Will”


“Uh . . . would you mind if you weren’t?”

I suppose if we’re going to do away with the alphabetized structure of Cat-Griz, we may as well do away with the alphabetized structure of the phone book. Bonus points if you find the secret hidden message.

“Foiterson, Fry”

“Adamson, Udell”

“Robinson, Nancy”

“Thomson, Nathan”

“Sampson, Yelena”

Second, Griz-Cat to me sounds way more like a failed Barney spin-off than the name of a treasured rivalry game.

“Hiya kids it’s me! Griz-Cat! Today we’re gonna learn about the letter ‘F’”

“Hey Griz-Cat! I got an ‘F’ word for ya’!”

(The six-year-old kids begin swearing and pelting the costumed performer with sharp rocks, rotten vegetables, fifty-pound cinderblocks and free DVD copies of The Lone Ranger)

Lastly, according to my super-scientific, bias-free, may-not-have-really-occurred survey of 30 Grizzly fans in the area, Cat-Griz was the most answered response to the question “What do you call the Montana – Montana State game?”

            Cat-Griz: 23

            Griz-Cat: 2

            “Will, chew your food!”: 5

Clearly with this mountain of evidence(?), and opinions as free of bias as FOX News, my point is irrefutable. But if you need additional evidence, consider the following quote I might have found on the internet from Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his time at the Yalta Conference.

“It’s called Cat-Griz!”

How can anyone argue with that? On second thought … feel free to call it whatever you want.