Story by Amber Kuehn
Everyone knows that the Griz-Cat rivalry draws a large crowd and with Bozeman so close, there is bound to be some blue and gold in Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Saturday.
But Griz fans are hoping that if everyone wears maroon to the game, all that blue will fade into the background.
You may have seen a flyer on campus advertising a “Maroon-out”, or perhaps you heard about it from a friend. Brint Wahlberg of Remax and Wahlberg Property Management said the idea began with him and a group of people putting together a list of phone numbers and e-mails to get the word out. Now the idea has really picked up speed.
“There are a whole bunch of people coming together to try and pull this thing off,” he said. “People are taking it and running with it, and mostly I think it’s traveled by word of mouth.”
Wahlberg said the idea came from a fan who posted a comment on the discussion board for http://egriz.com, a UM fan site. The message read “If they can get a white-out at Penn State and a black-out at Louisville, it shouldn’t be that hard to do here.” The post goes on to say that if everyone wears maroon, Washington-Grizzly Stadium might be more intimidating than it’s ever been before.
Hopefully it will be intimidating to Montana State rather than the Griz. At the game two weeks ago, fans started booing the home team, which Wahlberg thought was classless.
He’s hoping that the “Maroon-out” will be one more way for the Griz faithful to show support, rather than being rude.
“Hopefully those idiot fans who thought it was all right to boo the team just don’t show up,” he said.
Some students are eager to participate in the “Maroon-out,” but others argue that the cold weather might force them to cover up the school colors.
Robyn Smith, a senior majoring in history and English, said she doesn’t plan to take part in the event.
“I’m not wearing maroon,” she said. “I’m wearing blue because my coat is blue and it’s going to be cold.”
However, Smith added that she would still be wearing her Griz apparel underneath.
Although it’s supposed to be 40 degrees, rain isn’t in the forecast. Wahlberg said there are ways people can still dress warm and participate. He said they can layer their clothes beneath a maroon sweatshirt, and added that Sportsman’s Surplus and Bob Wards sell maroon coats.
Kandyce Kaneshiro, a junior studying pharmacy, said she plans to come in her maroon coat and thinks it will be fun to have the whole crowd look the same. At the same time, clothes aren’t going to determine bragging rights.
“The Griz fans will be rooting for the Griz and booing the Cats no matter what they are wearing,” she said.
Wahlberg knows that convincing everyone in Missoula to wear maroon isn’t going to be easy.
“It’s tough to get 23,000 people to show up in maroon,” he said. “But I think we can do it.”