It's called Bobcat Nation — the tribe of sports enthusiasts who support all things Montana State University. Some are well-studied on the players and opposing teams; others love the camaraderie of their alma mater or the fact that it's a hometown team. Even if you aren't a sports fan, it's hard not to get wrapped up in the excitement.
MSU Football History
Football is one of the fans' favorite sports at Montana State. There is something about the crisp, cool air (or sometimes snow,) the hype of the homecoming parade and rally or the buildup to the annual Cat/Griz rivalry between MSU and the University of Montana Grizzlies. The rivalry began in 1897, making it the 31st-oldest in NCAA Division I and the 11th-oldest west of the Mississippi River. This year's game takes place on November 20, 2021, in Missoula — the last game of the season.
2021 Games and Tickets
Season tickets are on sale now; watch the schedule for the release of individual game day tickets. If you're interested in the roster, you can find it here. The first game of eleven scheduled matchups is September 4 at the University of Wyoming. The first home game occurs the following week on September 11 at Bobcat Stadium, where the team will play six home games.
This brings us to another important topic, tailgating. Montana State fans take this part of the game seriously. Three hours before kickoff, fans gather to grill food, toast their team, and swap stories from the summer. They even have RV-specific spots. (Keep in mind, everyone must evacuate within 60 minutes of when the game ends.) If you're looking for gear to show your support, you can find participating retailers here.
Other Ways to Watch
If you choose to support the team in a more low-key manner, there are plenty of options. You can find radio and TV stations here, or, if you prefer a cold beverage and noshes prepared by someone else, you can usually catch the games at one of Bozeman's sports bars:
- Pour House
- Spectators Bar and Grill
- The Club Tavern and Grill
- Rockin' R Bar
- Bozeman Taproom and Spirits
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Bar IX
- Old Chicago
- The Molly Brown Bar
- Sidewinders American Grill
- Pub 317
New Bobcat Athletic Complex
This year, Bobcat Stadium opened the Bobcat Athletic Complex. The $18 million addition was the most extensive fundraising campaign in Bobcat Athletic history. The new home to the football program will also provide locker rooms, team rooms, storage, coaches' offices, sports medicine, plus training and rehabilitation spaces for all student-athletes.
The Montana State Fight Song
Don't forget to brush up on The Montana State Fight Song, "Stand up and Cheer."
Stand up and cheer,
Cheer long and loud for dear Montana State
For today we raise
The blue and gold to wave victorious
Our sturdy band now is fighting
And we are sure to win the fray
We've got the vim; We're here to win
For this is dear Montana State!
History of the "College M"
If you look to the Northeast corner of Bozeman, on the end of the Bridger Mountains, you'll see a large letter "M." In 1915, 60 male sophomores were excused from class and beginning at 6:30 a.m., whitewashed the stones on Mt. Baldy into the letter. When completed, they proclaimed, "May the "M" stand long as a symbol of our loyalty to Montana State University and a reminder of what a united class can accomplish." Today, the iconic "College M" is one of the local's favorite hiking trails.
2021 is looking to be a great season. Go Cats!