Happiest Hour: The Griz Tailgate



With just over two hours left before kickoff, it's an easy guess where we're heading: to hang out with the fans bracing for the Griz to go head-to-head with Northern Iowa. Tonight's playoff game will decide whether we move closer to the championship or hang up our helmets 'til next season. Night games are a rare treat these days, as chilly as it is. And so we're off to...

This week: The Griz Tailgate

Why you're here: Uh, because the Griz are on a hot streak? Last weekend they trounced Central Arkansas 41-14 after an already stellar season, advancing in the FCS playoffs to tonight's quarterfinals match-up. We took a step back last year, but that's not going to get anyone at the tailgate down. The Griz have a shot at the semifinals, and that's cause enough for celebration.

Who you're here with: Nine-tenths of Missoula's population, probably. But more specifically, you're hanging out with seasoned tailgate fanatics. They'll wow you with chicken wings, douse you with beer and probably kick your butt at beer pong. Odds are good some folks will be out throwing a football around, too. Think of a night at the opera. Then think of the opposite and you're getting warmer. As long as you can talk a little NFL and don't mention soccer or curling, you're right at home.

What you're drinking: Well, what did you bring? More importantly, what did you manage to trade it for? Proper etiquette dictates that the tailgate is a BYOB affair, but that doesn't mean you can't swap a few of those Hamm's for a nice cold bottle of Dragon's Breath. If you really want to keep warm, dust off the flask and fill 'er up with some Maker's Mark. It tastes as good straight as it does in your coffee. Just remember the golden rule: share with us.

What you're wearing: Bust out the maroon and silver. The Grizzlier your garb, the better. Your average tailgater shows up with anything from a UM beanie hat to a Griz windbreaker with matching pants. This is Griz Nation, after all.

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