A sorta Missoula-related March Madness story



It's hard to find local March Madness stories since UM missed the Big Dance and former Griz coaches Stew Morrill and Blaine Taylor were bounced in yesterday's games. But we do have this:

In an interview posted yesterday on ESPN.com, Missoula resident and Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament talked about his new music project, skateboarding and, since it's March, college basketball. For those who don't know, Ament is a huge sports fan; he's long sat courtside at Griz basketball games and he donned a Griz hoops jersey at the end of PJ's last Missoula concert. During the course of the ESPN conversation, Ament was asked about the best college basketball games he's ever attended. That led to the unlikely story of Ament fetching Coke for CBS commentators Jim Nantz and Billy Packer during the 2003 Final Four.

I've seen a couple Final Fours. The last Final Four I saw was [2003] in New Orleans when Syracuse won. Billy Packer's kid is a big Pearl Jam fan and during the games Billy's kid was like his runner so he got to basically sit kind of right next to him at half court. And he let me be the runner for the championship game. So twice during the game I had to get Billy and Jim Nantz Cokes just to make it seem like I was doing something.

Why was Ament talking to ESPN's "The Life"? Mostly to promote Tres Mts., his new side project. The band just released its first album and is currently on an East Coast tour. Look for more about Tres Mts. in an upcoming issue of the Indy.

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