Over the course of a three-day road trip to Montana, I earned a new nickname, met some new friends and got to do some in-depth coverage of a conference tournament.
On Monday afternoon, a van full of students from Weber State University news organizations set out to Missoula, Mont., to cover the Big Sky Conference Tournament.
There were representatives from Weber State News, Weber FM, and The Signpost in the van. We were also accompanied by Drew Tyler, Weber State News faculty advisor.
The trip to Missoula included the slaughtering of two classic songs, Drew dancing and me trying some incredibly hot sauce, called Wilbur’s revenge at Famous Dave’s in Idaho, and many stories.
We learned a great deal about Drew and heard many stories from his life (most of which, I can’t print.)
Trevor Amicone and Jason Moffet from Weber State News made a YouTube video documenting all this.
When we finally arrived in Montana, we unloaded the car and headed up to our rooms to crash.
The next morning we headed out to breakfast where we were honked at once (possibly for being from Utah) and saw a guy on a motorcycle, wearing some apparently home-made riding chaps. They were crafted from what appeared to be a large blue tarp.
Then we headed back to the hotel and everyone worked on various things till it was time to go to the arena for the semi-final against Portland State University.
The first thing we all realized once we got to Dahlberg Arena was that the internet connection there was horrible. Well, I think that was actually the second thing I learned. The first thing was that according to our guide at the arena, nothing in Montana gets built without a casino.
So if you’re into gambling, Montana is an option.
When we got to the media room in the arena, Roy Burton of the Standard Examiner greeted me with calls of, “Hey hot sauce, we saw your video on YouTube.”
For the rest of the trip, Burton alternated between calling me Hot Sauce and Wilbur.
As anyone who watched the game against PSU knows, it was nerve racking. WSU trailed for much of the game, and it wasn’t clear who would win till the final 30 seconds. The Wildcats were able to come out on top.
Following the game we stuck around at the arena for the second semi-final game. Much of the time was spent writing and editing, but I was able to catch a bit of the University of Montana, Eastern Washington University game.
My favorite thing from that game was listening to UM’s student section and their weird chants. Following a EWU traveling call, they chanted, “You walked! You took too many steps!” I thought this might be a pattern and hoped I’d get to hear them chant other basic and self-explanatory things about basketball.
Sadly, I didn’t get to hear a “You missed it! It didn’t go in the hoop” chant. But I did hear UM’s fans choose an odd thing to taunt an EWU player about.
In the second half, a player from the Eagles got to the foul line. This player was wearing a T-shirt under his jersey as many college players do.
For some reason, UM’s student section tauntingly chanted “T-shirt T-shirt” to him while he attempted his foul shots.
The Grizzlies went on to win (possibly thanks to the fans with their odd chants) and set up the final most fans hoped for.
After the other semi-final was over, we headed back to the hotel in preparation for the following night’s championship showdown between WSU and UM.
The highlight of Wednesday was breakfast. We ate at a little place called Paul’s Pancake Parlor where I had the best omelette I’ve ever had. As for Wednesday night, well, I don’t want to talk about that.