BILLINGS — The Brawl of the Wild is the biggest sports weekend for the Treasure State, but what is the allegiance for Montana’s biggest city? Cats or Griz? Which side does Billings lean towards?
It’s one of the oldest rivalries in college football, and one that has always split the state in two.
“Cats fans are kinda obnoxious. They’re kinda like, we’re the best. We’re awesome, and they’re not,” a Billings Griz fan said Thursday at downtown Montana Brewing Co.
“You must be a Griz fan in this town. Bobcats, you can go back to Bozeman,” said another Griz fan at nearby bar Hooligan’s next Thursday.
But what’s unclear is whether Billings is bleeding blue and gold or brown Grizzly. So MTN drove through Billings to try and find out.
“Cats for sure. Billings is 100% a town for cats,” said one cat fan.
Added another: “Oh, it’s a cat town for sure. There’s no doubt about it. With the strong agricultural background and good roots of Eastern Montana, it has to be a cat town.”
Every table in every sports bar seemed to have a different approach.
With no clear answer, MTN stopped by Universal Athletics, where manager David Bronson detailed merchandise sales ahead of the big game.
“More Cats stuff so far. Cats about 80/20 to be honest with you. We’ve sold a lot of Cats stuff the last few days. Not that much from Griz, but I think that will change as that we’re getting closer, definitely, but the early start. It was the Cats,” Bronson said Thursday.
A cat town? A city of Griz? After a day of searching for answers, Montana Brewing Company manager Mandy Easton summed up the most accurate conclusion.
“Honestly, it’s literally 50/50. Literally, I think even just with my colleagues here, it’s really half and half,” Easton said.
Split down the middle, much like how the state will be on Saturday.