February: Not short on action

The shortest month of the year is here. But it’s long on ways to grind out the winter.

Something called the Super Bowl is coming, and for two weeks, the Olympics will capture our attention to the slopes and rinks of Vancouver.

Around here, some of the best events of the entire year happen in February.

The first is the All-Class State Wrestling Tournament in Billings.

Will Belgrade win its first state title and take down three-time defending champ Havre in the process? Can Bozeman’s Carpenter brothers earn twin titles again? What about Townsend junior Jade Rauser? He’s never lost a high school match and won national crowns in folkstyle, Greco-Roman and freestyle last year.

The two-day tourney annually brings in 8,000 fans from all corners of the state. The electricity that is generated from the final round (the night of Feb. 13) is unmatched in Montana. With three mats going simultaneously, there’s always something going on.

And to win a state championship and stand atop the podium when your name is announced with the first-place medal around your neck – rock-star quality is all I can say.

The weekend of Feb. 26-27 will be right up there, however. That’s the week not only the District 5B basketball tournament takes over the Belgrade Special Events Center, but the Big Sky Conference track and field championships will be held at MSU as well.

For high school basketball, the state tournament is always the season’s biggest goal. But it’s hard to replace the passion that exists for the 5B tourney – which is only Step 1 on the road to state.

The atmosphere at the packed and loud Events Center mirrors that of a state tournament, and the Saturday night games are usually tight from start to finish.

At Brick Breeden Fieldhouse that same weekend, all eyes will be on Laurel’s Patrick Casey, who just became the second Montana to run a sub four-minute mile, and the first to do it in the Treasure State. Any time a mark like that is produced, the spotlight always shines in that direction.

Only this time, Casey should have some competition. When he put down his 3:59.17 last weekend, he did it “by himself,” he told me. There was no one around to try and catch; in other words, no rabbit. At the Big Sky Championships, the talented high-altitude runners from Northern Arizona will be in the field as well.

For now, the Super Bowl is right around the corner. Will it be a dud, like so many other SBs? Or will it match last year’s fantastic Roethlisberger-to-Holmes finish? Either way, the scoring record could come crashing down.

The most points in a Super Bowl is 75, when Steve Young threw six TD passes and San Fran defeated San Diego 49-26 in number XXIX, an all-California matchup in 1995. That game was also in Miami, which is where the Colts and Saints are this weekend.

My prediction is that Peyton Manning will not be beaten and that the all-time record from ’95 will stand. Someone is bound to play some defense this weekend.

February is just getting started. It’ll be gone in a flash. Enjoy it while it lasts.


1 Response to “February: Not short on action”

  1. 1 The Muddy Buzzard
    February 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Tim, with all due respect to Patrick – he did not run a sub-4:00 mile. He ran 4:04 – an amazing, fantabulisous performance. And a well deservied time by one of the best talents to come out of Montana in many years.

    But, the 3:59 was an altitude adjustment. Great for NCAA qualifying and ranking; but, still not a sub-4:00.

    Until someone else actually has an honest to god, start to finish stop the clock time of 3:XX, Scott McGowan is the only Montanan to actually run a true sub-4:00 mile.

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