Sunday, August 26, 2012

More Brawls In The Beartooths... please

Tyler South by mdt1960
Tyler South, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
Four years ago I ventured down to Texas to see some real six-man football. It was the first week of the season and a little town called Jayton was hosting an entire day of six-man football games—four in all, that started at 10:00 in the morning and finished with a night-cap game featuring the hometown team. It was called the Jayton Gridiron Classic.

I remember thinking back then, “Montana should do something like this for Class C—eight-man and/or six-man.”

A year later, Ennis (fresh into their first eight-man season in years) hosted a double header featuring Absarokee and Philipsburg in the opener and the hometown Mustangs taking on White Sulphur Springs for the nightcap. Thoughts of Jayton the year before came back to me, but it just wasn’t quite the same.

This past weekend, Absarokee did the same thing that Ennis did back in 2009 except they took it one step further. Their eight-man double header was given a name: The Brawl In the Beartooths. And they did one smart marketing trick: they included a game between two teams that are expected to do well this year—Fairview and Ennis.

If you ask me, the folks in Absarokee are on to something—and hopefully something even bigger next year. Absarokee is one of those great football locations with a nice flavoring of tradition too. And, what better place to begin a new season of football.

Perhaps next year’s “Brawl” will be like Jayton’s four game juggernaut. And why not include a game or two of six-man action as part of the lineup? “Brawl In The Beartooths” T-shirts? Oh yeah!

BTW: The Jayton Gridiron Classic runs the course of three days now and has expanded to seven games. This year's dates are August 30 – September 1.