UM Game Day Is A Day Of Firsts - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

UM Game Day Is A Day Of Firsts

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MISSOULA -

 Saturday is a day of firsts at the Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

It's the first game of the long-awaited football season, the first game lit by permanent stadium lights, and it's the first time jumpers will parachute into the stadium in almost two years.

"Everybody in Missoula is like, they love their Griz, they love their Griz games. I think it's going to be really awesome. I'm excited for it," said UM student Erin Toole.

This season opener is different for a number of reasons.

"It's a night game. We don't have very many of those, so it'll be fun," said UM student Cody Patrick.

Not only is it the first game lit by permanent stadium lights, but six former Navy SEALS will be parachuting into the stadium for the first time in almost two years. It's all to raise money to build a home for a wounded warrior from Billings, Bo Reichenbeck, who lost both legs while on patrol in Afghanistan.

"It was just one of those things. This is an opportunity to team up, and do something for one of our own, so we went from there, and all of the processes to make this happen," said Assistant AD at UM, Brynn Molloy.

Parachuting has been a tradition at UM football games since the 1970's, but about two years ago a Silvertip Skydiver was critically injured after winds blew his parachute into a concrete wall right before a game.

"I just remember people screaming and running to the scene, but I don't know, everyone was kind of in shock," said Toole, who was sitting in the stands during the accident.

The skydiver is now on the road to recovery, but because of his accident and the addition of new light towers, skydivers have to meet strict new FAA guidelines and much higher insurance costs to jump into the stadium.

"This is a special exception. Chuck Maes, our Associate AD for internal operations worked with the organization and the FAA to make sure it was done properly and okay," Molloy said.

Assistant AD at UM, Brynn Molloy said the SEALS met all of the needed requirements to make their jump on Saturday.

"We're really excited about this game, its a special thing and should get people really excited," Molloy said.

The fans couldn't be happier to have their tradition back, even if it is just for one game.

"It should be exciting it's been a tradition here for quite a while, and it was different not having them here last year. It's been a while, so it'll be nice having them back," Patrick said.

The six Navy SEALS will be parachuting into the Griz stadium Saturday at 7 p.m., just before the game kicks off.

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