Great Falls Author Documents Griz-Cats History - News, Sports and Weather

Great Falls Author Documents Griz-Cats History

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If it sounds like Tom Donovan knows everything there is to know about the Cats-Griz rivalry, it's because he does.

The Great Falls resident is a walking encyclopedia of football knowledge and he's crammed all 113 Cat-Griz meetings into 846 pages. That's 516 touchdowns, 89 field goals and eleven safeties all accounted for in a book titled "Montana's Greatest Rivalry: A College Football Classic."

"I have a history of the college game in reference to our series," says author Tom Donovan. "So a person can actually learn the entire game of football just by reading this book. Whether you're a Bobcat or a Grizzly fan or anything."

It took Tom 15 years to document all 113 meetings between Montana and Montana State. 200 pages alone are references that come from five shelves and a handful of boxes full of notes and research. It was a mission that the Navy veteran feels that he had to take.

"With all my Montana histories, I want to preserve histories," says Donovan. "All these people, all these events would have all been lost and a lot of these things are lost in the history. I haven't been able to uncover a number of things. And those things are gone forever."

Tom's research has brought back facts that even the most storied trivia buffs may not know, including four point touchdowns and five point field goals, among other facts that are lost in history.

"They didn't count anything originally," says Donovan. "You won by Goals. So you won by Three Goals to nothing. They didn't put points on it till later on."

The book has had successful sales since it was released but his biggest reward is when he gets a thank you from the family of a former player who's listed in his book.

"That was a rewarding thing I didn't even consider," says Donovan. "When I talk to these Descendants where they knew their Grandfather played for the Grizzlies but didn't know in one game he ran for a touchdown, intercepted a pass and kicked his own extra point. I mean how many players do that today?"

We doubt he needs help answering that question. But it's probably more than the number of people who know as much as Tom does about the history of the Cats and Griz.

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