March 5 I had the great opportunity to attend the Frontier Conference Championship game in Havre. I saw both the Montana State University-Northern and University of Montana Western teams play the Argos this year in Great Falls, so I was anxious to see a great competitive game in Havre. I was not disappointed.
Both teams played extremely well, the game was exciting to watch, and the sportsmanship of the players on each team was what you would expect from champions. They are going to represent Montana well in Kansas City, and we should be proud of both teams as they represent the great state of Montana!
However, I was shocked and saddened by the conduct of the fans, especially the student body group from Northern. The booing each time Western came to the floor was truly an embarrassing moment for me as a resident of Montana. On both teams, we all have friends, neighbors, fellow students and players that we have watched play the game, since junior high. The fans should be thanking the Western team for making Northern play to their maximum potential. It would be a pretty boring game, otherwise.
We could learn how to conduct ourselves from our tribal neighbors. The history of traditional tribal games teaches that the winner of a contest honors the opponent. The winners give the losing team gifts, glory and thanks. They thank the opponent for making them be the best they can be because without stiff competition, you do not play to your full potential.