FRISCO, Texas—The FCS championship game between the Montana State University Bobcats and the North Dakota State University Bison starts at 10 a.m. (Montana time) on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.
For MSU fans that journeyed from Montana to Texas to watch the game - some trips went smoothly, while others did not - but getting a chance to see the Bobcats compete for a title makes the whole endeavor worth it.
One group that didn’t have a lot of luck with travel were the Bobcats themselves; an eight-hour delay due to mechanical issues led to a late arrival in Frisco.
But the team hotel made them feel welcome, with blue and gold all over, and even a "pop-up" team shop in the lobby.
Ten miles south you’ll find the Dallas-Fort Worth Hilton, a temporary home to hundreds of Bobcat fans who arrived on charters from Bozeman, Billings, and Great Falls..
Scott Shanahan of Great Falls said, “Oh yeah, it was awesome. And it's a direct flight here, so that was really cool. No delays. Well, we had a little bit of delay, but we got here. There was some chants, and a fight song. Yeah, it was fun.”
Eight-year old Brody Juelfs, a lifetime Bobcat fan, couldn’t be more excited.
Brody, a student at Riverview Elementary School in Great Falls, said that some of his friends were a bit jealous that he is in Frisco to watch the game.
He said one friend joked that he would ride in Brody's suitcase to get there.
But not every fan had a smooth trip - Gomez and Mary Routhier had to play "airline roulette" just to get to Texas.
Gomez said, “We had at least one cancellation. We changed airlines to get to Salt Lake City, and then we changed another airline to get to Dallas-Fort Worth and got here last night, about 10 o’clock.”
Though that was a headache, they’re some of the lucky ones.
Gomez explained, “We’ve had some friends who basically got canceled out today, and I guess the only option they have is to jump in their truck and drive 20 hours and try to get here by the game time.”
Regardless of the number of stops, how many setbacks, or how many hours and days it took to get here - Bobcat fans came to Texas in droves, and they’re ready to celebrate like it’s 1984.
Mary said, “We’re very blessed to be here and we’re so excited for the Bobcats and we’re going to cheer them on and bring home a trophy.”
The FCS championship game between the MSU Bobcats and NDSU Bison will be broadcast from ESPN2 starting at 10 a.m. (Montana time) on Saturday, January 8, 2022.
But if you don't have ESPN2, you can likely find a watch party at a sports bar/restaurant.
The Montana State University Alumni Foundation website says: "Find an official Bobcat Watch Party in your local community! If you can't make it to the stadium, arena or court on game-day, cheer on the 'Cats from afar at an official Bobcat Watch Party near you! Watch parties are open to all fans including alumni, friends, parents and families."
The site then lists "official" watch parties across Montana and in many states.
In Great Falls, the MSU Alumni Foundation watch party will be at P. Gibson's restaurant and sports bar, located at 1600 Fox Farm Road. P. Gibson's will open at 9 a.m. for the event: "We have over 30 large HDTVs with no bad seat in the house!"
The Sting Sports Bar: "Saturday 10am - during the MSU vs. NDSU game; not only will we be serving delicious drinks and breakfast during the football game...we will be giving away 8 awesome MSU Shirts."
The Celtic Cowboy at 116 1st Avenue South will open at 9:30 am: "We’ll have the game on the big screen and all the TVs."
If you want to watch the game, your best bet is to call a restaurant or bar near you to find out if they will be showing the game.