BOZEMAN — Michael Rider had a game-sealing interception in the 2010 Brawl of the Wild game for Montana State. He then went on to coach the Bobcats as an assistant. Now, he’s in the radio booth as the color commentator alongside play-by-play Keaton Gillogly about to another Cat-Griz game.
Even though he watches from the press box, the rivalry still means a lot to the former Bobcat.
“I care about the university and I care about that football program a lot and I still want them to be really successful,” said Rider, a Billings West High School alum. “So games like these, especially the rival games, they're still really, really important even though I'm on the media side.”
Dawson Ahrenstorff was a student and a media member within Montana State athletics when he witnessed one of the most epic finishes in Cat-Griz history when in 2018 Montana State had a goal-line stand to beat Montana at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
Out of that game came a documentary from Ahrenstorff titled “The Miracle in Missoula.”
His goal: to show what it felt like to be apart of that rivalry.
“My goal was recreating those emotions that people felt and that I felt on that day, bringing everybody back in that moment and just relive it,” Ahrenstorff explained.
For members of the media like Rider and Ahrenstorff, their experiences are surreal offering them a unique vantage point to the game from the press box or even the sidelines.
“It’s an energy that is very rare to find and if you're lucky enough to be part of it, you know the feeling. It's hard to describe, but it's special for sure,” Ahrenstorff said.
For Rider, he knows what’s on the line for this year’s rivalry and is trying to approach it like he would any other game from the radio booth.
“I try and just just maintain that same level of preparation, but there's certainly a new level of excitement going on at this game on the media side, just because you know what's at stake,” Rider said.
Rider still maintains his full-time job in Billings but enjoys the weekend grind of following the team that gave him so many fond memories. For Ahrenstorff, his documentary is available in full online. He is now a creative producer for the athletic department at Louisiana State University.