If the Montana sports landscape was a house, it would be a house divided.
For the last month, the Billings Gazette, the Montana Standard, the Missoulian and the Helena Independent Record have been gathering information about Montana’s sports fan community via a non-scientific, voluntary survey. Those who chose to take the survery were asked to self-identify as either a fan of the Montana State Bobcats or of the Montana Grizzlies. They were also asked to identify the county in which they lived.
The divide is primarily an northwest-southeast split, the dividing line stretching from Beaverhead County in the south to Blaine County on the Hi-line, but some counties bucked the trend. For example, Sanders county in the far west of Montana shares a border with Missoula county, the location of the University of Montana, but identified for the Montana State Bobcats.
Another example, Yellowstone County, the most populated county in Montana, identified for the Grizzlies despite all of it’s neighboring counties clearly identifying for the Bobcats save one.
In all 23 counties identified for the Grizzlies, and 23 idenitifed for the Bobcats. In nine counties, the results of the survey were inconclusive.
671 people throughout the state responded to the survey. At least one respondent came from every county in Montana except for Wibaux county.