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MSU Bobcat fans in Billings still proud of football team after tough championship loss

Posted at 4:50 PM, Jan 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-08 18:50:35-05

BILLINGS — MSU Bobcat fans at Tiny's Tavern in Billings were still happy to see the football team in the FCS championship, even after the tough 38-10 loss to the North Dakota State University Bison.

"It's amazing. Up until about kickoff, I didn't actually think we were there. I thought my brother would call me up and go, 'psych,'" said Tom Curry, a Cats fan from Billings, during the fourth quarter.

Curry was up bright and early to snag a seat at the bar. He said Tiny's staff made reservations for tables, but seating at the bar was first come, first served and it filled up fast.

"You had to get here at 8 o'clock in the morning to get a bar seat. So I got here at 8:05 a.m. and barely got one. I was a little late coming in," Curry said.

Even with the championship trophy seemingly out of reach, the packed bar still went wild when the Cats got their first touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter.

Tom Curry cheers for the MSU Bobcats after they get their first touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter.

Sadness was still in the air though as fans saw the championship slip away, but they were still proud of the team that made it to the very end.

"Disappointed in the outcome. Disappointed in how it started with Tommy getting hurt early, but very proud of these guys that made it this far and look forward to a lot of things in the future," said Ty Heppner, who was watching the game with friends and family.

(Right) Ty Heppner was in Billings rooting for the Cats to win the FCS championship.

Among all of the blue and gold sportswear on display at Tiny's during the game, there was one man who stood out, because he was about the only person there wearing NDSU gear.

Anthony Stamness is originally from Northwood, North Dakota, but now works in Billings. Stamness, his grandfather and his brother all graduated from NDSU.

Stamness said he didn't get any guff from Cats fans while watching the game.

"It's awesome. The Montana fans and North Dakota fans, very cordial. Just very peaceful," Stamness said.

The only NDSU Bison fan at Tiny's Tavern during the FCS championship game.

And about the game, Stamness said he wished it would have been more back and forth, not a blowout.

"You compete to figure out which one is better, but I was not expecting a blowout like this. I was expecting a three-to-seven point game because the Cats were smaller, faster, more agile. NDSU were bigger guys. But I figured they would have been more proportioned on the score than the final," Stamness said.

RELATED: Rapid Reaction: North Dakota State 38, Montana State 10