The Cat/Griz Game is a big damn deal.  Yes, the Cat/Griz Game.  As Foles has said over and over, let's give the silly new name a permanent rest. With both teams highly-ranked this year the Cat/Griz Game is an even bigger damn deal.  Let's just say you got the weekend off at the last minute and have a few extra bucks you can throw around this year.  Saddle up your sweetie, we're going to Bozeman!

You're going to need tickets.

LSU Tigers v UCLA Bruins
Tickets for the big game are always in high demand, and expensive.

First thing we're going to need is tickets.  Let's face it, in this age of heightened security and the fact that I haven't really worked out in months means that the days of sneaking under fences, past security and into events is over.  Plus, your date will generally hate it when you have to do that.  I checked Stubhub and found the lowest priced tickets available are over $150 as of presstime.  Upon first inspection, this doesn't seem too bad until you see that all of these seats are standing room only.  Which probably means you're going to be completely surrounded by students who have been doing keg stands and Jaeger shots since last Tuesday.  Which at first glance seems.....awesome.  But again, not a good way to impress your date.  So we look for General Admission, which are available.  For $290 a pop. Or, 520.4 if they only accept British Sterling

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King Charles. Would rather be watching soccer, Photo: Ben A Ptuchnie - WPA Pool-Getty Images

But let's say we had a really good week at the track and want the best seats we can get at this late of a date.  Turns out good seats are available.  You can get 2 seats (together even) in Section 103 for $2,555.  Each.  Or, in my particular case, more than the total worth of the vehicle that is going to bring you there.

Destination: Bozeman

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Man, this place has changed. (photo not actually Bozeman). Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Okay, after the $100 we spent on gasoline and snacks at Town Pump, we have arrived in beautiful Bozeman and now need a place to stay, or at least to crash after the game.

This is the worst place I’ve ever stayed. 

-Brian Lum, Google review of "The Outpost"

A quick search on Orbitz brings up a very attractive-looking "micro hotel" called "The Outpost", which is in Belgrade.  Now I know that Belgrade is not Bozeman.  It's just where all of the Bozeman natives have had to move since they were priced out.  But still, Belgrade is close and who's to complain?  The guy you're going to be sharing your bathroom with.  That's who.  Yes, it turns out that the 1 available Queen Bed room is more like a bedroom in a trendy commune-type arrangement that are sometimes used as a setting for European horror movies.  It's a glorified hostel.  You'll probably be fine.  The doors to the bedrooms lock and most of your future roommates will more than likely be nothing more than knit cap-wearing hipsters who are only going to the game ironically.  Hell, they'll probably make you an espresso.  But let's say for the sake of argument that after you left the track, you went on a real hot-streak hustling pool and want better accomodations that are actually in town.  The Hilton Garden Inn tops the price list and will take care of that unnecessary cash with rooms, as of press time, going for a little over $800 per night, including taxes and fees.  But you get your own bathroom.

Let's eat!

One way or another, we're going to the Pickle Barrel. Photo:
One way or another, we're going to the Pickle Barrel. Photo:

By now, we're into this little journey anywhere from $400 to around 7 grand, but regardless of price, time, space or the advice of my cardiologist, we WILL be going to the Pickle Barrel.  Maybe on the way out of town, too.  Their cheesesteak sandwich is like nothing I've ever tasted before.  It's the stuff fat guys dream of.  I should know.  I dreamt of a cheesesteak last night.  But I digress.  A full-size hot sandwich is around $19 right now, so with a couple of drinks you're looking at around $50.  It may be more if you're having it delivered to the bathroom of the hostel.  We'll put this on the lower end of the better food in Bozeman.  But let's just say, completely at random, that as we are leaving the pool hall, counting our ill-gotten gains, we find ourselves in a sketchy, back-alley dice game where we bust those suckers like Ice Cube in the 'It Was a Good Day" video.  Now we need a big steak and a bottle of wine that we can't pronounce.  Bonjour, Open Range.  After a couple of appetizers and salads, we take a look at the wine menu for something to match our $55 bison steaks.  Opus One is and amusing California Red from the Napa Valley and is a mere $650 per bottle on their wine list.  We probably will not be getting a bottle to go.

It is what you make of it.

It really doesn't matter how much you have to spend or where you spend it.  Cat/Griz weekend just has a special feel to it here in Montana and if you're lucky enough to be there we know you'll have a great time.

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