“Some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you.” The quote comes from former Butte Central football coach Swede Kenison. He knew a thing or two about eating the bear. Kenison had a 28-1 record with three state football championships at Butte Central between 1971-73.
It does not matter what the sport, there is always a team you can always dominant and also a team that is almost impossible to beat.
A case in point in this week’s football match ups for the two Butte schools. Butte Central will try and extend a 25-game winning streak over Livingston. The last Rangers’ victory in this series took place in 1975. A deep look into the one-sided series reveals since 1950 the Maroons hold a Glowing 46-2-1 record over Livingston.
The Maroons jump for joy when they play Livingston. The same feeling in not shared when they play Frenchtown. Butte Central has met the Broncs four times and has yet to beat Frenchtown. In three of those games, the Maroons were beaten in the state playoffs.
Butte High faces an opponent this Friday night they always struggle with, the Helena Capital Bruins. The Bulldogs have met Capital 21 times on the gridiron with the Bruins holding a 16-5 record.
Helena Capital is one of the few schools that hold an edge over Butte High in football. The Bulldogs dominate most teams in its overall series. A case in point is Butte High’s homecoming opponent this year, Missoula Hellgate. The Bulldogs hold a commanding 24-6 edge over the Knights in a series that dates back to 1965.
The Bulldogs also enjoyed a big edge over cross town rival Butte Central in football. The Maroons went 28 years between wins over the Bulldogs at one point in the series.
The same type of crazy numbers take place in other sports. Take the Butte High Lady Bulldogs in girls basketball. They are 17-1 in games against Billings Skyview, but when they play Kalispell-Flathead the Braves hold a 40-12 margin in games played.
The Butte Central Lady Maroons are 11-1 against Corvallis in girls hoops, but in 23 tries against Helena High the Maroons have yet to win a game.
One team dominating another also occurs at the college level. Navy went five decades between wins over Notre Dame. The Montana Grizzlies battled Wyoming over the weekend and got beat again. In fourteen meetings with the Cowboys, the Grizzlies have never won.
The Grizzlies can turn the table around in their annual showdown with the Bobcats. During one point in the series, Montana beat the Bobcats 16 straight games and at another time went 21 years without losing to Montana State.
When it comes to streaks, it’s always better to be eating the bear rather than the bear eating you. Sooner or later your team will experience both feelings.