Claire Peterson

(KPAX) The Montana Grizzly football players are heading to the FCS championship game for the first time since 2001, and they didn’t leave without a proper Missoula send-off.

The team loaded onto buses to drive to the airport on Wednesday afternoon and as they boarded, fans cheered and waved them goodbye.

Griz fans, sporting flags, grizzly bear stuffed animals, and lots of maroon crowded the parking lot of Washington Grizzly Stadium, down the Madison Street Bridge, and even on Broadway Street.

From kids under five to seniors, Missoulians showed out for their football team.

“Boys, you have the whole city of Missoula behind you,” fan Peyton Haskell said. “Win or lose, you’re Missoula’s heroes.”

Many fans also showed off signs saying “We Believe,” convinced the Griz are returning with the championship.

“We’re coming home with a win. I am positive, I have no doubt,” one fan said.

The FCS championship game against the South Dakota Jackrabbits kicks off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 7, 2024.

Fans bid the University of Montana Grizzlies football team luck as it departs for the FCS championship. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Fans bid the University of Montana Grizzlies football team luck as it departs for the FCS championship. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
loading...
Fans bid the University of Montana Grizzlies football team luck as it departs for the FCS championship. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Fans bid the University of Montana Grizzlies football team luck as it departs for the FCS championship. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
loading...
Fans bid the University of Montana Grizzlies football team luck as it departs for the FCS championship. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Fans bid the University of Montana Grizzlies football team luck as it departs for the FCS championship. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
loading...
Fans bid the University of Montana Grizzlies football team luck as it departs for the FCS championship. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Fans bid the University of Montana Grizzlies football team luck as it departs for the FCS championship. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
loading...
Fans bid the University of Montana Grizzlies football team luck as it departs for the FCS championship. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
Fans bid the University of Montana Grizzlies football team luck as it departs for the FCS championship. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
loading...
The team departs down West Broadway. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
The team departs down West Broadway. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)
loading...

More From Missoula Current