All week, Rob McKinney had heard from co-workers and friends that his beloved Montana State Bobcats werenâ€™t ready for the North Dakota State football team when the teams meet today in second round of the FCS playoffs.
It got to the point that McKinney had heard enough brash talk. He was ready to take some action.
The 1993 graduate of Montana State and Killdeer ambulance squad member drove down to the south side of his city on Wednesday and put a small â€˜Fighting Bobcatsâ€™ flag on the Killdeer city limit sign on the south end of the 700-person town.
McKinney laughs now at how far his jab at his friends would reach.
Within hours â€” not long after McKinney posted the picture of his handiwork to Facebook and BobcatNation.com â€” the photograph had made it to the popular Bisonville.com message boards.
â€œI just kind of did it as a lark,â€ McKinney said with a hearty laugh.
The thread entitled â€œSAVE KILLDEERâ€ was the posted to the Bisonville forum by an anonymous NDSU superfan nicknamed â€œLakesBisonâ€ (who you can find commenting quite a bit here at the Bison blog). Not long after, a poster nicknamed â€œKilldeer Bisonâ€ had placed Bison flags at the signs on the north end of the city and taken pictures for all of Bisonville to see.
McKinney said the subtle taunts he was able to give to his NDSU alumni friends whet his appetite for more.
And why not?
This may be the only NDSU game Iâ€™ve actually seen people in southwest North Dakota truly care about since the school left Division II for FCS.
It doesnâ€™t hurt that itâ€™s tailor-made for southwest North Dakotans. There are several native Montanans living in the area, and almost all of them swear allegiance to either the Bobcats or the Montana Grizzlies.
What McKinney did was all in good fun and makes the lead up to the game all the more fun.
Now we have to hope the Sioux (or whatever theyâ€™re going to be called next year) can make a little noise when they move to the Big Sky Conference and create the same kind of playful fan support when they play the Bobcats and Grizzlies.