We all know how it goes when you set out to search for something online and the next thing you know you've gone down an internet rabbit hole for twenty minutes. That's exactly what happened to me the other week - but I ended up finding something pretty cool.

Life before Monte was pretty crazy when it came to mascots

It started with me looking up details about the history of the University of Montana mascots before Monte came along. Did you know they used real bears and some recognizable corporate mascots back in the day? It's actually a pretty interesting timeline if you get a chance to check it out. But what I stumbled into was that Monte once appeared in a Super Bowl commercial with Joe Montana! Do you remember it? Did you watch it live when it aired during the game?

Monte meets Joe Cool

Everybody in Missoula loves Monte. But there's been a couple of years where Monte has been in a bigger spotlight for the whole country to see. Our favorite mascot has been nominated as the Mascot of the Year multiple times and won the award twice. A Missoulian article from 2003 tells the story of how Monte, newly crowned as Mascot of the Year at the time, got a part in a SportsCenter commercial staring NFL legend Joe Montana. The premise was that Joe Montana was a cook in the cafeteria on the ESPN campus and was looking around the kitchen for something he lost. A SportsCenter anchor ended up with something in his mouth after taking a bite of his food and when he spits it out it's one of Joe Montana's Super Bowl rings.

10 seconds? More like one second of fame!

If you blink at a certain spot while you're watching the commercial you might actually miss Monte's brief appearance. He's only on screen for a second, but reading the Missoulian article made it sound like there was some other footage that was shot and it must have ended up getting cut from the final commercial. But still, Monte was in a freakin' Super Bowl commercial with Joe Montana!! That's awesome!

It took a little digging to find it but I was able to track it down. You can watch the commercial HERE.

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