I'll admit that when I found out that Missoula had collected more food than we had in the Can the Griz/Bobcat competition, it was like a punch in the gut. I wanted to beat the Griz on the field and at the supermarkets.

But here's the truth of it: the Bozeman community really did win. There are no losers when almost 300,000 pounds of food is collected for your local community. Families and individuals who find themselves in need will now have food this Holiday Season.

If you donated money or cans to Can the Griz, Thank You! I hope that you feel good about your contribution because you should. Your kindness is greatly appreciated by those who will benefit and by those at the Gallatin Valley Food Bank who work so hard to make sure that no one goes hungry in our community.

In the end, we lost by 5,000 pounds. I'm not really good at math, but I would say that with nearly 800,000 pounds of food raised by Bozeman & Missoula, that is practically a tie. A few potatoes here, and another check or two there, and we could have claimed another victory over the Griz on Saturday.

And speaking of the Griz, congrats to Missoula and the Griz fans for stepping up for their community. We tip our hats to you. What a great contest that provides us some fun, helps to stoke our competitive spirit, and in the end, helps raise nearly 800,000 pounds of food. That's a Lot of Food, people!

I wish I could thank every person again individually who helped with Can the Griz. The XL Nation is so giving and thoughtful, and I am amazed by the depth of your generosity. You truly see the big picture and when I'm feeling low and doubting the future of mankind, the XL Nation reminds me that there are a number of people out there who are givers and not just takers.

Here's the final total from this year's Can the Griz:

Missoula: 394,078

Bozeman: 389,093

While it hurt when I first heard them, 24hrs later I now have some perspective. There's no way to look at those numbers and not feel good about what was accomplished. We raised almost 70,000 more pounds than last year--which was a record year!

Way to go, Cat Fans and the XL Nation! The mountains, and the lakes, and the Big Sky sunsets are amazing, but it's the people of the XL Nation that make where we live so great!

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