(Photo by Ben Coulter)
After several painful competitions (see hockey, lacrosse), the powers that be decided on a more relaxing series finale of AJ Versus. For the last time, the Montana Kaimin presents: AJ Versus golf (mini) with Rose Stepanek.

While deciding to play the golf team, I knew there’s no worldly way I’d be able to keep up on a real golf course. I can’t drive. I can’t chip. I can’t pitch.

But what I can do is putt through a windmill or into a fountain or around a dragon’s tail. Sadly, Missoula’s lone mini golf course at Westside Lanes — best known for its bowling — has no wacky obstacles. Still, it’s better than fairways and sand traps.


Click here to see video of AJ Versus Track

(Photo by Greg Lindstrom)
In honor of the Montana outdoor track and field season's opening day, the Montana Kaimin brought its A-game to the track. The goal, besides not looking too stupid, was to help multi-event athlete Lindsey Hall prepare for the heptathlon.

The idea behind the heptathlon is spectacular for someone like me (i.e., not a real competitor). Seven tries at seven different events? There's got to be one in there that I can do well at.

Let's see now, high jump, long jump, hurdles? I can handle that. Javelin, shot put? Check and check. Eight hundred meter run followed by a 200-meter run? Wait. Nobody told me there would be running involved! If I wanted to run, I'd just chase those mile runners around. I guess we'll have to turn this heptathlon (that means seven) into a pentathlon (that means two less than seven).

Luckily, Montana's resident heptathlon expert, Lindsey Hall, agreed that watching me run laps would be boring and probably too depressing to handle. We can nix that, she said. Now on to the high jump!


Click here to watch AJ Versus curling

In this week's episode of AJ Versus, the Kaimin made its less-than triumphant return to Glacier Ice Rink for another winter-sport challenge. We strapped our sliders on to curl with the Missoula Curling Club.

So far, each one of my tests of sporting prowess has involved only myself and my own natural skill. I think it's about time you the reader appreciate that I'm not the only one with a pen behind my ear, a notebook in my back pocket and a complete lack of athletic ability.

So let me formally introduce the Montana Kaimin's curling lineup: news editor Joe Pavlish, photographer Steel Brooks, fellow sports reporter Taylor W. Anderson and myself.

Now that I've thoroughly inflated our egos, I'll get to the action.

On a fateful Saturday night — the weekly meeting time of Missoula's best (only?) curlers — we gingerly stepped out onto the ice. This particular night happened to be tutorial night for anyone looking to get involved. Luckily for us, that meant an intro to the basics and a bit more knowledge than we'd already gathered from watching the Canadians and Swedes in the Olympics last year.
AJ Versus Lacrosse
Click on above image for video.
In this week's rendition of AJ Versus, the Kaimin got knocked around by the Montana club lacrosse team, proving once again that reporters aren't suited for the field.

Many of you casual sports fans may wonder what happens to Washington-Grizzly Stadium after the football season, and even if you don't, just shut up and humor me for a second.

When football hits the offseason, Montana lacrosse kicks into gear. I have to admit, lacrosse is a sport that has flown under my radar; I really know nothing about the game, and it shows.

Out on the turf of Wa-Griz, Montana assistant lacrosse coach Will Freihofer helps deck me out in pads that he ordered his players to let me borrow. I grab a stick with a little net thingy on the end and try and carry the ball around. This proves insanely difficult, as I'm not doing enough "cradling" or "rocking" or something like that.

Whatever. Why walk when you can run, I figure, and jump right into the action. The team and I decide on a little simulated game play. A defender and a goalie stand between me and my goal.

AJ Versus Hockey
Click on photo above to watch AJ Versus hockey.
This week in AJ Versus, the Kaimin strapped on its skates and hit the ice for some hockey with The University of Montana's men's club hockey team.

As someone who's never played ice hockey and has skated as many times as Crazy Town has topped the Billboard charts (that would be one time), I found myself with one burning question concerning the sport: Is it harder to play hockey or to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn to play hockey?

Turns out, neither is easy.

I arrived at the rink with the clock boasting 6:45 a.m. and laughing at me. The team was completing one of its two weekly practices. Those poor guys had been gamin' it up for an hour before I even arrived. I quickly strapped on a rather smelly borrowed set of pads and laced up the skates (shout out to my buddy Drew for being nearly the same size as me) and glided out onto the slippery surface of death.

Unbalanced and unsure of myself, I quickly fell on my face. Seriously, ice is dangerous. Why else would people sprinkle salt on their sidewalks every winter? Because they want it gone, that's why.

But not John Melendez. The UM senior has been a skating fool for more than a decade. He passed me a puck, which very nearly toppled me from my precariously balanced position. This guy could skate circles around me and he proved it — by skating circles around me.