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Published September 17, 2012, 09:25 PM

NDSU-UND rivalry documentary to premeire on Prairie Public

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - This season marks the 9th consecutive year that NDSU and UND will not play football against one another.

By: Dom Izzo, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - This season marks the 9th consecutive year that NDSU and UND will not play football against one another.

Two entire classes of players have come and gone in Grand Forks and Fargo and haven't faced one another. And with time, memories of the Nickel Trophy and the greats that played in the game start to fade, but a new documentary produced locally hopes to keep those memories alive forever.

This was the last time the Bison and UND squared off, an epic overtime game. Another great added to the previous 106 times the two schools played. A rivalry that received national attention when it was at its height, it was a story that Matt Olien decided to tell almost by accident.

Matt Olien, “When They Were Kings” Executive Producer: “It started 3 years ago, piggybacking on another shoot to Boston, ended spending an hour and a half with Rocky Hager at Northeastern, had total recall of everything, still griping about UND.”

And that's how "When They Were Kings,” the NDSU-UND documentary was started. Olien began three years of work, searching the WDAY and WDAZ archives pouring over the last 20 years for the best games in football and women's basketball, the two sports that put each university on the map.

Olien: “Hopefully it gets across it's not the same for NDSU to play Robert Morris as it is to play NDSU-UND and I know why they're not playing. It was a week that you looked forward to. Rocky starts the show with a comment that says it's all week. Dale Lennon said something to me that didn't make the final cut. When he brought Southern Illinois to the Fargodome, Dale said he thought that game would be like NDSU-UND. It wasn’t.”

Olien hopes that for the current generation of NDSU and UND fans, it provides some perspective on what we're missing out on now.

Roger Thomas says wasn't that something, I run into Bison guys, wasn't that something we were part of and if they do play in 2015 at the dome and 2017 it'll be exciting, but it won't be the same.

When They Were Kings is 90 minutes long. It debuts tomorrow night on Prairie Public.

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