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Better Know An Opponent: Nevada


This is the third in an 11-part series highlighting 10 5 things you may not know about Mizzou’s opponents in the 2009 football season. Please keep in mind that while everything below is true, it’s meant in jest.

Part One – Illinois

Part Two – Bowling Green

Today’s profile: The Nevada Wolfpack

(Note: today’s Better Know An Opponent will be an abbreviated one; I’m a little swamped at work right now, and haven’t had time to really delve in. Apologies to all my fans.)

1) The University of Nevada is located in Reno, Nevada, the "Biggest Little City In The World." You’ve heard of the term "boom town," right? Well, Reno is a boom town about thirty times over. The first boom came in the mid-1800s, when gold was discovered in the outskirts of the town. The second boom came in the 1860s and 1870s, when the Central Pacific Railroad was built through Reno, which eventually connected with the Union Pacific Railroad, making Reno a transcontinental railway stop. The third boom came in the 1930s, when Nevada legalized casino gambling and passed a series of extremely liberal divorce laws. The fourth and final boom was caused by these men:

2) UNR (as it’s known, to differentiate from UNLV) features a number of outstanding sectors of academia. The University of Nevada School of Medicine is the only medical school in the state. The Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering is one of the foremost mining-specialized schools in the world. And the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism has produced six Pulitzer Prize winners.

Wait a second. Wait a second. The Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism?


Just like…the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri?


Just like…the Donald W. Reynolds Program in Business Journalism at Washington and Lee University?


Just like…the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism?


And here I thought we were special. We’ve all been had.


3) Tell ‘em, Hacksaw Jim Duggan!


Thanks, Hacksaw! On with the alumni!


Sound engineer Charley Douglass, pioneer of the TV laugh track.


Ear mastication enabler Mills Lane.


Nevada State Assemblywoman (Clark County, district 4) Francis Allen, arrested in 2008 for allegedly stabbing her husband. And what a looker, too.


Washoe, the first monkey to learn sign language. For real. The monkey technically attended Nevada. I can’t stress enough how serious I am.

4) According to the UNR Web site, Nevada’s mascot is a wolf named Alphie.


According to the same site, in 1999, Alphie replaced his cousin Wolfie as the mascot.


According to this Web site, in 2007, Alphie was joined in 2007 by his younger brother, Wolfie Jr.


That means, of course, that there is a Nevada mascot family tree. Methinks they put a little too much thought into the backstory.

5) Nevada’s main rival, not surprisingly, is UNLV. The Wolf Pack holds a 19-15 lead over the Rebels in their football rivalry, in which they play for the Fremont Cannon.


(Cannon photo credit: Ryan Jerz)

In 1978, after Nevada beat UNLV for the first time in five years, the Wolf Pack players did not want to be separated from the cannon. Coach Chris Ault convinced airport security in Las Vegas to LET THE PLAYERS CARRY IT ONTO THE PLANE BACK TO RENO.

(Emphasis: mine.)

A drum? I can understand that on a plane. A bell? Sure. But a cannon? A freakin’ cannon on a plane?!?

This also set a very dangerous precedent, as evident after Illinois’ recent win over Northwestern.


Tune in next week for the fourth installment of Better Know An Opponent!