We both had no clue what these meant, but bought them anyway thinking they were funny. After wearing them to baseball practice we learned, from our coach, their meaning and origin of what is know as the Battle for the Fremont Cannon.
In 1967 the new football coach at the newly named UNLV, formerly Nevada Southern, decided to start a rivalry with the school from which he originally attended and coached, 8 hours away. The prize trophy being a cannon painted the school colors of the winning team.
The Fremont Cannon is a replica of the historic cannon used by John C. Fremont during an expedition in 1843 where he had to leave it behind in a bad snow storm somewhere in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
The two teams met in 1968 but the cannon wasn't ready for possession yet. It was assembled and ready the following year when UNLV beat UNR 42-30. Last year Nevada won it for the 7th consecutive season in a blowout 37-0. Thats the way this rivalry generally goes, in streaks. UNLV won 5 in a row before that and UNR 5 in a row prior to that. The largest margin of victory was by 42 points in 1991 when Nevada beat the Scarlet and Grey 50-8.
In the 80’s the rivals only met 4 times, other then that they have met every year since 1969 and being in the same conference again should secure a yearly match-up from here on out.
As far as trophies go, this is the most expensive at a cost of over $10,000 and the heaviest ever to be awarded as a school rivalry trophy. Weighing around 550 pounds this Cannon was fired after the team who “owned” it that year scored during the rivalry game, UNLV ended that tradition in 2000 after they won it back from UNR and raised it to walk off the field but dropped it, they spent around $1500 to repair the damages, but it hasn't been fired since. This could be one more reason UNR has hated my first choice for College since as long as I can remember.
This rivalry can get pretty heated at times. There’s been fights in the stands, in the parking lots, and charges pressed on students and athletes over the years. Me and my buddies usually keep pretty calm on the other hand. I make it a point to never miss this match-up, one way or another, sportsbook in Vegas or sports bar at home I’ll find a way to catch this game. Last year Reno was the big favorite(-20) and they've seem to control the lines, covering seven of the past 10 years.
So far there has been no line put out on this season’s battle. I hope that changes since laying a little cash on the line(even if just with your buddies) makes the game more exciting. Plus, we're back in Vegas for this years melee
It may take some looking but you can still find the “FUNR” shirts if you plan on catching the game Saturday too. Ill have mine on and hope to be sitting next to my buddy wearing his “FUNLV”. If you happen to cross us feel free to give out a “GO REBS”, Ill send one back.
Good Luck Rebels! Lets paint it RED!