Ten things Bronco fans probably didn't know about the Nevada Wolf Pack or their big little city in the desert
10) In 1967, Nevada researchers Allen and Beatriz Gardner taught a chimpanzee named Washoe American Sign Language, making Washoe the first chimp to acquire such a skill. So adept was Washoe (a female) at sign language, she taught her adopted son Loulis how to sign as well. What was the first phrase that Washoe successfully signed, you ask? "Welcome to the university, Chris Ault."
9) UNR football's first All-American (1923) was a diminutive scat-back named James "Rabbit" Bradshaw. After Bradshaw's playing career was over, he went on to coach at Fresno State, where he holds the second highest win-percentage (75%) among all coaches after coaching the Bulldogs for 8 seasons. Bradshaw claimed what drove him from day one was two small children that repeatedly taunted and teased him with a bowl of fruity Trix™ cereal.
8) Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick was drafted in the 43rd round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs despite the fact that he hasn't pitched or even played baseball since high school. I can only assume that Kaepernick's scouting report states: "great fastball. no changeup". And you wondered why the Cubs haven't won a World Series in over one hundred years.
7) The famous "Reno Arch" was erected on Virginia Street in 1926 to promote the Transcontinental Highways Exposition of 1927. After the exposition, the Reno City Council decided to keep the arch as a permanent downtown gateway, and Mayor E.E. Roberts (no relation) asked the citizens of Reno to suggest a slogan for the arch. In 1929, after a $100 prize was offered, G.A. Burns (George?) of Sacramento was declared the winner with "Reno, The Biggest Little City in the World". G.A.'s backup slogan was "Oops, you drove right past Las Vegas".
6) In 1919 coach R.O. Courtright led his team to back-to-back 100+ point wins as he downed Pacific 132-0 and then blanked Mare Island Navy 102-0 three days later. As usual, a little more research tends to diminish the wins a tad as I later found out that "Pacific" was just a jug of ocean water and "Mare Island Navy" was a discount purveyor of jeans and t-shirts in the GAP family of stores.
"I like to take a golf club to the dignity of my opponents." —R.O. Courtright
5) Since 1978, Reno and nearby Sparks have been home to the Sinbad's Hot Dogs franchise. Sinbad's has sold over 2,000,000 hot dogs to nitrate-hungry Nevadans in their 30+ years of existence and their slogan is "Home of the Steamin' Weenie". Y'know what? I'm not even gonna touch that one (not without about a gallon of Purell®, anyway). This one's all yours, OBNUG faithful...it's my Thanksgiving gift to all!
4) Sound engineer Charley Douglass, a 1933 graduate of the University of Nevada-Reno, created the first TV laugh track. Without his tireless efforts, M*A*S*H would have been just another depressing mini-series about the Korean War.
3) The ichthyosaur, a giant, prehistoric marine reptile, is Nevada's official state fossil. Chris Ault was a close runner-up. Better luck next time, Chris.
2) The Wolf Pack play their games at Mackay Stadium (29,993). The stadium is named for Clarence H. Mackay, the son of John W. Mackay, a silver and telegraph mogul. Clarence Mackay was an early financier of the university and gifted the school the Mackay School of Mines. Mackay was a tad eccentric, some might say...he collected medieval suits of armor, refused to marry his second wife for 15 years until his first wife died, and disinherited his daughter after she married composer Irving Berlin.
Clarence Mackay: A real straight shooter with a real crooked mustache.
1) Former Bronco DB and punt returner Chris Carr is from Reno, Nevada. He graduated from McQueen high school in 2000 and played in all 12 games for the Broncos the following year, posting 32 tackles. Since leaving Boise State, Carr has played for the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans, and Baltimore Ravens. Carr is the all-time leader in kickoff return yardage in Raiders' franchise history and had absolutely nothing to do with Tom Cable being named head coach.