Black Friday will bring great Christmas shopping opportunities by day, but by nightfall, Chris Ault and his minions will have descended on Bronco Stadium to see if they can ruin a perfectly good turkey hangover. The Nevada Wolf Pack is 7-0 in conference play and has won 8 straight since their disastrous start. The Broncos are undefeated on the year and only need to knock off Colin Kaepernick and the vaunted(?) Pistol offense and another WAC title is assured. I don't think I need to tell you that Friday's matchup is big...real big. The Wolf Pack haven't beaten the Broncos since 1998, but they've been too close for comfort of late. They'd love nothing more than to clinch a WAC title on Boise State's home turf (and knock off a top ten team while they're at it). Needless to say, there is a lot to be worried about on Friday night, but there is also a lot to be learned about this week's foe (don't worry, Kellen Moore already knows their defense intimately). Hey, I know...let's explore the Wolf Pack through the magic of factoids and childish jokes. It's time to get to know your enemy, Bronco Nation...so take notes.
Ten things Bronco fans probably didn't know about the Nevada Wolf Pack or their iniquitous den to the south
10) Ron Toomer, who holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from UNR, designed the first upside down roller coaster, the Corkscrew. The Corkscrew was a mainstay at Knott's Berry Farm for years, but now resides at the Silverwood amusement park in Athol, Idaho. Corkscrews are also good for popping corks...say on a champagne bottle...whilst celebrating WAC championships. Just sayin'
9) 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.
8) The oldest secret society at the University of Nevada-Reno (so secret that they have a website) is the Coffin and Keys Society, which was founded in 1916. The club was formed to be "a force to give the proper impetus to affairs of school life" (thankfully impetus can now be all but cured with the regular use of Cialis). Currently, the society appears to be mainly involved in putting t-shirts on statues, arranging canned food in decorative ways, and lounging in jaunty caps and Halloween masks. Spooky.
This picture either shows members of the Coffin and Keys Society, or those bank
robbing surfers from Point Break.
7) The UNR football program has produced an NFL Hall of Famer in fullback Marion Motley. Motley was only the second African American player inducted into the Hall of Fame after playing nine years in the league with the Steelers and Browns. During Motley's tenure with the Browns, in which he played fullback and linebacker, the Browns were 47-4-3 and won every championship in the AAFC. Sounds like Motley had quite the Crüe.
6) Each year, UNR and UNLV battle on the gridiron for the Fremont Cannon. The cannon goes to the victor of the contest for a year and it's undercarriage is painted in the winning school's colors. The cannon is a replica of the howitzer cannon that explorer John Fremont and his party hauled west and abandoned (a loose cannon, perhaps) in the Sierra Nevada in 1844. Fremont was also the first Republican nominee for President of the United States...he didn't win, of course—maybe the nation was looking for a leader that didn't just leave cannons lying around.
5) Archaeological digs show that ancient native Americans known as the Martis, lived in the area where Reno now stands. The Martis resided in the area from 3,000 BC to 500 AD. Insert "Chris Ault is almost that old" joke <here>
4) The UNR campus was the setting for five motion pictures in the 1940s, among the tititles: Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble, Apartment for Peggy, Mother is a freshman, and Mr. Belvedere goes to College (no, not that Mr. Belvedere), which was one of Shirley Temple's last films.
3) Nevada coach Chris Ault, "inventor" of the Pistol offense, is one of only 4 active coaches that have already been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The other 3 are Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden, and Joe Gagliardi. If that doesn't sound like an advertising dream team for Geritol® and Efferdent®, I don't know what does.
2) UNR football's first All-American (1923) was James "Rabbit" Bradshaw. The diminutive scat-back later 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. Note: Rabbit Bradshaw is no relation to this guy OR this guy.
1) 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!