By Marcus Lavergne
Editors note: All photos for this photo essay can be found at the bottom of the story.
Students coming to the University of Nevada, Reno, would be hard pressed to find the color red on something that wasn’t an article of clothing or a fire extinguisher. UNR even has a set rule that limits the amount of red allowed in banners on campus. It can also be said that wearing a blue and silver shirt at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, will make you stand out like a sore, distasteful thumb.
This past week, UNR held the annual Beat UNLV Week dedicated to defeating the Rebels in the Battle for Nevada football game. The Wolf Pack ended up forfeiting the Fremont Cannon trophy, named after explorer John C. Fremont, in a home game on Oct. 3. This makes the second at-home loss to UNLV in three seasons. The cannon will be coated in the bright, Rebel scarlet for the next year.
A loss to UNLV is certainly a shot at the Pack’s pride. Football head coach Brian Polian said the Rebels just managed to make more plays that night. The stadium emptied quickly during the final minutes of the game, and rain poured down on both UNLV and UNR fans as one ecstatic red corner of Mackay Stadium celebrated as if it were another warm summer day.
The Pack will always have another shot at the cannon, and students, faculty and Pack fans alike will celebrate Beat UNLV Week again for years to come. The rivalry between the blue school up north and the red school in the south has been Nevada tradition since 1969, just one year after Nevada Southern University transformed into UNLV and broke free from UNR’s grasp.
Although Beat UNLV Week is dedicated to it, the clash of universities is not just limited to football. In fact, the two schools go head-to-head year round. Just three years ago, Gov. Brian Sandoval helped bring in a competition known as the Governor’s Series, the newest Nevadan collegiate tradition. Athletes compete in their sports to gain points for their schools, but also do battle through their grades using the academic progress rate, which holds students and coaches accountable for athlete grades.
Whether it be academics or athletics, both UNR and UNLV fans are constantly encircled by an aura of competition. These photos show the spirit of the Battle for Nevada, but also that Nevadans are Nevadans. For the Battle Born state, feuding just seems to come with the territory.
Marcus Lavergne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @mlavergne21.