When you think of Las Vegas, the last thing on your list would be college sports. That may be for a few reasons, but mainly it’s because we have our Golden Knights. The second reason might be because even though UNLV is a Division I school, there is a stigma that we aren’t that great at sports so the games won’t be fun. Some might even think that most of the games, UNLV students are making this face:
However (most of the time), that is definitely not the case. Home games at UNLV are the most hype you can ever experience. Since I came from a magnet school here in Las Vegas, I spent most of my time studying and listening to Lo-fi hip hop music for chill/study streams on YouTube... so, the concept of sports was basically foreign to me. My first time actually going to a UNLV football game (or any live sports event in general) was the Homecoming game against the Air Force Academy at Sam Boyd Stadium (side note: Starting the 2020-2021 season, the Rebels will play in the Raiders Statium *jaw drop*). I didn’t stay past halftime since my parents wanted me home and I had a paper due at midnight on the same day, so I wouldn’t really count this as my first time. So my ACTUAL first time going to a football game was against our arch nemesis, the Nevada Wolfpack the 2018-2019 season.
For football games against UNR, both teams play for possession for the Fremont Cannon. Whoever wins, they get to keep the cannon and paint their school colors. This game was historic and amazing to say the least. We came back from a 0-23 deficit after one of my high school friends (who goes to UNR, ew, but I still love him since he’s chill) decided to jinx his entire university by saying: “I hope they score some.” And we did. So now, the Fremont Cannon is looking really good in Rebel Red.
Also as a side note, I also ended up on TV during that game, and here’s visual proof (I’m on the left wearing a red hoodie and doing those weird things with my arms)
This just goes to show, if you sit in the student section of our home games, you might end up on TV. It’s not guaranteed, but you might.
Besides football games, basketball games are really popular among students as well and the sport I am more interested in (I’ve had some experience). Basketball games are held in the Thomas and Mack center. We also get these signs that we hold up in the student section to screw over the away team on their free throws. My personal favorite: the sign with Ed Bernstein’s head, which if you don’t know has his own insurance company here in Las Vegas and donates money to charity every time the away team misses their free throws. My first Runnin’ Rebel Basketball game was against UNR because I just live for our in state rivalry. Home games at the Thomas and Mack really get you hyped up for the game. The stadium gets dark, they play a video of the best moments of our basketball team (on the floor mind you), and when they come out there’s smoke and red lights that come out from the hoops. There. Is. So. Much. Hype.
Now, the UNR game didn’t go so well since they beat us by 20 points that time because that’s what you can expect from a team that’s ranked 8th in the nation and another team that’s just a bunch of freshmen and sophomores. But the next game I went to was against San Diego State University, and that was a close game. We managed to get a comeback in the second half and we were one point away from winning the game. But we didn't. Why? It’s because some guy isn’t just content with making a layup but instead wanted to go for a three when clearly no one on this team knows how to shoot a three. In case you didn’t understand that sports jargon I just used, here’s LeBron James again to sum up my feelings for losing a really close, but entertaining game:
As to not exclude our ladies, I’ve also attended some basketball games for our Lady Rebels at the Cox Pavilion, and let me tell you they are so much better than our men’s team. If we decided to have the Lady Rebels and the Runnin’ Rebels play against each other, I’d have my money on our Lady Rebels. The turnout for our ladies isn’t as good as our men’s, but the experience is wholesome to say the least. By wholesome, I mean that they actually win. I’ve been to two Lady Rebel games: one against San Jose State University and the other one, of course, against UNR. The San Jose game was pretty close, we only ended up winning by 4 points. The game against UNR was the opposite result of the men’s game. So if you really want to savor some sweet Rebel victory, take a break from the men’s games and show our Lady Rebels some appreciation.
UNLV may not be the best Division I school in the realm of sports, but that doesn’t stop us from showing support for our team. Tickets are free for students. All you have to do is google “UNLV student tickets,” click on the first result, and sign in (or sign up using your ACE account). If that seems a little hard, there’s no harm in getting the physical ticket at the venue itself, whether it be Thomas and Mack or Sam Boyd Stadium/Raiders Stadium.
Angelica Amansec, Sophomore
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
High School: Advanced Technologies Academy
Major: Computer Science