In 1970, the Nevada Mines Division of the Kennecott Copper Corp. donated the replica of the weaponry used in American explorer John C. Fremont's 1843 expedition through Oregon, Nevada and California. The heaviest and most expensive trophy in college football, the Fremont Cannon weighs about 545 pounds and cost $10,000 to build.
The howitzer cannon, which was fired off after every score during the game, became permanently silenced in 2000, when Rebel players and fans accidentally dropped the trophy while hoisting it in celebration of their victory.
The rivalry wasn’t always kept on the football field. When the cannon was being repaired after the damages from the 2000 victory celebration, UNLV officials found some fighting words inside the cannon. The inscription of “University of Notta Lotta Victories” made fun of UNLV’s not-so-stellar record of wins. In true Rebel spirit, UNLV replied back with an inscription of “University of Northern Rejects.”
The playful rivalry continues to this day, as the two schools fight for the right to paint the Fremont Cannon.