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October 20, 2014

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UNLV vs. San Diego State: A tale of two student cheering sections

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

The UNLV student section, recently re-dubbed “The Rebellion,” cheers the Rebels on against Colorado State during their Mountain West Conference game Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV won the game 82-63.

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The San Diego State student section chants during the Aztecs' game against UNLV on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, at Viejas Arena in San Diego. UNLV upset SDSU 82-75.

The UNLV-San Diego State rivalry has been one of the best things going the past few years in West Coast basketball.

The creation and emergence of the Rebellion, UNLV’s student section, has done a lot to heat things up, as the Scarlet and Gray now rival SDSU’s the Show, which has helped make Viejas Arena a menace for years.

The Rebels and their fans have fallen off a bit this season, but it’s still one of the toughest places to play in the Mountain West.

The Rebellion (formed 2011-12) and the Show (formed 2001-02) have a lot to do with their respective teams’ home-court advantages. With SDSU set to come to the Mack this week, let’s take a look at both sections’ past, present and future.

    • Best known for

      Rebellion: Enormous cutouts of Mike Moser (Mozilla) and Anthony Bennett (ABeast) and puppet of Khem Birch (Khem Kong). The 3-D heads aren’t bad either.

      Show: The “I Believe” chant, which originated in college basketball at Utah State. But much like Johnny Cash and Nine Inch Nails with "Hurt," the cover is better.

    • Recent line crossing

      Rebellion: Retweeting a photo created by a member that depicted mascot Hey Reb walking former Lobo Jamal Fenton on a leash. In reaction to the backlash calling the photo racist, the photo was changed to Cameron Bairstow, who is white. Both versions were dumb.

      Show: Sent tweets mocking freshman Lobo guard Cullen Neal, whose appendix ruptured during the team’s preseason trip to Australia. The tweets suggested they didn’t care whether he lived or died, and the Show later apologized.

    • Perception

      Rebellion: Bandwagon fans who formed only after UNLV was once again nationally relevant and have been quick to jump ship at the signs of struggle.

      Show: The meanest, nastiest student section west of the Mississippi and possibly in the entire country.

    • Reality

      Rebellion: Late to the student-section game, sure, but Rebellion members have attempted to distinguish themselves with props unlike any in the rest of the country. They’ve done a good job of setting themselves apart.

      Show: Not as nasty, or funny, as they once were. It’s generally accepted around the SDSU program that the Show isn’t what it used to be.

    • Likelihood they’ll still exist in five years

      Rebellion: Moderate. The group is in its infancy with the majority of its creators still heavily involved. What will happen when they hand it off?

      Show: High. The Show has spent more than a decade building a national reputation that would take awhile to dissipate. However, it will be interesting to see what happens when SDSU coach Steve Fisher steps away.

    • Recent prank

      Rebellion: For a 2012 home game, students hung a sign near SDSU’s section of the Mack’s upper bowl with the Show logo and the intentionally misspelled phrase This Is Are House.

      Show: As a response to that sign, the Show bought a billboard for the Mountain West tournament at the corner of Paradise Road and Harmon Ave., and it read, Win, Win, Win, Cut Down Nets. Those were lyrics from player Tim Shelton’s music video. SDSU lost to New Mexico in the finals.

    • Unofficial mascot

      Rebellion: Tiny, aka Gil Revolorio

      Show: Punisher mask dressed in a banana suit, aka Sean Mongan

    • Catchphrase

      Rebellion: Per their website, Of the, by the, for the students. This could use some work because that’s awfully hard to chant.

      Show: No one likes us. We don’t care.

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