WVU’s most noted rivals are the neighboring Pittsburgh Panthers, the Maryland Terrapins and the Virginia Tech Hokies. The scent of competition fills the air as the Mountaineers play against these rival teams. Thousands of Mountaineer fans make their way to the University City to cheer on the Mountaineers in these heated games.
Did you know…The Mountaineers were originally known as “The Snakes?”
According to former Alumni Association President Buck Martin, students used to sing, “They rambled, they rambled all around, in and out of town. O didn’t they ramble, they rambled ‘til the Snakes cut ‘em down.”
Buck’s father, Paul, was a former WVU football player and recalled the song was first sung after WVU beat Washington and Jefferson for the first time in 1903. W&J was a national football power house for many years and was WVU’s biggest rival. In the late 1920s, Pitt came to be the big rivalry for the Mountaineers.
According to Martin, “Morgantown, even before the Prohibition Era, was a “dry” town because officials felt having booze would be a bad influence on the students.” So, drinkers would travel by rail, buggy and boat, to nearby Washington, Pa., to have a drink. And, thus began the Backyard rivalry.