High Country Association of REALTORS News

Things to do on a weekend - Go to a college football game

Appalachian State football stadiumOn any given football Saturday in Boone, an average of more than 27,000 black and gold garbed fans can be found cheering on the Appalachian State Mountaineers within Kidd Brewer Stadium. That's the largest regular crowd in FCS, the second tier of Division I football within the NCAA.

The Mountaineers play their final home game of the regular season Saturday against Western Carolina. The annual battle of mountain rivals is known as the Battle for the Old Mountain Jug. The winner keeps for one year a large, empty mountain jug adorned with mascots of both schools. It hasn't left Boone in six years.

There have also been enough impact games in the series to stoke the fire of the rivalry, earning Sports Illustrated magazine's designation in the mid-1980s as "the best football rivalry you've never heard of." ...

The first Old Mountain Jug was presented after the 1976 game played in Boone, where it stayed for a year after the 24-17 ASU victory in the "new" rivalry. ...

The Mountaineers came to Cullowhee in 1978 and knocked the Cats' out of the conference championship before an ABC-TV regional television audience. In 1979, Western and App played the second football game ever televised by ESPN in Boone.

The teams are no where near as even as they have been in years past. Appalachian won three national championships in 2005-07, while Western has one three games within a season once since then.

No matter the opponent, The Rock (as the stadium is called) is almost always packed with fans of all ages. The tailgate atmosphere and game competition are an annual fall thriller in the High Country area.