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Cheering on the Green and White by Nancy Kolsti
Fall 2003      


story extras

Cheerleader fashions

The Snake Pit

About that bourbon

Cheerleader feedback

other features

For the Fun of the Games

Cheering on the Green and White

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A Taste for Adventure




The Snake Pit

Have you ever wondered why the UNT Coliseum is often called the "Super Pit" by Eagle basketball fans and sportswriters?

It all goes back to 1970, when the men's basketball team was still playing in the Men's Gym on Highland Street.

Built in 1950, the Men's Gym "had great character and lousy acoustics," says Bruce Pfieffer ('75), who spent many hours there as a North Texas cheerleader.

"It was almost rickety. Students would deliberately make noise during the game to rattle the opposing team," he says.

On Feb. 10, 1970, North Texas played Drake University in the gym and won 93-81 in double overtime. After the game, Drake Coach Maury John, angry about the noise from the North Texas fans, told a reporter, "This is the worst damn place in the world to play basketball! This place is a snake pit!"

From that time on, the Men's Gym was known as the "Snake Pit," or just the "Pit," Pfieffer says.

"The president of the Talons would even wrap a snake around his hand and carry it around during games," he says. "The noise in the Pit would be incredible, and it got worse when the game was close and we were trying to rattle the other team."

North Texas played its last game in the Men's Gym in 1973. The following year, the team had a new home, the Coliseum, which students dubbed the "Super Pit."


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