KNOXVILLE, Tn. (WVLT) -- In Alcoa, a sledgehammer hammers down as students beat an old car named Maryville -- their way of "beating" the Rebels. The hits on the gridiron, however translate into much more.
Photo courtesy Rivalry Thursday, rivalrythursday.com
At least 8,000 people attend the annual rivalry game between the Tornadoes and Rebels of Maryville. Multiply that by a $7 dollar ticket price and more than $40,000 dollars is cleared.
"That's something George Quarles and I decided to do, split the gate every year," said Alcoa Athletic Director Josh Stephens.
Gary Chandler, President of the Maryville Booster Club added, "It generates so much money we can distribute between all the sports, not just the revenue-making sports, but the other ones as well."
And it shows on the field: Both teams have giant tv screens and artificial turf. And in fact, both facilities have amenities almost on the level of a small college. The rivalry escalates to almost that level, too, in that ESPN has broadcast this game nationwide in the past.
Both city mayors get in on the spirit of the competition. Tom Taylor of Maryville and Don Mull of Alcoa created their own high noon showdown.
"What I challenge you to is a barbecue dinner and if Maryville wins you pay for the barbecue and if Alcoa by some chance wins, I'll by you a barbecue dinner,” Taylor told Mull this time around.
“May the best team win,” said Mull, “and I hope it’s my team.”
WVLT airs the prime time match up Friday night with kickoff slated for 7:30.
Tonight’s regularly scheduled shows will air at the following times:
Entertainment tonight will be played back Sat. morning at 1:36 a.m.
CSI will be played back Fri. overnight into Sat. morning at 2 a.m.
Hawaii Five-O will be played back Fri. overnight into Sat. morning at 3 a.m.
Blue Bloods will be played back Sat. overnight into Sun. morning at 3 a.m