Tag Archives: sports in Appalachia

Anybody could play chunkey: boys, girls, old men, old women, anybody

Anyone who has been to the Cherokee Indian Museum down here where you buy the tickets to “Unto These Hills” has probably seen some chunkey stones. They are a variety of sizes; they are all nicely polished stones. They all stick out a little bit on the sides like little wheels that didn’t have holes […]

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It’s my skin! It’s my skin, Mr. Rickey!

In the summer of 1945, one white executive quietly, secretly, plotted an assault on baseball’s systematic practice of racial discrimination. This executive had a conscience. He knew that it was wrong to bar a man from organized baseball simply because of his race or color. He was courageous. He wasn’t afraid to buck the establishment. […]

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Where’d all those NCAA school mascots come from?

When the NCAA Tournament tips off, you may know every team’s star player and its odds to win the title. But how well do you know the mascots? Not just what the teams are called, but where those names came from? Let’s take a look at some of the tourney’s more unusual nicknames. East Tennessee […]

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The Wildcats vs. The Vols

Perhaps you thought the UK Wildcats-UT Vols football rivalry is a recent phenomenon? This photo from the Abe Thompson photograph album, circa 1920-1923, in the University of Kentucky’s archives, suggests otherwise! The handwritten caption below the photo reads “KY vs Univ. of Tennessee at Knoxville.” Note the lack of any enclosed stadium; Neyland Stadium, though […]

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Strap that Alabama fan on my back!

Future champion college basketball coach Sonny Smith was born November 15, 1936 in Roan Mountain, TN, the son of a mill worker and a cafeteria employee at the local schools. His hometown, he said years later, wasn’t the end of the world—but that you could see it from there. He said there were so many […]

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