ADVANCED MASCOTOLOGY

Texas Longhorns

FULL NAME:  (Seriously UT?! Is this the best seal I can find on Google?) University of Texas at Austin (#ea8c00)

LOCATION:  Austin, TX

CONFERENCE:

HISTORY:

  • 1821:  American colonists were permitted to settle Texas by the newly independent Mexican government. Ranchers bred various types of eastern cattle with feral, Mexican cows producing the lean and tough Texas Longhorn.
  • 1883: The University of Texas established.
  • 1885: Orange and white ribbons were randomly sold to a group of UT baseball fans about to embark on a roadie to support their squad. Over the next decade and a half, teams wore orange and white, gold and white (matching the campus buildings) and orange and maroon (because it was easier to keep clean).
  • 1899: Orange and white voted the official school colors by students.
  • 1914:   Before Bevo, it was a pit bull named Pig. Unfortunately, Pig wasn’t as slippery as his football namesake and couldn’t dodge a Model T. He received a state funeral complete with the epitaph: Pig Dead…Dog Gone. You can’t make that up…
  • 1916:    Introducing…Bevo. Unimpressed with the pit bull, a longhorn was shipped from West Texas for the A&M game, and as you can see in the photo on the left, somebody forgot to feed him. Texas won the game, but A&M fans wanted to remind them who won last year, and branded the steer with the score of the 1915 affair.
  • 1920:   A&M fans claim to this day that their prank was responsible for the steer’s name, due to UT boosters modifiying the brand. Take a look at the rendering on the left and ask yourself, does this seem likely? Nope, especially since the name was used before he was branded. There are a number of theories on how he got his nickname, the most likely of which involved a nicknaming trend started by a popular comic strip. Regardless of how Bevo I got his name, he couldn’t be tamed and still sported that embarrassing tattoo. The solution? Texas fattened him up and them served him at the annual UT-A&M banquet, making sure the Aggies received the 13-0 side. Too bad they didn’t have Dale’s back then…
  • 1928: Texas earned the nicknameyellow-belliesfrom their rivals because their bright orange uniforms faded to yellow by the end of the season. They switched to burnt orange until the Great Depression rendered the die too expensive.
  • 1955:     That’s right. Before it meant Paul is dead, P-Funk sign, devil horns,rock ‘n roll, etc., it meant “hook ’em horns.” The hand signal was created in response to A&M’s “gig ’em.” So the next time your favorite conspiracy theorist rants about Bush’s salute to the Illuminati (Illuminati Alert!), just remind them of Dubya’s ties to Austin and change the subject to Roswell.
  • 1955?:   If that doesn’t work, ask them to make the connection between Hookem Cow, a South St. Paul, MN civic booster club and the “hook ’em horns” slogan created much later. Did Harley Clark, creator of hook ’em horns, come up with the slogan all on his own, or was he influenced by the story of the WWII B-24 Liberator that crashed just before the end of the war? Maybe it’s just some cosmic coincidence between two cities on opposite sides of I-35.
  • 1960’s:  Burnt orange was back. With the financial constraints of the Great Depression and WWII gone from the rear view, Texas once against splurged on that shade of orange that would become uniquely their own.
  • 1966:  Earlier Bevo’s had attacked everything from parked cars and photographers, to SMU cheerleaders and the Baylor band. Apparently breeders finally delivered a more docile version and Bevo has grazed the sidelines ever since.
  • 1967: UT became the University of Texas at Austin. 
  • 1974:  Hook ‘Em, the costumed Longhorn, first appeared, but he didn’t stop running around long enough for any photo ops.
  • 1990’s:  Hook ‘Em led the crowd in cheering on their boys…orrrrr in some sort of pagan/satanic ritual disguised as an innocent sporting event, depending on which websites you visit. Could you imagine how fired up the fever swamp would have gotten had UT kept gold as its color? 
  • 2004:  Bevo XIII passed the bridle after 16 years of pissing off the grounds crew.     

RIVALS: The Longhorns tangle with Bears, Aggies and Sooners on the court. On the prairie, Bevo faces drought, rattlesnakes and steak night at the Sizzler.

RATING:

  • Bevo:
  • Originality: (2) There might be other bulls, but there’s only one Longhorn.
  • Presentation: (2) Even though the more recent Bevo’s are supposed to be docile, all those handlers with ropes let you know he could still gore if it struck his fancy.
  • Authenticity: (2) The breed is known as the Texas Longhorn…enough said.
  • Intimidation Factor: (2) Even a bunch of teenagers all hopped up on whippits would think twice before tippin’ this hoss. 
  • Political Incorrectness: (1) There doesn’t appear to be much controversy surrounding Bevo…maybe that’s because his retirement ceremony no longer involves him getting butchered, grilled and served for dinner. 
  • TOTAL: (9) Beef…it’s what’s on your sidelines.
  • Hook ‘Em:
  • Originality: (1) Hook ‘Em loses a point for ripping off his name. 
  • Presentation: (2) His predecessors looked a little crazed, at least in their logo versions, but the modern Hook ‘Em looks as calm and approachable as his live counterpart. The cowboy hat is a nice touch, too.
  • Authenticity: (1) See Originality.
  • Intimidation Factor: (1) Yeah, he’s got a set of horns too, but he lacks Bevo’s empty look in his eyes that convinces you he wouldn’t care if somebody had to get skewered.
  • Political Incorrectness: (1) Hook ‘Em gets a point for portraying a male symbol still rolling stag after four decades.
  • TOTAL: (6) Not bad for an oversized plush toy…
  • GRAND TOTAL: (7.5) Seems like the costumed mascots are always brining the real thing down.

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