“Texas fight! Texas fight, yea Texas fight!” Thousands of Longhorn fans sing this line at University of Texas sporting events, but do most of them know how the proud traditions of UT got their start? Probably not. Below you’ll read about the history behind some of the things that make life at UT so special—and some interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about. Go horns!
Bevo—Bevo first appeared at Texas football games in 1916, when he arrived at halftime during the Thanksgiving Day game against Texas A&M, but the origin of his name remains a bit hazy. One theory is that Texas A&M fans branded the mascot 13-0 after shutting out the University of Texas in a football matchup the previous year. Supposedly, UT students changed the brand to “Bevo” to avoid embarrassment. The Longhorn was indeed branded 13-0, but that’s about all that can be proven.
After Texas won that game against the Aggies in 1916, The Alcalde was rushed to press to spread the news. The Alcalde editor, Ben Dyer, commented on the new Longhorn: “His name is Bevo. Long may he reign!” Most think Dyer called the Longhorn Bevo because of a non-alcoholic beer introduced that year by Anheuser-Busch called Bevo. Another school of thought, headed by Dan Zabcik, credits a series of comic strips by Gus Mater in the early 1900’s, which featured monkeys named for their personality traits but with an o at the end. The fad then became to nickname friends in the same way, by adding an o. “Beeve” is the plural of “beef” or a slang term for cattle bound for the dinner table, so “Bevo” seems logical.
Hook ‘em Horns—Cheerleader Harley Clark introduced the hand signal before a game against Texas Christian University in 1955.
Hex Rally—Each year thousands of students gather to light candles on the steps of the Main Building before the Texas A&M game to put a hex on the longtime rival. The tradition started after a group of UT students asked a fortune teller to end a Longhorn losing streak by putting a curse on the Aggies. UT won the game, so the practice remains in place.
Pig Bellmont—Bevo may be the familiar face of Longhorn sports, but the first mascot came in a much smaller package, a dog named Pig Bellmont. Pig was born in Houston in 1914 and brought to Austin by L. Theo Bellmont, a co-founder of the Southwest Athletic Conference and Texas’ first athletic director. Pig got his name from football center Gus “Pig” Dittmar, known for his ability to slip through defensive lines “like a greased pig.” Pig charmed the University of Texas community until his death in