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Why Your Mascot Sucks: University of Texas Longhorns

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Beef, it’s whats for dinner.

Following a five-set victory over the Florida Gators in the Elite 8, the top-seeded Wisconsin Badgers moved onto the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA Volleyball Championship. Meeting them there, are the Longhorns, of the University of Texas. UT defeated Nebraska, 3-1 in their Elite 8 matchup.

Which makes sense since beef is more filling than corn.

Which brings up to the next installment of this long-running and popular series, where we will took a look at the origins of the Texas Longhorn and try to determine how much it sucks.

Origins

The Texas Longhorn is a breed of cattle known for its horns, which can extend to over 100 inches, tip to tip. Their beef is said to be leaner and lower in saturated fats.

Longhorn is the official “large mammal” of Texas, but it was not UT’s original mascot.

Pig Bellmont was the school’s first mascot, back in 1914 and no, it was not a pig. It was actually a tan and white dog.

Pig was born in February 1914 and was brought to campus by the school’s first Athletic Director, L. Theo Bellmont. Pig was a hit on campus and made his morning rounds greeting students and faculty alike. He even attended sporting events and is said to snarl at even the mention of Texas A&M.

Pig’s run on campus ended in 1923, days after being hit by a car.

On January 5, 1923, Pig’s body lay in state on campus and hundreds came to honor the passing of the school’s beloved mascot.

The first longhorn steer to appear on campus, was purchased by alumnus Stephen Pinkney in 1916. Pinkney gathered $124 from other alumni to purchase the steer and had it shipped to Austin. Originally the longhorn’s name was Bo, but shortly thereafter, it changed to Bevo, but the reason for the change is different, depending on who you ask...

According to the University of Texas, Bevo came from the word “beeve,” which is plural for beef. However, Texas A&M, has a different story. In 1915, Texas A&M defeated Texas 13-0. To honor the final score of that game, six A&M students stole the longhorn in 1917 and branded the steer with 13-0.

Students from UT then found the steer and re-branded the steer turning the 13 in a B, the dash, as part of an E and left the zero along, thus spelling out ‘BEVO.’

Whoever you believe, both stories are pretty dumb.

Appearance

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Texas vs Colorado Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The current Bevo is a Texas Longhorn Steer with burnt orange and white coloring. His horn span is 5-foot-8 and he weighs 1800 pounds and I am sure he tastes delicious. He also has quite the temper, as I would imagine any bull would...such as when he met Uga at the 2019 Sugar Bowl.

Had he harmed that treasure of a dog, I would have fired up my grill so fast.

The current steer is the 15th longhorn to act as Bevo and he was introduced in September, 2016. His predecessor, Bevo XIV passed away after contracting bovine leukemia, in October 2015.

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Texas vs Colorado Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

However, the live longhorn is not the only mascot that the school employees, they also have an anthropomorphic longhorn, named Hook ‘em. Hook ‘em was introduced in 1977 at a UT basketball game.

Hook ‘em’s costume is true to that of a longhorn steer, but he wears normal shoes, which if you know anything about steers and a cows alike, they walk on hooves. A bit of a lazy design decision if you ask me.

He also wears gloves that match the rest of the fur on the costume. And I know what you are thinking, how would you hold onto something if he had hooves instead of hands? Well, I can guarantee you one thing, if he had hooves and was trying very hard to hold onto things, he would for sure hold one thing...my attention.

However, I could get on board with him having hoof colored (maybe black) gloves and then he could wear shoes that match and are solid black, which would give off the illusion that he had hooves.

Aside from his hands and feet, I would like it if his mouth wasn’t so wide and flattened. I can understand why they did it, so that the snout matched the width of the head, but even Bevo’s head is sort of triangular...

Overall, the Hook ‘em mascot is just meh, the hands and feet are no well thought and the head is just too wide and I mean it’s basically just a cow...just a moo point. (Editor’s note: dammit, Ryan.)

While it is cool that Texas has an 1800 pound steer at games, Bevo is a bit of a wildcard in my book, I personally think wild animals on the sidelines of collegiate sporting events are a bad idea and while longhorns aren’t necessarily wild animals, you never know what they are thinking and we were damn close to having a Uga pancake in 2019.

They may want to consider having him there to make his normal appearance and then get him back home.