Bevo I in 1917
|University||University of Texas at Austin|
|Description||Texas longhorn steer|
|Related mascot(s)||Hook 'em|
Bevo is the mascot of the sports teams at the University of Texas at Austin, a Texas longhorn steer with burnt orange coloring. The shape of the Longhorn's head and horns gives rise to the school's hand symbol and saying, Hook 'em Horns. The current Bevo is fourteenth in the line of longhorns that have been the university's mascot.
The idea to use a live longhorn as the university's mascot is attributed to UT alumnus Stephen Pinckney in 1916. Pinckney gathered $124 from other alumni to purchase a steer in the Texas Panhandle, which they originally named "Bo" and shipped to Austin.
Counting the currently serving mascot, there have been fourteen Bevos to date. Bevo I was originally named "Bo" but came to be called Bevo during his service. Bevo II once charged a SMU cheerleader, who had to defend himself with his megaphone. Bevo III escaped from his enclosure and ran amok across campus for 2 days. Bevo IV once attacked a parked car, while Bevo V broke loose and scattered the Baylor band. More recent Bevos have had a more peaceful tenure.
The most recently retired and longest-serving Bevo was Bevo XIII, which like the current Bevo was supplied to the university by John T. Baker, owner of the Sunrise Ranch in Liberty Hill, Texas. Baker is past president of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America and serves as a judge in its competitions. Bevo XIII, originally named Sunrise Express, was a champion steer at the age of 3, before becoming the UT mascot. Bevo XIII became the mascot in 1988 and served 16 seasons on the sideline. He presided over 191 UT football games and attended President George W. Bush's inauguration in 2001. During his tenure, he presided over four (1990, 1994, 1995, 1996) conference football championships and a Heisman trophy award for Ricky Williams. Bevo XIII was the winningest Bevo in UT history, and was replaced by youth grand champion Sunrise Studly, becoming Bevo XIV, at the September 4, 2004 football game versus the University of North Texas. It was the only time that two Bevos have ever appeared at the same football game. Bevo XIII was returned to Baker's ranch where he lived out the rest of his days in peace. Bevo XIII died on October 9, 2006 due to heart failure.
Bevo XIV attended George W. Bush's second inauguration in January 2005. He also attended the 2005 Rose Bowl win over Michigan as well as the 2006 Rose Bowl game in which the Longhorns won the 2005-2006 National Championship over USC. As of May 6th 2008[update], Bevo XIV weighs 1,800 pounds (820 kg), stands 5 feet 8 inches (1.7 m), and his horns measure 72 inches (183 cm) tip-to-tip. His birthday is April 8. At the 2008 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, he took home the honors of Reserve Champion.
Origin of the name Bevo
"Bo" made his first public appearance at the halftime of the 1916 Thanksgiving Day football game between Texas and archrival the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (later Texas A&M University), a game in which Texas defeated the Aggies 21 - 7. Following the game, Ben Dyer, editor of the UT campus magazine The Alcalde, referred to the mascot as BEVO. It is not known why he chose this name, though various theories have been put forth, including that Texas A&M had a hand in naming the mascot.
The legend, accepted by both schools for decades, claims that the name came about due to a prank led by students of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. It is true that in 1916, four Texas A&M Aggies kidnapped the longhorn and branded him with "13 - 0", the score of A&M's 1915 win over Texas. Texas students are rumored to have retaliated by changing the steer's brand to Bevo. However, newspaper records show the name was attributed to Bevo before the branding incident. Bevo was fattened up and served at a football banquet in 1920, due to the fact the university did not have the money to take care of him and he was not tamed to roam the campus. The Aggies were fed the side they had branded and presented with the hide, which still read 13 - 0. Some Longhorn fans and even the official athletic site have recently come up with alternate explanations, including that the mascot was named for a near beer, Bevo. Another potential source of the BEVO name was the one reported in The Daily Texan, the student newspaper of UT: "Through the 1900s and 1910s, newspapers ran a series of comic strips drawn by Gus Mager. The strips usually featured monkeys as the main characters, all named for their personality traits. Braggo the Monk constantly made empty boasts, Sherlocko the Monk was a bumbling detective, and so on. The comic strips were popular enough to create a nationwide fad for persons to nickname their friends the same way, with an 'o' added to the end. The Marx Brothers were so named by their colleagues in Vaudeville: Groucho was moody, Harpo played the harp, and Chico raised chicks when he was a boy. Mager's strips ran every Sunday in newspapers throughout Texas, including Austin. In addition, the term 'beeve' is the plural of beef, but is more commonly used as a slang term for a cow (or steer) that's destined to become food. The term is still used, though it was more common among the general public in the 1910s when Texas was more rural. The jump from 'beeve' to 'Bevo' isn't far, and makes more sense given the slang and national fads of the time."
Public appearances and traditions
Bevo makes appearances at almost all home football games of the University of Texas, as well as many away games. He also typically makes appearances at important pep rallies, such as the ones in the weeks before the games against Texas A&M and the University of Oklahoma. Following commencement ceremonies, he is typically on hand for photographs with graduates and their families.
Since 1945, the care of Bevo during his transportation and appearances has been entrusted to an honorary organization of undergraduate students called the Silver Spurs. Bevo rides in a special burnt orange livestock trailer with his name on the side.
During football games, he typically stands or sits placidly behind one of the end zones (the south end zone in Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium) and is occasionally greeted by UT players when they score touchdowns. Bred to be docile, he is riled only in the most extreme of circumstances, such as once during a lightning storm during a game against Rice University, in which he broke away from his handlers.
- ""Pig's Dead...Dog gone" - UT Austin students lead effort to pay tribute to first varsity mascot". The University of Texas Office of Public Affairs. Retrieved 2006-12-11.
- Connor, Floyd (2000). Football's Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of the Game's Outrageous Characters, Fortunate Fumbles,... Brassey's. p. 45. ISBN 1-57488-309-7.
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- Billingsley, Richard (December 20, 2001). "No Place Else But Texas". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
- Nicar, Jim (June 3, 2003). "The Truth About Bevo". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 2006-12-11.
- Cox, Mike (January 20, 2004). "Bevo - The University of Texas' longhorn mascot". Texas Escapes. Retrieved 2006-12-11.
- Bevo Branded 13–0 "The University of Texas: Now & Then". The University of Texas. June 25, 2003. Retrieved 2006-12-11.
- "Texas Traditions - Bevo". 40 Acres of Fun. Retrieved 2006-05-01.
- Nicar, Jim. "University of Texas Traditions: Bevo". University of Texas Traditions: Bevo.
- "Mascot Power Rankings". Sports Illustrated. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
- Plaschke, Bill (4 January 2006). "Commentary, coming face-to-face with Bevo". L.A. Times & Austin American-Statesman. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2006-10-11.
- "Silver Spurs Association".
- Sheila Henderson. The Littlest Longhorn: The Saga of BEVO. The Littlest Book Company, Austin (1989). ISBN 978-0-9623171-0-1 .
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bevo (mascot).|
- Mack Brown Texas Football: Proud Traditions: Bevo
- Texas Traditions: Bevo
- Bevo XIII dead at 22
- Unveiling the myth behind a branded BEVO