Bevo (mascot)

Bevo is the live mascot of the athletic programs at the University of Texas at Austin. Bevo is a Texas Longhorn steer with burnt orange and white coloring from which the university derived its color scheme. The profile of the Longhorn's head and horns gives rise to the school's hand symbol and saying: "Hook 'em Horns". The most recent Bevo, Bevo XV, was introduced to Texas football fans on September 4, 2016.[1] His predecessor, Bevo XIV, died of cancer on October 16, 2015.[2] Bevo XV is owned by Betty and John Baker's Sunrise Ranch in Liberty Hill, Texas; Sunrise Ranch also owned Bevo XV's predecessors Bevo XIII and Bevo XIV.

Bevo
Bevo-01.jpg
Bevo XIV in 2013
UniversityUniversity of Texas at Austin
ConferenceBig 12
DescriptionTexas longhorn steer
First seen1916
Related mascot(s)Hook 'em

HistoryEdit

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.

A Longhorn steer was not the original mascot of the University of Texas. The original mascot was actually an American Pit Bull Terrier named "Pig".[3]

LineageEdit

There have been fifteen Bevos to date. Bevo was originally named "Bo" but came to be called Bevo soon after his first appearance at Texas' 1916 Thanksgiving Day game. After the game, Ben Dyer (the campus magazine editor) declared, "His name is Bevo, and long may he reign!" Ben Dyer died before stating why he chose the name Bevo, but there are three theories. The first is that Bevo was named after an amber colored non-alcoholic beverage named Bevo (which, coincidentally, was introduced in 1916), and the other is that he added an "o" to the plural form of beef, beev. The most popular theory is that Cadets from Texas A&M stole the mascot to brand 13 - 0, which was the score the Aggies had won by the year before. Faced with that dilemma some UT student suggested combining the 1 and 3 to create a B, made an E out of the -, added a V, kept the 0 to create BEVO.

Bevo II once charged an SMU cheerleader, who had to defend himself with his megaphone.[4] Bevo III escaped from his enclosure and ran amok across campus for 2 days.[4] Bevo IV once attacked a parked car, while Bevo V broke loose and scattered the Baylor band.[4] Bevo XV broke free of handlers during the January 1, 2019 Sugar Bowl scattering reporters as he attempted to get to the University of Georgia mascot Uga, an English bulldog.

The longest reigning Bevo was Bevo XIII, which was supplied to the university by John T. Baker, owner of the Sunrise Ranch in Liberty Hill, Texas.[5] 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.[6] Bevo XIII became the mascot in 1988 and served 16 seasons on the sideline.[7][8] He presided over 191 UT football games and attended President George W. Bush's inauguration in 2001.[6] 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.[6][7][8]

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 6, 2008, Bevo XIV weighed 1,800 pounds (820 kg), stood 5 feet 8 inches (1.7 m), and his horns measured 72 inches (183 cm) tip-to-tip. His birthday was April 8. At the 2008 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, he took home the honors of Reserve Grand Champion.

On October 13, 2015, it was announced that Bevo XIV retired after contracting bovine leukemia virus.[9] He died on October 16, 2015.[10]

On September 3, 2016, a young 19 month old Bevo XV was unveiled at a special 100 year anniversary event at the University of Texas at Austin, celebrating 100 years of a live Bevo mascot.[11]

Public appearances and traditionsEdit

Bevo is one of the most recognized college mascots[12] and has even been called "the toughest-looking animal mascot in sports".[13]

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.[14] Bevo rides in a special burnt orange livestock trailer with his name on the side.

Bevo is a steer, as an intact bull would be too dangerous in a crowded environment like a stadium. In 2002, an alumni group proposed that Bevo be given neuticles to "increase his masculinity".[15]

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.

On the morning of December 25, 2014, Christmas Day, Longhorn Network aired a five-hour-long, "yule log"-styled special featuring footage of Bevo XIV at a ranch set to Christmas music.[16][17]

In a photo shoot prior to the 2019 Sugar Bowl, Bevo XV charged through a pen containing the steer on-field, and towards the University of Georgia mascot, Uga the bulldog. Bevo was quickly corralled, with no serious injuries.[18][19]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Sporting News Bevo XIV dies Texas Longhorns mascot cancer
  3. ^ ""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. Archived from the original on 2006-06-29. Retrieved 2006-12-11.
  4. ^ a b c 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.
  5. ^ Bevos XIII, XIV, and XV have all been supplied by Baker. Ironically, Baker is an alumnus of Texas A&M, UT's main rival, though his spouse is a UT alum.
  6. ^ a b c Elliott, M.T. (11 October 2006). "Bevo XIII dies at 22". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 2006-10-11.[dead link]
  7. ^ a b Vertuno, Jim (10 October 2006). "Bevo XIII, longest tenured Texas mascot dies". Retrieved 2006-10-10.[dead link]
  8. ^ a b Hall, Delaney (September 3, 2004). "Bevo XIII retires after longest running term". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 2006-12-11.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Famed University of Texas mascot Bevo XIV retires after cancer diagnosis". University of Texas. October 13, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  10. ^ "Bevo XIV, famed University of Texas mascot, peacefully passes away". Texassports.com. October 16, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  11. ^ "BEVO XV's Reign Starts Sunday". UT News | The University of Texas at Austin. 2016-09-02. Archived from the original on 2016-09-03. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  12. ^ "Mascot Power Rankings". Sports Illustrated. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "Silver Spurs Association". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02.
  15. ^ Nicar, Jim (June 3, 2003). "The Truth About Bevo". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 2006-12-11.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Longhorn Network will air 5 hours of a cow hanging out on Christmas". SBNation. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  17. ^ "'SEC Yule Log' takes over the SEC Network". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  18. ^ "Bull rush: UT mascot Bevo targets Georgia's Uga". ESPN.com. 2019-01-02. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  19. ^ "Texas mascot Bevo charges Georgia mascot Uga before Sugar Bowl". USA Today. 2019-01-19. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  • Sheila Henderson. The Littlest Longhorn: The Saga of BEVO. The Littlest Book Company, Austin (1989). ISBN 978-0-9623171-0-1 .

External linksEdit