On this, the first day of autumn, it feels like football weather in Austin. And if the University of Texas football team’s impressive shutout against Rice University last weekend has you in the Longhorn spirit, this bit of news should keep you hyped up till the cows come home.
Bevo the longhorn, the beloved orange-and-white University of Texas mascot, holds a special in the hearts of Longhorn fans. And now Bevo is gaining national recognition for his status as a standout mascot.
Newsweek ranks Bevo among the 15 most unique mascots at colleges and universities in the U.S. Longhorn fans would certainly place Bevo atop the list, but Newsweek awards Bevo the No. 12 spot. Western Kentucky University’s Big Red mascot — someone parading around in a crimson-colored costume! — grabs the No. 1 ranking. We call bull on that.
Bevo hooked the mascot role in 1916. Ever since then, a steer named Bevo has taken the field at most UT home football games and many away games.
No other Texas school made the Newsweek list. However, much to the chagrin of diehard Longhorn fans, the University of Oklahoma’s Boomer and Sooner horses appear two notches above UT, at No. 10. The rivalry continues. We certainly believe Bevo’s heft as a mascot outweighs OU’s two ponies, though. Indeed, the current Bevo (Bevo XV) weighs 1,700 pounds — 300 pounds short of a ton.
You’ve got to wonder whether UT’s previous mascot would have earned a mention from Newsweek. Pre-Bevo, a tan-and-white dog named Pig Bellmont served as the university’s mascot. He was named for Longhorn football player Gus “Pig” Dittmar. Sadly, Pig Bellmont met his demise in 1923 after suffering serious injuries from a run-in with a Model T.
Bevo debuted in 1916 at UT’s football game against A&M College of Texas (now Texas A&M University). Stephen Pinckney, a 1911 UT grad, hatched the idea to introduce a longhorn as his alma mater’s living mascot.
Once he collected $1-a-person contributions from 124 fellow alumni, “Pinckney purchased the animal and arranged for its transportation to the university campus. Loaded onto a boxcar without food or water, the steer arrived at the Austin train station just in time for the football game,” according to the Texas Exes alumni organization.