Archive | October, 2015

In Memory of Bevo XIV

18 Oct

Even though it’s been 11 years, I can still remember XIV’s introduction to the Longhorn faithful. It was historic, after all. Two Bevos presiding over the same game? Unheard of. Pretty darn cute, too, to see the elder statesman Bevo XIII beside the 2-year-old upstart. You know, if giant steers can be “cute.”

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Sept. 4, 2004: Bevo XIII passes the torch to XIV. (photo found on Pinterest)

On that day in September 2004, we never could’ve dreamed of the great games Bevo XIV would see: the dramatic win over Michigan in the 2005 Rose Bowl, the heart-pounding, thrilling national championship the next year, that close call against Nebraska at Jerry World, the wins over arch-rivals Oklahoma and A&M.

We also never dreamed his reign would end so soon.

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Aug. 30, 2008: As the south endzone stands evolved, so did Bevo’s corner.

I know it’s silly to get weepy about an animal I don’t even know. Thing is, I feel like I do. He sat just 52 rows below my seat in section 1, so he was a constant part of my DKR experience for more than a decade. I’ve seen him in his trailer, I’ve spotted him at bowl games, I’ve “met” him at special events, and I’ve taken bunches of pictures of him. So yeah, I feel a little attached.

When we got the word that he’d be missing this year’s Red River Shootout Rivalry Showdown, we knew it had to be bad. Rumors of the “C word” circulated, and dire prognoses were predicted. Then news of his retirement came. Still, I was stunned to hear he’d passed so quickly.

I’m dreading that empty corner in the south endzone this Saturday and for the rest of this season. I hate that our gentle giant won’t be chomping on his birthday hay at the Thanksgiving game this year (the 99th anniversary of our Bevo tradition). And I especially hurt for the Silver Spurs and the Bakers, his real family, as they mourn their loss.

Sure, we’ll be welcoming Bevo XV into our stadium as well as our hearts next fall, but I’ll miss this giant puppy dog of a steer. I delighted in the stories from his ranch home, of how he loved to have his belly rubbed and would come to the door when called. And I loved the oddly gentle look he’d give passersby. The dude could kill you with one swipe of those massive horns, but he had such a docile, endearing demeanor that was downright adorable. But he was all things Texas, too. Pride. Strength. Majesty.

Rest in peace, old friend, and hook ’em forever.

9/4/2004: Bevo XIV makes his debut alongside his predecessor, Bevo XIII. This was the first time two Bevos had ever appeared together. (photo via statesman.com)

9/4/2004: Bevo XIV makes his debut alongside his predecessor, Bevo XIII. This was the first time two Bevos had ever appeared together. (photo via statesman.com)

10/8/2005: Texas-ou game, Cotton Bowl, Dallas

10/8/2005: Texas-ou game, Cotton Bowl, Dallas

12/3/2005: After the Big XII championship game over Colorado (that confirmed the Horns were going to the national championship), Reliant Stadium, Houston

12/3/2005: After the Big XII championship game over Colorado (that confirmed the Horns were going to the national championship), Reliant Stadium, Houston

9/1/2007: In his new corner by the south endzone stands, DKR

9/1/2007: In his new corner by the south endzone stands, DKR

Sometime in 2007: Ryan and Katie pose with the Big Guy, DKR

Sometime in 2007: Ryan and Katie pose with the Big Guy, DKR

8/30/2008: Bevo's spot evolves as the south grandstands change

8/30/2008: Bevo’s spot evolves as the south grandstands change

9/27/2008: Bill Murray (dark shirt, light hat) pays a visit

9/27/2008: Bill Murray (dark shirt, light hat) pays a visit

9/26/2009: The rock star arrives (as spotted on the Drag)

9/26/2009: The rock star arrives (as spotted on the Drag)

12/6/2009: On the big screen at Jerry World for the Big 12 championship game against Nebraska, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington

12/6/2009: On the big screen at Jerry World for the Big 12 championship game against Nebraska, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington

1/7/2010: On the Rose Bowl grounds before the 2009 BCS championship game, Pasadena

1/7/2010: On the Rose Bowl grounds before the 2009 BCS championship game, Pasadena

9/26/2010: In his trailer before the UCLA game, DKR

9/26/2010: In his trailer before the UCLA game, DKR

11/26/2010: Posing for our tailgate crew before the aggy game, DKR

11/26/2010: Posing for our tailgate crew before the aggy game, DKR

3/11/2011: Resting beneath the Tower during Explore Texas, UT campus

3/11/2011: Resting beneath the Tower during Explore Texas, UT campus

5/7/2011: Waiting for fans at the Fort Worth Co-op

5/7/2011: Waiting for fans at the Fort Worth Co-op

5/7/2011: Showing off those puppy-dog eyes at the Fort Worth Co-op

5/7/2011: Showing off those puppy-dog eyes at the Fort Worth Co-op

5/7/2011: Waiting for fans at the Fort Worth Co-op

5/7/2011: Waiting for fans at the Fort Worth Co-op

5/7/2011: Posing with fans at the Fort Worth Co-op

5/7/2011: Posing with fans at the Fort Worth Co-op

5/7/2011: Posing for fans at the Fort Worth Co-op

5/7/2011: Posing for fans at the Fort Worth Co-op

9/3/2011: Chillin' with his personal Chill Zone at the home opener versus Rice, DKR

9/3/2011: Chillin’ with his personal Chill Zone at the home opener versus Rice, DKR

11/19/2011: Stretching his legs at the K State game, DKR

11/19/2011: Stretching his legs at the K State game, DKR

11/22/2012: Celebrating Bevo's 96th anniversary at the Thanksgiving game, DKR

11/22/2012: Celebrating Bevo’s 96th anniversary at the Thanksgiving game, DKR

11/22/2012: Celebrating Bevo's 96th anniversary at the Thanksgiving game, DKR

11/22/2012: Celebrating Bevo’s 96th anniversary at the Thanksgiving game, DKR

11/22/2012: Celebrating Bevo's 96th anniversary at the Thanksgiving game, DKR

11/22/2012: Celebrating Bevo’s 96th anniversary at the Thanksgiving game, DKR

12/29/2012: Greeting

12/29/2012: Greeting “his people” at the Alamo Bowl versus Oregon State, San Antonio

12/29/2012: Greeting

12/29/2012: Greeting “his people” at the Alamo Bowl versus Oregon State, San Antonio

4/21/2014: Posing with his fans at the Texas Strong Tour visit to Joe T's, Fort Worth

4/21/2014: Posing with his fans at the Texas Strong Tour visit to Joe T’s, Fort Worth

4/21/2014: Getting ready for his close-up at the Texas Strong Tour visit to Joe T's, Fort Worth

4/21/2014: Getting ready for his close-up at the Texas Strong Tour visit to Joe T’s, Fort Worth

4/21/2014: Posing with fans at the Texas Strong Tour visit to Joe T's, Fort Worth

4/21/2014: Posing with fans at the Texas Strong Tour visit to Joe T’s, Fort Worth

4/21/2014: Looking as handsome as ever at the Texas Strong Tour visit to Joe T's, Fort Worth

4/21/2014: Looking as handsome as ever at the Texas Strong Tour visit to Joe T’s, Fort Worth

4/21/2014: Posing with his fans at the Texas Strong Tour visit to Joe T's, Fort Worth

4/21/2014: Posing with his fans at the Texas Strong Tour visit to Joe T’s, Fort Worth

9/13/2014: Starring in his

9/13/2014: Starring in his “Get Your Game On” video during the UCLA game at AT&T Stadium, Arlington

9/13/2014:

9/13/2014: “You are looking live” at Bevo XIV, UCLA game at Jerry World, Arlington

10/11/2014: Bevo's last Texas-ou game to attend, Cotton Bowl, Dallas

10/11/2014: Bevo’s last Texas-ou game to attend, Cotton Bowl, Dallas

11/27/2014: Celebrating Bevo's 98th anniversary during the Thanksgiving game against TCU, DKR

11/27/2014: Celebrating Bevo’s 98th anniversary during the Thanksgiving game against TCU, DKR

11/27/2014: Celebrating Bevo's 98th anniversary during the Thanksgiving game against TCU, DKR

11/27/2014: Celebrating Bevo’s 98th anniversary during the Thanksgiving game against TCU, DKR

11/27/2014: Celebrating Bevo's 98th anniversary during the Thanksgiving game against TCU, DKR (One of the great things about sitting 52 rows above him was getting to watch him work on those anniversary hay bales! Long after the cameras cut away, he'd still be chowing down.)

11/27/2014: Celebrating Bevo’s 98th anniversary during the Thanksgiving game against TCU, DKR (One of the great things about sitting 52 rows above him was getting to watch him work on those anniversary hay bales! Long after the cameras cut away, he’d still be chowing down.)

12/29/2014: Texas Bowl, NRG Stadium, Houston

12/29/2014: Texas Bowl, NRG Stadium, Houston

12/29/2014: Texas Bowl, NRG Stadium, Houston

12/29/2014: Texas Bowl, NRG Stadium, Houston

9/12/2015: Home opener versus Rice, DKR

9/12/2015: Home opener versus Rice, DKR

9/26/2015: My last pic of Bevo XIV, taken during the Oklahoma State game, DKR

9/26/2015: My last pic of Bevo XIV, taken during the Oklahoma State game, DKR

10/13/2015: We're so glad Bevo got to try on the Golden Hat one last time. (photo via UT Athletics

10/13/2015: We’re so glad Bevo got to try on the Golden Hat one last time. (photo via UT Athletics)

10/13/2015: Bevo's retirement was announced shortly after the Horns' 24-17 upset victory over ou. The Spurs brought the Golden Hat trophy to his ranch so Bevo could celebrate in style—with hay! (photo via UT Athletics)

10/13/2015: Bevo’s retirement was announced shortly after the Horns’ 24-17 upset victory over ou. The Spurs brought the Golden Hat trophy to his ranch so Bevo could celebrate in style—with hay! (photo via UT Athletics)

2015: RIP, Bevo XIV. (photo via UT Austin)

2015: RIP, Bevo XIV. (photo via UT Austin)

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Fair Weather

11 Oct

Texas 24, ou 17

Oct. 10, 2015 • Cotton Bowl, Dallas
 

 

Do you believe in miracles? YES!

After a week of listening to the haters diss Charlie Strong and make jokes about our sick steer, I didn’t dare dream that this win was possible. But even the impossible dream can come true! The team was fired up, and those of us who chose not to forsake this annual pilgrimage were rewarded, and rewarded HANDSOMELY. Strong got some redemption, and sure enough, our guys came through for Bevo’s sake.

Two weeks ago I made the bold prediction that my Horns would win one of their games against TCU or ou. Then came our shellacking thanks to the Horned Frogs, and I felt ridiculous for asserting we’d win ANYTHING.

From the first two scores all the way to the last massive defensive stop, this game defied all logic. Good thing our guys don’t care about odds or rankings.

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Bloody Mess

5 Oct

TCU 50, Texas 7 

Oct. 3, 2015 • Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth
 

After two close contests that could’ve gone our way, I called it. Mark it down: We’ll win one of our next two “impossible” games.

Then this game happened.

That’s what I get for giving a first-of-its-kind guarantee. What a mess! A strong defensive possession to start the game seemed to give us hope, but an early injury to our speed demon, Daje Johnson, foreshadowed our demise.

This week’s “TEXAS” is spelled with blood because of the horned frog’s odd defense mechanism. Horned frogs can “spit” blood out of their eyes! The TCU version of frogs uses a red line on the helmet to represent this weird biological trick. As I squirted that fake blood all over my plate, I had no idea how appropriate that stuff would be for this bloodbath.

How bad was it?

It was so bad, we started celebrating first downs—and even then, we rarely had cause to high-five. It was so bad, the refs didn’t even have to call bogus calls for us to move backwards. It was so bad, “fans” practically ran from their seats once we were down by 21. It was so bad, my naysayer friends ran out of negative things to add to our group text.

The Frogs hadn’t quite hit half-a-hundred when I posted this on Facebook:

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Even though the game was lame, when my Horns are on the field, there’s no place I’d rather be than in the stands.

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Yellow Fever

3 Oct

Oklahoma State 30, Texas 27 

Sept. 26, 2015 • DKR
 

True story: The day after this Texas-OSU debacle, I was watching the Dallas Cowboys game. I missed the first part of the game, but soon after I finally sat down to watch, Dallas scored. My first reaction was not to celebrate but to check the screen to see if there were any yellow flags.

How else would I respond after spending Saturday afternoon watching every great play called back, feeling every bit of momentum taken away by those stupid yellow flags?

I picked Slo-Pokes for this week’s game, hoping, praying that the RIGHT orange could slow down these OSU Pokes. Little did I know that this candy’s color would be foreshadowing what really beat us.

Our D was at times lackluster, giving up too many yards on the ground. But when we had a huge play against the Pokes’ offense, invariably it was called back.

Our offense sputtered plenty (and apparently Jerrod was coming off a stomach bug), but our explosive, big-gain runs and pass completions were too often followed by those frickin’ yellow flags.

Of course, the fumbled snap on that last punt was Terrible with a capital T, as were the pointless plays run that series that led to the punt. Yes to all of that. But when you’ve just seen the refs literally hand your opponent 25 yards to kick the tying field goal, it’s hard to swallow defeat. The bogus “defensive holding” ON A RUN PLAY followed by the unsportsmanlike call on Charlie Strong (WHEN THE REF INITIATED CONTACT) are indefensible. This was NBA-level bad. Even if he HAD been too aggressive when arguing that call, who throws that flag late in a game? Have you EVER seen that? Seriously.

Check out the 11:09 mark:


The Texas fumble recovery that was ruled to be OSU’s ball is right before that, too. Texas had the ball before the big dogpile and after, but apparently the Okie State guy who NEVER EVEN PUT HIS RIGHT ARM IN THE PILE got possession.

I know, I know: It’s never good to blame a loss on officiating, and because of my love for my dear friend who was a ref, I typically bite my tongue and give the benefit of the doubt. But for this struggling team to lose this way? Unacceptable.

So now my guys are sitting at 1-3 heading into the DFW gauntlet of TCU and ou. But from what I’ve seen the last two weeks, I think we pull the upset in at least one of those games. We’ve got the right coach, and our young players are getting their feet under them. If we can just catch a few breaks, who knows? This team is HUNGRY and may have just enough Texas Fight in them to overcome not just their own mistakes but those damn yellow flags.

 

 

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