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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