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Article in Dallas Morning News- Kevin Sherrington  in 2015

 
Greg Ploetz hasn’t played a football game in more than 40 years, but the scar still shows. An undersized All-Southwest Conference defensive tackle at Texas, he earned it. A “warrior,” one teammate called him. Now, at 65, Ploetz couldn’t so much as handle the crowd noise at the Big Shootout. Conversation confuses him. Walking is sometimes terrifying. In his tortured mind these days, a crack in the floor looms like a leap across a deep, dark crevasse.

Ploetz — pronounced Plets — suffers from what neurologists call “mixed dementia,” the probable result of head trauma from his days as a 5-11, 205-pound lineman at Sherman High and Texas. Doctors can’t tell his wife, Deb, if he’s a victim of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, the progressive degenerative brain disease linked with multiple concussions, harrowing news reports and a lawsuit against the NFL.

They won’t know for sure until after he’s dead. A year, maybe two.

If there’s any difference between Ploetz and the more than 4,000 plaintiffs in the NFL suit, it’s that he never played pro football. His last game was the ’72 Cotton Bowl, against Penn State.

Other than occasional financial assistance from former Texas teammates, no help is coming to the Ploetzes, as it may yet for the NFL plaintiffs. Texas isn’t liable. Neither is the NCAA. No union push by Northwestern can help them at this point, either.
At least 60 former college players with similar stories have filed lawsuits against the NCAA without success. Even if they’d cashed in, Deb wouldn’t have been a party to it.

“Greg chose to play football,” she says, “so I don’t really hold people liable for the choice he made.”

Talk to players of Ploetz’s generation, and this is the answer you get: I’d do it all over again.

Ploetz was no different until he realized just how different he is.

“Five years ago, he never wanted to recognize that football did this to him,” Deb says.

“The last two years, he stopped watching.”

Now he waits.

Ploetz is too young to die like this, for something he did in his youth, for honor he brought his school, his family, his memory. He didn’t understand the risk. No one of his generation did. If he played today, he’d have the benefit of concussion protocols and better health care. He could make an informed decision.

He might even be able to put it into words.

What do you do then with men like Greg Ploetz? Write it off as bad luck? Dismiss it as the Ploetzes’ problem? Call it a cautionary tale and leave it at that? Easy enough to do with these men, I suppose, until you hear one of their stories.

Ploetz chose football, not this: An artist, teacher and gentle soul kicked out of two memory care facilities and an adult day care center because of aggressive behavior. Darrell Royal once said he could depend on the size of Ploetz’s fight. Whatever else has been stripped from him, the fight remains.

The worst part is, before language and reason left him, he could see it coming.

“Deb, please help me,” he begged his wife. “I don’t want to live like this.”

Mike Dean has been inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame and Longhorn Hall of Honor, but when Texas’ coaches came to Sherman his senior year, they were looking for Greg Ploetz.

Only 5-11 and 195 pounds in high school, thick in the neck and chest, son of a World War II fighter pilot, Ploetz was a “warrior,” Dean says. That mentality enabled him to start between Bill Atessis and Leo Brooks in Texas’ 1969 defensive line despite a hairline fracture in one ankle and the build of a short, squat safety.

"It’s a good feeling to have 257 pounds on one side of you,” Ploetz told The Dallas Morning News in the fall of ’69, “and 244 on the other.”

Ploetz more than held his own, particularly against the run. “He was a tackling machine,” says Dean, who started at offensive guard. “He’d run right through people.”

He was a classic ’60s paradox. A high school classmate, Dan Witt, called him quiet, wry, drawn to “artistic, iconoclastic, radical people and elements.” Julius Whittier, who in 1970 became the first black scholarship player at Texas, counted him among a handful of friends on the football team. Everyone liked Ploetz.

Probably didn’t hurt that he played so well. Ploetz was especially effective in the Big Shootout, recording six tackles in the win over Arkansas. It was nearly his last hurrah.

He sat out the ’70 season because he was academically ineligible, a byproduct of his girlfriend getting pregnant and the baby coming early.

“They didn’t know if he was going to make it,” Ploetz told Terry Frei in Horns, Hogs and Nixon Coming, “so I called Fred Bomar.”

Father Bomar baptized Chris Ploetz in the hospital. He was accompanied by Freddie Steinmark. The little Texas safety had already lost a leg to cancer and would die in 1971. Frei wrote that Ploetz couldn’t talk about his son, who survived the ordeal; the baptism; or Steinmark, Chris’ godfather, without choking up.

The summer of ’71, Ploetz was back in Austin, working his way through school, when Texas coaches recruited him again. He asked to sleep on it. That fall, he was All-SWC.

Other than the ankle injury, nothing on Ploetz’s chart hints at any problems to come. Deb says that, in high school, he once wandered to the wrong sideline. Teammates steered him to the huddle and his place in the line.

Greg Ploetz: More On Former Texas Longhorn Fighting Dementia In Colorado

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I wear his College Hall of Fame ring proudly and even though Dad went to Heaven 11 years ago his memories and love is felt by our family every day.

Hook em,

Roy A. Bechtol

My father,  Hub Bechtol,  is the only 4 time All American in the history of football as he was Little All American at Texas Tech his freshman year when Tech was a two year school in 1943.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dad then transferred to The University of Texas with Y.A. Tittle, Bobby Lane, and Rooster Andrews  in 1944 (during the war when you didn’t loose eligibility with transfer) and earned consensus All American for the next three years 1944, 1945, 1946 and achieved many school and conference records including the most catches in the Cotton Bowl Game(12) which lasted for many years. LSU convinced My Godfather, Y.A. Tittle, he would never beat out Bobby Lane so he left Texas before he started his first class his freshman year. 

Dad was drafted in the first round by the NFL and after negotiating with the Pittsburg stealers for top draft choice and signing bonus of $1250 opted  for the Baltimore Colts as first round choice for a whopping $1500 signing bonus and top salary of $10000/year with free game tickets.

He played for four years in the National Football League with the Colts and his quarterback and roommate was Y.A. Title.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coach Tom Landry signed with the Longhorns in 1946

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dad broke his jaw his junior year and wore a leather helmet with a steel nose plate(which we have in our home) for 7 games with his jaw wired shut and was consensus All American playing all those games with a broken jaw. That’s a testament to his toughness and tenacity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My father was enshrined in to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991 and I was proud to sit at the table with Dad, Bobby Bell,Pat Sullivan and Ed Mariano among others who were honored that year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statistical information about Hub Bechtol 

Hub was the first consensus All-American from UT.

He actually started his college career at Texas Tech, but he joined the Navy during the war and after the war decided to attend Texas. He is one of only 2 players in the History of Longhorn Football to be named as All-American three times.

  • All-American and All-SWC from 1944-46
  • Led UT with seven touchdowns in 1945
  • Caught nine passes for 138 yards and was named Co-MVP in 1946 Cotton Bowl win vs. Missouri
  • Formed great passing combination with quarterback Bobby Layne
  • First-round draft pick of Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Played for NFL Baltimore Colts from 1947-49
  • Member of National Football Foundation Hall of Fame
  • Founder of Austin's little league baseball program
  • Member of the College Football Hall of Fame

 

 

My Memories of Greg Ploetz and Mike Dean

By Tommy Lucas proud member of the 1959 football recruiting class

   

My Memories of Greg Ploetz and Mike Dean

By Tommy Lucas proud member of the 1959 football recruiting class

 

 

 

The Sherman Boys and the Cleburne boys are prototypical Royal football players-   Under 200 Pounds, quick, Instinctive, and Motivated to Win! 

 

 

After the football season of 1962, I was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 19th round as a prospective Tight End or Outside Linebacker. I attended their training camp at Thousand Oaks, California in July of 1963 where I survived several squad cuts but did not make their final team roster. Soon after returning to my hometown of Houston, Texas, I was hired as an assistant football coach at Abilene Cooper High School but my stay in Abilene was short lived because the Head Coach Clovis Riley was hired as the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Sherman High School in Sherman, Texas.

 

Coach Riley asked me to go with him as the Defensive Coordinator even though I was 24 years old and just 2 years of experience.

Our first year at Sherman resulted in a 6-4 season and really not that bad because our team was young and the district that we were in was a tough one consisting of teams from Garland, Richardson, Mesquite, Carrolton, Highland Park, Denton, and Denison. The following year we began the season with a loss to an old rival Gainesville HS but the team responded with 8 straight wins, however, we lost our last district game to another old rival Denison HS. In those days only the district champion went to the playoffs so we were out and the Yellow jackets were in but it was still one of the best seasons that the Bearcats had in some time.

A large part of our success was due to a strong senior class that included two outstanding players by the name of Greg Ploetz and Mike Dean

 

On offense Greg was the right guard and Mike was the left guard and defensively Greg was the left inside linebacker and Mike was the right inside linebacker. We employed the same 6-2 defense that Coach Mike Campbell established at the University of Texas in the early 1960's and as their position coach I was of the opinion that they could play at the next level. They were our leading tacklers making plays from side line to side line however; I became disappointed because only a few college coaches were somewhat interested in offering them a scholarship. (TCU and North Texas)

So I decided to give Coach Bill Ellington a call as he was the Freshman Coach and Assistant Athletic Director in order to possibly stir up some interest as I really wanted them to be a Longhorn. After our opening conversation in which I explained my reason for calling he asked about their size and I said well they are about 6 ft. and weigh about 185 lbs. but they play much bigger than their size. I said I think UT should take a look at them based on their play and not their size and Coach Ellington agreed.

The  next week Pat Patterson the recruiter for the Dallas area came by and asked to see some game film so I set him up with a projector and our last 4 games. After my last class of the day, I went by the stadium and Coach Patterson was still there. He quickly told me that he was impressed with Greg's play and that he had heard about him from some of the coaches in our district but then he said I also like the Dean kid and I would like to talk to both of them about coming to Austin for an official visit to our campus. Pat then said, "l think we may have a scholarship for those two".

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well as they say in the movies, the rest is history! Greg Ploetz became NOT an outstanding linebacker for the Longhorns but instead he became an outstanding defensive tackle in the Texas split 4 defenses going against much bigger offensive lineman but seldom losing one on one battles. He overcame a size disadvantage with his strength and fierce determination.

Mike Dean became a starting offensive guard and was according to many to be undersized for his position. He had to block defensive lineman that had a size advantage but he proved many times that determination plus strength and the will to win can overcome a lot of minuses. He is Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame member because of his outstanding performance versus an All American defensive tackle from Notre Dame and he is also a member of the Longhorn Hall of Honor.

Mike and Greg will always be very special to me and I am proud to say that I was one of their coaches. They exemplify my belief that lack of size can often be overcome by the will to succeed and having unrelenting determination.

 

BOBBY GAMBLIN SAYS:

"GROWING UP IN STAMFORD, TEXAS IF YOU GOT AN OFFER TO PLAY FOOTBALL, YOU WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA. BOB HARRISON, AN OU ALL AMERICAN AND MIKE MCCLELLAN WHO HAD A GOOD CAREER IN THE NFL WERE A COUPLE OF NAMES ONE MIGHT REMEMBER. BOB BLAIK, THE SON OF THE LEGENDARY ARMY’S COACH WAS AN ASSISTANT COACH AT OU AND RECRUITED ME. HE HAD MANY OF THE SAME QUALITIES OF HIS FATHER – RED BLAIK; THEREFORE, IT SEEMED SO NATURAL FOR ME TO FOLLOW THE STAMFORD EXODUS NORTH ACROSS THE RED RIVER.

 

ON JANUARY 1, 1960, WHILE STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL AND SITTING IN MY LIVING ROOM WATCHING THE COTTON BOWL, I WAS NOT AWARE DAVID KRISTYNIK WOULD BE SUCH A CONTRIBUTING INFLUENCE IN A 180º SWING MY LIFE WOULD TAKE.

SYRACUSE HAD COMPETED A PASS, BUT YOU GUYS STOPPED THE RECEIVER ONE YARD SHORT OF THE GOAL LINE. WHILE SYRACUSE WAS IN THE HUDDLE, THE TV CAMERA FOCUSED ON THE TEXAS DEFENSIVE LINE. ENVELOPED IN THE CENTER OF THE SCREEN WAS THIS “CENTER OF GRAVITY CHALLENGED” (SQUATTY BODY) TEXAS PLAYER MOVING UP AND DOWN THE TEXAS DEFENSIVE LINE EXTORTING HIS TEAM MATES TO HOLD SYRACUSE OUT OF THE END ZONE. YOU WERE AN AMALGAMATION OF A CHEERLEADER, AN EGYPTIAN SLAVE DRIVER, AND A GENERAL SHERMAN IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS MARCH TO THE SEA. YOU WERE AGITATED, ANIMATED, AFLAME – TO SAY THE LEAST.

FROM THE PHOTOGRAPH BELOW, IT APPEARS KRISTYNIK’S, DEMEANOR IS EVIDENT, CONSISTENT, AND UNIFORM - BEFORE, DURING, AND EVEN AFTER A PLAY.

 

                  David Kristynik gets angry and motivates the Longhorns

I HAD NEVER SEEN A HOTTER COMPETITIVE FIRE BURNING IN ANYONE’S GUT. MAN, I WANTED TO BE PART OF THAT PROGRAM. AT TIME, I DID NOT KNOW MUCH ABOUT COACH ROYAL AND NOTHING ABOUT COACH CAMPBELL’S INFAMOUS HULL DRILL. EVEN IF I HAD KNOWN THE LENGTHS COACH ROYAL COULD PUSH A PLAYER; OR THE DEMANDS OF THE HULL DRILL, TEXAS HAD ME THE MOMENT YOU STEPPED IN FRONT OF YOUR TEAMMATES ON THAT ONE YARD LINE.

SO DAVID, CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS WELL-DESERVED HONOR AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR PASSIONATE COMPETITIVE DRIVE, YOUR LOVE OF THE LONGHORNS, AND YOUR LEADERSHIP BOTH ON AND OFF THE FIELD.

BOBBY GAMBLIN

1961, 1962, 1963

 

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"Pig" the Dog is the University of Texas First Mascot 

While the athletic teams are known as Longhorn's, Pig is officially the first UT mascot. The student body names Theo Bellmont's bow legged puppy after Gus "Pig" Dittmar the bow legged captain of the football team. 

 

Of course, Pig was a regular at home and most out-of-town athletic events. He paced the sidelines for football and baseball games, and ventured indoors to the gym for basketball season. Pig eagerly lent his voice to the support of UT squads and developed a profound dislike for anything related to rival Texas A&M. “If you say ‘A&M’ to him, he will promptly lie down as though ready to give up the ghost in disgust,” related one account. “On the other hand, say ‘Texas’ to him and he starts barking with joy.” Pig was so loyal, some of the University’s athletes suggested that he deserved a letter, which was granted by the athletic department. (As the athletic director was also his owner probably helped in this regard.) Naturally, Pig wasn’t able to don a standard UT letter jacket. Instead, a small brass “T” was fashioned at the University’s mechanical shop and attached to Pig’s collar. He was inducted as the only canine member of the newly established “T” Association.

 

In 1917, when the United States entered the First World War, Pig enlisted. The war transformed the campus overnight, as the University sponsored three military schools on its grounds. The largest was School of Military Aeronautics. A precursor of the Air Force Academy, the SMA was created to provide basic technical instruction for beginning pilots before they moved on to flight training. Housed in the buildings on the “Little Campus,” just north of the present day Erwin Center (only John Hargis Hall and the Nowotny Building remain), several hundred soldiers at a time arrived for six-week sessions. Pig joined them. If a long hike was part of the day’s activities, Pig was usually near the front. He kept an eye on the barracks while the cadets were in class, and faithfully attended inspection each evening. The cadets adopted Pig as their mascot, included him in their graduation photos, and he twice took the train ride to Dallas, where the cadets were sent for initial flight training. When he had time, Pig wandered back to the main campus to check in on UT students, most of whom were part of the Student Army Training Corps.

On New Year's Day 1923 Pig is hit by a car at Guadalupe and 24th and dies four days later.

The January 5th 1923 Austin Statesman Head line states

 "Gloom Pervades University Campus: Students and Faculty Mourn Death of Mascot; To be Buried with Honors. " 

Pig is laid in state in front of the Co-op and more than a thousand mourners file pass to pay respects. At 5 P.M. there is a funeral procession led by the Longhorn Band and the "Cowboys", are the pallbearers.

Pig’s eulogy is delivered by the dean of the engineering school-Thomas Taylor. He says“Let no spirit of levity dominate this occasion,” “A landmark has passed away.” 

The Longhorn Band plays “Taps” as Pig is  buried, and then "Taps" is  played again from the old Main Building.

After the demise of Pig the sports teams struggled to start a new tradition for the mascot. Young boys were the answer. 

Young boys were the mascots in the late 20's  but no bevo until 1936.

 

 

 

The History of Longhorns by Ragan Gennusa

Cattle originally from Spain and Portugal were introduced into Mexico in 1521. Stocked at the Presidios in northern Mexico and southern Texas by the Mexican government, these cattle ran wild between the Rio Grande and the Nueces rivers and north and east to the Louisiana border, after constant Comanche Indian raids forced their abandonment. Not only did they survive the adversity of predation, drought disease and the dreaded tick fever, but they flourished. For two or three CENTURIES these incredible wild cattle existed in a closed gene pool emerging as a unique breed, the Texas longhorn.

Longhorn cows exhibited not only the traits mentioned above, but were extremely fertile, calving without problems well into their late teens, enabling the breed to multiply by the millions. It is estimated that between 1866 and 1890 ten million cattle were driven to northern markets, not only pulling the state of Texas out of bankruptcy, but creating wealthy cattle barons and establishing Texas as a rich state.  

 

 

 

 

Importance of the Longhorn mascot 

 

 

 

Ragan Gennusa is well known for his Texas Longhorn paintings and has owned longhorn cattle since 1984. Because of their historical contribution to the state of Texas, Ragan has chosen to honor this incredible animal, which not only embodies the character and spirit of the University of Texas Football Team, but also the people of the state of Texas, in much of his work.

T

 

 

oday, Ragan resides in the hill country outside of Dripping Springs, Texas in a house he built, and paints mainly by commission in a studio filled with a sense of the West.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronology of Bevo 

  • 1916- Bevo I is mEAN! He last thru half time of the Aggie game before being sent to a ranch for 4 years, but he is too expensive to take care. In 1920 he is "invited" to dinner for some UT football players and Aggie dignitaries. Rumor has the meat was tought.

  • 1917-1935 Texas uses young boys as the mascot in the late 20's but no bevo.

  • 1936- Bevo II is no better than Bevo I. He only makes 4 appearances before the UT administration decides he is too dangerous so he is sent home to the Diamond T ranch to live a full life.

  • 1937-1944 Texas has no mascot

  • 1945-1948- Bevo III was better but in 1948 he charges a photographer in addition to some  other indiscretions and is returned to the San Antonio Zoo.

  • 1949- Bevo IV is the meanest Bevo of all . After ramming a car he is  returned to Fort Griffin State Historic site. 

  • 1950-1955- Bevo V is raised from calfhood by the Silver Spurs and this strategy works. He is the first Bevo to travel to away games. 

  • 1955-1957- Bevo VI charges the Rice bench and is "released" from his responsibilities. 

  • 1957-1965- Bevo VII reigns during the start of the Royal era and is the most docile Bevo to this date in history.  He is kidnapped in 1963  and the Texas Rangers are used in the search for Bevo VII.  He is found in Bryan Texas at an Aggie veterinary clinic undergoing a thorough exam.  Bevo VII is responsible for the first "official" Texas Longhorns national Championship.  

  • 1965- Bevo VIII was too fiesty and released from his duties and responsibilities. 

  • 1966-1976- Bevo IX is great  The only thing that upsets him is women. He is kidnapped two times in 1972 once by the Rice Owls and once by the Aggies.  he is responsible for two national championship teams. 

  • 1976-1980 - Bevo X hated the smell of perfume and the color red. 

 

  • 1981 - Bevo XI is  selected as an interim Bevo while a new Bevo is trained. 

  • 1982-1988 - Bevo XII is unpredictable and is never the same after his trailer flips on MoPac.

  • 1988-2004- Bevo XIII is called the "Gentleman Bevo" by the Daily Texan and is the first Bevo that does charity work for sick kids and attends George Bush inaugural ball in 2001.  He is most famous for relieving himself on the Nebrasksa Cornhuskers logo in the Big 12 title game. 

  • 2004-2015 - Bevo XIV has the longest reign of all the Bevo's. He is a gentle spirit and affectionate. He is  even  polite to the Aggie mascot during "Reveille's"  visit to Bevo's  home. Bevo XIV even rolls  on his side for tummy rubs when his owner Betty Baker enters his stall. 

The origin of the name Bevo will never be known, but there are three speculations on the origin.  You get to choose the one you like. 

All are presented in this article by Jim Nicar ( the images are added by Billy Dale)

The Truth About Bevo by Jim Nicar

It's one of the best-known stories on campus. During a late night visit to Austin, a group of Texas Aggie pranksters branded the University's first longhorn mascot "13 – 0," the score of a football game won by Texas A & M. In order to save face, UT students altered the brand to read "Bevo" by changing the "13" to a "B," the "-" to an "E," and inserting a "V" between the dash and the "0." For years, Aggies have proudly touted the stunt as the reason the steer acquired his name. But was the brand really changed? And is that why he's called Bevo? Sorry, Aggies. Wrong on both counts.

It's one of the best-known stories on campus. During a late night visit to Austin, a group of Texas Aggie pranksters branded the University's first longhorn mascot "13 – 0," the score of a football game won by Texas A & M. In order to save face, UT students altered the brand to read "Bevo" by changing the "13" to a "B," the "-" to an "E," and inserting a "V" between the dash and the "0." For years, Aggies have proudly touted the stunt as the reason the steer acquired his name. But was the brand really changed? And is that why he's called Bevo? Sorry, Aggies. Wrong on both counts.

                     


The last day of November, 1916 - Thanksgiving Day - was an eventful one for the University of Texas. At 9:00 A.M. a procession of students, faculty and alumni paraded south from the campus to the state capitol for inauguration of Robert Vinson as the new UT president. Held in the House Chambers, students dressed according to their college and class. Seniors wore special arm bands, engineers sported blue shirts and khaki trousers, and freshmen huddled in green caps. There was enough pomp and oratory for the ceremony to last all morning.
After the inauguration, lunch was served on the Forty Acres. A boxed meal for twenty-five cents was available for those who wanted to picnic on the campus. Folks who preferred a more traditional Thanksgiving Day feast headed for the "Caf," an unpainted, leaky wooden shack that somehow managed to function as the University Cafeteria. The full turkey dinner cost fifty cents.

The afternoon was reserved for the annual football bout with the A & M College of Texas. A record 15,000 fans packed the wooden bleachers at Clark Field, the University's first athletic field, where Taylor Hall and the ACES Building are now. The first two quarters were a defensive struggle, and the half ended with the score tied 7 - 7.

During halftime, two West Texas cowboys dragged a half-starved and frightened longhorn steer onto the field, where it was formally presented to the UT student body by a group of Texas Exes. They were led by Stephen Pinckney (LL.B. 1911), who had long wanted to acquire a real longhorn as a living mascot for the University. While working for the U. S. Attorney General's office, he'd spent most of the year in West Texas assisting with raids on cattle rustlers. A raid near Laredo in late September turned up a steer whose fur was so orange Pinckney knew he'd found his mascot. With $1.00 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.

After presenting the longhorn to the students, the animal was removed to a South Austin stockyard for a formal photograph and a long overdue meal. The steer, though, wasn't very cooperative. It stood still just long enough for a flash photograph, and then charged the camera. The photographer scurried out of the corral just in time, and both the camera and photograph survived the ordeal.

 

 

In the meantime, the Texas football team ran two punts in for scores to win the game 21 - 7.
To spread the news, the December 1916 issue of the Texas Exes Alcalde magazine was rushed into press. Editor Ben Dyer (BA 1910) gave a full account of the game and halftime proceedings. About the longhorn, Dyer stated simply, "His name is Bevo. Long may he reign!"

With the football season over, the steer remained in South Austin while UT students discussed what to do with him. The Texan newspaper favored branding the longhorn with a large "T" on one side and "21 - 7" on the other as a permanent reminder of the Texas victory. Others were opposed, citing animal cruelty, and wondered if the steer might be tamed so that it could roam and graze on the Forty Acres.

 

 

 

 

The debate was abruptly settled early on Sunday morning, February 12, 1917. A group of four Texas A & M students equipped "with all the utensils for steer branding" broke into the South Austin stockyard at 3:00 am. There was a struggle, but the Aggies were able to brand the longhorn "13 - 0," which was the score of the 1915 football game A & M had won in College Station.


Only a week later, amid rumors that the Aggies planned to kidnap the animal outright, the longhorn was removed to a ranch sixty miles west of Austin. Within two months, the United States entered World War I, and the University community turned its attention to the conflict in Europe. 

Out of sight and away from Austin, the branded steer was all but forgotten until the end of the war in November 1919. Since food and care for the animal was costing the University fifty cents a day, and because the steer wasn't believed to be tame enough to roam the campus or remain in the football stadium, it was fattened up and became the barbecued main course for the January 1920 football banquet. The Aggies were invited to attend, served the side they had branded, and were presented with the hide, which still read "13 - 0."

 

 

A recent suggestion made by Dan Zabcik (BA 1993) may prove to be the right one. Through the 1900s and 1910s, newspapers ran a series of comic strips drawn by Gus Mager. The strips usually featured monkeys as 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 became so popular, that for a while it was a nationwide fad to nickname friends the same way, with an "o" added to the end. The Marx Brothers were so named by their friends 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.  

 

Why did Ben Dyer dub the longhorn Bevo, instead of another name? For some time, the most popular theory has been that it was borrowed from the label of a new soft drink. "Bevo" was the name of a non-alcoholic "near beer" produced by the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Saint Louis. Introduced in 1916 as the national debate over Prohibition threatened the company's welfare, the drink was extremely popular through the 1920s. Over 50 million cases were sold annually in fifty countries. Anheuser-Busch named the new drink "Bevo" as a play on the term "pivo," the Bohemian word for beer.

However, while the Bevo drink was a long-term success, its sales in 1916 were comparatively small. Without the assistance of radio or television advertising, marketing campaigns were slower, and it took longer for retailers to buy in to the new Anheuser-Busch product. As it turns out, the Bevo beverage was almost unknown in Austin when Stephen Pinckney presented his orange longhorn to University students. Bevo the beverage just might be a red herring.

 

100th Anniversary Bevo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please see link below about Gus Mager's cartoon series .

https://www.arthur-conan-doyle.com/index.php?title=Sherlocko_The_Monk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.


Whatever the reason, UT's mascot was named by folks in Austin, not College Station.

Bevo 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longhorn illustrations by Robert Anschutz @ www.robertanschutz.com


 


 

In September 2016  the Alcalde wrote an article on the history of Bevo. Please see the link below for more information on Bevo. . 

http://alcalde.texasexes.org/bevoxv/?utm_source=attexas&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=attexas