For the second year in a row (that makes it a tradition), TheHide.org is auctioning a branded steer hide to raise scholarship funds. William E. Breen was the highest bidder of the last hide that was branded by Governor Rick Perry, Dr. Red Duke, and others. This time we will be holding the auction during the Houston Touchdown Club luncheon on November 17, 2008 at the JW Marriott Hotel near the Galleria. Luncheon tickets are still available at www.TouchdownClub.org. The winner of the auction will write their check to the general scholarship fund for Texas A&M, the University of Texas, or the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The Branding of the Sacred Ox
Cindy King Boettcher, PhD
Class of ’76 – TAMU
Texas University alumnus Stephen M. Pinckney spearheaded a movement in 1916 to provide a live mascot for t. u. He collected $1.00 from 124 alumni and purchased a Longhorn steer, which was presented to the student body on Thanksgiving Day prior to the football game between Texas A&M and t. u. The Aggies were outscored 21 – 7.
In celebration of their victory, a cohort of t. u. students decided to permanently mark their winning score and a large “T” on the side of their new mascot, choosing March 2, 1917 as the day of the branding. Other students from t. u. protested that this act was inhumane and cruel for their institution and should not be allowed.
However, the idea provided inspiration for some Texas Aggie Cadets. A group of six Aggies armed with rope, a couple of branding irons, and a plumber’s pot arrived in Austin at 3:00 am on February 11, 1917. They succeeded in roping and branding the right side of the steer with the Aggie’s 1915 victorious score of 13 – 0. The Cadets returned to Waco where they were interviewed and had a picture taking session. The first stories of the event appeared in the Austin Statesman on February 12.
A group of t. u. students, embarrassed in being outwitted by their Aggie rivalries, conceived a scheme to alter the numbers 13 – 0 to read “BEVO” by simply changing the 13 to B, the – to E, and inserting V before the O. BEVO was a popular non-alcoholic beverage produced by Anheuser-Busch during the prohibition and greatly enjoyed by the t. u. students.
On January 20, 1920, the Texas Athletic Department hosted an Aggie-Texas barbecue in the Men’s gymnasium in Austin. Over 200 faculty and students from both schools dined on Bevo steaks while trading humorous stories concerning the incident. According to legend, Bevo’s hide was tanned and divided. The half bearing the 13-0 brand was given to Texas A&M as a token of friendship, the other half was hung in the athletic office at t. u., and Bevo’s head was mounted in Gregory Gym. Texas A&M can be proud of the fact that we were instrumental in the naming of the Texas mascot!
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