An email I received from a Tech fan:
I dearly love college football. Unequivocally, unconditionally, and yes, at times, even irrationally. I love the history, the pageantry, the traditions, the sights, the smells, the sounds. I love it all. Part of that history involves the Texas Longhorns and their mascot 'Bevo'.
In 1915, Texas A&M University defeated the Texas Longhorns 13-0. Bevo wasn't even around to witness that defeat, because he didn't show up until 1916. But in 1917, some members of the Corps kidnapped the steer and branded the rascal with a '13-0' on his side. One story holds that UT changed the brand to read 'BEVO', and the rest is history. Whatever the truth is, I know this: BEVO has become a proud symbol of not only the University of Texas, but the State of Texas, as well.
Regardless of college affiliation, many Texas ranchers display a longhorn steer in their highway pasture - mainly as a tip of the Stetson to those who came before us. Three years ago, for Christmas, my brother gave me a full-blooded, papered Longhorn yearling steer, and delivered it to our ranch in Borden County. He now weighs 1530 pounds, and sports an impressive rack. On November 1 this year, my Texas Tech Red Raiders knocked UT from the #1 spot in the national rankings, by a score of 39-33. For the Longhorns, it remains the only blemish on an otherwise stellar, close-but-no-cigar, season. It was a magical night in Lubbock, and it was in the aftermath of that event that I decided what to give all of my UT friends for Christmas.
I commissioned a local ironsmith (Gary Hightower) to fashion a couple of large (10") branding irons in the shape of a three and a nine. Gary delivered the irons on December 15. On the 17th, I drove to Borden County with my son Chris, who is a freshman at Texas Tech. When we arrived at the Ox Bow Ranch, we were joined by my cousin, John Anderson, his son Clay John, and our cousin Brooks Bland. Western artist Wayne Baize was also on hand. The cowboys penned the steer, and then headed and heeled the beast and stretched him out by the mesquite fire. At first, my Bevo was feisty, even defiant; but when convinced of superior strength, he seemed to accept Clayton Williams' advice: "If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it." John is a much more practiced brander than I, and being a graduate of Texas A&M University, he relished the honor. He applied the 39-33 brand quickly and expertly. I had decided that if the steer bawled and wailed during the branding, that I would rename him 'Little Mackie Brown', but he took it like a (neutered) man, and so he will remain 'Bevo'.
My most outspoken UT friends are receiving 8 x 10 glossies of the event. The rest are getting this e-mail. I also have given some of my Raider buds a copy. I have a few 8 x 10's left, and all it'll cost you is a visit to my office for telling of tales; first come, first served. It's been a great year to be a fan of college football, especially if your team toils in the Big 12 South. I'm sure we'll get hosed in Austin next year, but when UT returns to Lubbock in 2010, I'm thinking Bar-B-Que!
P.S. - You may forward these pictures, as long as you include the copyright language below.
P.O. Box 3282
Midland, TX 79702
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