I found myself passing randomly through College Station around lunchtime this afternoon. (Don't ask.) (Well, if you insist, I was taking the back roads from Houston to Dallas for a change of pace after shooting my first BON client last night.) I was feeling like some BBQ, and since my dogeared copy of Texas Monthly's Top 50 BBQ Places In Texas strangely has nothing anywhere near BCS (no, seriously, wouldn't you expect at least one of the best 50 BBQ places in the state to be at least somewhat close to BCS?), I googled Rudy's, figuring there'd be one, and headed there.
I was enjoying my lunch when I noticed the above on the walls. Yep, that's "Bevo" with the horns sawed off. (And for the Aggies patronizing Rudy's unable to quickly grasp symbolism, the words "Saw 'Em Off!" are written on the walls immediately below.)
I had already noticed a certain amount of anti-UT paraphernalia on the walls -- this is College Station, after all -- but seeing a dehornified Bevo was . . . well, honestly, I don't know what it was. What seeing it did do was spur me to consider whether I had ever seen any similar anti-A&M paraphernalia at the Austin Rudy's locations or whether I'd seen any anti-UT paraphernalia at any other Texas Rudy's location I had visited . . . or even at the Norman location I wound up at a couple of years ago. And clearly the answer is "no." (And if I my recollections on this account are erroneous, I apologize in advance.)
Now though the fact that one of the more prominent supporters of UT Athletics would have such conspicuous anti-Texas decorations at one of its locations is something that very, very mildly makes me go hmmmmm, but it's not uncommon at all for corporations to gear their advertising, even such "negative" advertising, to their local audiences. But at the end of the day, if Rudy's believes that it's in the best interest of its College Station location to emphasize through decor hatred of a rival practically as much as love of the home team, so be it.
But in this day and age when the century-long jealous and envy of All Things Burnt Orange is threatening to pull the rivalry apart for the long-term, I thought this small symbol at a chain barbeque joint in a small college town encapsulated very well why this is happening. They need their hatred of Texas surrounding them and comforting them at all times, even when eating the moist beef brisket and potato salad. We don't.
(And as a coda for the story, immediately after I took the photo, all the TVs played a commercial for the Longhorn Network. Considering I like to call Texas "Big Brother" in this relationship, there's even more symbolism there somewhere...)