Give 'em a hand
In Texas, football fans show their loyalty with their fingers
Before the first football game between Houston and Texas, in Austin in 1953, Shasta, the Cougars' live mascot, got her paw caught in the cage door and lost a toe. During the Longhorns' blowout, UT fans mocked the visitors by mimicking a wounded paw. UH fans remembered that 15 years later and flashed the Cougar Paw when upstart Houston tied powerhouse Texas. The sign was a tradition by 1976, when Houston ended UT's 42-game home winning streak with a 30-0 rout. As Cougars QB and Heisman candidate Case Keenum knows, you don't mess with a wounded cat.
ESPN The Magazine: August 09, 2010
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