Commentary

Give 'em a hand

In Texas, football fans show their loyalty with their fingers

Updated: August 13, 2010, 11:32 AM ET
By LaRue Cook | ESPN The Magazine

John Loomis for ESPN The Magazine

Hook 'em Horns

Legend has it that back in 1955, Longhorns head cheerleader Harley Clark and buddy Henry Pitts were playing shadow puppets on the wall at the campus union when they realized one of their silhouettes resembled the horns of Bevo, UT's venerable mascot. (Here, Bevo's facsimile, Hook'Em, gets a lift from cheerleaders Malori Wofford, left, and Jenny Barton.) Not long after, Clark flashed the sign at a pep rally. "Everybody held their horns up and I officially proclaimed it the hand sign of the University of Texas," he later said. Hook 'em Horns is now college football's most recognizable signal, and Austin alums are very protective of it. Just ask Vince Young.