How UT's Famous Longhorn Mascot Got His Name

And Bevo was his name-o!

Longhorns fans wouldn't recognize the first Bevo mascot, who made his UT football debut 104 years ago this week.

The original Bevo was introduced at halftime during a 1916 matchup between UT and Texas A&M. KVUE reports that the first longhorn was scrawny, hard to handle, and not all that popular with students. Plus, UT already had a mascot at the time, a tan and white dog named "Pig Bellmont."

Bevo Mascot UT
Tim Warner/Getty Images

Bevo would have been just a blip in the university's history if not for the editor who covered the school's 21-7 victory over A&M for UT's Alcalde alumni magazine.

"His name is Bevo," the piece declared. "Long may he reign."

And with that, the university's famous mascot was named, though the true origin of the quirky moniker remains disputed.

As UT historian Jim Nicar writes on his website, "'Bevo' was a play on the word 'beeve,' which is not only the plural of 'beef' but long used as slang for a cow or steer destined to become food."

While the first Bevo did meet that unfortunate fate, the 14 Bevos that followed in his hoofprints all went on to enjoy retirement at a private ranch.

But the most popular origin story involves a group of Texas A&M students, who, a few months after the 1916 blowout, branded the rival mascot with "13-0," the Aggies' winning score from the previous year. As legend has it, Longhorns responded by altering the "13" to a "B," the dash to an "E," and then added a "V" in front of the "0."

"But while the Aggies did successfully vandalize the steer, they can't take credit for the name," UT's website notes.

So, which story do you think is the real one? Feel free to weigh in, Matthew McConaughey!

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