Wow, what a great thread. I just happened to stumble on it, lo and behold, you guys are discussing my own school, University of Texas at Austin (commonly called UT for short, unless you go to University of Tennessee).
Coincidence? Nope, has to be fate. I was meant to find this thread in order to show you guys this:
- Why the University of Texas is the single greatest collegiate institution ever designed/conceived/imagined by man (emphasis on MAN) -
This is just ONE
of our cheerleader groups, however, they are by far the most famous because of the signature chaps they wear...and the attractiveness thing too. I would say that they are easily the most famous/recognizeable cheerleaders behind the USC Song Girls, who have appeared in this thread already! Maybe I'm biased, but as sweet as those USC Song Girl sweaters are, these girls have them beat by a mile.
Now that the important part is out of the way, I can tell you guys a bit more about the stadium and the school.
As mentioned before, UT sits right in the middle of Austin, Texas, which is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. The city itself is one of the biggest draws about the University.
Some facts about Austin:
1a) Nicknamed "The Live Music Capital of the World" for it's many, many fantastic music venues which have helped the music scene in the city thrive. Austin also holds two huge, famous music festivals each year: Austin City Limits and South By South West Music/Film Festival.
1b) Many of those music venues are bars/clubs on historic Sixth Street, which supposedly holds the record for most bars per block in the U.S. Not coincidentally, UT was declared the #1 Party School in the Country by the Princeton Review in 2006.
2) Austin was chosen by MSN as "The Greenest City in America" (meaning the most environmentally conscious and conservative).
3) Austin is widely considered the liberal and intellectual center of Texas. Residents of the city have adopted an unofficial slogan - "Keep Austin Weird" - which is EVERYWHERE on bumper stickers, shirts, buildings, etc. It is a very free thinking, non-judgmental environment (part of the reason the city is growing so quickly) that's perfect for a University.
4)The "Keep Austin Weird" slogan has also been adopted by the thousands of small businesses in the area that have helped resist any kind of major corporate influence in the area (especially
around the university). While this is true of most college towns, in Austin, it really is astounding how preserved the area is.
As far as the university goes, it is one of the rare schools to combine academic AND athletic excellence. There just isn't more you could ask for from the University of Texas at Austin.
But let's talk about football, cause that's what you are here for...right? RIGHT?
Because Austin has no professional sports teams, Longhorn Football is king on Saturdays.
Some of our traditions:
1) Slogan: Hook 'Em Horns
2) Hook 'Em Horns Hand signal:
This is the most recognizeable hand signal in college football. Many of our opponents , instead of using their own hand signal/cheers, simply make our hand signal, but upside down instead....even when they aren't playing us.
3) Burnt Orange Nation
Rather than choose two colors, we just picked Burnt Orange and slapped it on white. Simple, but very recognizeable in College Football. Like the Maize 'n Blue of Michigan, and the Golden Domes of Notre Dame, Burnt Orange is not mistaken for anything but University of Texas.
4) Smokey the Cannon
An antique artillery gun fired from a corner of the field every time the Longhorns score, during kickoffs and at the end of each quarter. Unlike a few of the other college programs that fire compressed air cannons that just look
like cannons, Smokey III, the current cannon, is a fully functioning military cannon and fires up to FOUR 10-guage blank shotgun shells. The result is LOUD
Bevo is our massive mascot steer and is among the most recognizeable mascots in American sports. He keeps a vigilant eye from the sidelines at every home game. When I say he is big, I mean his excrement dwarfs most house pets!
Here's the current one, Bevo XIV.
He is somewhat small as he is still quite young. He replaced the old Bevo XIII, who sat/stood on our sidelines for 16 years, in 2004. Here's a pic of the retirement ceremony (notice the size difference):
The origin of Bevo is a long story, so I won't tell it here, but here is a link if you are interested:
In addition to these traditions, I wanted to describe what a Saturday game at University of Texas is like:
First, the Longhorn Band, nicknamed the Showband of the Southwest, takes the field with Big Bertha, the largest marching band drum in the world.
Big Bertha is a full participant in the marching band's routine, deftly wheeled around and played. Afterwards, the Texas state flag is spread out over one end of the field while the Longhorn Band forms out a block letter T in front of the South Endzone Tunnel. (It's difficult to see from this angle but I didn't have nor couldn't find a better picture)
By this time, the stands are packed to capacity and once the pregame video starts on the Godzillatron, the place starts rocking. At the conclusion of the video, the Texas Longhorns take the field in style, running out of the smokey tunnel in the South Endzone and through the Band's Block-T formation.
Typically, one Longhorn will lead the team out of the smoke with a U.S. Flag in hand as shown here. I have literally gotten goosebumps from this.
Afterwards, the game begins. One great aspect of the stadium is the view of UT's famous tower west of the stadium. When UT wins a game, the top of the tower is immediately lit up Burnt Orange, if it is a conference win, the whole tower lights up Burnt Orange. And if UT reaches number 1 in the country, offices in the tower have their lights left on to form a number 1 pattern. You can see the tower in a post just above mine. Here is a shot of it lit up #1:
(Many games are played in the afternoon or evening early in the season because of the intense heat. This means they can light the tower up right at the conclusion of the game, which makes seeing it from the stadium VERY cool.)
Well that about sums up the University of Texas Longhorn football experience. I know I probably missed something, so I will most likely be updating this as I think of things. I saw that there was some interest in the College football experience so I decided to indulge, I hope you guys enjoyed it.
P.S. Feel free to ask any questions if you want. I'd be happy to answer. I am a RABID football fan and have been to many college games all over the country, I just happen to know UT football a little bit better.