Many of you will be heading for Pasadena this week, and Kim and I look forward to joining you. The rest of the Longhorn Nation will be watching the BCS Championship Game on television this Thursday. I know there weren’t enough tickets to go around, and I’m sorry for that. We’re working with the BCS and the Big 12 to improve that situation in the future.
I remember the first time I saw the Texas Longhorns play football. Of course, I’d seen them play football on television. I remember growing up in California and seeing them on Thanksgiving, first on a little 10-inch console, black and white TV. That’s what you did on Thanksgiving. You watched the Texas Longhorns play football. That’s how America helped celebrate Thanksgiving.
The first time I saw the Longhorns play in person was when I was teaching at the University of Washington in the mid 1970s. The Longhorns were on the schedule, and I remember two things distinctly about the game. One was that Roosevelt Leaks just ran up and down the field. The only thing that made him change direction was the quarter. And the only thing that slowed him down was the goal line. The other thing I remember about the game: it was a big day for the Huskies because the Texas Longhorns had come to town. The fans recognized that they were seeing something special.
Think of the Longhorn logo on our helmets, and how recognizable it is. I love going to road games and seeing those simple white uniforms. Texas written across the front, and that logo on the helmet. It’s simple and instantly recognizable. You don’t have to think, what does it mean? Our logo is like the silhouette of the Coca-Cola bottle. When you see it, you know it.
But icons like that don’t convey a powerful message just because of their shape. It’s what they represent. Our logo represents winning, it represents academics, and it represents integrity. There are many programs in the country that have one or two of those, but there are very few that have all three. We’re in a small pantheon of universities. Our logo is unique and stands for excellence, and I’m proud of it.
Hook ’em Horns!