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Hook ‘Em Horns

Backup Hands

September 19, 2013

By Joey Bland

Hook Em Horns

Index finger extended. Pinky the same. Middle and ring fingers curled to your palm. And thumb crossed over to hold them down. Now your hand has ceased to be a hand. It’s a head, specifically Bevo’s head. This is Hook ’Em Horns. You’ve made a steer, a big, intimidating steer, and with one gesture you’ve summed up UT football, the Longhorns team,and Texas spirit. My hat is off to Harley Clark, who invented this gesture. It is perfect. It cannot be improved.

BUT . . .

After a quick visit to Austin and after seeing a game, here are my ideas for some very unofficial backup UT hand signs.

  1. Index fingers extended on both hands. Tips of fingers in ears. Game Day is loud, and that’s great. No need to block out that noise. But Smoky the Cannon? That was alarming. I couldn’t help jumping and screaming every time he went off. And I know there’s a pattern. I know there are reasons Smoky gets fired, but I couldn’t figure it out. It got me every time. And when Smoky wasn’t exploding, someone was beating on Big Bertha. So this hand gesture is purely practical. I call it No More Noise or Help My Hearing.
  2. Middle fingertip and thumb meet. Other fingers relaxed. Fingers to lips and kiss them. Mmmmwaa! Game Day is a great day for food. Get used to doing this hand sign every time you try someone’s brisket. Or venison sausage. Or any other meat they’ve decided to throw into the smoker. This one’s called the Kiss The Cook or Baste The Brisket.
  3. Palm out. All fingers fully extended. This isn’t Bevo. It’s another familiar presence from Game Day. This is the sun. Maybe you know him, but if you spend a full day hanging around DKR Texas Memorial Stadium, you’re gonna get to know him real well. He will make you sweat hard – rivers of sweat down your back and drops in your squinting eyes all day long. The only comfort is knowing he’s making that visiting team sweat even harder. I call it Fire On Face or Heat On Head. This gesture inspires other hand gestures – namely, Shielding Your Eyes To Save Your Vision and Waving Hand Into Face So You Can Breathe.

So there you are. A few alternatives to Hook ’Em Horns. Nothing beats perfection, but I hope Harley Clark would be proud

P.S. What gestures do you find yourself making on Game Day

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