UT's first mascot, a frightened 1,200-pound longhorn steer, was presented at the Texas vs. Texas A&M Thanksgiving Day game in 1916, which UT won 22-7. In writing about the game afterward, Ben Dyer, editor of The Alcalde magazine, referred to the steer as “Bevo.” How the name came to be remains a mystery, although theories abound.
The most well known tale never actually happened. In 1917, four A&M students branded the longhorn 13—0, marking A&M's 1915 win over Texas. Texas students did not, in fact, retaliate by changing the steer's brand to Bevo. Instead they fattened him up and served him at a football banquet in 1920. The Aggies were fed the side they had branded and presented with the hide, which still read 13—0.
Original photo courtesy UT Center for American History; colorized by Jason Graham