How you became a Longhorn fan

Discussion in 'In The Stands' started by Chop, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. Chop

    Chop 250+ Posts

    So, how did you first become a Longhorn fan?

    For me, my family were mostly Tech fans. I grew up in the Greater Houston area but the family hailed from the West Texas area and generally favored Tech. I first became aware of college football around 1976. The Houston Cougars had just joined the SWC and were stomping almost everyone in the conference. So I entered college football fandom with the grossly distorted / twisted view of the world that the Houston Cougars were the top dog and the team to beat. Despite being an impressionable young lad near Houston, I always sensed that there was something dirty and classless about the Coogs and much of their fan base.

    Then in 1977 I had a UT alum / Texas-Ex for a teacher. She went on and on about how great Earl Campbell was. So I asked my dad about Earl. He said Earl may be the greatest back this State had ever seen. I eagerly saw a few Longhorn games and was amazed and hooked. Back then before cable, you could get the OU game, the A&M game, maybe the Arkansas game, and a few other UT games plus the bowl--I don't remember being able to watch UT play every week.

    I observed not only the football team on tv, but also the UT alums we knew and their families, and formed the opinion that UT was a cut above the others.* I liked the Longhorns from then on and started at UT in the Fall of 1988.

    * I also developed a high opinion of Rice based on observations of their alumni and families, but boy did their football teams stink.
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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  2. WorsterMan

    WorsterMan 10,000+ Posts

    My late Father ('49) an Uncle and brother ('79) graduated from UT. Dad made sure as a youngster I had a Longhorn t-shirt in the 1950's. I developed an interest in football at 7 yrs. old and played organzied football through HS.

    First serious exposure to Horns football was 1963 when my Dad & I watched some UT games on TV and the team won the NC by beating Navy. First UT game was vs. TCU in 1965 - became a die-hard Horns fan.

    Dream was to graduate from UT, but started college at Stephen F. Austin, due to a girlfriend... thinking I would transfer later to UT - major in Advertising or Business. Long story - it didn't happen, so I graduated from SFA in '76 - but in my heart, my alma mater was always and is UT.

    Attended about 25 ou games over the years - 1977 was my fav of many, 1970 CB win over ND for NC, 2004 Rose Bowl vs. Mich.and some ugly losses I don't care to mention....

    Seen a lot of GREATS at UT but Nobis, Earl, Ricky, Vince & Colt were the best of the best I saw play.....

    That is my story...
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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  3. X Misn Tx

    X Misn Tx 1,000+ Posts

    I had no family affiliation.

    I was always a fan of Texas, Notre Dame, UCLA, Duke and UVa. Growing up I always thought I'd play one of the lesser college sports, soccer, so UCLA, Notre Dame, Duke, UVa, and UNC were who I kept up with. When I ended up being more of a lower tier soccer prospect, I became much more Texas focused my senior year and decided to come here.
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  4. Dionysus

    Dionysus Ok Cool. Hook ’Em! Admin

    I watched Texas football with my dad and older brother when I was little. Wasn’t even sure I would go to college after high school, goofed around for a couple years, taught guitar, did some construction work, partied. My step-brother was at UT working on his Master’s and called me, said I should come up there, he could get me a job. I thought maybe I should do this.

    So I moved to Austin, got the job, enrolled in UT. It took me 5+ years to finish because I worked my way through. I was there 1985-1990. Became more of a fan after I graduated than when I was in school.

    Snuck onto the field with some buddies at DKR one night, I think it was in 88, just had to climb a fence to get in. Threw a football around in the south end zone for a while before someone ran us off, they were obviously unable to recognize the considerable amateur talent on display. Good times.
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  5. AC

    AC 250+ Posts

    My grandmother (Class of 41'?) taught me the Eyes of Texas when I was just old enough to make a hook em horns with my hands. I remember going to games in the mid 70's and I idolized Earl Campbell and later Johnny Lam Jones and Donnie Little. My brother and I had Texas Jerseys and helmets and my helmet had the bar down the middle like Earl. In 77' I stole money from my Dad's wallet to buy a stereo for myself. I got caught and I had to stay home for the 77' Red River Shootout. The rest of the family went without me. Never stole anything again. I went to Texas in 87' and 88' but I was immature and had to transfer out in 89' to Texas Tech. So I graduated from Tech in 92'. I was dumb back then. But I learned. I fail forward now. I never look back. So it's not a regret that I transferred out. But I was always a Longhorn. I rarely even went to Tech games when I was there. I would watch Texas games on TV. I went to the 91' Cotton Bowl against Miami instead of Tech's Bowl Game that year. You can take the man out of Texas but you can't take Texas out of the man!
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  6. Texanne

    Texanne 5,000+ Posts

    Born into it. I’m a third-generation Texas grad. My parents had season tickets and I can’t remember a time when I didn't go to Longhorn games.
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  7. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada Liquor Man

    I was 6 years old in 1969, and I remember how excited my family was about this football game in December. But it wasn't the Dallas Cowboys. Seemed to me everybody liked Texas, but nobody liked the other team, and at the end my aunts and uncles, parents, etc. were all yelling and happy and all... That was my earliest favorable impression of UT and the Longhorns.

    Fast forward to 1975, we had moved to Austin though we only lived there one year, in a house around 38 1/2th Street and Red River and hey! If I wore my scout uniform they let me the stadium in for free so I could help people find their seats! What a deal! Got to see Earl and started paying attention a little closer at that time. I also made a bad habit of skipping school (the teachers at Lamar Jr High never seemed to actually take attendance) and walking down to the drag to play pinball all day, which also put me in proximity to campus.

    Really, UT was the only school I considered once I got to high school because of 7th grade in Austin and because of my childhood memories.
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  8. BevoJoe

    BevoJoe 5,000+ Posts

    I was 9 years old and my father and went to the Cotton Bowl game against Navy (1/1/64). That was the first time I attended a UT game and I became a Longhorn fan. I became ever more of a fan when I went to the 69 OU and the '70 - '72 Cotton Bowl games. Before that, most of us kids were Notre Dame fans because every Sunday Morning early, we all watched Lindsey Nelson's replay of the Saturday games. None of us went to school there though. From 1969 to 2008 I only missed 2 OU games; 1 due to the flu, the other I was working overseas and couldn't get home.
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  9. easy

    easy 2,500+ Posts

    My older brothers were and maybe still are friends with Leland McElroy and James brown they hung out a lot when I was a kid. I remember going to a few aggy games with them and then they took me with them to the cotton bowl for Texas vs OU for the first time and it was all over from that point on
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  10. ViperHorn

    ViperHorn 5,000+ Posts

    The night that I came home from a football game and laying on the kitchen table was a game program - signed by DKR.
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  11. PecosBill

    PecosBill 500+ Posts

    Grew up in Austin and have been going to DKR since I was 6 years old.

    Family tradition.

    4th gen is now a Sophmore and 5th gen attends 3 games a year.
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  12. Mike the Texan

    Mike the Texan 25+ Posts

    My parents were Yankees who moved to Texas right after they got married. They only knew of Texas so that was the team to cheer for. So as small children, me and my siblings wore Texas gear and did the hook 'em horns. As I went through Jr. High and High School, it became clear that aggy was weird, SMU, TCU and Baylor were expensive but mediocre, NTSU was lame and you could get into Tech by correctly filling in your name bubbles on the SAT.

    Hence, I went to UT. Graduated in '91 and have been a season ticket holder ever since. I have rarely miss a home game, even though I live in the DFW area.

    - Mike
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  13. Horn87

    Horn87 1,000+ Posts

    Grew up in Mississippi, watching Archie Manning at Ole Miss on our black and white tv (late 60's)--moved to Texas when I was starting the 2nd grade--my hometown football team had a heralded football player by the name of Johnny "Ham" Jones. I also had a great uncle who said that I needed to "stop being a Rebel, and be a Longhorn!" (told me that all of the time)--so those were two big reasons why I started following The University---oh, and my grandfather graduated in 1931 from the 40! He and I were the only ones who attended UT until my son (current sophomore ME major) went there! the tradition continues...(He will graduate 90 yrs after my granddad) :hookem:
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  14. El Sapo

    El Sapo Bevo's BFF

    I was also born into it and come from a diehard Longhorn tradition that goes back generations. My own, personal, initiation came in 1977 where my 3 year old self matter-of-factly told my grandfather that Texas was going to beat OU that afternoon. We ended a 7 year winless drought against the gooners that day and I've called myself a Longhorn ever since :hookem:
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  15. FWHORN

    FWHORN 5,000+ Posts

    1979 Sun Bowl, we had just moved to Fort Bliss in El Paso after five years in West Germany and I was becoming a sports conscious nine year old. It was my first ever college football game and between the chill that ran up my spine when they played the eyes of Texas to the man doing the Hook Em next to us I was enthralled. The Horns would lose to Washington that day but I was hooked (pun intended) and a decade later made my way down to Austin on the way to getting two degrees from UT and a lifelong obsession with Longhorn sports particularly football and baseball. I bought football season tickets the year after I got that second degree and have held on to those seats and the grandfathered in donation amount for the last 24 years. I have been to some incredible games over the last 40 years including my own personal revenge game the 2001 Holiday Bowl over those Washington Huskies and then I got my moment of football bliss when VY ran fourth and goal into the end zone right in front of me at the Rose Bowl in 2006 to win a national championship.
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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  16. zuckercanyon

    zuckercanyon 500+ Posts

    A few friends from my central Texas town got accepted to UT back in 1984. We were Dallas Cowboys fans. Knew who Earl Campbell was, that's about it. City kids went to college, far as we knew, not the likes of us. So, when Auburn and Bo Jackson came to Austin, we said "meh" and went home to see our friends. New UT friends lambasted us for leaving town, said we missed an awesome game. We decided to put in for the OU game even though we were told frequently that "freshmen never get drawn" (turner out to be a LIE, how could someone try that on an 18 year old?!) We got drawn and made the trip up to Dallas, which featured #1 Texas vs #2 OU. Stood in the pouring rain, watched a fellow central Texan John Teltschik get off some booming punts bare-footed, and cheered us to a 15-15 tie. We were "hooked". Later that season, saw us lose to the big underdog Aggies in Austin. A few days later was at hunting camp and saw a childhood friend who was an Aggie. Walked up to me, smiled, and said "I'm sure sorry they can't play football in Austin anymore" and my face turned angry-red instantly. From then on, I've bled orange and savor every victory and title Texas can accumulate.
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  17. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 5,000+ Posts

    Real Army vs Fake Army. In 1990 my girlfriend (now wife) took me to my first Texas game which happened to be against aggy. I had just gotten out of the Army a little more than a month earlier from Fort Hood and it was an awesome game with Texas winning 28-27. At halftime watching the aggy band play I thought it was kind of cool, seeing the corps was interesting and at that point I was thinking aggy was some sort of military school. After losing the fake army bull$hit came out, the corps started talking $hit and a t-shirt wearing ag got in my face as we were leaving the stadium. I literally thought, "No one in the Army would act like this after losing, we know better." From that point on I couldn't stand them and their unfounded fake arrogant ways.

    I knew I made the right decision to love UT when a couple years later after a victory my wife decided to make a sheep comment to two corps members after they initiated some $hit talking. I was used to her tangling with randoms, but they decided to reach for their sabres. At that point I was ready to rumble, but my father in law just said in a very pissed off tone, "You pull those out and I'll take 'em away and shove 'em up your a$$". The hands came off the sabres and they quietly walked on. The only thing that came to mind was "what a bunch of pu$$ies". If you're going to start something you better be ready to finish it. The rest is history.
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  18. LousianaHorn

    LousianaHorn 500+ Posts

    All I know was my Dad was a huge UT fan, probably from his growing up and young adulthood during the Bobby Layne era on the 40 acres (he graduated from Marshall in 1946). 2 of the 1st football games I specifically remember watching were Horns losing to LSU and then beating Roger the next year in the Cotton Bowl.
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  19. VulcanHorn

    VulcanHorn 100+ Posts

    I've been following Longhorn football since I was 9 years old. I remember listening to most games on the radio (KLBJ AM in Austin) in the 70s and early 80s. Dad attended UT for a couple of years but had to drop out as he was working and raising us. My uncle got his degree at UT along with a few cousins. All of us would watch Earl, Donnie, Johnny Lam, Johnny Ham, Johnny Jam Jones, and others. I attended UT starting in 1984 but couldn't finish because of my lack of maturity, let's say. I worked, raised a family, then had that desire to finish what I started. I enrolled back at UT in 2010, 26 years after dropping out, and began working on my degree while working full time. After 6 long tough years, I earned my BA in Computer Science from UT at the age of 50! At 53, I wear my UT class ring with pride! Now when I sing the Eyes of Texas at any game, it truly means a little bit more than it used to.
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  20. AC

    AC 250+ Posts

    That is awesome! Congratulations on all the work to get that degree.
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  21. TheWalkingHorn

    TheWalkingHorn 500+ Posts

    My mom and dad are both native Austinites, and both sides of my family are what some would call "t-shirt fans". I say **** that, they're orange-bloods through and through. I had one uncle who attended in the 70s I believe, but he quit after he got married and had a child. My dad began working for UT long ago assisting on game days with set up and clean up after the games. For a while he worked mostly with the opposing teams, but now he works mostly with the officiating crew.

    Here's where things get interesting. When I was little we would go to UT football and basketball games for super cheap, and Texas sports was just a way of life for us. Around 9 I decided I really wanted to be a veterinarian. People told me I would need to go to Texas A&M, and thus began my admiration for the aggies. Yes. I said it. It was a dark time in my life, and I'm pretty sure I broke my father's heart, although he never said anything about it, and always supported me.

    Sometime in high school I stopped caring about being a vet, and lost any kind of love for the aggies that I once had. To this day I am the only person on either side of my family with a degree from Texas, and so any time my family gives me **** about being an aggie as a kid, I can still hang that over their head.
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  22. Dionysus

    Dionysus Ok Cool. Hook ’Em! Admin

    :bow: Love it!

    When I was at UT in the late 80s I had a friend who was working at a gas station, I think he was in his late 20s at the time, and had no plans to go to college. He was really into computers and this was pretty unusual at the time. He was a good programmer and really smart. I told him to get his *** into UT and get a degree, there's no reason not to do it. He finally did it, and after several years of working his way through he graduated with a CS degree and has done very well since then. I was really proud of him for making that commitment and gettin ’er done!
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  23. zuckercanyon

    zuckercanyon 500+ Posts

    Simply. Beautiful.
  24. bystander

    bystander 5,000+ Posts

    My first recollection of Texas was from the 1969 Cotton Bowl game against Tennessee. I was nine years old and living in Tallahassee, Florida. I was a huge Seminole fan. My Dad got his BA, MA and PH. D. from FSU. I was also a huge football fan and watched all the bowl games. I clearly remember Big Bertha, Bevo and the entire spectacle of the Longhorn band. For some reason, I loved college football bands (my cousin was the Drum Major for the Florida State Marching Band). I was always attracted to the half-time show and the Longhorns fight song and alma mater kind of drew my attention. So it wasn't just the team, it was the entire aura of Texas football.

    A year later I moved to Laredo. This was quite devastating to me at the time but all is well because I have life-time friends from down there and am now seriously dating a lady I met back in 1975 from my high school!

    Anyway, I continued to follow college football and I arrived with my aforementioned affinity for the Longhorns. It just flat-out stuck with me. I saw the famous Texas-Arkansas game on TV and also the bowl games against Notre Dame. I was blown away by Steve Worster, Roosevelt Leaks and Earl Campbell. Darrell Royal was a larger than life icon and I remember Chris Schenkel and Bud Wilkinson calling some of their games along with the Prudential Halftime report. Texas WAS college football to me.

    Later when it came time to go to college I was steered towards Trinity University which was a very fine college. I regret not going to Texas but was trying to find a new place where I didn't know anybody because I wanted a clean start away from my high school culture as many of my friends went to Texas.

    I've retained my love of the school for all these years. And to seal the deal, I moved to Austin in 1994 and have been here ever since. Both of my children were born here. So there's some blood for me though none of us have gone to Texas.

    And I can safely say I was never interested in Aggy. And my aversion only grew when I became familiar with their traditions. Sorry Aggy... I just don't get it... don't want to get... will never get it...

    Hook 'em from you favorite T-Shirt fan...

    Now you know why I called myself bystander.
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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  25. BevoJoe

    BevoJoe 5,000+ Posts

    Nah, Man! You're one of us...have been for years, are now, and always will be. HOOK 'EM brah-dah!
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  26. bystander

    bystander 5,000+ Posts

    Awesome! Feels good. I've been on here a long-time as you say and have spent many a happy Longhorn game chatting it up with everyone on this site when I'm not at the game.

    I think I'll enroll in one class one of these days if they'll have me so then you can call me: 3 Hours.

    Thanks for again for saying that BevoJoe!
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  27. BevoJoe

    BevoJoe 5,000+ Posts

    You're welcome. :hookem::bevo::texasflag:
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  28. HornHuskerDad

    HornHuskerDad 5,000+ Posts

    I grew up in West Texas (Amarillo and Lubbock) in the 50s. Everyone associated "The Eyes of Texas" with Texas - I learned to sing "The Eyes" long before I learned that we had an official state song. There were enough folks in the Panhandle with Oklahoma ties that we heard a lot of Sooner guff during the Texas-ou game week. My thought - "how can you possibly cheer for Oklahoma when you live in Texas?" From that point on I've been a Texas fan. I have never attended a class at UT (my middle son is my Longhorn), but I've been a fan of the Longhorns for over 65 years.
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  29. ShAArk92

    ShAArk92 1,000+ Posts

    Dad left us a 1965 C20 truck a couple years ago he bought when it was just a couple years' old ... LOTTA memories in Ol Yeller. I remember standing in the bench seat next to him singing "The Eyes of Texas." I learned real fast one of Dad's buttons to push was adding a phrase to the lyric "you cannot get away (to McDonalds) ...." hehehe.

    Dad was in the Navy back in '63 ... floating on a carrier in the Med when The Horns took-down Roger/Company. he was in the vast minority on that ship! :)

    He and my uncle made most of UT's home games and many away games during the back-back years .. 68-71 ... but then he was "laid-off" at work and suddenly earning a living with a lessor job meant no more money for season tickets. But was still as Burnt Orange as ever. btw, while I respect the institution and the degrees it confers on 'candidates,' in NO way to I ascribe to this elitist nonsense of having had to graduate or even attend to be a true Texas Longhorn. My younger brother had to attend North Texas due to circumstances ... he's every bit as Burnt Orange as anyone I know and I'm proud of him! So @bystander ... you know what a Texas Longhorn fan is, and I'm glad you're part of this! see @WorsterMan 's story. Moreover, both of our sons opted to pursue degrees which The University didn't offer; Veterinarian and Ag Teacher respectively; evidently our providing their opportunity to exhibit REAL Texas Longhorns (cattle) was something from which they couldn't walk away and intend to earn a living in the animal/ag business. The eldest painted his bedroom Burnt Orange and they both still possess and display the wooden steerhead I cut/stained for 'em. They know the traditions at UT and the lyrics ... better than their current schools (Tarleton State and West Texas). So. again. Being A Texas Longhorn fan has meaning beyond the student ID or existence of a Burnt Orange sheepskin.

    I attended/graduated in the late 80s/early 90s. Commissioned in the USAF by UT's AFROTC program ... I married into another orangeblood family and we've held multiple season tickets consecutively since 1988.

    All the proper values, though, owed to Pops.

    HOOK 'EM!
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