UT and fan behavior

Crowd members with "horns down" gestures at Kyle Field Friday, Sept. 16, 2022.

After graduating from public high school, I was certain I’d never have to hear people make hissing sounds in response to topics or people they don’t like, especially in university. 

I was wrong. 

Although these people aren’t wearing cat ears and hissing at people who don’t look like they work at Hot Topic and wear all black, they are now hissing at people for wearing orange instead. 

Both people, however, are equally embarrassing. 

One of the first traditions I learned about A&M was its “famous” rivalry with (dare I say it?) … The University of Texas.

As a youth, I heard countless stories from Aggies about that “other school” who told me to never go there! It was apparently a dark and evil place with a horned creature! 

They sure made it sound similar to another special place. 

I grew up excited to become an Aggie and fight the great war against the Longhorns, competing against the other great rivalries like Batman versus Superman, Sparta versus Athens and Coke versus Pepsi. 

And let me tell you, after finally attending Texas A&M and witnessing this “rivalry” firsthand, it isn’t all some of you Aggies hyped it up to be. 

In fact, it’s actually quite pitiful. 

I mean, people even refuse to address the school with the proper word itself, instead referring it to as t.u. It doesn’t sound like we are disrespecting or demeaning them. It sounds like we’re afraid. This isn’t Harry Potter. Just say the word. 

Although I understand that A&M and UT competed against each other from the late 1800s to the 2000s, we haven’t played a game against them in football for 12 years. Even if they are joining the SEC, why should they receive any special attention from us? They’re just like any other team playing against us and have not proved their worth.

There are more qualified teams already in the SEC … you know, because they’ve been good for a while. Whereas UT is only just joining.

However, we can’t seem to comprehend this simple fact and choose to dramatize them into a mythical creature, granting them an undeserving form of immortality. 

They’re not boogeymen, ghouls, goblins or parking tickets, they’re just another school in Texas. While we should not care about them, we have chosen to do the opposite. We have glorified them to such a degree that they’ve become embedded into our school’s culture. 

We spend actual money on merchandise dedicated to them, spread their symbols during our football games when the game isn’t even against them and make animal sounds when someone brings up their name. 

We give them capital. We give them exposure. We give them power. 


Personally, I don’t want some Longhorn walking around the SEC with an overinflated ego thinking they live in our head rent-free. They’re already obnoxious enough from believing living in Austin is a personality trait.

The worst part about our infatuation with UT is that it’s completely one-sided. They don’t have chants, merchandise, or hand gestures dedicated to us. They don’t even think of us as their main rival. 

In fact, even in 2010, UT was already considering other schools as their main rivals, with the Oklahoma Sooners taking the spot. 

While they mention A&M used to be a rival, they didn’t even say we used to be the biggest rival. Instead just referring to us as being a bigger rival in the past — the past. I need you to think about that again. 

Already 13 years ago, UT considered us a distant memory. 

At this point, we are literally an obsessive ex-girlfriend who refuses to move on from their previous heartbreak. Meanwhile UT is “winning” the breakup, already canoodling with other people.  

We shouldn’t be reducing ourselves to this level of fan behavior. We have been in a higher, more competitive football division for 12 years and we still frequently beat them in other sports, with recent back to back wins in our hockey games against them on Jan. 28 and 29. 

I understand A&M is a school rich in customs and traditions, but just because something is a tradition and “just the way it’s always been done” doesn’t mean it’s good. People used to have child marriages, bind their feet to make them smaller and practice human sacrifice. 

And look, I understand these traditions are a lot worse than some jokes about UT, but the principle remains: some traditions are outdated. 

I enjoy being a hater as much as the next person, but thinking UT is a worthy opponent anymore is obsolete. 

While their entrance to the SEC might prove otherwise, we cannot let them believe we’re already fan-girling them as we giggle in excitement about having an excuse to use the horns down symbol or obsessively talk about them throughout social media. 

Why be a crazy ex-girlfriend when we were the hotter partner to begin with?

So, let’s stop giving them unnecessary attention and direct our energy towards new rivals and make new traditions. After all, is that not what Aggies are known for? 

Besides being better than UT. 

Lilia Elizondo is an English senior and opinion writer for The Battalion. 


(7) comments

Good Ag Forever

I feel you are incorrect on every level. You might want to transfer a little west to that other school. 2% doesn’t look good on you.


As someone who grew up watching A&M vs. tu, I can't disagree more. You're missing one of the greatest aspects of college sports - RIVALRIES. It's fun to get caught up in the "hate" for a rival. In this case, it's even better because tu had so many size and financial advantages for much of the 20th century. We've caught up in so many sports that's it is especially sweet with each win. I suggest you get ready for fervor that will begin brewing weeks before the first football game. It will be amazing!


I agree rivalries are fun but this writer got it completely correct. A&M is completely obsessed with tu still. Just read the football forums on Texags. There are 3 threads about tu on the first page just today. For every tu game last season there was a dedicated "watch" thread. For Burn Night 2022 there was an Austin sign placed on top. Clothing and hats with "Saw'Em Off" are still being sold. Every football game fans and students do the horns down and we have not played them in over a decade. So Yes, we are the crazy ex-girlfriend.


So just to be clear....

A&M makes the separation and goes off and starts a new life. Texas follow us to the SEC after a decade without us, yet we are the crazy ex-girlfriend? You have it completely backwards.

Personally, I don't like the students doing the horns down thing at games and such because I have happily moved on from Texas. They will be a rival again, and the reality is despite the history the football record is roughly 50-50 since scholarship limitations defining the modern age of college football. They will be a rival again, but this time it is on a level playing field.


After reading this, then having to let my headache clear from all the times my eyes rolled back into my head at the ridiculousness of it, I can safely say a writer this out of touch with things yet still having her trash featured in this paper is an indictment on the paper, the program, and the university as a whole.


It's tu not UT. Confusing article.


I agree. Let’s focus on all the other rivalries we might have that day or week. Why focus on just UT?? Also, can we start singing the first verse of the War Hymn when we are not playing UT? Full War Hymn for reference: https://www.aggienetwork.com/muster/song_warhymn.aspx

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