Whether you are from Texas or move to it, you know that Texas lives for football. It is a cultural fixture from Cotton Bowl Stadium in Fair Park to high school stadiums across the state. Nowhere is that tradition more celebrated than at the University of Texas at Austin.
UT’s football program is synonymous with Texas football.
It celebrates a history of famous victories and personalities tracing back to 1893. Legendary coaches and players decorate the memory of the successful program, from National Championship winning coaches Darrell K. Royal, namesake of the stadium, and Mack Brown, to players like Earl Campbell, Ricky Williams and the “Invincible” Vince Young. Throw in a winning record in the annual Red River Showdown against rival University of Oklahoma, and UT football can hold its head high.
The upcoming 2015-2016 season aspires to follow this tradition under the leadership of head coach Charlie Strong. The future looks bright with Strong’s philosophy of hard work and accountability poised to make his talented recruiting class “Stronghorns.”
In a statement to the Longhorn Network, Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford captured the team’s confidence: “Next year, 2015, we’re coming, and we’re coming to get everybody.”
The football program’s tradition and pride manifest in its vibrant game day culture.
Tailgating is the heart of game day. Eager fans surround the stadium with tents, cookers, and TV’s from the McCombs courtyard all the way to the Bob Bullock Museum parking lot. Fraternities, sororities, spirit groups, students, alumni, and fans all make tailgating the perfect time for students to experience the diversity of UT football fans and the energy of UT spirit.
Within the historic Darrell K. Royal Stadium, traditions and icons of Texas football culture abound. The lively “Showband of the Southwest,” more commonly known as the Longhorn Band, rallies spirit with “Texas Fight” as the Texas Cowboys fire Smokey the Cannon. Bevo, the longhorn mascot of Texas since 1916, rests on the sidelines as a century-old icon of UT pride.
Students engage in these exciting traditions together in seating groups throughout the stadium. The groups are a great opportunity for freshmen to come together with members of their dorm, academic organizations and social groups, while in the midst of the other 100,000 fans the stadium can hold.
With a successful history, exciting future and lively atmosphere, UT’s football game day is the perfect environment to relish student spirit. All UT students should make the most of the game day experience, but especially the incoming freshman class. The awe of finally being in college and the wealth of opportunities will never be greater — make the most of them. History, tradition, sport, celebration and spirit converge in the Darrell K. Royal Stadium. So, to all incoming freshman, the mantle passes to you to continue the rich culture and spirit of game day. Love it, and it will reward you with a new appreciation for this university and your peers.
Most importantly, have fun and hook ‘em!
Clark is a senior English major from Lake Highlands.