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Insider Profiles

Bleeding Orange Sometimes Means Caring for 2,000 Pounds on the Hoof

Ricky Brennes"It was the most fun I had at the University of Texas. That's probably one of the most fun schools to go to in the whole country. So the most fun you can have at one of the most fun schools in the country is a lot of fun."


Of course Ricky Brennes likes football. He grew up in Plano, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, home of the Dallas Cowboys. And Brennes' dad instilled a passion for the University of Texas Longhorns in his son. (Known as "bleeding orange" in Texas.)

Brennes got his first look at Bevo, the longhorn mascot of the Longhorns team, when he was 5 years old.

"We lived next to a man who was an alumnus of the Silver Spurs, [the student organization] that took care of Bevo," Brennes says. "I went to a Texas-SMU game, saw Bevo there, and met some of the Silver Spurs." That was enough for Brennes to decide he wanted to attend UT, be one of the Silver Spurs and play football.

Unfortunately, genetics ruled out football. But two out of three ain't bad. Brennes did go to UT and did join the Silver Spurs.

"It was everything I expected and more," he says. "It was the most fun I had at the University of Texas. That's probably one of the most fun schools to go to in the whole country. So the most fun you can have at one of the most fun schools in the country is a lot of fun."

Brennes would bring Bevo out on the field during UT football games, which was a thrill and sometimes a challenge. First of all, Bevo is 2,000 pounds on the hoof. "It can be tough to stand in front of a 2,000-pound steer and make him stop."

And animals can be unpredictable. Once, during a Big 12 championship game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Bevo answered nature's call on the field — on the word Nebraska. The offending patty was on the right side of the end zone. On the next play, Nebraska went left to avoid it, and didn't score. No word from Bevo about whether this was intentional.

But that's the sporting life, and Brennes is still one of Bevo's handlers. Every Friday before UT games, he sings "The Eyes of Texas" on Bobby Bones' morning show on KISS-FM.

Brennes is also a runner. "There are hundreds of people running around Town Lake any given afternoon after work, even before work. And there's some kind of event to run here every weekend." Brennes runs the whole or half Austin Marathon every year.

After a game, you might find him at Abel's on the Lake, an outpost of the iconic UT watering hole Cain and Abel's. There, he can drink to his favorite longhorn with a Bevo Tea. "It's like a Long Island iced tea, but more orange."

Check out Ricky's Austin.