Optimism for Texas Football After Hex Rally

What’s the best way to win football games? Some would say hard work or determination. There’s another, more mythical answer, though: hexes.

Hexes are what have kept the Chicago Cubs from winning a World Series for over 100 years. Hexes are what damned the Red Sox to being America’s favorite second-best team for more than 90 years before they won another World Series. In the spirit of winning, on Monday, UT cast its own hex on TCU during the annual Hex Rally hosted by the Texas Exes.

After last year’s rally was canceled due to the rain, students, faculty, and alumni were excited to show up in front of the Tower to help hex TCU for the last game of the regular season. Per the chilly weather, jackets covered up what would have otherwise been a sea of burnt orange. There was still more then enough Longhorn pride to go around as Kappa Alpha Psi started the evening off with a Christmas-themed step routine. Pom, Cheer, Texas Cowboys, Silver Spurs, Longhorn Band, and other student groups turned out full force to support the Longhorns.

Chuck Matus, BA ’82, and Leslie Matus, BS ’83, were at their first rally supporting their daughter Carrie Matus, a junior on the Pom team. “I didn’t know what to expect, but it was awesome,” said Chuck Matus. “We’re really excited about the direction Coach Strong has things going.”

The Hex Rally is best known among alumni as part of the A&M rivalry, but in fact the event, which started in 1941 and petered out in the 1960s and 70s, has been put to use against a number of highly ranked teams. The Longhorns hexed and defeated a no. 2-ranked A&M (1941), no. 1-ranked SMU (1950), and a no. 3-ranked Baylor (1953) before the Hex finally failed against TCU in 1955.

Help against a highly ranked team is exactly what UT needs going into this Thursday’s game against a no. 6-ranked TCU. That help might come in the form of good coaching and preparation instead of superstition. With the football team’s seniors standing behind him, Charlie Strong proudly told the crowd, “Come Thursday, you will be in the stands, packed in, cheering for Longhorn football.” He went on to express his confidence in a team that is finally catching its stride.

This Hex Rally has potentially interesting implications. Based of the results of the game, UT has a chance to play A&M, the original Hex rival, in a bowl game. The rally was a reminder of the best of UT fans. Even after a tough season, fans still showed up with total optimism and belief in the team. As the crowd raised their red candles, there was a sense that things were looking up for the future of Texas football, regardless of the score come Thursday.

Photos by Vineet Gordhandas.


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