Don't mess with hexes
Team, students take part in 21st annual Hex Rally
By Michelle West
The annual tradition began in 1941, when the Longhorns suffered an 18-year losing streak against rivals the Texas A&M University Aggies, said Texas Exes spokeswoman Alison Crocker. To break the curse, UT students sought the aid of local fortune-teller, Madame Hipple, who told them the cure was to burn red candles for one week before the game. That year, the Longhorns were able to break their losing streak with a 23-0 win.
"This is one of the great Texas traditions, so we felt we wanted to be part of it," said business freshman Damon Anderson, who attended the rally.
Hundreds of Longhorns cheered as football head coach Mack Brown bolstered the crowd in preparation for Friday's rivalry game.
"We have a great turnout tonight," Brown said. "It's probably the best that I've seen since I've been here."
Brown said that the team has not played its best game yet this year.
He was accompanied on the Tower steps by the entire Longhorn football team, including defensive end Tim Crowder and defensive tackle Tully Janszen, two members of what Brown called the most "winningest senior class" in the history of Texas football.
"We need y'all there early, and we need y'all yelling the whole time, 'cause it starts with y'all," Janzen said of the upcoming game. "It seeps through everyone else in the stadium, and it gets to us, and we're fired up."
Since its inception, there have been only two years in which the rally did not take place. In 1999, white instead of red candles were lit when the A&M bonfire collapsed, killing 12 students. In 2002, the rally was canceled in honor of Texas A&M football player Brandon Fails, who died from heart failure before game day.
But Monday night, hopes were high despite the Nov. 11 upset loss against Kansas State University.
In his final words, Brown described his own A&M hex.
"My hex would be that when the Aggies walk in Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium at about nine o'clock on Friday morning, that for that next five hours that the Longhorn spirit be the strongest spirit that it's ever been in that stadium, and that that spirit runs through this football team and [we] play the best game we've played all year," Brown said.
History sophomore Benjamin Davis said the Longhorns will emerge victorious this week.
"We're going to win this game, because it's tradition to beat A&M," he said.
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