The eyes of Texas gazed down upon 2,000 red candles burning with Longhorn pride as students gathered to hex that “other” Texas public university before Thursday’s game.
The Texas Exes Student Chapter hosted the 26th annual Hex Rally in the Main Mall on Monday, a tradition that has its roots in a 1941 Thanksgiving Day win over Texas A&M.
After 18 years of losing to the Aggies at Kyle Field, UT students decided it was time to consult an expert on how to break the jinx. Local fortune teller Madam Hipple advised them to burn red candles the week before the game to hex the Aggies.
Students took her advice and set candles aflame in residence hall lounges, West Campus fraternity and sorority houses, and store windows along the Drag and around the city through the week of Thanksgiving. The Longhorns traveled to College Station and defeated the Aggies 23-0. Thus, a tradition began.
“I think it’s a chance to bring the entire student community together to support the team and show their pride for the University and the Longhorns,” said Texas Exes spokeswoman Erin Huddleston.
The Longhorn Band along with cheer, pom and dance rallied the crowd with a few “Texas Fight!” cheers and the traditional fight song. The football team was welcomed in as head coach Mack Brown commemorated one of the longest and fiercest rivalries in college football.
Psychology sophomore Rita Holguin said attending last year’s Hex Rally made her excited to be an executive member of Texas Exes Student Chapter.
“It was a lot of fun to see everything come together and everyone unite,” Holguin said. “This year I get to see the other side of things. I’m excited to see how everything comes together.”
With conference realignments and the uncertainty of future Thanksgiving matchups, Texas Exes student relations coordinator Taylor Nyberg said the future of the Hex Rally is uncertain, but the Texas Exes hope to continue the tradition regardless.
“It will be the last rally for A&M that we know,” Nyberg said. “But it’s possible that we’ll just Hex whoever we play on Thanksgiving. We’ll just have to adapt and figure it out.”
Texas Exes Student Chapter president Meghan Wied says she enjoyed the traditional aspect of the rally and the student participation.
“I think it’s awesome because everyone can get involved,” Wied said. “The torchlight rally for OU is a newer rally, but the Hex Rally is more traditional. Whether you’re a young Longhorn or an old Longhorn, it’s something you can share.”
Regardless of who the Longhorns will face on Thanksgiving 2012, Huddleston said the chapter hopes to uphold this characteristic UT tradition.
“We will be looking again to next year for what we can do to have the same impact and bring the University together,” she said. “We’ll just see what form that takes next year.”
Printed on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 as: Last hex cast on Texas A&M