Students get pumped at ‘Big Yell’ rally


Nathan Goldsmith

Students in attendance at the Big Yell Wednesday evening participate in a cheer. The event featured a performance by the Longhorn Band.

Andy Hoffman

Longhorn fans erupted in yells at the 6th annual Big Yell welcome rally Wednesday to inaugurate the upcoming Texas football season, foreshadowing the school spirit that accompanies the renowned games.

Launched by UT’s official alumni organization Texas Exes, the rally gathered the UT community for an Orange and White Welcome and treated students to barbecue before migrating to the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Texas Exes Spirit and Traditions Council Chair Erica Flores said the council has been working on the project since April. She said the organization hoped to educate students on UT traditions and make people feel like they were a part of something big.

The rally also included a town hall with UT head football coach Mack Brown, who invited students to ask questions via Twitter.

“Don’t forget,” Brown said in a video statement released before the rally. “Come early, be loud, stay late and wear orange.”

Flores also said the event was meant to integrate lesser-known secrets with the UT community. Organizations including UT Athletics, Texas Cheer and Orange Jackets also collaborated to create the event, she said.

At the end of the rally, a large group of students clad in burnt orange shirts with painted faces departed the stadium, their hands raised in a “Hook ‘Em” sign. Echoes of “Texas Fight” burst through the stadium. Cherry Mendoza, member of Longhorn Hellraisers, said the Big Yell is a way to get them excited before the football season.

“Our chants are just a way to get us pumped up for the games. We have a banner that says ‘Longhorn Hellraisers’ and we’ll march down Guadalupe before they start,” she said. “We’re loud, we’re rowdy, we raise hell.”

Biology junior Justin Nguyen said he could feel the UT spirit and loved the way the crowd responded. He said it is great to see every class participate so strongly.

“It’s a power symbol,” Nguyen said.

Printed on Thursday, August 30, 2012 as: Fervor spikes at 'Big Yell'