Mac Engel

Sorry, Texas. ‘Hook ‘Em’ should now be a 15-yard penalty, too

We have reached that point in Crazy Snowflake World where Texas should now be penalized 15 yards if any player or coach flashes the “Hook ‘Em” sign.

To many out there, a “Hook ‘Em” is neither cool, nor is it OK.

To many out there, a “Hook ‘Em” is disrespectful and hurtful.

If “Horns Down” merits a penalty for unsportmanlike conduct because it’s taunting, then a “Hook ‘Em Horns” is, too. Both gestures are deeply offensive, should be considered unsporstmanlike conduct and are worthy of a penalty.

Every Big 12 coach outside of Austin should be all over this, immediately.

As a non-Texas alum, I have always been deeply hurt and offended by the “Hook ‘Em” gesture; it’s taunting and the Horns should be punished every time a player or coach flashes the sign.

The person in the middle of this crisis? My Tommy Boy.

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said during his weekly radio show in Norman on Tuesday that he called the Big 12 office just to make sure; yes, his team will be penalized 15 yards for unsporstmanlike conduct if a player flashes the “Horns Down” sign during the Sooners’ game against Texas in the Big 12 championship.

At this point, you are free to scream, “I hate everybody.”

Every single eye of Texas should be embarrassed and ashamed that any coach or player has made “Horns Down” an issue. If you think “Hook ‘Em” is not taunting, neither is “Horns Down.”

Former Texas coach Darrell K. Royal once said, “Football doesn’t build character. It eliminates the weak ones.”

Complaining about a “Horns Down” is not only not football, it’s weak. If the great DKR could deal with Horns Down, so can Tom Herman.

It’s funny that Herman would be offended by a “Horns Down” but he was perfectly OK, as the head coach, mocking and taunting Missouri quarterback Drew Lock in the 2017 Texas Bowl.

The adult in this situation would not talk about his behavior after that game, but the kid, Lock, said he was fine with Herman’s antics.

All head coaches are do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do hypocrites to some degree, but Herman should be better than whining about a silly hand gesture.

And you would think somewhere former Sooners coach Barry Switzer is cursing a blue streak over this pathetic Horns Down revelation. He is.

Switzer told The Athletic that the “Hook ‘Em” to “Horns Down” exchange is like “if someone gives you the finger, you give it right back.”

Amen, Coach. Done and done, and get on to the next play, or game.

“Horns Down” is the embodiment of sportsmanship, and sports fun. There is no specific language written in the NCAA or Big 12 by laws that states such a gesture is worthy of a penalty. Because, despite their zeal for legislation, not even the NCAA nor the Big 12 would consider such language necessary.

This crisis of childish behavior began when West Virginia rallied to defeat UT in Austin on Nov. 3. The Mountaineers were flagged twice for making the gesture during their win, even though WVU coach Dana Holgersen said he informed the game officials the players planned to use it at least once as a play signal.

Herman was critical of the “Horns Down” gesture flashed by the West Virginia players; he thought as much when WVU quarterback Will Grier flashed it as he scored a two-point conversion that beat the Longhorns at the end of the game. Herman said he thought it was taunting.

He’s right. It is.

Here is an idea: Stop Grier from scoring, or deal with it like DKR, and tell your players that’s part of playing at the University of Texas.

Herman‘s former boss at Texas, new North Carolina coach Mack Brown, always thought that “Horns Down” was disrespectful and should be evaluatued by the league.

I always thought “Hook ‘Em” was disrespectful and should be evaluated by the Big 12, NCAA, the federal government and the Vatican, too.

This is why Fox News is a thriving enterprise; the snowflakes always give them hours of free material and talking points over empty issues and non-consequential scenarios.

When the Big 12 convenes after the season, the coaches and administrators have a legitimate decision to make: If “Horns Down” merits a 15 yard flag, so must a good ol’ fashioned “Hook ‘Em.”

Either both gestures are taunting, and should be penalized, or men like Herman and all UTers simply must do what their predecessors have always done: Deal with it.

Common sense says to allow “Horns Down” to live unpenalized just as a “Hook ‘Em.”



Hook ‘Em.

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