Joey McGuire was asked about a lot of things at his Monday presser, and he gave some thoughtful answers to questions about clock management, the quarterback situation, and analytics. Then, Pete Christy about the horns down gesture being a penalty, and we got this.

"It makes me laugh, I don't get it. It truly makes me laugh that it's a rule," McGuire said, adding: "I'll make sure it doesn't happen. I don't wanna hurt anybody's feelings."

Of course, McGuire said it with a laugh.

There have been too many press clippings about the horns down penalty over the years, but it seems like nobody knows why it's a penalty and why it's so important to the conference to warn everybody about it every offseason.

It all started back in 2012 after the Longhorns made a trip to... Lubbock. Yes, the Red Raiders, not the Sooners or the Aggies, are at the heart of this controversy. But sure, Texas Tech vs Texas isn't a rivalry.

During the 2012 matchup between the Longhorns and the Red Raiders, fans were relentless in throwing horns down and talking trash. When Texas receiver Mike Davis had a big gain, he pretended to holster a gun. That triggered an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Davis, who admitted later to being personally warned not to do it again earlier in the game. He did it anyways.

Texas head coach Mack Brown was asked about the penalty the following Monday and said, "that's something we ought to talk about as a league. The horns down are disrespectful for players on the field. If horns down are OK, we ought to have guns down be OK."

So it began. It wasn't immediate, but the seed was planted.

In 2017, Texas Tech wide receiver TJ Vasher did a double horns down in Austin and got hit with a penalty. Texas Tech won.

Several years later, the horns down storm got out of hand when West Virginia went to Austin and David Sills V threw a blatant horns down, which drew a 15-yard penalty for taunting. Later in the game quarterback, Will Grier threw a double barrel horns down after scoring a game-winning two-point conversion.

After the game, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, a lifelong Longhorns fan who grew up in Austin and whose family had Texas season tickets, tweeted, then deleted, what every incredibly soft Texas Longhorns fan was feeling:

"I remember every single team/player that disrespects the rich tradition of the University of Texas by putting the Horns down. Do not think it will be forgotten in the future."

OK, Sam.

From that point on, it hasn't been forgotten. The horns down rule have been enforced more tightly in Austin and around the Big 12. The conference leader of officials even let people know it would be a penalty when the Longhorns left the Big 12 to go to the SEC.


Besides the horns down history, Lubbock is a notoriously hostile place to play for any team, but especially for the Longhorns. Former Texas Tech basketball coach and current Longhorn Chris Beard tried to warn football coach Steve Sarkesian, but Joey McGuire had the perfect response to that, too.

I love how much McGuire just gets it. It's a game. Let's have some fun with it.

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