Produced by an Oklahoma winery, the chardonnay is moderately priced. And it features an intriguing hook.
Or perhaps, Hook 'Em.
Grape Ranch, a start-up vineyard near Okemah, offers several wines. But its "Beat Texas!" line has recently found a niche, said Amie Hendrickson, manager of the Edmond Wine Shop.
"A lot of people are buying them as gifts," Hendrickson said.
The reason might be on the label. A cluster of grapes adorned with steer horns the unmistakable Longhorn silhouette poses upside down.
That's right. The inverted Longhorn, which in recent years has become a popular way for OU fans to express their views on a hated rival, has made it to wine labels.
Maybe it was a natural progression. After all, the upside-down logo is found on everything from caps and cars, T-shirts and ties, mailboxes and more. Wine might just be the latest step in the fermentation process.
"It's everywhere," said Chris Plonsky, Texas' women's athletic director and the school's director of external services. "Some people are just horns-challenged."
The idea has been around for a long time. Almost as soon as Texas cheerleader Harley Clark created the "Hook 'Em Horns" hand signal (pinky and index fingers up) at a pep rally in 1955, some opponent turned it upside down.
But the inverted steer head silhouette, and its placement on various items, is a newer phenomenon. And not necessarily a good one, according to J. Brent Clark, a Norman author and attorney (who is not related to Harley Clark).
"It's obsessive behavior," he said. "I don't think there's any doubt about it. It's an obsession for people."
Clark, by the way, is a longtime OU fan. He authored "Sooner Century: 100 Glorious Years of Oklahoma Football" and "Third Down and Forever," a biography of troubled OU star Joe Don Looney. By definition, he's not favorably disposed toward Texas.
But Clark has watched with dismay the proliferation of inverted Longhorns.
"It symbolizes a dead longhorn," Clark said. "It's on its back. If a cow gets over on its back and can't get up, it dies. It's very strange.
"I think it's sick."
Clark's is no doubt a minority position among OU fans. But the inverted logo is definitely disconcerting to Texas officials. An upside-down "TEXAS" is fine. "Beat Texas" and "Bevo Bash" meet their approval. Even a depiction of the inverted hand symbol is OK.
"It's part of the fun of the rivalry," said Craig Westemeier, director of Texas' office of trademarks and licensing.
Just don't invert the steer-head silhouette.
"We know what our trademark Longhorn silhouette is and it is not upside down," Plonsky said.
Except, of course, that it is. On all of those items, and more.
"You name it, I've seen it," said Greg Davis, owner of the Sooner Schooner store in Norman, which specializes in OU clothing and collectibles.
But Davis doesn't sell it. He can't.
Texas and OU are among 180 universities, bowl games, conferences and the NCAA that have licensed their marks and logos with the Collegiate Licensing Co. The inverted Longhorn silhouette is not on the list of approved items.
Westemeier said Texas officials weren't aware of Grape Ranch's inverted logo. But Jack Whiteman, who owns Grape Ranch along with is brother, Daniel, and their families, doesn't expect any trouble.
Whiteman said the company occasionally catches "a little grief" about its usual logo, with the grape cluster and horns right-side up. He said they inverted the logo to have a little fun. Though the line is marketed as "Beat Texas!" the labels do not have a reference to Texas.
"If we were to actually use Texas' logo," Whiteman said. "But we have a trademark pending on our own logo. It's kind of unique."
It's the use of Texas' actual logo that bothers school officials. The inverted silhouette apparently won't die. Davis said he first saw the upside-down logo on a cap about 10 years ago.
"The guy had bought a (Texas) hat, cut out the logo and sewed it back upside down," Davis said.
But he and several others agreed the phenomenon has proliferated in the last few years.
"It's just caught on," Davis said. "It's amazing to me."
And disturbing to Westemeier, who said although Texas' other rivals invert the logo, OU fans are the most frequent offenders.
"The main incidences where we've seen it is with the Oklahoma game," Westemeier said.
Since 1998, when Texas and OU registered with CLC, the schools have worked together to prevent the sale of unlicensed merchandise. The inverted logo is just one mild example.; other objectionable material has included profanity.
"Some of it is not printable," said OU associate athletic director Rick Hart. "Some of it is pretty bad. But we've tried to come up with alternatives (to the inverted Longhorns). We know there's a niche out there where people want more than two helmets colliding."
Thus, "Bevo Bash" or the depictions of the inverted hand signal. But the inverted Longhorn silhouette continues to turn up (or maybe, down) on those T-shirts and caps and other items.
Not so long ago, Davis said, he was in a local Norman sports bar when a guy came in with a box of caps adorned with the inverted horns. At $20 each, Davis said, the man quickly sold two dozen.
Because of situations like that, representatives from the CLC will make surprise visits this week to Oklahoma and Texas, looking for unlicensed merchandise. Those selling unlicensed gear could face felony charges. Most of the time, the penalty is limited to relinquishing the merchandise.
Davis, who said he'd like to be able to sell gear with the inverted logo, supports the schools' efforts to prevent others from doing so. Illicit sales take money from his pocket, he said.
But the Sooner Schooner does carry the Longhorn silhouette. Davis said car decals displayed right-side up while in the store are fast sellers.
"We would hope people would be willing to take an oath to display them the proper way horns down," Davis said. "But we can't guarantee that."
And Texas officials realize they can't control it. Really, an inverted symbol on car windows and bumpers doesn't much bother them.
And there's this. A portion of each decal sale eight percent of the wholesale price goes back to Texas in royalties. At the Sooner Schooner, the Longhorn decal goes for $4.29. If the wholesale price was $1, eight cents would go to fund Texas' athletic scholarships.
Doesn't sound like much, but it adds up. Westemeier said Texas reaps up to $2.5 million annually on royalties on CLC-licensed products. The school ranked third nationally in the most recent tally of royalties reported (OU ranked sixth).
There's no way to tell how much money comes from the decals, though the Texas bookstore annually sells about 10,000.Archive ID: 2072232