Count The Worldwide Leader among those who earnestly listened to Mack Brown when the Texas coach said in early November that the “Horns Down” sign was disrespectful.
During the TCU-Texas game on Thanksgiving night, the ESPN crew of Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer and David Pollack were demonstrating some of the hand signals used to represent the mascots of different college football teams. In jest, Palmer threw a “Horns Down.”
Palmer’s bosses apparently didn’t think it was so funny, however. Later in the broadcast, Palmer said he meant “zero disrespect to the Longhorn Nation” before the cameras panned to fans flashing “Hook ‘Em Horns.”
While we’re not implying that this is the reason behind the on-air apology but it’s worth noting that ESPN co-owns The Longhorn Network with the University of Texas and IMG College. Typically ESPN announcers reserve apologies for swearing on air a la Lee Corso, not for flashing “offensive” signs.