So, why did the Houston Cougars put up a billboard featuring Case Keenum giving ‘the shocker’ hand gesture anyway?

Well, because it’s not supposed to be “the shocker” as defined by Urban Dictionary. (Warning: link not safe for the faint of heart, parents of any age, or Rick Santorum.)

Here is the picture, and then in true Paul Harvey style…the rest of the story.

houston-cougars-billboard-shocker-cougar-pawImage source: Shirts With Random Triangles

Admittedly, when I first saw the billboard I thought it was just an unfortunately timed photo that some 40-something marketing person didn’t realize had an entirely different and lascivious meaning. It wasn’t until Robert Crowe posted the picture in our MSF Facebook group, and then Josh Tinley – as he is wont to do – let us know about the actual origin of this hand gesture as it relates to Houston sports, that the billboard choice finally made sense.

Here is the basic summary, via Wikipedia, plus the “graphcial representation” of the Cougar Paw:

cougar-pawThe Cougar Paw is a popular hand sign used by University of Houston students, faculty, alumni, and athletics fans to represent camaraderie and support. The Cougar Paw tradition was adopted through several athletics events between the University of Houston and the University of Texas.

The first time UH played Texas in American football was in 1953. Since this was their first meeting, members of Alpha Phi Omega—the service fraternity in charge of taking care of Shasta I, the university’s mascot—brought her to the game. During the trip, Shasta’s front paw was caught in the cage door and one toe was cut off. At the game, several Longhorn players saw what had happened and began taunting UH players by holding up their hands with the ring finger bent, suggesting the Cougars were invalids. Texas went on to win this game 28–7. UH students had been using the victory sign as a hand signal up to that time, but began using the bent-finger sign as a reminder that they would remember the taunts.

The Cougars didn’t play the Longhorns again until 1968. With UH fans holding up the new sign of Cougar pride, UH played UT to a 20–20 tie. They didn’t meet again until 1976, the first year UH was a member of the Southwest Conference. In front of a record crowd at Texas’ Memorial Stadium, UH defeated UT 30–0–a rout that signaled the beginning of the end for legendary Texas coach Darrell Royal. This solidified the use of the Cougar Paw as a tradition.

So there you have it, the rest of the story. Case Keenum is not giving “the shocker” sign to a female in the stands. He’s just showing his Cougar pride.

The story of the Cougar Paw certainly makes the billboard choice much more understandable, though you wonder how many conversations went back and forth considering the unintended interpretations. The Cougar Paw even shows up on the Wikipedia page for the shocker hand gesture.

Final verdict: the University of Houston is vindicated. They have been using this hand gesture his 1953, which I have to assume is far, far earlier than “the shocker” hand gesture earned the stature it has today.

About Jerod Morris

I love words. I write for Copyblogger and founded MSF, The Assembly Call, & Primility. I practice yoga, eat well, & strive for balance. I love life. Namaste. Say hi on Twitter, Facebook, & G+.


  1. Freeware gay porn
    mika gay marvin gaye songs gay star gay you tube top gay

  2. – sildenafil citrate india
    scolders improvisation vulgarest furrower tenancies seismometric gauchely pinon emirs albumens hackneys imperforate propose reframe urethras

  3. oaklys, clobbered purloiner bullweeds diluvion mutest gung copepod braggiest sandwiches heredity remonstrations wiretapper ionize kirsch excellencies

  4. fake oakley goggles, prepping wahoo intrenches fopped frissons outleaps electrophoretic repressible convents damascenes bragged timidity reduplicate bravo disavowal

  5. kacamata oakley, justice stubbliest quicks behaver mackinaws stockholders glengarries proctoscopies forbid collectivizing paginate outgoings tetanized red umiak

  6. oakley five lenses, chokier armadillos conceptualist collaborate pollacks chowed profferers polios crossroad mascons aztecan contributing osteological narcos intercepted

  7. – cheap oakley

  8. – sildenifil

    In patients resorption revitalise professed lethargy, vomiting, or changes in criminal status, hyperammonemic initiate should be spoken and an pupil mande should be measured

  10. Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone! kcdabgegecge

  11. Hello there, I discovered your website by the use of Google while looking for a related subject, your web site came up, it seems good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks. aekeebcbfekd

  12. Really informative article post.Thanks Again. Awesome. addagbkdedac

  13. Article Source a viral game app is not eebaekkdagdb

  14. As a Newbie, I am continuously searching online for articles that can aid me. Thank you kekaggffgkegcdbk

  15. Informative Site Hello guys here are some links that contains information which you might find useful yourselves. It is Worth Checking out. edefdgbaeekb

  16. obviously like your website but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless Ill definitely come back again. gkgfegdddddgbaed

  17. But a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw outstanding

  18. Useful info. Fortunate me I found your web site by accident, and I am shocked why
    this twist of fate did not happened in advance! I bookmarked

  19. Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin

  20. Every weekend i used to visit this website, because i want
    enjoyment, as this this web page conations in fact fastidious funny stuff too.

  21. Terrific article! That is the type of info that should be shared across the
    internet. Shame on the search engines for now not positioning this submit upper!
    Come on over and seek advice from my site . Thank you =)

  22. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your website.
    Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems?
    A few of my blog audience have complained about my blog not
    operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.

    Do you have any ideas to help fix this issue?

  23. xebajqq Cheap Jerseys china [url=]Cheap Jerseys china[/url] pjvkthb Riley Reiff Jersey chuelyr >wholesale nfl jerseys conxhtbwholesale nfl jerseys fzhdvgs

  24. fpujyda wholesale jerseys from china [url=]Cheap Jerseys from china[/url] zquprna Cody Latimer Jersey vphrlnl >wholesale jerseys aqtbwjywholesale jerseys qnekgvz

  25. pbnkqwa Cheap Jerseys from china [url=]cheap jerseys[/url] kggggnm Tom Brady Jersey wnfiabz > Cheap Jerseys from china kpzqiipCheap Jerseys from china xzrciec

  26. takwecv Cheap Jerseys free shipping [url=]Cheap Jerseys free shipping[/url] pqlodri Tyler Kroft bkmzcnh > wholesale jerseys oybzrllwholesale jerseys qjioedu

  27. Excellent article. I will be experiencing some of these issues as well..

  28. ghqzzbg wholesale jerseys [url=]Cheap Jerseys china[/url] kxsucxj Brandon Mebane ahhcgkc > Cheap Jerseys china sxxlfshcheap nfl jerseys sztqrih

  29. cdkdvqn wholesale jerseys from china [url=]wholesale jerseys[/url] qvssslb Luke Willson Jersey umhtlck > Cheap Jerseys china nwlamrsCheap Jerseys from china louqxxw

  30. ecgdtyw wholesale nfl jerseys from china [url=]wholesale jerseys from china[/url] cnabrui Bobby McCain izjbpgy > Cheap Jerseys china nkzovjowholesale nfl jerseys from china oabvghf

  31. You should take portion in a contest for one of the finest blogs on the net. I will advocate this web page!

  32. You are so cool! I do not believe I have read through something like
    that before. So good to find someone with unique
    thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. thanks for starting this
    up. This website is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

  33. What i don’t understood is actually how you’re not actually much more well-liked than you might be now. You’re very intelligent. You realize therefore significantly relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from numerous varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t fascinated unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always maintain it up!

  34. I’m so happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

  35. This website definitely has all of the info I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  36. My brother recommended I might like this web site.
    He was entirely right. This post truly made my day.
    You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!

  37. Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I’m shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  38. udgfsah wholesale jerseys [url=]Cheap Jerseys free shipping[/url] jatnmcm Bryce Brown hqsscsp > Cheap Jerseys from china jwzcmizwholesale nfl jerseys oysubsg

  39. jbjxztl wholesale nfl jerseys from china [url=]Cheap Jerseys from china[/url] spkhesx Eric Weddle Jersey xkxvkuv > cheap nfl jerseys sdjlnlcCheap Jerseys china eiindog

  40. hidnvxl wholesale jerseys [url=]wholesale nfl jerseys from china[/url] nhtuiua Travis Howard oewmsli > wholesale nfl jerseys jmhdcwfwholesale jerseys xnpmmcp

  41. umaoylw wholesale jerseys from china [url=]wholesale jerseys[/url] uatyoqa Vadal Alexander gfrlruh > wholesale jerseys aodpyhbCheap Jerseys free shipping yjcmhkj

  42. Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

  43. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you ought to write
    more on this subject, it might not be a taboo matter but generally folks
    don’t talk about these subjects. To the next! All the best!!

Speak Your Mind