Oklahoma Native Reba McEntire Throws Her Support to Rival Texas on Oscars Red Carpet

by Suzanne Halliburton
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Shocking! Reba McEntire, a proud native of McAlester, Oklahoma, did something scandalous Sunday night at the Oscars. She walked the red carpet and flashed the Hook ’em Horns sign.

Surely, folks north of the Red River shuddered at the image of one of their proud daughters supporting those dastardly Texans.

Now, if you know your state rival history, people who live in Oklahoma and those from Texas love to butt heads. That’s especially true during college football season when the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns meet in October at Dallas’ Cotton Bowl. The rivalry continues throughout the college sports season. It typically starts in September and ends in May.

Longhorn fans greet each other with the Hook ‘Em Horns sign. They’ve done so for almost 70 years. Meanwhile, fans of the Sooners typically do the upside-down Hook ‘Em sign. It’s gotten so heated that in the days before the 2020 Big 12 championship football game, league officials issued a statement about Horns down. Yes, they said, it can be interpreted as taunting and draw a 15-yard penalty.

(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Why Would Reba McEntire Flash Hook ‘Em at the Oscars?

So why would Reba McEntire flash the Hook ‘Em? Maybe it was her date. Rex Linn, the former CSI: Miami star, was Reba’s plus-one at the Academy Awards, Sunday night. The two, who have dated for two years, walked the red carpet together, holding hands. McEntire looked beautiful in a dark green gown. And as the two paused for photographs, they did the Hook ‘Em.

Linn is a Texas Longhorn super fan, although he spent part of his teen years in Oklahoma City. He also graduated from Oklahoma State. Cowboys and Sooners also are big rivals. But Linn stayed true to his early childhood. He explained that to Texas Sports in a 2009 interview.

“I grew up in a little town called Spearman, Texas,” Linn said. “My dad turned me into a Longhorn when I was about two years old. That’s as simple as it gets. I’ve been a Longhorn ever since.”

Linn even attended the national championship games after the 2005 and 2009 seasons. Both were at the Rose Bowl.

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

But wait, McEntire has another reason to be a UT fan. You cheer for your kin.

As Reba McEntire and Rex Linn walked the Oscars red carpet, McEntire’s niece was in Spokane, Wash., getting ready for an NCAA women’s basketball playoff game. Calamity McEntire is an assistant coach of the UT women’s basketball team. She joined the staff a year ago.

The Longhorns lost to Stanford, the defending national champions, to end their season one win short of the Final Four. Calamity is the daughter of Reba’s brother, Pake. And she also has some country music talent. She’s friends with Kelly Clarkson and her phrase “pick the weeds and keep the flowers” inspired Clarkson’s song, “Sober.”