President Kennedy delivered his famous moon speech at Rice University on Sept. 12, 1962.

BEVO BEAT Football

Now 53 years later, JFK asks, ‘Why does Rice play Texas?’

Posted September 8th, 2015


Saturday marks the 53rd anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s famous speech about why America should go to the moon.

Of course, sports fans remember the speech for his one-liner about the Rice football team.

Beating the Longhorns has been hard for the Owls over the decades. Texas is 40-2 against Rice since 1965. The last time Rice got the upper hand was in 1994.


Rice coach David Bailiff referenced the famous speech during his Monday press conference.

“Heading into Texas this week, it’s always a challenge,” Bailiff said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “I think President (John) Kennedy summed it up when he asked ‘Why does Rice play Texas?’ Because it’s hard.

“It is hard to go into that environment. They are great players,” he added. “They struggled at Notre Dame, but I don’t think they’ll continue to struggle. Charlie (Strong) does a great job, obviously, with what he did at Louisville. He’s a great coach. They’ll find their identity. You know they’re searching hard this week.

“It is Texas. We don’t have to worry so much about them. We have to worry about us, play our game and try to be the best team that we can be this week.”


News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at