The Hand Symbol used at the University of Houston.
aka "The Cougar Sign"
The cougar sign, made by folding in the ring finger of the hand towards the palm, has several stories explaining its meaning. The true story of its origin, however, dates back to 1953, the first time UH played the University of Texas in football. 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 car door and one toe was cut off. At the game, members of the opposing team discovered what had happened and began taunting UH players by holding up their hands with the ring finger bent, saying UH's mascot was an invalid and so were our players. Texas went on to win this game 28-7. UH students were very upset by this and began using the sign as notice that they would never let UT forget the incident. Fifteen years later, at their second meeting, the UH Cougars, proudly holding up the now adopted symbol of UH pride, fought Texas to a 20-20
UH did not play Texas again for eight years, our first year as members of the Southwest Conference. The Cougars were on a mission, and in front of 77,809 spectators (at that time the largest crowd ever in attendance at Memorial Stadium) slammed the lid on the disgrace Texas had attempted to put upon UH 23 years earlier. The final score was the University of Houston Cougars, 30, the Texas Longhorns, 0.
"Shock 'em Coogs" -- What we Cougars say at sports functions