Saturday, August 4, 2007

OSU Iron Man

Clyde Devine being hoisted onto the shoulders of his teammates.

Clyde Devine is the tall one in the middle of the front row who looks eerily like my older brother...

When I told my Grandma that my boyo was going to OSU, she proudly remembered that her brother had gone to OSU, (and she promptly broke out in the OSU fight song...Go Grandma!) well, I decided to utilize the internet yet again to see if I could discover anything about his tenure there. Lo and behold! Not only was he a player there, but he was a Football Immortal! Literally! This is what I found:

At six feet, six inches tall, Clyde Devine was the "centerpiece" of Lon Stiner's Pyramid Play, used twice during the 1933 season to block extra points and field goals and later outlawed by the NCAA, making Oregon State's Ironmen the only team in college football history to attempt the play in a real game situation.

This year OSU and USC will meet for the 71st time in football, in a series that dates back to 1914.

In all these years, as of 2000, Oregon State has won seven times. Yes, seven times. There have been four ties and one of these, played Oct. 21, 1933, at Portland's historic Multnomah Stadium, remains among the most memorable games ever played in Oregon.

Using but 11 players the full 60 minutes, Oregon State College (as OSU was known then) held two-time defending national champion and No. 1-ranked USC to a scoreless tie, thus ending the nation's longest winning streak at 25.

It is believed this is the only time in NCAA history that a defending national champion and No. 1-ranked school was toppled from the ranks by a team using only 11 men the entire game.

The young men who played that day are known to us now, most affectionately, as the "Iron Men," although the name first used to describe what they did on that hazy October day 67 years ago was "Iron Immortals," penned by sports writer L.H. Gregory in his Oregonian sports column the day after the game.

Clyde Devine became a swimming and diving coach at Stanford University, and was the ninth of the eleven to pass away. He died of cancer in 1990.

When Grandma sang the fight song, she also shared the words to this little ditty:
I'm a "Beaver born and a Beaver bred; when I die I'll be a Beaver dead..."

Rest in Peace, Uncle Clyde...Here's to the possibility that Taylor can carry on your legacy and become another "Iron Man" of OSU.

Go Beavs!


  1. Hello. I stumbled on your blog post about Clyde Devine. I have been watching antique sites for years to find the issue of the Saturday Evening Post that published the first Pyramid Play picture (I'm a big Beavs fan). Anyway, seeing your post prompted me to say hi...Interestingly enough I am a descendant of a Barnett Devine and I have always wondered if there was a connection.

  2. Came across this blog posting when I was explaining to my co-worker that my first swimming coach played for OSU and was part of the pyramid play. I was too young at the time to remember him well, but do have some good memories, and stories!