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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oregon State and the Rose Bowl 

Oregon State University is playing the University of Oregon today for the right to compete in this year's Rose Bowl against the Big Ten champion, Penn State. It is a game that has traditionally been called "The Civil War." Oregon State has played in the Rose Bowl twice since Pearl Harbor, once in 1965 and once in 1942. The 1942 game was the only Rose Bowl ever held outside of California. It was played in Durham, NC. Despite the obvious tie-in there to the Clarion Content, it was not that portion of the story that caught our attention.

The 1942 Rose Bowl was played in Durham in part because of war-related concerns about holding the game in California. The Japanese government had declared war on the United States only months earlier. An article in the Los Angeles Times we spotted earlier this month told a tragically fascinating story about that 1942 Oregon State Rose Bowl team. Jack Yoshihara, a Japanese American was a sophomore reserve on Oregon State's football team, as well as a wrestler. According the story the LA Times recounts, one drizzly day during practice for the 1942 Rose Bowl, two FBI men in overcoats showed up at the Beavers practice field. They spoke with the coach and escorted Jack Yoshihara from the field.

Oregon State went on to upset Duke in the '42 Rose Bowl. Many of the players on both teams went on to serve in the war, Jack Yoshihara was denied the right to enlist in the Army and was sent to the Minidoka internment camp in Idaho. Oregon State awarded Yoshihara a Rose Bowl ring in 1985 and an honary degree last June. Yoshihara who lives in Edmonds, Washington after retiring from the refrigeration business he ran in Portland, Oregon is still a loyal Beavers supporter and fan. For years, he attended all their home games. According to the LA Times whatever the outcome of "The Civil War" this year, health concerns will prevent Yoshihara from attending the Rose Bowl. In 1942 Japanese-Americans were not permitted to travel more 35 miles from home, so he listed to that game on the radio, while German-American teammates were allowed to participate. He never played organized football again.

Amazingly, Jack Yoshihara's is not the only strange but true story from the 1942 Rose Bowl. The LA Times reports that, "During the Battle of the Bulge, Stan Czech, a tackle for that Beavers team, was sharing food and coffee with another soldier in a foxhole. After a few minutes of conversation, he realized it was Wallace Wade, the Duke coach. Charlie Haynes, Duke's backup quarterback, and Frank Parker, an Oregon State tackle, became platoon leaders in different companies. During the Arno Valley campaign in Italy, Parker came across a severely wounded Haynes and carried him to a farmhouse, where medics saved his life."

A reminder to all of us basking in the glow of Thanksgiving to be truly grateful. It is only a game, but the Clarion Content will be rooting for the Beavers from Oregon State to win and hopefully shine an even brighter light on Jack Yoshihara's story.

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This is possibly the best piece on the CC that I've read. I showed it to the girl I'm visiting in Boston. She thinks you're sweet.


Stay the fuck away from her. :)

More importantly does she think you're sweet?

More seriously thanks for the high praise and for spreading the word.

Tell her to tell her friends about the Clarion Content.
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