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Pyramid football play
Pyramid football play
Image TitlePyramid football play
Photographer/StudioVincent, Ralph
Description/NotesThe pyramid play, used in blocking kicks, originated as a prank at an OAC football practice, according to Bill Tomsheck, a player on the 1933 football team. To the amazement of the pranksters, the play worked. It did not escape Coach Lon Stiner's attention and subsequently it developed into an authorized play. The play consisted of hoisting the 6'5" center, Clyde Devine, onto the shoulders of 6'2" tackles Harry Fields and Ade Schwammel, from which point he could reach out and knock down any ball headed for the goal posts.
The first official use of the play was successfully executed against the University of Oregon in Multnomah Stadium (now Civic Stadium) in Portland. According to Tomsheck, "In that era of college football, a place kick was infrequent. We had no audible signal to call this defensive play. When an opponent went into a place kicking formation, eye contact or the nod of the head was all that was necessary."
This photograph of the first official attempt was made by Oregon Journal photographer, Ralph Vincent. It was not until the film was developed that Vincent realized he had recorded history. The photograph was published in the Saturday Evening Post and the play became nationally reknown. For the remainder of the season, the OAC players reproduced it for the media in railroad stations, on the street, at hotels, and during practice sessions. The Pyramid was banned by the NCAA rules committee within a year.
Football games
Object TypeImage
Original FormatGelatin silver prints
Original CollectionHarriet's Photograph Collection
Item NumberHC2516
RestrictionsPermission to use must be obtained from Jim Vincent (photographer's son).
Full resolutionArchives16\HC2516_Pyramid1933.tif
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