The Four Rodents Ride Again

A tribute to one of the most famous sports articles ever penned, and a little about the USC game.

Outlined against a blue-gray December sky, the Four Rodents rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Turnover, Penalty, Dropped Pass and Special Teams Goofs. They formed the crest of the Corvallis cyclone before which another fighting Beaver football team was swept over the precipice at the Coliseum Saturday afternoon as 73,000 spectators peered down on the bewildering panorama spread on the green plain below.

A cyclone can’t be snared. It may be surrounded, but somewhere it breaks through to keep on going. When the cyclone starts from Corvallis, where the candle lights still gleam through the Douglas Firs, those who still have the glimmer of hope must take to storm cellars at top speed.

Yesterday the cyclone struck again as USC beat OSU, 52 to 28, with a set of OSU miscues that ripped and crashed through a strong Beaver team with more destructive power than the warring Beavers could overcome.

The speed by which a Beaver gaffe can turn a Beaver Believer from hope to despair is truly amazing. Time and time again the Beavers would look to be on the verge of being blown out by the men of Troy. Time and time again the Beavers would dig deep and produce a big play and it would appear that the tide was turning in their favor and Beaver fans would have the, “hope that springs eternal within the human breast”. But, time and time again the Beavers would shatter Beaver fans’ optimism with a momentum-turning blunder.

The litany of miscues is long. There was a fumble, four interceptions, two bad snaps that caused missed field goals, two blocked punts, and nine penalties. Once again the mighty Beavers proved to be their own worst enemy leaving Beaver Believers to ponder what-ifs from this game, and from the entire season.

USC brought a fine football team into action, and they are worthy PAC-10 champions. Mike Williams is a wonder to behold, as is USC’s team speed. It is a shame that the PAC-10 is once again falling victim to the BCS computers and will be locked out of yet another national championship game.

Beaver nation now looks forward to Las Vegas and a game against the University of New Mexico Lobos. This will be the final game for some all-time Beaver greats and eight players will be performing in their hometown. Beaver fans must gird their loins, pump up their courage, prepare for battle, and get ready to answer the question, “You want to go where and do what on Christmas Eve?”

Those who have tackled a cyclone can understand.

Big Daddy Orange can be read every Monday.  He can be reached at

BeaverBlitz Top Stories