When we published Patrick McCaskey's Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships, we hoped that it would be popular with readers of all ages. Certainly, for many younger readers, many of the Pillars may not be known, but they will forever be important in the history of professional football. When we made a trip this weekend to Millikin College in Decatur, we were "surprised" to see the book on campus all ready--see photo above [see note below]. After all, it's only been out for a few weeks.
Millikin and Decatur have connections to the early days of the NFL. Decatur is where the Decatur Staleys started out under coach/player/manager George Halas. The Staleys were created and sponsored by A. E. Staley whose Staley Starch Company was one of the principle employers in town. The team went on to become the Chicago Bears after Mr. Staley turned it over to George Halas and urged him to move it to Chicago where a larger attendance at games could support it as a professional team.
The Staley family was philanthropic and among several of their charitable deeds they endowed the library at Millikin University.
Another Millikin-NFL connection is University graduate George Musso. Musso was 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds and played for the Chicago Bears from 1933-1944. At Millikin, Musso played football, basketball, baseball, and track. He lined up against President Reagan, when Reagan was attending Knox College. In the 1935 College All-Star game, Musso played against Gerald Ford.
[The young lady above is actually related to the publisher of Sporting Chance Press. The publisher shamelessly planted the book in her hand for this photo opportunity.]