Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chicago Bears Patrick McCaskey Makes Friends in Nebraska

Senior Chicago Bears Director Patrick McCaskey was a long way from home this weekend--in Beatrice, Nebraska, at Aunt Mary's Sunday night to speak about his latest book:  "Pillars of the NFL."  The grandson of Chicago Bears legendary coach George Halas, the senior director of the Chicago Bears, and the Bears' historian, was talking football history to one group of America's football favorite fans. Beatrice is an manageable ride from Lincoln and the University of Nebraska.  Anyone who has ever driven through the area will tell you that football runs deep in that part of the country--it's in the soil--and perhaps the state's greatest football coach and player was the reason for McCaskey's presence that night.

His Pillars of the NFL takes a look at interesting and important coaches who have won three or more championships. Among the coaches is Blue Springs, Nebraska's Guy Chamberlin whom the author spoke about that night.  Chamberlin graduated from Blue Springs High School in 1911 and immediately went to Nebraska Wesleyan to play football and then transferred to the University of Nebraska.  One of the country's best football player's of the era, Chamberlin will be remembered for among other things his tremendous play against Notre Dame that net his team a 20-19 victory in 1915.  When Chamberlin went on to the pros,  he became a player-coach in the NFL's first decade,  Chamberlin played for the Decatur/Chicago Staleys, the Canton Bulldogs, the Cleveland Bulldogs, the Frankford Yellowjackets and the Chicago Cardinals. He won one championship as a player and four as a player-coach.

When Chamberlin retired from football, he returned to his roots in Nebraska.  He was inducted into the  Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965 and he passed away in 1971.  A monument to the great coach was recently put up in Blue Springs.  His memory is also kept alive at the University  of its Chamberlin Award.