George Musso Chicago Bears

George Musso stood 6-2 and weighed 262 pounds, which made him one of the largest men playing pro football during the 1930s and 1940s. The big man from little Millikin College starred in football, basketball, baseball, and track.

With his pro team, the Chicago Bears, he specialized as a middle guard on defense and excelled in all of his offensive assignments, particularly as a pass blocker and as a pulling guard on running plays. On offense George began his career with the Bears as a tackle, but after four seasons, made the switch to guard when his team’s personnel needs so dictated.

Musso played 12 seasons during a period when Chicago was the scourge of pro football. Teammates and opponents alike respected him as a dependable 60-minute performer. His outstanding play often forced teams to alter their game plan, something that was unheard of at the time.

His inspirational play contributed to the Bears’ fearsome reputation. A team leader, George was the Bears' captain for nine years. He became the first player to win All-NFL honors at two positions, tackle in 1935 and guard in 1937. Musso also had the rare distinction of playing against two future Presidents of the United States.

As a collegian, George once lined up against Ronald Reagan, a guard at Eureka College. Several years later, when the Bears played the College All-Stars his opponent was All-Star Michigan center, Gerald Ford. Prior to joining the Bears in 1933, coach/owner George Halas offered him a tryout and $90 a game if he made the team. To seal the deal, Halas sent the future star $5 for expenses, $3 for the train ride to Chicago and $2 for incidentals. Musso made the team, and, eventually, Halas came through with the weekly $90 salary he first promised the big rookie.