From Willis Munger, Charlie Trippi: a tale of two College All-star MVPs

I occasionally receive correspondence from a friend who asked me to write a column about certain subjects. This time he asked if I could write about Willis Munger. I don’t have a lot about Willis Munger, but it does remind me of another story later on. Mr. Harry Munger was the manager of a local department store and his wife Ola Munger was in charge of the morning Springfield Journal. It was in her basement that we paper boys would meet at 5:00 am each morning. I remember she was a nice lady unless she had been to a late party the night before. It was then that we thought she was rather cranky. She wanted us to hurry and block our papers and get out of her basement, so she could go back to bed.

Others might remember that the Mungers had two children – a daughter Harriet and a son Willis. Willis played on the BHS football team and was a 160-pound guard in 1931-1932. He then went to play at Illinois College, a rather small school in the Little 19, the Illinois Conference of Colleges. He wasn’t afraid of anything, was an unusual tough player and was All-Conference and a favorite of the fans of Illinois College.

Arch Ward was the sports editor of the Chicago Tribune and in 1934, the year after baseball had its first All Star game, he had the idea of having an All-Star football game in which the preceding champions of the NFL would play the best college players, who were graduating seniors of that year. The NFL was a rookie conference looking for a foothold at a time when baseball and boxing were the leading sports of that era. The names of college players were more popular than the names of the pro-players. The NFL was glad to have this All-Star game. The team of college all stars was to be selected by the vote of the people. &nbsp;&nbsp;<ahref=""><spanstyl... 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.</span></a></p>