By treebuck on 16:22:21 01/21/04
I was having a normal day here at work when a coworker brings a fit-looking older gentleman into my office. His name was Paul Matus - a member of the 1942 National Championship team.
We talked for over a half-hour about some of his life experiences:
Making the football team as a walk-on after responding to a sign advertising for football players.
He never played football a day in his life prior to that - only wanted to stay in shape for baseball.
Played 2 seasons as a guard, then left OSU for service in the Army Air Corps.
Piloted a B-26 in WWII and was shot down during the Battle of the Bulge.
Spent the rest of the war in a POW camp that was later liberated by the Russians.
He told several other stories regarding his military service - including another bailout on a US training mission and a crash landing in England after being hit by flak near Cologne.
Also told a humorous story on Coach Brown. Said PB read his name off a list as May-tus and since Paul's name was pronounced Matt-us, he didn't stand up. When Coach Brown spelled it out and Paul stood, he said, in a very school-masterly way, "if it was supposed to be pronounced Matt-us, your name would have two T's!"
He appeared to choke up a bit when relating how Coach Tressel used the book about his team to inspire the '02 Champions.
There are only a few members of the team left - I feel very fortunate to have met him. Will be stopping by his house to see his ring and have him sign my OSU helmet.
Just wanted to share.