Maybe it's not surprising that Reagan would still remember knocking heads with a bruiser like Musso. But could Musso possibly remember Reagan in such vivid detail? As a matter of fact, in an interview with SI's Bruce Anderson a couple of weeks before his account of their confrontation appeared in the Post, Musso had said, "I remember playing Eureka, but I don't remember playing against Reagan."
Anderson got back to Musso and asked how his memory could possibly have undergone such a vast improvement. Musso was slightly sheepish. He admitted that until being recently set straight on the subject, he thought he'd played against Reagan twice instead of just once. He further said it was difficult for him to distinguish what he remembered firsthand of the 1929 Eureka game from what he had managed to reconstruct over the years through conversations with others, including Reagan, with whom he has chatted during the latter's visits home to Illinois. It may also be that Musso, who said he's "darn proud" that Reagan sees fit to mention him, didn't want not to remember the man who was to be inaugurated this week as the nation's 40th President. At any rate, Musso said that his Post interview did accurately reflect the type of football player Reagan was. "It always happens when you get a smaller man in front of you," Musso said. "He's going to outsmart you by being quicker. It's just normal."