In case you missed it, yes, that guy on the cover of the Nov. 21 New York Times magazine is none other than Geneva's very own Patrick Schiller.
The cover story, titled "The Burden of Dreams—Hanging on to the fragile hope of an NFL career," was written by Schiller's uncle, author and NYT contributing writer Charles Siebert, and it's a wonderfully told tale of The Hard Life of an N.F.L. Long Shot.
We all know Schiller's story, from Geneva Viking to Northern Illinois University standout linebacker, to his selection by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL draft.
But we don't know about the struggle to get there and the sacrifices and tough times his family went through.
This story is nothing short of excellent. It's 13 pages of online reading, supported by numerous videos, endless interviews and months of reporting.
Siebert never let on to Schiller's coaches that he was doing a story on his nephew. That was mutually agreed up from the get-go, and Siebert didn't want Schiller to have to put up with the gruff that he might have gotten if coaches knew about the reporter/uncle following him around.
Siebert tells much of the tale from interviews here in Geneva, and he speaks well of the community, mentioning "his hometown’s historic main street," and the Road to Perdition shoot.
The article talks about Schiller's friendship and mentoring from Lofa Tatupu, his shot at linebacker during a preseason game, his invitation to the practice squad and his long waits by the phone.
It's a terrific story, a great read and a tribute to Schiller's courage, drive and perseverance.
Related Articles, Blogs
- Reports: Geneva's Pat Schiller Earns Spot on Atlanta Falcons Practice Squad
- ESPNChicago.com Highlights NIU-Geneva Football Connection
- Geneva's Schiller on Wild NIU Bowl Ride
- On the Web: Geneva's Pat Schiller Makes College All-Star Team
- Geneva's Pat Schiller Gets Ready for NIU's Jan. 9 Bowl Game