PRO LEAGUE'S BEST SEASON IN HISTORY, ASSERTS CARR
JANUARY 5 (Columbus, OH) - The 1938 National Professional Football
campaign was the most successful in the league's history, from the
standpoints of artistry, attendance and spectacular play, and I am looking
forward to an even better season in 1939. Climaxed by a storybook game
in which the New York Giants defeated the Green Bay Packers to take the
championship, the season presented practically everything witnessed on
a gridiron. The fans, responding to the hard fought and spectacular play,
thronged the parks in such numbers that the attendance was more than
1,100,000, an increase of 15 percent over 1937. The championship was
witnessed by 48,120, a new single game high mark for the playoff. So
evenly balanced was the league this year that any of the teams in the
lower brackets, given a few breaks, could have emerged with the title.
Our selective system, permitting the lower berth clubs first chance to
negotiate with graduating college players, will maintain that balance. The
selective system, now in its fourth year, started showing results last
season, and as time goes on will tend to keep the competition on a more
even plane. For next season we are planning more pageantry, more
colorful uniforms for the teams and officials, entertainment of various kinds for the intermission between halves and the hottest football games in the land. Rule changes will be few. The goal posts will stay on the goal line, and passes will be allowed from any spot back of the scrimmage line. We'll continue to play wide open ball, with the emphasis on forward and lateral passes and kicking, for the fans like to see the ball at all times and don't want it hidden under masses of players. I don't believe a team will ever dominate our league to any great extent. In 1938 Green Bay won the western division title with eight victories and three defeats, while New York's Giants lost two and tied one in 11 contests. The league teams tossed 2,030 passes during the season, and completed 824 for a 40.5 percentage. The 10 teams tallied 1,484 points. Gaynell Tinsley of the Chicago Cardinals caught a pass from Doug Russell for a 98-yard touchdown gain, and Don Hutson of Green Bay caught nine touchdown passes. Ward Cuff of New York and Ralph Kercheval of Brooklyn kicked five field goals each. Our friendly relations with the colleges will continue. We will sign no players until their class has graduated, thus guaranteeing colleges the use of players until the last possible minutes. We don't want players who are willing to desert the classroom.
225-POUND UCLA STAR IS SIGNED BY PACKERS
JANUARY 17 (Green Bay) - Signing of C.M (Slats) Wynick, 225-pound UCLA tackle, was announced by the Green Bay Packer yesterday. Coach E.L. (Curly) Lambeau, on a 7,000-mile tour for 50 player interviews, signed Wynick at Los Angeles, the club announcement said. Wynick is 23 and married.
WILLARD SHERMAN ON PACKER SQUAD
JANUARY 20 (Whitewater) - Willard Sherman, 200-pound center from the Whitewater State Teachers' college, has been signed to play with the Green Bay Packers next season, officials of the professional team revealed today.
PACKERS SIGN STEED
JANUARY 28 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers yesterday announced signing of Frank Steen, Rice university end. He is 24, measures 6 feet 2 inches, and weighs 200 pounds.
LAMBEAU SIGNS BROCK, NEBRASKA U. CENTER
FEBRUARY 1 (Green Bay) - Coach E.L. (Curly) Lambeau of the Green Bay Packers announced yesterday signing of Charlie Brock, Nebraska university center, for the 1939 National pro football league season. The Packers drew Brock in the annual league draft.
PACKERS INVITED TO PLAY IN TEXAS SEPTEMBER 4
FEBRUARY 6 (Green Bay) - If the National Professional Football league sanctions the game, the Green Bay Packers will meet a team of Southern College All-Stars at Dallas next September 4, Packer Coach E.L. (Curly) Lambeau announced today. "Promoters of the game will attend our league meeting in Chicago February 9, and if they get the league's approval, which is really only a formality, the game will go on," he said. The Packer coach reported he had signed several players during his recent scouting trip throughout the southwest and west, but refused to divulge their names.
PRO TEAMS TO DICKER FOR TALENT
FEBRUARY 8 (Chicago) - Football - professional variety - moves back into the sports spotlight tomorrow when National league officials and coaches convene to adopt a schedule, study rule changes and dicker for each other's playing talent. No major alterations in the playing code was anticipated. George Halas, owner and coach of the Chicago Bears, and chairman of the rules committee, thinks most of the coaches want the rules left alone. "We probably will adopt the two minor changes made in the college game," Halas said. The collegians ruled the center, guards and tackles must stay on the line of scrimmage until a pass is thrown and changed the penalty when a forward pass strikes an ineligible receiver. Under the old rule the ball changed hands, but now the team whose pass strikes an ineligible man will be penalized 15 yards and loss of a down. "Probably of most interest to fans will be trading during the convention," Halas said. "I expect quite a bit of swapping of players because we all need something the other fellow has." The champion New York Giants will be looking for a fullback; Green Bay Packers, a pair of tackles; Chicago Cardinals, a center; Cleveland Rams, passer and tackles; Detroit Lions, passer; Philadelphia Eagles, guards; Washington Redskins, tackles, blocking back; Brooklyn Dodgers, passer, and Pittsburgh, backs. The final session of the convention is set for Sunday.
PACKERS OWE RISE TO LAMBEAU
FEBRUARY 9 (Chicago) - There is one thing you can be sure the coach of the Green Bay Packers will be doing in his spare moments - plotting new forward pass plays. And that's just the way Curly Lambeau occupied himself while he waited for the opening of the annual National Professional Football league meeting. Lambeau is the man who created the Green Bay Packers 20 years ago. They call Green Bay the biggest little city in professional football - a city of 44,000 souls. And, athletically speaking, it was Lambeau and his revolutionary theories of forward passing that made Green Bay what it is today. Fresh out of Notre Dame where he was a star passer under Knute Rockne, Lambeau went home to work for a meat packing concern in 1919. Football was in his blood, and he soon convinced his employers that they should sponsor a football team. That's how the Green Bay Packers were born. Formation of the team marked the start of a new era in football, an era that was to witness the evolution of the forward pass from something that was used only in a desperate, last-ditch attempt to score into an offensive weapon. Lambeau didn't adopt the passing game because he wanted to; he did it because he had no choice. "We had to use passes," he said, "because all our opponents were bigger and heavier. We always favored a passing game and we've done pretty well." Pretty well? So well that passing brought the Packers world championships in 1929, 1930, 1931 and 1936. It almost brought them a fifth league title last fall when they lost the playoff to the New York Giants because a last-minute pass fell incomplete by a fingertip. Passing succeeded so well at Green Bay that college and high school teams have copied the serial offense. Passing made Green Bay the nation's professional football capital. Lambeau was the first of a succession of great Packer passers. From 1919 through 1927, he served as player-coach and was the team's No. 1 marksman. Then, when Curly retired from the field to do his coaching from the bench, his passing tradition was kept alive by the likes of Red Dunn, Bobby Monnett, Arnie Herber and Cecil Isbell. And the best of these, according to Lambeau, is Herber. "That Herber is the greatest forward passer I've ever seen on any football field anywhere," he said. "There never was a long passer like him. He throws them pretty accurately up to 35 yards, but he has no equal when it comes to heaving 'em from 35 to 60 yards. His accuracy is uncanny. He throws perfect strikes and on the dead run, too, mind you." If Lambeau decided to advertise for a passer, he would write an ad like this: PASSER WANTED - Prefer tall man who doesn't throw sidearm, but raises the ball well over his head and throws overhand. Must be cool-headed, quick thinking and have a good wrist action so he can put snap into his throw. Those whose records show frequent interceptions need not apply." So if you want a nice job in a nice town, those are the standards you must meet.
BETTER OFFICIATING IS SOUGHT IN GRID GAME BY LAMBEAU
FEBRUARY 9 (Chicago) - The National Professional Football league opened its twentieth annual executive meeting today but the chief subjects for discussion involved players, schedules and officiating rather than anniversary celebrations. Coach Curly Lambeau of the Green Bay Packers, one of four delegates who have been present at each of the 19 previous sessions, brought with him a demand for better officiating. The Green Bay Packers' boss said he wanted prospective officials to pass a physical examination as well as a quiz on rules and that he was ready to play bigger salaries for better officiating. One of the most sought after draftees this year appeared to be Sid Luckman, the Columbia university passer deluxe. He's wanted by New York and Brooklyn but the Chicago Bears have first call on his services. Luckman has intimated he would give pro football the go-by, but if he plays, says George Halas, owner-coach of the Bears, it will be for the Bears. John Drake, former Purdue fullback who starred at Cleveland for two season, was another popular choice. Among the coaches, Ernie Never of the Cardinals was scheduled to be in demand for conferences. The draft favored the Cards with three Pittsburgh stars - Marshall Goldberg, Harold Stebbins and Bill Daddio. Adoption of minor rule changes and the 1939 schedule, scheduling of more night games, and re-election of President Joe Carr to a long term were expected before the four-day meeting adjourns.
JOE CARR IS RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF PRO LEAGUE
FEBRUARY 10 (Chicago) - Club officials of the National Professional Football league indicated Friday that they don't want a governing commissioner at any price. In the first session of their four day conference Thursday they re-elected Joe F. Carr, Columbus, Ohio, president for 10 years. The long appointment was said to be their answer to talk of a high commissioner. Carl Storck of Dayton, Ohio, was re-elected vice-president and treasurer. So much routine business was on hand that traders had little chance of reaching anything more than the sounding out stage. One major player trade between Gus Henderson, new coach of the Detroit Lions, and Earl (Dutch) Clark, who resigned at Detroit to take over the Cleveland Rams, appeared in the making for a while, but fell through. Clark tried to land Jack Johnson, Detroit tackle and assistant coach under his regime. No major rule changes were expected. The schedule makers may have trouble, however, since there is some opposition to an early ending of the season. Most coaches have agreed to schedule several night games in order to end the regular playing season by December 1.
PRO LEAGUE LIMITS CLUBS TO ONE POSTSEASON TILT
FEBRUARY 11 (Chicago) - The barnstorming days of big leaguers in professional football are over. The National league, in annual session here Friday, sanctioned one postseason game for pro football. For the next five years it will be a contest between the current league champion and a collection of pro all-stars, picked in a newspaper poll, in Los Angeles. Heretofore, players could engage in games here and there if given permission by League President Joe F. Carr. It is reported several played without permission in a game in San Francisco last month. Carr said if his investigation of that game revealed league men participated without permission, the penalty would be automatic suspension for a year. The pro champions each year will continue to appear in the annual preseason game at Chicago against the college senior all-stars. A Dallas committee composed of Matty Bell and Jimmy Stewart of Southern Methodist university, have asked the league to allow each year's runnerup to compete in a similar game against southwestern all-stars. Ken Strong, former New York Giant star, is back in the good graces of the pro game. He was reinstated Friday, four years after he repudiated a contract with the Giants to join another pro circuit. He will be eligible to play this fall with New York. The league voted unanimously to hold the membership to 10 teams, ignoring recurrent reports that some of the cities in the league may be represented in proposed rival organizations. Cincinnati, St. Louis, Buffalo and Los Angeles have been among the cities reported anxious to join the league, but Carr said he had received no formal applications for franchises.