NEWS AND NOTES
AL NOVAKOSKI SIGNS WITH KENOSHA 11
SEPT 6 (Kenosha) - Albert Novakofski of Menasha, halfback and co-captain of last year's Lawrence college Midwest Conference champions, signed a contract Tuesday to play with the Cooper Cardinals of the American Pro Football League. Novakofski had a trial with the Green Bay Packers last month.
LEWELLEN TELLS OF GRID RULES
SEPT 6 (Green Bay) - Some seven years after hanging up his Packer togs, Verne Lewellen finds it essential to be in pretty fair physical shape and to understand the technicalities of the game even better than when he played it. Lew is an official in the NFL and pro football officiating, he told Kiwanians in a talk before that group yesterday noon at the Hotel Northland, now conforms to standards all but unknown in the old days. Lew describes how the 1939 officials, at a recent meeting, had to pass rigid physical examination before being approved. This was followed by a written examination containing 176 questions so tough Lew said they couldn't be answered perfectly even with the use of a rule book. Since mastering all the requirements he has received two lengthy bulletins further clarifying the rules. Not that maintaining good physical condition or keeping up on the game should be any trick for the only former Packer now in the pro game as an official. Between 1924 and 1932, while putting over 50 touchdown and a goal kick to pile up 301 points for the all-time Packer scoring mark, Lew always was in top shape and up on his technical football. But this officiating is just like going to back school again, and being in the lineup, all at the same time, the Green Bay attorney intimated. A pro league officials during recent seasons, he has been assigned to his first game this fall at Soldier field in Chicago for the game between the Bears and the Cleveland Rams Sept. 15...TALKS OVER RULES: Talking over new and old rules with the Kiwanis club yesterday, Lew touched on one that usually seems to have the fan a little leery, depending on whether his team is on the offensive or defensive. It concerns interference rulings on pass plays. The player on defense has as much right to the ball as the potential pass snatcher, Lew explained, as long as he makes a legitimate try for it. He can come in contact with him while going up for the ball, a rule that sometimes has the crowd guessing. The fact is, according to Lewellen, there is just as much offensive as defensive interference on pass plays, usually furnished by the pass receiver tactfully using his hips in making the try...HOWLS FROM STANDS: Another rule that often leads to howls from the stands has to do with a completed or incompleted plackick. Much depends of course on the angle from which the play is viewed, and the official is directly in line. But the rule states that if any part of the ball crosses the outside edge of the goal post it is no good. During the Packer-Texas All-Star game Monday night radio listeners heard that a Packer end and an All-Star back grabbed a Packer forward pass simultaneously and both continued to clutch the ball after failing to the ground. It was judged a completed Packer pass, and several All-Star howls could be heard. The ruling is perfectly clear, Lewellen said. In a situation like this the team in possession of the ball is given preference. If two men on the same team both grab the ball, however, it is judged to be an incompleted pass, he explained. A new rule dealing with pass plays insists that the lineman must keep contact with his opponent, and not exceed his initial charge on the play. Otherwise, the lineman may cause the pass to be judged incomplete and prompt a penalty. Lewellen reviewed a number of new rules in detail and in passing commented that he tries to forget all about college football rules. Anyone has his hands full with the pro game, he explained.
PRAISE SHOWING OF PACKER TEAM
SEPT 6 (Dallas) - Aside from an individual comment here and there, including an isolated case in the press, there is no bitterness in the hearts of the southwest football experts and fans over the Green Bay Packers' defeat of the College All-Stars by 31 to 20 in the Cotton Bowl here Monday night. Coach Dutch Meyer of Texas Christian university and co-mentor of the All-Stars was among the first to congratulate Packer Coaches Curly Lambeau and Red Smith on their victory. He cited Green Bay as the best professional team ever to show here, and when it is considered that the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins furnish the basis for this comparison, it is nothing to be shunted aside...BELL PRAISES PACKERS: Like Meyer, Matty Bell of Southern Methodist was extravagant in his praise of the Packers. He had little to say immediately after the game. but on the following morning told this writer that "the Packers are the greatest professional team I have ever seen anywhere." Bell, who shared the Star coaching duties with Meyer, and is considered one of the nation's leading authorities on the aerial game, summed up that department with: "When men like Cecil Isbell and Arnie Herber are throwing, and Don Hutson and a couple of others are catching, you just about have the ultimate in forward passing effectiveness, and with backs like Hinkle, Laws and Jankowski to run, man, you have something. There were a number of the Packers that I didn't recognize, but they sure played great ball. The tremendous drive of the Packers was not expected so early in the season." With the exception of Flem Hall, Fort Worth Star Telegram, the sportswriters were just about unanimous in Packer acclaim. Hall objected to Packer protests of continuous penalties called by Ab Curtis, umpire, who is a favorite in Fort Worth. In a later edition of the same paper, Amos Melton eased up considerably on what Hall had called lack of Packer sportsmanship. The charge came out of the Packer objections to officiating that cost 135 yards in the game, and directly led to the two final All-Star counters...SEES GREAT SPECIALISTS: George White of the Dallas Morning News praised the Packers in his story, and later called to say that "any fan who didn't see a really great football specialist in every department, especially in the Packer lineup, must have been asleep." Bill McClanahan of the Dispatch-Journal, a former Highland Park (Dallas) teammate of Packer alumnus Al Rose, set down the Packers as possessing the greatest offensive in football, and added that as far as line play was concerned, defensive play was well high invulnerable. Red Webster of the United Press summed it up as "class, and class alone, that sent Coach Curly Lambeau's giant grid juggernaut into victory."...ANYONE GOOD ENOUGH: Felix McKnight of the Associated Press centered his laudation around Hinkle, Herber, Isbell, Hutson and Carl Mulleneaux, but he added that as far as he was concerned, anything in a Packer uniform was good enough for his ball team. Bur regardless of the bouquets tosses at the Packers, it mus be admitted that the All-Stars provided practically no yardstick for measuring National league strength. Their attack was weak. They were light on tackles with only Hale and Abe Murphy of Texas Tech on a pro league level. Despite all his publicity, even his most rabid followers cannot place Davey O'Brien on the same standard with his southwest predecessor, Sammy Baugh. O'Brien has nerve enough for two men, and he is a good passer when he has lots of protection, but his All-Star appearance indicate that he has a tough row to hoe in the National league...PRAISE FOR DICK TODD: The consensus of Dallas newspaper opinion here is that the southwest's best bet for pro league honors this season is Dick Todd, the hard running halfback from Texas A. and M. He goes to the Washington Redskins. Todd shared honors with Pete Fay of Stanford as the class of the All-Star backfield. As a high school back at Crowell, Texas, he individually accounted for 318 points in eleven games in his senior year. Lack of all-around backs on his college team had him filling too many assignments, according to the experts here, but with the Redskins he will get his chance to show where is best, running in an open field. He accounted for one way after taking a pass from O'Brien Monday night.
LAMBEAU IS BACK
SEPT 6 (Green Bay) - The vanguard of the returning Packer squad arrived here today in the person of Coach Curly Lambeau himself. Lambeau took a plane from Texas to Chicago and came the rest of the way by train. The players will arrive on the Milwaukee Road train at 10:10 tonight. Lambeau commented briefly to this effect: the heat was terrific, the Packers never played better football than they did in the first half against the All-Stars, and the only injury was a pulled muscle credited to blocker Herman Schneidman.
SEPT 6 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Like the weather, the Green Bay Packers were hot and cold Monday night down in Dallas when they triumphed over the Texas All-Stars, 31 to 20. During the first half the Bays were hotter than an air raid, holding a 31 to 0 edge just before the close of the second period, but from then on Curly Lambeau & Co. slowed down to a fat man's pace and the youngsters, paced by Wee Davie O'Brien's fine passing, made it a contest and actually outplayed the Packers the rest of the route. What does that great first half scoring splurge of the Packers mean? And does it mean any more than that second half slump? In all probability the two are part and parcel. The Packers got the jump when still fresh and when experience and poise cracked down hard on the kids, but with the start of the second half it was a good guess the older pros bogged down somewhat in the head and from then on youth and condition took charge. The New York Giants supposedly proved in the Chicago All-Star fray the older pros could get in the right condition if they put their mind to it and actually worked to get off the added pounds. However, I do know the Packers are in surprising good shape for so early in the season, but that Coach Lambeau is not anxious for them to get "up there" at this time. Coach Curly is too well acquainted with the toughness of the pro schedule, that it is a long, long time to December 1 and that to get a team "up" at this time would mean gridiron suicide for the late games. What coaches I've talked to since the Chicago All-Star game admit the Giants were the finest conditioned pro team ever to enter that game, but they are awaiting final results to see if the early and heavy training didn't take something out of the players that will be needed sadly down the home stretch of the pro race. My guess is that it did, but at the same time I think the gamble was worth
it from the professional angle. All too often of late have the Stars out-gassed the pros and it was up to the Giants to uphold the pro league prestige or forever force the pros to keep their "major league football" claims buttoned up tightly. One thing the Texas game did prove is that the Packers are improving on their timing, that the running game will click and that the passing maneuvers will be as potent as ever. It also proved the Bays, like most of the pro clubs, aren't any too strong on aerial defense. But all of us can see for ourselves when the Packers and Cardinals open a week from Sunday in Green Bay. That fray should tell a lot, but the following week, when the bold, bad Bears invade Baytown, we'll know the whole story. Let's hope it's pleasant!
PACKERS PREPARING FOR CARD INVASION
SEPT 7 (Green Bay) - Their Texas invasion now a matter of gridiron history, the Green Bay Packers will resume their regular practice schedule tomorrow, Coach E.L. Lambeau announced today. The men deserve a rest until then, Lambeau said, as they underwent a terrible hear barrage on their southern jaunt, as they encountered the most severe wave Texas has experienced for 26 years. "We did not have air conditioned rooms," he explained, "because we knew that living in
them would affect us adversely once we got onto the
field. We practiced at night, but the heat wave outlasted
our visit, and many of the men showed its effect."...
CARDINALS NEXT FOE: Right now Lambeau and
Assistant Coach Red Smith are hard at work drafting
strategy and planning practice programs in anticipation
of the Chicago Cardinals' invasion of City stadium one
week from Sunday. The Sept. 17 tangle will send the
Packers against what the coach regards as one
extremely tough ball club. "The Cardinals," Lambeau
said, "are the strongest they have been in years.
Remember, their appearances last year were dodged by
tough luck. They gave the Bears two great battles, lost
to the New York Giants by the narrowest of margins
and only lost us at Buffalo on Tiny Engebretsen's last
minute field goal. Furthermore, they scooped the West
division in the 1938 draft, their new men including such
talented men as Ki Aldrich, Texas Christian center;
Marshall Goldberg, Pittsburgh fullback; and George
Faust, Minnesota back."...TRAINING AT DULUTH: The
Cardinals, who have been training at Duluth, Minn.,
under Coach Ernie Nevers, consistently outplayed the
Giants in scrimmage, the champions being quartered at
Superior, Wis., across the way. Among the toughies
returning from last year are Sam Agee, Vanderbilt
fullback; Tony Blazine, Illinois Wesleyan tackle; Jim
Lawrence, T.C.U. halfback; Buddy Parker, Centenary
fullback; Dougal Russell, Kansas State halfback; Bill
Smith, Washington end who kicks field goals; and
forward passing Jack Robbins of Arkansas. There will
be no further slashes in the Packer squad until after
next Sunday's scrimmage, Lambeau indicated, adding
that several men will be under close scrutiny at that
time. "Nevers is optimistic," the Green Bay coach
continued, "and he sees nothing but victory for this
season. The Cardinals are pointing more for the Packer
game Sept. 17 than they are for the Detroit Lions next
Sunday." The Packers will be called into a skull session
at Hotel Northland tonight at 7 o'clock, and will be on
the practice field tomorrow morning at 9:30.
RETURN TRIP IS MADE BY SQUAD
SEPT 7 (Green Bay) - It was a tired by happy crew of
Green Bay Packers that piled off the train at the
Oakland avenue station shortly after 10 o'clock last
night. They were tired of heat and train rides, and happy
because they had defeated the All-Stars at Dallas, Tex.,
by 31 to 20, and were home. Unlike the trip down, in
which the players cut loose with all the enthusiasm of
the season's first football trip, the journey back to Green
Bay was without incident. A three-hour layover in
Chicago Wednesday afternoon broke the monotony of
riding the rails more than 1,300 mile, and with Assistant
Coach Richard Smith in command a number of the
boys saw part of the Cubs-Cardinals baseball game at
Wrigley field. Trainer Dave Woodward worked on hand
injuries incurred in the game by both Captain Milt
Gantenbein and Frank Steen, rookie end who was just
as happy as any in the party to get back to Green Bay despite the fact that he is a native of Dallas. Neither Gantenbein nor Steen's injuries appear to be serious, but both were slated for further examinations today. Steen's wife joined him on the return. They will live at the Mayfair apartments. Another newcomer to the football colony is Mrs. Francis Twedell, wife of the Packers' newest guard from the University of Minnesota. Mrs. Twedell has been in Chicago since her husband played in the All-Star game there, and Francis carried her along to Green Bay when the team left the Windy City...MUSCLE IS PULLED: The pulled leg muscle that serves as Herman Schneidman's reminder of the game was being treated today in hopes that the veteran Iowa blocking back will not be shelved for any length of time. Other players encountered a bruise here and there, but nothing of a major nature. Carl Mulleneaux was the team's only serious Dallas heat casualty. Big Carl passed out of the picture after entering the Cotton Bowl dressing room at the conclusion of the game. He was revived by Woodward, and sent to bed at the Hotel Adolphus, but he showed no ill effects of his experience on the ride home. Frank Balazs fully recovered from a fever that kept him under observation the first two days in Dallas. While he was used sparingly in the game, he was pronounced fit by Woodward, and by the time the Cardinal game rolls around the coaches expect him to be ready for a full turn in the backfield...NOT ENOUGH BREAKFAST: Only once on the trip did the team rise up in something that may be compared to a sit-down strike, and it all was the result of misunderstanding on the part of a railroad steward. When the team boarded the crack Abraham Lincoln streamliner at St. Louis at 8 a.m. Wednesday, the boys filed into the dinner for breakfast. On the trip to Dallas, they were on a training table diet, and their choice of food was restricted. The diner steward was under the impression that the same regulations were in force Wednesday, and until the situation was righted by Red Smith, the steward faced a very uncertain future. The same route was followed on the return trip as was used to reach Dallas. The Texas Special transported the team from Dallas to St. Louis, and from St. Louis to Chicago the team rode the Abraham Lincoln. The last lap was made on the Milwaukee Road.
LOOKING UP IN THE REALM OF SPORTS
SEPT 7 (Green Bay) - Packer football fans who are of the opinion that the team was ordered to get all the points it could against the Southwest All-Stars at Dallas Monday night, and then coast on its laurels, can revise their beliefs, for it wasn't as involved as that. Coach Curly Lambeau's summary of the strategy surrounding the Texas conquest, during which the Green Bay team staged the greatest offensive show since the fall of the Alamo, indicated that a considerable quantity of good football merely was dumped into the laps of the perspiring All-Stars. It was that simple. "The team started out red hot, full of determination and playing excellent football," he explained. "The players knew that they were brushing up against tough competition. The All-Stars were built up as the strongest team of the four-year series." The Packers wilted and faded before a similar heat wave in the Chicago All-Star game of 1937, but they did not collapse before the burning waves which swept from the Western prairies across the Cotton Bowl. Why not? Because of their vastly improved reserve strength. At Soldier field two years ago the Packers scarcely had two top rank men at every position. At some spots they were only a man or a man and a half deep. Against the Texas All-Stars they produced three good players for every position, and four for some. Clarke Hinkle played almost the entire Chicago All-Star game of 1938 in blistering heat. He had little effective relief. Against the Southwesterners, Lambeau used four fullbacks - Hinkle, Eddie Jankowski, Dick Weisgerber and Frank Balazs - to deadly effect. Why didn't the team drive ahead with another scoring demonstration in the second half? Did the Packers melt under the pounding heat, or did they want to give the home folks a chance to cheer the college boys? Neither. In the first half the shock troops, veterans of many a professional football battle, swept to the firing line for Green Bay and unleashed a shattering offensive which in the first two periods rolled up 31 points. Later, the All-Stars saw their opportunity to score when a Packer or two were back on their heels, and they cashed in. The half ended 31 to 6. In the second half, new, first year Packers took the field most of the time, including a practically new line. At no time in the final periods did Lambeau have on the field the same combination which roared through the All-Stars in the first half. Laxness on defense in the last period cost the Packers two touchdowns. Passers were not rushed properly, the best Green Bay defensive combination was not in the game, and the All-Stars themselves ran into a hot streak. The heat did affect the Packers. Carl Mulleneaux passed out in the dressing room after the game, and had not busy Dave Woodward, the trainer, been running around like a rabbit, other might have had the same experience. There was just as much heat at Dallas, as there was at Chicago in 1937, but this time the Packers had an ace in the hole. They had reserves, and therein lies a warning to future competition in the NFL.
PACKERS POINT TO CARDINALS
SEPT 7 (Green Bay) - The dust and heat of Texas behind them. the Green Bay Packers prepared to resume practice Friday for their first National Professional league game against the Chicago Cardinals here September 17. The Cardinals will invade Green Bay with what Coach Curly Lambeau declares is the most improved team in the western division of the league. Their 1939 draftees include such well known stars as Marshall Goldberg, Pittsburgh back; Ki Aldrich, Texas Christian center, and George Faust, Minnesota quarterback. The Packers emerged from their Labor Day all-star struggle in Dallas with nothing more than a slight muscle injury to Herman Schneidman, blocking quarterback. Although several of the players were affected by the heat during their torrid Texas trip, all have recovered. Lambeau gave his men a rest, and advised plenty of leg toughening golf after their arrival Wednesday until the resumption of hard work Friday. He announced that a regular scrimmage would be held Sunday morning, as several of the Packers need more rough work. There will be no more slashes in the club personnel immediately, he said, although he is paying strict attention to the showing of several men in the coming scrimmages.