CITY'S DRAWING POWER NOT UP TO MOST OTHERS IN PRO LEAGUE
SEPT 17 (Green Bay) - Problems facing the Packer football corporation in relation to competition in a league of much larger cities were outlined by Packer Coach E.L. Lambeau before the Kiwanis club at its luncheon meeting in the Hotel Northland Monday noon.
Lambeau pointed out that home attendance at Green
Bay games is less than that of even the lower ranking
clubs of other cities. He specifically pointed out that
Philadelphia's end of the gate receipts here Sunday was
$2,000 less than the Eagles' share in late November at
Milwaukee a couple of seasons back...IN BOTTOM
POSITION: "At that time," Lambeau said, "the Eagles
were on the bottom of the Eastern division. Bert Bell
had no headliner like Davey O'Brien, and the team was
finishing the season. Nevertheless, on a rainy day in
Milwaukee the Philadelphia-Green Bay game outdrew
the opening between the same clubs here Sunday." The
Packer coach said that the corporation officials are
doing everything in their power to keep the team in
Green Bay for as many years as possible, but that the
attendance problem is increasing every season. "As
much as Bert Bell likes Green Bay, he undoubtedly will
favor scheduling his team against the Packers at
Milwaukee the next time he comes west," Lambeau
said in pointing out the fact that the cash consideration
caries considerable weights when schedules are being
drawn...OUTDRAWN BY SEVEN: The official home
attendance figures quoted by Lambeau showed that
seven league cities outdrew Green Bay last season.
They were New York with 233,440; Detroit, 185,061;
Washington, 164,509; Brooklyn, 137,191; Chicago
Bears, 135,684; Philadelphia, 110,334; Cleveland, 107,
378. For Green Bay the figure was 87,738. On the road,
however, the Packers are one of the biggest drawing
cards. "I believe the people of Green Bay should be as
familiar with these problems as they are with the
fortunes of the team on the field of play," Lambeau
asserted. Speaking of the team itself, the coach cited
possibilities of some of the new playing talent with
particular reference to Harold Van Every, halfback; Lou
Brock, halfback; Bob Adkins, blocking back; Smiley
Johnson, guard; Dick Evans, end, and Ray Riddick,
end. "Evans and Riddick have given needed defensive
strength at right end," it was stated...NEXT GAME
IMPORTANT: Pointing out that it is hard and often futile
to attempt to pick a key game this early in the season,
Lambeau nevertheless told his listeners that the Bear-
Packer game here next Sunday may do much toward
deciding the Western division championship. "The
Bears are much improved over the powerful Chicago
team of last season," the speaker warned. "In McAfee,
rookie from Duke university, Halas has one of the
fastest backs in the National league." In answering
questions about the ability of other teams to score on
Green Bay so frequently, Lambeau explained that in
selecting material for the Packers the coaches rate
offensive ability over defensive skill...TOUCHDOWNS
PARAMOUNT: "We are willing to sacrifice one score to
make two ourselves," the coach said. "In making our
releases we keep players who we believe are apt to be
two touchdowns stronger than the men we let go." As
an example, Lambeau presented the case of Jim
Gillette, former Virginia halfback who was released.
Gillette, according to Lambeau, was superior to many backs in defensive play, particularly in pass defense, but he added nothing to the offense.
LOOKING UP IN THE REALM OF SPORTS
SEPT 17 (Green Bay) - A Packer fan called in with the suggestion that when the Packers play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Milwaukee Sept. 29, it might be a good idea for boosters of Hank Bruder, currently with the Steelers, to honor that former Green Bay star. In the meantime, there has come from Milwaukee a notice that Buckets Goldenberg, one-time Milwaukee high school star and later of the University of Wisconsin, will be paid tribute at special ceremonies that day. Maybe the Bruder business could be worked in, too. Sounds like an assignment for some Green Bay young men's club. Buckets Goldenberg was a line-smashing fullback with Milwaukee West division, as a teammate of John Doehring, more than a decade ago, winning all-city honors. At Wisconsin, he alternated as blocking quarterback and tackle, while with the Packers he played fullback, blocking back, and finally guard, where he has become one of the best performers in the National league. A Goldenberg headquarters for Green Bay fans wishing to help the program along will be established soon, according to Morry Zenoff, Milwaukeean who is promoting the idea.
ERNIE SMITH IN COACHING PLACE
SEPT 17 (Hollywood) - Ernie Smith, star tackle of the Green Bay Packers, has decided to quit professional football. Big Ernie, former All-American at the University of Southern California, revealed today that he has signed a contract to serve as assistant to Charley Erb in the coaching of the Adohr flying football tournament for junior high school boys in the Southland. Smith ended a brilliant pro gridiron career in Chicago last month when he helped the Packers to 45-28 victory over the collegiate All-Stars. He recently returned to his home here and this morning issued the following statement: "After weeks of through I have finally decided to call it quits. I'm mailing a letter today to Coach Curly Lambeau today informing him of my decision. It was the toughest decision I have ever been called upon to make. I wrote the letter to Curly five days ago, but failed to mail it because I thought several times that I might change my mind."...MADE PROPER DECISION: "Furthermore my wife doesn't care too much about me playing any longer. I feel I have made the proper decision. I'm going to miss Curly, my old mates and the splendid fans of Green Bay. I don't think Curly will miss me as he has great tackles in Baby Ray and Charley Schultz and I feel sure Green Bay will finish on top in the National league race."
PACKERS' 27 POINTS LEADING NATIONAL LEAGUE GRID TEAMS
SEPT 17 (New York) - That NFL teams are more equally balanced this season than ever before is indicated by three tie games in the five opening contests of the campaign and the extremely close balance of touchdowns by opponents. In four of the five games played, each team had the same number of touchdowns and in the other the victor had only a one touchdown advantage. Outstanding proof of the equal balance of power among the circuit's teams this season is the superb showing of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Cardinals, each tail-ender in its respective division a year ago, in tie games against the Eastern champion New York Giants and Detroit Lions (third in the Western division) respecitvely...ONLY NINE PREVIOUSLY: There have only been nine tie games in the league in the past six seasons (330 games). Never before have tie games been played on successive weeks. Although the Washington Redskins got off to a good start in defense of its passing efficiency laurels with 14 completions in 20 tosses for a 70 percent average, the passing of Coach Jock Sutherland's Brooklyn Dodgers exceeded many expectations. The former Pittsburgh coach, believed to be a babe in the woods in the forward passing game before entering National league ranks this season, unveiled an aerial attack which struck for a 48 percent average with 12 completions in 25 tosses, aided by Ace Parker's comeback. Parker was responsible for most of the Dodger passes though playing with a special steel brace to protect a leg broken in an International league baseball game this summer...COMPLETE HIGH PERCENTAGE: Five of the eight teams which have started play have completed 40 percent of more of their passes. Philadelphia's 18 out of 40 for 45 percent, Green Bay's 43 percent and the Cardinals' 40 percent are notable achievements at this early date. With play as close as it was a premium was placed on the efficient kicking of extra points and field goals and the teams responded in the five games with 14 out of 15 extra points and five field goals. Washington is the leading ground gainer in the first team statistics compilation with 369 yards and Green Bay's 27 points tops the scoring.
PACKERS AT FULL STRENGTH FOR MEETING WITH CHICAGO BEARS
SEPT 18 (Green Bay) - With the roughest afternoon of the season getting closer by the minute - as important engagements invariably do - the Green Bay Packers appear capable of taking the field Sunday against the Chicago Bears in peak physical condition. With the possible exception of Phil Riddick, injured right end who still is regarded as an untried candidate, the Packers will be at full strength for their meeting with George Halas' contending team, rated this year as bigger and tougher than ever. The Packers spent most of their practice period yesterday working on pass defense, a department which looked soggy against the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, and this morning they broke up into groups for an all-morning session at the Hotel Northland. Another outdoor drill was on the program for this afternoon. "This 1940 team," commented Coach Curly Lambeau, "is capable of winning the championship, and it is capable of finishing in the second division. We know that sooner or later every football team takes a licking, but we don't want to take it from the Chicago Bears." Sunday's contest will be the 39th between the Packers and Bears, the most bitter rivals in the NFL. So strong has feeling run between the teams in past year, that each has acquired its longest string of injuries annually by meeting the other, and there is no indication that the tendency toward mayhem will be any less in evidence this season. The Bears scorn the wide-open type of football, and get down to brass tacks with a potent, sweeping attack on the ground, supplemented by occasional ventures into the aerial game. Against them, however, the Packer air attack has met with frequent success. Not since 1935 have either the Bears or Packers swept the two-game series between the clubs. That year Green Bay walloped the Bruins twice in sensational style, winning 7 to 0 here and 17 to 14 at Chicago, both times on touchdown-scoring by Don Hutson. Since that time, the series always have been divided. Usually the Packers lost at Green Bay and won at Chicago, but last year's meeting at City stadium resulted in a 21 to 16 triumph for the Packers, while the return engagement at Wrigley field went to Halas' crew, 30 to 27. It was one of the two decisions the Packers failed to win in 1939...ONE GAME BEHIND: When the season was over, and the chips were counted, the Bears rested one game behind Green Bay in the final Western division standings, which sent the Packers into the playoffs and left the Bruins grasping the bag. As the Bears had a well-defined felling that they exceeded the Packers in all-around talent, the visitors Sunday will be in a vengeful mood - and aren't they always? The ticket situation is likely to be acute before the weekend. Less than 1,000 remained unsold today, and those left were in the end zone. Packer officials pointed out, however, that the construction of City stadium is such that every seat affords a good view of the field, and the tickets which are left are certain to disappear before Sunday. If so, and the weekend weather permits attendance of all those who bought seats, City stadium will have its first sellout since its last enlargement, and a new attendance record will be set. Just as the Bear-Packer series is the bitterest in the National league, not even excepting that between New York and Washington, so also it is the longest. Eighteen of the 38 contests played between the historic foes have gone to Green Bay, while 20 have been won by the Chicagoans. The same assortment of backs who have chilled Green Bay fans in recent years are back again with the Bruins, affording a set of combinations which apparently never will wear out. Bernie Masterson is in there again at quarterback, while Bill Osmanski, Joe Maniaci, Jack Manders, Sid Luckman, Ray Nolting, Gary Famiglietti, Bob Snyder and Bon Swisher - they're all back and anxious to tear into the Packers with all their old-time ferocity...NERVE TENSION HIGH: But the Packers are ready. Although nervous tension runs high when the two old rivals get together, they always put on a grand football show, and the fact that fans recognize it may be seen in the huge advance ticket sale. The Packer backfield platoon which is braced for the shock of the collision included three blocking quarterbacks, three left halfbacks, three right halfbacks and three fullbacks - a trio deep at each position. At the blocking post, Coach Lambeau has three men, two of them veterans. Larry Craig has the inside post, with Dick Weisgerber slated for considerable action along with the only freshman of the group, Marshall college's Bob Adkins. The left halves, reduced to three with the release of Beattie Feathers, now consist of Cecil Isbell, Andy Uram and Hal Van Every. Isbell apparently has started on his best season of professional football. He is passing at the peak of his career, is one of the best running backs in the league, and is a canny field general...GREAT BALL CARRIER: Uram, who usually goes hottest after midseason, has not stepped off many of his fancy runs this year, but he has tons of ability, is elusive and loose with the ball, and has experience. Van Every has the makings of developing into the No. 1 first star of the league, and is certain to be used against the Bears. The right halfback post is loaded with experience, the only newcomer being Lou Brock, the Purdue graduate who is on the way toward regular work with the Green Bay team. Brock has had his baptism of fire and will get more activity as the season progresses. The other two, Joe Laws and Arnold Herber, are two of the best known players in the National league. Both call the signals when they are in the game. Laws is a great ball toter, and Herber a past master of the forward pass. Suspension of Frank Balazs, which still is in effect, has left the Packers with three fullbacks, and Clarke Hinkle still is the top man of the trio. Hinkle was regarded popularly as being near the end of his career, after a long and valiant stay in the league, but he has started out the 1940 season with all his old-time fire and vigor. Larry Buhler is running hard and Ed Jankowski is experienced in the ways of pro football, giving Hinkle adequate relief from 60-minute chores which have been common to him in past seasons.
LOOKING UP IN THE REALM OF SPORTS
SEPT 18 (Green Bay) - The Packers made a fortunate, if long delayed, forward step in football promotion when they dressed up their opening league game last Sunday afternoon with a variety of entertainment between the halves and during the playing time itself. The singing of "God Bless America" by Miss Lucille Meusel; the parading of three snappy bands, the Packer Lumberjack; the Two Rivers Hamilton and the Green Bay High school units; raising the colors and championship pennant as American Legion color guards stood by - all these are touches of showmanship which long have been missing from City stadium. Every other manager in the NFL has displayed in seasons past a keen sense of what the crowd wants in supplemental entertainment. George Marshall at Washington has run to a wild extreme, but attracts the customers. The magnificent Wayne university band is almost as much a drawing card at Detroit as the Lions. The Chicago Bears dress up their home games by sponsoring between halves contests between kid teams, dressed up like the Bears and their opponents. All around the circuit bands, fife and drum corps, musical talent are turned loose to entertain the fans. When Marshall attended the Washington-Green Bay game at Milwaukee this month, he said: "Why don't you run a hearse around the track? It's so dead in here that the stunt might be amusing. Why don't you get some music?" Mr. Marshall was dead right, and the many fans who commented with high good favor on last Sunday's show have proved it. City stadium's turf has remained empty during the intermissions of far too many football games. Even if it's a small unit, a tiny drum and bugle corps, the management would do well to wave it into the stadium and give the folks some relaxation while the teams are in the dressing rooms. People attend to see their football, sure, but every added touch of colors, every interesting stunt and gag, helps keep their interest, helps haul them back for another glimpse. We have been sold on the Packer Lumberjack band ever since it was organized, and Sunday it sounded peppier than ever, established in an attractive shell at the northwest corner of the gridiron. We feel, too, that additional musical organizations add to, rather than subtract from, the utility of the Lumberjack group. That fine Hamilton band from Two Rivers, while its time was crowded and it had little opportunity to show what it can do, added immeasurably to the spirit of the occasion. Softly, while play was taking place in the second half, it tore off a swing version of "The Campbells Are Coming" which has feet tapping all over the stadium. The Green Bay High school band always makes a fine showing, and adds another musical unit to those on the field. The more the merrier; there's no room for inter-organization jealousy where the manufacturing of spirit and pep is concerned.
HUSKY ENDS ADDED TO CHIEFS' SQUAD
SEPT 18 (Milwaukee) - The Milwaukee Chiefs, fresh from Sunday's scalping of the Columbus Bullies, American league defending champions, yesterday added new blood to the team with the signing of two hefty ends. The wingmen, Keith Ranspot and Joel Mason, were released recently by the Chicago Cardinals. Ramspot is 6 feet 3 1/2 inches and weighs 215 pounds. Mason is 205 pounds and has run the century in 9.7 seconds. Last year he was considered second to Hutson in speed in the National league. Coach Tiny Cahoon drilled his squad in punting and passing yesterday in preparation for next Sunday's league game at Buffalo. Coach Cahoon announced today the release of Fe Bohan, end, and Warren Becker, back to the Boston club of the AFL. Both players played collegiate ball with the Stevens Point Teachers.
RED GRANGE PROMISES PACKERS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IN MCAFEE
SEPT 18 (Milwaukee Journal) - You have Red Grange's word for it, and Red should know. The Chicago Bears who will open their league season Sunday against the Packers in Green Bay again have the prize rookie of the National league. A year ago, they came up with the Wild Bull of Mr. Wrigley's turf, Bob Osmanski of Holy Cross, and they really came up with something. This fall they offer George McAfee of Duke. Grange, who coaches the Bear backfield, speaks glowing words about him: "McAfee is one of the greatest backs I've ever seen - if not the greatest. He can't help but be the league's sensation. The guy does everything. He runs with such ease that he gives no indication of his tremendous speed unless you note how quickly he separates himself from players who try to catch him. He is a terrific blocker and he can punt, pass and catch passes. How he can catch passes! You mark my words. The guy can't miss." Whether McAfee pans out as well as Grange predicts remains to be seen, of course. The rookies who bloom in September, sometimes wither before November. It is true, however, that at Duke McAfee set football fields aflame. Just glances over his 1939 record: He carried the ball 96 times for an average of 6.6 yards. He completed nine out of 15 passes for gains of 138 yards. He punted 40 times for an average of 40 yards. He scored seven touchdowns, returned five kickoffs for an average of 22 yards, caught 10 passes for an average of 22 yards, and ran for gains of 20 yards or more 23 times. You can't laugh that off. The man must have something. McAfee, who stands 5 feet 11 1/2 inches and who weighs 180 pounds, was Philadelphia's first choice in the draft here last December, but was traded to the Bears, along with tackle Joe Mihal of Purdue for tackles Russ Thompson and Milt Trost, guard Dick Bassi, end Les McDonald and some cash...GOOD ROOKIES PLENTIFUL: Who are the rookies who might give him a run for the honors Osmanski won last year? The league is full of them. Every team has at least one; some have more than one. The Bears seem to be particularly well set with new material of great promise. Besides McAfee, they have Bob Kolman of Temple, a tackle; Clyde Turner of Hardin Simmons, a center, and Ken Kavanaugh of Louisiana State, an end. New York places great stock in the Arkansas flash, Ray Eakin, and backs him up with Grenny Lansdell of Southern California, a halfback, and Dom Principe of Fordham, a fullback. The Detroit Lions have three Southern California dandies: Harry Smith, a guard, and Bill Fiske and Bob Winslow, ends. The Brooklyn Dodgers offer as their possibilities Banks McFadden of Clemson, George Cafego of Tennessee (if his knee stands up) and Ben Kish of Pittsburgh, all backs. Cleveland has Ollie Cordill of Rice, the only rookie who has been able to break into the Rams' starting lineup, and Ken Heinneman of Texas Mines. Pittsburgh has Frank Ivy of Oklahoma, an end. The Washington rookies of promise Milwaukee fans have seen - Bob Seymour of Oklahoma, and Ray Zimmerman of San Jose, halfbacks, and Joe Boyd of Texas A&M, a tackle. The Cardinals and Eagles have little in the way of new material apt to burn up the league...PACKERS NOT LOST: And Green Bay? Well after four games, it is pretty well agreed that Curly Lambeau again got his share of plums out of the college pie. The Belgian is uncanny as a picker of men with better than average pro possibilities. Bob Adkins of Marshall college, tipped off to Lambeau by Doc Spears, has the makings of another Larry Craig as blocking back and defensive end. Hal Van Every of Minnesota is a cinch to go in pro ball. And Smiley Johnson of Georgia may well become an outstanding guard. Maybe McAfee will be everything that Grange predicts, but he will have to prove it. The league is loaded with rookies who ideas of their own about Osmanski's shoes.