HINKLE KNOTS NFL RECORD BY SCORING THREE TOUCHDOWNS IN SINGLE CONTEST
DEC 5 (Green Bay) - Nine individual records were broken and one tied during the 1940 NFL season, according to final statistics released today. Sammy Baugh, Washington, and Davey O'Brien and Don Looney of Philadelphia accounted for three new standards each, the first two named in forward passing and the latter, a rookie, in pass receiving. John Drake, Cleveland, Jimmy Johnston, Washington, and Clarke Hinkle, Green Bay, all tied the previous record of three touchdowns in one game. Not one of last year's individual champions regained their titles, although Whizzer White, Detroit, won back his 1938 ground gaining crown and Sammy Baugh reclaimed the forward
passing honors which were his in 1937. Looney, the
leading pass receiver, is the only first-year man to gain
a first place in the race for individual laurels in 1940.
Don Hutson, Green Bay, although losing his receiving
title, was the premier scorer in a close race...BEST
GOAL KICKER: Hinkle, Green Bay, was the leading
field goal kicker, and Baugh was the best punter. Ace
Parker, Brooklyn, Kent Ryan, Detroit, and Hutson were
tied in interceptions of enemy aerials. Undoubtedly the
greatest individual feat of the year was the 33 passes
completed for 316 yards by O'Brien against the
Washington Redskins. This accounted for new records
of completions and yardage for one game and increased
his season's completions to 124, also a new record.
Looney caught 14 of O'Brien's tosses and gained 180
yards in the Redskin game. These were single game
records for catches and yardage, and boosted his
season total to 58 receptions, also a new standard.
O'Brien's single game completions and yards gained
achievements were also highs. so the mighty mite from
Texas Christian ended his career writing, directly or
indirectly, eight records into the books. Baugh, though
finishing second to O'Brien in completions, had a
season total of 11 out of 177 tosses for 1,367 yards, an
efficiency mark of 62.7 percent. The efficiency bettered
the old figure of 61.7 percent by teammate Frank
Flichock last year. It also brought his lifetime efficiency
in four seasons to 53.8 percent (308 completions in 572
tosses) bettering his own record of 49.8 percent. The
yardage bettered O'Brien's 1939 total of 1,324...TAKES
TITLE AGAIN: Whizzer White became the second
player in league history to annex the ground gaining
title two years. He was the leading ball carrier in 1938
also. Cliff Battles won in 1933 and 1937. Inasmuch as
White did not complete last year, he is the first player
to win the crown two successive playing years. It is his
third time in as many playing years that he won national
honors in ground gaining. In his final year at Colorado
university he led the country's collegiate ground gainers.
With Pittsburgh in his first pro year, and this season
with Detroit he proved that he is a consistent dangerous
man with a ball tucked under his arm. White shaded
Johnny Drake, Cleveland fullback, 514 yards to 480.
Tuffy Leemans, New York's league leader in 1936,
finished third with 474. Banks McFadden, Brooklyn's
rookie all-America from Clemson, was fourth with 411
yards and Dick Todd, Washington, fifth with 408.
McFadden's average of 6.3 yards per try in 65 attempts
was the highest in the circuit...CLIMBS TO SECOND:
O'Brien climbed from fifth to second in forward passing
in the final week. He threw 277 passes to annex his 124
completions to surpass Parker Hall's 106 completed
with Cleveland last year. This was 100 more passes
than Baugh threw. O'Brien was sixth in efficiency while
Baugh was first. Cecil Isbell, Green Bay, was third in
the aerial department and Sid Luckman, Chicago Bears,
fourth. Hall, last year's leading passer, was third in
completions with 77, but was tenth in efficiency. Baugh
threw 12 touchdown passes, Ace Parker, Brooklyn, 10,
and Isbell 8. The scoring race was closer than the one
in ground gaining. Hutson had seven touchdowns and
15 extra points for 57 points. Johnny Drake had nine
touchdowns, the same number as Dick Todd of the
Redskins, but also added two extra points, for a total of
56 points to 54 for Todd. Ace Parker was fourth with 49
and Clarke Hinkle fifth with 48. Parker had 19 points
after touchdown, and Hinkle nine field goals, one short
of the record 10 by Jack Manders in 1934. Hutson
relinquished his pass receiving title to Looney, although
he also surpassed the old mark of 41 catches in one
season. He had 45, and tallied the most touchdowns
on passes - seven. Jimmy Johnston, Washington, was
third with 29 receptions. Jim Benton and Vic Spadaccini
of Cleveland and Wayne Millner, Washington were tied
for fourth with 22 catches each. Armand Niccolai, Pittsburgh, was second in field goals with six, while Ward Cuff, New York, had five and Ralph Kercheval, Brooklyn, 4. The longest of the season was a 52-yard boot, (one yard short of the record 53 held by Glenn Presnell, Detroit) by Lee Artoe, Chicago Bears. A total of 43 field goals was kicked by 17 players. Ace Parker, Kent Ryan and Hutson intercepted six enemy passes, but Parker gained 146 yards on the interceptions, the most in the league. Baugh, in addition to his passing laurels, annexed the punting title, with an average of 51 yards from the line of scrimmage in 35 kicks. His quick kick of 85 yards from scrimmage was the longest of the season. Cleveland's Hall and the Bears' Luckman, two other passers, had averages of 43 and 42 yards, respectively.
LOUISIANA FOOTBALL CONTEST PLAN BREWING; AWAIT MEETING
DEC 5 (Green Bay) - The possibility of a Dec. 28 football game at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions doesn't appear to be a dead issue yet, with word that Lieutenant Colonel Standiford, 32nd division adjutant, has completed conferences at Detroit and is heading for Wisconsin. The whole thing is rather tangled, and perhaps it's best to go back to the beginning. Officials of the United States army, training National Guardsmen at Camp Beauregard in Louisiana, conceived the idea of staging a Christmas vacation professional football game between the Lions and Packers at Louisiana State stadium. National Guardsmen to the total of 9,000 would be admitted free, and the rest of the 35,000 seats would be sold to the general public...ARRANGES FOR STADIUM: Colonel Standiford apparently made all his arrangements and press announcements before he conferred with either club. He has a tentative agreement with L.S.U. for the use of its stadium, and the probability that the game will be played has reached the stage of credence of a national radio broadcast. The NFL has a rule which prohibits the playing of any post-season games by teams other than the league champion. Added handicaps to the game were the fact that both the Lions and Packers had disbanded for the season, sending their players home, and the question of adequate financial guarantees to the competing clubs. Last night Fred L. Mandel, owner of the Lions, contacted Leland H. Joannes, Packer president, by telephone and stated that Colonel Standiford, having flown from Detroit to Louisiana, had presented the offer to him. Mandel indicated that the Lions were willing to play: IF the National league will waive its rule on post-season games. IF the Detroit players can be rounded up without too great expense and someone can be found to coach them, and IF satisfactory financial guarantees can be made to insure the Detroit clubs against any loss...SEEKS PRESS SPONSOR: Would Mandel be agreeable provided one or more newspapers would underwrite the game? Colonel Standiford inquired. That depended on which newspapers were selected, Mandel said, but indicated that probably the arrangement would be O.K. Mandel said he will ask permission of the league to waive its rule at the draft meeting in Washington next Monday. Carl Storck, league president who was contacted by phone, said that no action can be taken until then. Up to this noon, the Packers themselves had not been contacted officially by anyone. Said Coach Curly Lambeau; "All I know about the Louisiana game is what I have read in the newspapers and heard on the radio. We have not turned down the offer definitely, because none has been made, so far as I know." Joannes said practically the same thing. "I was quoted as refusing the game," he said, "but as a matter of fact no one as yet has asked us officially to play it. We would regard the undertaking as one requiring considerable trouble, but we recognize too that it is for the army, and so we want to cooperate in every way possible."...LEAGUE RULE BLOCKS GAME: "At present, the league rule itself stands in the way of the contest." Colonel Standiford was in Madison today, conferring with Admiral General Ralph Immel. The colonel mentioned that he might try for a joint guarantee from two Milwaukee newspapers, or he might attempt to get a backer among the Detroit press. Joannes expected to hear from him late today. In the meantime, Coach Lambeau and Assistant Coach Red Smith planned to leave on a late afternoon train for Washington, to see the playoff game and attend the draft meeting.
PRO GRIDDERS STILL MAY SHOW FOR GUARDSMEN
DEC 5 (Detroit) - The Army's proposal for a Christmas holidays football game between two teams of the national professional league to entertain soldiers in Camp Beauregard, La., apparently still hung in the balance today. Lieut. Col. F.C. Standiford, adjutant of the 32nd division, received a tentative assent yesterday from Fred L. Mandel, Kr., owner of the Detroit Lions, and left last night for Green Bay, in hopes of interesting the Green Bay Packers despite the Packers' earlier refusal. Lee Joannes, president of the Packers, said Tuesday that his club had disbanded for the season and the expense of reassembling the players would be prohibitive. The game would be played December 28 at Baton Rouge. After two conferences yesterday with Col. Standiford, Mandel said: "There are plenty of its connected with our participation in this game, but we haven't definitely turned it down. I intend to ask for National Professional Football league permission to take part in the engagement at the draft meeting in Washington on Monday. The other problems are the rounding up of our players who have gone to their homes and the obtaining of assurances that all of our expenses will be met. If these problems are solved, I see no reason why the game cannot be played." The game would take place during Louisiana's Sugar Bowl week celebration and would serve as a treat for approximately 9,000 national guardsmen at Camp Beauregard, who will be unable to home for the Christmas holidays, Col. Standiford said. The guardsmen would be admitted without charge and the remaining 35,000 seats in the University of Louisiana stadium would be sold to the public. Standiford said that he hoped to induce a Detroit newspaper to guarantee expenses of the proposed engagement.
PACKER COACHES LEAVE FOR EAST
DEC 6 (Green Bay) - Coach curly Lambeau and Assistant Red Smith left last night for Washington, where both will witness the playoff game between the Chicago
Bears and Redskins, and Lambeau will attend sessions
of the NFL. The annual draft will be drawn Monday or
Tuesday. Lambeau left the city openminded about the
prospects of the Packers playing the Detroit Lions at
Baton Rouge, La., Dec. 28 for the benefit of Wisconsin
and Michigan National Guardsmen at Camp Beauregard.
"We are not turning down the offer," he said, "and as a
matter of act no offer as yet has been made us. We
realize that thousands of young soldiers will be away
from their homes this Christmas, and if we can make
their season happier, we will be willing to make any
sacrifices, and possibly we shall play down there."...
RULE AGAINST GAME: "However, out players want to
be home at Christmas, too; there remains the National
league rule against post-season games; the matter of
expenses must be ironed out." He talked yesterday by
telephone with Carl Storck, National league president,
who said that the game could be played only if there
were a unanimous vote of the clubs at next week's
meeting. As the Packers have not been approached
officially on the financial angle, that remains a mile in
the air. "There's another point," Lambeau pointed out.
"Three of our players - we don't know which ones yet -
will be appearing in the Pro Bowl game on the Pacific
coast during the holidays, against the National league
champion. Should men like Hinkle, Hutson and Isbell
all be missing from the Louisiana game, the fans might
not like it so much either."..DRAFT CHOICES SECRET:
For obvious reasons, the Packer coach kept his draft
choices a close secret. His only statement was that he
hoped to land an outstanding fullback. "We also are
interested," he added, "in trading several of our veterans,
with two or three years of experience, for the third or
fourth draft choices of other teams. Our own choice will lie around sixth or seventh, and we are anxious to get some selections higher up if we can."
LOOKING UP IN THE REALM OF SPORTS
DEC 7 (Green Bay) - A lot of lively young athletes whose exploits have left trails of clippings through the pages of fraternity scrapbooks will be brought face to face with the realities of football next week when they read that they have been caught in the National league draft. In effect, the professional draft is intended to assure protection for league clubs in their negotiations with prospective National league stars. As it operates, it is full of holes and has not resulted in its intended purpose of building up the weaker clubs in the league, but that is no fault of the Green Bay Packers, who have been fighting the status quo for years. Regardless of whether or not you like the idea of the weak sisters giving away their first choices annually to the Chicago Bears, with the result that the Bruins have built themselves a championship machine, the fact remains that the draft will be drawn within a few hours, and that the eyes of Green Bay fans will be glued to that roster, with its forecast of events to come. Coach Curly Lambeau left for the meeting with a list of some 300 college and university players tucked away in his pocket. Naturally, having the sixth or seventh choice among the 10 teams which will be represented, he does not expect to get a crack at names like Kimbrough, Harmon, Franck and Drahos, who will be snapped up by the lower-ranking clubs for shipment to the Bears. But he has a clear idea of what he needs to bolster a Packer team that sagged badly during the 1940 campaign. No one can sit down in December and pick 20 names against stiff competition, and come up with 20 fellows who definitely will be National league stars the following season. But the Packers, despite the fact that they always do their selecting from well down the list, have emerged exceptionally well in the matter of acquiring permanent property. The first man on the 1939 Green Bay draft list was Hal Van Every of Minnesota. He signed, and became one of the best first year men in Packer history. The second man chosen was Lou Brock of Purdue, certainly headed for a great career in professional football. The third choice was Esco Saarkinen, a great end at Ohio State who decided against professional football in favor of a coaching job, but who may change his mind yet. No. 4 was Dick Cassiano, who didn't want to play in the West and was traded. Thus the top ranking pair proved to be the best on the Green Bay list. Several other draftees, notably George Seemann of Nebraska, J.R. Manley of Oklahoma, and Jim Gillette of Virginia, reported and didn't make the grade. All had university reputations which justified their being placed on the draft. The Green Bay draft list year didn't include the names of Smiley Johnson, Bob Adkins and Ray Riddick, three first year stars who played fine football for the Packers. They weren't drafted, but were picked out of the air, and turned out to be among the best first year men in the league.
PACKERS PLAN TO TRADE VETS AT ANNUAL DRAFT
DEC 7 (Green Bay) - "Several" veteran Green Bay Packers may be traded for new football material at the NFL draft meeting next week, Coach Earl (Curly) Lambeau said yesterday. The trading, he indicated, would be the third or fourth draft choices of other teams. "Our own choices will lie around sixth or seventh and we are anxious to get some selections higher up if possible," Lambeau said. The Packers, champions of the league last year, finished second in the western division race this season.
CHIEFS' LEAGUE WORKS ON DRAFT
DEC 8 (New York) - Representatives of the six member clubs of the American Professional Football league, which recently completed its first season, made an effort Sunday to work out a substitute for the National league's "draft list" as a means of signing up college players. Members of the league are Boston, New York, Buffalo, Columbus, Cincinnati and the Milwaukee Chiefs. A plan which they described as an "invitation draft" was adopted here tentatively but it is expected some changes will be made at a meeting January 26 and 27. The six clubs will submit their selections of college players who will be graduated next spring to W.D. Griffith, league president. Griffith will send a questionnaire to each player and each will be personally contacted by a representative of the league. The players will be asked with what club they prefer to play, although there is no guarantee they'll be assigned to the team they pick. Selection of a player by a team does not give the club exclusive negotiation rights as it does in the National league. The league also approved the idea of having an official scorer to serve at all league games in 1941. Action on the proposal to grant two new franchises was deferred until the January meeting. Under consideration are Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans and Los Angeles.
BOSTON MAY JOIN PRO LEAGUE, REPORT
DEC 8 (New York) - The Herald Tribune says that Boston may return to the NFL to replace Pittsburgh after Monday's meeting at Washington, D.C. A four-fifths vote of the club owners would be needed to grant a franchise. The proposed change calls for the consolidation of the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia clubs, now owned respectively by Art Rooney and Bert Bell, to be operated in Philadelphia as a joint enterprise. A Boston franchise would then be granted to a syndicate of eastern sportsmen. The new club would be given half of the combined Pittsburgh-Philadelphia roster of players and a half share of the players those clubs claim at Tuesday's draft meeting.
LOOKING UP IN THE REALM OF SPORTS
DEC 9 (Green Bay) - This was written before the names were dropped into the hat at the NFL's annual draft meeting, and it contains the fervent hopes that the men who are selected to help with the Green Bay Packers' campaign next fall are large, sturdy individuals capable of moving solid objects from one point to another with finesse and completeness. In other words, good blockers. The Chicago Bears, not a great football team by most standards, proved yesterday at Washington just what a lot of power, concentrated behind spirit and team cooperation, can accomplish against a less formidable opposition. The Packers, although they made their reputation through the air and have scored a majority of their touchdowns by that method, usually have been a good blocking team, and their fans more and more of recent years have come to admire and even idolize those men whose sole object in life, come Sunday afternoon, is to sweep from the path of advancing ball carriers those human blockades set up by the boys across the scrimmage line. Hank Bruder, who made his reputation at Northwestern university as a ball carrying back, was switched to the blocking post as a Packer and lifted that commonplace function to a new professional high. Herman Schneidman, who played with him and to a degree succeeded him, was another exceptionally good blocker who threw forth his drives from the quarterback position and that well-known T-formation. In 1939 Larry Craig established a warm spot in the hearts of Green Bay fans by following in the footsteps of Bruder and Schneidman, and last season young Bob Adkins, who needs only experience to become one of the league's best blockers, joined him. With Dick Weisgerber available for relief duty, the blocking quarterback position seems about as safe for 1941 as any place on the squad. Still, the backs signed on the Packer draft list must turn out to be good blockers if they are to fit in with the team's scheme of things. Packer right halfbacks, in addition to calling the signals and doing much of the passing, must be able to block with great effectiveness if the Green Bay ground attack is to function anywhere near its desired point. It might even be found desirable to shift the field generalship burden to a good, alert blocking quarterback, if one capable is turned up in the 1940 draft. A man such as Michigan's Forest Evashevski, for example. Cecil Isbell might find his football duties a lot easier and his play more effective if he were not compelled by a shortage of other signal callers to name the plays from his left halfback post. The Packers will find themselves in a much more favorable psychological situation next fall than they occupied during 1941. They won't be champions, and the rest of the league, instead of laying for Green Bay, will regard its title-holding Bears as the No. 1 targets of the season. The Bears, moreover, will have the job of trying to snap that All-Star game jinx, which has stopped this far every professional team to appear in the Chicago classic. It'll be fun watching them try.
REBUILDING OF PACKERS BEGINS IN ANNUAL DRAFT
DEC 9 (Milwaukee Journal) - The job of rebuilding the Packers begins in Washington D.C., Tuesday. The occasion is the annual National league draft. Other steps will be taken, too, of course, but the first and most important will be taken in the draft. Out of it will come the men who will be called upon to fill the holes after the housecleaning that Curly Lambeau has definitely decided upon. Lambeau has not kidded himself about this year's team. He said last August that potentially it was one of the best, if not the best, he has ever had. He repeated before he left for Washington that it might have been. A combination of self-satisfaction, bigheadedness and injuries ruined everything, however. A team can't play football on newspaper clippings and a reputation...INJURIES WORST IN HISTORY: The injuries, of course, were unavoidable. The siege was the worst in Green Bay's history, with almost every back on the shelf at some time or another - Eddie Jankowski, Lou Brock, Hal Van Every, Clarke Hinkle, Andy Uram, Larry Craig, Arnie Herber and Cecil Isbell. The bigheadedness and self-satisfaction which led to a dozen fines in the course of the season, can be corrected, however, and with a housecleaning, backed up by the draft, they will be corrected. Lambeau has been reluctant to name the men slated to go, either outright or in deals if he can arrange them, but it is pretty well known who failed this season. Larry Buhler and Frank Balasz proved of little help to Clark Hinkle at fullback after Jankowski's injury. Weisgerber was a disappointment at blocking back while Craig was on the shelf. Carl Mullenueaux was a distinct disappointment at end even though the United Press picked him on its second all-league team. Seibold and Baby Ray failed to do their part at tackle. Cecil Isbell, potentially one of the best backs in the league, was strictly an in and outer. Herber, never anything more than a passer and punter, let himself get so far out of condition that he rolled around the field at time likes a butterball. It may be that Lambeau will give a few of these boys another chance, but it will be at different terms. The burden of proof will be on them. Ends and backs are needed most, and it is on them that Lambeau will concentrate in the draft. One of his first choices, it it gets around to him, will be George Paskvan of Wisconsin. At any rate, the job of rebuilding begins Tuesday. After that, it will be an interesting winter...Lambeau's assertion that this was potentially the best team he has ever had is pretty well borne out in the season's final statistics. The Packers led the league in yards gained with 3,381, nosing out both the Washington Redskins and the Chicago Bears, and finished third in defense with 2,532 against them.
STEELERS ARE SOLD TO DRUG MAGNATE
DEC 9 (Pittsburgh) - Sale of the franchise of the Pittsburgh Steelers to a syndicate headed by Alexis Thompson, New York drug products manufacturer, was approved tonight by the NFL. At the same time the league approved the purchase of a half interest in the Philadelphia Eagles by Arthur J. Rooney, owner of the Steelers. Bert Bell, president of the Eagles, will continue to head the Philadelphia club. The league announcement said the sale contract provided that the Pittsburgh team continue to play its home games in Pittsburgh. Bell said one half of the combined player strength of the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh teams were included along with the franchise in the sale to Thompson, but declined to name the players. Thompson said he was negotiating with Earle (Greasy) Neale, assistant coach at Yale university, to take over the head coaching assignment for the Pittsburgh team. Talk that a "czar" might be named for the league was heard earlier in the evening as the league went into session.