Green Bay Packers (1-0) 14, Brooklyn Tigers (0-1) 7
Sunday September 17th 1944 (at Milwaukee)
GAME RECAP (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL)
(MILWAUKEE) - The Packers and officials both came through at State Fair park Sunday afternoon as the NFL season opened before a small and sweltering crowd of 12,994. The Packers came through by staggering home with a one touchdown victory over
the Brooklyn Tigers, 14-7, in a brawling sort of
game, and the officials by calling 30 penalties,
most of them against Brooklyn, for a new league
record in total yards and number both. Staggered
is the right word to describe the victory. Maybe it
was the heat or the constant and no doubt justified
interference of the officials or the fact that this was
an opening game. Whatever it was, though, the
Packers, so highly touted in early season 
speculation, hardly looked the part of first rate
contenders as they sputtered around with just
enough good football to finish in front.
OFFICIALS PLAY SERENADE
A touchdown by Don Hutson, who caught a pass
from Irv Comp late in the first quarter and ran 16
yards, and another by Lou Brock, who dashed 17
yards around left end in the third quarter, gave the
Packers their points. In between, the hard driving
Pug Manders plunged over from the one yard line
for Brooklyn's tally. Hutson added both of Green
Bay's extra points, running his string for 
consecutive kicks to 54, and Kinard, Brooklyn's 
extra point. It was also the thirty-sixth consecutive
game in which Hutson has scored. The less said
about the game, though, especially as it revealed
the Packers as possible title contenders the better.
So here goes about the big news: The officials, 
Messrs. John Kelly, Bill Downes, Tom Dowd and
Lou Gordon, who played a serenade all afternoon
on their horns and whistles and set a record. They
penalized Brooklyn 21 times, which wiped out the
old mark of 16 which the Cardinals had held since
1936, and they racked up 165 yards against
Brooklyn which wiped out the old record of 150 
which the Bears had held since 1942. It got to be a
little ridiculous in the later stages of play. On top of this, because of the brawling nature of the game, the officials had the "pleasure" of kicking four players off the field. Bob Masterson, George Smith and Cecil Johnson were thumbed out for Brooklyn and baldish Ade Schwammel for Green Bay.
TIGERS ARE SURPRISE
Except for the penalties, the Tigers, showing surprising potential strength, might easily have won the game. They showed a good, rugged line and two particularly fine backs in Manders and Hare. In statistics, they will always have this consolation: They outdowned the Packers, outgained them rushing, outgained them passing, outpunted them. The yards and players they lost, though, hung like a rock around their necks which finally dragged them down. The Packers were exceedingly spotty. There were flashes of good football, by the line, and by Larry Craig, Ted Fritsch, Lou Brock and Irv Comp in the backfield, but there were not enough of them. The timing on passes especially was off. A lot of work remains to be done before they can step out against the Bears next Sunday as favorites - as the early speculation over the game has them. It looked as though the Packers might score the first time they got the ball, driving on three first downs from their own 20 to Brooklyn's 28. But there they were stopped. Comp was badly rushed on two attempted pass plays, losing 26 yards and on fourth down Fritsch had to punt. What was denied them the first time they had the ball, however, they immediately picked up the second. On three first downs they moved from their own 36 to Brooklyn's 23. One play did it from here. A second down pass by Comp down the middle nestled in Hutson's arms and the fleet Alabama Don outran the last defenders across the goal. He also added the extra point. There was no further scoring in the first half, although both sides mildly threatened. The Packers on one occasion, late in the second quarter, reached Brooklyn's 14, first down, but just as it looked as though they might score again, Martin snatched a pass out of Hutson's arms in the end zone. The Tigers, on their part, waited until the closing minutes of the half to make their bid. On a succession of neat passes by Ken Fryer, one of them a screen, they reached Green Bay's 27, first down. Here, though, they suffered the same fate the Packers had. Hutson intercepted a pass. It was a different story the first time the Tigers laid hands on the ball in the third quarter, however. They kicked off, got the ball back on Green Bay's 43 on Perkins' poor punt and immediately marched down the field. On three first downs they reached Green Bay's four from where they took only two plays. Manders hit right tackle for three and then hit left tackle for the score. Kinard kicked the point that tied the score. It was a short lived tie, however. The Packers, taking the subsequent kickoff smashed right back. After threatening first on a 46 yard field goal attempt by Sorenson, which sailed just under the crossbar, they settled for a touchdown a couple minutes later instead. A punt which Baby Ray blocked and which Charlie Brock picked up on Brooklyn's 17, set the stage. It required one play. Lou Brock swung wide around right end, and behind beautiful blocking, particularly by Larry Craig, scampered all the way. Again Hutson added the extra point. The Packers almost had another touchdown a minute later, too, when Charlie Brock intercepted a deflected pass and ran 17 yards across the goal. The officials detected roughing, however, and nullified the play. And so the game ended. The later stages of play were fought out largely between the two 20 yard lines with the Packers having a little edge, but lacking the punch to score again.
BROOKLYN  -  0  0  7  0 -  7
GREEN BAY -  7  0  7  0 - 14
1st - GB - Hutson, 24-yard pass from Comp (Hutson kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
3rd - BR - Pug Manders, 1-yard run (Bruiser Kinard kick) TIED 7-7
4th - GB - L. Brock, 17-yard run (Hutson kick) GREEN BAY 14-7
NEWS AND NOTES
PACKERS UNIMPRESSIVE; PENALTIES SPOIL GAME
SEPTEMBER 18 (Milwaukee Journal) - A good many spectators went away from State Fair park Sunday disappointed in the pro football game and disappointed in the Green Bay Packers. The heat had something to do with this. Football players, particularly weighty veterans in pro ball, cannot be expected to put up an A-1 brand of play on a hot day, particularly early in the season. Snappy football and snappy weather go together. The Packers undoubtedly will improve, but they will have to improve greatly to be a real contender in the National league race. The Bays' running game was unimpressive Sunday. It had flashes of class but was not at all consistent. At times, the backs did not seem to have any idea of where they were going. The forward passing game did not look good enough to take up the slack, either. Without Don Hutson, it would have been pitiable. Hutson, however, is only half of a passing combination. The other half was woefully lacking Sunday. Irv Comp's record indicates that he is a good passer and a good running back, but he was neither against Brooklyn. Pregame reports were that he was overweight and he looked it Sunday. Most of the time, he ran as if he was overweight and he looked it Sunday. Back to pass, he could not elude rushers. This was due partly to poor protection but partly to his own poor maneuvering. And his passing was atrocious. Hutson never had a chance at many of the passes. The game itself was spoiled by too many penalties. Brooklyn set a league record with 21, and nine were called on the Packers. The game was halted for penalties on 30 of some 160 plays. The officials were not at fault. Brooklyn started out to spoil the Bays' passing game by roughing the passer. Comp took a beating back there and the officials had to stop it. The Tigers resented these penalties and drew others. A pro game is more than a contest. It is entertainment which depends for its existence on patronage. A game full of penalties is poor entertainment. The players certainly should know the rules and should obey them much better than these two teams did Sunday.
NEW TRANS-AMERICA GRID LEAGUE FORMED
SEPTEMBER 18 (New York) - Plans for a new professional football circuit, to be known as the Trans-America Football league, were announced today after an organization meeting attended by representatives of six cities. John F. (Chick) Meehan, former Syracuse, New York university and Manhattan coach, is president of the league, which will not start competition until after the war. Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia were admitted to the league today while applications for franchises are being considered by groups from Boston and Miami. Only Houston and Miami were not represented at today's meeting. Meehan said the applications for the use of principal stadia in each city had been made and that in several cases the use of the stadia had been assured. Counting heavily on air travel to support an "intersectional" grouping. Meehan explained that potential scheduled has been worked out with the aid of airlines. He refused to say whether the circuit would respect NFL contracts although he indicated that the clubs would bid freely for players listed in the National league's draft. Other league officers are Harry Joe Brown, Los Angeles movie producer, vice president; John (Ox) Da Grosa, now a Holy Cross coach, secretary, and J. Basil Maguire of New York, treasurer.
PACKERS PAY FOR TRIUMPH
SEPTEMBER 19 (Green Bay) - The Packers paid a rather heavy price for their 14-7 victory over the Brooklyn Tigers at Milwaukee Sunday. Pete Tinsley and Glen Sorenson, guards, and Don Perkins, substitute fullback, came out of the fray with injuries that will slow them down this week and which may even keep them out of the lineup against the Bears here Sunday. Tinsley and Sorenson both have leg injuries. Perkins has a badly bruised arm. Far from satisfied with the showing of his charges against the Tigers, Lambeau meanwhile ordered the heaviest drills of the season for the rest of the week. He was especially disappointed in the timing on pass plays. Only a few thousand tickets remained Tuesday, and indications were that a sellout crowd would again see the battle between the traditional old rivals. The Packers ruled 7 to 5 favorites.
RAY NOLTING LOST TO BEARS SUNDAY
SEPTEMBER 19 (Chicago) - The Chicago Bears' hopes for a victory over the Green Bay Packers at Green Bay Sunday received a heavy jolt Monday when it was learned that Ray Nolting, veteran halfback, had suffered a broken bone in his leg in Sunday's 20-10 victory over the New York Giants in an exhibition. It also remained in doubtful whether Ray McLean, who pulled a muscle in the all-star game August 30 and who has been on the sidelines since, would be able to play at top speed.
BEARS MOAN - SO BEWARE!
SEPTEMBER 20 (Collegeville, IN) - A "bear" story, no matter how you take it, emanated Wednesday from the camp of the Chicago Bears, who open defense of their NFL title against the Green Bay Packers at Green Bay Sunday. Co-coach Luke Johnsos announced that the Bears' starting backfield would be almost an all-rookie combination because of injuries to veterans. "We'll need all the breaks - and then we'll be lucky to win," moaned Johnsos. Henry Magarita was scheduled to start at left halfback in place of veteran Ray Nolting, who had a bone broken in his leg in the New York exhibition Sunday. Right half will be shared by two reserves, Al Gyro and Doug McEnulty, supplanting Ray McLean, also a casualty. McLean, however, will play some. Johnny Long, up from the Newark farm club as successor to Sid Luckman, will continue at quarterback. Fullback Gary Famiglietti will be the only starting veteran.
BUCKETS SIGNS WITH PACKERS
SEPTEMBER 21 (Green Bay) - Green Bay's hopes this football season took a definite jump Thursday when it was learned that Buckets Goldenberg, veteran guard, had relented in his decision not to play this fall and arrived here for practice. He accepted terms Thursday noon. Only eight or ten pounds over his best playing weight, Goldenberg hoped to be able to get into the Bear game Sunday for a short while anyway. His value would lie largely on defense because of his experience against the "T". Goldenberg will be the oldest man on the squad. This will be his twelfth season of pro ball. He now owns a restaurant in Milwaukee.
LUCKMAN - THE WHISPERS PERSIST THAT HE WILL PLAY WITH BEARS SUNDAY
SEPTEMBER 21 (Milwaukee Journal) - The whispers persist that Sid Luckman, an ensign in the merchant marine, will be with the Bears Sunday when they line up against the Packers at Green Bay. In fact, Thursday they grew louder than ever when the same sources that wanted to bet he would play against the College All-Stars, long before announcement of this was made, wanted to bet again that he would be in the lineup this week. The odds on the game immediately changed. The Packers, favorites from the beginning, were no better than even money Thursday. The case of Ben Paschal of the Giants was mentioned as the precedent Luckman may follow. Paschal, also in the merchant marine, took advantage of a 48 hour furlough last Sunday to play with the New York Giants against the Bears in Buffalo. The league has no rule to govern such cases. It well might have, though...The Bears now hold a seven-game edge in their all-time rivalry with the Packers. They have won 26 games, lost 19 and have scored 632 points against 499. Green Bay scored its last victory in 1941, winning in Chicago, 16-14.
PACKERS FRET OVER LUCKMAN
SEPTEMBER 22 (Green Bay) - Curly Lambeau stewed and fretted here Friday morning as the story persisted that Sid Luckman, an ensign in the merchant marine, would fly west from New York to be with the Chicago Bears here Sunday against the Packers. "The very fact that there has been no announcement about Luckman, one way or the other, isn't exactly fair to us," he said. "Why should we make all our preparations for the game along certain lines, and then suddenly find out, a day or two before the game, that they won't do, because Luckman will be in the lineup? We can play the Bears one way if Luckman doesn't play, but we have to play them another way if he does. There has been talk for two weeks now that Luckman might play. I've heard it from various sources. Just whispers. Layden (league commissioner) has heard them. The Bears have heard them. Yet the rumors are just left to be bandied around without confirmation or denial. Such an arrangement simply doesn't give us a fair break." Lambeau explained that, under present league rules, Luckman, who is on the Bears' reserve list, might be placed on the eligible list 
of 28 for the game as late as Sunday. Meanwhile, the Packer boss stepped up the tempo of his drills and left the field Thursday fairly well satisfied that his squad had started to catch "Bear fever". "With Luckman or without him," Lambeau said, "the Bears may not know what hit them." All the cripples except Roy McKay of Texas, who still has a bad leg, were ready for action. Lambeau's chief worry concerned Irv Comp, who still has some weight to lose. Buckets Goldenberg, veteran guard, who signed Thursday noon, worked out briefly with the squad and will probably see some action on defense Sunday against the T which he knows so well. Only 1,000 tickets remained to be sold to assure a capacity crowd of 24,000.
LUCKMAN SIGNS CONTRACT; BEARS MADE FAVORITES
SEPTEMBER 23 (Chicago) - The right arm of Ens. Sid Luckman, who pitched the Chicago Bears to the NFL championship last year, has established the Bears as slight favorites in their 1944 league debut against the Green Bay Packers at Green Bay Sunday. Acting President Ralph Brizzolara of the Bears announced Saturday that Luckman had signed a contract to play with the Bears Sunday, thereby causing a flip-flop in the odds. The Bears had been rated as underdogs against the Packers, but the threat of Luckman's right arm has caused local oddsmakers to quote the champions as three point favorites. Luckman, now stationed at Sheepshead (N.Y.) maritime base, obtained permission to play from his commanding officer, according to Brizzolara. The former Columbia university star expected to be shipped out for sea duty in the near future. Luckman will replace Johnny Long at quarterback for the Bears and will bolster a weakened backfield which has lost Ray Nolting, hard running halfback, who fractured a leg last Sunday. Ray McLean has recovered sufficiently from an injured shoulder to see part time duty Sunday, Brizzolara said. The Packers opened the season last Sunday with a victory over the Brooklyn Tigers.
BEARS AND LUCKMAN PICKED OVER BAYS
SEPTEMBER 24 (Green Bay) - Curly Lambeau and his Packers
were at the point of explosion Saturday night as they awaited
the whistle that will send them against the Chicago Bears here
Sunday afternoon before a capacity crowd of 24,000. The mere
presence of the Bears is enough in itself at any time to excite
the town and the team. The presence of Sid Luckman, an
ensign in the merchant marine, who obtained leave to be with 
his team and who flew west from New York Saturday, has now
increased the feeling to a pitch not often reached. It was not so
much that Luckman had rejoined the Bears a day before what
is always one of the crucial games of the season. It was rather
the way in which both the Bears and the league, which means
Commissioner Elmer Layden, handled the whole matter. It was
reminiscent of the old catch as catch days of professional
football in which anything went. The feeling was that Layden, as
commissioner, had failed to take cognizance of the whispers
which for two weeks persisted that Luckman would fly west to
play in the game, and that the Bears, apparently knowing for
some time that Luckman would be with them, withheld 
announcement until a day before the game. With Luckman in
the lineup, the Bears immediately became the favorites. His
quarterbacking, passing and kicking all commanded the utmost
respect. His quarterbacking, in fact, was certain to give the
Bears a lift where, off their showing in exhibitions, they needed
one most. The Packers, however, had their own ideas about the
game. They felt that they weren't originally picked to be the 
best team in the west without reason, and that they can win
whether or not the Bears have Luckman or not. Like the town itself, they were all steamed up over the Luckman case. Neither team will enter the game in the best of shape. The Bears, who have been training at Collegeville, Ind., will be without the services of Ray Nolting, veteran halfback, who suffered a broken bone in his leg in the exhibition against the Giants last week. The Packers will have to get along without Roy McKay, perhaps the best tailback on the squad. McKay also has a bad leg. All other Packer cripples - and there were several of them after the bruising Brooklyn game last week - will be ready to start, however, including Pete Tinsley, Glen Sorenson and Cy Perkins, the most seriously injured. Ray McLean, shifty halfback, who has seen no action since the All-Star game because of a pulled muscle, will also be ready to open for the Bears. Green Bay's chief hopes again rested on its various passing combinations, with Irv Comp in the leading passing role and the one and only Don Hutson in the principal catching role. "Comp holds the key for us," Lambeau said, "because besides his passing, he will probably do most of our running. If he should have a big day, the Bears may not know what hit them - even with Luckman." The Bears, almost cocky with Luckman in their midst, arrived in Green Bay last Saturday afternoon. Sunday's game will start at 2 o'clock. Only 700 tickets remained to be sold, assuring a capacity crowd even before the gates open Sunday noon. One other league game will be played Sunday, the new Cardinal-Pitt combine meeting the Cleveland Rams at Pittsburgh. Card-Pitt ruled an overwhelming favorite after its surprisingly good showing against Washington in an exhibition a week ago.