STATISTICS TELL WHY PACKERS ARE PICKED
DECEMBER 14 (Milwaukee Journal) - It is all a little confusing, at least on the surface, that the Green Bay Packers, who were so soundly drubbed by the
New York Giants in the regular season, 24-0,
should be favorites in the return meeting for the
championship at the Polo Grounds Sunday. If
the Giants won so handily before, why shouldn't
they win again? Why should the already
thrashed Packers rule a 7 point choice? - and
that's what they were Thursday morning. It is
all explained by the statistics - the season's
statistics. The Packers may be licked again
Sunday, probably will be if they play as they did
in some of their recent games, yet off the
statistics they logically still must be the choice.
The statistics tell their own little tale. Total
yards gained in the regular season in which
each played 10 games? The Packers have a
decided edge, 3,024 to 2,389. Touchdowns: The
Packers have an edge, 34 to 28. Average gain
per rush? Once more the Packers lead, 3.8
yards a rush to 3.7. Passing efficiency? The
Packers have an edge in total yards gained,
1,471 to 857, and in percentage of completions,
41% to 37%. Clean ball handling? Once more it
is the Packers who set a league record with
only 11 fumbles. The Giants, second best in
the league, fumbled 14 times. Pass defense?
The Packers have a lower average of
completions against them, 39% to 44%, even
though the Giants have the best individual interceptor in the league in Livingston. There are some departments in which the Giants excel, of course. They have had better punting, better punt returning, better field goal kicking and a better defense against rushing and this last may turn out to be decisive Sunday. Overall, though, the edge in most departments belong to the Packers. They must logically to be the choice. In any consideration like this, it must also be borne in mind that the Packers played in the tougher end of the league. There was only one soft touch in the west - the Card-Pitts. There were two in the east, Boston and Brooklyn, and even Washington this season, with a balky Sammy Baugh, was not up to par. The intangibles in the game, the condition, the mental approach, the breaks, and so on, no one can do more than guess at. Offhand, though, the Packers with three weeks of rest should be in just as good physical shape as the Giants - in fact, perhaps better, since both Bill Paschal, the league's leading individual ground gainer, and Len Younce, one of the bulwarks in the line, at guard, were injured last Sunday. The Giants should have no edge here.
In mental approach, the Packers should be
just as high and just as eager as New York.
Not only have they the sting of the earlier licking
still in their hides, but they can use the winners'
share of the players' pool as well in Green Bay
as the Giants can in New York. The breaks may
well turn out to be the game's turning point, and
in this the Packers must be on their toes
indeed. New York all season has showed itself
to be a gang of opportunists of the highest
order. A fumble or a pass in the clutch and the
Giants have gobbled it up. The Packers don't
dare make many, if any, mistakes Sunday. The
statistics also show Green Bay with much
greater diversity of attack. The Packers may
come by air or they may come by land, and in
either way, if they happen to be "hot", they can
roll. They have a set of six or seven backs
carrying among them - Fritsch, Perkins, Lou
Brock, Laws, Duhart and Comp. The Giants
have pinned their hopes almost solely on Paschal and Cuff. Where the Packers just mentioned have split up the chores fairly even, Paschal has been the real workhorse in New York's backfield, carrying the ball almost as often as the rest of the backs together. Maybe the Giants will win. They have been something of a Cinderella team, since nobody gave them a tumble last August. Off the records, though, the Packers on Thursday were the choice. And here is a little guess that they will come through.
MAJOR LEAGUES BAR FOOTBALL FROM PARKS
DECEMBER 14 (New York) - A battle royal appeared to be in the making Thursday between professional football and major league baseball unless the latter curtails its season. The fight started Wednesday when the major leagues, at their joint winter meeting, voted to bar football from their parks until the home baseball season has been completed. For the most part it leave NFL teams without fields for their early season games. The only solution appeared to be for a shorter baseball season, something which probably will come up for discussion when the major leagues meet in February. While there is considerable sentiment for a shorter season outside of baseball circles, there is little, if any, among the men who own and run the game. It may develop that baseball men cut their own incomes when they voted as they did. Pro football has become big business and the money which it turned over in rentals for ball parks means considerable to the baseball clubs involved. A spokesman for the football league left no doubt on how it felt about baseball's move. "Baseball can go fly its own kite," he said. He pointed out that the league had cooperated with baseball in every way, cutting down the number of its early season games and arranging its schedule so there would be as little conflict as possible with baseball. The pro league will discuss ways and means of overcoming the baseball park ban at their annual meeting here Monday. Pro football eventually will abandon ball parks altogether unless a satisfactory compromise is reached by shortening the baseball season. It appears a safe bet that pro football eventually will build its own parks, start its season earlier and no longer try to avoid conflict with baseball dates. That would be a financial blow to the nine baseball clubs which rent their parks for football. In most cases the ball clubs receive approximately 15% of the receipts. That means $15,000 on a $100,000 gate, which is not uncommon in pro football. Each club has five or six home games. Baseball parks used by the pros are owned by the New York Giants, Philadelphia Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Washington Senators. The New York Yankees, who do not rent their stadium for pro football, led the movement for the ban. Their president, Edward G. Barrow, became incensed last fall when his team, still in the championship running, was forced to have a game called off in Philadelphia because the diamond had been cut up the day before by pro gridmen.
HOPES OF GIANTS REST UPON TRAINER'S ABILITY
DECEMBER 15 (New York) - Ever heard of Mauch - Bill Mauch? Bill works with bandages, tape, iodine, heat lamps and such things and at the moment he is the most important guy in the camp of Steve Owen's rather amazing New York Giants, who Sunday will meet the Green Bay Packers at the Polo Grounds for the championship of the NFL. Bill is the most important guy in camp right now because upon his skill to bring around such things as shoulder separations and tricky knees and twisted ankles depends, to a large extent, almost all of New York's hopes. You see, Steve Owens himself can only go so far. He can set up a defense for the Packers and he can map out his own team's attack. He can point out just what to do to tie up Don Hutson, and he can build up a head of team steam. But he needs men who are whole to be able to do this - and that's just the point because at the moment, with the game three days off, he has an injury list a mile long. Bill Paschal, the wheelhorse of Owens' backfield and the league's leading ground gainer, has a shoulder separation. Len Younce, an all-league guard again, has a twisted knee, and Hub Barker, Len Caligaro, Carl Kinscherf and Joe Sulaitis have an assortment of bruises and bumps bad enough to lead Owens to hold them out of Thursday's practice. "Most of the men are going to start Sunday," Owens said Friday morning. "Bill has done wonders with our cripples all season. But how long they will last if the going is real tough, as it might be, I hate to think. Take Paschal, for instance. He really has a bad sprain. He can't go up on his toes at all, and even a guy who can do things the way he does can't play a game like Sunday's on his heels alone." So you see what at the moment Bill Mauch means to New York's hopes. He carries them in his little kit with his bandages. He is the most important guy in camp. Except for the depressing effect which his list of cripples naturally has on him, however, Owens professes only ordinary concern over the outcome of Sunday's game. "We bet them before," he said, "and we can beat them again, although I'm not kidding myself that it will be as easy as a month ago. (The Giants beat the Packers in the regular season, 24-0.) We don't scare easy down here - and we wouldn't scare at all if we weren't so badly banged up. But we'll see Sunday - we'll see." Meanwhile the Packers completed training at their camp at Charlottesville, Va., Friday morning. They were to arrive here Friday night and establish headquarters at the New Yorker hotel. A light workout will be held at the Polo Grounds Saturday morning. Excellent football weather will await them. The thermometer hung in the low forties, and unless a storm suddenly developes, a good field will await them Sunday, too. A tarpaulin has covered the field all week. New York fans, depressed along with Owens by the list of his cripples, have forgotten all about the result a month ago, and have installed the Packers seven point favorites.
BLOZIS IS ELIGIBLE
DECEMBER 15 (New York) - Second Lt. Al Blozis, huge tackle for the New York Giants who did not join the squad until three weeks ago, is eligible for Sunday's NFL title playoff with Green Bay, commissioner Elmer Layden ruled Friday. The loop's rules declare a play eligible for the playoff if he has been on a club's active list for two weeks prior to the title game.
HUTSON CHOSEN ON STAR TEAM
DECEMBER 15 (New York) - Several NFL
rookies gave spectacular performances this
season, but only one, Steve Van Buren of
the Philadelphia Eagles, made the all-pro
team selected by the Associated Press and
newspaper writers. There are four men who
were on last year's team, three second year
men, two three-year men and one veteran on
an "all" team a few years back. The Eagles,
New York Giants and Chicago Bears each
landed two men. The Washington Redskins,
Greeen Bay Packers, Brooklyn Tigers, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Rams and Green Bay Packers all placed one player. The veteran Packer end, Don Hutson, who has won national honors seven years in a row, heads the repeaters from 1943. The others are Frank Kinard, Tiger tackle; Clyde Turner, Bear center, and Sid Luckman, Bear quarterback. The sophomores on the team are Bill Paschal, Giant fullback, the leading ground gainer for two years; Frank Sinkwich, one of the leading rushers and passers in the circuit, and Al Wistert, Eagle tackle. The three year are Len Younce, Giant guard, and Joe Aguirre, Redskin end. Hutson, Kinard, Turner, Younce and Sinkwich were unanimous choices of all the balloters. Hutson was the only unanimous choice in 1943.