PACKERS, WORLD GRID CHAMPIONS SIXTH TIME, WELCOMED HOME
DEC 19 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers, football champions of the world for the sixth time in 25 years, came out of the east Monday night and were greeted by nearly 1,500 fans who forgot about the chilly weather to welcome them home. The team arrived on a
Milwaukee road train at 10:20 after a 24-hour trip that
brought them here from New York, where Sunday they
had clawed their way to a 14-7 victory over the Giants.
There was no formal speech making at the station, but
there was plenty of cheering, back slapping, music and
noise as the members of the championship eleven
came home. L.H. Joannes, president of the corporation,
was chairman of the reception committee. The crowd
included oldsters and youngsters, members of the city
council, a pumper crew from the fire department who
kept sirens shrieking, and the Packer Lumberjack band
under the direction of Wilner Burke...LAMBEAU IS
ABSENT: The returning contingent was led by Assistant
Coach Don Hutson, in the absence of Coach Curly
Lambeau, busy in New York at meeting of owners and
officials of the NFL. Line Coach George (Brute) Trafton,
whose first year with the club was considerably more
than moderately successful, was also absent, having
remained in the east also. Special plaudits were given
to backs Ted Fritsch, Joe Laws and Larry Craig and
linemen Hutson, Charley Brock, Baby Ray and Paul
Berezney. Fritsch scored the two touchdowns for the
Packers while Laws was the backfield wheelhorse in
the contest. The linemen mentioned and all their mates
who played out-charged, out-fought and out-distanced
the defensive minded Eastern division winners...GO
DIRECTLY TO HOMES: Several of the players had gone
directly to their homes after the title contest and were
not present. These included tackle Ade Schwammel,
halfback Paul Duhart, guard Buckets Goldenberg.
Halfback Lou Brock remained in Chicago, where an
operation was to be performed on his knee this morning
at Michael Reese hospital. Brock sustained the injury,
that kept him out of the last four regular league games,
against Cleveland here in October. Also conspicuous by his absence was guard Pete Tinsley, who arrived an hour earlier. Tinsley hurried home to Chicago, when he was informed on the team's arrival there early Monday afternoon that Mr. and Mrs. Peter Tinsley were the parents of a son, born Monday morning at St. Mary's hospital...NO CIVIC CELEBRATIONS: The other players who do not make their homes in the city were on leave today or Wednesday. Incidentally, the Packers are now tied with the Chicago Bears for most championships win, each team having taken six titles. The Packers, it was announced today, voted to split their playoff pool into 27 full shares, five half shares, and one quarter share. The voting made a full share to winners worth $1,478.68. The losing New York Giants earlier had voted 35 shares, each member of the team thus receiving $830. The playoff gate of $146,205.15 set a new record. The players' pool totaled $81,466.51 with the winners receiving $41,896.64.
NATIONAL GRID WHEEL TO FIGHT COMPETITION
DEC 19 (New York) - The NFL today began signing as many players as possible as quickly as possible in an effort to combat the menace to its prosperity which has been threatened by the organization of new leagues. The policy was suggested at Monday's meeting of National league club owners and officials, some of whom put it into practice before the day was out. Aldo (Buff) Donelli already had been signed to a new three-year contract as coach of the Cleveland Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers announced the signing of Bill Dudley, now in the Army. Dudley had a very successful year with Pittsburgh following his graduation from the University of Virginia. The Detroit Lions also announced the signing of Bob Cifers and Tipply Madarik...LAYDEN IS UNPERTURBED: The National league president and commissioner, Elmer Layden, apparently unperturbed about rumors of his ouster, warned players who are thinking of playing for another league that they would be barred from National league play for five years. "Any player who, while under contract to or on a reserve list of any club in the National league, plays with any club in another league or an independent club, will be suspended from the NFL for five years," Layden cautioned. The statement was simply a reiteration of an old rule, the enforcement of which was hoped would keep players from signing with newly formed loops...DRAFT MEETING JAN. 8-10: The owners decided to defer action on the order in which teams will draft until the draft meeting in Chicago, Jan. 8, 9 and 10. Ordinarily the team which finished the season at the bottom of the standing gets the first choice in the draft. This year, however, there was a tie for last place as well as several other spots and draft priority will have to be determined by a flip of a coin. The officials also agreed to change the draft rule whereby the low five teams in the standings were permitted to choose an extra player. Under the new system any team which does not win four games during the season will be permitted to draft the additional player. George Strickler, publicity director of the league, denied that there was any discussion regarding Layden's status or his removal.
CUDDY WONDERS WHY PRO GRID BACKERS SEEK TO LOSE MONEY
DEC 19 (New York) - The professional pigskin paradox - in which a bunch of blokes apparently for the right to lose their money - has given us the worst case of skull-colic since we were pitted against fractions. Almost anyone who operates without blinkers or ear plugs must have noted that commercial football became the stormy petrel of the sport world during 1944 - such was hoghide hurly-burly - with the NFL threatened by new grid organizations and assailed by the baseball moguls. A bit of a climax was reached Monday at the national circuit's annual meeting when it answered the challenge of rival grid groups by taking steps to hog-tie the 750 or 800 players who "belong" to the 11 National clubs - on active or reserve lists. The National owners adopted a policy of signing up quickly players who are insecure, and of threatening with a five-year ban any who contemplate jumping to the new circuits. This trussing-up seemed necessary because club owners of three new circuits have been flirting clandestinely and openly with the National's beefy beauties, trying to lure them away with lavish lucre. The trio of poaching organizations are: The All-America league, with Jim Crowley as president; the United States league, with Red Grange as president; and the Trans-America league, which Chick Meehan is organizing. It seems that each of these three outfits have a yen not only for National circuit players, but also for slices of National territory. They are threatening to operate in several cities where the Nationals have franchises and take over by virtue of squatters' rights - or something...MUST MAKE MONEY: Being a wide-eyed lad from the open spaces, we figured that this stampede toward the commercial gridiron must savor of a gold rush. To confirm this hunch, we braced a National league brass hat after Monday's meeting and remarked to this "unimpeachable authority" that the National leaguers certainly must be reaping a rich harvest. Since so many outsiders are trying to muscle in on the gravy. He said, "Sonny, you - and a lot of other misguided folks - are laboring under a delusion. Only five clubs in the National league did well enough financially to break even during the 1944 season. They were Green Bay, the Chicago Bears, New York, Washington and Philadelphia. All the rest lost money. They wound up in the red at a time when there's more money in circulation than ever before in the country's history. Imagine what happens in normal times. I might add that it was the first time in 15 seasons that Philadelphia finished in the black."...COSTS $36,000 PER GAME: "Few men make money in pro football; few go into it for that purpose. The weather hazard generally prevents profit. It costs an average of $36,000 to stage a single game today. You have a season of only 10 games, and a couple of exhibitions. When bad weather results in a paltry gate, you're just out of luck. You shell out your 36 grand and you have to like it. Games are not postponed to later dates, as in baseball. Only wealthy sportsmen like Capt. Dan Topping of Brooklyn and Lt. Alexis Thompson of Philadelphia, who can afford to lose hunks of money, should venture into pro football."
NEW PRO LEAGUE HAS NOVEL PLAN OF SELECTION PLAYERS
DEC 18 (Akron, OH) - Representatives of the newly organized United States Football League, which plans to operate franchises in six cities next year, met here Sunday and discussed an entirely new method of selecting players. League President Harold (Red) Grange said players who would play on league teams would be distributed from a players' pool selected by a league scouting organization. "We propose to establish a central scouting system and the scouts will select players and distribute them to the various teams in the league with the man thought of keeping en even balance of power among the teams," Grange explained. "Under this revolutionary plan of signing players the league has abandoned the draft system, which has worked to a disadvantage in pro football."
NATIONAL PROS SLAP AT FOES
DEC 19 (New York) - The NFL has cleared its decks for any possible action against the newly organized professional league which hope to operate next year. At the end of an all-day meeting Monday, Commissioner Elmer Layden declared that "any player who, while under contract to or on the reserve list of any National league club, plays with any club in any other league or with any independent club, will be suspended from playing in the NFL for five years." George Strickler, Layden's assistant, explained that enforcement of this rule was aimed primarily at the All-American conference. "We understand," Strickler said, "the All-America has given the impression to college players that they have a tie-up with us. This is not the case. There never will be any tie-up between the NFL and any other league until the new leagues are ready to accept Layden as commissioner and until they demonstrate they can operate on a sound basis." Angelo Bertelli, star forward passer for Notre Dame in 1943, and Bill Daley, former Minnesota star, recently were signed by Los Angeles and New York, respectively, of the All-America, for postwar play. The next meeting of the NFL will be held in Chicago January 10.
GREEN BAY CHEERS PACKERS; LAWS AT BEST IN TITLE GAME
DEC 18 (Chicago Tribune) - Ignoring the temperature that hovered above the 5 degrees above zero mark, a crowd of between 750 and 1,000 roared a welcome to the Green Bay Packers, champions of the NFL, tonight.As the train bearing the champions rolled into the station, some 20 minutes late, the Packer Lumberjack band, directed by Wilmer Burke, added a musical salute to the vociferous vocal manifestations of Green Bay fandom. L.J. Joannes, president of the Green Bay Packer corporation, led the official welcoming committee which included several city councilmen. The welcoming committee deviated from the usual procedure of turning the keys of the city over to the Packers; the committee merely gave the champions the town. The arrival of the train was merely the signal for the civic celebration to start, and it extended thru the early hours of the morning. There were cries of "Where's Ted?", "Where's Laws?" as the train coasted to a stop. The men in question - Ted Fritsch, who scored both of Green Bay's touchdowns in the 14 to 7 triumph over the New York Giants in the championship game yesterday, and Joe Laws, who played one of the greatest games of his professional career, appeared, and the railway station rafters fairly shook with the applause and the cheers that greeted them. The applause did not stop with Fritsch and Laws. There were salvos for Craig, Hutson, and the entire team that brought the championship to Green Bay. There was talk tonight of a huge civic celebration with a dinner, speakers, etc., but President Joannes said the matter of the celebration would have to be left to the choice of the players themselves. One of the Packers - Pete Tinsley, a guard - took an early train home, but he was engaging in another kind of celebration. His wife gave birth to a son earlier in the day and Tinsley forgot such minor things as championships and the New York Giants as he sped to the side of his wife and his son. Another Packers, Lou Brock, stopped off in Chicago and will undergo an operation for a knee injury tomorrow morning in Michael Reese hospital. Dr. Daniel Levinthal will perform the operation. Head Coach Curly Lambeau and assistant George Trafton will arrive home later this week....An added thrill to any championship game is the sight of an athlete rising to the heights, especially if in ordinary times he is a player of no unusual luster. Such a man was chunky, 190 pound Joe Laws Sunday when the Green Bay Packers beat the New York Giants for the NFL title. Laws knew it was up to him and so did the other Packers, from Coach Curly Lambeau on down. The other wingback, Lou Brock, hasn't shaken the effects of an October knee injury, so Joe, 33, and in his 11th season with Green bay, called on more skill that many suspected he had. "I thought Laws was the best player on the field," said Phil Handler, coach of the Chicago Cardinals. "He proved his greatness by coming thru when it was necessary that he do so. Why, he actually looked faster than when he broke into pro football!" Laws was such a potent force in Green Bay's triumph that a summary of the important contributions of the former University of Iowa star is presented: FIRST QUARTER - Hit the line for the first down of the game; returned two punts for 4 and 15 yards. SECOND QUARTER - From the Giants' 43 on the first play ran 15 yards. This sparked the first touchdown drive. Ted Fritsch then bolted to the 1 and finally drove over on the fourth down. After Green Bay kicked off, Laws intercepted Arnie Herber's pass on the New York 45 and returned 12 yards. Later he returned a punt 11 yards. THIRD QUARTER - Ran 16 yards to the Giants' 31 but Mel Hein stopped the drive with an interception. From their 12, the Giants moved into Packer territory, where Laws intercepted Herber's pass and ran 8 yards to the Green Bay 41. FOURTH QUARTER - After the Giants scored to cut the Packer lead to 14 to 7, the New York kickoff sailed thru Irv Comp's hands on the 15, but Laws pounced on the ball and came back to the 18. The Packers moved up and finally punted over the Giants' goal. Ward Cuff ran 11 yards to his 31 on the first play but Laws made a leaping interception of Herber's pass on the Green Bay 35. In two slashes thru the middle he made 14 and 4 yards to get the ball in enemy territory. The Packers' Comp, whom cynical critics is inclined to second deck fright, meaning that he doesn't play well before large crowds, gave the lie to the charge. His only error was failure to catch Ken Strong's kickoff. He was an able runner and while his passing percentage was low - three completions in 10 pitches - he hit the target on the payoff touchdown throw to Fritsch. Frank Liebel, Giants' end was Comp's jinx. In the first quarter the Packers reached the 30 yard line but as Comp passes, Liebel bumped into him, spoiling his aim and as a result, Len Younce intercepted. Comp was covering Liebel on Herber's pass in the third quarter when he slipped and fell flat. Liebel caught the ball, ran to the 1 yard line and set up Cuff's touchdown. In winning, the Packers gave more evidence that the western division of the league is stronger than the eastern flight. It was the fifth league victory for the west in six years.
LAMBEAU'S FINE JOB BIG FACTOR; HUTSON FOOLS GIANTS AS DECOY
DEC 19 (New York) - For the record, the Packers won their sixth pro football championship by beating the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds Sunday, 14-7. Actually, they won it in the two weeks which preceded the game. Whatever the superlative play of the Packers out on the field itself, the fact is that Curly Lambeau seldom has done such a grand job of coaching, in all its phases, as he did with this team in the brief time since the close of the regular season against the Card-Pitts at Comiskey park. It was not that the Packers were emotionally "high". They had been beaten by the Giants a month ago, 24-0. They had money riding on almost every play, for the difference between the shares of the winning and losing teams was about $500 a man. They had genuine incentive...HUTSON-WHAT A DECOY!: It was more than this. It was that Lambeau, in the three weeks since the Card-Pitt game, had worked wonders with this team in its approach to the game and in its offensive strategy and its defensive strategy. The Packers Sunday were a letter perfect team. The old Belgian can take a bow. Defensively and offensively he had the Giants cased down to their last ace. He set up a defense - a six man line, spaced like a seven with Charlie Brock and Ted Fritsch up close - that choked the Giants off with 70 yards on the ground. He chose an offense predicated almost entirely upon the preoccupation he knew the Giants would show for a pass receiver like Hutson. Hutson Sunday was little more than a decoy. The Packers Sunday tossed no more than 11 passes, just about an all-time low for them in any game, but with devastating spinners, against a really tough line, ground out 162 yards on the ground. The Giants couldn't match it...KICKOFF STRATEGY WORKS: Lambeau can take a bow, along with Baby Ray and Joe Laws and Ted Fritsch and Don Hutson and Buckets Goldenberg and the others who did the actual work, and such good work, out on the field. The old Belgian did one of his grandest coaching jobs in preparing his team for Sunday's game. The Packers got an unexpected break on the flip of the coin to start the game. They had decided to kickoff if they had won the toss, banking on their defense to keep the Giants in a hole, then saw the Giants win the toss. The Giants, however, chose the goal which gave them the advantage of a slight wind, so the Packers till were able to choose to kick off. How well the strategy worked the charts of the game show. The Giants never had position in the first half. They were in a hole on the opening kickoff, and they stayed there through the first two periods. Lambeau himself called New York's choice on the toss the biggest break of the game. The Packers split their end of the game into 29 3/4 shares. Twenty-six players, including Asst. Coach George Trafton, each got a full share. Tony Canadeo, who played three games on a furlough; Alex Urban, Bob Kahler, Trainer Bud Jorgenson and Gus Scaburg, property man, each got one-half share. Scout Eddie Kotal got one-quarter share. Lambeau was voted a full share, but turned it back into the pool. The Packers had three 60 minute ballplayers - Charlie Brock, Larry Craig and Don Hutson - and all three of them played 60 minutes of honest to goodness football. Brock's defensive play was some of the finest the Packers have ever had. Craig's deadly blocking on spinners helped Laws and Fritsch break loose so often. And Hutson, although he caught only two passes, did decoying which had the Giants running in circles most of the afternoon. On the touchdown pass to Fritsch, Hutson had the whole Giant team around him. Fritsch was all alone. Neither score nor statistics actually told the story of Green Bay's superiority. Off to a 14 to 0 lead in the second quarter, the Packers chose to play it safe. They protected their lead, rather than trying to add to it. They hardly used a pass in the second half, depending upon Lou Brock's fine punting and never choosing to gamble. There was always the feeling that if the Giants managed to tie up the score the Packers would come back and score again. This was Green Bay's day..."FLOPS" REVERSE FORM: Laws, in his eleventh year, did one of this finest jobs. It must have been apparent in the radio report. He popped through center repeatedly on spinners, with the help of Craig's deadly blocking. No fewer than four times, on defense, he came up from his fairly deep safety position to make tackles on end runs. At the finish he was weary - but happy, too. The two biggest flops of Green Bay's first game here a month ago, Ted Fritsch and Irv Comp, came up with sparkling ball. Fritsch was a "bull" again and gave more than one Giants a memento of his ball carrying, Comp was sharp in everything. The tumble he took covering Liebel on New York's touchdown drive was entirely unavoidable. He had the Giant end covered perfectly but slipped on the treacherous footing as he started to go up to bat down the ball. And an extra word for Baby Ray. The big boy, all 250 pounds of him, played one of the most savage games of all in the line. The game had the largest coverage of any football game in history, with 192 radio stations in this country carrying the game and an unannounced number of short wave outlet broadcasting to men overseas. The press boxes, of course, were packed.
JOE LAWS GAVE GREAT PERFORMANCE IN TILT
DEC 20 (Green Bay) - Packer fans will have plenty to
talk about as they gather around the hot stoves this
winer and then move onto front porches during spring
and summer prior to the start of practice sessions next
August by the Bays, who will be defending their world
championship and preparing for the annual All-Star
contest in Chicago. It is not far-fetched to say that the
playoff game against the Giants will be played over a
thousand times. On several things the fans will agree.
The Packers put up their best game of the 1944 season
against the Giants, most rugged defensive eleven in the
pro business; they used every opportunity they had to
put the New York team in position where they were
stymied offensively; and the team as a unit was
unbeatable on that particular Sunday. Out of the game
came several other items that will bear rehaashing, now
and as time goes...JOE LAWS HERO: Undoubtedly the
hero of the contest was Joe Laws, who was making his
fourth appearance in a championship game. He used
the occasion to show both defensive and offensive
brilliance, something not exactly anticipated by the
46,016 customers who turned out at the Polo Grounds.
Defensively, Laws set a new pass interception mark for
playoff games with three. This broke the old record of
two held by six others, including center Charley Brock.
Considered by the experts to be among the best field
generals in the pro business, the former Iowa star rose
to the heights against the Giants. Coach Phil Handler
of the Chicago Cardinals epitomized it exactly when he
said, "I thought Laws was the best player on the field.
He proved his greatness by coming through when it was
necessary that he do so. Why, he actually looked faster
than when he broke into pro football (1934)." An
analysis of the game shows how potent a force Joe
was. In the first quarter he hit the line for the first first
downs on the game and returned two punts for four and
15 yards. In the seecond period he ran 15 yards to the
one, from where Ted Fritsch rammed over. Later in the
quarter he intercepted Arnie Herber's pass on the
Giants' 45 and returned it 12 yards. Then he returned a
punt 11 yards...INTERCEPTS HERBER PASS: In the
third quarter, he ran 16 yards up the middle, intercepted
another Herber pass and ran eight yards to the Green
Bay 41 to nullify a Giant threat. After the Giants scored
in the fourth quarter, Joe pounced on the ball when Irv
Comp fumbled the kickoff. When Packers fans felt
chilled because the Giants were marching Laws leaped
high to grab a third Herber pass on the Packer 35. In
two slashes through the middle he made 14 and four
yards to get the ball in enemy territory. During the year
just passed, Laws scored four touchdowns to bring his
total for 11 seasons to 132, fifth in the all-time point list
of the Packers. He has scored 22 touchdowns. While
he never kicked a point after touchdown or field goal,
he was always in evidence when either type of kick was
attempted. He held the ball, a job that requires iron
nerves. Although Joe, like most good athletes knows
when he has come up with a 100 percent performance,
he doesn't overestimate his part in the playoff victory.
He knows that Larry Craig was blocking up the middle
to help along and that the line must receive its full share
of the credit. It was a case of everybody doing his job
to perfection both offensively and defensively...PUT IN
FULL DAY: The ten days the Packers spent in Virginia
were probably as stiff as any a Packer team has had in
26 years. The schedule was such that there was no
time to loaf. Each day meant squad meetings, two
workouts and motion pictures of previous Giant games.
One wag exclaimed, "I saw the motion pictures so often
that I could coach the Giants myself." The hard work,
however, paid dividends and it is to Coach Curly
Lambeau's credit that nothing was left to chance. A
fierce competitor himself, the Green Bay coach expects
full measure from each ball player. Preparing for the
playoff he put in more time than the players, working
from 7 in the morning to 11 at night pouring over the
Giants' defense and offense and working out new plays
for the Bays..CALLED DEFENSE SIGNALS: Ordinarily,
the defensive center or one of the guards calls his
team's maneuvering while the eleven having possession
is in the huddle. The best example of this is Bulldog
Turner of the Chicago Bears whom fans will recall
seeing face his team while the Packers were choosing
a play. Against the Giants, the Packers waited until the New York team lined up. Then, Charley Brock called out a signal, determining which one of three defense his teammates were to use. This gave the Bays extreme mobility and allowed them to hold the Giants without a first down in the first half. They played the same way in the second half but were more cautious, allowing the Giants to get sufficient yardage for 10 first downs. Eddie Kotal, who knows where of he speaks through long experience in the grid game, described the Packers' play as "the most nearly perfect I have seen on a football field." Incidentally, he had a part in the preparations too since it was his scouting of the Giants during the season that provided diagrams of their offense and defense. Coach Lambeau finished it off with a personal look at the Giants in their game against Washington Dec. 3...SQUAD HAS DISBANDED: The squad has now disbanded for the season with most of the out-of-town residents having departed for home. The football togs have been packed away in mothballs by trainer Bud Jorgenson and his assistant, Gus Seaburg, to remain there until sometime next August. Then the team will reassemble to practice for their third appearance against the College All-Star team. Coach Lambeau returned late Tuesday night from New York, where he attended a meeting of club owners and officials Monday.
DON HUTSON HOPES TO RETIRE AFTER ALL-STAR GAME IN 1945
DEC 20 (Green Bay) - Don Hutson wants to quite playing football. He hopes to end his active playing days after the All-Star game in Chicago next summer. But Hutson says so with reservations. "I've tried to retire for the past three years. I intend to retire after the All-Star game," he told the Associated Press. "But if the Packers need me to defend their title next year, I'll probably be in there playing again." Hutson, who holds more individual records in the NFL than any other player, said his retirement depends upon new material the club expects before the 1945 season...TO CONTINUE AS COACH: "I intend to sign a new contract as backfield coach of the Packers," he said. "But any reports of my definite retirement before the preseason starts are premature. I want to quit playing. Ten years in this league is enough. But I don't intend to until we find out definitely whether we will have new material we expect both from Army and Navy discharges, and from colleges." Hutson had a contract as backfield coach for the champion Packers this season, but played his regular game at end and added to the records he had compiled since he left Alabama university in 1934...SCORED 85 POINTS: He assisted Coach Curly Lambeau as backfield coach all season and played in all the Packers' league games. Althought he'd scored 85 points in previous games, he didn't get any touchdowns last Sunday when the Packers beat the New York Giants in the East-West playoff for the title. "They used me for a decoy," he said. "The Giants were so much afraid I'd catch a touchdown pass they covered me too well to stop the rest of the backfield." There are older men in point of service in the league than Hutson. None, however, can approach the sticky-fingered former Pine Bluff, Ark., resident in either scoring or pass snatching. He's no slouch when it comes to kicking poitns after touchdowns, either. This year he scored nine touchdowns on passes and added 31 points after touchdowns. He caught 58 passes for a total game of 866 yards. That brought his 10-year league record to the following: most passes caught, 442; most touchdown passes caught, 92; most yards gained catching passes, 7,176; most points scored, 726, and most touchdowns scored, 95. Those records are exclusive of East-West league playoff games, and include only regularly scheduled season contests.
FRITSCH GETS TRYOUT
DEC 21 (Green Bay) - Fullback Ted Frtisch of the Packers will have a truout with the Oshkosh All-Stars basketball team as a guard, it was announced today. Fritsch will make his first appearance with the