BAY TEAM DISBANDS; SHIFTS SEEN FOR '46
DEC 4 (Green Bay) - Football suits were being tucked away in mothballs, footballs were being deflated to await another season and Packers who live out of the city were packing their grips today to officially wind up the 1945 season, a little disastrous considering that the squad wound up the year in third place in the Western division for the first time since 1934. The squad returned, somewhat chastened, from Detroit late Monday afternoon. It was apparent to all of them that they had put the skids under their chances for what may prove to be the largest slice of second place money in the National league's history. A little retrospect showed also that a few let-ups here and there during crucial games proved their downfall. But the season is past now and Coach Curly Lambeau will probably begin building forthwith for 1946, the Packers' 26th in the professional circuit and their 28th of football. With returning servicemen on the increase and better chances for the annual draft to operate, it seems apparent at the moment that many new faces will appear in the Green Bay lineup next season...HUTSON TO RETIRE: Although some may smile, it is likely that end Don Hutson, the greatest pass receiver in the game's history, has hung up his cleated shoes and No. 14 jersey for the final time. After three years of attempting to retire, the famous end and Packers' assistant coach apparently means it this time. Now 32, Don will not be lured out of retirement again, and Coach Lambeau knows it. There will be other changes along the line and in the Bays' backfield. Naturally, much depends on what happens between now and next year but indications are that rebuilding is on the way. Several rookies appear to have won their spurs, including the Tulsa ends, Clyde Goodnight and Nolan Luhn; Paul Lipscomb, the Tennessee tackle; Ed Neal, formerly of Tulane; Bernie Crimmins, the ex-Notre Dame guard, and Ken Keuper, Georgia back. Nothing can be changed by it now, but a review of the season shows that only a few plays separated the Packers from victory in two games against Cleveland, the Chicago Bears and Detroit. Naturally, one miscue doesn't ordinarily win or lose a game but those in question this season helped considerably and they are set down only to show what might have been. In the first Cleveland game here, the Packers had a 14-13 lead in the fourth quarter. They had the ball on their own 35 and first down. Halfback Roy McKay took the pass from center, fumbled the ball, which bounced backward. McKay futilely tried to pick up the rampaging pigskin but kicked it in the process. Cleveland recovered on the 15 1/2 and scored six plays later to go ahead, 20-14. The Rams scored another shortly after to win, 27-14. In the second Bear game in Chicago, perhaps the payoff play for the downtrodden Chicagoans was a last season touchdown pass that Sid Luckman threw to Ken Kavanaugh, good for 24 yards. The play came at the end of the first half and put the Bears within three points of the Bays' lead at 24-21 after they had led 17-7. The Bears scored the winning touchdown on a 69-yard drive at the opening of the second half. Thus Green Bay was two down but still had a chance. In Cleveland, the following week the Rams had the ball four times in the first quarter and scored three times, winning 20-7. Fred Gehrke was the demon in that one, prancing 72 and 42 yards for touchdowns on plays that completely fooled the Bay defense. The third score was on a Bob Waterfield to Jim Benton pass good for 84 yards... PACKERS HAVE MOST POINTS: Sometimes the breaks went the other way, but in the main the ones listed above proved large in the final determination of percentages, where the Packers were down the list
with .600, a second division finish. Some balm for the
season comes in the total scoring. The Bays tallied 258
to lead both divisions, although Philadelphia may go
beyond that mark in next Sunday's finale with Boston.
The Packers' scoring was divided among 11 players
with Hutson leading the way with 97 points, scored on
10 touchdowns, two field goals and 31 points after. This
raises his all-time point total in league games to 825.
Second best scorer for the Bays was fullback Ted
Fritsch with 57 on eight touchdowns and three field
goals. Ted now has an all-time mark of 130, sixth on
the Green Bay list.
HUTSON, FRITSCH, C. BROCK PUT ON UNITED
PRESS ALL-PRO SQUAD
DEC 4 (Chicago) - Cleveland's champion Rams, led by
the unanimous selection of rookie Bob Waterfield,
placed three men on the United Press' 1945 All-
Professional football team today while Green Bay's
champions also won three berths, Philadelphia and
Detroit two each and Washington one. The selection
board, made up of sportswriters who covered National
league games all season, awarded Waterfield the only
unanimous spot on the annual honor team, marking the
first time a freshman player has gained the honor.
Topping Green Bay's first-team trio was Don Hutson,
voted an end position for the seventh consecutive year. The first-team backfield represented a complete turnover from last year although two linemen, in addition to Hutson, were placed on the honorary team for the second consecutive year, tackle Al Wistert of Philadelphia and guard Riley (Rattlesnake) Matheson of Cleveland...BAUGH GETS 19 VOTES: Washington's Sammy Baugh, winding up his greatest passing season in nine years of pro football, was the second top vote getter, receiving 19 out of a possible 20 first team ballots. Baugh, completing his passes at the phenomenal percentage of .717, was the only Redskin player to land a first-team ballot and his backfield mate,
fullback Frank Akins, was the only Washington player
to be awarded a second-team spot. Completing the first
team backfield were Ted Fritsch, Green Bay's stubby,
210-pound back, and Steve Van Buren, Philadelphia's
eel-like halfback who is the top ground gainer on pro
gridirons this season...FRITSCH PACKS POWER:
Baugh and Waterfield both are passing wizards, while
Van Buren is the top running back of the year and
Fritsch packs more bruising power in his stride than
any man in the National league. Fritsch also is an
expert field goal kicker and Waterfield boots points after
touchdowns with deadly precision. Baugh is the best
"quick kicker" in football while Waterfield also is a
booming punter. Steve Pritko of Cleveland barely nosed
out teammate Jim Benton for the other first team end
post while war heroes tackle Emil Uremovich and guard
Bill Radovich, the heart of Detroit's great defensive line,
were awarded first-team spots along with Wistert and
Matheson. Charley Brock, Green Bay's veteran star,
was named to pivot the line which averages 213 pounds.
BAUGH REDSKIN STANDOUT: Washington's modest
showing, in placing only Baugh and Akins on the first
and second teams, was traced to two factors: (1)
Baugh's passing blanketed every other phase of the
Redskins' offensive game, and (2) Coach Dudley De
Groot's substitution system produced outstanding units
rather than individual line stars. The Redskins' Johnny
Adams, freshman tackle from Notre Dame, tied Vic
Sears for a second-team tackle spot but Sears' long-
standing ability, proved over five professional seasons,
earned him the nod. Tackle Baby Ray and guard Bill
Kuusisto of the Packers received honorable mention in
the all-pro selections. None of the Bays was named to
the second squad.
TED FRITSCH LATEST ADDITION TO STARS
DEC 5 (Oshkosh) - Ted Fritsch, Packer football star,
joined the Oshkosh All-Stars basketball squad Tuesday
and will serve as a player and trainer, Manager Lon Darling reported. Fritsch, a Stevens Point Teachers' college ace, held down a guard position for the All Stars last season.
PACKER COACHES TO ATTEND BOWL GAMES TO FIND GRIDIRON TALENT
DEC 5 (Green Bay) - To prepare for the NFL's annual draft in January, Coach Curly Lambeau and three other members of the Packer organization will watch bowl game players January 1 in various parts of the country, the coach announced today. The league meeting will held in New York one week beginning Jan. 10. Coach Lambeau will attend the Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, Cal. Also going to the western part of the country will be Assistant Coach Don Hutson, who will scout players in the East-West contest at San Francisco. Line Coach Walt Kiesling will be at the Orange Bowl in Miami, and Bob Conrad, Packers' advance man, will atend the Sugar Bowl classic in New Orleans. Present indications are that the league's draft probably will work to the advantage of all teams next season more than at any other time since the beginning of the war with the Axis. The teams drafted players from 1942 to 1945 but only a small percentage of the college stars named actually played because of the war...ONLY FIVE REPORTED: For example, of the 30 chosen by Lambeau in the April 1945 draft, only five reported to the team. Of the quintet, only ends Nolan Luhn and Clyde Goodnight remained through the season. The other three were released. None of those selected in 1944 even reported to the team. However, some of them may yet play with the Bays since they remain on the reserve list of the club. They cannot be signed by other teams in the league. Final statistics on individaul performances in the league's Western division today showed end Don Hutson the leader in two departments, scoring and pass receiving. He has amassed 97 points, seven better than the ace runner of the Philadelphia Eagles, Steve Van Buren, in second with 90. Van Buren may overtake Huston in the Eagles' game next Sunday with Boston...LEAGUE'S BEST RECEIVER: In pass reception, Huston's title is in little dange since he has finished two receptions ahead of Jim Benton of Cleveland and is 13 better than Steve Bargarus of Washington, now in third. Huston has received 47 passes for 834 yards and nine touchdowns. The only other deparrmental leader from the Packers is halfback Roy D. McKay. He has punted 44 times for an average distance of 41.2 yards. His 73-yard boot against the Chicago Cardinals here Oct. 26 is still the best of the season, league figures show. In ball carrying, McKay is 16th in the circuit with 231 yards in 71 tries. He trails fullback Ted Fritsch who is 10th on 282 yards in 88 tries. Fritsch, named Tuesday to an all-pro team of United Press, is fifth in scoring with 57 points and third in kickoff returns with a 24.9 average compiled on eight returns for 279 yards. Both McKay and halfback Irv Comp are listed among the top passers. Comp is in seventh with 44 completions in 106 attempts and McKay is 10th with 32 completions in 89 attempts. Comp passed for seven touchdowns and McKay for five, four of them against the Detroit Lions in Milwaukee.
HUTSON BELONGS IN HALL OF FAME, NOT ALL-PRO ELEVEN
DEC 5 (Washington) - Don Hutson, Mel Hein, Sammy Baugh and Sid Luckman should be left out of 1945 All-Star pro football consideration, a member of the Washington Redskins board of strategy thinks - because they are in a class by themselves. "There no longer is any use putting those four oldtime greats on such a team. Everybody knows that they are automatic all-time all-stars. Where they belong is in the game's Hall of Fame. I mean formally. They aren't to be compared with most other players. They stand out by themselves. A new era has dawned in pro football with the end of World War II. Give other players their chance to make the All-Star team now with the game's future opening wide."