BUFFALO FANS START CAMPAIGN TO KEEP PRO GRID FRANCHISE
DECEMBER 13 (Buffalo) - Three groups of pro football fans united here Monday and made plans to raise $500,000 in an effort to keep a professional football franchise here. Arthur Rich, secretary-treasurer of the new organization, said 100,000 shares would be offered at $5 each, starting at a rally in Memorial auditorium Tuesday evening. Rich said if enough money were available, the club would take it to officials of the new National-American league and request that Buffalo be entered. The Bills, formerly in the All-America conference, were not included in the new setup. Meanwhile, Pete J. Crotty, Democratic president of the City Council and George M. Raikin, Republican councilman-at-large, said they would introduce a joint resolution pledging the legislative body's "fullest cooperation". Crotty also sent a telegram to Bert Bell, commissioner of the merged leagues in Philadelphia. It read: "City of Buffalo alarmed over loss of professional football in this area. Leading citizens in all walks of life presently organizing finances to keep Buffalo Bills franchise here. Please let me know by return wire whether financial guarantee is required to retain franchise and what prospects are for retention if finances are raised."
NOTHING DEFINITE YET SAYS BERT BELL
DECEMBER 13 (Philadelphia) - Bert Bell, commissioner of the new National-American league, announced here Tuesday that nothing had been done as yet about grouping the 13 teams in two divisions and that any criticism of plans which were speculated upon by newspapers was premature. "Every team will receive consideration," he said, "but we won't determine the makeup of the divisions until out meeting here January 19. It will take a vote of 11 of the 13 teams to set up the divisions." Bell did lift the veil of secrecy on some of the rough plans, however. The Baltimore Colts will be the 13th team in the setup with six clubs in the American and six in the National. To which division the Colts will be assigned will be determined later. The six teams in each division will play every other club in its division twice, accounting for 10 games. One interdivision game with a "traditional rival" will bring the total to11 and each of the12 teams will play the Colts. One team will be idle each Sunday. The two entries from Chicago and New York will be in different divisions and will play each other in the "traditional rival" contest. Otherwise traditional rivals remain to be seen. Bell also said that under the new league setup, exhibition games against teams in one's division will not be permitted. Bell scotched rumors that the league would be expanded to 16 teams for the 1950 season. "It would take unanimous consent of the owners to add a new team," Bell said. "I do not believe there will be any action on any new teams until the owners have had a chance to see how the 13 team league operates in 1950." The commissioner was quoted as saying he would like to find enough "sound franchises" to expand the league to 16 teams. "What I said," Bell remarked, a bit wearily, "is that it would be easier to make up a schedule for 16 teams."
PACKERS DECIDE TO PLAY TWO GAMES HERE IN '50
DECEMBER 14 (Green Bay) - The executive committee of the Green Bay Packers, meeting here Tuesday night, decided to play only two of Green Bay's six home games in Milwaukee next season. In recent year the club played three. Milwaukee's poor support in the last two seasons was given as the reason. A move to play all six home games in Green Bay might have succeeded except for the contract which the Packers have with State Fair park. It calls for a minimum of two home games. The contract has another year to run. The committee also decided definitely to play the Bear game in Green Bay. "That game is ours," one of the executive committee declared, "and we're always going to keep it." George Halas last winter suggested that the game be played in Milwaukee. Green Bay has a capacity of 24,000, State Fair park of 33,000. The committee also discussed plans for improved ticket selling, including a partial payment plan on season tickets which will be put into effect at once.
BUFFALO FANS RAISE $200,000 ON FIRST DAY TO SAVE TEAM
DECEMBER 14 (Buffalo) - Buffalo football fans, turning out several thousand strong at Memorial auditorium Tuesday night, raised $74,770 and pledged about $125,000 more in an attempt to save their Buffalo Bills. The Bills lost their franchise last week in the merger of the All-America conference and National league. Fans here now hope to win a place in the new league by raising $500,000. A group of 43 men worked in relays at receiving desks of the auditorium and twice ran out of prescription blanks. Most fans bought $5 or $10 subscriptions. "While every member of our committee was certain that the football fans of Buffalo would support this campaign to the hilt, we had no idea that we would meet with this kind of start," said Dr. James Ailinger, a co-chairman. The drive will continue until a half million is raised. Three Buffalo banks will open special receiving stations to handle subscriptions at every branch in western New York.
BERT BELL IMPRESSED BY BUFFALO CAMPAIGN
DECEMBER 15 (Buffalo) - The spectacular rally of Buffalo's football fans to raise money for the Buffalo Bills of the old All-America conference, has finally made an impression on Commissioner Bert Bell of the new National-American league. "I will be only to glad to sit down with a committee of responsible men from Buffalo at any time and discuss the possibility of getting Buffalo into the league," Bell said Thursday. Buffalo lost its franchise in the merger of the National league and All-America conference last week. Two days ago a group of citizens organized a fundraising campaign to help the Bills try to regain a franchise in the new league. The response of fans exceeded all expectations. A minimum goal of $250,000 was set and a maximum goal of $500,000. On the first day of the drive Tuesday about $200,000 was raised. Wednesday the total was well above $200,000. Money was pouring in from as far away as Niagara Falls, Rochester and Hamilton, Ont. "If the National league owners can be assured of a good, regular gate in Buffalo, I think they will consider Buffalo's bid in a favorable light at our meeting in January," Bell declared. "I should like to be informed by then just how much money Buffalo fans have raised so that I may answer questions which I know owners will fire at me." An unidentified National league owner was quoted in the Buffalo Courier as follows: "I not only believe that Buffalo should have been taken into the National-American league in the first place, but I will recommend that other owners now give serious consideration to Buffalo's application."
TOP COLLEGE GRID STARS COOLED BY PRO MERGER
DECEMBER 15 (New York) - Only one member of the Associated Press all-America football team, Jim Martin of Notre Dame, is dead set to carry on in professional football. Four of the squad insisted definitely Thursday they would not play for money. The six others were doubtful, their enthusiasm chilled by the recent merger of the two major leagues. "It looks like the quick and easy money is gone," wailed Clayton Tonnemaker, the 245 pound center from Minnesota who was originally drafted by the Green Bay Packers. "I'll probably try to capitalized on my physical education degree. In case the pros would like to dish out some of that heavy sugar, however, the Minneapolis boy added: "I'm listening." Undecided with Tonnemaker were Leon Hart, Notre Dame end who was voted the season's outstanding individual performer; his teammate, fullback Emil Sitko; halfback Doak Walker of Southern Methodist, and those two great guards, Rod Franz of California and John Schweder of Pennsylvania. Doak Walker, three time all-American triple threat star from the southwest, declared: "I might like to try it but I haven't decided yet." "I definitely will not play pro football," said Charlie Justice, the two time all-America halfback from North Carolina. Stringing along with him in giving the pros a cold shoulder were Arnold Galiffa, the talented T quarterback of Army, Wade Walker, Oklahome tackle, and Jim Williams, Rice end. Martin said it was his intention to have a fling at the pros, regarding of what the merger means, "I want to play a couple of years," he added. His Notre Dame teammates, Hart and Sitko, want to wait and see, however. Hart, drafted originally by the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Colts, declared he would play pro ball if he got the right offer, say, "Something like $25,000 as a starter." But the boys can hardly be expect such plump enticements from the new 13 team league. There is a surplus of talent. Competitive bidding is out. All the college eligibles will be tossed into a pot for a brand new draft next month.
THREE RAMS ON PRO TEAM
DECEMBER 15 (New York) - The Los Angeles Rams dominate the Associated Press all-professional football team, announced Thursday. The National league's western division champions landed quarterback Bob Waterfield, center Fred Naumetz and tackle Dick Huffman on the first team to make the best showing of any of the 17 pro clubs. The Philadelphia Eagles, who will meet the Rams for the league title Sunday, are represented by halfback Steve Van Buren and end Pete Pihos. One other National league player, guard Garrard Ramsey of the Chicago Cardinals, gained as first team berth. Tony Canadeo of the Green Bay Packers was selected on the second eleven.
OHIO FANS WORRIED OVER BROWNS' POSITION - FEAR 'FREEZEOUT' IN NEW NAF SETUP
DECEMBER 15 (Milwaukee Sentinel-Lloyd Larson) - (Lloyd Larson, Sentinel sports editor, sent the following column from Youngstown, O., where he spoke at two banquets Wednesday. The first was the Annual Youngstown Rotary's pre-Christmas football luncheon, honoring member of seven high school squads, and the second was a fete at the Poland (suburb of Youngstown) High School.) In this football hotbed, which is proud of the many stars it