impression received by Green Bay’s sporting gentry was that here was a sincere, down-to-earth fellow who would “work and work” and “do a job”. And that fact that he had associated with the Bears, and thus with a perennial winter, for 16 years loomed large in the conversation whenever people gathered – and wherever they gathered there was, of course, but one topic of conversation for everything else was relegated to the limbo of the unimportant on the sixth day of February in the year of Our Lord, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Fifty…”SEE A NEW PLAY”: Appropriately enough, the first to voice his opinion for our record was hulking Andy Muldoon, who operated at tackle for the very first Packer team in 1919. “Good,” boomed the genial Irishman, “at least we’ll see a new play.” This was said with a smile and he asserted, seriously, “I think he’s a darned good choice.” Charles Mathys, a member of the potent Packer elevens of the 1920s, was another who was so convinced. “The only name that stuck in my mind – during the days that everyone was mentioning candidates for the job – as the right man for the job was Ronzani,” Mathys declared. “He’s the logical choice,” Mathys continued, adding, “He’s been with a winning ball club all his life and that’s what we want.” Another strong Ronzani supporter was Emmett Platten, long an outspoken foe of Gene’s predecessor. “I don’t think you can get a better choice,” Platten beamed. “He’s a clean, truthful fellow and not a booze fellow – you can quote me on that.” The only current Packer player – and one of the greatest to ever don Green Bay livery – also was high on the new Packer head man. He was Tony Canadeo, who gained over 1,000 yards for the Packers in 1949. “A very nice choice,” was Tony’s comment. “He knows his football,” Tony supplemented, and added, “I’m glad everything’s settled. Now we can go to work. And the team will be behind him 100 percent.”…ABSORB PROGRESSIVE FOOTBALL: Business’ opinion was pretty well embodied in the words of Earl Sedlmeyer, industrial machinery company executive, who gave out with, “I think he’s all right. He’s been around the Bears long enough to have absorbed a lot of football – what I mean, progressive football, and that’s what is important.” Emil H. Pire, manager of the Beaumont barber shop, one of the favorite talking spots of Packer fans, said that opinion he had heard yesterday and today was almost unanimous in back of Ronzani. “Out of all the comments I heard there was only one person who was not entirely satisfied,” Pire said. Jim Coffeen, an old-time Packer player who has handled the sideline announcing at Packer games for more years than he would like to remember, said he was particularly impressed with the speed and dispatch with which the Packer executives had secured their new coach, and that he was well satisfied with the choice. The fan sentiment so necessary to making the Packers a smashing success in 1950 was summed up by Bernard E. (Boob) Darling, one-time Packer center, who declared, “In view of the fact that Ronzani’s contract has been signed, it is now up to us as a community to back our new head coach 100 percent.” “This should also be true of our many supporters throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan,” Darling continued. “The Packers must remain in Green Bay because nationwide financial value would amount to far more money than we are attempting to raise. The eyes of the sports world are on Green Bay, consequently we must succeed financially and in the win column.”
RONZANI TO MAKE GREEN BAY HIS HOME - THE YEAR-AROUND
FEB 7 (Green Bay) - It's full steam ahead for the Green Bay Packers. In less than nine hours Monday, the Packer executive committee selected a head coach to replace Curly Lambeau, who resigned just five days ago, and the Packer stockholders okayed the sale of an additional 9,514 shares of non-profit stock. The stage is set for the Packers' new era. There's "nothing" but work left - and lots of it - but, most important, everybody's happy and ready to go to work. The stockholders, among them members of the board of directors and the executive committee, went about their meeting last night with a real will. Ronzani, while making no rash promises, is ready to shoulder the task of bringing the Packers out of the doldrums. Asked to address the stockholders by President Emil R. Fischer, Ronzani stated that "I'm happy here and I'm here for only one reason - to produce winning football. I will make every effort to put Green Bay back on the football map." And for a touch of humor, Ronzani added: "I hope I can stay as long as the other coach." That, incidentally, is about the closest reference Ronzani made to his predecessor. Referring to the future play of the Packers, Ronzani said that "we'll play on Sundays as we practice during the week." Ronzani intends to make Green Bay his home - the year-around. "The only business I've got left in Chicago is filing my income tax, and I can take care of that in a hurry," he beamed. Incidentally, Ronzani said he'll expect his assistants to make their homes in Green Bay. Still up front as assistants are Joe Stydahar, as line coach, and Ray Nolting, backfield coach. Stydahar presently is line coach of the Los Angeles Rams and Nolting was backfield coach as the New York Bulldogs. The status of Charley Brock, present Packer, defense coach, is unchanged. There were rumors Monday that Lambeau might want him to line coach the Cardinals but there were also reports denying that report - if you'll pardon the repetition. The Packers still hold the interest of the nation's press. Late Sunday the Associated Press and Chicago newspapers swamped Green Bay with calls as to the new coach. Packer Executive Committee member John Torinus quickly informed the press that there would be a press conference at noon Monday. In fact, the Chicago Tribune's Ed Prell was told of the conference at 10 p.m. Sunday and he was on a Green Bay train less than two hours later. Incidentally, Ed was keeping his fingers crossed. Harry Warren, another Tribune writer, came to Green Bay to cover the Lambeau developments last week and arrived back in Chicago with a broken shoulder. He was a passenger on the train that went off the track near Saukville. Lloyd Larson, sports editor of the Milwaukee Sentinel and a long-time friend of Ronzani, came out strong today in his column for the new Packer coach. Here are some quotes: "Ronzani comes well equipped to take on his first big coaching job. After three big years in football, basketball and track at Marquette, he joined the Bears and quickly became a favorite of both fans and George Halas. After six successful season as a rock-and-sock halfback with the Bears, Gene was given his first coaching test at Newark, N.J., where he handled Papa Bear's farm club for three years. A year at Wichita (another Bear affiliate) followed. Then Gene returned to the Bears as combination assistant coach and player - if needed - for two years during the war. By that time he had become so wise in the ways of the "T" that he was in charge of the quarterback department. Proof of the fact was his temporary shift to Notre Dame's staff under Hugh Devore in 1945. Gene had intended to make the switch permanent as Notre Dame wanted it, but by the time September rolled around Halas induced him to rejoin the Bear family. Which is the tipoff on what the Bears' boss thought and thinks of his protege. Gene put in his final foreign service stretch as boss of the Bears' Akron farm outfit. In 1947, he went back to the big club as backfield coach, which was his job when the Packers called him. With the know-how goes drive, personality, knowledge of human nature, capacity for work and all the other qualities of a successful coach's makeup, Ronazni, who will be 41 on March 28, is in the ideal age bracket - young enough to meet a big challenge with enthusiasm, yet mature enough to render sound judgment and command respect. Above all, Gene is a realist. He isn't kidding himself about the job at hand."
DARLING TRIAL ON APRIL TERM
FEB 7 (Green Bay) - Bernard (Boob) Darling will not be tried on charges of manslaughter and negligent homicide until the April term of circuit court, under a ruling of Circuit Judge E.M. Duquaine Monday afternoon. District Attorney R.J. Parins had moved for an immediate trial at the current term of the court, arguing that general practice is to give criminal trials precedence over civil matters. The information had been filed Dec. 16, and the case had been set for trial in municipal court Jan. 31, he pointed out, giving the defense six weeks of preparation. "The people and district attorney's office are entitled to an immediate trial of this case," he declared...IMPOSSIBLE TO PREPARE: Cletus Chadek, defense counsel, replied that, although the preliminary hearing had been held Nov. 28, the defense had not received a copy of the transcript until Jan. 5, and it has been "utterly impossible" to prepare for the case for trial up to now. One witness is in Texas and will not return for a month, Chadek said; other out-of-state witnesses must be interviewed, technical and medical experts consulted and maps of the accident scene prepared. Judge Duquaine pointed out that the statute setting up the Brown county municipal court provides that, when a criminal case is transferred from a municipal to circuit court, it shall go to the head of the calendar of the "next term" - which, in this case, would be the April term. The court agreed with the district attorney that the customary practice is to schedule criminal trials as early as possible; however, in this case, the special statute controls, he declared...LAW IS EXPLICIT: "Whether the law makes sense is not for us to judge," he commented. "It is very explicit, and I cannot disregard it. I feel that I am without jurisdiction to hear the case at this term, unless the defendant requests an earlier trial." Darling, former Packer player and Big Ten football officials, is charged with manslaughter and negligent homicide in the death of Shirley Mae Trout, 15-year old Allouez girl last Halloween night. She was run down and fatally injured by a hit-and-run driver while walking to her home from a bus. Darling, driving a station wagon, is alleged to have been the motorist.
CHARLEY BROCK WILL REMAIN IN PACKER FAMILY AS COACH
FEB 8 (Green Bay) - Charley Brock will continue in the Packer organization as a coach. Packer Head Coach Gene Ronzani, given full authority to select his staff, stated Tuesday night that he wants "Charley to stay with us." Brock, who spent 10 of his last 11 years in Green Bay picture as player and coach, relaxed today and resumed his work. The big guy had had a big decision to make in the last couple of days. Brock had been highly considered for the position of Packer business manager, but, with two years of coaching experience under his belt (the first as line coach at the University of Omaha in 1948), he decided to remain in the coaching field. There has been no word on the status of Bob Snyder, backfield coach, and Tom Stidham, line coach, both of whom have one more year to go on their contracts. Snyder was reported by the Associated Press today as an applicant for the football coaching at job at the University of Pittsburgh. School officials there made no statement on the report although Snyder went to Pittsburgh from Toledo Monday. There have also been reports that Toledo university is interested in Snyder as a coach...RONZANI TO CHICAGO: Ronzani left Green Bay this morning for Milwaukee where he'll address a spots dinner there tonight. On the same program will be Curly Lambeau, who resigned a week ago as Packer coach to take over the head coaching post of the Chicago Cardinals. After Milwaukee, Ronzani will go to Chicago to close out his personal affairs which will include filing "those Illinois state taxes," he said. Gene will return to Green Bay and establish residence here over the weekend. Incidentally, Ronzani gave with his own versions of "assistant coaches" Tuesday. Said Gene: "We won't have any assistant coaches - they'll all be coaches. Sure, each will have specific duties such as the line, the backfield, etc., but we'll all be part of one big team. The Packers have designated me as head coach and it will mean that I will take the grief or praise. The other boys won't be assistants." Ronzani, who said his first job would be to line up a staff, is interested in Joe Stydahar as line coach and possibly Ray Nolting as backfield coach. Stydahar already has signed a contract with the Los Angeles Rams, but Joe reportedly wants to leave to join Ronzani. Gene and Joe were buddies when they played with the Chicago Bears. Nolting, former NY Bulldog backfield coach, played with the Bears at the same time. In Chicago over the weekend, Ronzani no doubt will get his last "good wishes" from Chicago Bear Owner-Coach George Halas. Ronzani was in the Bear organization for 16 years, the last four as quarterback coach...REVITALIZE GREEN BAY SCENE: Halas was quoted in a Chicago newspaper Tuesday as follows: "I think Ronzani will revitalize the entire Green Bay scene. When Lambeau quit, I figured we'd win both games next fall. But Gene'll have those Packers right back at the old stand, and I'm saying I'll settle for a split with the Packers right now." On the executive front, Packer President Emil R. Fischer and members of the executive committee are busy looking for a new business manager and a publicity director. Harry McNamara, veteran Chicago sportswriter, was interviewed by the committee here Tuesday afternoon for a publicity job. He left for Chicago on the 4:15 North Western.
CURLY'S PERSUASIVE POWERS DIM? PAUL SAYS NO
FEB 8 (Chicago) - Earl (Curly) Lambeau, new coach of the Chicago Cardinals, is finding his persuasive powers dimming since he left the Green Bay Packers. Lambeau, who regularly used to talk famed Packer end Don Hutson out of "retirement", yesterday was unable to coax Cardinal quarterback Paul Christman to shelve his plans to quit pro football. The 31-year old Christman told Lambeau he intends to make his retirement stick so he can devote full time to his sporting goods sales job. Jim Hardy is the only seasoned signal caller left on the Card roster. Lambeau will leave for the West coast tomorrow to contact several players on the Cardinals' 1950 draft list. At the same time, club Vice President Phil Handler will leave to size up the Card prospects in the southwest.
CAUSE OF DISCHARGE QUESTION FOR JURY IN TOLLEFSON CASE
FEB 8 (Green Bay) - Whether Charley Tollefson was dismissed by the Green Bay Packers for cause is the question which a jury will have to decide in a new trial of the case ordered Tuesday by the Supreme Court. The high tribunal reversed the action of Circuit Judge E.M. Duquaine in granting the Packer corporation's request for a non-suit last July 5. Tollefson's contract provided for payment of $300 a game, with the written-in addition: "Minimum of $3,600 for season". He claims he was entitled to this minimum, regardless of the number of games played. Justice Edward Gehl, writing the Supreme Court decision, cites the rule that written portions of a contract take precedence over printed portions, and comments: "Before the contract was executed, the plaintiff and defendant's coach discussed the fact that the former had an offer to play with another professional football team. No doubt that fact prompted the plaintiff to insist on some form of relative security, and induced defendant to agree that he should have it." However, the high court continues, he still could be discharged for cause without further liability on the part of the corporation. The question is whether he was so discharged.
GENE RONZANI, A FRIEND IN NEED -
FEB 8 (Green Bay) - For more than thirty years the football warriors of Chicago and Green Bay have carried on perpetual strife. The implacable rivalry has gone around the clock and around the calendar, an unremitting struggle of the he-man type. Occasionally a player released in one city found a berth with a rival and then was suspected of coaching his new friends on the strategy of his former employer, but there has never been a hint of a fifth column operating in any camp. Over the years the Green Bay football fans have built up a professional respect for the football prowess of Chicago, and no Chicago team has ever hoped for an easy victory in Green Bay. Thus, when Gene Ronzani, a life-long Bear and an expert in Bear tactics, was chosen to lead the Green Bay Packers as head coach, the Green Bay fans were shocked for a minute. But it was only a minute. This big man, the living picture of vigor and drive with a thorough knowledge of Bear football and Packer football, won the support of the Green Bay fans within a few hours. Ronzani has made a good impression on the people of Green Bay and in turn he has been given a warm, friendly reception. The decisive action of the Packer executive committee in naming the head coach, and the choice of this man, who seems to fit in so well, have given the people a renewed confidence in the future of the Packers. There are indications that the Chicago Cardinals may be coached next year by a staff heavily loaded with once loyal Packers, and the Packers may have a complete coaching staff of former Bears. Strangely, Green Bay doesn't even arch an eyebrow at the suggestion of the Packer team being coached by Ronzani, Stydahar and Nolting. Likewise, the Chicago Cardinal fans have no fear of entrusting their team's future to Lambeau, Isbell and Brock, if that should come about. That is the measure of respect the football fans of these cities have for the teams of the other. We predict that the Green Bay-Chicago rivalry will be keener next fall than ever before. To Coach Ronzani, Green Bay says, "Welcome, we are glad you are on our side!"
PACKER BOARD MEETS TONIGHT ON STOCK PLANS
FEB 9 (Green Bay) - Further plans for the sale of additional capital stock in the Green Bay Packers, Inc., will be worked out a meeting of the club’s board of directors tonight at Hotel Northland. Main item of business on the agenda is the adoption of by-laws intended to safeguard the sale of stock so that no individual or small group of individuals could possibly gain control of the Packers through purchases of stock. A number of legal and technical details like this have to be settled before the actual sale of stock can begin. Also plans have to be laid for a coordinated selling effort throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan which will take advantage of the new enthusiasm in the future of the Packers and guaranteeing the success of the issue. But the Packer officials are moving post-haste to get these details cleared out of the way. In line with a recommendation adopted by the stockholders Monday night when they authorized issuance of up to 10,000 shares of stock, a nine-man committee will be set up to handle the sale. This committee is expected to be made up of a representative group from outside as well from within the Packer organization. The Packers corporation has already received a number of inquiries and expressions of interest in the stock sale. It is indefinite yet just how many shares will be eventually sold. Authorization of 10,000 shares total does not necessarily mean that all of them will be sold. That will depend probably on two factors, how much working capital the corporation feels it needs, and how much actually be sold. One thing is certain, however. The sale will be handled in such a manner as to insure that the Packers will remain in Green Bay and that they will remain a community enterprise as they have been for 31 years. The stockholders, directors and member of the executive committee have been emphatic about that point.
10 SHARES SOLD
FEB 9 (Green Bay) - While the actual sale of Packer stock has not started yet, Oscar Bielefeldt is not losing any time nor opportunity to peddle a few shares. He called in from a business trip to Milwaukee Wednesday evening to say that he was sending a check for $250 for 10 shares he had sold to friends in that city.