(CHICAGO) - Gene Rozani's 1952 Green Bay Packers are still
without a victory today, and, brother, if they don't go about the
job a whole lot better in the future than they did here Sunday,
they'll never score it - never. They set out on this occasion
against the Chicago Cardinals before some 15,497 fans, and
they made such a mess of the whole thing from the beginning
that they hardly had a chance. The score - hold tight - the score
38-7. On their best day they might not have won, for the
Cardinals, without a victory themselves in three previous games,
played hard, heads-up ball. On a day like this, though, the
Packers actually helped give the game away. They fumbled,
slipped a couple of cogs mentally, forgot football ABC's
mechanically and finally seemed to go through the motions -
and slow motions to boot. The solace is that no team can ever
have two days like this in one season.
The Cardinals scored at the leisurely rate of seven points in the
first quarter, 10 in the second, seven in the third, and 14 in the
fourth. The still nifty Charley Trippi passed 28 yards to Don
Stonesifer for the first score. Volney Peters intercepted an
underhanded forward pass by Tobin Rote and easily ran 15 yards
for the second. Steve Sitko plunged one yard for the third. Trippi
passed 17 yards to Bill Cross for the fourth. Don Panetera
passed 41 yards to Cliff Anderson for the fifth. And in between
the second and third touchdowns, and five seconds before the
first half, Joe Geri, just bought from the Pittsburgh Steelers and
used Sunday only in kicking roles, booted a 45-yard field goal.
Geri also kicked all of the extra points. Against this, the
Packers only once managed enough real football in one lump to
score. Tobin Rote sneaked over from the one-yard line early in
the third quarter. Fred Cone kicked the extra point - the team's
first of the season by that way.
What the Packers did so briefly on their own behalf, though,
was completely overshadowed by what they didn't do most of
the way or what all to frequently they did in behalf of the
Cardinals. Babe Parilli, for instance, ran 43 yards to the
Chicago six in the second quarter, and then for reason at all,
with three Cardinals and one Packer around him, lateraled
wildly and lost the ball on a fumble. Or Tobin Rote. Badly
rushed by four Cardinals inside the 20-yard line and with no
chance to throw the ball overhand, he tossed it underhand to
Peters who have only to take four long strides across the goal.
Or Dom Moselle, who fumbled two of the four times the Packers
came up with butterfingers. Or, or, or - it could go on like this.
The entire passing attack collapsed. Rote and Parilli between
them threw 45, completed 15 and had five intercepted and
threw 25 heavens knows where. The park was filled with errant
footballs. Despite all the deficiencies, however, there was little
difference in the yards gained. The Cardinals gained 395, the
Packers 377. But the score - that was something else. This
was a trouncing. There were only a few bright spots bewildered
Gene Ronzani could look to today. Ab Wimberly and John
Martinkovic played bang-up defensive ball at ends. Mann and
Bill Howton lost none of their pass snaring skill with the ball
anywhere near them. And Deral Teteak, Tito Carinici, Dan
Standifer, Chuck Boerio and Bobby Dillon made up a good
linebacking and defensive secondary. Bob Forte was injured
earlier. But the rest. One of the Packers coaches in the
press box exclaimed as early as the second quarter: " Ain't this
something". It certainly was.
GREEN BAY -   0   0   7   0  -   7
CHI CARDS -   7  10   7  14  -  38
CHI - Don Stonesifer, 28-yard pass from Charley Trippi (Joe Geri kick) CHICAGO CARDINALS 7-0
CHI - Volney Peters, 15-yard interception return (Geri kick) CHICAGO CARDINALS 14-0
CHI - Geri, 45-yard field goal CHICAGO CARDINALS 17-0
GB - Rote, 1-yard run (Cone kick) CHICAGO CARDINALS 17-7
CHI - Steve Sitko, 1-yard run (Geri kick) CHICAGO CARDINALS 24-7
CHI - Bill Cross, 17-yard pass from Trippi (Geri kick) CHICAGO CARDINALS 31-7
CHI - Cliff Anderson, 41-yard pass from Don Panetera (Geri kick) CHICAGO CARDINALS 38-7
SEPTEMBER 13 (Milwaukee Journal-Lloyd Larson) - Just a little thinking out loud - First about pro football. Or are some of the big, strong men of muscle determined to turn it into legalized mayhem? It would seem so, judging by pre-season contests, as they are called. The prize, of course, was the rough and tumble, knock down-drag out of the San Francisco-Pittsburgh battle. Eleven of the participating were hospitalized, according to news service reports. And such injuries! Skull fracture, dislocation and broken bones. Usual occupational bruises and bumps, no matter how severe, probably weren't even counted. Could be, of course, that everything was on the up and up, and nobody went beyond the legal limit in dishing it out. But the terrific toll certainly causes one to wonder, especially after seeing and hearing about roughhouse incidents in other games. Commissioner Bert Bell should get busy and read the riot act to coaches and players alike. Football is rough enough when everybody is leveling. It isn't necessary to add a dash of hoodlumism to make it more dangerous and more interesting...GAMES DON'T EVEN COUNT IN STANDINGS: The public, I'm sure, demands only the utmost in skill, speed and hard legal play. Nobody wants knuckle, knee and elbow massage, piling, clipping and the like thrown in for good measure. If Bell doesn't know how to handle the situation, he would take a tip from Warren Giles, National (baseball) League president. Giles showed just the other day how to handle the brutal, cowardly beanball business. He threw the guilty pitcher and his manager (Leo Durocher) into the doghouse, just as he promised to do. Giles also declared himself emphatically on the subject of extracurricular fighting on the field: "There is no place in baseball for pugilism." He might have added that ball players usually fight like pugilists play baseball. In short, they really look like bums when they step out of character. But he was too polite. So he merely confined himself to principle. Getting back to football, if the boys are giving each other the works at this stage of the season, what is likely to happen when the game really count in the standings? I shudder at the thought.
SEPTEMBER 14 (Green Bay) - An $8,500 damage suit against the Green Bay Packers, charging breach of contract, has been filed in Circuit Court here by Clyde Johnson, Los Angeles, a former Packer player. Johnson was a member of the 1948 squad for a brief period. Coach Curly Lambeay hired him June 30, 1948. The suit charges that Johnson was promised a two-year contract at $7,000 a season, but was discharged on September 14, in violation of his contract. The suit says that after his release Johnson earned $6,000 elsewhere, so he requests $1,000 for 1948. However, he claims the alleged breach of contract kept him from earning money the next year and he asks $7,000 for 1949. The Packers' answer has not yet been filed.
EXHIBITION - Chicago Cardinals 38, Green Bay Packers (0-4) 7
Sunday September 7th 1952 (at Chicago)
SEPTEMBER 9 (Milwaukee Journal - Oliver Kuechle) - Ever get up on the morning feeling fine and then proceed to do the following: Tear a shoestring, cut your face, spill the coffee, rip off a part of the garage door and get a ticket for speeding? Well, the Packers didn't exactly get a speeding ticket in their exhibition against the Chicago Cardinals in Chicago Sunday, but they had just about everything else happen to them, figuratively speaking, in one of those days that a football team, too, sometimes encounters. There's just no explaining it. Tobin Rote and Babe Parilli certainly aren't scatter-arm passers, yet for one afternoon they looked it. The ball was flying all over. They completed 15 out of 45, had five intercepted. The club has not been a fumbling outfit at all - one fumble against New York, two against Cleveland, one against Pittsburgh. Sunday two of the worst occurred. One when Rote, badly rushed, passed underhanded in desperation to Volney Peters of the Cardinals for an interception inside the 20 and a cinch touchdown, and the other when Parilli, about to be tackled on the six-yard line after a fine 45-yard run, lateralled wildly and lost the ball. Luke Johnsos of the Bears, who happened to be sitting next to the writer at the time of Parilli's lateral, immediately commented: "We have an automatic $100 fine on anything like that." So it went, and you could go on into the tackling, the time it took the team to get plays underway, the muffed assignments that hobbled the running game, which the coaches all last week honestly thought had begun to show signs of coming along. It was just one of those days from the busted shoestring on and you can't explain it. Out of all of it, though, there can still be a residue of good.Certainly, Ronzani has something into which, in preparation for the Washington game in Kansas City Sunday, he can put his coaching teeth. Certainly the boys know their mistakes. And unquestionably the Bears, who will face Green Bay in the league opener at Green Bay September 28, left the park with the feeling of the car about to eat the canary. It couldn't be otherwise. As a matter of fact, not a few of the Bears, who sat in on the show as a group, were snickering and joking as they left the park - and they were commenting about the game. Probably nothing George Halas can ever tell them about Green Bay will change their minds after what they saw. And that can be all to the good. This unquestionably is a much better Packer team than the one that performed against the Cardinals Sunday.
SEPTEMBER 11 (Milwaukee Sentinel-Lloyd Larson) - "They're a much better football team than they showed against the Cardinals and I believe - certainly hope - they will prove it in the Washington game at Kansas City Sunday." That's the way Packer Coach Gene Ronzani summed things up following the week's final practice session Thursday. The squad leaves Green Bay early Friday morning, with arrival in Kansas City scheduled for early evening. Ronzani is puzzled as the next man over the disastrous turn of events at Comiskey Field last week. "We had our best week of practice before the game," he pointed out. "The boys looked good, even sharp at time. There was every reason to believe they were starting to jell. Then came the game. Sure, we were handicapped somewhat by injuries. But that alone doesn't account for what happened." Gene then closed the books with: "Maybe it's best we all try to forget it and hope we got it all out of our systems in one game. All I know is that you can't throw five interceptions, fumble four times and make other mistakes we did without taking a good licking. That's exactly what we took." The tough part of it was that the Packers came out of it battered physically as well as with bruised feelings...INJURIES RIDDLE TACKLE RANKS: The tackle situation in particular became critical when veterans Howie Ruetz and Tom Johnson, outstanding newcomer from the collegiate ranks via Michigan, joined Joe Spencer and Chubby Grigg on the crippled list. They are making the trip, but will see limited duty only if necessity demands. This applies especially to Spencer and Grigg, who were held out last Sunday and haven't recovered sufficiently to take any rugged pressure. This leaves only four able bodied tackles: Dave Hanner, Steve Dowden, Elmer Costa and Ed Ecker. The first two will start on offense and the latter duo on defense. Dick Logan, converted to a guard, very likely will be called on as a tackle replacement. Jack Cloud, who will not be discharged from the hospital until Monday, and Ray Pelfrey are the only players who will be left at home. Cloud suffered a back injury last Sunday. Pelfrey was hurt in the Steeler game of two weeks ago. Bob Forte won't be in top shape, but he will be on the traveling squad. A painful rib injury forced the aggressive defensive ace of the Cardinal battle...WILDUNG'S STATUS STILL UNCHANGED: The squad was reduced to 44, 11 over the league limit, when Ronzani asked for waivers on Harper Davis, veteran defensive specialist. This means, with Cloud and Pelfrey temporarily out of it, that 42 will go to Kansas City, and from there to Minneapolis for next Wednesday night's final non-league tilt - a return duel with the Steelers. The status of Dick Wildung, the man who could do a lot for this team, remains unchanged. The big tackle and squad captain of recent seasons is anxious to get back into the fold. But he still hasn't found the right man to take over his hardware business in Redwood Falls, Minn., on a temporary basis. "Dick's future is tied up in the business and you can't blame him if he wants to be sure it won't be wrecked during his absence," said Ronzani. "But I'm certainly hoping he can see his way clear and rejoin us in time to get in shape for the Bears." Sunday will mark the third time that a Packer team and Curly Lambeau will oppose each other. The Bays did all right the first two times against the man who coached Green Bay for 31 years before resigning early in 1950. They beat the Cardinals, then handled by Lambeau, by identical scores of 17-14. Maybe Curly's presence on the other side is a good omen. Packer followers are praying that it will be so, for their 1952 team has yet to win a game, with the fifth coming up against Washington.
SEPTEMBER 12 (Milwaukee Journal) - Gene Ronzani and his Green Bay Packers passed through Milwaukee Friday morning on their way to Kansas City where Sunday they will make their fifth start of the exhibition season against Curly Lambeau's Redskins. In bad physical shape after the beating they took from the Cardinals last Sunday, a game they lost 38-7, the Packers were no better than an even choice against the Redskins. Neither team has won a game this season. Only fullback Jack Cloud and Ray Pelfrey were left at home to nurse their bruises, but others on the club, including Chubby Griggs, Joe Spencer, Bob Forte, Tom Johnson and Howie Ruetz, still recovering from injuries, will see no more than limited action. A squad of 42 made the trip. Ronzani announced that he had asked waivers on Harper Davis, veteran halfback obtained from the Bears two years ago.
SEPTEMBER 12 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers, disappointed but far from discouraged by their 38-7 loss to the Chicago Cardinals last Sunday, make their fifth stab for their first non-conference victory of the warmup season against the Washington Redskins in Kansas City Sunday afternoon. The Packer-Redskin rumpus will be the first of two battles for the Packers against their founder and head coach for 31 years - Curly Lambeau, who took over the Washington coaching job recently. The two clubs will collide in league competition in Milwaukee Sunday afternoon October 5. Since leaving after the 1949 season, Lambeau has been unable to defeat the Packers coached by Gene Ronzani. The Green Bays downed Lambeau's Chicago Cardinals by 17-14 scores in exhibitions in 1950-51. Lambeau resigned from the Cardinals staff near the end of last season. The Packers turned in lively practice sessions all week and 
Ronzani is convinced his boys will rebound against the Redskins. They hope they saw the last of their mistakes in the Cardinal game. The team committed four fumbles and had five passes intercepted. The Redskins, likewise, will be looking for their first victory. They dropped decisions to the Rams and 49ers under coach Dick Todd and to the Dallas Texans under Todd's successor, Lambeau. The Redskins are led by Eddie LeBaron, the tiny quarterback, and ageless Sammy Baugh.