NEWS AND NOTES
ROARING 2,500 WELCOME COLTS
OCTOBER 18 (Baltimore) - A roaring crowd of 2,500 fans moved many a burly football player to tears when it turned out late Sunday night to greet the Baltimore Colts after their defeat in Green Bay a few hours earlier. "They should have been throwing rotten eggs at us the way we played," said one big tackle as he saw the welcoming throng. A few hours earlier the Colts had been crushed, 37-14, by Green Bay. "Gee," said guard Bill Lange, who had played for the Los Angeles Rams before joining the Colts, "if this had been L.A. we would have been pelted with tomatoes. What kind of crowd would have been out here if we had won."
NFL GATE HEADED FOR ALL-TIME RECORD
OCTOBER 19 (New York) - Bert Bell, commissioner of the NFL, made his annual report to the New York football writers Monday. He said: 1. Attendance in the first 24 games is 72,000 above that of last year - an average of 3,000 a game - and the league is headed for an all-time crowd mark. 2. The pro circuit is so evenly balanced that every club in it will lose at least three games. The Cleveland Browns currently are the league's only unbeaten team. 3. Salaries are 400 percent above what they were 10 years ago and can be met only because of added television receipts. 4. Pro football is a "lousy business" with only four of the 12 clubs in the black. "You go to a bank and try to borrow money on it and they'll shut the door in your face." 5. The NFL will win the television suit brought by the government because "we're not going to stand for socialized medicine and we're not going to stand for socialized TV." The pro executive said the pro teams offer the games on 150 outlets during a 24-hour period starting Saturday night and "no other program has as many outlets unless it's the President of the United States. We have given the people plenty of television," he added. "But we're going to protect our home gate. We're not going to permit television of home games. And we're going to win the suit." The NFL is on the government's anti-trust carpet, charged with entering into a conspiracy to restrain trade. The case is still in federal courts. Speaking of the league generally, Bell said attendance is up because of the closeness of the races and the "rough, tough but clean show we give the fans. I don't think any club can escape losing three games," he added. "And I don't mean to throw any reflection on Cleveland. The Browns have a great ball club and Otto Graham is having his greatest year."
ROONEY, STEELERS DISAGREE ON WHO WAS TO BLAME
OCTOBER 19 (Pittsburgh Press) - There was sharp disagreement today between owner Art Rooney and his Steelers over the cause of Saturday's 23-7 defeat by the
Philadelphia Eagles. To the frank but disappointed Steeler
owner, it was because his team played a "lousy" football
game. The players complained bitterly about the officiating.
"There was nothing wrong with the officials," Rooney,
bristling with anger, stormed after the game. "This ball club
played a lousy game. That's all there was to it. They looked
worse than semipros." But the irate Irishman quickly pointed
out that he didn't refer to the entire club. He absolved his
defensive line entirely. "I don't mean everybody, you
understand. There were lots of good ball players, fellow who
want to play football, but there are a couple of those guys
who don't care whether they win or not." Once again the
lineup held up its end. It held the Eagles to less than two
yard a carry on running plays and had the Birds deep in the
hole when they exploded for both last period touchdowns.
On one occasion, it was fourth and 16 when Bobby
Thomason hit Hal Giancanelli deep in the end zone with a six-pointer. Again, with fourth and 25, the same combination clicked for a first down on the Steeler three. One player, who will not be identified because of league discipline against players who criticize officials, complained vehemently about the decision which gave the Eagles a touchdown on Giancanelli's end-zone catch. "I don't know where he was when he caught that ball," the Steeler said, "but I do know he lit outside the line when he came down." The real losers, however, were the fans at Connie Mack Stadium and in thousands of living rooms who watched the flag-dropping, whistle-tooting officials call a total of 21 penalties that were walked off, as well as numerous others that were declined or were multiple fouls. At one point in the game it took the officials more than five minutes to decide how much to penalize whom for what. The one good point for the Steelers was Pat Brady's punting. The lanky Nevadan boosted his season average to 50 yards a kick with towering punts that kept the Eagles deep in their own territory. Brady, who kicked a ball from the infield over the centerfield fence at Forbes Field on one bounce last Thursday, kicked seven times for a 52.4 average Saturday. The Steelers' woes didn't end with the game. While they slept Sunday morning, a sneak thief entered their hotel rooms and stole amounts ranging from $20 to $50 from Ernie Stautner, John Alderton, Marc McFadden, Marv Matuszak and Jack Butler. Tom Galvin, who had been groomed as a safety man the last two weeks, suffered a pulled leg muscle Friday morning and didn't get into the game. Popcorn Brandt, although he had little practice in that role, took over the Alabaman.
PACKERS GET HOWTON BACK FOR STEELERS
OCTOBER 19 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers reported Monday that the club's star pass catching end, Billy Howton, would be able to play next Saturday night for the first time this season. Howton suffered a chest injury in an exhibition game before the NFL season opened and missed the Packers' first four league games. Green Bay lost three straight before topping the Baltimore Colts at Green Bay Sunday, 37-14. The Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Pittsburgh Saturday night and coach Gene Ronzani said he hoped his club's passing game would improve. The Packers had the best passing record of any club in the league last year, but the loss of Howton has stalled the club's aerial game this season.
FUNDAMENTALS EXPLAIN BIG PACKER COMEBACK
OCTOBER 20 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - New techniques have been developed through the years. Offensive formations and defensive patterns have become much more numerous and more varied. But the basic winning formula in football is the same. With rare exceptions, it still takes sharp blocking, hard tackling, hard running, alertness and strong desire to chalk up victories at any level of competition. The last ingredient, in fact, logically should be listed first, for without great desire - determination, enthusiasm, spirit or whatever one cares to label that underlying quality - there will be no blocking, tackling or running in the manner that wins games. All of which the Packers proved in swarming all over the Baltimore Colts in Sunday's pleasing performance at Green Bay. They took mainly the old fundamental route to victory by a surprisingly lopsided margin which no one dared expect, considering Baltimore's record and tremendous battles with the mighty Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions. They passed only often enough to keep the opposition honest. They had comparatively little success through the airlanes with super receivers Bill Howton (not even in uniform) and Bob Mann parked on the bench with injuries. A couple of untimely penalties and a doubtful call on a pass into the end zone deprived them of additional scores. Yet they won and won easily - by playing it up to the hilt, fundamentally. And the fans loved it. "Fate doesn't forgive" is an old football axiom. In other words, a team can't muff opportunities and still expect to win. Which is another way of saying that the Packers were a solid team Sunday and deserved to win handsomely. They cashed in practically each time they had a chance to open the gates. They set up their first two touchdowns with a pass interception (one of five for the day) and a fumble recovery. The second fumble recovery led to a field goal and another interception was turned directly into a final touchdown. In addition, they put on a 67-yard drive for another score and turned Al Carmichael loose for still another on a 41-yard run, the longest from scrimmage. One of the day's best blocks was thrown by Breezy Reid in giving Carmichael final clearance for his fine dash. Big Al, who put on a great kick return performance the week before against the Rams, had his running-from-scrimmage coming out party this time - more than a hint that he had arrived, definitely. "we dreamed up nothing special," said the beaming head coach Gene Ronzani after the game. "We used the same plays we had for the other games. It was simply a case of blocking and fighting for extra yards on offense, and tackling, rushing and alertness on defense. I was proud of the way all the boys came through. They really started to jell. And how do you like the spirit after all they've been through? Don't forget, too, that we had to get along without Howton, Mann and Aldridge."
STEELER FACE EXTRA TROUBLE WITH PACKERS
OCTOBER 20 (Pittsburgh Press) - Here's bad news for the Steelers! Bill Howton, the Rookie of the Year in 1952, will return to action with the Green Bay Packers Saturday night at Forbes Field. Howton, the rangy, 180-pound pass receiver from Rice, has been sidelined since the start of the season, but word out of Green Bay today revealed that the speedy end would be ready for Pittsburgh. The addition of Howton, along with the Packers' brilliant running attack that netted 303 yards against the Baltimore Colts Sunday, will make the visitors a rugged foe for Coach Joe Bach's skidding Steelers. For one thing, Howton and Bob Mann, the Packers' left end, will keep the Steeler defenses honest. The two, as a pair, are one of the top pass receiving combinations in the NFL. Green Bay, after a disastrous start during which the team lost its first three games, exploded against the Colts. It showed the ability to strike from any point on the field and rookie Al Carmichael and Val Joe Walker contributed 41 and 54 yard touchdowns to the Baltimore rout. Prior to the start of the season, the Packers were regarded as one of the better team in the Western Conference. However, the injury to Howton and a glaring weakness at fullback slowed down the Packer attack. Bach regards Saturday's game as one of the key contests on the schedule. The Steeler mentor denied his team its usual Monday holiday and had the squad working out at Forbes Field yesterday. As usual, the session was devoted largely to finding a defensive back, someone to replace Claude Hipps, Ed Fullerton and Tom Calvin, each of whom was sidelined by a succession of injuries. Popcorn Brandt is running at that position this week. Once again it will be a one-two quarterback punch that faces the Steelers. The Packers have Tobin Rote and Vito (Babe) Parilli of Rochester, Pa., in that role and each has been a thorn in the sides of the Steeler defense. The Steelers defeated the Packers, 26-23, in a preseason game.
PACKERS' STAR PASS GRABBER BACK IN LINEUP
OCTOBER 20 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) - Bill Howton, brilliant pass
catcher from Rice Institute, will return to the lineup of the Green Bay
Packers when they play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Forbes Field on
Saturday night. The star end has been sidelined by injuries most of
the season but has recovered just in time to give Coach Joe Bach's
club additional worries. Last season as a rookie Howton led the
Packers in scoring with 13 touchdowns. He nabbed 53 passes for
1,231 yards. The Texan is the favorite target of quarterbacks Vito
(Babe) Parilli and Tobin Rote. The trio teamed last autumn to capture
the team passing honors in the NFL. Parilli is a Rochester, Pa.,
produce. Another local gridder with the Packers is defensive end
George Hays from Glassport. He was released by the Steelers
before the league campaign opened and was picked up by his
former St. Bonaventure mentor, Hugh Devore, who is line tutor of the
Packers. Coach Joe Bach may shift his backfield on Saturday. Ray
Mathews, who performed brilliantly last season, can't seem to get
started and he may be replaced by either Jim (Popcorn) Brandt or
Fran Rogel. If the latter gets the call he will move over from his
fullback spot and Leo Etter will become the linebacker.
STEELERS ASK WAIVERS ON FULLBACK JACK SPINKS
OCTOBER 21 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) - The Pittsburgh Steelers
asked waivers yesterday on fullback Jack (The Ripper) Spinks,
sophomore pro from Alcorn A. and M. and there was a chance that
the 238-pound linebacker might wind up with the winless Chicago
Cardinals. Spinks has been on the injured list ever since he hurt an
ankle in a preseason game here on Sunday September 20 with the
Los Angeles Rams which the invaders won, 49-6. Under NFL rules
other clubs have 48 hours in which to claim Spinks at the waiver
price of $100. If more than one files a bid the lowest in the standings
receives preference. Walter Wolfner, managing director of the
Chicago Cardinals, expressed interest in Spinks yesterday but
delayed taking any action until he conferred with Coach Joe
Stydahar. Ralph Pasquarelli, first string fullback of the Redbirds, was
hurt before the campaign opened and has been on their injured
reserve list. Spinks has been a spotty performer with the Steelers,
displaying great promise at times and slumping badly at others. He
was due to be cut early in the training grind but asked for a second
chance. His best showing was in Columbia, S.C., when the Steelers
scalped the Washington Redskins, 21-14, in a preseason game.
Scout Mike Nixon was at Forbes Field yesterday with his charts on
the Green Bay Packers, who appear here on Saturday night. The
Wisconsin eleven finally found the win column against the Baltimore
Colts last Sunday.
CARDS GET SPINKS
OCTOBER 21 (Pittsburgh Press) - The Chicago Cardinals, the first
club that had a chance at him, today picked up the waivers on Jack
Spinks, 240-pound fullback who has been on the injured reserve
list. The big, broad-shouldered blockers, who averaged 4.3 yards a
carry in his rookie campaign last year, will report to his new
teammates tomorrow. Although the Steelers have the worst blocking team in the league, Coach Joe Bach put Spinks on the injured reserve list prior to the start of the season. It's because he was not included as one of the original 33 players on the roster at the start of the season that the Steelers were forced to ask waivers on him yesterday. Meanwhile, NFL statistics revealed that fullback Franny Rogel and halfback Lynn Chadnois dropped a notch while punter Pat Brady was cementing his lead over Detroit's Bob Smith last week. The lanky, left footed Nevadan jumped his kicking average to 49.8 yards a punt, almost five yards better than Smith and seven yards more than Cleveland's Horace Gillom, the defending champion. Brady got a new pair of shoes last week, a pair with a hard toe on the kicking foot, and the purchase paid off with 64 and 65-yard kicks against the Eagles that knocked them deep in the hole on two occasions. But those were nothing to the one he got off in practice last week. Standing in the infield, the Steeler booter lashed into one last Thursday that traveled far over the end zone and went over the centerfield fence at Forbes Field on one bounce. Brady's goggle-eyed teammates swore that it was the longest kick in the history of football. Despite the distance of his boots, the one that gave the black-haired westerner the most satisfaction was a 35-yard kick against the Chicago Cardinals two weeks ago. It came late in the game, with time for only one more play and the Steelers leading by three points. "I put 'english' on that one," Brady said. "Didn't you see the safety man running around in circles trying to get it?" The Steelers' southpaw kicker has punting down to a science. He does nothing but practice it during the week. Lately he has been working for 30 minutes on distance and then an additional 30 minutes on accuracy. There's still another statistic that makes Brady's punts even more fabulous. They've been returned for an average of only 2.5 yards, giving him an effective distance of 47.3 yards per boot. He's the only kicker in the league within 10 yards of the Steeler specialist. San Francisco's Joe Arenas had a big day Sunday to move past Chadnois in the kickoff return race and Charley Justice with 79 yards in 13 carries, edged by Rogel.
HOWTON, MANN TO FACE STEELERS
OCTOBER 22 (Green Bay) - A "winged" Packer squad looked forward to its first nationally televised appearance Saturday night at Pittsburgh with the announcement Thursday that Bill Howton and Bobby Mann, the Packers' two best pass receiving ends, would be ready for fulltime action. Coupled with its new found running attack, the Packers are primed to surprise the Steelers and climb back into the NFL race, The game will be televised in Milwaukee Saturday night starting at 7 p.m. Howton, who has been sidelined with a chest injury for a month, will give the Packers its best weapon - an air arm - which incidentally led the league last year. Mann is also an important figure in the Packer pass pattern, proving a more than capable receiver when Howton is used as a decoy. Mann was sidelined for the Baltimore engagement last Sunday. Coach Gene Ronzani was especially glad with the return of Howton. The Bays, who were forced to rely on their ground game, can now keep the enemy defense honest with a more versatile attack. The Packer ground attack reached its peak performance against the Colts when the Bays chalked up a total of 303 yards. It was the Packers' best ground showing since 1950 and the single-game mark by any club in the league this season. The Packers offense has shown gradual improvement in each outing. From their first shutout the Packers have gone on to score 13, 20 and finally 37 points in scoring their initial victory.
ROTE RUSH-PASS LEADER FOR BAYS
OCTOBER 22 (Green Bay) - Quarterback Tobin Rote of the Green Bay Packers, who was No. 2 passer in the NFL last year, is repeating his 1952 performance as the Bays' best rusher and passer. The T-formation quarterback has carried the ball 17 times for 107 yards and an average gain of 6.3 yards this season. The former Rice star has completed 31 of 75 passes for 452 yards to average 6.03 yards per toss. He ranks 10th among the NFL passers. Fullback Fred Cone is fifth in the NFL scoring after four games with 28 points.
STEELERS PICK ON US, CLAIMS GREEN BAY
OCTOBER 22 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) - F.L. (Jug) Earp, tub-thumper for Green Bay, was alternately singing the blues and shouting praises for the Packers as he reported the Wisconsin team would unveil Rochester's Vito (Babe) Parilli in Saturday night's game with the Steelers at Forbes Field. "The Packers looked their best Sunday, especially Parilli, who has his best day since he joined us last year," he said. "But it always seems to me those Steelers pick on us for some reason. They'll have a bad game, like they had with Philadelphia last Saturday, and then when we show up they hit their peak." Reminded that the Packers were the first to knock off the Baltimore Colts - they did it, 37-14, Sunday - Earp merely produced another flow of tears and said: "I don't think we'll be that good against the Steeler defense Saturday night. They're too tough that way, and with Fran Rogel and Lynn Chadnois running, and Jim Finks passing, we won't have too much of a chance." Parilli is expected to start at quarterback in place of Tobin Rote Saturday night, Earp said, but that switch will not be definite until coach Gene Ronzani brings the team into Pittsburgh. The Steelers tentatively planned but one change in the lineup for the Packer game. Jim (Popcorn) Brandt will probably take over for Ray Mathews at halfback and as a punt receiver. Meanwhile, the Steelers announced that fullback Jack (The Ripper) Spinks had been picked up at the waiver price of $100 by the Chicago Cardinals. He has been on the reserve list, following an exhibition game injury.