(MILWAUKEE) - The Green Bay Packers caught the Christmas spirit much too early Sunday and thereby hangs the tale of their crushing 37-7 defeat by the
sprightly as well as rugged San Francisco 49ers. A
crowd of 16,378 - no mean turnout considering the
uninviting weather and the team's record - witness the
Bay's final home state appearance in the wintry
setting at County Stadium. Snow fell through most of
the game, which marked the Packers' sixth defeat
against two victories and one tie in NFL competition.
The lights were turned on for the last quarter, but by
that time the Ronzanimen trailed, 30-7, and all the
lights in the world, plus a sudden heat wave, couldn't
have saved them. By that time, too, the game became
more than ordinarily rough - a tribute to, or the fault of
 the officiating, which was just about as slippery as the
ball and uncertain as the footing.
The Packers, assuming the Santa Claus role from the
start, did a thorough job of doing right by the visiting
warriors from the West Coast. The giveaway business
started the 49ers on the way to each of their six
scores - five touchdowns and a field goal. They did it
via two fumbles, three misguided passes which fell
into enemy hands and still another fumble, even
though recovered, caused them to lose the ball deep
in their own territory on a fourth down plunge. Only
in the opening minutes did it look hopeful for the
Packers. On the very first play from scrimmage, in
fact, Y.A. Tittle was thrown for a 17-yard loss (by
Clayton Tonnemaker and John Martinkovic) back to
his two-yard line.
But Joe Perry, bruising and hard-running fullback who
wound up with 153 yards on 16 carries to overshadow
all other backs on the field, got the 49ers out of the
hole and Jim Powers set the Packers back on their
heels with a fine punt. Shortly thereafter, the roof
started to cave in - for Green Bay. Tobin Rote's pass
was picked off by Lowell Wagner, who ran the ball
back to the Packer 43. A 38-yard third down pass,
Tittle to the brilliant Hugh McElhenny, more than made
up for two big first down losses heaped on Tittle by
rushing Packer linemen. McElhenny finally scored on
a five-yard thrust. Gordie Soltau's failure to convert -
his only muff in five attempts - soon became
meaningless when Breezy Reid fumbled and Leo
Nomellini recovered for Frisco. Tittle's beautiful pass to
Billy Wilson, good for 30 years, made it 13-0.
Al Carmichael was the next to play stand-in for Good
Old Santa by bobbling the following kickoff, Harry
Babcock pouncing on the ball only 25 yards from
Frisco scoring territory. All the visitors needed was
two shots at the Packer line. The second, a 17-yard
bolt by Perry on the first play of the second quarter,
bosted the ante to 20-0. From that moment on it was
apparent to everybody there was no catching those
red-shirted 49ers, who were as tough and nifty as
they were big. Coach Gene Ronzani's operators
managed to pick up a consolation touchdown before
the end of the half and thus avoid a shutout. It took a
lot of doing on the 86-yard drive which was climaxed
by Babe Parilli's eight-yard dash over the goal line on
a keeper play. Parilli completed five passes along the
way, one for 21 yards to Bill Howton, Fred Cone's 19-
yard run was the other big gainer. Cone also added
the extra point.
Tittle sneaked a yard for the next marker early in the
third quarter after the Packers, with inches to go for a
first down on their 31, lost a yard and the ball on
Rote's attempted handoff to Howie Ferguson. It was
sort of a combination miscue. Rote managed to
recover the slippery leather himself, but it was a fourth down play. So the visitors took over on the 30. Wagner's second interception of a Rote pass paved the way for Soltau's 30-yard field goal, boosting the third quarter margin to 30-7. It was Fred Bruney's turn to take advantage of the host's fourth period generosity. The ex-Ohio State star fielded Parilli's pitch in Frisco territory. But the ball didn't stay in that half of the field very long. Perry got away for 46 yards around the defensive right flank after taking a pitchout from Tittle, who again sneaked for the TD from a yard out.
As bad as the licking was it might have been worse, for the 49ers had two touchdowns nullified by penalties, both in the second quarter. The first bit of non-productive exercise was a super thriller, with McElhenny and Rex Berry collaborating. Trailing 20-0, Green Bay for some strange reason decided to call on Cone for a 45-yard field goal try. It was much too short, the ball falling into McElhenny's hand. As Hugh was being tackled, he tossed it backward to Berry, who went all the way - 98 yards. But one of the blocks which sprung him proved to be a clip so the 49ers had to start all over from their 12. Later, a 12-yard scoring pass, Tittle to Wilson, went for nought because of backs-in-motion penalty. Three plays later Soltau tried and missed a 15-yard field goal. Despite numerous flareups and threats of open warfare, only two players were chased from the game - Steve Ruzich of the Packers and Nick Feher of Frisco.
SAN FRANCISCO - 13  7 10  7 - 37
GREEN BAY     -  0  7  0  0 -  7
1st - SF - Hugh McElhenny, 5-yard run (Kick failed) SAN FRANCISCO 6-0
1st - SF - Billy Wilson, 30-yard pass from Y.A.Tittle (Gordie Soltau kick) SF 13-0
2nd - SF - Joe Perry, 17-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 20-0
2nd - GB - Parilli, 8-yard run (Cone kick) SAN FRANCISCO 20-7
3rd - SF - Tittle, 1-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 27-7
3rd - SF - Soltau, 30-yard field goal SAN FRANCISCO 30-7
4th - SF - Tittle, 1-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 37-7
front office of the club, which represents the league's smallest city, indicated that the executive board members, some of whom earlier favored Ronzani's retention, now reportedly have agreed that he must go. But they are undecided whether to dispose of him now or wait until the professional season ends December 13. Rumors that Ronzani's days were numbered have circulated all season as the Packers, touted in early forecasts as likely contenders, floundered dismally. The club is currently in the NFL's Western Conference cellar with the Chicago Bears on 2-6-1 records. Ronzani could not be reached for comment.
NOVEMBER 26 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The expected wave of denials followed the Sentinel's story of Wednesday morning (out of Green Bay) about the imminent dismissal, or forced resignation, of Gene Ronzani as Packer head coach. But let the officers and members of the executive committee deny until short punts are scored as touchdowns. The skids are greased for Gene. Not only are greased, but have been greased for some weeks. In fact, the thing has gone so far that it would be impossible to do anything but clean house, regardless of the merits of the coaching. The powers that be are so completely at odds and the far-flung Packer family of rooters is so divided that there is no going back and starting over in the spirit of let bygones be bygones. So who are they (the bosses) kidding when they say that recent meetings, including the one called for Wednesday, were not for the purpose of discussing the coaching situation? What there is not even a thought of making a change before the end of the season, if then? Anyone, even the most conservative, can bet his neck or his last dollar that there is and has been more than a thought - much more. In short, there is every reason to have complete faith in the accuracy of reports about meetings dealing with specifics. Or can it still be denied that the new coaching prospects have been mentioned and even investigated? Or does anyone disclaim knowledge of discussion, in private meetings with non-member advisors, about hiring a real, honest to goodness general manager for the first time in the club's history? Haven't candidates been fine-combed if not definitely approached? By way of answering the questions: 1 - Possible candidates for the head coaching job have been discussed; 2 - Creation of the general manager's post is far beyond the probing stage, so far that names have been named and the line already is forming to the left. As one sincerely interested in the Packers' immediate and future success, I believe as I have believed for a long time that No. 1 on the club's must do list is to hire and vest the proper authority in a general manager. Frankly, I'm amazed they have gone along as well and as along as they have under the rather haphazard system under which everybody - or nobody, according to the point of view - is boss. It would take Superman himself to coach successfully under that system. That the system grew is understandable. It stemmed from the days of rather informal operation in pro football. A lot of fine men, each successful in his own right, have given much of their time, energy and
money to keep Green Bay and the Packers on the big time map. It was
only natural that they should be called upon to run things and enjoyed
same. Today, however, pro football is serious business which has
grown beyond the informal stage. The same organizational methods
and thinking must go into it that go into any other successful
business. Elected officers and other member of the executive
committee operate that way in their own bread-and-butter business
operations. But they haven't brought themselves around to following
the one and only patter in their extracurricular activity - football. Why
should pro football be different from the paper, investment, foundry,
machine tool or any other business beyond the peanut stage? A
company formed for any of the latter purposed mentioned invariably
has a board of directors, to whom the president is responsible. The
latter, in turn, will appoint a general manager, who hires and fires the
equivalent of head coaches and assistants. Directors, individually and
collectively, don't get into the act directly. If they don't believe in the
president and or general manager, they get new top brass. They don't
try to "coach the team". So here's to a thorough reorganization at the
Bay. Get a general manager. Have him hire the coach, publicity
directors and such other top personnel as is agreed upon. And then
have the general manager responsible for results, period.
NOVEMBER 26 (Chicago Tribune) - Detroit's Lions will resume their
quest for a second consecutive world championship tomorrow before a
national television audience when they face the Green Bay Packers in
Briggs stadium. They will kickoff at 10 a.m., Chicago time, with 
Chicago's outlet on the nationwide video hookup being WGN-TV, 
Channel 9. With only three days' rest after last Sunday's bruising game
in Chicago, where they beat the Bears, 20 to 16, the Lions will attempt
to maintain their lead over the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL's western
division race for a place opposite Cleveland in the December 27
championship playoff. Except for the fact that the Packers also were in
something of a tussle last Sunday, losing to San Francisco, 37 to 7,
Coach Buddy Parker's concern over a lack of rest might be considered
an important factor. In Detroit's favor, however, is the fact that its
offense operated with much more verve and cohesion last week that it
did in winning two weeks ago in Green Bay, 14 to 7. For the first time
this season, the Lions gave evidence of power. The defending
champions rolled up 418 yards against the Bears, 241 in the air and
177 on the ground. Chief contributor to the Lions' total was Bobby
Layne, who completed 21 of 43 passes and paced rushing attack with
76 yards. Green Bay has little in the way of a record with which to
challenge the Lions. But past performances have meant little in this
Thanksgiving morning contest. The Packers battled the Lions to a 48
to 24 conclusion here last year. Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote passing to
Clive rush, Billy Howton and Bobby Mann will be the Packers' most
potent weapon.
San Francisco 49ers (6-3) 37, Green Bay Packers (2-6-1) 7
Sunday November 22nd 1953 (at Milwaukee)
NOVEMBER 23 (Baltimore) - The Baltimore Colts announced Monday night they had claimed Larry Coutre, former Notre Dame halfback on waiver from Green Bay. Coutre played one season in the NFL with Green Bay and then was called into service.
NOVEMBER 24 (Green Bay) - Gene Ronzani's four-year reign as Green Bay Packer head coach appears to be at an end. The Milwaukee Sentinel learned Tuesday night that the Packer executive committee will meet Wednesday to ask the resignation of Ronzani. Ronzani is expected to lead the Packers against the Detroit lions in the annual Thanksgiving Day game at Detroit. However, if he does not abide by the executive committee's request to resign, it is believed Assistant Coach Hugh Devore will be appointed to take charge of the Packers on their western invasion. The Packers meet San Francisco December 6 and the Los Angeles Rams December 12. There has been much speculation here in recent weeks that Ronzani was through. Rated as one of the stronger teams in the NFL before the season started, the Packers have managed only two victories over the Baltimore Colts and a tie with the Chicago Bears thus far. They have lost six games. If Devore is assigned to lead the Packers for the rest of the season, there is no indication that he will also be signed as head coach for next year. However, he is considered, along with Tom Hearden, former coach at St. Norbert College. Hearden currently is attending the University of Wisconsin and was an assistant coach of the freshman team the past season. Hearden, a former Notre Dame quarterback, is highly thought of in Green Bay, since his St. Norbert teams at nearby De Pere always rated among the best in their class. Ronzani, a native of Iron Mountain, MI, succeeded Curly Lambeau in February 1950, for a reported salary of $12,000 to $15,000. Last January he signed a new three-year contract said to call for $17,500, with a dismissal clause buying it up for $7,000. Ronzani was a member of the Chicago Bears' organization for 17 years as player, coach, talent hunter and scout. He joined the Bears after three years of football, basketball and track at Marquette. After six seasons at halfback with the Bears, Gene received his first coaching assignment from George Halas, the Newark farm club. He spent a year at Wichita, another farm, before returning to the Bears as backfield coach. In 1946, Ronzani coached the Bears' Akron affiliate before returning to the Bears the next year. Ronzani, named Marquette's football captain in 1931, was the first three letter man at the school.
NOVEMBER 25 (Green Bay) - The executive committee of the Green Bay Packers held a special meeting today, but club president Russ Bogda denied that the committee would ask Packer coach Gene Ronzani to resign. He said the meeting was called suddenly because several members of the board wanted to go deer hunting next week and many planned to leave town during the Thanksgiving weekend. Bogda said the executive committee had made no decision to oust Ronzani, although he said the club's disappointing season in the NFL might be discussed. Ronzani was under extreme pressure from the fans earlier in the season after the Packers lost four straight pre-season exhibition games and then dropped their first three league starts. The Packer executive committee was forced to give Ronzani two votes of confidence to quiet the rumors that Ronzani either was to be fired or would be asked to quit. The Packers have now won two games, lost six, and tied one, with three tough games left on the schedule. The Packers started out the season as a dark horse in the Western Conference on the strength of the team's 1952 passing performance, but Green Bay now is tied last place with the Chicago Bears.
NOVEMBER 25 (Green Bay) - Russ Bogda, president of the Green Bay Packers, denied here Wednesday morning the published report that Gene Ronzani would
be asked to resign as head coach immediately. "There
is absolutely no truth to the report," Bogda said. Bogda
admitted a meeting of the executive committee was to
be held Wednesday noon, but declared it was only to
be a routine affair. "We have a lot of things to talk
about," he said. Bogda refused to answer the question:
"Will Ronzani finish the season with Green Bay?" "I
have no statement to make on that," he said. "You
know what the situation is." Ronzani has been under
growing pressure from fans since the exhibition
campaign in August and September. The team won its
first start against the New York Giants at Minneapolis in
early August, then lost four straight before the start of
the league season. In league games, the team has won
two games, both from Baltimore, lost six and tied one
(Bears). Twice in the course of the league season, the
executive committee gave Ronzani a vote of confidence
in the face of dissension and trouble on the club. As
rumors persisted however that Ronzani had been
dismissed, a committee of players asked for an
audience with the executive committee and suggested
that any contemplated change in the coaching staff
await the end of the season. "We feel we can still play
some football," was the gist of the players' argument.
The report that Ronzani might be dismissed
immediately after Thursday's game with the Detroit
Lions at Detroit and before the excursion west to play
the 49ers at San Francisco and the Rams at Los
Angeles said that Hugh Devore, an assistant coach,
would be placed in charge. It also said that he might be
given a chance as head coach next season. Devore, a
former Notre Dame star, was head coach at his alma
mater in 1945. Dissatisfaction with the all-Bear staff
which has handled the club since Ronzani was
appointed head coach by Emil Fischer, then president
of the club, in 1950, has been frequently expressed.
"Haven't we got enough Packer alumni coaching to find a coach to handle our own club," was often asked. Support for Ronzani on the executive committee has been recently changed, it was also learned Wednesday, indicating that if a change does not occur at once, it probably will at season's end. Eddie Kotal of the Los Angeles Rams has been approached on his availability as a general manager to replace the old-fashioned "soviet" which has run the club since its inception in 1919. George Sauer of Baylor, Mike Michalske of Texas Aggies, Red Heardon, formerly of nearby St. Norbert, and several other former Packers stars have been mentioned as coaching possibilities. Clark Hinkle a month ago applied for the job.
NOVEMBER 25 (Detroit) - The Green Bay Packers, with coach Gene Ronzani and aides intact, arrived by chartered airline Wednesday afternoon for their annual Thanksgiving Day game with the Detroit Lions at Briggs Stadium. The game starts at 10 a.m. and will be televised over WTMJ-TV. With no injuries sustained in the San Francisco game, the Packers were reported to be in good physical shape. The squad is a player short, though, have picked up no replacement for halfback Larry Coutre, who was claimed on waivers by the Baltimore Colts. The Lions, with only three games to go, hold a slim, but cozy lead in the Western Conference. Los Angeles, trailing by a half game, and San Francisco by a game, can only hope that the Lions are upset somewhere along the way. Green Bay is a 13-point underdog. The last two Turkey Day games ended in disaster for the Packers. Last year, the Lions mauled them 48-24 and the year before it was 52-35. A Ronzani team never has beaten Detroit, although his team came close two weeks ago. Detroit squeezed out a 14-7 decision in Green Bay. The Lions, winners of seven games against two losses, oddly haven't played up to expectations. Green Bay, of course, has been a big disappointment this season.
NOVEMBER 26 (Milwaukee) - Gene Ronzani almost surely is on his way out as head coach of the Green Bay Packers. The only factor in doubt Wednesday, as the NFL team left Green Bay by air for Detroit and its nationally televised game with the Lions this morning, is when he will be replaced. Sources close to the