NEWS AND NOTES
RONZANI CALLS GROUND DRILLS
AUGUST 24 (Grand Rapids) - Coach Gene Ronzani called his Packer squad to two stiff drills Monday and will repeat Tuesday before breaking camp here Wednesday for the August 29 exhibition game with the Cardinals at Spokane, WA. Happy over the Packers' 31-7 win over the Giants at Minneapolis, the coaches Monday concentrated on the running attack. The squad was in better shape physically and mentally than New York, Ronzani and his aides concluded. The present squad of 48 may be culled back to about 40 before the Spokane trip, Ronzani hinted. The next cut will be to 33 after the September 19 exhibition with the Browns at Cleveland. Tony Canadeo, retired Packer halfback, will accompany the squad to Spokane as a guest.
PACKERS MAY BE HEADED TO BEST SEASON SINCE 1944
AUGUST 24 (Wisconsin State Journal) - The Green Bay Packers may be headed to their best football season since they won the NFL championship in 1944. Green Bay wasn't a bad team a year ago when it finished third in its division with a 6-6 record, and the Packers should be better this fall. Last Saturday night's 31-7 exhibition game victory over the New York Giants indicated the Packers have fine possibilities. The Giants were second in their division of the NFL a year ago. The Packer have done a good job at picking players the last three years, and Green Bay may be ready this fall to make a real battle for the title. Green Bay had the best pass attack in professional football a year ago, and it may now have the material supplement that with a strong running game. Four of Green Bay's six defeats in the 1952 league race were at the hands of the two teams that tied for the divisional championship, Detroit and Los Angeles (Detroit won in a playoff game, 31-21). Given a sounder defense, Green Bay might have fared better against the leaders. The Packers scored 28 points in one game against Los Angeles and 27 in the other but lost them both. Return of Clayton Tonnemaker, the huge and efficient linebacker from Minnesota, can't help but improve the Packers' defense. There are no more loyal fans in all of professional football than those who follow the Packers, and it's hoped they may be rewarded with a championship contender this year.
PRO GRID GAME WILL TEST ROOKIES
AUGUST 24 (Spokane Daily Chronicle) - There's no such thing as an "exhibition" game for members of a professional football squad. Every tilt can mark the end of their hopes for a career in playing for pay. This axiom, well recognized by every member of a professional team, applies Saturday night when the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cardinals tangle in Spokane's Memorial Stadium at 8 p.m. in a benefit game for the United Crusade of Spokane County. The Cardinals will bring 62 players into Spokane Wednesday evening, but only 42 will continue the tour to the Coast. And the same applies to the Green Bay Packers - some 20 players, rookies and veterans from each team will reach the end of the trail for this season in professional football. Dale Gentry, end coach for Washington State college and an all-Coast star in his playing hey-day, summed it up this way: "You're fighting to keep your place on your own team and the opposition is laying for you so they can look good. I never had it so rough as in the pre-league contests when everyone is laying for you." The quarterback spot for the Green Bay Packers is an example of the terrific competition going on within each team in early season games. Vito (Babe) Parilli and Tobin Rote are standouts in NFL play - but even their positions are in jeopardy. Here are some of the fine young college players they must outplay for their positions:
Dick Flowers, the finest quarterback Northwestern University has produced in the last 10 years. He holds several Big Ten passing records and has had two years with the Quantico Marines.
Arnold Galiffa, Army's great quarterback, who made All-America in 1949 before two years of army service in Korea.
Gil Reich, the "brains" of the University of Kansas team last season and a former member of West Point's great team.
The same competition applies at every position for both the Cards and the Packers. After all, it's the end of the trail for some 40 aspiring professional football players.
GREEN BAY PROVIDES SATISFYING ANSWERS IN 31 TO 7 TRIUMPH
AUGUST 24 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Green Bay Packers gave a lot of satisfying answers in their 31-7 victory over the New York Giants in Minneapolis Saturday night to the questions about what they may have in this year's NFL race. It was the most promising debut in several years. Are they going to be faster than last year's team? Much faster. They ran away from the Giants. On kickoff and punt returns, especially, they made Steve Owen's apparently not too well-conditioned athletes look like so many stationary quarter poles at Arlington Park - only this was Minneapolis. Are they going to be deeper than last year's team? By 8 or 10 men at least. Additions to the squad have been given coach Gene Ronzani depth he had never had at Green Bay before - additions like halfbacks Don Barton of Texas, Al Carmichael of Southern California, Ben Aldridge of Dallas, Gib Dawson of Texas, Ike Boone of the 49ers, and Val Joe Walker of Texas; a quarterback like Dick Flowers of Northwestern; tackles like Floyd Harrawood of Tulsa and Jack Morgan of Michigan State; ends like Bill Georges of Texas and Bill Murray of Springfield and a linebacker like Roger Zatkoff of Michigan. There was a contented look on the big boy's face as he talked about the game at the hotel later. His problem will come when he must cut those last few men of the 48 he still has to reach the player limit of 33 for the league opener with Cleveland here Sunday September 27. Are the rookies all they had been touted to be? Saturday they certainly looked so. Don Barton exceeded all expectations with his speed and poise in returning kicks. Zatkoff singlehandedly broke up a screen pass by hurling himself over a flock of blockers to nail the ball carrier for a loss. It was one of the outstanding plays of the night. Flowers played almost all of the second half at quarterback and completed five out of nine passes. He will be a particularly valuable addition if Parilli should get his army summons as he might. Georges and Murray looked acceptable in Ab Wimberly's shoes at end. Harrawood and Morgan showed highly desirable speed and quickness for linemen who weigh better than 240 pounds. And Walker, in a defensive halfback role - he can also play offense - gave an account that drew high praise from Ronzani. Will veterans like Clay Tonnemaker, Len Szafaryn, Larry Coutre, back after two years of military service, be able to pick up where they left off? Against the Giants they looked as though they never have been gone. Tonnemaker again roved behind the line like a policeman. Does the squad appear to be jelling? Decidedly so. Not only has there been rapid progress in mastery of the mechanics of play, but there has been unusual progress in achieving physical condition. You could see it when the men came into the hotel Saturday noon after their long bus ride from camp at Grand Rapids, MN. They looked almost drawn. And you could certainly see it on the field at night with the thermometer up in the eighties. "I've never been with a ball club that has run as much in practice as this one," one of the boys said. In the mechanics of play, the blocking on kickoffs and punt returns was especially deadly. Boone returned one kick 50 yards and Barton another, 38. On seven punt returns, all told, the Packers picked up 188 yards and on two kickoff returns, 56 yards. There was only one distraction in what was otherwise such a satisfying debut. How much did the plodding Giants, obviously not in as good condition as Green Bay, contribute as a background to the performance? "We certainly weren't in as good condition as Green Bay," Steve Owen remarked after the game. "It hurt us." Undoubtedly the Giants did help the Packers look good. The Giants did a good job bumping into each other. But even with allowance for this, Gene Ronzani and his staff were highly satisfied guys at the midnight dinner they had with the squad. "It was the best opener we've had up here," Ronzani summed it up, and the score or more of Packer followers who came up to see the game uttered, "Amen!" The Packers will make their next start against the Chicago Cardinals at Spokane, WA. They will go by rail, leaving their Grand Rapids camp Wednesday night.
PACKERS SHOWED CLASS IN WIN OVER GIANTS
AUGUST 25 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - One game proves nothing conclusively and certainly doesn't make a season, especially the first game and an exhibition skirmish at that. But it would leaning over backward in the field of conservatism to say the Packers didn't show definite promise of coming up with a topnotch pro football club while handling the New York Giants like so many pee-wees at Minneapolis Saturday night. Coach Gene Ronzani's men showed overall speed, for which there is no substitute in football or any other sport emphasizing those God-given get-there-first and run-away-from-'em qualities. Fortunately, most of the speed has been added in spots where speed counts most and where the Packers needed it most - the halfbacks and downfield defensive spots. The same men who will be called on to turn it on offensively, probably will be doing the "outfielding" also, thereby hitting the enemy in two ways. Gib Dawson, Don Barton, J.R. Boone and Dan Sandifer, the only holdover from last year, really proved they can pick 'em up and lay 'em down - start quickly and set up blocking beautifully, too. Boone and Barton looked like a particularly dazzling double safety combination. Their punt returns, totaling well over 100 yards, gained position for the first two scores of the game. Sandifer closed the scoring books with the game's longest run of 70 yards, also on a punt return. Barton, Dawson's teammate at Texas, is a real find. He wasn't on any club's draft list. Among the four mentioned, Dawson and Barton, outstanding pass receivers, are the boys most likely to be called on for offensive halfback duties. Dawson, winner of the most valuable trophy in the Chicago All-Star game, conceivably can develop into the season's pro freshman sensation. Add Al Carmichael, the club's No. 1 draft choice, and Larry Coutre, back from service after a two-year hitch, and it's apparent the Packers' halfback picture has brightened up almost beyond belief. Carmichael, star of Southern California's Pacific Coast and Rose Bowl championship team last year, doesn't have the blinding speed of Dawson, Barton and Boone, but is bigger and more rugged. Coutre has a lot of both, ruggedness and speed, as he proved beyond all doubt three years ago. Despite some losses, the most serious of which saw Ab Wimberly bow out of active competition, the defense showed signs of improvement. The return of Clayton Tonnemaker as middle linebacker alone practically guarantees it. The two Bills, Murray and Georges, looked good at Wimberly's old spot, right end, as did Floyd Harrawood, another recruit, as middleman in the five man line. Bob Forte and Deral Teteak, as usual, did a fine job of flanking Tonnemaker in the linebacking positions. In Bobby Dillon, of course, the Bays have one of the finest downfield defensive men in football. Bobby's end zone interception, which choked off a Giant score in the third quarter, was a super thriller that was practically worth the price of admission. He has the speed, spring, and, above all, the necessary instinct - or, as it is called, nose for the ball. The squad's physical condition was remarkable, which is a tribute to the general desire to succeed as well as serious work on the part of Ronzani and his staff of coaches. There was definite indication of quick early progress, too, in the important business of getting together and looking like a football team at all times - running the ball, passing, taking up defensive stations or whatever. They were coached and obviously had assimilated coaching. They played with purpose, period. The Giants, by contrast, weren't in good shape and hadn't mastered whatever it was they were trying to do. That made it comparatively easy for the Packers - even made it impossible to evaluate their work accurately. Yet the Ronzanimen showed enough to bring hope, solid hope, that they're coming up with something. The next test comes Saturday night in Spokane, WA where they take on the Chicago Cardinals. They will leave their Grand Rapids, MN training base Wednesday, travel by bus to Minneapolis and leave that night by train, arriving in the West Coast city Friday morning.
PACKERS BREAK UP TRAINING CAMP AT GRAND RAPIDS
AUGUST 26 (Grand Rapids) - The Green Bay Packers break up training camp here late today and head for Spokane, WA, where they will play an exhibition game before heading back for their first showing this season on Wisconsin soil. The Packers, who whipped the New York Giants 31-7 at Minneapolis last Saturday in an exhibition, will meet the Chicago Cardinals in Spokane Saturday. Then it's home to Green Bay, for their 1953 home state debut against the Washington Redskins, September 5. After the New York game, Packer coach Gene Ronzani said, "we'll be a different ball club about the time we meet Washington in Green Bay." He was pleased with the lopsided victory but admitted "our timing and play execution was off." Ronzani said the Washington game "will give us a good insight on the 1953 league season." Curly Lambeau's Redskin attack is wrapped around Eddie Le Baron and rookie quarterback Jack Scarbath, and such backs as Chuck Drazenovich, Julie Rykovich, Charley Justice, Leon Heath and Harry Gilment. It will be the Redskins first appearance in Green Bay. The game will give Wisconsin fans their first look at the Packers' crop of rookie backs - Gib Dawson, the All-Star game's most valuable player; Don Barton and Al Carmichael, the Packers' number one draft choice. Ronzani announced Tuesday he is asking waivers on tackle Joe Sabol of Tennessee and ends Stan Leuza of St. Bonaventure and Nate Harland of Cincinnati.
WILDUNG LETS IT BE KNOWN HE COULD BE INDUCED TO PLAY AGAIN
AUGUST 26 (Milwaukee Journal) - The "eyes of Texas" will be on the Packers this fall as never before. No fewer than 10 of Gene Ronzani's hirelings hail from the land of oil: Don Barton, Gib Dawson, Carl Mayes, Bob Dillon and Bill Georges from the University of Texas, Bill Howton and Tobin Rote from Rice, Bobby Jack Floyd from TCU, and Val Joe Walker and Bill Forester from SMU...Dick Wildung, one of football's greatest tackles with the Packers until he retired a couple of years ago, has the itch again and let it be known while Ronzani was in Minneapolis over the weekend that he could be induced to return. He is 31. A little late, it seems, to be resuming play. Ronzani didn't discourage the couriers, however. "Tell him to come and see me,'" he told them. Wildung has a hardware business in Redwood Falls, MN...Arnie Galiffa, the old Army quarterback, whom the Packers traded to the New York Giants two weeks ago for Val Joe Walker and a high draft choice, will get his service discharge within a week or two, says the grapevine, and will report to Steve Owen at once. He was a Packer draftee a couple of years ago. The Giants can use him...Tony Canadeo, the old Gray Ghost who retired this season after 11 years with the Packers, sat in the stands through the first quarter of last Saturday's game with the Giants in Minneapolis, then couldn't stand it any longer and moved down to the bench. "That's awful to be up there," he said later. "How do you guys stand it?" Tony figures that by November, with gradual "preparation", he will be ready to do four quarters in the stands...Green Bay still has one player coming from Detroit in the deal by which Jug Girard went to the Lions a year ago. The Packers haven't made their selection as yet. Incidentally, the Jugger isn't cutting it this year. Reported fat and out of shape.
PAUL, POLSFOOT, GAMBOLD MAY START IN PRO GRID GAME HERE
AUGUST 26 (Spokane Daily Chronicle) - Chicago's pro grid Cardinals
figure on doing it the hard way Saturday evening in Memorial Stadium -
if they do it at all. Coach Joe Stydahar, en route with his team to
Spokane today, sent word ahead he expects his toughest preseason
game when the Cards tie into the Green Bay Packers in the Athletic
Round Table-sponsored grid feature. Meanwhile, ART officials said that
in case of inclement weather Saturday evening the game will be
postponed till Sunday. Stydahar hasn't committed himself to a starting
lineup yet. However, it seems almost certain that halfback Don Paul,
end Fran Polsfoot and quarterback Bob Gambold, all former
Washington State college stars, will be among the starting players -
and not because they're in their own front yard, so to speak, but
because they will have earned the roles. Stydahar emphasized that
Gambold's passing Saturday evening will have a lot to do with his
future as a member of the Card squad. The Packers, with their 31-7
victory over the New York Giants last Saturday, are off on a running
start toward a western conference title. The team, with its potential
scoring power, could very easily be the most potent and colorful lineup
in the league. Stydahar's Cardinals would like nothing better than to
upset this scoring machine. Paul and Gambold will be primed to do
everything in their power to bring about a Card victory. Possibly the
greatest end in the league - if his legs work out all right - will be
Polsfoot. Stydahar has been consistently impressed with his play.
PACKERS TRADE FLOWERS TO COLTS
AUGUST 27 (Grand Rapids) - The Green Bay Packers traded rookie
quarterback Dick Flowers of Northwestern to the Baltimore Colts
Thursday. The Packers, in return, will receive an undisclosed draft
choice of the Colts in 1954. The Packers made the deal because
quarterback, with veterans Tobin Rote and Babe Parilli, is one of their
strongest spots. Head coach Gene Ronzani said he made the trade
"reluctantly" and then only because it would give Flowers an
opportunity to start. The Colts were badly in need of a quarterback
due to the service call of Bobby Williams. The Packers, 43 strong, left
their Grand Rapids, MN training camp Wednesday night by train for
Spokane, WA, where they will meet the Chicago Cardinals in an NFL
exhibition Saturday night. The only player left behind was Bobby Jack
Floyd, halfback, who is recovering from an ankle operation.
STYDAHAR CALLS BAYS 'MOST IMPROVED' CLUB
AUGUST 27 (Spokane, WA) - Coach Joe Stydahar of the Chicago
Cardinals doesn't see how the Green Bay Packers can miss winning
the Western Division championship. "Green Bay has the most
improved ball club in the league," the Cardinal coach said Thursday
when his team arrived by plane for Saturday nights exhibition with the
Packers here. "I don't see how they can miss winning their division championship." Stydahar said Gib Dawson and Don Barton of Texas are the finest rookie backs he'd seen in several season. They give the Packers great speed in the backfield, he said.
STYDAHAR LAUDS GREEN BAY; SEES GAME AS TOSSUP
AUGUST 27 (Spokane Daily Chronicle) - Mr. Joe Stydahar wasted no time in passing posies here today, minutes after he and 62 burly Chicago pro football Cardinals arrived in Spokane for a meeting Saturday in Memorial stadium with the Green Bay Packers. The Cardinal head mentor observed: "You know, those Packers are the most improved team in the National league and should win the western division." The Cards, incidentally, operate in the eastern division - but coach Stydahar wasn't going far enough to draw inferences. Stydahar said he bases his judgment on the fact that Green Bay has great all-around speed - plus three fine quarterbacks in Tobin Rote, Babe Parilli and Dick Flowers. Flowers, however, went to the Baltimore Colts in a deal with that team by the Packers, the Associated Press reported. "And Don Barton, Gib Dawson and Val Joe Walker, all from the Southwest conference, form a trio of the finest running backs in the business. All can do the 100-yard dash in 9.7." Stydahar, finally getting around to talking about his Cardinals, said he sees the game Saturday as a tossup. "I've got to admit I'm pretty high on my own club this year," he said. "We have a great crop of rookies, but we're bringing them along slowly - building a solid foundation, you might say. Don Paul, Fran Polsfoot, and Bob Gambold, all ex-Washington Staters, and Marv Beguhl, formerly of U. of Idaho, all will see action here Saturday." Stydahar said he is particularly impressed with the Cardinal defensive line. He pointed out that Baltimore made only 31 yards against Chicago in the last start at Lubbock, Texas. "We were in scoring position five time and missed four field goal attempts," he pointed out. Coach Gene Ronzani and his Packers are due in Spokane by train at 12:55 this evening. Ticket sales for the game are reported excellent by D.D. McHenry, ticket manager for the contest. Many good tickets are still available, however, it was reported. Members of the Cardinal coaching staff will make guest appearances at the Lions club, Kiwanis club, and other local service organizations. Round Table officials said they intend to present Tony Canadeo, ex-veteran Packer star and former Gonzaga university ace; Bing Crosby, now vacationing at Hayden lake, and Ray Flaherty, former Washington Redskins mentor, to the crowd during halftime ceremonies. The weather outlook for Saturday night is reported favorable.
LIPSCOMB NAMED IN PATERNITY ACTION
AUGUST 28 (Los Angeles) - Paul Lipscomb, 29, tackle for the Washington Redskins and formerly with the Green Bay Packers, Friday was named defendant in a paternity suit by Miss Eva Yanes, a telephone operator. She asked for $300 monthly support for her baby, Paul, born last May 4. Miss Yates' complaint said she met the former Tennessee athlete a year ago and a week later became intimate with him. She said he told her he was unmarried and that it was not until she learned she was to become a mother than she found out he had a wife in Washington D.C. Lipscomb has filed an answer flatly denying paternity.
PACKERS, CARDS MEET SATURDAY
AUGUST 28 (Spokane) - A rather weary bunch of Green Bay Packers arrived here Friday morning from their training camp at Grand Rapid, Minn., after two days of traveling and immediately went out to the practice field to stretch their legs for Saturday night's exhibition with the Chicago Cardinals. (WTMJ will carry a broadcast of the game starting at 10:25 o'clock, Milwaukee time.) Coach Gene Ronzani had 42 men in tow and indicated that rookies would play a large part of the game. Only at quarterback will veterans go all the way. With rookie Dick Flowers traded to the Baltimore Colts, Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote will do all of the signal calling and passing. The Packers, who have not beaten the Cardinals in seven straight league games, going back to the 1946 season, also lost an exhibition to the Chicago team last season. They ruled one touchdown favorites Friday, however, on the strength of their impressive 31-7 victory over the New York Giants in Minneapolis last Saturday night while the Cardinals bowed to the surprising Baltimore Colts, 10-7.
TIRED PACKERS ARRIVE HERE FOR GAME WITH CARDS
AUGUST 28 (Spokane Daily Chronicle) - Plenty tired from a long train trip west, coach Gene Ronzani and a hulking contingent of Green Bay Packers arrived in Spokane at 2:30 this morning to shake down for their meeting Saturday evening at 8 in Memorial stadium with the Chicago Cardinals. Ronzani, being mighty tuckered, admitted "we've got a couple of good boys," and inferred the Cards are in for a plenty rugged battle. The head coach, with a deep, gravelly voice, refused to let newspapermen interview any of his players - and promptly hied himself off to bed. Among those at the station to greet the teams were Tiny Cahoon, ex-Packer and former Gonzaga university star. The Packers won the NFL's passing championship in 1952 and might have gone on to the league title if they had been able to field a strong running attack. The powerful air arm is back intact for 1953 and, Ronzani believes, he has the ground game to go with it. Expected to put the rush back into the Packers this year - and thus make the passing that much tougher - are Al Carmichael, the rugged runner from Southern California; Gib Dawson and Don Barton, two speedsters from the University of Texas, and Billy Hair, the Clemson flash who likely will be making his debut here. Actually, the fastest of the new Packer halfbacks is not playing offense. He is Val Joe Walker of Southern Methodist who was obtained in a trade with the Giants. Walker did a tremendous job in his first pro appearance against the New Yorkers. The Packers are expected to work out tonight at the stadium. Game officials said today they expect a sellout crowd for the tilt. The BOF lodge band of 45 pieces, with Howard Moss as director, will play during the game and at halftime.
LOOKS LIKE BIG YEAR COMING UP FOR PACKERS
AUGUST 29 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Thanks to a combination of interest building elements, the Packers are practically certain to follow the Braves' pattern and come up with the most successful season in history from the standpoint of Milwaukee attendance and therefore total home attendance. New hope, new life generated by last year's showing, the best in five years, started it. Bill Howton, Babe Parilli, Tobin Rote, Bob Mann, Fred Cone, Dave Hanner, Deral Teteak, Bob Dillon, John Martinkovic and other bellringers from the 1952 squad are on the job again, along with a trio of returning service men, Clayton Tonnemaker, Larry Coutre and Len Szafaryn. The lopsided victory over the Giants in the opening exhibition game added something to the already definite feeling that the upswing will continue. Add the encouraging early showing