(MILWAUKEE) - A cold second half - so cold that it practically gave the crowd of 16,859 the shivers - sent the Packers skidding to a 26-23 defeat at the hands
and feet of the high-powered Pittsburgh Steelers in the
annual Shrine benefit game at Marquette Stadium
Saturday night. The home stretch was by bitter contrast
with the dazzling first half, one of the most interesting
ever seen here and during which Gene Ronzani's boys
seemed on the verge of breaking the pre-league
exhibition jinx in their first Milwaukee appearance of the
After spotting the machine-like visitors an early 10-0
lead, the Bays put on a terrific comeback to grab the
business end of a 23-17 count at intermission time. But
from then on, strangely, it was no go. They just weren't
in the ball game the rest of the way. The Steelers rolled
up nine points in the third period and continued to
threaten to the very end. They never let the home club
off the hook. Just to show you how the Bays became
coated with icicles in the rest period: They gained only
97 yards in the second half, completed only three out of
13 passes, added five first downs (two on penalties and
none on passes) and made only two brief excursions
beyond midfield.
The cooling off process, of course, can be traced to the Steelers to a considerable degree. They rushed hard hawked the ball on defense, and on offense they flashed some of the finest precision work seen here in a long time. Their blocking and timing were superb, and they were smartly handled by a sharpshooting, will o' the wisp quarterback, Ted Marchibroda. The pro rookie was so good that the Steelers' 1952 hero, Jim Finks, saw practically no action. It wasn't all peaches and cream early in the game either. In fact, it looked like slow music when Ed Fullerton, an outstanding defensive back, picked off a Babe Parilli pass on the Packers'  first play from scrimmage and scampered 37 easy yards for the opening touchdown. The outlook was even darker when Nick Nolkovac, who hit three for three on conversions, booted a 21-yard field goal. Came the about-face and the Ronzanimen were back in the ball game at 10-9 by the end of the quarter.
Big John Martinkovic broke the ice by chasing Finks back into the end zone and downing him for a safety. Babe Parilli not only paved the way for his club's first TD with a 12-yard run and a 10-yard pass to Bobby Mann, but he had the distinction of scoring it on a nifty 22-yard gallop that was a model of open field running. Gib Dawson added the first of three extra points. The Steelers came roaring back with a 64-yard scoring march, climaxed by Fran Rogel's 2-yard plunge. The rest of the half was all Green Bay, with the veteran Tobin Rote at the throttle and very much responsible. First he cranked up and pitched a perfect strike to Mann, who legged it into the end zone for a total gain of 38 yards. The rangy Tobin found his favorite battery mate, Bill Howton, in the clear down the middle and hit the bull's eye again. Howton, who saw only limited service because of an injury sustained last week, made one of his copyrighted catches and was off to the races. This play covered 64 yards and gave the Bays the lead for the first time - and the assembled customers' real hope.
The Bays were starting to move with authority early in the fatal second half when another Parilli pass when haywire. This time Marvin Matuszak was in the right spot - for his team - and fielded the misguided toss, returning to the home team's 32. From there on, the Packers were thoroughly outplayed and outclasses. The same Mr. Matuszak was responsible for the next score by "shooting the gap", as they say in football, to block Billy Hair's punt. Marvin chased the bouncing ball earnestly, but it rolled out of bounds behind the goal line before he could recover. So the Steelers only matched the Packers' earlier scoring method of scoring for two points instead of six via touchdown. But the touchdown was not long in coming as the elusive Marchibroda found his pet receiver, Sulma, in the clear. The latter did his part for a total gain of 24 yards and the score mounted to 26-23.
The scoreboard didn't change again despite three more Steeler threats. Dan Sandifer staved one off with a fine interception. Bob Forte and John Martinkovic came up to throw Rogel for a loss on a fourth down play on another occasion. And finally only the clock could stop those pesty men from the East. They had first down on the Packer five yard line when the welcome final gun barked.
PITTSBURGH - 10  7  9  0 - 26
GREEN BAY  -  0 23  0  0 - 23
PIT – Ed Fullerton, 37-yard interception return (Nick Bolkovac kick) PITTSBURGH 7-0
PIT – Bolkovac, 21-yard field goal PITTSBURGH 10-0
GB – Safety, Martinkovic tackled Jim Finks in the end zone PITTSBURGH 10-2
GB – Parilli, 22-yard run (Dawson kick) PITTSBURGH 10-9
PIT – Fran Rogell, 2-yard run (Bolkovac kick) PITTSBURGH 17-9
GB – Mann, 38-yard pass from Rote (Dawson kick) PITTSBURGH 17-16
GB – Howton, 64-yard pass from Rote (Dawson kick) GREEN BAY 23-17
PIT – Team Safety, blocked punt recovered in end zone GREEN BAY 23-19
PIT – George Sulma, 24-yard pass from Ted Marchibroda (Bolkovac kick) PITTSBURGH 26-23
SEPTEMBER 13 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - As far as Bert Bell is concerned, the point after touchdown is strictly for the birds and should be thrown out of
football. The NFL Commissioner, dead set against this
traditional part of the sport for many years, is even
more so now and doesn't care who knows it. In the
current issue of Sport magazine, he backs up his
conviction with these arguments: 1. The try for point
has little spectator appeal. 2. Kickers have become so
proficient that it is virtually an automatic score. 3. It is
not nearly so much a team effort as it is the effort of
three men - center, ballholder and the kicker. 4. It
doesn't prevent ties. The league has averaged about
two deadlocks a season the last seven years. 5. It has
no effect on the outcome of games. None of the
championship playoffs and only nine of the 462 league
games over the seven-year stretch were won by the
extra point. 6. Contrary to general belief, there would
be more field goals if the extra point were ruled out. 7.
It encourages gambling because it offers an easy way
to figure a small and therefore attractive point spread in
many games.
SEPTEMBER 14 (Green Bay) - Gene Ronzani cut five
players off his roster Monday and picked up one new
one. Put on the block in a further move to reach the
player limit of 33 before the league opener with
Cleveland here September 27. They were Clarence
Self, Dan Sandifer, Billy Hair and Carl Mayes, all
halfbacks, and end Bill Murray. Picked up on a "look-
see" basis was end George Hays of the Pittsburgh
Steelers. The transactions left the Packers with a
roster of 40. Self, a former Wisconsin star, was in his
fifth year of pro ball, Sandifer of LSU in his sixth, Hair
of Clemson in his first, Mayes of Texas in his second
and Murray of American Institute in his first. The tip-off
on Self and Sandifer was probably given in the game
with Pittsburgh here Saturday night when both started
in the offensive backfield. Self had never appeared in a
ball carrying role for Green Bay before. It was their last
chance to convince the coaches that they ought to
stick. Hair did most of Green Bay's punting in the four
exhibitions so far but little else. Mayes saw only spot
action. Murray was injured in the game with the
Cardinals at Spokane two weeks ago. Hays, a veteran
of two years with the Steelers, was released last week
and picked up as a free agent. The hope is that he can
pick up some of slack of the defensive end left open by
Ab Wimberly's decision to go into coaching. He weighs
210 pounds and stands 6 feet 2. He played his college
football at St. Bonaventure under Hugh Devore.
SEPTEMBER 16 (Milwaukee) - The Green Bay
Packers Football Knothole Club, with John Zussman of
the school board recreation department in charge, will
be organized at a luncheon-meeting of representatives
of 20 youth agencies at the Eagles club Friday noon.
The Packers have turned over 500 tickets for the
Cleveland Browns league opener at the Stadium
September 27 and 500 for the San Francisco 49ers
game November 22 for the club's use. Representatives
of the following agencies have been invited to attend:
Milwaukee Boys' Club, Christian Center, YMCA,
Jewish Center, CYO, Urban League, Neighborhood
House, Salvation Army and the recreation department
of Milwaukee, West Allis, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay,
Cudahy, West Milwaukee and the county parks. A
plan similar to the one used so successfully by
Zussman in organizing the Braves Knothole Club has
been proposed. Each boy will play 10 cents for
membership in the club and will receive a membership
club. Agencies will make membership in the club a
reward for helpfulness and good conduct. At the game
themselves each group of 15 boys will be in charge of
an adult league. The age limit of 10 to 13 followed in
baseball will be raised to 16. The Braves Knothole club
accommodated about 12,000 boys at nine contests.
SEPTEMBER 16 (Milwaukee) - Assistant coach Hugh
Devore of the Green Bay Packers, though he's never
tutored a pro club through a league game, believed
today that play-for-pay football is "every bit as great" as
the college brand. Devore, a successful college coach,
joined the pro ranks this year after his college club,
New York University quit the sport. Immediately the
new staff member was "impressed by the spirit of pro
ball players". He said he gained that impression not
only from the Packers, but also from watching the
other pro teams in exhibition battles. The pros have "all
the hustle of any college organization," Devore said,
and are "just as anxious to make the first team as
college boys". There are some subleties to the pro
game, however, which Devore was quick to see. But
those differences are things he likes. "Practices are
well organized to stress every phase of the game," he
said. "Coaches try to make perfection in fundamentals.
They know they have to be in shape to play. The
reaction after a pro game is the same...get licked, and
the players don't feel too good about it," he said. "It's
every bit as great as college ball. Winning never
SEPTEMBER 17 (Green Bay) - Captain Bob Forte,
veteran linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, has
EXHIBITION - Pittsburgh Steelers 26, Green Bay Packers (1-3) 23
Saturday September 12th 1953 (at Milwaukee)
been named outstanding Packer player in last Saturday's Shrine benefit game at Milwaukee. Forte was picked up by three sportswriters and a radio sports announcer who will pick the outstanding Packer game this season. The players named will receive watches from a Milwaukee jeweler.
SEPTEMBER 17 (Green Bay) - Ace Loomis, former defensive ace with the Packers, Thursday rejoined the club as it closed out workouts in preparation for it's exhibition battle Saturday night with the Browns at Cleveland. Loomis, who rejoined the Packers last season after being traded to the Browns, has been playing semi-pro ball with the Wausau Muskies and appears to be in excellent shape. The former La Crosse State College star will play as an offensive halfback. His previous experience with the Packers was as a defensive halfback. Pulled muscles will keep halfback Gib Dawson and J.R. Boone, and defensive end Bill Georges from playing Saturday. Others not making the Cleveland trip include fullback Bobby Jack Floyd, halfback Jack Barton and center Jim Ringo. Floyd is still sidelines following a leg operation. Barton is out for the season with a broken leg and Ringo is still nursing injuries sustained in the Cardinal exhibition. Coach Gene Ronzani indicated that end Bobby Mann, halfback Val Joe Walker, and fullback Fred Cone would make the trip but would not see too much action.
SEPTEMBER 18 (Cleveland) - Saturday night's exhibition with the Browns at Cleveland is the last chance for nine Green Bay Packers. The Packers still have 42 players intact. Under league rules, coach Gene Ronzani must meet the player limit of 33 before the circuit opener against the Browns at County Stadium September 27. On the current roster are 14 rookies, four players who saw action with other pro clubs and 25 Packer veterans.