DECEMBER 8 (Pasadena) - The new Green Bay Packer regime, under the watchful eyes of Head Coach Liz Blackbourn and General Manager Verne Lewellen, has been
a moneymaker. Going into Sunday's finale against the Los
Angeles Rams, the Packers show a profit of more than $20,000.
It's probably peanuts to the wealthy Rams, but it's an indication
and assurance that Green Bay will stay in major league football.
"Things didn't look too good in Milwaukee against the Rams and
49ers," said Lewellen, "but we were really saved on the road
trips to Chicago and especially Detroit." Lewellen, a careful
budgeter, had pegged the financial success to Blackbourn's
inspirational leadership. When only 43 men reported to summer
camp, it squelched any plans for a desire fight for jobs. And
even today, the Packers have no bench to speak of. At least a
dozen men have played nearly every minutes of the time allotted
their platoons in 18 games this season. It certainly has made
the Packer a tired club, but Blackbourn emphatically points out
that until last Sunday his boys have had a very refreshing
eagerness to play. At their Brookside training site here,
Blackbourn and his Packers are hard at work again hoping to
cap the season with becoming dignity. Al Barry, rookie guard
from Southern Cal, was hospitalized with tonsilitis, but is
expected to be ready Sunday. Barry will undergo surgery after
the season. "You know," coyly observed Blackbourn, "we beat
the Rams for our first league victory of the season. It would be
nice if we could close out the campaign with another win over
the Rams, wouldn't it?" Until the Packers dumped Los Angeles
in whopping fashion, 35-17, at Milwaukee the Rams had beaten
them 11 straight.
DECEMBER 9 (Racine) - Take it from a guy who knows:
Football can bring a lot of things - thrills, fame, money; but don't
forget to save some of the money. The speaker was Don Hutson,
the former Green Bay end, who was one of the greatest pass
catchers in pro football history. Huston glanced about his
expensive office and then out of the window at rows of
automobiles his agency hopes to sell. At 41, he appeared ready
to play 60 minutes of football. "I owe everything I have to sports,"
he said. "My education, my business - everything can be
thanked to sports. But during all the time I was playing, I kept in
the back of my mind I couldn't play forever. I worked outside of
football and put my football money away for future years,"
Huston said. His rapid rise in the business world supports his
belief. After the former Alabama All-American retired from pro
football, he opened a bowling alley in Green Bay. Then he went
into an auto agency and finance company. And finally he moved
to Racine four years ago. His automobile agency here fills a
block-long building. Huston and his staff of 63 operate in an
imposing new brick structure enclosing a sales room, offices
and a service department. "We sell about 850 new cars a
year," Huston said. Recalling his days as an athlete, Hutson
said he considered playing in Alabama's 29-13 Rose Bowl
victory over Stanford in 1935 his greatest thrill. "We were
impressionable college kids then," he explained. "I caught three
touchdown passes." An equally great thrill, he said, came a
short time later in his first pro game with the Packers, the team
he led to glory for 11 years. "I caught only one touchdown pass
that time," he said, "but it gave us a 7-0 victory over the Chicago
Bears and started me off on the right track in pro ball." That
track led to many record performances, many of which will
probably stand for years to come: Most passes caught, 489 in
118 games (NFL record); yards gained, 8,010 (league record);
touchdowns, 105 (league record); most passes caught in game,
14; most passes caught in a season, 74; most touchdown
passes caught in one season, 17 (league record); most yards gained on passes in one game, 237; total punts, 825 (league record); most consecutive games scoring, 41 (league record). And all the while, Hutson was doing what he strongly encourages all professional athletes to do - save some money. Huston's three million dollar a year business keeps him busy but he still manages to see a couple of college and professional games each season. He also likes hunting and golfing. Would he like to be back in the game, possibly as a coach? "Definitely not," Hutson said. "That's the dirtiest job in the world. I see where they fired my old Alabama end coach, Red Drew. That's what I mean. You do a good job year after year. Then a boy makes a mistake here and there, you have a bad season and you're fired. No, sir, I'll stay right where I am."
DECEMBER 9 (Los Angeles) - Three assistant coaches of the Los Angeles Rams indicated Thursday they
(SAN FRANCISCO) - Storm warnings were posted
here Sunday. The rain held off, however, but not a
49er hurricane that humiliated the Green Bay Packers,
35-0, before 33,175 at Kezar Stadium. Coach Liz
Blackbourn's gang was warned about this one. Things
were not going too smoothly in the 49er camp after
being dumped out of the NFL race several Sundays
ago. Coach Buck Shaw was on the hot seat. He was
warned to come up with convincing wins soon or he
wouldn't be around to try again. Well, his 49ers played
for him like they have never played before. So
convincingly did they outplay the Packers that the
resemblance between the two Western Division clubs'
play was shattering.
"This one's for Shaw," was the 49er chant as they
rolled to five touchdowns over a club which was
figured to have one of the better defenses in the
league. San Francisco rolled up 459 yards against that
supposedly solid Packer defense, 330 in the first half
when they romped to an unbelievable 28-0 lead. The
superiority of the 49ers also can be measured in first
downs. San Francisco piled up 25. Green Bay ended
up with 19, but four of those were built up at the very
end when Bobby Garrett engineered a desperation
drive to avert a shutout.
Joe (The Jet) Perry, an old Packer nemesis, was like
a tiger as he broke the 1,000 yard barrier for the
second straight year, romping for 137 yards. The
49ers' sensational halfback needs only 39 yards next
Saturday against Baltimore to break Steve Van
Buren's 1,146 yard total for one season. But it wasn't
only Perry. It was a combination of Y.A. Tittle's
passing, ground work by John Henry Johnson and
Pete Schabarum and a defense which completely
humiliated the Packers. San Francisco struck like
lightning, scoring on the second play of the game
when Bill Jessup snared Tittle's pass on the Packer
25, eluded Clarence Self and ran over unmolested for
a touchdown. Gordon Soltau converted and the 49ers
were ahead, 7-0, with only 59 seconds of the game
The second first quarter touchdown was almost as
easy. It took the 49ers only eight plays to roll 82
yards. Tittle's bootleg run around left end was the
clincher. Soltau added his second of five
conversions and San Francisco was holding a
comfortable 14-0 lead with only half of the period
played. Tobin Rote has a miserable time organizing
a Packer drive and once the 49ers got their hands
on the ball again it was off to the races and a third
touchdown in that fatal 15 minutes of play. Joe
Arenas started things with a 22-yard sprint around
left end to Green Bay's 37. It looked for a minute that the Packers might halt this drive when the 49ers seemed content with a Soltau field goal from the Packer 17. But Green Bay was offside. The penalty was the payoff to another touchdown as it gave the 49ers a first down on the Packer 10. After Perry was stopped on his first goalward run by Dave Hanner, he wasn't to be denied on the second try when he galloped into the end zone for the third San Francisco touchdown as the first quarter ended. Soltau added the PAT for the 21-0 lead.
The Packers held the roaring 49ers in the second half - well almost. Ninety yards in 10 plays! Another example of the 49er superiority. Perry was the big gun in the attack, running for two 19 yarders to set up things for Tittle to uncork his aerial artistry. Soltau was on the receiving end of Tittle's touchdown heave as they rang the bell for the fourth 49er touchdown. He added the conversion and boosted the lead to 28-0. The closest the Packers could get to San Francisco paydirt in the first half was the 39-yard line. Here Fred Cone tried a field goal but it was short. Green Bay honestly held San Francisco from scoring in the third period. And there were a few minutes when it looked like the Packers might score. With Rote and Bill Howton combining with passing success, the Packers were moving into San Francisco territory for the second time in the game. An interference call on the 49ers gave the Packers a break on the San Francisco 14. Two plays later the Packers were on the 49er six.
The payoff TD play was supposed to be a flat pass to Cone - he dropped it and Green Bay was held from cashing in on its only scoring opportunity. This was the ball game as far as the Packers were concerned. But the 49ers weren't content with just four touchdowns. One more to insure Buck's job! And one more they got. This time it took only six plays to go 67 yards. Schabarum was credited with the TD, going five yards off tackle. Soltau added the extra point. It was the worst defeat suffered by the Packers since they were whipped by the Detroit Lions in 1950, 45-7. But this was a shutout - something that wasn't supposed to happen to a Packer team regarded as up and coming.
Kezar fans started "We want Garrett" when Green Bay continued to show no scoring punch. Garrett's afternoon performance netted six completions in 10 attempts for 75 yards. Tittle was the sharpshooter, hitting 15 out of 18 pitches for 243 yards. Rote was good for 19 of 35 attempts for 152 yards. The Packers are now through with the 49ers, thank goodness, until next season. Sunday's defeat marked the seventh straight time that San Francisco whipped Green Bay. And Sunday the Packers weren't in the same league as the 49ers. Next week it's the windup at Los Angeles, meeting a club which Green Bay had an easy time beating in more glorious moments, 25-17, at Milwaukee. Strange things keep happening in pro football. You
never can tell, the Packers might come alive again.
GREEN BAY     -  0  0  0  0 -  0
SAN FRANCISCO - 21  7  0  7 - 35
1st - SF - Bill Jessup, 68-yard pass from Y.A.Tittle (Gordie Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 7-0
1st - SF - Tittle, 8-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 14-0
1st - SF - Joe Perry, 5-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 21-0
2nd - SF - Soltau, 6-yard pass from Tittle (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 28-0
4th - SF - Pete Schabarum, 5-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 35-0
San Francisco 49ers (6-4-1) 35, Green Bay Packers (4-7) 0
Sunday December 5th 1954 (at San Francisco)
DECEMBER 6 (Pasadena) - "I guess we dropped the biggest egg in the league Sunday," was Coach Liz Blackbourn's appraisal Monday of his Packers' 35-0 defeat to the 49ers. And to a coach who was just given the best Packer contract since Curly Lambeau counted his chips in Green Bay, it came at the wrong time. Blackbourn's Packers had been one of the most feared clubs in the Western Division, winning four and losing six by only 27 points. But any resemblance to the kind of football played at Kezar Stadium and for instance against the Champion Lions was bewildering. Blackbourn readily pegged it on the team's emotional condition. "Our guys looked like they were going to an ice cream social before game time," said Liz. "And they didn't snap out of it all afternoon. The 49ers had us on the run from the very start and we couldn't do anything about it," added Blackbourn. "Naw, this wasn't my worst beating. You know I've been given some good ones in the past." There was a gleam in Blackbourn's eyes, promising the Packers would do their bruising best against the Rams in the Coliseum Sunday. Incidentally, Ram fans here were shocked by Baltimore Coach Weeb Ewbank's explanation for the Colts' 22-21 upset over Los Angeles Saturday. The Colts keyed their defense to the fact that the Rams scarcely ever pass to Elroy Hirsch anymore according to Ewbank. Ewbank discovered that Norm Van Brocklin just doesn't care for Hirsch and will not throw to him. To prove the fact, Ewbank let Hirsch go and concentrated his defenses to stop Bob Boyd and Tom Fears. When Van Brocklin insisted on throwing the latter paid anyway, Ewbank and the Colts won. The Packers had an off day Monday, but will start daily drills for the Ram game Tuesday afternoon.
DECEMBER 7 (Milwaukee Journal) - A surprisingly small number of players drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the last five years are still with the club today and it undoubtedly explains, in some extent anyway, why Liz Blackbourn has had such a problem of insufficient depth this year. Of the 150 odd Packers drafted by Green Bay going back and including the 1950 draft which was Curly Lambeau's last, only 19 are with the club in Los Angeles today getting ready for the season's finale against the Rams Sunday. There ought to be 28 or 29 at least even after an occasional trade or two. It is clearly a sad commentary on the drafting Green Bay has done or the trading. Somewhere something has been wrong. The average pro's life is five or six years, and that is a fairly health "life". The player limit is 33 not counting the men on the injured list. It is clear, then, that in a completely health situation there must be a draft turnover of five or six, maybe seven men each year good enough to inject new life into the team. This the Packers in recent years have not had. So much of the new blood has had to come from players picked up on waivers, or as free agents, or through deals, and in football no less than anything else, beware of the pig in the poke. Green Bay's roster at the moment includes three men picked up as free agents, Gene White, Howard Ferguson and Lou Mihajlovich, and that means no other club wanted them. It also includes five picked up on waivers from other clubs. Breezy Reid from the Bears, Buddy Brown from the Redskins, Jim Psaltis and Gary Knafelc from the Cardinals and Dave Stephenson from the Rams, and that means that they had received the ax. It includes one, Clarence Self, called up out of retirement after his release a year ago. And it includes six obtained in trades or deals, Steve Ruzich, Bobby Garrett, and Jerry Helluin from the Browns, John Martinkovic and Len Szafaryn from Washington and Val Joe Walker from the Giants. Of the draftees, only three remain from the original 1950 list. Clayton Tonnemaker, Tobin Rote and Carleton Elliott, and only two from the 1951 list, Fred Cone and Dick Afflis. And these are the draft lists which at the moment should be providing the backbone of the team. Four remain from the 1952 list, Bill Howton, Bobby Dillon, Dave Hanner and Deral Teteak; six from the 1953 list, Al Carmichael, Bill Forester, Roger Zatkoff, Jim Ringo, Joe Johnson and Al Barry; and four again from the 1954 list, Art Hunter, Veryl Switzer, Max McGee and Gene Knutson. Some of the boys on these lists have been traded and some have gone into the service, which means they will be available later. The great number, though, just have not been able to cut it. Actually, Coach Blackbourn did a fine job in his first draft list last January. He had less than a month to get ready for the meeting, having taken over the job shortly after the first of the year and going to the meeting with only a rough idea of what the club needed most or what the player pool had to offer. Of this you may be sure, however. It will be different from here on out. Not a little of his spare time this fall has been centered on what he will be able to get, what he needs, at the next draft meeting in late January.
DECEMBER 7 (Pasadena) - The Green Bay Packers Tuesday saw the movie version of of their 35-0 defeat by the 49ers, worked out for the first time at Brookside Park and spent much of their leisure time catching up on the Los Angeles Rams dissension story. It makes little difference on the West Coast how worthy or gentlemanly the head man is. In his profession, winning isn't the most important thing - it's everything. The Packers found this out in San Francisco. Even though the 49ers played their best game to insure Buck Shaw's position, a vote of confidence from the owner is still lacking. It's rather difficult to visualize the 49ers without Shaw, who has coached the club since its inception - and usually has been in the thick of the race - although never winning a title. But those are the risks of the profession where the fans respect one thing - a winner. The situation in Los Angeles is distinctly different than San Francisco where Shaw was a good egg in the opinion of the players. The Ram house is divided and Coach Hampton Pool is the storm center. Players and assistant coaches are in violent disagreement with the manner in which Pool has directed on the squad on the practice field, during classroom sessions and on the field of battle. It was a stunning climax last Saturday when the lowly Baltimore Colts took care of Hampton's boys. And with the fickle fans in Los Angeles, it added fuel to get rid of Pool. Coach Liz Blackbourn's gang has had the will to win all season. It has been touch and go between winning and losing throughout the season before the last 49er game. It was a shocking surprise at San Francisco. Yet every team in the league has been handed one good pounding this season. In any event, Blackbourn will do his level best to see that it won't be a repeat performance Sunday at the Coliseum. The Packers posed for the Los Angeles press in the afternoon before taking part in drills. Squad meetings at night mapped Ram strategy. Los Angeles Thursday named Norm Van Brocklin, who is gunning for his third straight NFL passing champions, the most valuable player. End Tom Fears was picked the most valuable lineman, Paul (Tank) Younger the outstanding back and Les Richter the rookie of the year.
do not expect to be with the club next season. Ralph (Buck) Weaver, hired away from Redlands, CA High School last spring, said he is looking for another job. End Coach Red Hickey, who has been in the Ram organization as player and coach since 1941, said he doesn't know what team he'll be with in 1955. Line Coach Dick Voris said he expects to be looking for a job after Sunday's final game against the Green Bay Packers. Reports of dissension between Head Coach Hampton Pool and several members of his staff have cropped up frequently since the Rams, one of the favorites to win the Western Division title in the NFL, dropped out of contention. Pool refused to discuss the status of his assistants, saying he was concentrating on the game with Green Bay. Pool's first assistant, Johnny Sauer, is reported to be under consideration as head coach of the Citadel in South Carolina.
DECEMBER 9 (Pasadena) - Tobin Rote, the passingest guy in the NFL, will conclude his greatest season Sunday when the Packers battle the 7-point favored Rams at the Coliseum. Rote surpassed Cecil Isbell last Sunday in total yards passing in one season (2,096 to 2,021) and most completions in one season (164 to 146). If you look at league statistics, you will find that Rote has thrown more passes, 356, and completed more, 164, than any other player in the league. His 12 touchdown passes match those of Norm Van Brocklin of the Rams. He has had 16 intercepted, Van Brocklin 20. The big difference in Van Brocklin's favor is in average yards gained per pass, a league-leading 9.89 to Rote's 5.99. This is the statistical figure that determines the NFL's passing champion. Rote has completed 46.1 percent of his passes this season, Van Brocklin 53.2 percent. The Packer quarterback is a fine runner. Van can't run a lick but the Dutchman averages 42.9 in punting while Rote turns that chore over to Max McGee. Coach Liz Blackbourn this year designed his offense around Rote. He broke Tobin's habit of long-pass conscious and started him tossing the shorter ones, working up to the long heaves. Rote got hot in the 49er game in Milwaukee and reached his peak the following contest with the Rams and has been going strong ever since. Defensive end Gene Knutson, bothered with a twisted knee, was the only handicapped Packer drilling at Brookside Park. Val Joe Walker and Clayton Tonnemaker also have gimpy knees, but all three will play. The Rams seem to be in a bad way for reserve linebackers with Les Richter and Harland Svare sidelined. Don Paul and Bob Griffin will start, but if either is hurt Hampton Pool will have to use Bud McFadin or Paul Miller in that spot.
DECEMBER 11 (Pasadena) - The Packers will do their bruising best Sunday to give the dissension-plagued Los Angeles Rams the works in their NFL finale at the Coliseum. Coach Liz Blackbourn's gang vowed that after concluding a week-long drill in Pasadena. Humiliated by the San Francisco 49ers, 35-0, last Sunday, the Packers are determined to bow out in winning style. More than 35,000 are expected to watch the clash, starting at 4 p.m. Milwaukee time. Judging from the comment of Coach Hampton Pool's assistants, all will be keeping one eye on the Packers and the other on the help wanted column. Every one of them let it be known they would be seeking difference football employment when the gun fires "it's over" Sunday. The Green Bay gang remained one big happy family, concluding one of the best workouts of the season. They met the Rams before and whipped them, 35-17, in Milwaukee. They figure they can do it again. Pool revealed his plans for the Packers including starting quarterback Norm Van Brocklin at quarterback and alternating Bill Wade one quarter at a time. This would bring the Rams bonus choice into action regardless of what the situation may be at the time. Blackbourn said rookie Bobby Garrett would get his biggest test, although Tobin Rote will start at quarterback. The former Stanford All-American will be playing his last game for the Packers, having to go into the military service. Sunday's appearance will make the final appearance of an old Packer nemesis, Elroy (Crazylegs) Hirsch, the former Wisconsin All-American who is completing his ninth year in professional football. Hirsch and linebacker Don Paul will be honored by fans in halftime ceremonies of "40-57" day. Although the Packers have been very fortunate injury-wise this season, they will be without the services of Clayton Tonnemaker and Al Barry. Tonnemaker is hobbled with a knee injury and Barry is in a hospital with infected tonsils. Val Joe Walker, one of the very best defensive halfbacks, will return to the Packer lineup after missing the last two games. Deral Teteak will take over for Tonnemaker and Dick Afflis will fill in for Barry. The Packers will break up on the coast with only a handful going back to Green Bay. Each coach has been assigned a bowl game to look over building material for next season.