(MILWAUKEE) – The New York Giants took command in the second half of the fifth annual Midwest Shrine benefit pro football game Saturday night at Marquette Stadium to upset the Green Bay Packers, 38-27. As the score indicates, it was a customer game, with the emphasis on thrilling offensive maneuvers, much to the joy of 17,000 fans. The Packers, making their first Milwaukee appearance of the season and the first here under their new coach, Lisle Blackboutn, held their own lugging and pitching the ball. Witness their total gains of 361 yards to 345 for the boys from the Big Town.
But they slipped up in executing the punt, the play
which is fundamental in football - not once, but twice.
And thereby hangs the tale of their fourth defeat in
six pre-league exhibitions. The Bays came into the 
first half intermission on the long end of a 20-17 count
after twice tying the score and finally forging ahead. 
Prospects for ultimate victory were bright, for they
seemed to be picking up steam as they went along.
It may have been the fact that this game was
completely devoid of punts up to that time. Whatever
the reason, it happened - a bad pass from center when
Max McGee dropped back to boot No. 1 on fourth
down early in the third quarter. The ball rolled around
crazily until Earl Putnam, 300-pound Giant tackle,
pounced on it on the Packer 16. Three plays later and
the visitors were ahead for keeps. Eddie Price, the
hard running little fullback, crashed over from a yard
out and Ben Agajanian converted, as he did after his
team's other five TDs, to shoot New York into a 24-20
Buford Long's short plunge increases the margin to 31-24 before the end of the third period. The Packers moved back into contention on the first play of the final period when Breezy Reid recovered the ball in the end zone after teammate Howie Ferguson had fumbled at the two. But all hopes of victory went glimmering when punting catastrophe overcame the Bays again. This time it was a clean block of McGee's attempted kick from deep in his own territory, Ray Wietecha doing the honors for the visitors. The ball rolled out of bounds only seven yards from the goal line. The Giants took full advantage of this opportunity to put the game on ice, via a third down pass, Don Heinrich to Jim Monachino, who scooted into the end zone from the six.
That first half was worth the price of admission alone as each team scored the first two times it got its mitts on the ball. The Giants, winning the toss, were first up to bate, so to speak. They kept on batting until they had gone 87 yards in 16 plays. Six of them were passes by the brilliant young quarterback, Bobby Clatterback, who completed five to eat up big yardage. Price's three-yard blast off guard was the climax. The night's No. 1 dazzler, a 75-yard pass play, with Tobin Rote pitching and Al Carmichael catching and running, tied it up immediately. Back came the Giants to go ahead 14-7 on Clatterback's 31-yard pass to rangy Bob Schnelker. Blackbourn's boys were on the enemy two-yard line as the thrilling first period ended and lost no time in drawing up even again on the very first play of the second period. Rote sneaked over to complete the 83-yard march.
Rote put his team ahead with a nifty 38-yard touchdown run which started out as a sneak for a first down. He also accounted for 31 of the 80 yards on that drive with a fine pass to McGee. Agajanian, who had missed a 47-yard field goal shot - the first scrimmage kick of the game - connected from 31 yards only 20 seconds before the halftime gun sounded to reduce his team's deficit to 29-17 and set the stage for the sad (for Green Bay) second half happenings already detailed. Rote completed six out of eight passes in the first half for 152 yards, but the best he could do after intermission was eight out of 31 for a modest 50 yards. Tobin was the chief ground gainer for his side with 97 yards on 10 carries and an excellent average of just short 10.
Fred Cone did the only other running of consequence with 67 yards in 10 tries. The veteran fullback missed a perfect night in the conversion department when his extra point after the Bay's third touchdown was nullified by a holding penalty. He missed on the re-run, as he did on a 47-yard field goal try in the final period. Price did the heavy work for the Giants with a 62-yard total in 10 shots at the Packer line. He got considerable help from Frank Gifford, Bobby Epps and Long. The visitors, in fact, showed a definite preference for running the ball. They tried only three passes in the second half, clicking on all three. Clatterback hit 11 out of 18 for the night and Heinrich made good on his only pitch.
NEW YORK  - 14  3 14  7 - 38
GREEN BAY -  7 13  0  7 - 27
NY – Eddie Price, 3-yard run (Ben Agajanian kick) NEW YORK 7-0
GB – Carmichael, 75-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) TIED 7-7
NY – Bob Schnelker, 31-yard pass from Bobby Clatterback (Agajanian kick) NEW YORK 14-7
GB – Rote, 2-yard run (Cone kick) TIED 14-14
GB – Rote, 38-yard run (Cone kick failed) GREEN BAY 20-14
NY – Agajanian, 31-yard field goal GREEN BAY 20-17
NY – Price, 1-yard run (Agajanian kick) NEW YORK 24-20
NY – Buford Long, 1-yard run (Agajanian kick) NEW YORK 31-20
GB – Reid, fumble recovery in the end zone (Cone kick) NEW YORK 31-27
NY – Jim Monachino, 7-yard pass from Don Heinrich (Agajanian kick) NY 38-27
SEPTEMBER 25 (Green Bay) - The Packers enter their 36th year in the NFL against the Steelers here Sunday with a combination they hope will bring back some of the glory of old. There's a new coach, a new general manager and, for all practical purposes, a new team. Liz Blackbourn, only the third coach in Packers history, and Verne Lewellen, all-time Packer great and the club's first general manager, are in the driver's seat. Only nine of the 33-man Packer squad are rookies, but any resemblance to last year's veterans to the Blackbourn trained players is purely unintentional. Pittsburgh's the first test "for keeps". It's only because Green Bay won a 36-14 decision over the Steelers last August in an exhibition game that they are a touchdown favorite. "The Steelers are going to be an inspired and fired-up club under (Walt) Kiesling," Blackbourn warned. Kiesling was rushed in to avert disaster at Pittsburgh when the club went to pot under Joe Bach. Since the self-styled "old man" of the Steelers took over it's been a complete reversal, according to Blackbourn's judgment. "They're going to be laying for us," said Liz, adding, "Don't you forget three of their best veterans, including halfback Ray Mathews, were on the sidelines when we beat them." Yet Blackbourn wasn't too pessimistic regarding his Packers. Coyly, he calls the game a toss-up with the team getting the breaks winning. "Our organization is strong but we have definite weaknesses in player personnel. We have no stars, we play as a team," explained Liz.
SEPTEMBER 25 (Green Bay) - The Pittsburgh Steelers, down-hearted over a disastrous 1-6 preseason campaign, swing into the thick of the NFL
championship race here tomorrow. A near
sellout crowd of 25,000 wild-eyed Green Bay
partisans will bulge City Stadium to welcome
the highly-pitched, favored Packers and to see
the Steelers for the first time since 1947. The
odds-makers, experts who rarely go wrong
handicapping a football game, have installed
Coach Lisle Blackbourn's green-jerseyed 
Pack as six point favorites in their league
inaugural. The key consideration, no doubt,
was the 36-14 victory scored by the home 
club over the Steelers four weeks ago. The
Steelers, operating at near-peak efficiency for
the first time in seven weeks, flew into Green
Bay today. After a brisk warmup drill at the
stadium, the team returned to the hotel for a
series of last-minute meetings on defensive
strategy. Blackbourn, making his first start in a league game, displayed none of the same optimism that has been generated by his fellow townsmen. He has relegated the Packers to a "spoiler" role while the rest of the populace figures the Packer would be a cinch in the soft Eastern Division. Blackbourn will start almost the lineup that faced the Steelers in their earlier game, holding Veryl Switzer, the spectacular rookie halfback, in reserve. In the fleet Kansan's place will be veteran Al Carmichael. Fred Cone has replaced Breezy Reid in the fullback role. Injuries are still a problem with the Steelers. Linebacker Dick Flanagan injured his knee against the Baltimore Colts and re-injured it in last Sunday's exhibition against the Detroit Lions. Steeler Coach Walt Kiesling was still undecided as to whether he'd use Lynn Chadnois or Johnny Lattner at the right halfback berth.
SEPTEMBER 26 (Green Bay) - Lisle Blackbourn, who is only the third head coach in the Packers' 36 seasons, will attempt to launch his first NFL campaign with a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Sunday. Watching will be both of his predecessors, and when when the kickoff is made at 1:30 p.m, the three will have decidedly different viewpoints on the proceedings. In the stands, just as another of the 24,500 spectators who are expected to cram City Stadium will be Curly Lambeau, the man who organized the Packers in 1919, and led them to many successes before he resigned after the 1949 season. On the Steelers' side, as backfield coach under Walt Kiesling, who once coached Green Bay's line under Lambeau, will be Gene Ronzani, the man Blackbourn succeeded. Lambeau, Ronzani and Blackbourn will certainly be interested, each in his own way, in how Blackbourn's first pro team performs in the the first game that counts. They will, however, be no more interested perhaps than the fans, who have some reason to hope that, under Blackbourn, the Packers at last may be on their way up. The Packers are favored by six points. This may be due more to Pittsburgh's 1-6 record in exhibitions, one of the defeats a 36-14 pasting by the Packers themselves, than how to Green Bay has progressed. The Packers, for all of Blackbourn's good coaching, won two and lost four in preseason play. They did, however, improve from game to game for the most part and, if they can shake a tendency to make little mistakes, something better than a 2-9-1 record of last season may come about. In the exhibitions, mistakes cost the Packers a better record. A first down pass interception late in the game ruined an excellent chance to beat Cleveland and the Browns won, 14-13. A fumble and an interception gave Philadelphia two touchdowns and the Eagles won, 24-13. Last week, at Marquette Stadium, everything went wrong and the Giants won, 38-27. All told the Packers gave away or gave up six touchdowns in these three games. In all three they held their own otherwise. Injuries to Bill Howton and Bob Mann, the ace catchers, have not helped Tobin Rote's passing record to date. Howton will be available and Mann may be available this time. Rote so far has been especially effective with his hard running and his excellent faking. Because of improved blocking, he has had more time to throw and more places to run. The improved blocking, too, has made the Packers more of a threat running than at any time in recent seasons. To go with the blocking they have some boys to exploit the openings - rookies Veryl Switzer and Joe Johnson, and the revitalized veterans Rote, Fred Cone, Breezy Reid, and Al Carmichael. Two key rookies in the offensive line, tackle Art Hunter and guard Al Barry, missed the second half against the Giants and the Packers missed them. Both will play today. With Switzer and Carmichael in double safety, the Packers have an extremely potent kickoff and punt return game.
New York Giants 38, Green Bay Packers (2-4) 27
Saturday September 18th 1954 (at Milwaukee)
SEPTEMBER 20 (Green Bay) - Coach Liz Blackbourn wasted little time trimming the Packer squad to 33 men Monday, the league limit which was to be met Sunday when Green Bay opens its 36th season against Pittsburgh here. Getting the axe were eight backs, two guards, a center and an end. They were: quarterback Elry Falkenstein, halfback Bud Roffler, fullback Clyde Sanders, halfback Evan Slonac, halfback Tom Pagna, linebacker Nick Adduci, linebacker Lou Mihajlovich, linebacker Mike Maccioli, guard Dick Coleman, guard Mike Takacs, center Charles Grant and end Hosea Sims. That left the Packers with quarterbacks Tobin Rote and rookie Bobby Garrett to direct play with two fullbacks, eight halfbacks, three centers, five guards, six tackles and seven ends. The Packers heard the scouting report of the Steeler-Lion game Monday morning. Detroit crushed Pittsburgh, 42-14, Sunday. In the afternoon Blackbourn directed workouts with concentration on protecting the punter. Mistakes in that department ruined a fine Green Bay performance Saturday as the Giants capitalized on the miscues for a 38-27 win. Earlier, Blackbourn announced that tackle Jon Bauer, former Illinois star who was obtained from the Browns in the Parilli-Garrett deal, was traded to the Giants for an undisclosed draft choice.
SEPTEMBER 21 (Milwaukee Sentinel-Lloyd Larson) - It is often said that more game are lost than are won. In other words, the team that makes the least mistakes generally wins and, conversely, the club guilty of the most errors loses. Although the principle involved applies also to individual sports like golf and tennis, and to other forms of team competition like baseball and basketball, it is spotlighted oftener perhaps in football. The Packers certainly emphasized the point in their 1954 Milwaukee debut last Saturday night at Marquette Stadium, where they dropped a 38-27 decision to the much improved New York Giants. Liz Blackbourn's boys could have won that thrilling contest, well played on an overall basis, but for a couple of particularly damaging bloopers - both boomerang deals on attempted punts. Fourth down punts usually are routine and foolproof in pro ball, but routine operations went haywire and so did the Packers as a result. The most damaging came early in the third period after the Bays had zoomed to a 20-17 halftime lead and seemed to be getting the battle under control. Max McGee didn't get a chance to kick, for the pass from center was bad. The Giants gained possession only 16 yards from touchdown territory and, obviously lifted by the break, scored in three plays to take a lead they never relinquished...AND MORE OF THE SAME: Green Bay was still in the ball game, 31-27, when kicking disaster struck again late in the game, this time in the form of a clean block of the ball as it left McGee's foot deep in his own territory. The leather rolled out of bounds on the Packer seven and once again the Giants cashed in. They needed three downs and had to switch from ramming the Bays' line to passing, but they finally cashed in. Which is all that counts. Add the perfect touchdown pass that was dropped in the clear near the Giant goal line, a TD that could very well have iced the game for the home club early in the second half, and the fouled up pass play that lost more than 20 yards in the next series of downs, and the Packers' "mistake" case rests. The game, the last of six exhibitions, naturally doesn't count in the league standings. It's part of the philosophical view, too, to say that if disastrous mistakes are to be made, it's much better to make them before they start playing for keeps. Yet one can't gloss over the fact that victory is a sweet thing at any time - a mighty helpful thing, too, to a team in the rebuilding process like the Packers. They need all the confidence they can muster - confidence born of winning. Well, that's that for the pre-season business. The Packers have come a long way since mid-August. If they keep on improving, they can give the favorites a real run for their money and win their reasonable share, too.
SEPTEMBER 23 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) - They have never done it before and the oddsmakers predict they'll fail again by six points but the Pittsburgh Steelers have hopes of winning for the first time on Sunday in Green Bay's City Stadium, part-time home of the Packers. The local pros open their NFL campaign in the compact little bowl which seats 25,500 and are eager to avenge a 36-14 loss here which didn't count because it was an exhibition. The all-time series stands at 10 to 5 in favor of the Packers but the abroad victories of the Steelers were gained in the State Fairgrounds, Milwaukee, where the Packers played a few "home" games each season. Of course, they have now switched to the new Milwaukee County Stadium. Word from Green Bay yesterday was to the effect that 16,000 tickets had already been sold and at least 20,000 are expected for the debut of Lisle Blackbourn as new head coach. There was one absentee from the Steeler training camp at Ligonier. Guard Rudy Andabaker, former Pitt star who returned from the squad this year after a hitch in the Army, is still uncertain due to a leg injury suffered in an early exhibition game. He will be examined here today by Dr. Phil Faix, team physician, but it seems unlikely he will see any action in the lidlifter. Quarterback Paul Held and defensive end Dewey Brundage, rookies secured from the Detroit Lions, were given special attention yesterday by Coach Walter Kiesling. Of course Jimmy Finks will start at the field general's position but Held is the only reserve available now that Maury Duncan and Bill Mackrides have been released. Brundage takes over the troublesome left win where the departure of giant George Tarasovic via the Army draft has left the Steeler defense extremely vulnerable. Several candidates tried there have failed to fill the bill.
SEPTEMBER 23 (Green Bay) - Bullet Bill Dudley was well remembered by Packers fans as Mr. Pittsburgh Steeler. Dudley has long vanished from the professional ranks, but Steeler coaches are praising a rookie this season as their best prospect since Bullet Bill galloped for Pittsburgh. He's Johnny Lattner, Notre Dame's bread and butter player of the past two season. Lattner, Pittsburgh's first draft choice, has lived up to all expectations and then some. His play in exhibition action has earned him a starting halfback assignment when the Steelers clash with the Packers at City Stadium Sunday. Running opposite Lattner will be Lynn Chadnois, rated as one of the top backs in the NFL. Coach Walt Kiesling, who took over last month for Joe Bach, has juggled personnel since the Packers romped to an easy 36-14 exhibition win and promises his Steelers won't be the "soft touch" they were in August. Paul Cameron, another great rookie, has been shifted from an offensive left halfback to the defensive platoon. This was caused when Art De Carlo was called into service this week. Cameron will become a safety man. Packer coach Liz Blackbourn, knowing Sunday's game is for keeps, has made a few changes himself for Pittsburgh. Blackbourn has decided to use rookie halfback Veryl Switzer on defense. The scat back will also share offensive duties with Al Carmichael at right half. The Packers should be at their best physical condition for Pittsburgh. Guard Al Barry, fullback Fred Cone and tackle Art Hunter, injured in the New York game Sunday, will be ready. For the first time in a long time the Packers will rule favorites over the Steelers, mainly because of the lopsided exhibition victory. However, since 1945, the Packers have been able to beat Pittsburgh only two of seven games. With the weather outlook favorable, a crowd of well over 20,000 is expected. Tickets are still available in three price ranges - $4.75, $3.50 and $2.40.
SEPTEMBER 23 (United Press) - The 12-team NFL begins its 35th season Sunday with five new head coaches and all of them appear to be headed for plenty of loser's weekends. Wilbur (Weeb) Ewbank, Baltimore Colts; Jim Lee Howell, New York Giants; Lisle Blackbourn, Green Bay Packers; Walt Kiesling, Pittsburgh Steelers and Joe Kuharich, Washington Redskins, are the new field leaders. Kiesling recently became the Steeler boss for the third time and Kuharich formerly was head coach of the Chicago Cardinals so they have previous experience in trying to beat the league's talent rich clubs. Of the new coaches, Ewbank posted the best exhibition record. He doesn't have the wealth of talent he handled for the past five years as tackle coach for the Cleveland Browns, but his Colts won four of their five exhibition games. Only the champion Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, and Philadelphia - all of whom have strong squads, established coaching staffs and title hopes - equaled or bettered Baltimore's showing. The Colts made their strong warm-up record against Eastern Division clubs and Baltimore's regular season spot in the Western Division. That means two games apiece against such powerhouses as Detroit, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Howell and Blackbourn each compiled 2-4 exhibition records. Howell, former end coach for the Giants, plans to emphasize offense. The Giants were noted for their strong defensive units in the past under Steve Owen. Howell is the club's first new head coach since Owen took the job in 1931. All the new coaches except Blackbourn have had experience in the NFL as assistants or head coaches. Blackbourn came straight to the Packers from Marquette University, where he had an impressive collegiate record. Like Ewbank, he will be tested in the rugged Western Division. Kiesling replaced Joe Bach as Pittsburgh head coach after the team lost its first three exhibitions. The Steelers wound up with a 1-6 record, handing Baltimore its only pre-season loss. Kuharich replaced Curly Lambeau after the exhibition campaign was underway and the Redskins finished it with an 0-6 mark.
SEPTEMBER 24 (Pittsburgh Press) - Art Rooney, outspoken owner of the Steelers, said today he still thinks his team can win the NFL's Eastern Division championship - if it tries hard enough. The graying Irishman from the North Side, relaxing in a swivel chair and chewing vigorously at the frayed end of an unlit cigar, had just returned from Ligonier, Pa., where he had watched his team preparing for Sunday's game with the Green Bay Packers. "Every time I see those guys practice," he began slowly, half apologetically, "they look like world beaters. But when the gun goes off, something always happens." The "something" he referred to were 36-14, 37-14 and 42-14 defeats administered by the Packers, San Francisco Forty-Niners and Detroit Lions in preseason games. "I've been
in this league a long time," Rooney continued,
"but I've had some good teams and some lousy
teams but this is the first team I can't figure out
at all. We have good personnel. At least when I
look at the payroll I figure these guys must be
good. They can't be bums. Not at the money 
they're getting." Rooney though the biggest
problem is in the team's mental approach to the
game. "What's that remark you wrote about Paul
Brown?" he asked. "That business about football
being a game of heart and emotions? That's the
answer. I think Brown hit the nail right on the 
head. The team that wins in this league is the
team that wants to win. And if this team gets it
in its head that it wants to win, if it tries hard
enough, it can win the division championship."
Rooney, victim of more than his share of
disappointments since bringing pro football to
Pittsburgh 21 years ago, is solidly behind his
coaching staff. "I have no criticism of the 
coaching," he said. "(Walt) Kiesling is working
harder at his job right now than any coach in the
league. In fact, the only complaint I have is that
he's working too hard. The whole staff is putting
in 16 hours a day on football."
SEPTEMBER 24 (Green Bay) - Four rookies have been given starting assignments by coach Liz Blackbourn for the Packers' league opener against the Steelers at City Stadium Sunday. Given the nod were end Max McGee, guard Al Barry, tackle Art Hunter and defensive halfback Don Miller. McGee was nominated for his left end spot in favor of veteran Bobby Mann, whose knee injury is still bothersome. Blackbourn concealed his 33-man squad inside the baseball park here Friday as the squad tapered off drills. Linebacker Deral Teteak, who broke his ankle a month ago at the Stevens Point training site, was the only Packer not taking part in the active drills. Teteak was placed on the inactive list but will be ready for action against the 49ers at Milwaukee October 10. The Steelers are scheduled to arrive here Saturday afternoon from their Ligonier, PA training camp. They will hold a light drill upon arriving. Incidentally, a unique situation has arisen in this pro hotbed. Curly Lambeau, Gene Ronzani and Blackbourn (the only coaches the Packers have ever had) will be present at the game Sunday. Lambeau arrived in town early this week strictly on a pleasure trip, saying he's not interested in any kind of professional head coaching job. Ronzani, who coached the Packers for four seasons before Blackbourn took over, will be with the Steelers as their backfield coach. The advance sale is over 18,000, with good weather the prediction for Sunday. The crowd is expected to go well over 20,000. However, tickets are still available in all price ranges.
SEPTEMBER 24 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) - Two Pittsburgh Steeler coaching will be returning to familiar scenes on Sunday when the Black and Gold starts its NFL campaign in Green Bay against the Packers. Walter Kiesling, head skipper of the Rooneymen, played guard for the Bays when they were Western Division runnersup in 1935 and league champions in 1936. He returned as an assistance coach to Curly Lambeau from 1945 through 1948 so he knows his way around the little Wisconsin football hotbed. Gene Ronzani, backfield mentor for the locals, spent almost four seasons as head tutor in Packertown but was dropped near the end of 1953. The former Chicago Bear star is close-lipped concerning the circumstances of his departure but makes no secret of his desire to help "Kies" plaster the Packers in their own backyard. The Steeler faithful remain hopeful of success despite an underdog role for their team in the pregame odds. They like to recall last season's NFL triumph here by 31-14 when the home team rolled up 282 yards rushing to only 34 for the Packers. Fran Rogel, veteran fullback, ran wild with 169 yards in 19 attempts. But the painful part in the memory course comes from that 36-14 exhibition loss which cost Joe Bach his job last month. Coach Lisle Blackbourn's invaders blocked punts, dropped on fumbles and uncorked enough offense of their own to send most of the customers home in disgust long before the final whistle. Neither club has set the grid world on fire since that eventful Saturday night. The Steelers lost to the Eagles, 49ers and Lions, considered top-notchers, and beat the Colts. The Packers failed against the Eagles and Giants but trimmed the Redskins.