E.A. SPACHMANN DIES; EX-PACKER TICKET DIRECTOR
JANUARY 5 (Green Bay) - Emil A. (Spike) Spachmann, 66, director of ticket sales for the Green Bay Packers for over 20 years until he left the post about 1943, died Tuesday night. He had been an invalid since September 1953 as the result of a stroke. He is survived by his widow. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday.
OTHER NFL TEAMS 'APPROVE' STADIUM DRIVE BY PACKERS
JANUARY 6 (Milwaukee) - Another reason why the Green Bay Packers would like a new stadium at Green Bay popped up today. The rest of the NFL, it develops, is not particularly interested in playing the Packers in a stadium where capacity is in the neighborhood of 25,000. And, since professional football is strictly a business proposition, you can't blame them. The report made by the Packer Corporation to the Green Bay City Council last month contains a significant passage. "A capacity of less than 25,000 put the Packers at a considerable handicap in scheduling games in Green Bay," says the report, "especially since the new Milwaukee County Stadium has entered the picture." The Packers have asked the city to erect new steel stands on the present site of City Stadium, increasing the seating capacity to between 30,000 and 32,000. Reasons given included the fact that the old wooden stands are becoming obsolete, are expensive to maintain and are poorly designed. The scheduling difficulty was added after the other three. The Packers now pay the cost of maintenance of the stadium. If the city will erect a new one, the corporation said, it will help pay for the structure on a percentage of gross gate receipts. As a matter of record, of course, Green Bay has outdrawn Milwaukee ever since the Packers started splitting their six home games on a three-three basis. That holds true even for the last two years, when the Milwaukee games was played at the new Stadium. It's also on the record that the Packers' road draw was far better than the home gate - 228,642 to 118,668 last season. The top road games attendance wise were 55,532 at Detroit and 47,038 at Chicago, obviously far above the totals for the two teams' showing at Green Bay. But even the hapless Baltimore Colts drew more for their game with the Packers at Baltimore than at Milwaukee - 28,680 to 19,786 - and both were nationally televised Saturday night tilts. Consideration will be given the new stadium proposal January 17 when the Green Bay Council's finance committee meets to consider methods of obtaining at cost estimates.
PACKERS - AID BY 'ALUMNI'
JANUARY 6 (Green Bay) - A "Help the Pack" program may yield a few returns to the Green Bay Packers. The program, organized by the Packer Alumni Association last fall,was aimed at producing talent for the NFL team. The association sent letters and questionnaires to nearly 150 former Packer players, asking for scouting reports on outstanding collegians they saw in action. According to Bernard Darling, association president, 40 replies were received. "We hope, through the program, to dig out stars from the smaller school and to supply vital information on some of the widely-known stars," explains Darling.
PACKERS LOSE HUNTER
JANUARY 14 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers announced Thursday that right tackle Art Hunter was being inducted into the Army.
FOOTBALL'S NO-CONTEST CLAUSE TESTED BY CURRAN IN GREEN BAY
JANUARY 14 (Green Bay) - A court test of the "no-contest" clause in NFL player contracts were underway today in Circuit Court here. In contention is a claim by Richard (Dick) Curran, former Arizona State halfback, that the clause is contrary to Wisconsin state law. Curran, dropped by the Green Bay Packers before the league season opened last fall, has filed a $26,000 damage suit against the club. The contract clause to which Curran objects says: "All matters in dispute between the matter and the club shall be referred to the commissioner (NFL Commissioner Bert Bell) and his decision shall be accepted as final, complete, conclusive, binding and unappealable." In his complaint, Curran said he was signed by the Packer last June at an agreed minimum salary of $6,500. On August 25 he suffered a knee injury in scrimmage at the Packers' training camp and a cast was placed on the knee. According to Currant, the attending physician ordered the cast left on for from three to five weeks, but one week later it was removed and he was given oral notice of discharge. He contends the action was taken because of the injury and that league rules forbid a member team from releasing a player while injured. In their answer, the Packers deny that Curran was released because of his injury, adding that he had insufficient ability to complete in the NFL. Curran's suit asks that he be paid the $6,000 due to him under the contract and $20,000 on grounds his discharge by the Packers injured his reputation as a professional football player.
ROTE INKS WITH PACK
JANUARY 15 (Houston) - The NFL scored a notable victory in its feud with the Canadian Football League in Houston Friday night when Tobin Rote, the former star Rice quarterback who has been a key figure in the backfield for the Green Bay Packers for five years, signed a two-year contract with the Wisconsin ball club. The tall (6-3) passer had been wooed consistently by Canada to pass up his American contract and move to the far north. Rote said here today that one of the main reasons for his sticking with the Packers was Coach Liz Blackbourn. He was given a definite hike in salary to continue with the American team. He has set six records in passing for the Packers. In five seasons he has completed 523 passes. In 1951 he completed passes for 335 yards against the Rams. He picked up 2,311 yards in one season via the air route. Aside from the coach, there was another good reason given by Rote for sticking with Green Bay. They play but one game a week, while the Canadian teams play both on Saturday and Monday. Rote will celebrate his 27th birthday Tuesday.
PICK GREEN BAY ATTORNEY FOR NEW JUDGESHIP
JANUARY 15 (Baraboo) - Frederick Trowbridge, 54, prominent Green Bay attorney, is the choice of Wisconsin's Republican national committeemen for the new federal judgeship in eastern Wisconsin. Henry Ringling, who as committeeman largely controls GOP patronage on federal posts in the state, wired his recommendation Friday to Attorney General Herbert Brownell. The Attorney General was asked to request President Eisenhower to appoint Trowbridge to the post. Trowbridge is president of the Wisconsin Bar Association and has been a member of the Brown County Republican committee's finance committee for 20 years. He is on the executive board of the Green Bay Packers football team and a member of the board of governors of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Seventh District.
1955 TRAINING CAMP UPDATE
JANUARY 18 (Stevens Point) - No choice has been made by the Green Bay Packers concerning their 1955 training camp but Stevens Point has the inside track toward entertaining the professional football team for the seconds straight summer. The city officially invited the Packers several weeks ago after Central State College, the Board of Education and the Chamber of Commerce expressed a desire to have the state's NFL entry in town for its pre-season practice period. Verne Lewellen, general manager of the club, answered the invitation by saying that the contract offered by Stevens Point was another excellent one but that no decision would come until early this year. At that time the Packers still had a game or two remaining on the schedule and since then have been busy with signing players and preparing for the college player draft coming up later this month. In all probability, Stevens Point will learn about the Packers' 1955 training plans sometime in February. The Bays spent six weeks here in July and August last year and their here featured an intra-squad game as well as a couple of jaunts to Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Green Bay for exhibition games.
BLACKBOURN AFTER VITAL 'DRAFT' HELP
JANUARY 19 (Milwaukee) - Coach Lisle Blackbourn prepared today to go into the NFL draft with a dismal list of holes but a bag full of hope. "We hope we'll be able to fill a few key spots before the draft," Blackbourn said, "and not have to struggle in the draft just to stay alive." Blackbourn said to do this his Green Bay Packers coaching staff was lining up all the talent possible before the draft starts. Players who played for the Packers before and the like. "We feel assured we will get a couple of experienced men," he said, "and we can put more concentration on improving our position in the draft, rather than having to choose to just fill holes." Blackbourn had cause for alarm. Selective Service already had plucked one outstanding second-year man, tackle Art Hunter, and several more were threatened. Quarterback Bobby Garrett, Tobin Rote's only understudy at present, halfback Veryl Switzer and guard Al Barry were expected to follow Hunter before long. End Max McGee, defensive guard Bill Forester and defensive halfback Gene White were in a doubtful category. On top of all that, veterans Clayton Tonnemaker, a mainstay at linebackers, and guard Dave Stephenson have retired. One of Blackbourn's worries was erased recently, however, when Rote signed for the 1955 season, at the highest price paid a Packers player, ending possibilities he might desert to Canada. Four expected service returnees lightened the picture some with Johnny Coatta, former Wisconsin star, heading the list as Rote's possible understudy. Others who get out of the service before the season are tackles Tom Johnson of Michigan and Bill Turnbull of Auburn, and fullback Bill Reichardt of Iowa. Blackbourn often seemed like a coach of destiny last season as he brought the Packers off the mat into fighting contention the first time in several year. The story was not clearly indicated by the 4-8 won-loss record because Green Bay lost only one game by a decisive margin. The Packers coach wasn't telling about his first draft choice, but the name Alan Ameche spells magic in Wisconsin. Too, Blackbourn would have little fear of losing Ameche to Canada, unless the money difference was fabulous because the Wisconsin fullback said he wants to play in the Midwest. Canada seems to be popping up when talking about Blackbourn and the Packers. The man of destiny seems to have an affinity for the north star.
GRID LOOP ASKS SUIT DISMISSAL
JANUARY 25 (Philadelphia) - Attorneys for the NFL and nine NFL clubs sued by the defunct Liberty Broadcasting System for $2,100,000 Monday filed notice that they will ask U.S. District Court to dismiss the suit on February 28. Attorney Cornelius O'Brien Jr., who filed the motion on behalf of the NFL and the other defendants, said that the football clubs were "not engaged in trade or commerce within the meaning of the antitrust laws and that professional football is a sport and not a trade or commerce and broadcasting and telecasting of the football games played by the defendants was merely incidental thereto." The suit alleges the NFL "has illegally adopted, and maintain, throughout the United States of America...a system of authorizing the broadcasting of professional football games in such manner as to restrain trade unlawfully in broadcasting and to maintain a monopoly of the broadcasting" in the home territories of NFL clubs. The Liberty Suit was filed on behalf of William Rochelle Jr., trustee of the bankrupt firm by Earl Harrison, a Philadelphia attorney last September 27. The motion to dismiss in addition to saying the Federal District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania did not have jurisdiction, declared that "broadcasting and telecasting was not done by any of the defendants, but by others who are not parties to or named in the suit." Besides the NFL, the other defendants are the Chicago Bears, Chicago Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins. O'Brien's motion to throw out the suit also states that the suit fails to make clear the allegations relied upon by Liberty as violating the federal anti-trust laws.
PACKERS SIGN THREE AIDES
JANUARY 26 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers announced today that three of the club's assistant coaches have signed new contracts for the 1955 season with salary increases. General Manager Verne Lewellen said line coach Lou Rymkus, backfield coach Ray (Scooter) McLean and defensive coach Tom Hearden had come to terms. Lewellen said the contracts included a raise in pay plus a bonus arrangement which is retroactive to the 1954 season. After announcing the signings, the Packer staff left for New York to attend the annual NFL draft meeting which begins Thursday.
COLTS DRAFT AMECHE AS PACKERS GET BETTIS, TEMP
JANUARY 27 (New York) - Tom Bettis, a 220-pound guard from Purdue, was the Packers' first choice in Thursday's NFL draft after Baltimore plucked two of the prize prospects, Oregon's George Shaw and Wisconsin's Alan (The Horse) Ameche. Jim Temp, Wisconsin's 228-pound, 6-4 end, was the Packers' second choice and Buddy Leake, a halfback from Oklahoma was third. "We were planning on getting Ameche," said coach Liz Blackbourn after the first round of drafting, "and we thought we were going to get him when the Cardinals picked Max Boydston, an Oklahoma end, the Redskins chose Ralph Guglielmi, Notre Dame's quarterback. But when the Colts picked Ameche that was it. We're very happy to get Bettis, though. He's just the kind of guard we've been looking for." Winner of the bonus pick, the Colts selected Shaw, a good passing quarterback, and excellent defensive player, who piled up a total of 1,536 yards through the air and on the ground. Later, Shaw said, "I will be very happy in Baltimore if I decide to play pro football" and added he would not sign while the baseball season is still before him. Shaw is a highly regarded outfielder. As third in line in the regular draw, Baltimore next put its finger on Ameche, the 210-pound Wisconsin All-American who rolled up a record 3,212 yards for his college career in rushing. The Colts beat the Packers, Cardinals and Steelers in a preliminary draw for the right to get the bonus choice which led off the meeting. Ron Drzewiecki, hard running Marquette fullback and good open field runner, was the first selection of the Chicago Bears. Paul Reynolds, Notre Dame fullback, was the Packers' fourth choice, but was traded immediately to the Browns for tackle Jerry Helluin obtained last summer. Henry Bullough, Michigan State guard, was Green Bay's fifth pick and Norm Amundsen, Wisconsin guard, was the sixth. Frank Scaffidi, the Marquette tackle with the talented kicking toe, was the Cardinals' 10th round choice while Clary Bratt, impressive Wisconsin fullback, was plucked by the Bears the 12th time around. Charles Cianciola, Lawrence College end from Milwaukee, was Baltimore's 20th pick. Temp, the big La Crosse senior, was a regular with the Badgers four years but didn't come into his own until last fall. Wisconsin's Amundsen is one collegian who not only like to play football, but who, on his record is capable of holding his own with the best. Cleveland Coach Paul Browns used Amundsen all the way on defense for his North team in the Senior Bowl game and sent him in on every other offensive play, relaying signals. Amundsen is five feet, 11 inches tall. Before the draw Commissioner Bert Bell notified directors if they pick a player already signed by a Canadian team that player must be allowed to go to Canada if an agreement with the over-the-border league is reached. "If no peace is made," the commissioner added, "then it's up to you fellows. You can fight the Canadians for the players."
FIRST ROUND STATUS THRILL - BETTIS
JANUARY 27 (Milwaukee) - Tom Bettis, the Packers' No. 1 choice in Thursday's pro football draft, was almost flabbergasted being picked first by the Green Bay club. In a telephone interview from Lafayette, IN Thursday night, Bettis said "I can hardly believe being picked so high in the draft. It's hard to say the right words to explain my feeling - I guess being picked as the Packers' top choice speaks for itself." Bettis, who co-captained Purdue for the past two season, said Coach Liz Blackbourn of the Packers contacted him two days ago, asking if he would be interested playing in Green Bay. "I would be happy to," Bettis told Blackbourn at that time. "I have always been interested in pro football and have followed the Packers." Bettis admitted that he had been approached by Canadian clubs, but nothing definite has developed. "I would much rather play in the States," was Bettis' reasoning. The husky, 220 pound, 6 foot guard used up his college eligibility when he played in the Senior Bowl with Wisconsin's Norm Amundsen, the Packers' sixth choice. It was in this game that Bettis and Amundsen were alternated as guards, relaying Coach Paul Browns' offensive plays to the North squad. Blackbourn's plucking into Big 10 material, specifically Wisconsin's Jim Temp and Amundsen and Michigan State's Henry Bullough impressed Bettis. "I played against these boys and they're good." Bettis looked forward to talking over terms with Blackbourn in Green Bay. "I feel honored being drafted by the Packers and hope to be playing with them next season." Bettis, one of the most sought after guards in the draft, was a roommate of Wisconsin's Alan (The Horse) Ameche on the recent Look Football Writer's All-American tour. He was also an All-Midwest Associated Press choice. Known as the "iron man" on the Boilermaker squad. Bettis averaged slightly better than 51 minutes per games. He was Purdue's most valuable in '53.
BETTIS TOP LINEBACKER - LIZ; PLEASED WITH OTHER DRAFT PICKS
JANUARY 31 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The tedious, 16 hour job of selecting 30 college players in the annual NFL draft was well worth the time as far as Coach Liz Blackbourn is concerned. Although the Packers missed the bonus pick and, consequently, lost all hopes of landing Wisconsin's All-American fullback, Alan (The Horse) Ameche, Blackbourn seemed quite satisfied with his draft choices. "We did as well as we could have," Blackbourn said Sunday, "and I'm sure strengthened our club." Blackbourn drafted 10 backs, eight tackles, six ends, four guards, one center and a quarterback. "There's no question Baltimore cleaned up," added Liz. "They were in position to get two good ones and they did." Blackbourn seemed very pleased acquiring linebacker Tom Bettis, the Packers' No. 1 choice. "Bettis was our original first round choice going into the draft," admitted Liz who hinted Ameche could well have been the bonus pick, if Green Bay were that lucky. "Actually, there were three good linebackers up for grabs - Bettis, Larry Morris from Georgia Tech and Kurt Burris from Oklahoma," disclosed Liz. "I'm sure we got the best one in Bettis. And to show you how much in demand the others were, the Rams grabbed Morris with their first pick and Cleveland put its finger on Burris in the first round." Blackbourn personally kept his eye on Bettis in the East-West Shrine game. "I think a lot of him," was Blackbourn's appraisal. "He was the best all-around player in the Shrine game. He also played a bang-up job in the Senior Bowl; I saw the pictures of that game. He's a well-liked player and I'm sure he'll do the job expected of him." The Packers' second choice was Jim Temp, rugged, 230 pounder from Wisconsin. "He was the biggest college end in the nation," said Blackbourn. "Temp is a good blocker who has been well drilled. He should help our defensive problems very much. I expect him to weigh 240 in the pro ranks." Blackbourn's first backfield pick was halfback Buddy Leake, grabbed in the third round. "We figured Leake was the best all around back available in this round," was Blackbourn's figuring. "He's going to be a good one and should fill the gap left by Veryl Switzer who is going into service. Leake is a defensive ace, too, and that meant a lot to us." Liz admitted that losing his fourth choice to Cleveland hurt. But at the same time he believed tackle Jerry Helluin, acquired from the Browns last summer, was well worth the choice. "We got out money's worth out of Helluin," Blackbourn added. Guard Henry Bullough from Michigan State and guard Norm Amundsen of Wisconsin were the succeeding picks. "I've had my eye on both these boys," said Liz. "They're not the biggest guards in the business, but I believe, pound for pound, they come no better." And that goes for Michigan tackle Art Walker, too." Walker was the Packers' 12th choice. Asked why he didn't go after a top-notch quarterback to help spell veteran Tobin Rote, Blackbourn revealed that Johnny Coatta, drafted in 1952, will be ready to rejoin the club when summer camp opens in July. An ex-Badger, Coatta, has been in the Army the last two years. "Coatta had told me he will be ready," said Liz. "Then too, we'll try out Ed Beightol, Maryland quarterback. Charles Brackins, Prairie View A&M back, and Leake can also be tried at quarterback." Blackbourn wasn't surprised at Baltimore picking Oregon's George Shaw as its bonus choice. "He was the best passer of this year's crop, but Notre Dame's Ralph Guglielmi is probably the stronger of the two. The Bears taking Ron Drzewiecki first also didn't surprise me. He was a good one if you didn't have to worry about his defensive ability." Blackbourn hopes to open summer camp one week earlier - for the rookies' sake.
PACKERS SIGN BETTIS, NO. 1 DRAFT PICK; FIRST ROOKIE UNDER CONTRACT
FEBRUARY 4 (Green Bay) - The Packers signed their No. 1 draft choice Thursday and consequently beat Canadian clubs to the draw, landing one of the best linebacker prospects to come out of the college ranks. Tom Bettis, 220-pound, 6-0 Purdue linebacker came to terms with Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn at Lafayette, IN. Bettis is the leading candidate to fill the vacancy left by retiring Clayton Tonnemaker. The rugged Boilermaker, who earlier admitted being sought by two Canadian clubs, was the first Packer draftee to come to terms. He was the first rookie contact by Blackbourn, who is out to sign his Midwest choices. An All-American (INS and Look), Bettis is just what Blackbourn was looking for. The Packers beat both the Rams and the Browns to the punch as all three were after a top notch linebacker. The Rams picked Georgia Tech's Larry Morris and Kurt Burris of Oklahoma was the Browns' choice. Bettis was a three-year veteran at Purdue and the squad's most valuable the last two seasons. The "iron man" of the Boilermakers, Bettis averaged 52 minutes of play in 1953 and 46 last season. He finished by playing 60 minutes against Indiana. Purdue Coach Stu Holcomb called Bettis "one of the deadliest tackles we've ever had. He's an exceptionally sharp blocker and was an excellent pass protector on offense." Bettis called defensive signals at Purdue and Blackbourn is planning a similar assignment for the All-American at Green Bay. Although his military status is questionable at this time, Blackbourn expects Bettis to play at least one season for the Packers. Bettis will be 22 next month. The Packers' second draft choice, Wisconsin's rugged end, Jim Temp, and their third, Oklahoma halfback Buddy Leake, cannot be signed until June. Both are college baseball standouts. Leake, incidentally, was in Green Bay "just for talks".
LEWELLEN HERE TO DISCUSS DETAILS OF PROSPECTIVE RETURN OF PACKER TEAM
FEBRUARY 5 (Stevens Point) - It's still unofficial but Stevens Point likely will be the training home of the Green Bay Packers again this summer. Verne Lewellen, general manager of the NFL team, met with members of the Packers Committee of the chamber of commerce on Friday afternoon at Hotel Whiting. Details of the prospective return of the Packers were discussed. The final decision will come from the professional football organization after its board of directors acts upon a contract from the local committee which is being drawn up now. If the Packers decide to come back to Point, they will in all likelihood begin their training at about the same time - shortly after the middle of July. They remained here until September 3 last year and that would be about the termination of their training session this summer. Endorsing the return of the Packers to Stevens Point were Central State College and the board of education in addition to the chamber. The Packers lived at Delzell Hall and practiced at Bukolt Park, Goerke Park and on Schmeeckle Field last summer. Coach Liz Blackbourn and his staff as well as the Packer organization were highly pleased with the various aspects of their stay here last year. Prior to coming to Stevens Point, the team had worked out at Grand Rapids, MN for several years. Point became the new training home of the club only after several other cities, such as Ripon, Two Rivers and Eagle River, had put in offers. Official announcement of the decision of the Packers concerning their training site this summer is expected within a couple of weeks.
BAYS' HOWTON SHUNS RICH CANADA OFFER
FEBRUARY 8 (Houston) - Canadian professional football teams apparently have lost in their efforts to sign Bill Howton, veteran Packer end, and Dicky Moegle, All-American halfback from Rice. Howton, who has played three years at Green Bay, said Tuesday he had decided not to accept an attractive Canadian offer. "I was tempted but I have another year on my Green Bay contract and I don't want to jump a contract," Howton said. "I'll keep those offers in mind, however." Moegle said he probably will sign with the 49ers in about a month. "I'd probably make more in Canada," Moegle said, "but I think it will be to my advantage to play in the United States." Moegle, San Francisco's first draft choice, has received offers from three Canadian team, including Montreal and Vancouver. Moegle made his announcement after receiving a call from Peahead Walker, Montreal coach.
AMUNDSEN IN PACKERS' FOLD
FEBRUARY 8 (Green Bay) - Norm Amundsen, 220-pound guard from Wisconsin, has signed with the Packers, Coach Liz Blackbourn reported Tuesday. Blackbourn expects to use Amundsen as an offensive guard. The No. 6 Packer draft choice played in both the North-South and Senior Bowl games and was honorable mention on the All-Big Ten and All-Western elevens.
PACKERS RECEIVE KNUTSON'S CONTRACT
FEBRUARY 11 (Green Bay) - Defensive end Gene Knutson has returned his signed contract for the 1955 season. Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn of the Green Bay Packers announced Thursday. Knutson, whose home is in Beloit, is a former Michigan star and played for the NFL team last year.
COATTA SIGNS WITH PACKERS
FEBRUARY 14 (Milwaukee) - The Green Bay Packers have signed John Coatta, quarterback of the Wisconsin "Hardrocks" football team of 1951, Coach Lisle Blackbourn announced. Coatta, the best Big 10 passer in 1951 with 76 completions in 146 attempts, expects to be released from the Army April 30. he has been stationed at Fort Eustis, VA where he has quarterbacked and helped coach the camp team. His .642 completions record of 1950 still stands as a Big 10 record. Coatta was picked by the Packers in the 16th round of the 1952 NFL draft, but he returned to college that fall and graduated in 1953 before entering the service. He stands nearly six-feet , and eights over 185, a 15-pound gain over his college weight.
PRAIRIE VIEW BACK SIGNED BY PACKERS
FEBRUARY 15 (Green Bay) - Charlie Brackins, quarterback from Prairie View A&M, is the fourth draft choice to sign with the Green Bay Packers for 1955, Coach Lisle Blackbourn reported Monday. Prairie View lost only four of 37 games in the four years Brackins was quarterback.
PACKERS GET ANTKOWIAK TO SIGN '55 CONTRACT
FEBRUARY 18 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers today signed Bob Antkowiak, 250-pound, 6 foot 6 tackle from Bucknell University. He was a New York Giants' draft choice but the Packers obtained rights to him as payment for a trade last fall involving tackle John Bauer.
IT'S OFFICIAL - JOE (JET) PERRY IS NFL GROUND GAINING CHAMP
FEBRUARY 20 (Philadelphia) - Joe Perry, the big blast of the San Francisco 49ers, became the 1954 ground gaining champion of the NFL officially Saturday with the posting of his 1,049 yards as the top mark in the league last season. Joe the Jet nailed down the title for the second year running and became the first man in the league history to gain more than 1,000 yards in successive seasons. It put his five-year total at 4,116 yards to take over third place in the all-time ratings behind Steve Van Buren of the Philadelphia Eagles and Tony Canadeo of the Green Bay Packers. He and Van Buren are the only players to gain more than 1,000 yards in two different seasons. Perry's running mate, John Henry Johnson, finished second with 681 yards in 129 carries and Dan Towler of the Los Angeles Rams, who was second to Perry in 1953, finished fourth with 599 yards. Maurice Bassett of the Cleveland Browns was fifth with 588 yards. The top 10 was rounded out by Eddie Price of New York (555), Billy Wells of Washington (536), Hugh McElhenny of the 49ers (515), Floyd Reid of Green Bay (507) and Ollie Matson of the Cardinals (506). San Francisco, powered by Perry, Johnson and McElhenny before "Hurricane Hugh" was injured at the halfway points, won the team ground gaining honors with 2,498 yards. Los Angeles was second with 2,410 and league champion Cleveland was third with 1,793.
FREE AGENT SIGNS
FEBRUARY 22 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers today signed James Oliver, 6 foot 1, 207 pound fullback from Louisiana Tech. He came to the Packers as a free agent and with the recommendation of Ab Wimberly, former Packer.
PACKERS RANK 10TH IN INTERCEPTIONS
FEBRUARY 22 (Philadelphia) - NFL statistics released for pass interceptions in 1954 show the Green Bay Packers 10th in team standings. The Packers had 99 interceptions for a total of 285 yards, an average of 15 yards. Bobby Dillon was the only Packers among the top 10 in individual standings. He had seven interceptions and turned them into 111 yards gained, or an average of 15.9 yards.
PACKERS SIGN BAER
FEBRUARY 24 (Green Bay) - Fred Baer, fullback who was voted most valuable player of the 1954 University of Michigan squad, was signed today by the Green Bay Packers. Coach Lisle Blackbourn said he believes Baer will fit in best as a defensive halfback with the packers. Baer, 5 feet 11 and 190 pounds, was Green Bay's 14th draft choice.
IT'S OFFICIAL - THE PACKERS WILL TRAIN IN STEVENS POINT AGAIN!
FEBRUARY 24 (Stevens Point) - It was made official today that the Green Bay Packers again will train in Stevens Point this summer. The announcement came from the Board of Directors of the NFL member following a meeting earlier this week. The stay of the Packers here will be approximately seven weeks as compared to six last summer. Reason for the additional week is the earlier arrival of the rookies. Newcomers to the squad will get their training underway on July 16 while the 1954 personnel are scheduled to arrive on July 23. The Packers will break camp permanently on September 2 although they will be out of town for several occasions on weekends prior to that date to play exhibition games. Details of the Packers' training camp stay in Stevens Point are similar to the 1954 plans. The team will live in Delzell Hall and eat at Nelson Hall. both on the campus of Central State College, and practices will be conducted on the college practice field, Bukolt Park and Goerke Park. The itinerary of the training period calls for two-a-day practice sessions on most days. A highlight of the seven weeks will be an intrasquad game early in August. The Packers will also stage scrimmages from time to time which, like all workouts, are open to the public. Coach Liz Blackbourn, his staff and his players proved a welcome addition to the Stevens point sports scene last summer. Verne Lewellen, general manager of the organization, along with the officials were pleased with all aspects of the training site here and it had been hinted many times that Stevens point would be again be selected as the summer home. "The facilities at Stevens Point proved very satisfactory," Lewellen said on making the announcement. "We were invited back by several different organizations in Stevens Point and are happy to work with the people of that city. The facilities are such that we believe we can get the most out of the players during their pre-season training." Blackbourn was equally happy about the return to Stevens Point. "The arrangements are conducive to the development of our team.
EAGLES SIGN THREE
FEBRUARY 24 (Philadelphia) - The Philadelphia Eagles Wednesday announced the signing of three more players, including their fifth round draft choice, West Virginia guard Gene Lamone. Also signed are William Buford, former Morgan State tackle and Don Green, a Miami (FL) tackle. Buford was waived by the Green Bay Packers last season before the season opened.
REICHARDT, IN SERVICE, SIGNS WITH PACKERS
FEBRUARY 25 (Green Bay) - The gradual growth of the 1955 Green Bay Packers continued today with the signing of Bill Reichardt, former University of Iowa fullback who played with Green Bay in 1952 and then went to the Air Force for two years. Reichardt, a lieutenant serving at Bolling Air Force base in Washington, will be discharged in April.
PACKERS SIGN CARTER
MARCH 1 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers' 19th choice in the 1955 college draft now is a member of the team. Robert Carter, 253-pound tackle from Grambling College in Louisiana returned his signed contract today. Carter stands 6 feet 3 but is reported exceptionally fast for his bulk.
PACKER BACK LEADS IN PUNT RETURNS
MARCH 2 (Philadelphia) - Veryl Switzer, rookie halfback of the Green Bay Packers, returned 24 punts for 306 yards, an average of 12.8 yards per try, to win the 1954 NFL punt return championship. Official league statistics today disclosed that Switzer, formerly of Kansas State, ran one punt 93 yards for a touchdown. Herb Johnson, of the New York Giants, another first year man, finished second with a 10.3 average. Johnson returned 16 punts for 164 yards. Detroit's Jack Christiansen wound up third with a 9.8 average on 23 returns for 225 yards. Green Bay topped the teams in punt returns with a 9.9 average. Detroit was second and New York third.
PACKERS SLATE SIX HOME TILTS
MARCH 2 (Green Bay) - The 1955 home schedule of the Green Bay Packers will begin with a game here against the Detroit Lions, champions of the Western Conference of the NFL. Packers General Manager Verne Lewellen said Tuesday night the Lions would meet the Packers September 25 at Green Bay. The home schedule includes three games each in Green Bay and Milwaukee. The first Milwaukee game will be against the Baltimore Colts October 9. The schedule: at Green Bay - September 25 (Detroit), October 2 (Chicago Bears), November 13 (Chicago Cardinals), at Milwaukee - October 9 (Baltimore), October 16 (Los Angeles) and November 20 (San Francisco).
SANDERS GETS SECOND CHANCE WITH PACKERS
MARCH 3 (Green Bay) - Fullback Clyde Sanders will get another chance with the Green Bay Packers. Sanders, who played at Bethune-Cookman College, was signed again this year as a free agent. He was the last offensive back to be cut from the team last year just prior to the first league game.
BAYS ADD DEFENSIVE HB, COZZA OF MIAMI
MARCH 4 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers added another defensive halfback to their 1955 squad today with the signing of Carmen Cozza, a free agent from Miami (OH) University. Cozza last played for Miami in 1951 and since then has been in organized baseball.
PACKERS' PROFIT FOR '54: $69,594
MARCH 7 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers reported a net profit of $69,594.60 for the 1954 season, it was revealed at the club's annual meeting at the Brown County Courthouse Monday night. The previous profit was $29,267 during the 1953 campaign. General Manager Verne Lewellen, who took over the front office last winter, was optimistic about the Packers' progress. "When I took over as general manager, a two-fold program was planned. We wanted to get the corporation financially sound and we wanted to develop a championship team," Lewellen said. "I think we've made progress financially, and I'm sure we're in the right direction building our our club. We had a 4-8 record last year, but the way we played, it could have been 9-3," added Lewellen. Coach Liz Blackbourn added encouraging viewpoints, saying, "I feel we should be a little better next season. We have more solid boys. If we can get three or four rookies to come through for us like last season, we'll be going in the right direction." Meanwhile, Albert Puelicher, president of Marshall-Isley Bank in Milwaukee was elected to replace the late Fred Miller as director. Bernard Darling, Green Bay, will fill the unexpired term of W.J. Servotte, Green bay, who resigned. The corporation also decided to elect three new directors every three years. Tony Canadeo, former Packer great, Hugh Strange, Neenah, and Richard Bourguignon, Green Bay, were named Monday. There are now 39 directors. Lewellen was likewise optimistic about Milwaukee's attendance. "We started to catch hold at County Stadium last season and I'm sure we're going to get real support in Milwaukee." There was nothing said regarding City Stadium which badly needs repairs. The Packers have gone on record favoring replacing the wooden stands with steel, section by second. Others have sought a completely new stadium on the west side of town. Five or six exhibition games are being planned with one in Green Bay and one in Milwaukee. No date have been set.
CURRAN GETS SETTLEMENT
MARCH 8 (Phoenix) - Halfback Dick Curran Monday said a favorable out-of-court settlement has been reached in his $26,000 breach-of-contract suit against the Green Bay Packers. "I didn't get the full $26,000," Curran said, "but I'm perfectly satisfied with the adjustment the Packers made." Curran, one of the nation's leading collegiate ground gainers with Arizona State College at Tempe in 1952, was released by the Packers last fall following a training camp injury. He sued on the grounds that a NFL team cannot release a player who is on the injury list.
SIGNS WITH BAYS
MARCH 9 (Green Bay) - James Jennings, 6 foot 3 and from the University of Missouri, has signed with the Green Bay Packers, coach Lisle Blackbourn reported today. Jennings was the Packers' 26th draft choice.
GUARD AND END ARE SIGNED BY PACKERS
MARCH 10 (Green Bay) - Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn of the Green Bay Packers has announced the signing of Sisto Averno and James Jennings to 1955 contracts with the NFL club. Averno, who played offensive guard for the Baltimore Colts, stands 5-feet 11-inches at 238 pounds. A five-year veteran of professional football, the 1954 season was his third at Baltimore. Averno, a native of Patterson, NJ, is a Navy veteran.
CULPEPPER IS ADDED TO PACKERS' SQUAD
MARCH 14 (Green Bay) - Ed Culpepper, a 260-pound defensive tackle from the University of Alabama, has signed a 1955 contract with the Green Bay Packers, their ninth draft choice. Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn announced Sunday he and Culpepper came to an agreement. Culpepper has played in three bowl games, including the 1954 post-season North-South classic.
MARCH 15 (Green Bay) - Center Chuck Stamschror, 210 pounder from the University of Minnesota, has signed with the Green Bay Packers. Stamschror, a free agent, won three letters at Minnesota and was named to the second All-Big Ten team last fall.
PATRICK JOSEPH RYAN SIGNS WITH PACKERS
MARCH 17 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers celebrated St. Patrick's Day by signing to a 1955 contract, Patrick Joseph Ryan, former Holy Cross college quarterback. Ryan, who is currently a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, expects to be released from service in time to be "a wearin of the Packer green" at Stevens Point when the rookies report on July 16. He is 24 years old and weighs 185 pounds and stands 5-11.
PACKERS SIGN SPARTAN GUARD HANK BULLOUGH
MARCH 18 (Green Bay) - Hank Bullough, Michigan State guard, has returned his signed contract for the 1955 season, the Green Bay Packers said today. Bullough was the Packers' fifth draft choice.
PACKERS SIGN TETEAK
MARCH 20 (Green Bay) - Deral Teteak, former Wisconsin star, signed a contract Saturday for his fourth season with the Green Bay Packers. Teteak, a linebacker, who broke an ankle bone last fall during pre-season practices and missed the first six games. He recovered and played out the season.
ILLINOIS' SMID SIGNS WITH GREEN BAY
MARCH 24 (Green Bay) - Jan Smid, University of Illinois football captain last season, signed today with the Green Bay Packers. He will be used as a linebackers at Green Bay, Coach Lisle Blackbourn said.
GREEN BAY PACKERS SIGN FULLBACK JOHNNY SPINKS
MARCH 25 (Green Bay) - Johnny Spinks, 240 pound fullback who has seen service with Pittsburgh and the Chicago Cardinals, was signed today by the Green Bay Packers. Spinks was drafted by Pittsburgh in 1952 after playing college football at Alcorn A&M and was traded the following year to Chicago where a foot injury limited his action. He was released by the Cardinals last fall.
MARCH 27 (Green Bay) - Green Bay Packers Coach Lisle Blackbourn said Saturday veteran halfback Al Carmichael had signed his 1955 contract.
PACKER SIGN FORMER CARD
MARCH 30 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers announced today they have signed back Ernie Wickstrom, a former Chicago Cardinal, to a 1955 contract. Wickstrom played at Illinois State Teachers and averaged 7.1 yards per running attempt in his last season of 1950. He was discharged from the Army in 1954 and had a trial with the Cardinals last fall but was released before the season started.
PACKERS SIGN CENTER
MARCH 30 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers said today they had received the signed contract of George Machoukas, University of Toledo center. Machoukas, the Packers' 15th draft pick, weighs 235.
PACKERS ACQUIRE HUGE LINEMAN
MARCH 31 (Green Bay) - The Detroit Lions' fourth choice in the 1954 draft, giant defensive tackle Howard McCants, was signed today by the Green Bay Packers. McCants, who is one of the tallest men in pro football at 6 feet 8 1/2, was a three sport star at Washington State College. After being drafted by Detroit last year he went to Canada to play with the Toronto Argonauts. He was released by Toronto last September and then also released by Detroit on waivers.
EAGLES SIGN TWO
APRIL 3 (Philadelphia) - The Philadelphia Eagles today announced signing of two halfbacks, Bill Roffler, a 1954 rookie from Washington State, and George Hudak, Minnesota runner who had a brief tryout with the Green Bay Packers.
EX-BADGER FELKER INKS PACKER PACT
APRIL 4 (Green Bay) - Gene Felker, former University of Wisconsin end, will get back into football with the Green Bay Packers this fall after a two-year Army hitch. Packer Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn said Saturday that Felker, who played the 1952 season with what was then the Dallas entry of the NFL, has signed a contract. On the Bay squad, he'll rejoin two former teammates on the 1951 Badger team that led the nation in defense. They're linebacker Deral Teteak and quarterback John Coatta.
GREEN BAY SIGNS FORMER DRAFT PICK
APRIL 5 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers today announced the signing of Floyd Harrawood, former Tulsa star who has been playing with the Calgary Stampeders of Canada. Harrawood played offensive and defensive lineman with Tulsa and was drafted by the Packers in the ninth round in 1953. Just before the season, however, he was released and went to Canada. Harrawood weighs 245 and stands six-three.
BROWN SIGNS WITH PACK
APRIL 6 (Green Bay) - William "Buddy" Brown, co-captain of the Green Bay Packers last year, today signed for his second season with the NFL club. Brown, 29, offensive right guard, played four years of football at the University of Arkansas.
PACKERS EXPECT BETTER MANPOWER
APRIL 7 (Stevens Point) - The Green Bay Packers expect the manpower situation in their Stevens Point training camp to be considerably better this summer than last. Football fans recall that when the Bays came to town in July 1954 only a few more than 40 candidates were ready to begin drills. Although the number increased steadily thereafter, it never did come close to the anticipated figure. Coach Liz Blackbourn is now in his second year at the helm of the Packers. And when his charges invade the Point a little more than three months from now, the total number in the party will be crowding the maximum of 60, according to expectations. Based on announced signings of contracts, a dozen or more of the 30 college players drafted by the Packers are already in the fold. These include Tom Bettis, Norm Amundsen, Henry Bullough, Bob Clemens and Ed Culpepper, all of whom were in the first 10 selections. Also signed are at least four players who weren't with the Pack last year but have had pro experience. Included here are Bill Reichardt, a Green Bay back of two years ago who is just out of the service; Gene Felker, former Wisconsin and Dallas Texan end; Johnny Spinks, one-time Chicago Cardinal back, and Sisto Averno, ex-Baltimore guard. Going still further, the Packers have signed about a dozen free agents, a number which included Clyde Sanders, the big fullback who didn't quite make it last year; Jan Smid, Illinois guard, and Chuck Stamschror, Minnesota center. And last but not least, several veterans have signed contracts and others have one or more years to go on present pacts. Recent signees included Gene Knutson, Fred Cone, Deral Teteak, Al Carmichael and Buddy Brown. The Packers expect to lose a few players via the service but definite announcement on players like Art Hunter, Al Barry, Veryl Switzer, Max McGee and Bobby Garrett has not yet been given. Also one or two retirements can be expected, in fact, Trapper Stephenson has already announced he will not be back. Blackbourn, who spoke via telephone with Carl Wallace, Stevens Point Chamber of Commerce manager, this week appeared optimistic concerning the coming campaign. His many friends hope his team will play again the type of football they did last season when, despite a 4-8 record, the Packers were one of the toughest teams in the league. Blackbourn, incidentally, may make an appearance at the Athletic banquet of the Bleacher Coaches on Tuesday night at the American Legion Hall. He has been contacted, and he promised to make every effort to attend, tying in his visit with some official Packer business here.
PACKERS SIGN COUGARS' END
APRIL 8 (Green Bay) - Green Bay Packers Coach Lisle Blackbourn said today Robert Peringer, Washington State end, has signed with the Packers. Perringer, 27, was the Packers' 27th draft choice. Blackbourn said the six-foot-three-inch, 195 pound end might be a real "sleeper". After two Army hitches, Perringer returned to Washington State and was a leading pass receiver last season until a broken finger benched him. He also averaged 43 yards punting.
PACKERS SIGN QB
APRIL 12 (Green Bay) - John Bordogna, former Nebraska quarterback, signed a contract Monday with the Green Bay Packers who said he would be used a defensive halfback.
PACKERS SIGN NIX
APRIL 13 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers Tuesday announced the signing of Doyle Nix, SMU end. Nix was the Packers' 18th draft choice as a defensive halfback.
FERGUSON SIGNS THIRD CONTRACT WITH PACKERS
APRIL 15 (Green Bay) - Howie Ferguson, the Packer fullback who has never played college football, has signed his third contract with the Green Bay Packers. Packer head coach Lisle Blackbourn announced Thursday that Ferguson had signed his 1955 contract. Ferguson took over as regular fullback last season and wound up third in Packer rushing with 276 yards on 83 carries for a 3.3 average.
PACKERS SIGN SELF, CAPUZZI
APRIL 18 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers have signed halfback Clarence Self, former Wisconsin star, to his seventh pro season and have back Camilio Capuzzi, who never played varsity ball, under contract as a free agent. Capuzzi, who attended Cincinnati and Marquette, left the Ohio school after playing freshman ball to enter the Marines, where he quarterbacked service teams. He was at Marquette briefly last fall. He was signed with Packers before the NFL draft meeting in January where Pittsburgh took him as their last choice. "Capuzzi is under contract to Green Bay," Coach Liz Blackbourn said Saturday. "It has been approved by Commissioner Bert Bell."
GREEN BAY SIGNS TCU GRID STAR
APRIL 19 (Green Bay) - Green Bay Packers coach Lisle Blackbourn said today he had signed John Crouch in his search defensive halfbacks. Crouch was a standout end with Texas Christian last season. He was the Packers' seventh round draft choice. Blackbourn said Crouch was a great competitor and a rugged lineman, particularly on defense. He was captain and most valuable player at TCU.
HANNER SIGNS, BUT MOST LOSE WEIGHT
APRIL 21 (Green Bay) - Dave Hanner, defensive tackle, signed his 1955 contract with the Green Bay Packers today but has some weight to lose if he wants his full salary. Coach Lisle Blackbourn reported that Hanner has soared to 280 pounds and a clause in his contract specifies he must be down to 250 when he reports to the Packer training camp at Stevens Point July 23. The clause calls for forfeiture of part of his salary if he failed to trim down by the deadline. Another salary penalty will be imposed if Hanner is not down to 245 pounds by the first league game September 25 and maintains that weight for the remainder of the season. Hanner, former University of Arkansas player, has been a Green Bay regular since he was drafted in 1952.
EX-COLGATE GUARD SIGNED BY PACKERS
APRIL 26 (Green Bay) - The head coach of the Green Bay Packers, Lisle Blackbourn, announced today that he has signed Don Tomanek, 235-pound guard, to a 1955 Packer contract. Tomanek, who played football in the Colgate University line for four years, was rated as one of the better guards in the east last season.
APRIL 28 (Green Bay) - Linebacker Roger Zatkoff signed today for his third season with the Green Bay Packers.
RON CLARK SIGNS WITH GREEN BAY
APRIL 28 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers today announced the signing of Ron Clark, University of Nebraska halfback for three seasons. Clark, the Packers' 11th draft choice, will be installed as a top safety candidate when the rookies report at the club's Stevens Point training camp July 16.
LEGAL ACTION FOR LAMBEAU
APRIL 28 (Santa Monica, CA) - Earl "Curly" Lambeau, one-time coach of the Green Bay Packers, Wednesday was in the center of a triple-threat legal action in Superior Court. His wife, Grace, 54, filed suit for divorce, asking for half of Lambeau's ranch in the Santa Monica mountains which she valued at $150,000. Lambeau, 57, also filed for divorce and sought to have the court declare the 650-acre cattle and poultry ranch is not community property. Lambeau charged his wife owes him $4,616 which he said he lent her from 1946 through 1953. After a conference with the principals and their attorneys, Judge Orlando Rhodes continued the case to June 6. After leaving the Packers, Lambeau later coached the Chicago Cardinals and Washington Redskins and this year will tutor the College All-Stars in their annual classic in Chicago against the Cleveland Browns, champions of the NFL.
PACKERS SCHEDULE EXHIBITION GAME
MAY 2 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers will meet the NFL champion Cleveland Browns in an exhibition game at Akron, OH August 20. The game is the third pre-season exhibition announced by the Packers. They will meet New York in Spokane, WA August 13 and Washington at Winston-Salem, NC September 10.
PACKERS SIGN FLEET HALF
MAY 4 (Green Bay) - A lightning-fast former University of Georgia fullback signed a contract today to play with the