(GREEN BAY) - Lisle Blackbourn's Packers really mean business. They completely smothered the favored Chicago Bears here Sunday, 24-3, for their second straight NFL victory. The decisive score is by no means misleading. The Packers actually did the job more
convincingly on the field than on the scoreboard.
If ever one of George Halas' teams were more
thoroughly licked by the Packers in the long rivalry
which dates back to 1921, hardly any one of the 24,662
spectators who crammed City Stadium for this
eminently successful Bear hunt would believe it. For the
second straight Sunday in the young, turnabout season,
the Packers whipped a team which was figured to beat
them. Unlike their last minute triumph over the Detroit
Lions a week ago, though, this one was accomplished
with almost ridiculous ease. Starting slowly, but still
dominating play almost completely from the opening
kickoff, Green Bay's operatives really played football on
this ideal autumn afternoon.
They rattled the Bears' molars with their tackles. They
not only opened avenues for their ball carriers with their
blocking, they knocked down all the trees and bushes
on the boulevards for good measure. They protected
their own passer, rushed the Bear quarterback
mercifully. Tobin Rote, at quarterback, was Green Bay's
key man on offense. Deliberate and cool behind the
shield which his line threw up for him, Rote passed for
two touchdowns and scored the other himself. Fred
Cone kicked a 32 yard field goal in the second quarter
to commence scoring and added three extra points.
Green Bay's first touchdown accomplished on a 32
yard pass from Rote to Billy Howton with but 10
seconds left in the first half, was the one which really
shattered the Bears. Rote, back to pass, sidestepped
a charging monster. He apparently had room to run and
many in the crowd yelled, "Run, Tobin, run." But the
lean and leathery Texan saw Howton had eluded his
man. Rote wanted a sure 10-0 lead at the half. He rifled
the ball toward the end zone. Howton, lunging and
sinking to the knees, grasped the perfectly thrown
football and tumbled over the end line with his six
points. That was enough, as it turned out, for the Bears
did precious little against the rocking, socking Packer
defense. George Blanda had to put his toe into the
football clear up to his knee early in the third quarter
to get Chicago on the scoreboard at all. His 47 yard
field goal against the win cleared the crossbar with
plenty to spare. Otherwise, the Bears were contained
as they had not been contained in years. They ventured into Green Bay territory only six times all afternoon and half of those feeble thrusts occurred after Rote had completed the scoring with a 23-yard pass to Gary Knafelc. In chalking up their first victory over the Bears since 1952 and their first over the Chicagoans on this field since 1950, the Packers held a clear advantage in almost all statistics. On the ground, Howie Ferguson ripped and snorted 15 times for 153 yards. The non-collegian from Louisiana was sprung twice on wide pitchouts in the third quarter, for 58 and 47 yards, respectively. The Bayou bronco's first gallop set up Rote's one yard sneak which boosted Green Bay's lead to 17-3. Ferguson had help from old Breezy Reid, who barreled for 50 yards, and from Rote himself, who rambled and smashed for 20. Aside from Bobby Watkins, Ohio State rookie, the Bear runners were generally ineffective.
In the air, ote finished way ahead of the trio which participated in the Bear quarterback sweepstakes. Rote completed 14 out of 30 throws for 188 yards and two touchdowns. None of his passes was intercepted. Ed Brown, the most frequent Bear thrower, meanwhile, had four of his tosses stolen - one each by rookies Billy Bookout and Doyle Nix and veterans Bill Forester and Bobby Dillon. All told, the Bears completed only 6 out of 19 for 85 yards. Bookout, a little fellow with a knack for getting in the opposition's way, recovered one Bear fumble and Deral Teteak, the little Wisconsin bull, fell on another. Teteak upended big Bears frequently and brutally, but then so did Borden, Martinkovic, Hanner, Helluin, Zatkoff and all the rest. The Packer defense was something special. Chicago's deepest penetration, to the Packer 22, was accomplished after its lone fumble recovery, on Green Bay's 32 late in the third quarter. Forester's interception halted them there. At no time did a Bear touchdown appear imminent.
This Packers victory, their 25th (against 42 defeats with six ties), in 73 meetings with the Bears was perhaps satisfying as any in the rivalry. It kept them in a three-way tie for the western division lead with Baltimoire and Los Angeles, whom they meet at Milwaukee County Stadium Saturday night and a week from Sunday, respectively. The Bears came here with, by Halas' own admission, "their finest talent since before the war". Toward the end, they were shying away from handling punts and dropping passes rather than get jarred again.
CHICAGO BEARS -  0  0  3  0 -  3
GREEN BAY     -  0 10  7  7 - 24
2nd - GB - Cone, 24-yard field goal GREEN BAY 3-0
2nd - GB - Howton, 32-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 10-0
3rd - CHI - George Blanda, 47-yard field goal GREEN BAY 10-3
3rd - GB - Rote, 1-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 17-3
4th - GB - Knafelc, 23-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 24-3
former boxing referee, who handled more championship fights (14) than any other man in ring history...After viewing movies of the Bear game, Blackbourn said the work of the two defensive secondaries made the difference. "Ours was very alert," he said. "Theirs was sluggish. That was it."...Charlie Brackins, Packers second string quarterback, is now being groomed as substitute offensive end. Perhaps he will become his own batterymate.
OCTOBER 6 (Philadelphia) - Bert Bell, NFL commissioner, said Thursday he didn't know that "Saturday night or any other night or territory was assigned in this country to anybody." Bell's statement was aimed at Con Jennings, Marquette athletic director, who accused the NFL of "invading" Marquette's territory by scheduling the Packer-Colts game in Milwaukee Saturday night, the same night of the Marquette-Kansas State contest. "There was no complaints from anybody when we scheduled the Eagles and Giants on the same night as Villanova and Baylor in Philadelphia. What do they expect us to do, go around asking may we please play today?" Bell added.
OCTOBER 7 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - First place in the Western Conference will be at stake Saturday night at County Stadium when the Packers battle the Colts, kickoff at 7:35. For old Green Bay, that's more like it. It's been a long tough grind back to the role of title contender. The last time the Packers won their first two league games was eight years ago. Three in a row? It happened in 1944, and that the last championship season for the Packers. They did it with nine wins and two defeat. So, it's a pretty inspired pack of Packers preparing for the rookie-led Colts. This is a veteran Green Bay club which has finally caught fire. To the old standbys like Tobin Rote, Breezy Reid, John Martinkovic, Len Szafarn and Fred Cone, being a title contender is quite a morale booster after being easy pickings for so many years. But listen to a fresh rookie like Billy Bookout, the Packers' new "holler" guy signed as a free agent after one year of coaching at Midwestern University. "We'll win the first five games, then win four of the last seven and win the championship," spouted a confident Bookout after the Packers walked off City Stadium turf with a 24-3 victory over the Bears last Sunday. That, of course, remains to be seen. But there is no doubt that the Packers' flying start has injected the winning frame of mind needed. They have won all four meetings in their series with the Colts. Last year at County Stadium fullback Howie Ferguson hit his stride, gaining 112 yards rushing and 44 yards passing as the Packers won, 24-13. That was against one of the finest defensive lines in the game. The Packers will lock horns with that ponderous forward wall again, a line which Colt Coach Weeb Ewbank says has been its old powerful self in Baltimore's surprising upsets of the Bears and Lions. The Packers will be in their best physical condition of the season. Halfback Al Carmichael, sidelined four weeks with a dislocated shoulder, will be raring to go. He will bolster the Packers' aerial game, as he is a favorite Rote target. Incidentally, Rote needs only two more touchdown passes to tie the Packer record of 59, set by Cecil Isbell during 1938-42.
Packer fans enjoying a 2-0 start to the 1955 campaign
Green Bay Packers (2-0) 24, Chicago Bears (0-2) 3
Sunday October 2nd 1955 (at Green Bay)
OCTOBER 3 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers Monday asked waivers on veteran defensive halfback Clarence Self of Wisconsin and rookie end Jim Jennings of Missouri to get within the NFL roster limit of 33 players, as required by league rules, after the second league game. Self was in his seventh season with the Packers.
OCTOBER 3 (Chicago Tribune) - Strong men have grown
silent and the experts have taken to the storm cellars
along the professional football front. National league
activities in the first two weeks of the championship race
have left everyone slightly nonplussed. Everyone, that is,
except the experts. For them, nonplussed is hardly the
word. It was the experts who selected the Chicago 
Bears, Detroit and the San Francisco 49ers to battle it
out for the western division championship and Green 
Bay and Baltimore to bring up the rear. Green Bay and
Baltimore both now have beaten Detroit and the Bears
and meet Saturday night in Milwaukee for undisputed
possession of first place. San Francisco, in the
meantime, is keeping the Bears and Lions company in 
the basement following shocking experiences at the 
hands of the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland. From the
standpoint of Baltimore and Green Bay, there are two
retrospective views. Either the Packers and Colts are
better football team than the experts expected, or the Bears and Lions are far below even the most unenthusiastic predictions. Detroit undoubtedly is beginning to feel the pangs of age. Its key players have been around a long time, perhaps too long. In the case of the bears, regarded as one of the most potent machines in the race after their fast finish last year and the addition of a few fine rookies, the chief problem appears to be a genuine desire to play winning football. Against the Packers and Colts, they appeared to be operating on the basis that tackling and blocking were old fashioned and outmoded. They are, of course, old fashioned, but they also still are fundamental, imperative, and indispensable. Green Bay and Baltimore have come a long way in two weeks, largely on incentive. The Packers and Colts have played with the reckless enthusiasm that in the past has been the hallmark of all great championship aggregations. Against the Bears, neither the Packers not Colts would settle for a year if they could get a yard and 6 inches. They made every tackle and every block as it it were the last tackle or block they ever expected to contribute to the good of the club. The Bears didn't. In two games the Bears have lost the ball 10 times on interceptions and fumbles. Few National league teams in recent seasons have been good enough to surrender the ball from four to six times in a game and win. Some of these faults will be taken up this week as the Bears prepare to open their home season against the 49ers in Wrigley field next Sunday. But undoubtedly the coaches' main chore will be convincing veterans that no one ever stopped a determined ball carrier with a fist full of musty clippings. Philadelphia, the reigning favorite in the eastern division, fell into the same dismal category with the Bears and Lions last Saturday night when it permitted a hard working Washington team to score three times in two and one half minutes. One of the touchdowns resulted from permitting a kickoff to go uncovered in the end zone, an unpardonable sin even in prep circles. The Eagles, however, have a chance to redeem themselves this week, when they meet the Browns in Cleveland. Cleveland, also surprised by Washington, bounced back on the coast Sunday to overwhelm San Francisco, 38 to 3, but the consensus among scouts and rival coaches still favors Philadelphia over the Browns Sunday and over the season's play. Washington, however, remains a distinct threat off its early showing. The Redskins in the last two years have had better material than their record indicated and apparently now, with the return from Canada of little Eddie Le Baron, they have finally jelled into a well knit unit. Chicago's Cardinals helped maintain the confusion Sunday by conquering the New York Giants, another eleven which is not keeping faith with the experts. Rookie Dave Mann has given the Cardinals another dangerous running threat to go with Ollie Matson and Johnny Olszewski and the return of Gern Nagler, an end who can get down the field, has given quarterback Lamar McHan another excellent passing target. The Cardinals go to Washington Sunday, while Detroit plays host to the Los Angeles Rams.
OCTOBER 4 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - What's got into the Packers that they've jumped off to the most successful start in the NFL since 1947? Ask this popular question of bossman Liz Blackbourn and he will tell you: "Well, being here a year has helped us to groom our material and study out opponents. We beat the Lions on a day Layne couldn't hit anything. We gained the needed confidence with this win and the Bear game was the real test. Our boys get the Bears on the run from the start, and our defense took care of the rest." So here are the Packers, undefeated in two league starts against supposedly title contenders. How about Green Bay's chances to go on? "We're not even thinking about the title picture at this stage of the game," said Blackbourn. "We're playing these things one at a time and the one coming up Saturday is a lu-lu." The Packers battle the Baltimore Colts Saturday night at the Stadium. And according to Blackbourn, "we'll see just how good our offense is against those two sensational rookies (quarterck George Shaw and fullback Alan Ameche). This Shaw is a real cool little cucumber," was Liz' appraisal of the surprise rookie quarterback from Oregon. "Certainly, Shaw and Ameche are making the big difference the way the Colts are going. Shaw is a second Eddie LeBaron," added Blackbourn. "His individual effort is tremendous. He can pin-point his passing and can run like the best of 'em, a faster running quarterback than our Tobin Rote. Ameche is Ameche and that speaks for itself. There's no doubt he's going to be one of the very best in the business. His running is simply terrific." Getting back to the Bear game in which the Packer defense did not allow a Bruin touchdown, the first time since 1938, Blackbourn had this to say: "Our defense played alert, determined and felt loose out there. This was against a supposedly good Bear defense, too. But remember, our defense has not been bad throughout the exhibition season. Rookies Doyle Nix and Billy Bookout have really come through and our veterans are all doing a good job. Nate Borden did a swell job against the Bears despite his small stature and John Martinkovic is the old veteran who always comes through." Blackbourn checked his offensive platoon and reported Gary Knafelc could be a little further along at this time than ace rookie Max McGee was last season. "Oh, Knafelc probably isn't as versatile as McGee but he has certainly played some beautiful ball in these two league games." How do old pros like Rote and Breezy Reid, who have been grinding their faces in defeat year after year, feel about such a remarkable start? "A win to a veteran is like a win to a rookie. It's wonderful," said Liz. Blackbourn believed his Packers had the Bears beat when Billy Howton took Rote's 32 yard toss for a touchdown with 20 seconds remaining the half. "If we didn't score then we would have only had a three point lead going into the second half. The Bears got their field goal as the third period started. But our boys played football and were convinced the could beat 'em." Halfback Al Carmichael, who has been out four weeks with a shoulder separation, should be ready against the Colts. No injuries were reported after the Bear tussle but the usual crop of bruises and cuts were plentiful.
OCTOBER 4 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - It's a long road that has no turning. And it has been a long road for the Packers as far as the Milwaukee part of their schedule has been concerned. But the end is more than in sight. It's here, for they have a perfect buildup for the Baltimore game Saturday night at the Stadium. The Bays haven't run into a comparable situation for years - not since the last time they packed the makeshift old State Fair Park Stadium for the big meeting with the then high flying Chicago Cardinals. From then on, everything seemed to go haywire in trying to maintain solid interest in this section of the Green Bay-Milwaukee axis. Too often in the past the Packers would come in here after playing badly elsewhere the preceding week. Or they would come here to battle one of the NFL's lesser drawing cards. It didn't help either that they often had the misfortune to hit lowtide, performance-wise, in Milwaukee. The memory always lingered on. So one way or another, the going has been rough for a long time - much too long. It's different this time - so different as to be almost like a dream. First, Alan Ameche, Wisconsin's great fullback for four years and unanimous All-American choice in 1954. The Horse's first appearance in Milwaukee in itself practically guaranteed success. What's more, it won't be a mere token appearance either, for Al already has established himself as a real pro with a couple of dazzling exhibitions in his first two official starts in the postgraduate circuit. Add Baltimore's great team start in the form of merited victories over the pre-season favorites, Lions and Bears, and the pot really is boiling. Who would have dared guess that the Colts would be undefeated and tied for the lead coming to Milwaukee on October 8? So much for the visiting half of the show. Even more important perhaps is the super happy state of affairs on the Packer side of the fence. Victory in the Shrine game with the Cardinals - the annual exhibition here - was the first shot in the arm. As encouraging as it was, that one can't be compared, for benefits, with the league wins over the Lions and Bears. Coach Liz Blackbourn's operators are doormats no longer. They're serious contenders. Just imagine - Packers undefeated. Baltimore undefeated and both creating excitement galore. All that and Ameche too! Can there be any doubt that the turn in the long road has been reached? Despite the switch from Sunday afternoon, ideal time and traditional with the pros, to Saturday night because of TV commitments in Baltimore, the game could very well hit or approach a sellout. The Stadium is set up for about 40,000. The ticket selling pace, brisk last week after the Packers and Colts came through in thrilling league openers, stepped up noticeably again Monday. The office at the Stadium was busy from early morning on. Ditto the downtown outlets (Sentinel and Journal). By day's end, even a big, strong man like Pat Harder, Milwaukee ticket director for the Packers, was starting to wilt. The front office end of football naturally is new to the former Wisconsin All-American and star pro fullback (Chicago Cards and Detroit). "What a baptism!" Pat commented after working for hours without letup. "Bumping heads with the big guys on the field is a breeze compared with trying to satisfy everybody. I never suspected this part of the business could be so rough." Rough at time, but very pleasant, as Pat admitted on second thought. "Can't beat having something to sell that people want to buy," is the way he put it. You can say that again and again, Pat, because it's the gospel truth.
OCTOBER 4 (Milwaukee Journal) - Cecil Isbell, former Packer star quarterback, was talking about Green Bay's 24-3 smothering of the Chicago Bears at a Packer Alumni club social gathering Sunday night after the game. "What did I think?" Isbell said. "Why, I thought that was the greatest tackling I've seen in pro football - ever." Isbell, who played with the Packers from 1938 through 1942, when he used to throw the touchdowns passes to Don Huston, ought to know. He has kept in touch with the game one way or another since he retired. Only last season he scouted for the Detroit Lions. "The emphasis," Isbell said, "has gone back from offense to defense. The Packers are certainly not behind the times. Such tackling. Whew." So the conversation went, whether one was talking to Andy Uram or George Paskvan or Joe Laws or Red Bultman or Whitey Woodin as they celebrated the "homecoming" victory over the team which every Packer likes most to beat. Mostly the talk was about fundamentals - blocking and tackling - and what a job of preparation the Green Bay coaching staff had done. The Bears looked "awful", it was agreed, perhaps because Green Bay's mastery of the essentials of football made them look that way. Certainly, Lisle Blackbourn, his assistants, Lou Rymkus, Tom Hearden and Scooter McLean and scouts Jack Vainisi and Wally Cruice deserve every plaudit. Here was a Green Bay team which finished fifth out of six teams in the western division last year, which was not supposed to be able to keep up with the Bears, the Detroit Lions, the San Francisco 49ers again this year. The season, of course, is only two games old, but the Bears, the Lions, the 49ers all stand two games behind the Packers. Green Bay shared first place, in the greatest reversal of form since Schmeling knocked out Louis, with Los Angeles and Baltimore, which finished fourth and sixth last season, respectively. The Packers will start trying to shake the two others in successive games here, the first against Baltimore and Alan Ameche at County Stadium Saturday night. But Blackbourn was not ready to talk about the game with the Colts right away. Rather, as was the case after last week's victory over the Lions, he wanted to let the triumph just accomplished sink in. "We found ourselves all the way through today," Blackbourn said, smiling broadly. "Not just here and there, or in this spot or that, but on all levels. That's what I like most - the poise, the confidence, the way the boys went about doing their jobs. They did most things right, or if there were mistakes, they made up for them right away." Blackbourn agreed that Tobin Rote's pass to Billy Howton with only 10 seconds left in the half was probably the turning point. "We don't score there," the coach said, "and they can tie us with their field goal in the third period. Then maybe they start thinking they can win or we get jittery. I don't think the boys would have, but it was nice to have a little breathing room." On Howton's touchdown, Gary Knafelc, left end, went down straight and hooked. The defense was drawn over. Howton meanwhile had gone down a few steps from right end and cut over toward Knafelc. Then he cut for the end zone, leaving his man five yards behind, and took Rote's personal peg. "Knafelc is a different man out there now," Blackbourn said. "That catch against Detroit to win did it. Did you see him grab the ball today and hang on and fight for extra yards? Not only has he got more confidence in himself, but Rote has more confidence in throwing to him. It helps all the way around." Blackbourn said that he was pleased, too, with Knafelc's touchdown in the fourth quarter. "They were playing an eight man line, putting on a big rush, figuring we'd run to eat up time. Howton pulled the defensive backs with him as he cut left and Rote hit Knafelc crossing right and he had it all to himself." And what about Nate Borden, the 25th draft choice from Indiana, who has come from nowhere to plug the hole at defensive right end? "To be truthful," Blackbourn said with a grin, "we coaches didn't think he was that good. He's a good, sound football player, conservative, makes sure he covers his territory rather than crash in and be caught out of position. I wish he weighed a little more - at 210 pounds he is a little light when we shift to a four man line. But in the line both he and Pat O'Donaghue do a good job." The Packer defense, stingiest in the league with only 20 points permitted in two games (the two touchdowns were scored on a fumble into the end zone and a deflected pass), held the Bears without a touchdown in a league game for the first time since December 10, 1950, when Chicago beat Detroit, 6-3, on two field goals by George Blanda. That one and Sunday's are the only two games since 1946 in which the Bears have failed to score at least one touchdown.
OCTOBER 5 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers released one rookie on waivers Tuesday, but picked up another first-year man who had just been placed on waiver by the Chicago Bears. The Packers acquired defensive halfback Alton Romine, a 6 foot 2, 192-pound rookie from Florence Teachers of Alabama. Green Bay dropped fullback Bob Clemens, a product of Georgia, who had been trying out as an understudy to veteran fullbacks Howie Ferguson and Fred Cone.
OCTOBER 5 (Milwaukee Journal) - Howie vs. the Horse? In a natural like the NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the Baltimore Colts at County Stadium Saturday night, this duel of fullbacks stands out above all else. Alan Ameche, the Wisconsin Horse turned Colt, vs. Howie Ferguson, the Bayou bronco, the most surprising of the most surprising Packers. In many way, the careers of these two fine, young fullbacks are in direct contrast; in others, they parallel each other's closely. Each had his detractors as the season began. Despite his record at Wisconsin - 3,345 yards (NCAA record) in 701 carries and 25 touchdowns in four years with the Badgers, Ameche was not for pro ball, many persons said, among them coaches, scouts and some qualified observers. "Not fast enough," they'd say, and Ivy Williamson, his coach at Wisconsin, would laugh, because he knew the Horse could gallop with the thoroughbreds. Or "Won't block" or "Runs too straight up" or "Wait till those big pro tackles get done with him. They'll tear him limb from limb". Williamson laughed, because he knew Ameche was a fullback. The Horse himself said little. He didn't play in the college all-star game. Weeb Ewbank, Baltimore coach, remained unconcerned. Ameche reported to the Colt camp and went to work. In the early exhibitions, he was used mostly as a decoy and a blocker. "Can't block?" Ewbank said, with a laugh. "Why, he really socks 'em. Wait till he knows our system. He'll show 'em." Meanwhile, back at the Packer camp, Lisle Blackbourn was busy preparing his Green Bay lads for the topsy-turvy season. "What the club needs most of all," he said, "is a real fullback, a guy who can go and get those two or three yards, a guy who can tear up that other line." Blackbourn smiled and said, "I've got a fullback." The exhibition season bore him out and two victories so far appear to have clinched the argument. To continue with the parallels, as the Colts and the Packers, both underdogs both times won their first two games, Ameche and Ferguson have fared very well indeed. Right now they rank one-two in ground gaining in the league, with the following records:
Game  Att Yds  Avg
Bears  21 194  9.2
Lions  21 153  7.3
Totals 42 347  8.3
Game  Att Yds  Avg
Lions  18  70  3.9
Bears  15 153 10.2
Totals 33 223  7.1
George Paskvan, former Wisconsin and
Packer fullback, was asked for a fullback's
opinion on the two the other day at the
Packer Alumni club get together in Green
Bay. "They're both great," Paskvan said,
"among the very best in pro football.
Ameche is no surprise, to me at least, but
Ferguson is. I always thought Ameche
would make it. He's much faster than he
looks. I'll tell you something else. He never
gives you much to hit. What I mean is, he keeps moving - arms, legs, knees, shoulders, hips - so the tackler has no target. Another thing. 'Ameech' is an athlete. He talks care of himself, trains, wants to play football." The conversation swung to Ferguson. "Now he really fooled me," Paskvan said. "Off 1953, or even last year when he better as a pass catcher than runner, I was far from sold on him. He is a pleasant surprise and a really good football player. No one fights for yardage harder. Apparently all he needed was experience." Ferguson, at 6 feet 2 1/2 inches, shades Ameche (6-1) in height but the Horse weighs more at 217 (program weight) to 210. Ferguson is 25 years old, Ameche only 21. Off scouting reports and conversation with courts, Ameche's blocking had drawn more raves than Ferguson's. As a pass catcher, however, Ferguson is rated by Blackbourn as "the best fullback receiver in the league." He caught 41 for 398 yards last season. Because of small hands, Ameche never amounted to anything as a pass catcher at Wisconsin and the Colts also use him in pass protection or as a decoy. Not even on little screen passes had The Horse shown any proficiency at grabbing the ball. About Ameche's speed, Jack Vainisi, Packer scout who observed the Colts' upsets of the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, had an interesting comment. "They sprang Ameche through the line against Detroit," Vainisi said. "The secondary took out after him, Jimmy Davis, Bill Stits, Doak Walker - they're among the fastest men in the league. Ameche just pulled away from them and breezed 58 yards to score." Just about every football fan has heard of Ameche, from the time he was a widely sought after high school star at Kenosha, WI, through his career at Wisconsin, where he was perhaps the most publicized football player in the country, college or pro. In contract, hardly anyone outside of New Iberia, LA, had heard of Ferguson until he joined the Packers. He never went to college. When his all-around athletic career at New Iberia High School was over, he joined the Navy. He played four years of service football and it was while he was at San Diego Navy that a bird dog from the Los Angeles Rams spotted him. The Rams gave him a tryout in 1952. He played against the collegians in the All-Star game and did all right, but when the Rams cut their roster as the league season opened. Ferguson was released. The Rams, after all, had two fine fullbacks - Deacon Dan Towler and Tank Younger. Joe Stydahar, then Los Angeles coach, told the Packer coaching staff what a fine prospect the Louisianan was and when training camp opened the next summer, Ferguson was signed on by Green Bay as a free agent after a year away from football, as an oil field worker in the Louisiana bayou country. He hung on as second string fullback in 1953 but gained only 134 yards in 52 carries. He became first string midway in the 1954 campaign. His season total was 276 yards in 83 rushes. This fall he really arrived as a ball carrier. In Green Bay's six exhibition games, he gained 301 yards - almost as many as the rest of the Packer backs put together. When they started playing for keeps, Ferguson showed he wasn't fooling. He got even better. In Saturday night's struggle, Ameche will be wearing No. 35, same as when he plowed for the Badgers. Ferguson wears No. 37. Those will numbers to watch.
OCTOBER 5 (Milwaukee Journal) - Con Jennings, Marquette university athletic director, charged the NFL with an unwarranted "invasion" for permitting the Green Bay Packers to play the Baltimore Colts here Saturday night in direct opposition to Marquette's game with Kansas State. The Packer game in County Stadium will start at 7:30 o'clock, the Marquette game at Marquette's stadium a mile away at 8. "Our game with Kansas State was arranged three years ago," Jennings said. "Our season tickets were sold on the basis of a Saturday night game. Yet when the Colts a couple of months ago sought to have a Saturday night video broadcast back to Baltimore, Bert Bell (commissioner of the National league) approved the switch from the original Sunday date." The game was first scheduled for Sunday afternoon, October 9. "Bell certainly hasn't been fair to Marquette or Kansas State," Jennings said. "We're in a helpless position to do anything, either. Were we to reschedule our game for Saturday afternoon, we would run into the regional telecast of Wisconsin's game with Purdue. Were we to reschedule it Friday night, even if Kansas State's consent could be obtained, we would be doing the same thing to the Milwaukee high schools that the National league has done to us. Why should we be forced to dance the way Ball wants us to anyway? Our complete schedule was set long before the National league even thought of its 1955 games." The Packer game, with Alan Ameche leading the Colt charge, will probably draw about 35,000, the Marquette game about 10,000. Green Bay's game will be broadcast locally by WTMJ, Marquette's game by WEMP. Russ Bogda, president of the Packers, sent an apology to Marquette Wednesday noon.
OCTOBER 6 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Titan of a defense booming in Green Bay these football days isn't the success of a wheel of fortune. A close check at this devastating platoon show most of the same faces which wore the Green and Gold last season. But what a rock-ribbed unit has matured under the Blackbourn system! It held the Lions to 17 points. It held the Bears without a touchdown, something unheard of in Packerland for 17 years. This defensive platoon made monkeys out of two though-of powers. And at the moment these rock 'em, sock 'em boys are the toughest in the league, giving up 20 points in two games. The Packer coaching staff can take a nod for its outstanding job at this stage of the game. Coach Liz Blackbourn is the coordinator, sifting and winnowing talent to the present top-notch state. Assistant Tom Hearden calls defensive plays from the press box after doing a masterful job on scouting reports. Line coach Lou Rymkus, an All-Pro tackle with the invincible Browns for four years, takes it from there. The result has produced nine veterans and three rookies who are doing the best defensive job in the league. Take a look for yourself:
ENDS - John Martinkovic and Nate Borden. The Redskins had given up on John, trading him to the Packers in 1951. And how Martinkovic has found himself with Green Bay. He's now recognized as one of the toughest customers in the business - the Bears and Lions will vouch for that. Borden was a lowly pick in the college draft - 25th. He wasn't considered big enough for a defensive end job, being 6-1, 202 pounds, despite the fact he never missed a game at Indiana. But what a whale of a defensive giant he's mushroomed into.
TACKLES - Jerry Helluin and Dave Hanner. Hanner was the fifth draft choice in 1952, became a natural in the business and emerged as a Pro Bowl choice last year. For a big brute (6-2, 250), Hanner can really maul opponents, being credited with 10 tackles against the Colts last season as the Packers held Baltimore without a touchdown. Helluin was a Cleveland castoff. But what a change becoming a Packer. Jerry's another huge one, 6-2, 265. He's the size Green Bay needs and is one hunk who will never be showed around.
MIDDLE GUARD - Bill Forester. After being tried as a defensive tackle, Forester has found himself as a middle guard. It allows him to employ his jarring tackles and he has been good for timely interceptions at the most opportune moments. Here is a third draft choice who is really panning out.
LINEBACKERS - Deral Teteak and Roger Zatkoff. Despite his small stature, 5-10, the "Little Bull" is a terror on defense. His tackling for keeps speaks his brute strength. Zatkoff is the Packers' flying young tackler. Perhaps the most vicious performer in pro ball Roger loves to lower the boom on a runner. He was named All-Pro last season in recognition for his tremendous ability.
CORNERBACKERS - Doyle Nix and Billy Bookout. Here are two rookies really coming through. Nix was an 18th choice from SMU and Bookout was signed as a free agent from Austin. Both showed their worth against the Lions and Bears, possessing speed and deception, and are demons against passes.
SAFETY - Val Joe Walker and Bobby Dillon. Walker, obtained from the Giants in 1953, and Dillon, the Packers' third choice in 1952, have performed second to none, patrolling the outer spaces. Dillon was All-Pro last season and Walker was given honorable mention.
This is the backbone of a defense which has been instrumental in the Packers' sensational start. Saturday night at the Stadium it will have to be to corral The Horse and maul Shaw. The Baltimore Colts boast quite a defensive unit of their own. The time has come for the showdown.
OCTOBER 8 (Milwaukee Journal) - Youngster will be matched against veteran in a battle of fine quarterbacks when the Baltimore Colts meet the Green Bay Packers at County Stadium tonight. Everything points to a hot contest between George Shaw, young Colt, and Tobin Rote, veteran Packers. It will complement the fullback duel between Alan Ameche, Wisconsin Horse turned Colt, and Howie Ferguson, Green Bay bronco from the bayou. Certainly Rote, in his sixth NFL campaign, and Shaw, in his first, have been instrumental in guiding their teams to two straight upset triumphs apiece. Their records so far, as both passers and runners, are surprisingly similar:
​PASSING Att Comp Yds TDs
ROTE     57   29 351   3
SHAW     31   17 215   3
ROTE     10  50 5.0
SHAW     14  54 3.9
Rote, 6 feet 3 inches tall and 205 pounds, is rated the
stronger runner; Shaw, 6-1 and 180, the faster and
more elusive. Ween Ewbank, Baltimore coach, tells
this one on Shaw: "The Oregon youngster rates as
the third fastest Colt, behind Buddy Young and Royce
Womble. One day Shaw beat everyone in a race after
practice. 'Why, coach,' he said, 'I should win. Those
other guys were tired. They had to work lots harder.
I'm just a quarterback.' " Rote, 27, has thrown more
times and gained more yardage but Shaw, 22, has
averaged 6.9 yards a throw to Rote's 6.3 and has a
completion percentage of 54.8 to Rote's 50.9...Royce
Womble, the only injured Colt, will be dressed for
tonight's game, Coach Weeb Ewbank said, and will
play "if the situation warrants or demands."...'BEST
TEAM': Ewbank said Friday that he thought the Packers should be favored (as they are, by 1 1/2 points) over his Colts. "They've got us in experience," he said. "They're playing in their home territory. Our scouts say that the Packers, in their victories over the Lions and the Bears, were the best team they've seen this fall." Ewbank added that he thought the Colts would get some moral support from a few rooters coming here all the way from Baltimore. "Then, too," he said, "the people from Kenosha and former Wisconsin fans probably will help us by cheering for Ameche...The Packers have beaten the Colts four straight times: 37-14 and 35-24 in 1953, and 7-6 and 23-14 last year...CASTOFFS: A tribute perhaps to the coaching of Lisle Blackbourn and Ewbank is the fact that both the Packers and Colts will have 11 castoffs from other teams in their starting offensive and defensive lineups. That's exactly half the 22 positins. For the Packers they include Billy Bookout (signed as a free agent), Buddy Brown (obtained from Washington), Tom Dahms (Los Angeles), Howie Ferguson (Los Angeles), Jerry Helluin (Cleveland), Gary Knafelc (Cardinals), John Martinkovic (Washington), Breezy Reid (Bears), Joe Skibinski (Cleveland), Len Szafarn (Washington) and Val Joe Walker (New York). For the Colts: Joe Campanella, Art Donovan, Bill Pellington, George Radosevich, Bert Rechichar, Dean Renfro and Don Shula. Carl Taseff (all with Cleveland at one time or another), Doug Eggers (free agent), Tom Finnan (New York) and Don Joyce (Cardinals). All told, the Packers have 15 pickups from other teams on their 33 man roster; the Colts 17.
OCTOBER 6 (Milwaukee Journal) - Buddy Parker, Detroit coach, goes all out when he talks about George Shaw, quarterback, and Alan Ameche, fullback, prize rookies of the Baltimore Colts. The way he talks, Green Bay's chances of beating the Colts at County Stadium Saturday night are by no means good. "Baltimore has the best young team I've seen in five years at Detroit," Parker said after the Colts whipped the Lions last Saturday night at Baltimore, 28-13. "Shaw is the best first year quarterback since Sammy Baugh broke into the league. And I've always thought Ameche could be another Bronko Nagurski." Shaw of Oregon and Ameche, the Wisconsin Horse, tore up Detroit's vaunted defense for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns between them. The Colts, like the Packers, have scored two upset victories (Lions and Bears in each case) in the young NFL season and share first place in the western division with Green Bay and Los Angeles. Their play against Detroit led the Detroit News to observer, "The Colts were active and relentless. By comparison, the Lions looked ponderous." The Lions, who had strong finishes as a trademark the last three seasons, scored only three points all told after the intermission against the Packers and Colts. Possible answers: (1) Old Lions run out of gas (2) Young and improved Packers and Colts get stronger as they go...INSIDE-OUTSIDE: Paddy Driscoll, Chicago Bears assistant coach, after being tormented by both, rates Ameche of the Colts as more effective "inside" and Howie Ferguson, Green Bay fullback, as a "better outside runner". "Every yard (194) Ameche gained against us was between the tackles," Driscoll said. "Ferguson will kill you on the outside if you give him a chance." George Halas, Papa Bear, figures the Packers are vastly improved over last season. Buddy Parker of the Lions is not so sure. "We thought an awful lot of McGee last year, you know," he replied when asked. Max McGee, star rookie end in 1954, is now in the service. McGee's successor, Gary Knafelc, has caught nine passes for 143 and two touchdowns in the first two games. McGee did not catch his ninth pass of 1954 until the fifth game. For five games he had 127 yards gained and two touchdowns...Billy Bookout, able little rookie defensive back, intercepted a pass, fell on a fumble and generally got under the Bears' skin last Sunday, prompting wags in the stands to coin the slogan, "Look out for Bookout."...SWITZER BLOCKS: Lisle Blackbourn, Green Bay coach, rates right halfback Veryl Switzer as perhaps the "best blocker all around" on the Packers...Another Paddy Driscoll quote: "George Shaw of the Colts can throw and he can run as well as Tobin Rote of the Packers, if not better"...Art Donovan, all-pro defensive tackle with the Colts, is the son of Art Donovan,
OCTOBER 8 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The greatest professional football attraction here since the 1939 World Championship game will draw the biggest football crowd in Milwaukee history Saturday night when the Packers battle the Colts, kickoff at 7:35, at the County Stadium. The all-time mark was established in 1948 when the Packers played the Chicago Cardinals before 34,369 at State Fair Park. The largest football crowd at County Stadium was in 1953 when 23,352 saw the Rams game. "With perfect football weather predicted, we should draw 40,000," Packer General Manager Verne Lewellen said Friday. "There are a few thousand tickets still available but they should be gone by game time." This is a perfect match between two undefeated clubs who have beaten two comparable opponents, each having a sure-fire quarterback, a galloping fullback and a whale of a defense. Playing on home territory, the Packers rule a point and a half favorite. The Colts arrived here Friday morning and Coach Weeb Ewbank promptly whisked them off to their Pfister Hotel hideway. "I don't think we'll work out in this chilly weather. I don't want any of our boys catching a cold," said Ewbank. The Baltimore bossman then made a capsule observation of his club's fast start in the Western Division: "Honestly, I can't say how good we are. We seemed to catch the Bears on a day they couldn't do anything right. And Detroit? Well, the Lions probably don't think we were in their class. Our boys got the Lions on the run and wouldn't let up." Ewbank pointed to his stepped-up offense which is clicking with seven rookies playing the key roles. For the record, the Colts were the lowest scoring team in the league last year with the best defense. "We needed help the worst way going into the draft meeting and luckily came up with some good choices who have panned out. You know Al Ameche's worth around here. He's been great. And George Shaw is going to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league." For speed, Ewbank pointed to L.G Dupre, All-Star sensation; Royce Womble, Dean Renfro, obtained from the Browns, and still the fastest of them all, Buddy Young. "But wait a minute," said Ewbank, "how about those Packers? Our scouts had a flowery report on them after that game in Green Bay last Sunday. We remember what Tobin Rote and Howie Ferguson did to us last year (The Packers won both games, 7-6, and 23-14). Rote is a seasoned veteran and now perhaps the best quarterback in the business. Our Shaw bears quite a resemblance to Tobin, He will run with the best of them and is faster than Rote. I don't want to make any comparison between Ferguson and Ameche," added Ewbank. "I'm sure they're two different types of runners, but let the game settle that." Up in Green Bay, Coach Liz Blackbourn expected his Packers to run into the toughest opponent of the season, trying to bottle Shaw, Ameche, Dupre and Womble. "We have yet to face a quarterback who is at his best," said Liz. "Bobby Layne had a bum arm and George Blanda was not the Blanda we've seen before. The Bears secondary wasn't playing as well as we expected either. I'm not taking anything away from the play of the Packers, but I would like to point out some of the circumstances at this time. Our job right now is Baltimore. We expect Shaw to be right Saturday night," Liz said. What about Ameche? "If we plug up the middle to stop Ameche that Depre will run us wide," explained Blackbourn. "If we pull up too close to stop Dupre and Ameche, Shaw will start throwing all over the place. And that Shaw can run, too." Green Bay, at the moment, boasts the league's best defense. Can it corral the kicking Colts? The time has come for the showdown and to the winner goes a front running berth in the Western Division. The Stadium crew reported the field in excellent shape. A tarp has protected it from the recent rains.