(MILWAUKEE) - The up-and-coming Green Bay Packers gave up 21 points in the first quarter against the rookie-romping Colts, then found it too much of an obstacle as they huffed and puffed within 16 yards of a victory before succumbing 24-20. But this just
wasn't going to be one of those spectacular
wins. Yet it was probably the greatest pro football
spectator game Milwaukee has ever witnessed.
Tobin Rote, who can be as inconsistent as he can
be hot, could not find Billy Howton as a target in
the end zone as the last chance ticked to death
and the Colts walked off the field with their third
straight win to pace the Western Division.
However, it was all the battle that was promised
and the largest crowd (40,119) ever to see a
football game in Milwaukee, was thrilled by this
down to the wire finish by the Packers.
The heralded Howie Ferguson-Al (The Horse)
Ameche bout was decided pretty much by two
great defensive lines. Yet Fergy got the decision,
a 71 to 57 advantage. Rote outpassed his rookie
rival, George Shaw, in total passing yardage but
not before the rambling Oregon sensation had
drilled a 82-yard touchdown toss to Buddy Young
and a 40-yard scoring punch to Jim Mutscheller.
Those blasts had the Packers on the ropes in the
first quarter. Despite a furious rally to the finish,
they just couldn't connect with the knockout
punch. The loss was the first for Green Bay, but
the game certainly convinced friends this is a real
good Packer team. The Packers had the edge in
just about every statistic, rolling up a 17-8
advantage in first downs, 136-90 margin in rushing
and a 191-162 edge in passing. But statistics
don't count on the scoreboard. It was tough
sledding against Baltimore's rugged defense with
a touchdown was needed. That 21-point Colt spree in the first 15 minutes sort of kicked the Packers' chances dizzy. This was a battle between two Western Division leaders and the rock, sock affair sent two Baltimore players to the hospital. Defensive end Gino Marchetti was taken out on a stretcher with a possible broken arm and guard Joe Campanella was hauled out with a leg injury.
Fireworks started early and 41 seconds after the kickoff the Packers had a 7-0 lead. Wisconsin's favorite son, Ameche, was racked by Val Joe Walker on the opening play, the ball bouncing out of Al's hands. An alert Roger Zatkoff fell on it and the Packers were in business on Baltimore's 38 yard line. Rote drifted to his left on a keeper and then uncorked a 38-yard bullseye to Billy Howton, who sprinted away from three Colts. Fred Cone's boot was perfect and Green Bay led, 7-0. Ameche was eager to make up for his bobble
minutes later after the Colts capitalized on a Packer fumble. Don Joyce fell on Rote's loose ball on the Packer 12 and it was a Baltimore equalizer with Ameche doing the honors from the five.
But what an aerial storm was brewing. Shaw, a daring quarterback who will go back and dance while waiting to spot a receiver, came up with two momentous ones - a pair of two touchdown heaves which spelled doom for the Packers. His first was right on the button to Buddy Young, who had zoomed past Bobby Dillon. The play covered 82 yards. Then just before that fatal quarter ended, Shaw hit Jim Mutscheller for a 40-yard scoring punch. Rechichar came through as expected with the conversions and the hoof eats grew louder, 21-7, over the Packers as the quarter ended. Dillon then came through with a timely interception, the play keying the Packers for their second touchdown in the second quarter. It took the Rote-triggered Packers eight plays to score from the Colt 26. Ferguson took a pitchout around left end from the one and Green Bay fans breathed a little easier as Cone's conversion cut the deficit to 21-14 as the half
ended. The Packers bounced back with three points for the only score of the third quarter. After the Bays took over on their own 38, a mixture of Ferguson, Breezy Reid and Veryl Switzer penetrated the tough Colt defense.
After three straight Rote passes went sour from the 41, Cone tried a mighty 47-yard field goal. It just cleared the bars and became the longest goal ever booted by the veteran Packer. The score stood 21-17, but Baltimore was on the move near the end of the quarter. Another crucial Rote fumble, this one recovered by Carl Taseff, gave the Colts the advantage on the Packer 21. But what a whale of a defensive show the Packers staged. The Colts shot the works - Ameche, Shaw and Ameche again. The Packers wouldn't budge and Baltimore appeared more than satisfied to settle for Rechichar's easy 10-yard field goal. It increased the Colts' lead to 24-17, with 39 seconds gone in the final period.
From there on it was all Green Bay. But all the Packers could show for their efforts was a field goal. After Doyle Nix intercepted Shaw's pass, grabbing the ball away from Mutscheller, the Packers were on the move. Rote shook his inconsistency and started hitting Gary Knafelc and Howton. The drive reached Baltimore's 18 yard line only to be foiled by an offside penalty on fourth down. Cone was called in and kicked a 28 yard field goal to cut Baltimore's margin to 24-20. There was still four and a half minutes to play.
The Colts got nowhere after the kickoff and had to give up the ball with a punt with two minutes of game time remaining. The Packers took over on their own 40. Rote passed to Ferguson for 11 yards, a second sailed over Knafelc's head but his third hit Switzer for another first down on the Baltimore 35. Rote again completed to Switzer, this one for eight yards to the Baltimore 27 with 39 seconds left. Knafelc grabbed the next one on the 16 for a first down. Ten, nine, eight seconds to go...Rote fired to Howton in the end zone, but it sailed out reach. The Colts kicked up their heels with their third straight victory, explanation enough they're a touch bunch to corral. And the Packers gave indication that they will still have a lot to say on how Western Division play goes. It was a good football game, a worthy tribute to Milwaukee's largest grid crowd in history.
BALTIMORE - 21  0  0  3 - 24
GREEN BAY -  7  7  3  3 - 20
1st - GB - Howton, 38-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
1st - BALT - Alan Ameche, 5-yard run (Bert Rechichar kick) TIED 7-7
1st - BALT - Buddy Young, 82-yd pass fr George Shaw (Rechichar kick) BALTIMORE 14-7
1st - BALT - Jim Mutscheller, 40-yard pass from Shaw (Rechichar kick) BALTIMORE 21-7
2nd - GB - Ferguson, 1-yard run (Cone kick) BALTIMORE 21-14 
3rd - GB - Cone, 47-yard field goal BALTIMORE 21-17
4th - BALT - Rechichar, 10-yard field goal BALTIMORE 24-17
4th - GB - Cone, 28-yard field goal BALTIMORE 24-20
OCTOBER 14 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Los Angeles Rams are favored by three points to beat Green Bay in their NFL game at County Stadium Sunday afternoon and, in a way, that's good news for the Packers. In 18 league games thus far, the underdogs have won 13. The Packers won both games (Detroit and Chicago Bears) that they were picked to lose and lost the one game (Baltimore here last Saturday) that they were favored to win. The Rams, unbeaten in three games, overcame the jinx once. They beat Pittsburgh, 27-26, but required Les Richter's 33 yard field goal as the gun sounded to make it. A somewhat questionable ruling on a complete pass and a penalty for roughing gave them position. Against San Francisco in the opener and Detroit last week, the Rams overcame the odds and won handily. Sid Gillman, rookie coach with the Rams, took the news that his boys were favored Sunday with apparent concern. "Three points," he said, "that's the first I've heard. Well, I'd say we've got a
good chance to win any game we play." Gillman's talent
laden Rams, playing with new gusto and a defense the
likes of which Los Angeles has never known in pro
football, have won three games despite injuries which
might well have ruined any other team. The Rams
currently are without four regulars, middle guard Don 
Paul (an all-pro linebacker in other years), halfback 
Volney (Skeets) Quinlan, fullback Paul (Tank) Younger
and offensive tackle Charlie Toogood. Rookies in the
depleted backfield and defense have carried the Rams.
Elroy Hirsch, the old Wisconsin halfback, came out of
retirement to help out. He is the flanker back, sort of a
third end for Norm Van Brocklin to throw at. Bob
(Seabiscuit) Boyd and Tom Fears line up as 
conventional ends. Glen Holtzman, rookie from North
Texas State, has filled in capably for Toogood. Dan
Towler, who has taken it easy this week because of an
ankle injury suffered at Detroit, gives the Rams veteran
punch at fullback. He will be ready Sunday, Gillman
said. Ron Waller of Maryland and Corky Taylor of
Kansas State share left halfback. Both are rookies and
good ones. The depth in the backfield is such that Larry
Morris, rookie linebacker from Georgia Tech, has been
practicing at fullback. Tom McCormick, 185 pound
halfback from College of the Pacific, is Towler's
understudy, but as Gillman says, "He's just a little
fellow." The defense has been very good, Gillman said,
and he was rather proud when he told of 11
interceptions by his secondary. "Our line has been fine,"
Gillman said. Across the front on defense, the Rams
line up Andy Robustelli and Paul Miller at end, Art
Hauser (of Rubicon, Wis.) and Bud McFadin at tackle
and Jack Ellena, rookie from UCLA, at middle guard.
"Hauser has been real good," Gillman said. "McFadin
is having his best season. Robustelli is the best
defensive end in the league." Richter, former California
all-Americans who is rated among the finest in the 
league, backs the line with either Bob Griffin or Morris.
In the backfield are rookie Don Burroughs, Bill Sherman,
Ed Hughes and Hall Haynes. The Packers hold the
edge in most offensive statistics, although there is no
great difference any place among the line. Gillman said
that he was "concerned" about Green Bay's attack. 
"Rote at quarterback is great," he said, "and backs like
Ferguson, Reid, Switzer and Carmichael and ends to
throw to like Howton and Knafelc will be plenty to
handle." Green Bay's study defense also was praised 
by Gillman as "one of the soundest in the league." The
Packers have permitted three opponents to complete
only 20 passes (36.4% low percentage in the league)
and have intercepted eight. In all of the talk about "dirty" football these days, the Packers received an unusual complement this week. The Baltimore Sun said: "The Colts have always said that the Packers give them a worse beating than any other team. It isn't that the Packers play dirty. It's just that they play rough and tough football."
have the last word, right or wrong, in judgment matters. It must be so. Otherwise there would be something akin to sports chaos. Booting a specific rule, with no accompanying judgment angle, is something else again. Then and then only are there grounds for logical protest. Saying yes or now on a field goal try is the same as ruling fair or foul on a ball hit over the fence in baseball, or a runner staying in bounds or stepping out in football. Movies and still pictures might prove conclusively the official was wrong. But his decision stands. There have been some outstanding examples of not reversing decision after the fact, regardless of convincing evidence. Remember the famous pickoff play in the first game of the 1948 World Series between the Braves and Indians? Pictures bore out what everybody at Braves Field believed - Phil Masi of the Braves was out at second on a throw from Bob Feller to Lou Boudreau. But Umpire Bill Stewart motioned safe. So Masi was safe. A moment later he scored the only run on Tommy Holmes' safe blow to left. Only one man's opinion prevailed - Stewart's. A rhubarb that was given nationwide publicity developed over a Notre Dame-Carnegie Tech football game of some 20 yards ago because of the officials' failure to keep accurate track of the downs. Carnegie Tech, having informed it was the third down coming up, tried a line plunge that failed to gain enough for a first down near midfield. When the easterners were lining up to punt, they were told, correctly, the previous play was fourth down. The referee was sorry, but that's the way it had to be. So the ball went over to Notre Dame, which went on from there to chalk up the game's only touchdown. Obviously, there could be no replay and no post-game adjustments of any kind. What if Jackie Robinson's steal of home during the recent World Series had given the Dodgers the winning run in that game and turned out to be the clincher? Yankees (players and fans) could yell their heads off, even if the weight of pictorial evidence was on their side. Robinson would be safe forever more because umpire Bill Summers called him safe. It was Summers' job to call the play without help from cameras and volunteers in possibly better position to see it. That's the way it is and must be in sports.
Baltimore Colts (3-0) 24, Green Bay Packers (2-1) 20
Saturday October 8th 1955 (at Milwaukee)
OCTOBER 10 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - This cockeyed pro football season is made to order for those thousands who plunk down a small fortune and want to get their money's worth. Any team is liable to defeat any opponent on any day. It amounts to a super-duper spectator sport and a down to the wire battle for league honors. Take Saturday night's Colt-Packer game at County Stadium., for example. The Packers roared back from a 21-7 first quarter deficit and were 16 yards from victory as 40,119 went wild in the stands. Green Bay had marched from its own 40 to the Colt 16 with eight seconds left in the game, a heart thumping situation which kept the record crowd on its feet to the very end. When Tobin Rote's last ditch pass to Billy Howton was incomplete, the Colts jumped up and down like delirious high school players, relieved that their shaky session with the Packers was at last over and a 24-20 victory could be taken back to Baltimore. "It was very disappointing for us," said Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn from Green Bay Sunday. "We didn't get started right away and it was those offsides penalties and fumbles which hurt." Blackbourn praised the Colts as a "real explosive club" with a line which "really gouges you." "But, oh, how we wanted this one," added Liz. "That was a great turnout in Milwaukee, did they like it?" The Colts got off to a fast start when George Shaw hit Buddy Young for an 82 yard touchdown play and Jim Mutscheller for a 40 yard scoring scamper. it happened withing three and half minutes in the first quarter and shot Baltimore's advantage to 21-7. "That first one was a defensive lapse," admitted Liz, "you can't let a guy like Young get a step on you. Doyle Nix apparently misjudged the ball on Shaw's next touchdown heave. Honestly, I thought the ball was being thrown over the end zone, myself. Except for those two long passes, Shaw didn't do much," said Liz. Statistics glaringly show that George completed but four passes after his mighty ones for 40 yards. "An offsides penalty killed us in the fourth quarter when Ferguson had apparently made a first down on the Baltimore 17," pointed Liz. "Instead it was a fourth down situation from the 23 and we went for Cone's field goal. There was still time (4 1/2 minutes) to go for the big one. And another bum break was the offside called when Rote hit Howton for a touchdown as the third period started." The play covered 62 yards, but the penalty moved the Packers back to their own 30 where the attack sputtered. "I still believe we've got a good football team," said Liz. "But we've got to play steady all the time in this league." What about the Horse? Al Ameche met the toughest defensive line this season as he totaled only 57 yards on 20 attempts. "Ameche is a good back, there's little question about that," praised Blackbourn. "We didn't design anything special to stop him, our defense just played good football." Blackbourn reported that Breezy Reid was not at his best. " He was sick with an attack of the flu. And his performance wasn't up to par. We're taking two days off up here. Maybe a little rest wouldn't hurt us before the Ram game next Sunday." The rugged Packer defense can be indicated by three Colts who were put out of action for several weeks. Halfback L.G. Dupre was pounded in the second quarter, suffering a sprained ankle. But more serious, guard Joe Campanella and end Gino Marchetti required hospital care. Campanella tore lateral ligaments and Marchetti a dislocated shoulder. "We got kind of jammed up ourselves," reported Liz, "but I dont' think too seriously. That Baltimore defense was murder." Blackbourn admitted he was a little tired and would rest by listening to some of Sunday's pro games. The Detroit-Los Angeles game seemed to get the nod. "I hope we gave Milwaukee a good game," Liz added, "it certainly supported us wonderfully."
OCTOBER 11 (Milwaukee Journal) - Tobin Rote of the
Green Bay Packers is generally acclaimed as the
hardest running quarterback in the NFL. Yet, when the
alley was open ahead of him a couple of times against
the Baltimore Colts here last Saturday night. Rote 
chose to throw rather than run. The same situations
came up in earlier games, victories over the Detroit
Lions and Chicago Bears at Green Bay, and in most of
those instances, Rote passed. Lisle Blackbourn was
asked about this after the 24-20 defeat by Baltimore.
"Tobin isn't running as much as perhaps he should," the
coach said, "but I certainly am not going to urge him to
run more." "Let's face it. He's slowed down a step from
last year. He's taken a terrific beating in his six years in
the league. He's still a terrific running quarterback - a
great competitor in every sense of the word - but he can
hardly be blamed for throwing now, rather than running
into those big pro linemen." Rote gained eight yards on
one run in the first quarter against Baltimore. When he
came back to the bench, he told Blackbourn, "I've never
been hit so hard in my life." The passer in pro football
gets every possible protection in the rules - against
piling on and the like. But when the quarterback 
chooses to run, he is no better off than any other ball
carrier. Because of the pro rules, which allow a runner
to get up and go again if he hasn't been completely
squashed, piling onto the ball carrier is not illegal, it's a
necessity. The pros do not fool around much with the
split T and its running quarterback option play for the
same reason. The coaches know that big pro ends and
tackles would go after the quarterback, and in a few 
such plays they would not have a quarterback left. Rote
and Layne and Graham and Van Brocklin are much too
valuable to risk on many running plays, other than when they go back to pass and can't find a receiver or see a really big opening. Most pro clubs carry only two quarterbacks and usually there is quite a gap in ability between first and second stringer. The coaches know that if their No. 1 quarterback gets injured, the team will be in trouble. The key man is not expendable...Rote has has only one pass intercepted in three games this season. That was by Jack Christiansen of Detroit on the last play of the first half of the opener. Since then, Rote has thrown 84 passes without a steal. Last year, he threw 104 passes between interceptions, which may have been some sort of a record, although records for such things are not kept...CARDS STINGIEST: The most stingy team in the league in allowing points. Surprise, it's the Chicago Cardinals, against whom only 41 points have been chalked up in three games. The Packers, who beat the Cards, 38-27, in their final exhibition game, rank next with 44. Cleveland has allowed 47, Baltimore and Los Angeles, 50 each. Cleveland ranks first in point scoring with 76, followed by surprising Baltimore (which surprised the Packers with three touchdowns in 10 1/2 minutes) with 75 and Philadelphia with 74. Los Angeles, Green Bay's opponent at County Stadium Sunday afternoon, ranks sixth with 67 points scored and the Packers, seventh with 64...Rote, in three games, has completed exactly half of his passes, 58 out of 96, for 542 yards and four touchdowns...NO STOPPING CLOCK: Under pro rules, having used up their allotment of five times out in the second half, the Packers could not stop the clock with a time out in their drive which was frustrated by the final gun. In college football, a five yard penalty is assessed for each extra time out at any stage of the game. The same is true in pro football, except in the last two minutes of each half, when the clock can only be stopped by a legal time out, an out of bounds play, an incomplete pass or by officials in case of injury. Even the feigned injury trick to stop the clock has been pretty well halted by officials, as witness the Bears running out of time at the half on San Francisco's one yard line Sunday. The Bears themselves probably caused the pro football league to clamp down on stopping the clock in the last two minutes of either half.
OCTOBER 11 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packers are a pretty good football team, and Coach Lisle Blackbourn is one of the first to admit it. But to stay up with the fast company in the Western Division they cannot afford to pull boners. Green Bay jumped off victories over the Lions and the Bears with a hard striking defense and a veteran backfield punching successfully. But when two costly defensive lapses allowed Baltimore to cash in on two quick touchdowns, it resulted in ultimate defeat. "We're not too deep, but we've still got a pretty good club" is Blackbourn's appraisal of this surprising team which was pegged as doormat material before the season started. "But," warned Liz, "we can't make costly mistakes like we did against the Colts and expect to stay alive in this business." The Packers found the Lions and Bears in a quarterback dilemma. Bobby Layne apparently has lost his explosive brilliance of the past. The Bears just haven't got a first rater. George Blanda, Ed Brown and Bobby Williams bear no resemblance to a slick operator named Sid Luckman or Johnny Lujack. Baltimore is no flash in the pan. Quarterback George Shaw from Oregon and fullback Alan (The Horse) Ameche from Wisconsin have made the whole pro league sit up and take notice. Between them, they have accounted for all the Colt touchdowns. Shaw five on passes and Ameche four on running. The success of the Colts might well be the formula of a college spirited bunch to whoop up an early lead and then fall back on tough, old pros to hold it up. It's worked that way, anyhow, in their three unexpected victories. They got 20 of their 23 points against the Bears in the first half. Against the Lions, Baltimore ran up a 21-13 halftime lead while its grizzled defense held Detroit scoreless in the second half. The pattern was similar against Green Bay Saturday night. The Colts zipped for three touchdowns in the first period for a 21-7 lead and held on for a 24-20 victory. But against the Packers that rah-rah steam of the rookie romping Colts just about ran out of gas. It was all Green Bay in the second half, with Baltimore hanging on for dear life. And how dearly the Colts paid for this one, losing such ferocious linemen as Gino Marchetti, Joe Campanells and backs L.G. Dupre and Buddy Young. A bone crushing Packer defense played its heart out, trying to save face after Shaw had drilled two long ones with ridiculous ease. Sunday, the Packers return to County Stadium and can jump back into title contention if they can beat the Rams who have rambled over three straight opponents. If there is a quarterback who should be "right" it will be Norm Van Brocklin. Then there are old Packer tormentors like halfback Bob Boyd, fullback Dan Towler and ends Elroy Hirsch and Woodley Lewis. In beating the Lions Sunday, the Rams got a big lift from three pass interceptions from halfback Willard Sherman to win, 17-10. Towler scored on a one yard plunge, a 12 yard Van Brocklin pass to Boyd accounted for the other and Les Richter booted a 41-yard field goal. The Packers will certainly have their work cut out. But the way the pro picture is shaping up these football days, anything can happen. Green Bay turned the tables on Los Angeles last season, 35-17 in Milwaukee as Rote hit 21 of 37 passes. A Rote tossing like that and a defense playing headsup ball could do it again.
OCTOBER 11 (Baltimore) - Motion pictures of last Saturday's Baltimore-Green Bay showed Tuesday that Fred Cone's 47-yard field goal attempt passed under the goal post crossbar - not over it as officials ruled, the Baltimore Sun said Tuesday night. The Colts won the game, 24-20, regardless of the call and plan no protest, the paper said.
OCTOBER 12 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Take it from Norm Van Brocklin, six year veteran quarterback with the Los Angeles Rams, defensive specialists in the NFL have been responsible for curtailment in scoring this season. Van Brocklin, who has thrown accurately from distances up to 60 yards, tells from experience that the long ones just aren't clicking this season. "This league has toughened up defensively, making it practically impossible to pass long one down the middle," said Van Brocklin Tuesday night. "Consequently, there are not too many touchdowns being scored, the short passing game being used more efficiently." And right Van Brocklin is. A comparison to last year's pro picture shows that every club is about two touchdowns below its offensive pace of 1954. With that in mind, the Rams move into the Stadium Sunday against the Packers with not as explosive an offense but a much sturdier defense. "Our defense has been responsible for three consecutive wins," added Rams Publicitor Bert Rose. "Our line is putting more pressure on opposing quarterbacks than ever before and it's resulted in 11 interceptions by our secondary." If that outstanding secondary continues to intercept with regularity it will be an all-time Ram showing. At the moment Los Angeles is leading the league in interceptions with Willard Sherman (five) and Don Burroughs (four) being the demons. Les Richter can also be added to that devastating pass stealing corps, grabbing two enemy aerials. The result has saved the Rams from possible defeat by the 49ers, Steelers and Lions. Los Angeles built up early leads in all three games but had to hang on for dear life, the defense coming through to save victory. Sherman is leading the league with five interceptions, three coming against the Lions last Sunday. The biggest man in the Ram secondary, he's 6-3, 194. Sherman is coming into his own as a defensive ace. "Burroughs has been awarded two games balls," said Rose. "That's what our club thinks of the lad who was almost dropped in summer camp. Burroughs worked out as a quarterback. But with Van Brocklin and Wade doing the pitching, we had no room for Burroughs. He knew he was going to get the axe but asked at the last moment for a tryout on defense. Well, you know the rest. He started at safety for us against the 49ers, intercepting three passes and knocking down three. That earned him a starting berth. Incidentally, he's a skinny boy to be in pro ball (6-4, 176 pounds). Burroughs comes from Colorado A&M, the same school that produced the Lions' great pass defender, Jack Christiansen. He was signed by the Rams as a free agent. Richter, the two-time All-American from California, was bought by the Rams from the now defunct Dallas Texans for 11 Rams in 1952. No one remains from the transaction with the Baltimore adopted Texans at this time. And so the Rams can show a 23-14 verdict over the 49ers, a 27-26 win over the Steelers and a 17-10 decision over the Lions - thanks to these on the spot interceptions. Rose reported that Elroy (Crazylegs) Hirsch started against the Lions and caught three passes for 79 yards, a resemblance of the Hirsch of old. His first one for 55 yards set up the first Los Angeles touchdown from the four yard line. With Skeet Quinlan still on the injured reserve list, recuperating from a knee operation, Coach Sid Gillman has employed the flanker system with Hirsch playing as a right half on the flanker. It amounts to three ends available for Van Brocklin's tosses. Rookie Ron Waller, a 174 pound halfback from Maryland, had moved to left half. He was good for 98 yards in 21 carries against the Lions.
OCTOBER 12 (Milwaukee Journal) - Desire, an elusive
quality, and defense, a real, solid things, set Sid Gillman's
first Los Angeles Rams team apart from earlier Ram 
teams. Gillman's formula apparently has worked wonders.
The Rams, who will meet the Green Bay Packers at
County Stadium Sunday afternoon, share first place in the
NFL's western division with the Baltimore Colts. Of the
league's 12 teams, only the Rams and Colts remain
undefeated. Lisle Blackbourn, Green Bay coach, was 
asked Wednesday what the scouting reports told about the
Rams. "First, that they're a real good team," Blackbourn
said. "What impressed our men most was how much more
desire Gillman's team has than last year's Rams. They are
like high school boys now - jumping up and down and
waving their arms. They really want to play football, hustle
100% all the time. Their defense has been very sound, but
I honestly don't believe it could be any tougher than the one
Baltimore threw against us last Saturday night." Bill
Sherman and Don Burroughs of the Rams stand one-two in
the league in pass interceptions. Sherman has five and
Burroughs four. Blackbourn was asked what the scouts
said about them. "Keep the ball away from their areas," 
Blackbourn said, "or they'll take it away from you. They are
the two deep men in Los Angeles' secondary." Off their
exhibition season, the Rams appeared to be the same old
Rams, who had finished fourth in the western division last
year. But Gillman, former Minneapolis high school and Ohio
State star end who went to the Rams from the University of
Cincinnati, had prepared them well for the games that
count. The Rams broke even in six preseason games, 
scoring 155 points and giving up 159. One of their defeats
was by the San Francisco 49ers, 31-10. When the league
season started, thought, it was a different story. The Rams
whipped the 49ers, 23-14. They followed up by shading the
Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-26, on Les Richter's 33 yard field
goal as the gun sounded in a highly controversial finish. 
Then last Sunday they handed the Detroit Lions their third
straight licking, 17-10. After the Lions game, the Detroit
News said that the Rams turned in their "finest defensive
performance against Detroit within memory." "Sid Gillman,
the new coach, deserves ample credit for imparting
defensive tactics to football's Hollywood glamor boys," the
paper said. The Rams have intercepted 11 passes, high in
the league, in three games. By comparison, the Packers
have intercepted eight. Against Detroit, Los Angeles
recovered two fumbles and intercepted four passes, an
unusual showing for a team that used to try only to 
outscore the other side on most occasions.
OCTOBER 12 (Baltimore) - Motion pictures of last
Saturday's Baltimore-Green Bay NFL game showed that
Fred Cone's 47 yard field goal attempt passed under the
goal post cross bar - not over it as officials rule, the
Baltimore Sun said Wednesday. The Colts won the game,
24-20, but if the officials had not ruled the kick good for a
Packer field goal, the Sun said, the score at that point
would have been 24-17, and the Colts would have had the
ball on their own 20 by virtue of a touchback. The Colts won
regardless of the call and plan no protest, the paper said.
Charlie Winner, assistant Colt coach, ran the film of the
field goal attempt in slow motion and then stopped the film
entirely. The flight of the ball was followed panel by panel,
and at the point it reached the cross bar its downward flight
the ball blotted out that portion of the bar.
OCTOBER 12 (Green Bay) - "They can have those three
points if they want them," Lisle Blackbourn, Green Bay
Packer coach, said Wednesday when informed of what the
Baltimore Colts' movies has showed on Fred Cone's 47
yard field goal in their game at Milwaukee last Saturday.
"We lost anyway," Blackbourn said. "I did not study that
part of our film closely - it makes no difference."
OCTOBER 13 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packer have the
best pass defense in the league, at least at the moment.
NFL statistics released Wednesday show that opponents
have completed only 36.4 percent of their passes against
Green Bay. League statistics also show that the Rams are
second only to the Browns with pass completions, proving
Norm Van Brocklin is up to his old tricks with an accuracy
rating of 59.1 percent. Something will have to give Sunday
when the undefeated Rams battled the once-beaten Packers at Milwaukee. Green Bay should bump into a quarterback at his very best and Los Angeles will be up against the toughest pass defense. It's true the Packers didn't find Bobby Layne anywhere near the Layne of old as they defeated the Lions, 20-17, in the league opener at Green Bay. Layne completed eight of 19 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown. He had one intercepted. Bobby didn't have too bad a first half as he triggered a 14-6 halftime lead, but he could only complete one of two passes the rest of the game. The Bears had similar problems, rotating George Blanda, Ed Brown and Bob Williams without success. Consequently, Chicago completed six of 19 passes and had four intercepted. The Packers won handily, 24-3. Against Baltimore two lapses allowed rookie quarterback George Shaw to hit Buddy Young on an 82-yard touchdown play and Jim Mutscheller on a 40-yard scoring strike - and the Colts kicked off to a 21-7 first quarter lead which ultimately proved too much of a deficit to overcome. The Packers came back to rush Shaw off his feet after those two fatal shots and the Oregon flash could only hit four receivers for 40 yards the rest of the night. Patrolling the outer spaces for the Packers is a quartet of two veterans and two rookies. Doyle Nix, an 18th draft choice from Southern Methodist, and Billy Bookout, a free agent from Austin, are two cornerbackers who have performed as if pro football was old stuff. Both possess speed and can diagnose plays with uncanny ability. Val Joe Walker and Bobby Dillon are the seasoned operators who make many a coach worry about the Packers' pass defense. Walker is a hard man to outmaneuver, staying atop his man. Dillon, All-Pro selection last season, is the Packers' Mr. Pass Defense. He has been Green Bay's best ballhawk for four seasons and is a bruiser of a tackler. A 217-pound Al Ameche was hit by 180-pound Dillon last Saturday night. The impact resulted in an Ameche fumble, an indication that Dillon can take care of the big boys. After disposing of Layne, Brown, Blanda, Williams and almost getting even with Shaw, the Packers can now stew their poison for Van Brocklin. For the record, here is Norm's performance through three league games: He has completed 39 of 66 passes for 424 yards and four touchdowns. His longest completion was 74 yards. He has averaged 6.42 yards per completion and has had five intercepted. By comparison, the Packers' Tobin Rote has completed 48 of 96 tosses for 542 yards and four touchdowns. His longest completion was 38 yards. He has averaged 5.65 yards per completion and has had only one pass intercepted.
OCTOBER 13 (Milwaukee Journal) - The scouting report which the Los Angeles Rams received on Dan Burroughs when he played at Colorado A. and M. said that he was a great passer and ball handler and faker at quarterback, but only "fair" on defense at safety. Either the scout's evaluation was all wrong, or Burroughs changed a lot while he was in the service. The thin (176 pounds stretched over 6 feet 4 inches) Ram will bring into the game with the Green Bay Packers at County Stadium Sunday afternoon a rating as one of the finest defensive backs in the NFL. Only his teammate, Bill Sherman (6-3, 194 pounds) has intercepted more passes than Burroughs in the entire league this season. Sherman has intercepted five, Burroughs four. Burroughs, who was signed as a free agent, came to the Rams' camp last summer with aspirations to be offensive quarterback. One look at Norm Van Brocklin and Bill Wade and he asked to be tried on defense. He really clinched a spot on the Rams in the league opener when he knocked down three San Francisco passes and intercepted three others. The Rams won that one, 23-14, and two more as well. The skinny man is no small factor in their undefeated season. Burroughs is another of a long line of Colorado A. and M. players to burn up the pro league. Others to come out of this relatively small school and star in the NFL include Thurman McGraw, Jack Christiansen and Jim David of the Detroit Lions and Dale Dodrill of the Pittsburgh Steelers...RYMKUS PRAISED: Otto Graham, Cleveland Browns quarterback, calls Lou Rymkus, Packer line coach, "the best blocker on pas protection to ever play in front of me." Rymkus was all-pro tackle with the Browns a few years ago. Lisle Blackbourn, Packer coach, and Sid Gillman, Ram coach, last met in a football game when Blackbourn's Marquette team ruined a perfect season for Gillman's Cincinnati Bearcats in 1952. The score was 31-7. "Don't mention it, though," Blackbourn said the other day. "I don't want Sid to get mad over ancient history." Of the Baltimore game, Blackbourn said, "You can't overemphasize the importance of the pressure the Colts' big line put on our passer. It made their pass defense job easy. We could afford to send out only two or three receivers at any time. We needed all the blocking we could get to give Tobin (Rote) any chance at all." The Rams hold a 14-4 edge over the Packers in their series. Green Bay broke a 10 game losing streak against Los Angeles by winning here last year, 35-17...The Packers' defense apparently gets better as the game progresses. Detroit and the Bears each kicked a field goal in the third quarter and Baltimore one in the fourth. Those nine points, and no touchdowns, are all that Green Bay has given up after the intermission.
OCTOBER 15 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Sunday will be the last
time Elroy (Crazylegs) Hirsch will romp on a Milwaukee
gridiron when the undefeated Rams meet the once-beaten
Packers at the Stadium, kickoff at 1:35. Hirsch, the former
Wisconsin All-American who came out of retirement last 
month to join the Rams for his 10th season of pro ball, said
Friday, "Honest, this is my last year." Whatever possessed
Crazylegs to withdraw from the television and acting business
to ask for another season of bumps and bruises in the rock
and sock league? "Oh, I thought about it for a long time," 
answered Hirsch. "But when the Rams lost (Skeet) Quinlan
and were out looking for a receiver, I just signed again. You
know my wife always had her doubts about me giving up
football." Hirsch signed with Coach Sid Gillman after the first
game at San Francisco. He played only a short time against
the Steelers in the next game and started against the Lions in
Detroit last Sunday. "I was surprised that I wasn't in too bad a
shape. Oh, my legs felt stiff after the first game, but my wind
was real good. I guess that was because I had been playing
tennis all summer." "I was worried about having anything left,"
added Hirsch. "I missed one right in my hands against the
Steelers but had a little better day against the Lions." Indeed he did. Elroy grabbed three Van Brocklin tosses for 79 yards against the Lions, the first one going for 55 yards to set up the first Los Angeles touchdown. "I had every reason to quit after we finished against the Packers in the Coliseum last December. We had lost quite a few games - it was an unhappy year. But things are going great now, Gillman seems to have instilled in us a winning frame of mind. He keeps the club loose. Gillman is not an easy coach. When we have an hour and half drill it amounts to an hour and 29 minutes of concentrated work. Everything is organized." Hirsch believes the reason for the closeness in the league this season is because the defense has caught up with the offense. "It's ruined our long stuff. Oh, I still like to go for the long ones. But with a defensive ace like the Packers' Bobby Dillon running backward as fast as I can go forward and always smiling at me it's pretty tough. Faking rather than speed seems to be the only out." Hirsch prefers Van Brocklin's "soft-like-a-feather pass" - one that is consistently on the button. "He can drill the hard ones, too." Explaining the Rams' fast start, Elroy said, "This seems to be the year everything is clicking for us. We've been lucky, too. You've got to have luck in this league. I still think an 8-4 record can take it." "I'm not surprised at the Packers' start. They gave us a good beating here last year and we've never had an easy time against them. I think we'll give 'em a good battle." Hirsch, who makes his home in Los Angeles, says sports announcing is his dreamed of ambition after this season. "I've had a weekly TV show, but I sure would like to report games on the spot." And his movie career is still active. Hirsch's next picture will be a post Civil War field, Elroy taking the part of a northern officer doing military police work in a southern town. But today Hirsch looks like Ram who has always been feared in the NFL. His weight is the same (193) and he's till catching big ones against the best defenses in the league.
OCTOBER 16 (Milwaukee Journal) - Lisle Blackbourn's Green Bay Packers hope to be the first to introduce Sid Gillman's Los Angeles Rams to the wrong end of a NFL score. They hope to make the introduction before 35,000 or more spectators at County Stadium this afternoon. The kickoff will be at 1:30 p.m. If the Packers are successful - and the oddsmakers, who have been wrong in 14 out of 19 league cases this season, say they won't - they will bring the Rams down even with them. Such an accomplishment for a team tabbed for the second division over another preseason also ran would bring Green Bay at lease half of second place and perhaps one-third of first place. Prospects of good football weather (temperatures in the fifties and no rain forecast) and another close duel such as the Baltimore-Packers game of a week ago may bring out a throng to rival the record Milwaukee crowd of 40,199 which watched the Colts barely win, 24-20, in a struggle of unbeaten teams. Now the Packers must bring these high spirited Rams back to them and hope that the Bears (three point favorites) pitch in and trip the Colts at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Such a competition would be entirely in keeping with this frantic season, for then, with one-third of the campaign over, no undefeated team would be left. Both the Rams and the Packers have played solid football this season. Against them, a touchdown is no easy matter. Gillman, a rookie in the league, up from the University of Cincinnati, and Blackbourn, a veteran coach in his second year with the Packers, both believe in defense. Gillman, as a matter of fact, believes every team in the league is more conscious of defense this season than ever before. "No question about it," he said Saturday. "This is my first year as coach here, but I have watched the pros from time to time. I am surprised at the sledgehammer way it is now. You really have to work for yards. But it's a better, more balanced game this way." Gillman's impact on the Rams has been tremendous. He has them hustling, veterans and rookies alike, as the Rams never hustled before. And defense. The Rams never had much. They went out to score more points that the opponent. Now the attack suffers by comparison, not than an offense which has operators like Van Brocklin, Towler, Waller, Fears, Boyd and Hirsch - old Crazy Legs himself - need suffer much. In the Rams and Packers, Milwaukee fans will be seeing two alert, well-coached teams. The Rams, with their tall safety men, Willard Sherman and Don Burroughs, have intercepted 11 passes in three games. The Packers have intercepted eight, and at the same time have permitted their opponents to complete only 20. That means that for every time the other side completed five passes, the Packers took two away from them. Blackbourn said Saturday that he thought pass defense was the place where games were won. "That's it," he said. "How you rush the passer, how you cover the receivers, how you react to a running play - those things make the difference." Little difference can be noted in scoring and being scored against. The Rams have a 67-64 edge in point making, but the Packers have given up only 44 points, low in the division, to the Rams' 50. With Tobin Rote throwing and running and Howie Ferguson and Breezy Reid leading the ground assault, Green Bay has gained 1,002 yards, nicely divided between 531 rushing and 471 passing. Norm Van Brocklin, fine passer and ball handler who rarely runs himself, has guided the Rams to 839 yards, all told. Again good balance, 425 on the ground, 414 in the air. Rookie Ron Waller of Maryland and veteran Deacon Dan Towler carry the running load and Elroy Hirsch, out of retirement; Tom Fears and Bob Boyd, track man in football togs, the receiving job. Rote's targets at ends are Billy Howton and Gary Knafelc and the tall Texan had just as many touchdown passes (4) as Van Brocklin this season. Van Brocklin has been stymied pretty much in what used to be his forte, the long pass. "No particular reason," Gillman said, "just the way the pattern of the game has worked out. We'll throw long any time the situation is right. But we will not throw long just to be throwing long." Gillman and Blackbourn will be meeting as coaches for the second time. Two years ago, when Gillman was at Cincinnati and Blackbourn was at Marquette, they met here. Gillman's team that year won nine out of ten games and had only 57 points scored against it. Blackbourn's Marquette team scored 31 of them in a 31-7 triumph. Gillman said he had no thoughts concerning revenge. "That night," he said, "Liz had the better - and better prepared - team. He is a fine coach and I look forward to meeting him again."
OCTOBER 14 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Liz Blackbourn and Sid Gillman have at least one thing in common this week. Both believe the NFL is so balanced that any one of 10 clubs could take the championship. Blackbourn, speaking from his Green Bay encampment, said Thursday "the way this season is progressing anyone could grab the title." And Gillman reporting from his Schroeder Hotel headquarters said: "Sure we've won some close ones, but that's the way the whole pro picture is shaping - anyone could win it." It all adds more fuel to the fire when the once-beaten Packers try to dump the undefeated Rams at the Stadium Sunday. If the Rams win they'll have a fast start toward that objective. If Green Bay wins, it will stay in title contention. Statistics show that the Packers have fumbled 10 times, a league high, and have recovered only three of them. Last year the Packers fumbled only 21 times during the entire season, second only to the Colts who lost the ball 20 times. Quarterback Tobin Rote has had the misfortune of fumbling at the most crucial time. The Rams possess the kind of linemen who loves to rack a passer before he gets the ball off. They have that kind of personnel and Rote is the logical target. "If we can only correct that fumbling we should give everyone a battle," added Blackbourn. "Our defense has been playing head-up ball, keeping us in business. Gillman may have changed his offense, since taking over at Los Angeles, but I expect the same type of defense he used at Cincinnati," Liz continued. The Ram offense centers around Norm Van Brocklin. He can spread his defense by setting up a halfback as a flanker (Elroy Hirsch) or he can often place a fast end like Bob Boyd in such a position the Packers will find themselves covering him with a slower defensive back. Although Van Brocklin has bumped into a toughened defensive league this season, he still is the longest passer in pro ranks. "That's the same old wealth of Ram material," said Liz, "but I think the difference is the Rams are a more controlled team under Gillman. (Hampton) Poole went for the spectacular brand of football. Gillman is the kind of guy who plays the percentages. And he's getting results." Blackbourn reported that halfback Al Carmichael, sidelined four weeks with a dislocated shoulder, injured his other shoulder against the Colts. Fullback Howie Ferguson and center Jim Ringo have minor ailments. "We've got a lot of bruises and knocks which will be coming out near the end of the week. We haven't been able to drill at top speed this week as a consequence." Gillman took time from a coaches' meeting to say "team spirit has been the key to our success." Reminded of the Packers' 35-17 win over a darn good Ram team last October in Milwaukee, Gillman retaliated with, "Oh, the Packers are a wonderful team. They've got good balance, a good defense - I've taken a good look at that 35-17 deal." There was confidence in Gillman's voice and an equal assurance in Blackbourn's appraisal.
OCTOBER 14 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - That was an interesting item out of Baltimore about checking the movies of last Saturday night's game with the Packers. But there was nothing particularly new about the Colts' findings for just about everybody in the record crowd of 40,1999 has and still has the same opinion about Fred Cone's 47 yard field goal try, namely: The ball went under the crossbar, not over. In other words, the Colts insist it wasn't a field goal - merely a long kick that resulted in a harmless touchback. And the score, therefore, should have been 24-17 in their favor instead of 24-20. I doubt that any eyewitness will say no to that claim. Regardless of what the Colts and fans say, however, it's still a field goal for Cone and the official score is 24-20 because the game official charged with the duty of passing judgment on the kick ruled it went OVER the crossbar. The question before the house now is: What if the kick had enabled the Packers to eke out a tie or win the game? Would a Baltimore protest have caused three points to be deducted from the Packer total? Or would Commissioner Bert Bell have ordered a complete replay of the game? One thing for sure: There would be no adjustment on the score, no matter what the movies showed. Conceivably, the commissioner has the right to order a replay because of a bad call. But I doubt that he would because of setting a dangerous precedent. Movies might reveal a dozen such judgment decisions in a game, any or all of which might directly affect scoring by either or both sides. When would he stop and where would he draw the line? It is not the first time that officials have erred and not the last either. They
OCTOBER 15 (Milwaukee Sentinel-Lloyd Larson) - Talk turned to some of football's miracle finishes - teams that refused to be beaten and somehow managed to come from behind though the odds against winning were staggering. High on the list of super comeback jobs of all time, even though 20 years have passed since the accomplishment, was Notre Dame's miraculous finish to beat Ohio State in 1935. That really was one for the books. The Buckeyes had a 13-0 lead at the end of the third quarter. The Irish, sparked by Bill Shakespeare and Andy Pilney, scored in the first minute of the final quarter. They connected again five minutes before the end, only to miss the point. Still they trailed, 13-12. But they got their mitts on the ball once more, and once more they racked up a TD to pull the biggest game of the year out of the fire. There have been numerous other movie finishes among them Wisconsin's 6-0 win over Indiana in the snowstorm four years ago. The clock showed only seconds to play when Johnny Coatta fired the TD pass to Bill Hutchinson. But it is safe that nothing in the past, collegiate or pro, had anything on the Packer-Ram game of 1952. Many of the folks who sat in on the show still can't believe what they saw...PLEASANT DREAM TURNS BAD: For three periods, it looked like a dream game for the Packers. Pleasant dream, that is. They could do nothing wrong and the Rams, by contrast, very little right. It was a breeze, with the Bays leading 28-6 as they turned down the home stretch. Then Bob Waterfield, Elroy Hirsch, Tank Younger, Dan Towler and assorted Rams of 1952 caught fire. The hotter they became, the more the Packers cooled off. What everybody though was a consolation touchdown reduced the deficit to 28-13. The next time around the Rams chose to go for three points, via a Waterfield field goal, instead of shooting for a TD. So now it was 28-16. To the average fan, Waterfield was a rockhead for adding three points instead of trying for six or seven. But the wisdom of that decision became more apparent when the L.A. boys quickly regained possession and swept to another six-pointer. With the conversion, the score became 28-23. Now there was no stopping them. Back they came again for another "touch" to complete the miracle. Then the supposedly foolish field goal's importance was brought home. Without it, the Rams couldn't have won. A 24 point spree by a team definitely on the ropes and ready for the knockout 15 minutes earlier...NEW CHANCE TO EASE OLD PAIN: Some of the current Packers - like Tobin Rote, Breezy Reid, John Martinkovic, Dave Hanner, Bill Howton, Deral Teteak - were on the 1952 club. No matter how long they continue to play football, they'll never get completely even for that one-in-a-thousand reversal. They made some headway by slipping the Rams a 35-17 mickey at County Stadium last year. And it goes without saying that they can soothe the three year pain even more by pulling a repeat act Sunday. By winning this time, Liz Blackbourn's boys can tie for the western division lead (if Baltimore loses to the Bears) or stay within hailing distance (if Baltimore wins) and put an end to Los Angeles' three-game winning streak at the same time. In other words, victory will provide a two-way tonic. Rote, Howton and Co. certainly have the fans on their side. Last week's sellout crowd of 40,199 told all. People like what they saw, even in defeat. And most of them will be back again. Such encouragement can mean the difference against the Rams or any other team in the league.