(BALTIMORE) - Al (The Horse) Ameche, who once upon a time was Wisconsin's favorite son, kicked up his heels in a "traitor's" rolle Saturday night, galloping for 117 yards - and the Colts followed their thoroughbred's aggressiveness to a 14-10 decision over the
Green Bay Packers. It was the third time this season that
Ameche has gained more than 100 yards in one game. He
was a workinghorse against the Packers, carrying the ball 22
times and bruising his way time and again to keep Green Bay
in a hole. But just as disturbing as Ameche's performance was
the Packers' inability to score the clincher midway through the
fourth quarter. The situation was almost a setup in pro ball, the
Bays having a first down on the Baltimore eight. It just wasn't
in the books, though. Two running plays could not penetrate
the tough Colt line. The obvious pass plays were incomplete
and that was the ball game. So the Packers took it on the
chin again from a club inspired by 34,411 wildly yelling fans
who have gone completely football crazy. With due respect to
the Colts, it was a deserving win and one which labeled them
as a "handle with care" opponent. The Packers had chance
galore. Twice in the first period they saw daylight before things went haywire in the final quarter.
Veryl Switzer returned Bert Rechichar's opening kickoff 58 yards to the Baltimore 37 and it appeared as if the Packers were in business for a quickie. But the only semblance of a scoring bid was Fred Cone's 45 yard field goal attempt which sailed wide to the right. Moments later Monte Brethauer could not get off a fourth down punt deep in his own territory. He tossed a last ditch pass to an ineligible receiver which was incomplete and the Packers took over on the Colt 23. Could Green Bay score, though? Not on your life. Joe
Campanella's timely interception squelched the bid.
While the Packers were finding the Colts tough customers, they found Ameche pounding their own defense too much - too often. Big Al's biggest gain was 14 yards. His galloping accounted for 117 of the Colts' 202 yards gained on the ground. The Packers had the punch in the air, 163-55, and had a bruiser on the ground in Howie Ferguson, who pounded his way for 77 yards in 19 carries. But unfortunately, the Packers did not have it in the clutch. Baltimore scored its first touchdown after capitalizing on Don Shula's interception. Shula had grabbed Rote's long toss after it had dribbled off Ferguson's fingers.
He returned to the Packer 15. From there Ameche slammed for six and five yards. Then Buddy Young did the honors with a four-yard scamper around left end. Bert Rechichar's conversion made it 7-0 with less than a minute to play in the first quarter. Interceptions, which have been more frequent on Tob this season than ever before, popped up moments later when Rechichar grabbed one bobbled by Billy Howton. It put the Colts in dangerous striking distance on the Packer 30. And when Ameche pounded from the 13 on the first play, it looked like a score was a-comin' pronto.
But Val Joe Walker averted the touchdown when he intercepted George Shaw's pass in the end zone. Walker fumbled, taking it out to the two. But Billy Bookout fell on it on the five. Green Bay bounced back with its first score when Walker intercepted another Shaw pass on the Colt 46 and raced back to the 18. It was Ferguson and Rote driving for yardage. It was too familiar a picture, however, once Green Bay had a first down on the Colt 12. Ferguson's six yards on third down was the best gain but two yards short of a first down on the four.
So it was a field goal and Cone's 11-yarder from a rather difficult wide angle was good. That was the extent of the scoring in the first half as the Colts held a 7-3 margin. The Packers fought back with Rote's rifles and Ferguson's running for their best drive of the night in the third period. They went 90 yards for their touchdown, Rote sneaking over from the one. Cone's conversion put Green Bay in the lead, 10-7. In the scoring drive, Rote found Howton, who was the game's top receiver with four catches for 98 yards, a dependable target. A 36-yarder to Gary Knafelc did the real damage, moving the ball to the Colt four.
Green Bay could not keep the rambunctious Colts down, however. It was a case of too much Ameche again, combined with the running talents of L.G. Dupre. "Long Gone" was just that as he scooted 23 yards to put the Colts in front for good, 14-10, midway through the third quarter. The Packers bounced back and has something going - until Switzer was racked on a nine yard run, his fumble being recovered by Bill Pellington on Green Bay's 45.
Shaw hit Jim Mutscheller for 20 yards. But Bill Forester killed the attack, intercepting Shaw's pass on the Packer 15 and running it back three yards. After an exchange of downs, the Colts tried to extend their 14-10 lead early in the fourth quarter with a 52-yard Rechichar field goal attempt. It drifted wide to the left, however, and the Packers took over on their own 20. On the first play, Rote spotted Howton in the clear and heaved a mighty 40 yard pass. Bill bobbled it on the Colt 40 but kept possession, moving to Baltimore's 20. It was a tremendous 60-yard passing show which seemed to put the Packers once more in business. Ferguson picked up six on the next play, Switzer and Rote each got three yards and Howie came back with three more to the five.
On a second down play, Rote's pass to Howton was incomplete. Tobin dove for one on a keeper. But on the fatal fourth down, his shot to Carmichael in the end zone was no good. That seemed to take everything out of the Packers, although they tried to get something started with two minutes left from their own 11. Rote triggered the attack to his own 42. But a fourth down desperation pass was dropped by Knafelc on the Colt 45 and that was it. Rote, who got good protection all night, completed 13 of 24 passes for 183 yards. Shaw countered with only five completions in 13 attempts for 55 yards. But football games are won when you can score when the opportunity is there. The Packers could not.
GREEN BAY -  0  3  7  0 - 10
BALTIMORE -  7  0  7  0 - 14
1st - BALT - Buddy Young, 4-yard run (Bert Rechichar kick) BALTIMORE 7-0
2nd - GB - Cone, 11-yard field goal BALTIMORE 7-3
3rd - GB - Rote, 1-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 10-7
3rd - BALT - L.G. Dupree, 23-yard run (Rechichar kick) BALTIMORE 14-10
the longest run from scrimmage this season. Korch also brought Papa George's happy tidings: "We're really rolling now, we're playing good ball, we've had a little luck. And we're determined to go the distance." If the Bears should win the championship, it would certainly be one of the greatest comebacks in pro history. It could be done, though, with the Bruins higher than a kite. The situation in Green Bay is a shade different. Coach Liz Blackbourn, suspecting a little staleness, called off drills until Wednesday. That's the longest rest his club has had summer camp opened in July. Green Bay will be in good shape physically. Fullback Howie Ferguson has completely recovered from his wrenched knee. Fergy had a field day against the Bears in the opener, galloping for 153 yards. The layoff could be just what the doctor ordered for Tobin Rote, who has been ailing with a heavy head cold which has blocked his ears. If Rote can snap out of it, he could mean the difference in this game. Blackbourn should get his gang up again. Any sort of victory will keep the Packers in contention. And the way things have been going this season, anything can happen. This weekend is showdown time in the Western Division. While the Packers and Bears have it out in their tell-tale game, the 49ers take on the Rams (Sunday) and the Colts battle the Lions at Detroit (Saturday night). At the moment, only winless Detroit can be out of the race.
NOVEMBER 2 (Milwaukee Journal) - The way officials have players the quick heave-ho in NFL games over the weekend, it would appear that the league office passed down the word following a national magazine's picture layout, "Savagery on Sunday". In any case, seven players were banished for swinging on opponents, among them Breezy Reid of the Green Bay Packers, Ollie Matson and Harry Thompson of the Chicago Cardinals, Herschel Forester and Bob Gain of the Cleveland Browns, Bob Gaona and Leon Campbell of Pittsburgh and Chuck Bednarik of Philadelphia. Ray Richards, coach of the Cardinals, was outspoken about Matson's expulsion. "They (the Browns) send a guy like Forester over to pick a fight with Matson," he said, "and both get thrown out. Forester is expendable, Matson isn't. We were the ones who were really hurt."...Lisle Blackbourn, Green Bay coach, feels that injuries would be cut down considerably by raising the player limit from 33 to 35 for a full season. "You'd be surprised," he said the other day, "what a difference two extra players would make in permitting juggling and substituting of personnel. Tired or dazed players are the ones most easily hurt...VALUABLE ROOKIE: To find out what an injury can do to a pro team, one need look only as far as the Philadelphia Eagles. Rated a favorite for the eastern division title, the Eagles won their opener, but lost Ted Wegert, star rookie halfback with a broken foot. Wegert missed four games. The Eagles lost three and tied the other. He came back last Sunday and Philadelphia knocked Pittsburgh out of a tie for the lead, 24-0. Wegert scored two touchdowns, set up the third and added new authority to the Eagles' running game...A New York writer insists on calling the Baltimore Colts fullback "Don Ameche". Don is the fellow who invented the telephone. Alan is the old Wisconsin Horse who plows furrows in opposing coaches' brows, including Blackbourn's...TRY, TRY AGAIN: The feeling around the league was that you could not throw long against the Los Angeles Rams and get away with it. Not with their deep men, Will Sherman and Don Burroughs, to steal the ball. They rank one-two in interceptions. Harlon Hill, sensational sophomore of the Chicago Bears, didn't let that stop him last Sunday at Los Angeles. With second down and eight yards to go on the Bears 14, Hill beat Burroughs and Sherman, but the official ruled he was out of bounds when he made the catch. On the next play, Brown unloosed the long one, about 70 yards in the air. Hill again had outstepped the Rams and caught it for an 86 yard touchdown play. Sunday, at Chicago's Wrigley Field, the Packers must put up with Brown and Hill.
NOVEMBER 2 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Chicago Bears held firmly Wednesday to their No. 1 ranking for offense in the NFL. Rolling up of 405 yards against the Rams at Los Angeles last Sunday is a vivid indication of the Bruins' resurgent power. In latest statistics, released by the NFL, the Bears have gained 2,221 yards - 1,156 rushing and 1,065 through the air. Those 405 yards produced against Los Angeles is quite a step-up in comparison to 217 yards gained against the Packers in Green Bay last October. The offensive fireworks are popping and the Bears are winning. Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field some 50,000 fans will see just how effective this Bruin attack is against a team which George Halas labeled "the only club which deserved to beat us." In the rushing department the Bears are dominant, followed by Cleveland (1,088), Baltimore (1,068) and Green Bay (924). In passing, the Bears are fourth to Detroit, Green Bay is seventh. While the Packers have the third best ground gainer in fullback Howie Ferguson, who has gained 444 yards for a 4.7 average, the Bears can counter with John Hoffman, ninth-ranked, and Rick Casares, 10th best in the league. Casares has produced the longest gain from scrimmage this season, bursting through the Baltimore defense for an 81-yard jaunt. Hoffman has gained 302 yards for a five yard average. The Bears' passing game sputtered at Green Bay. But today Ed Brown is fourth ranked in the league and George Blanda 13th, Green Bay's Tobin Rote is 12th. The league ranks passers on their average gain per pass attempt. Brown has an 8.13 average gain on 49 completions. Rote has 5.86 on 86 completions and Blanda 5.27 on 27 completions. Rote, incidentally, has thrown more passes - 180 - and completed more than any other quarterback in the league. And in the receiving department, the Bears' Harlon Hill and the Packers' Billy Howton each has caught 27 passes, second only to the 49ers' Billy Wilson. Hill, however, has outgained Howton by eight yards. This is all quite interesting in comparison to that October 24-3 slaughter in Green Bay. Papa George rotated Brown, Blanda and Bob Williams without success. Rote and Ferguson had great days, and that was the ball game. Coach Liz Blackbourn praised the team after the rout: "Our boys got the Bears on the run from the start and our defense took care of the rest." Blanda's 47 yard field goal in the third quarter was the only semblance of a score. Statistics add to the convincing margin of victory. The Packers outgained the Bears in total yardage, 411-217 (188-85 passing and 223-132 rushing). Rote completed 14 of 30 passes and Ferguson gained 153 yards in 15 carries. The best Chicago could show was Brown's five completions in 16 passes for 93 yards and Bobby Watkin's 50 yards in 10 carries. Now for the return match. Green Bay invades Wrigley Field in the best physical shape of the season with only its pride hurt in losing two close shaves to the Colts, and taking a drubbing from the Browns. The Bears are up in the clouds over the coast success. It's strictly a shoot the works affair for both clubs (3-3), gunning to stay in title contention. It's got all the makings of a drag 'em out, knock 'em down affair.
Baltimore Colts (4-2) 14, Green Bay Packers (3-3) 10
Saturday October 29th 1955 (at Baltimore)
OCTOBER 30 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Green Bay Packers offer conclusive proof that professional football isn't for huge metropolitan centers only. These small town representatives are up 35,000 in home attendance for four games (two in Green Bay and two in Milwaukee) over last year and very likely will wind up with an all-time record. A road record is in prospect, too, with a 51,482 start at Cleveland. And here's something very few realize: The Packers finished in the black even while wallowing around in the NFL's second division each of the last four year. So the occasional hint that Green Bay can't make a go of it financially is far-fetched to say the least.
OCTOBER 31 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - What happens in Baltimore when pro football is played at Memorial Stadium? Ask the Packers, who lost 14-10, Saturday night. Quite a resemblance to those old college days, heh, Tobin? It really poured before the kickoff, a sure way to kill an expected crowd at most NFL bases. But not in Baltimore, no sir. They came prepared, 34,411 of them - with umbrellas, raincoats and a burning desire to see their Colts, the biggest surprise in the league. There were real horses prancing along the sidelines, bands and other cheerleaders who had pro football goers yelling like college kids: "Rip 'em up, make them oats! Feed them the fighting Colts!" Kid stuff? Apparently not. The college rah-rah stuff inspired the young hosses to awesome feats. The Packers, on the other hand, appeared stage frightened. Green Bay could not score the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter - although only four yards away. "Carmichael and Howton dropped 'em right in their mitts," said Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn Sunday, explaining Tobin Rote's bullets in the end zone. That broke the Packers' back. That was the ball game. Then, too, the Colts controlled the ball to such an extent that Green Bay was plum out of luck, failing to cash in on two earlier breaks. Veryl Switzer returned the opening kickoff, after fumbling, 58 yards to the Colt 37. That riled the Colts. They smothered Rote on a third down play. A 45-yard field goal by Fred Cone was no good. The next golden chance came moments later when Monte Brethauer could not get off a punt on fourth down, threw a pass to an ineligible receiver and the Packers took over on Baltimore's 23. However, this Packers bobble could almost be kissed off to Dame Fortune. Howton was juggling a Rote pass on the 16 when Joe Campanella took charge of him and the ball. The interception was one of two costly mishaps. Baltimore's first touchdown was st up when Don Shula scampered 31 yards to the Packer 15 after stealing a Rote strike to Howie Ferguson. "Those interceptions hurt. And they were lucky one, just dribbling off our boys' fingers," was Blackbourn's appraisal of the turn of events. Baltimore boasted the league's best defensive line last season. A pro coach hardly finds bruisers like Campanella, Donovan, Finnin and Joyce anymore. Green Bay could not crack this wall when it was within the 10 twice. But what has really made the Colts click is the best assemblance of rookies ever. Al Ameche, L.G. Dupre, George Shaw - those are first year men who pay little attention to the rookie moniker. The Horse is going even better than his All-American days at Wisconsin. With a big, vicious line opening up for him. Ameche seems on his way to greatness. His 117 yards against the Packers marked the third time this season in which he has gained 100 yards or better. When yardage is needed - the ball goes to Ameche. He carried 22 times Sunday to break the former ball carrying mark set by John Huzvar. After Shula put the Colts in scoring position from the Packer 15, it was Ameche for six, Ameche for five. Buddy Young's four yard scamper was the touchdown. Dupre, the lad from Baylor who possesses one thing - speed - scored the second touchdown, bursting through the Packers secondary for 23 yards. Dupre netted 88 yards on 14 carries - he's a nice change of pace from the bruising Ameche. "It was a rough, tough game," added Liz. "Sure they're in good position now, but we're not counting ourselves out, not yet." As one Baltimore taxi driver remarked after the game: "We didn't think the Packers were a dirty team, we figure they just play it rough. And that's the way we like to play it. We've waited a long time for a winner here. Looks like we've got something started." He might have something. And for the Packers, they better get their daubers up for next Sunday's meeting with the roaring Bears. That also calls for an immediate stepup offensive. You can't expect to win games if you can't score within the 10 yard line - not in this league.
OCTOBER 31 (Milwaukee Journal) - Despite their second straight four point licking by the Baltimore Colts, the Green Bay Packers find themselves "under a handkerchief" today. Certainly, a "hankie", rather than a blanket, would better describe what covers the first five teams in the western division. Only one game separates the quintet. The Packers share third place with the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers, one game behind the Los Angeles Rams and Baltimore. Coach Lisle Blackbourn was asked what he thought about it. "The Chicago Bears look like the favorite now," Blackbourn said Monday at Green Bay. "They're probably the best team in either division." Better than the Cleveland Browns? "Oh, we were probably down a little at Cleveland," he said, referring to the 41-10 defeat the Browns administered to the Packers a week ago. Blackbourn obviously was disappointed that his Packers failed twice against the Colts. They were a team which he felt sure Green Bay could beat. Now the Packers must face the Bears at Chicago's Wrigley Field Sunday. The Bears, winners of three straight after losing their first three games, certainly will be no easier to get along with when they recall the 24-3 shellacking the Packers hung on them at Green Bay a month ago. Blackbourn was asked about the Packers' failure to score at Baltimore Sunday night after they got first down on the Colts' eight yard line midway in the fourth quarter. "Sure, that was bad," he said. "On second down, Rote's pass was right in Howton's belly, Howton got hit from behind real hard, but the pass still could have been caught. On fourth down, Rote's pass hit Carmichael on the left hip. He was moving fast on the slant, but either or both of those passes could have been caught." Blackbourn refused to comment, because of a league rule, on Breezy Reid's ejection from the game in the first quarter. "All I can say is that it hurt," he said. "Ferguson had a real good night, but he tired badly toward the end. His knee was taped heavily, and he had to work against that, besides his efforts on runs and being tackled. He came out it okay, though, and maybe he won't have to be taped so much this week." With Reid out, Blackbourn was forced to switch Veryl Switzer all the way at left halfback and Al Carmichael at right half. Reid, besides being regular left halfback, can be used to spell Howie Ferguson at fullback and with the Georgia boy in there, Switzer and Carmichael would have alternated at right half. Blackbourn said that he thought the defense did a good job against passes, not so good against rushing. "Ameche was real good," he said. "I don't know if he was better than in the game at Milwaukee because maybe we weren't as a good as this time." Rookie Tom Bettis played a "pretty good game" in place of Roger Zatkoff at linebacker, Blackbourn said. Zatkoff was hospitalized in Baltimore the night before the game with a severe gastric disturbance and played only briefly. The coach praised quarterback Tobin Rote. "He's been a sick man now for three straight weeks," Blackbourn said. "That could just hangs on and plugs his ears with infection. We came out of the game in pretty good condition, but if Rote doesn't recover pretty soon, we're in tough shape." Blackbourn said that the Packers would hold no practice or meetings Monday or Tuesday. "Maybe the extra day off will give us a fresh start," he said.
NOVEMBER 1 (Chicago Tribune) - Who's going to meet the
Cleveland Browns in the pro football's annual playoff for the
championship? There appears little doubt that the Browns are
en route to filling their traditional role as the eastern division's
playoff representative. Cleveland's 26 to 20 victory over the
Chicago Cardinals Sunday left the Browns all along atop the
eastern standings with five victories against one defeat as the
campaign reached the halfway mark. But there's a real 
scramble in the league's western division for the opportunity
to face the Browns. Five teams still are contenders. The
ultimate winner could be Los Angeles, 31 to 20 loser to the
Chicago Bears Sunday but still tied with Baltimore for the top
spot. It could be Baltimore, 14 to 10 winner over Green Bay
Saturday night. It could be the Packers, one of three teams
deadlocked in the runner-up spot only a game off the pace. It
could be the San Francisco 49ers, 38 to 21 victors over 
Detroit and second of the three teams involved in the three
way tie. Or - sound the trumpets - it COULD be the amazing
Chicago Bears, busy making up for lost time as they strive to
record one of the greatest finishes in pro history. The Bears,
heeding the natural law of self-preservation after losing their
first three games, made Los Angeles their third straight victim
Sunday in a game that included an 86 yard Ed Brown to 
Harlon Hill pass play - the longest in the league this season. 
It was a must victory for the Bears, who would have been all
but mathematically eliminated from the title chase by defeat.
Now the Bears return home to face Green Bay Sunday in a
game with all the earmarks of a payoff struggle. Sunday's
victory zoomed the Bears to the top of the league's statistcal
chart in both total offense and rushing. They have amassed
2,221 yards, 1,156 on the ground. Passwise, the Bears have
completed 80 out of 161 attempts for a 49.7 percent average.
Pittsburgh's Steelers went the way of all who threaten the
Browns' legendary hold on the Eastern plum. The Steelers,
who had shared first place with Cleveland, were set down by
the Philadelphia Eagles, 24 to 0. Spectator interest in the two
colorful races kept the cash registers jingling as the six 
weekend games drew 229,466 fans, bringing attendance for
the first half of the season to 1,350,908. Top crowd was the
69,587 who watched the Bears and Rams in Los Angeles. Don
Paul's 60 yard runback of a punt for a Cleveland touchdown
against the Cardinals in the second quarter brought cries of
anguish from some southside partisans yesterday. The fans
apparently questioned Cardinal strategy in punting on fourth
down with only inches to go. The ball was on the Cardinals 25.
Answered Ray Richards, the Cardinal coach: "It is basic football strategy to punt on fourth down when deep in your own territory, particularly early in the game, as was the case. The slippery condition of the turf would have made it even more dangerous to go for a first down. The fact that the punt was returned for a touchdown has nothing to do with the soundness of the strategy dictating a punt in such a situation. There is a time for gambling, but this was not it."
NOVEMBER 1 (Green Bay) - George Timberlake, Packer defensive back, left the club Tuesday to go into military service and was replaced on the roster by Jack Spinks, a lineman from Alcorn (Miss.) A&M. Spinks, an offensive guard and tackle, tried out with the Packers early this season but was dropped when the club had to pare its roster to meet NFL limitations.
NOVEMBER 1 (Milwaukee Journal) - One thing you can say about Lisle Blackbourn's Green Bay Packers, they play the most interesting football games and at most times the most frustrating kind of any team around these days. In 18 NFL games over a season and a half of Blackbourn's regime at Green Bay, the Packers have lost 11 games. In eight of them, six last season and two this year, they were in there right up to the gun, dropping the eight games by a combined total of 35 points. They have been soundly licked only twice - by the 49ers at San Francisco last season, 35-0, after their bid to go anywhere had been foiled too many times, and by the Browns at Cleveland a week ago Sunday, 41-10. Otherwise, it has been a defeat by from one to eight points in nine games. They lost the finale to the Rams at Los Angeles last season, 35-27, in their only other setback which found them completely out of contention when time ran out. Two of this year's defeats, each by four points to the Baltimore Colts, have been especially frustrating. In the contest here three weeks ago, the Packers did everything but run the Colts out of the Stadium in the last quarter, yet could not push over the winning touchdown. At Baltimore last Saturday night, Green Bay marched right down to Baltimore's five yard line with six minutes to play, then frittered the potential winning touchdown away. The Packers before the game felt certain they would gain revenge. Instead, they lost, 14-10. Lack of depth clearly is the problem. Give Blackbourn four or five more good football players and the pattern probably would be reversed. Two examples come to mind immediately. First, quarterback Tobin Rote. Here is the most inconsistent quarterback in football, a great competitor, but one given to splurges of great play, then moments when he can do nothing right. Rote, as quarterback of a team which plays close ones every Sunday, is under great strain. And there is no relief for him, because every play is a key one and because Bobby Garrett last season and Charlie Brackins this year just could not and cannot be used in such situations. For the last three games, Rote has played under great physical handicap. A mean cold, which plugs up his ears with infection, has refused to let go of him. Yet he must play under the circumstances, or the Packers would have no chance at all. The second example occurred at Baltimore Saturday night. On an intercepted pass in the first quarter, Green Bay halfback Breezy Reid, the old Georgian, was knocked down by a Colt blocker, got up and was blocked and generally roughed up by another Colt. Reid arose the second time and took a swing. An official saw him and tossed him out of the game. Actually, Green Bay was through right there. Without Reid Blackbourn could do no juggling to give even brief respite to his other running backs. - the injured Howie Ferguson or Veryl Switzer or Al Carmichael, who double as kickoff and punt return men. At that, the Packers almost won anyway. Billy Howton got two or three steps behind Baltimore's defenders in the fourth quarter and made 60 yards on Rote's long pass. He was caught from behind when he lost his stride in a muddy spot along the sidelines. Otherwise, the Rice rabbit never would have been overhauled. Then, from the 20, the Packers moved to the Baltimore five, only to give up the ball and the ball game because Rote's receivers, on difficult but not impossible chances, could not hang onto his passes. Nevertheless, what Blackbourn and his courageous boys have accomplished remains the wonder of the rest of the league. It was best expressed by a scout from a rival team after the Browns had trounced the Packers. "After seeing the difference in personnel out there today." he said, "you just have think that Liz is doing it with mirrors."
NOVEMBER 2 (Sporting News) - Howie Ferguson didn't
go to college. Matter of fact, he didn't complete high
school. Yet this bronco of the bayous, most surprising
of the surprising Green Bay Packers, today ranks as
one of the finest fullbacks in the NFL. In this topsy-turvy
pro football season,  Ferguson's climb to success from
the discard heap of the Los Angeles Rams stands out
above all others. Ferguson, an all-around athlete at New
Iberia (La.) High School, joined the Navy after his junior
year. He played service football for four years. While he
was performing for San Diego Navy, a bird dog of the
Rams got a look at him. Following his discharge,
Ferguson reported to the Rams. That was in 1952. He
played against the collegians in the all-star game and
turned in a fine job. But before the season opened, when
the Rams had to reduce to the league's 33-player limit,
Ferguson was cut loose. The Rams, after all, had 
Deacon Dan Towler and Tank Younger, two of the 
league's best fullbacks. That left no place for Howie. Joe
Stydahar, then coach of the Rams, tipped off the
Packers about Ferguson, but Howie put in a year
working in the oil fields around New Iberia, before
reporting to the Packers in 1953. He barely hung on in
1953, playing little as second string fullback to Fred
Cone and carrying the ball 52 times for 134 yards...
RATED HIGH BY BLACKBOURN: About midseason of
1954, Ferguson beat out Cone for the first string
position. His 276 yards in 83 carries still was far from
outstanding, but as a pass catcher, he made 41
receptions, second high on the Packers and surpassed
only by Billy Howton, for 398 yards. Prior to the start
of the current season, many observers said, "What the
Packers need most is a real fullback - another Clarke
Hinkle or Ted Fritsch. Someone who can go get those
two or three yards, who can tear up the other team's
line." Coach Lisle Blackbourn smiled and said, "I've got a fullback, one of the best in the league." The pre-season games bore out Blackbourn's contention and early league contests clinched the argument. In six exhibitions, Ferguson gained 301 yards - almost as much as all the other Packer backs combined. He required only the first three regular season games to exceed his total of the entire '54 campaign. In upset victories over the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears and in the heartbreaking, 24 to 20 defeat by the Baltimore Colts, Ferguson gained 294 yards in 53 carries. Only Alan Ameche, the Wisconsin Horse turned Colt, surpassed him in ground gaining after five league games. Ameche, most publicized football player, college or pro, in his four great years as a Badger, had 518 yards in 94 tries, while Howie had 367 yards in 75 carries. But when they met, man to man, at Milwaukee's County Stadium the night of October 8, before 40,119 spectators, by far the largest crowd ever to see a football game in Milwaukee, Ferguson went all out to shade the Horse, who was returning as a pro to his home state. Ferguson did, too, gaining 71 yards to Ameche's 57, each in 20 carries against two of the toughest defenses in pro football. Each scored one touchdown. Ameche lost the ball on the first play from scrimmage, setting up Green Bay's first touchdown, which was scored after only 41 seconds. Ferguson did not fumble. On one play, when Ferguson roared around right end on his favorite pitchout play for a first down on Baltimore's two-yard line, Gino Marchetti, 245-pound end, tried to tackle the 210-pound Ferguson. The big Colt was wheeled away on a stretcher with a dislocated shoulder. Ferguson, 25, married and the father of a son and daughter, has amazed many observers with his improvement, among them George Paskvan, himself a former All-America fullback at Wisconsin and with the Packers. "Howie sure fooled me," Paskvan said. "I never thought he'd make it. But right now I'd say he and Ameche are the two best. No one drives harder for yardage than Ferguson. I guess all he needed was Big Time experience. He gets better every game." Blackbourn, in his second year of rebuilding Packer fortunes, has many castoffs from other teams on his squad. But Blackbourn isn't complaining about his material. Not with a castoff like Howie Ferguson around to play fullback. "Howie is the best pass-catching fullback in the league," Blackbourn says, "and he's developing into one of the best runners. Why, I wouldn't be surprised if he's THE best right now. He sure is in my book."
NOVEMBER 2 (Chicago Tribune) - Slight suspicions of impending disaster began ruffling the aplomb of George Halas yesterday. Things have been going too well, the genial owner-coach of the Chicago Bears figures. Returning from the club's most successful trip to the Pacific coast in five seasons, Halas found lines formed in front of the Wrigley field ticket wicket for Sunday's contest against the Green Bay Packers. People are now calling his Bears the team to beat in the championship race and the best job in athletics at the moment is trainer for the team. Not a man needs attention. Such luck cannot last, opines Halas, a firm believer that no road is too long to have a turning. Trouble, he expects, must be just around the corner. And the corner, in all probability, is at the end of the week. No team ever has come back from two weeks on the coast to one of its best performances. This is not exclusively a Bear failing. It happens to every team that makes the long haul westward. There is a considerable difference of opinion over the reason for these homecoming letdowns, but none at all over the deadliness. Somewhat in the nature of an experiment, Halas yesterday gave the Bears the day off, except for a lecture. Preparations will be put back on a daily basis today, with defense against the passing and running of Tobin Rote and the reckless charges of Howie Ferguson, one of football's greatest fullbacks, the first order of business. Ferguson has recovered fully from the knee trouble that slowed him down in recent weeks and with his recovery, Green Bay officials yesterday announced the Packers would be in the best shape of the season on Sunday. This is getting to be a habit with Bear opponents. San Francisco proclaimed itself healthier than any time since training camp when the Bears got to Kezar stadium 10 days ago. One of the most important factors in pre-game speculation in Los Angeles last Sunday was an official announcement from the Rams that they too had just returned to 100 percent condition. The Bears whipped both clubs in a workmanlike manner, literally blocking and tackling the Rams and 49ers into submission. Now comes Green Bay. Halas may have a right to worry, even with all the ticket racks stripped. Bear players were more interested in talking about the coast trip than predicting success against the Packers and out of their reminiscences came the revelation that Harlon Hill called the 86 yard touchdown pass with which he and Ed Brown broke the Rams' back Sunday. Opening strategy against the Rams called for no long passes. Long passes have been the downfall of every Los Angeles opponent so far. Brown forgot the instruction momentarily on the first play of the game, and the Rams intercepted. Thereafter, the Bears limited themselves to medium and short shots, mostly in the flat. By the third period, they had drawn in the Ram secondary. Hill caught the secondary crowding up, instead of falling back, and suggested in the huddle that he could get loose. The rest is in the official records.
NOVEMBER 1 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packers could have been in first place going into the Bear scrap Sunday at Wrigley Field had they been able to score a touchdown from the eight yard line in the fourth quarter against the Colts Saturday night. Instead, they find themselves one game behind the league leading Rams and Colts (4-2) and deadlocked with the Bears and 49ers (3-3) at the halfway mark of the NFL season. Why couldn't the Packers score with a first down on the Colt 8? Was it because their ground attack suffered after halfback Breezy Reid was booted out of the game in the first quarter? With Reid out, Green Bay had to improvise, switching Veryl Switzer to Breezy's spot and using Al Carmichael as a flanker. Consequently, there was no running attack outside of Howie Ferguson, a marked man. Why was Reid kicked out of the game? From what we saw at Baltimore and gathered from listening to the post-mortem talk, Reid got the thumb from an official after swinging at Colt guard Bill Pellington. It happened when Joe Campanella intercepted Tobin Rote's pass intended for Billy Howton on the Colt 22 yard line. Reid was trying to cut off Campanella. Pellington came swinging at Reid and Breezy just retaliated with one to Pellington's choppers. The Colt bench yelled, "What about that Reid, ref?" And sure enough, the Packers were penalized 15 yards for a personal foul, and Breezy, to his dismay, was given the heave ho. It certainly was a fast call and one which crippled the Packers. And it was the first time Reid has been kicked out of a ball game since joining the Packers six years ago. Reid had a 4.3 average going into the Baltimore game. He had scored on a four yard burst through the Detroit line earlier this season and very possibly could have been what the Packers needed against the Colts. With Breezy sitting out his "suspension", Rote called these plays:
1. A handoff to Ferguson off left tackle (Good for three yards to the five).
2. A pass to Howton in the left flat (Pass dropped).
3. Rote on a keeper (Good for one yard).
4. A pass to Al Carmichael (Pass dropped in end zone).
What was equally disturbing about the Reid incident was the fact the referees took no measures against the Colts. Pellington was not ejected, although his fists were flying faster than Reid's. Breezy happened to get the last punch in, the one in full view of the officials. And with a good backing from the 34,411 fans and the Colt bench, the personal foul and suspension of Reid was just natural. Players took their football seriously Sunday, too. Seven were ejected for fighting in two games. Three players were evicted after a flurry of fist fights in the Eagle-Steeler contest and four from the Brown-Cardinal tussle. However, in these scraps players were tossed out from both side. The Packers just weren't that lucky.
NOVEMBER 1 (Philadelphia) - Bert Bell, NFL commissioner, today called a meeting of club owners for November 28 in Philadelphia for the annual bonus pick and for each club to select three players from the eligible list. The Chicago Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers are eligible for the bonus pick. Bell said playoff dates would be discussed in the event of a double or triple tie in either division. At present, the western division of the league is scrambled with a two way tie for first place and others, except Detroit, bunched closely behind. The season will end December 11 and the championship game is scheduled for December 26 in the park of the western division champion.
NOVEMBER 2 (Sporting News) - If Paul Brown is the David Harum of the NFL, then Liz Blackbourn of the Green Bay Packers must rate a special citation as runner-up. When the Packers played the Browns at Cleveland, October 23, an even dozen of their players were castoffs from other NFL clubs. The players and their previous affiliations were as follows: Fullback Howie Ferguson (Rams); halfback Breezy Reid (Bears); end Gary Knafelc (Cardinals); defensive halfback Val Joe Walker (Giants); defensive end John Martinkovic, guard Buddy Brown and tackle Len Szafaryn (Redskins); tackle Tom Dahms (Rams); tackle Jerry Helluin, guard Joe Skibinski and tackle Bill Lucky (Browns), and defensive end Pat O'Donahue (49ers). Dahms, six-foot, five-inch, 250-pounder, rates as probably the best deal ever made by the Packers, being obtained for veteran end Stretch Elliott, since released by the Rams, and a '56 draft choice, whose value has been more then offset by Dahms' spectacular play.
NOVEMBER 4 (Chicago Tribune) - Visitors to Chicago
Bear workouts these days would hardly recognize the
team as one which has just scored decisive victories in
three important contests. An air of grim resolve shrouds
the Bears as they go about preparing for the invasion
of Green Bay's explosive Packers on Sunday, an
encounter which may attract one of the largest NFL
gatherings of the season. There is no overconfidence
and for good reason. Green Bay has outplayed the
Bears in their last three meetings. It never allowed 
them to get into the game at Green Bay early this year,
winning 24 to 3. A year ago, when the Bears has just
returned from a spectacular last second victory over
San Francisco, it took every break in the game for the
Bears to eke out a last minute 23 to 20 triumph. This
was the one in which the Bears scored on a punt
fumbled by Veryl Switzer, a decision the Packers still
contend was one of the worst holdups since a bunch of
the boys tipped over the Brinks Express company, and
Don Kindt had to make the catch of his life on his pass.
In addition to excellent personnel, Green Bay is
profiting from one of the best coaching jobs in football.
Lisle Blackbourn, in his second season, has equipped
the Packers with a fast, trick, and well balance attack.
In Fred Cone the Packers have the league's leading
field goal kicker, with 10 out of 16 attempts. Their big
end, Bill Howton, is tied with Harlon Hill of the Bears
for second place among receivers and fullback Howie
Ferguson is third among the league's ground gainers
with 444 yards in 94 attempts. Al Carmichael and
Switzer are regarded as two of the finest kick return
men in the league, and, of course, there always is 
Tobin Rote, the nomination of some coaches as the 
most dangerous quarterback in football. Fortunately for
the Bear coaching staff, none of these facts are news 
to the Bear players, who have begun to draw a bead on
the division championship. Consequently, the Bears are
not expected to fall victim of that fatal football malady -
overconfidence. Or at least, thousands of Bear fans
who already have visited the box office hope so.
NOVEMBER 4 (Milwaukee Journal) - Revenge appears near for the Bears - and how Papa Bear George Halas wants it. His Chicago Bears, once again fitting the description "Monsters of the Midway", plan to show Lisle Blackbourn's Packers and a standing room only crowd of 50,000 at Chicago's Wrigley Field Sunday that what happened at Green Bay a month ago was all a mistake. The 74th renewal of this longest of NFL series will be contested starting at 1 o'clock. The Bears, who hold a 42-25 edge since 1921 with six ties, rule solid 10 point favorites. In their Green Bay meeting October 2, the Bears were favored, too. But the Packers won, 24-3. The Chicagoans were thoroughly outblocked and outattacked that day. They crossed midfield only six times and came no closer than 23 yards to Green Bay's goal. But now the Bears are different - entirely different. They have won three straight games, including the feat of sweeping their two game trip to the West Coast. Blackbourn himself calls the Bears "the best team in either division right now." Wally Cruice of Milwaukee, who flew to Los Angeles last week to scout the Bears, then flew right back to Green Bay to tell Blackbourn and his assistants what he saw, backed up Blackbourn's evaluation. "They are the best team I've seen this season," Cruice said. Cruice was asked how the Bears had grown from cubs to grizzlies. "Their line," he said, "is doing a job, offensively and defensively. They are finally running the ball more. At Los Angeles, for example, they had some 80 plays from scrimmage and threw only 25 passes. They used to pass three times as much as they ran. With Jagade, Casares, Hoffman and Watkins, they can run on anybody. Brown has improved greatly at quarterback. Blanda is about the same. You can't give them anytime back there or they'll kill you with a long one."
NOVEMBER 4 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - On paper, the Bears are a better passing and rushing team than the Packers. And on paper the Bears can show a better quarterback than the Packers, a better end, a better scorer and a better punt returner. Football games are played on a gridiron, however, a 100-yard terra firma that produces peculiar things - like the 24-3 drubbing the Bruins suffered at Green Bay last October. At that time, like now, the Bears were favored to win. They were considered on paper just a little too good, too big and too fast company for Coach Liz Blackbourn's poor little Packers. So after it was all over these statistics seem unbelievable:
                     Packers Bears
Yards Gained Rushing     223   132
Yards Gained Passing     188    85
Total Yardage            411   217
Strange things are happening in pro football. However, there is always the possibility for the unexpected when the Packers and Bears clash. Take 1950 for example. The Packers had one of their poorest seasons in the NFL, winning only three games while losing nine. Yet, on an October afternoon in Green Bay, the Packers ran over the Bears, 31-21. And that season the Bears rolled on to tie the Rams for the Western Division lead with nine wins and three losses. They consequently lost to Los Angeles, 24-14, in the playoff. Now comes Sunday's 74th meeting between the teams, this time at Wrigley Field. Will the Bruins continue their hot pursuit for the divisional lead? Or will the Packers be labeled the darkhorse in this hectic pro race? Here is what has happened since that 24-3 deal in Green Bay. The Packers lost to the Colts, tripped the Rams, were drubbed by the Browns and took it on the chin from Baltimore again. The Bears lost their third straight, being edged by the 49ers and came back roaring with consecutive wins over the Colts, 49ers and Rams. Blackbourn's boys are still trying to figure why they couldn't beat the Colts, even once. The Brown rout is better forgotten. George Halas, who would like to bow out the way he came in - a champion, figured this was the year for the Bears. Now, more than ever - he points that the Bruins are on their way. Brown did it! Hill did it! Blanda did it! Hoffman and Casares did it! Brown acquired big league stature after the Green Bay trip. He completed only five of 16 passes against the Packers and had four intercepted. But today he is the league's fourth best passer. Harlon Hill had his best day against the Rams, grabbing eight for 151 yards and three touchdowns. He caught one pass against the Packers in the opener for 39 yards. George Blanda has scored 44 points this season, second only to Washington's Vic Janowicz. Blanda's 47-yard field goal was the only score against the Packers. John Hoffman is leading the Bears in rushing with 302 yards and a 5.0 average. Rookie Rick Casares has 298 yards and a 4.2 average. Hoffman had a 3.2 average against the Packers while Casares was sidelined. Ron Drzewiecki, the Marquette scooter, has an 8.8 yard average in punt returns, third best in the league. At Green Bay, Drzewiecki was the only spark in the Bears' attack, returning a kickoff 21 yards and running back two short field goal attempts 19 and 17 yards. But at the moment, this is a lot of paperwork. Sunday's showdown is another one of those football games in a league where anything can and does happen. And when the match is Packers and Bears, there is all the more reason for the unexpected.
NOVEMBER 5 (Chicago Tribune) - Lisle Blackbourn, accompanied by his Green Bay Packers and the vanguard of 3,000 rooters, will arrive in the Loop today in time for a short workout in Wrigley field, where tomorrow they meet the Chicago Bears in 73rd renewal of the bitterest rivalry in professional football. Blackbourn will be pleased to learn that his club is a nine point underdog along Randolph Street, where they have made the Bears favorites in all their losses and gave them points in their victories over Los Angeles and San Francisco. He also will be pleased to learn that Wrigley field is in excellent condition under the tarpaulin spread before Wednesday's snow and that the weatherman predicts fair weather for tomorrow's engagement. Bear preparations featured defense against Tobin Rote and Howie Ferguson again yesterday and in all probability there will be more of the same this morning when Coach George Halas winds up work for his last Green Bay game. Halas holds an edge over the Packers in 34 years of uninterrupted competition, 42 victories to 24, with six ties. But the only game of the series that really counts is tomorrow's. Both teams need a victory to remain in the championship race. At present they are tied for second place with .500 records in six starts.
NOVEMBER 6 (Chicago Tribune) - Green Bay and the Chicago Bears will turn back the pages of professional football history in Wrigley field today. Once
again the erstwhile titans of the National league meet
before a capacity throng of 48,000 with the title hopes
of both teams at stake. Tied for second place in the
western division with San Francisco, the loser in this
73rd renewal of professional football's most profitable
series must perforce drop out of immediate contention.
The winner may, depending on the outcome of the 49er-
Ram game in Los Angeles, go to dinner in a tie for first
place. Speculative odds favor the Bears by nine points,
but psychologically all the advantage is with the 
Packers, losers of their last two games. In addition to
the Packers, who made them look bad in their first
meeting, the Bears must fight against the mysterious
letdown that has followed them home from the coast
every trip for the last three seasons. Bear hopes depend
entirely upon their ability to play the same type of
football that humbled Baltimore (38-10), produced a
victorious rally against San Francisco (34-23), and turned back Los Angeles (31-20). Anything less than the vicious perfection with which they blocked, tackled and ran over the opposition in the three triumphs will be inadequate against an explosive Packer team whose greatest asset all season has been its willingness to give until it hurts. The game will bring together four of the National league's top receivers - Harlon Hill and Bill McColl of Bears and Bill Howton and Gary Knafelc of the Packers. George Blanda of the Bears and Fred Cone of the Packers are second and third among National league scorers and Cone leads the league in field goals with 10. Another interesting duel will pit rival safetymen, Ron Drzewiecki and Bobby Watkins of the Bears and Veryl Switzer and Al Carmichael of the Packers against each other. Switzer is third among the league's kickoff return men and Drzewiecki third among punt handlers. More than 3,000 Green Bay fans will accompany the Packers. The weatherman promises them a fair day and a fast field.
NOVEMBER 2 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The 75th annual Packer-Bear game was reported a sellout Tuesday - which means more than 50,000 will pack Wrigley Field to witness Sunday's struggle for title contention. The resurgent Bears, who returned to Chicago from the most successful coast trip since 1950, will be fired up by their new conquests....and by that ever present burning desire - beat the Packers. It's reasonable to assume the Bears are still steaming over the humiliating 24-3 licking at Green Bay. And, mind you, right now they're the hottest club in pro football, having whipped the Colts, 49ers and Rams after losing three straight. You can bet a battle royal, with all switches wide open, is in the offing - which explains the rush for tickets. What a change in those Bear. They aren't the same team which the Packers ran over with ridiculous ease at Green Bay. Just take a gander at Halas U's statistical record as of right now: The Bears boast the best total offense in the league, with 2,221 yards gained, 1,156 on the ground. And with Ed Brown perfecting his passing, the aerial punch has connected 80 of 161 times for 49 percent efficiency. It was Brown and Harlon Hill who teamed for the longest pass of the season last Sunday - a mighty 86 yarder which broke the Rams' hopes. Bear publicitor Frank Korch reported the club would be in top physical shape for the Packers. If you remember at Green Bay, a much heralded rookie named Rick Casares was sidelined with injuries. Casares is one of the best in the business. His 81-yard dash against the Colts last month is