NEWS AND NOTES
PACKERS SELL THEMSELVES WITH WHALE OF GAME
OCTOBER 15 (Milwaukee Journal - Oliver Kuechle) - That was a whale of a spectators' show the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Colts put on at County Stadium Sunday afternoon - spectacular, hard hitting and just imperfect enough to add an extra bit of tension. The observation has occasionally been made that pro ball might eventually beat itself by its own growing perfection. "They're so good, they're too good. They reduce the factor of human error to a dull minimum. They make everything look too easy." Such, though, was certainly not the case Sunday. A couple of attempts for the extra point after touchdown were missed and for a while threatened to alter the entire strategy of the game. The opening kickoff (a free ball) was messed up and indirectly led to a quick Green Bay score. A football apparently safely locked in the arms of a fullback (Ferguson) running around end inexplicably popped loose and was picked up and converted into an easy Baltimore score. Here certainly was anything except perfection but it added something all its own to the tension filled two and one-half hours of watching the game...'PERFECTION' POINTS: Overall, of course, was the "perfect" or good football which outweighed the rest and that was the big thing: Alan Ameche's and Howie Ferguson's bull-like rushes; Lenny Moore's spectacular speed, in fact, the entire Baltimore backfield's speed, which for awhile looked as though it might eventually be the decisive factor in the game; Tobin Rote's pin point passing; the spectacular receiving of Bill Howton and Gary Knafelc; and the jarring defense play on both side, which more than once was felt right up in the stands. Well, the Packers will be back Sunday, Los Angeles. They deserve 40,000 on the kind of game they gave the fans yesterday...PARKING A MESS: But one sour note. The Packers and the Stadium ought to get together on parking in area 2-A just in front of the main Stadium entrances. Fans with baseball parking tickets to that area, and they more than fill it anyway, were joined Sunday by fans with tickets issued by the Packers and the result was a mess. Cars were jammed in so tight and parked with so little regard for others that anybody who wanted to leave a little early had to push others out of his way - hand push, too - or just wait. I know. I pushed.
HOW IMPORTANT IS ROTE? JUST ASK LIZ
OCTOBER 16 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Liz Blackbourn was in conformity with most pro football observers Monday that a crafty quarterback can mean the difference between losing and winning. Tobin Rote was first fiddle Sunday and the Packers won their first game. Rote was a crack shot with his passes, foxy with play calling and deceptive in handoffs. Blackbourn knew the saddle was on the right horse even through he started rookie Bart Starr. "In pro football you've got to have a skilled quarterback to win - we had one in Rote," the coach pointed out. "This was pretty much of a must deal," Blackbourn admitted. "Yes, we got some breaks but our offense did well. We needed this game real bad and went out and won it." The Packers schemer made no comment on his club's chances in the Western Division at this time. He explains: "Things are beginning to tangle up again. The Lions are in the best spot with three straight wins, but I think they can do no better than split with the Bears." And what about the Packers? "We play the Rams next Sunday," was his only answer. Howie Ferguson's savage running was mentioned and Blackbourn felt mighty happy "he's on our side." "He's just a great one," said Liz. "Fergy sprained his ankle in the third quarter but wouldn't call it quits for anything." The Packer bruiser outgained Al (The Horse) Ameche again (by eight yards) but Blackbourn also praised the Baltimore hoss, saying, "Ameche's got wonderful balance, he's a tough man to bring down." While Bobby Dillon was a one-man wrecking crew as far as George Shaw was concerned (intercepting two passes, one for a touchdown), Blackbourn wasn't too pleased the way the Colts' Carl Taseff was off to the races on punt returns. Dick Deschaine averaged 48 yards on six punts, but this amazing kicking exhibition was almost wasted by Taseff's returns. "We staggered our line and the boys were down there to get Taseff," explained Blackbourn. "I can't understand how he sprang loose." Blackbourn singled out Hank Gremminger, the Baylor rookie, as playing his best game. Liz said: "He wasn't as bad as most observers thought in the first two games. He'll be o.k. That pass interception gave him the confidence he needs." The injury list showed Ferguson and tackle Jerry Helluin. Ferguson was nursing his sprained ankle but should be fit for the Rams. Helluin hurt his arm but it was nothing serious. Meanwhile, the Packer office was buzzing in preparation for Los Angeles at the Stadium next Sunday. Blackbourn was quite upset because of the late arrival of the Ram-49er film, which was due last Friday. "Those Rams always play terrifically against us and we need all the preparation possible to be ready for them," Blackbourn concluded.
LOS ANGELES RAMS PRACTICE AT SEMINARY
OCTOBER 16 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Los Angeles Rams arrived in Milwaukee from Detroit Monday. They will work out at St. Francis Seminary afternoons in preparation for their game with the Packers Sunday. Art Hauser, defensive tackle with the Rams, is from Rubicon, Wis., played high school ball at Hartford and later attended Xavier. His brother, Father Jerry Hauser, is athletic director at St. Francis. Two Rams players were left in Detroit with injuries - middle guard Bob Griffin and halfback Brad Myers. Both were to be examined there. In their absence end Tom Fears and defensive end Duane Wardlow, released earlier, were called from Los Angeles. The Rams are quartered at the Schroeder.
PACKERS' ADJUSTMENT OF DEFENSE STOPPED COLTS IN SCORING SPREE
OCTOBER 16 (Milwaukee Journal) - Blood pressure back to normal? Then let's find out how the Green Bay Packers beat the Baltimore Colts in their pro football game at the Stadium Sunday. Defense did it. How's that? Defense in a 38-33 game? But wait. Baltimore did get 351 yards from scrimmage, but got most of them before Coach Lisle Blackbourn and his assistants changed Green Bay's defensive alignment between halves. Green Bay's line in the first half played it tight and pinched to halt the expected gallops of Alan (The Horse) Ameche inside. So the Colts merely went wide on pitchouts or sent Ameche veering wide and rolled up 240 yards. It was a different story in the second half, though. The line didn't pinch as much, it covered the outside much better and allowed only 111 yards from scrimmage. Baltimore did get two touchdowns in the second half, but one was on Carl Taseff's 90 yard punt return in the third quarter and the other on Jess Thomas' 25 yard run with a fumble in the fourth. Neither score was permitted by Green Bay's defensive platoon. The Colts had the ball five times all told in the second half and here is now, against a toughened defense, they fared:
1. Advanced six yards in three plays and punted.
2. Gained five yards on one play, then yielded a touchdown when Bob Dillon intercepted George Shaw's pass which had been deflected by Roger Zatkoff and carried it 42 yards across the goal.
3. Gained 38 yards in six plays. Zatkoff broke through to smear Ameche on one of them, then Shaw's pass was taken out of Ray Berry's arms by Dillon on the one and returned 45 yards.
4. Gained 10 yards in six plays. After one first down, Deral Teteak bore down on Shaw from the blind side and ruined things by belting him for an 11 yard loss. Baltimore had to punt.
5. Gained 52 yards in eight plays, although on one Shaw, who had outsped the Packers earlier, lost five yards when he could fine no one to pass to. He ran about 50 yards in losing five. The series ended with Hank Gremminger's interception on the one and his 20 yard return.
Blackbourn was asked his views Monday afternoon. He interrupted his first look at the Los Angeles-San Francisco game movies to answer. The Packers will meet Los Angeles at the Stadium Sunday. "Well," Blackbourn said, "the interception on which Dillon took the ball right out of Berry's hands was the play of the day. That was the one that settled it. A turning point? Well, perhaps when Zatkoff deflected the ball into Dillon's hands for his other interception and touchdown. This was one we had to win. It was almost a 'must' deal. It was a pretty fine team effort."
TOP PASS RECEIVERS - HOWTON OF PACKERS, HIRSCH OF RAMS WILL DUEL
OCTOBER 17 (Milwaukee Journal) - Bill Howton, Green Bay Packers end, leads the NFL in pass catches with 15, league statistics revealed Wednesday. That is an average of five catches a game. Elroy (Crazy Legs) Hirsch, old Wisconsin star with the Los Angeles Rams, has 12 catches and the most yardage, 267 to Howton's 259. That sets up a good duel when the Rams and Packers meet at the County Stadium Sunday...Jesse Whittenton, rookie defensive back from Texas Western, a regular with the Rams, dropped his right first name as soon as he was old enough to read. It was Urshell...SHAKES WITH LEFT: Don (Slats) Burroughs, 6 foot 4 inch, 176 pound defensive safety man with the Rams, is shaking hands with his left his week. He sprained his right thumb in Los Angeles' 24-21 defeat by the Lions at Detroit last Sunday...When asked whether he would rather cover Gary Knafelc or Bill Howton, the Packers' two ends, Bill (General) Sherman, Ram defensive back, answered: "I''ll take Bert here." He meant Bert Rose, Rams' publicity man. "Seriously, though," Sherman said, "they're both awfully tough men to cover. Knafelc really came along last year and Howton always was great."...HARD HEADED: Leon Clarke, former Southern California athlete, is one of the Rams' rookie offensive ends. He stands 6 feet 4 inches and weighs 220 pounds, and finished third in the NCAA low hurdles in 1955. A couple of years ago he stopped his car at a light in Los Angeles and was hit by a steel flagpole, 18 inches around, which fell 13 stories. It wrecked the car and he required 32 stitches to close a wound in his head. The big guy explains, "My uncle used to hit me on the head with boards to toughen me up - honest he did. He used to call me egghead and hit me with the boards. The doc says the only reason I wasn't killed was that my head is so tough." That's what the man said...Clarke was asked how many passed he caught last season at Southern California. "Fifteen," he said. "And how many times did they throw the ball to you?" "Fifteen," he said, deadpan like...DILLON SHARES LEAD: Bob Dillon of Green Bay and Jim David of Detroit lead the league in pass interceptions, each with four. Dillon had 129 yards in runbacks, David, only three...The Rams signed free agent end Ron Miller of Southern California a few hours before the San Francisco scout got to him. Sid Gillman, Ram's coach, calls him "a potentially great offensive end, perhaps one of the best in pro football." Miller is called "Mickey Mouse" and "Dumbo" by his teammates. Walt Disney is his uncle.
COLTS EASY TO CORRAL FOR BAYS' DILLON
OCTOBER 17 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Bobby Dillon is a Texan who likes horses - the "Colt" variety. The Packer defensive halfback would like to "ride" the Baltimore steed all season. Unfortunately, there are other "animals" on the prowl which aren't so easily taken for a ride - Rams, Bears and Lions. "Ah can't explain it," drawled the Texan Tuesday. "Those Baltimore boys have treated me just fine. Ah intercepted four passes against them last year and two against them Sunday. Yes, those Colts are o.k." Dillon's 42-yard touchdown interception at the Stadium Sunday was the turning point of the game and his second steal, snaring George Shaw's scoring play pass on the one and returning 45 yards, broke the Colt canter to a trot. Explaining that touchdown run, Dillon said: (Roger) Zatkoff deflected Shaw's pass and Ah just grabbed it on the rebound. (Nate) Borden cleared the path with one of those blasting blocks, and, well, there was nothing to it." Dillon wouldn't reveal any tricks of the trade. "All you need is experience," said the defensive ace. And that Dillon has. He was unanimous All-American defensive choice at Texas in 1951 and was the Packers' third draft choice in 1952. He has been an All-Pro selection for the past two seasons and ranked third in the league last year with nine interceptions. While Baltimore has been Dillon's favorite opponent, the Rams, Bears and Lions have been tough customers. "(Norm) Van Brocklin and (Bobby) Layne have always give me a hard time," Dillon admitted. "And that (Eddie) Brown of the Bears is getting tougher every game." Elroy Hirsch is the best receiver in the league, if you ask the defensive specialist. "My, but that guy's fast," Dillon remarked. "And his deception can really fool you. That Bobby Boyd is dangerous, too." When asked what he thought was the hardest pass to defend against, Dillon paused a moment and then said: "Oh, Ah guess a fake running play when either the quarterback or a halfback passes." An accident when Dillon was 10 years old caused the loss of his left eye. He was struck with a stick. Surgeons were unable to dislodge a splinter and the eye was removed. But it fails to bother Bobby, who has become one of the most feared pass defenders in pro football.
'CUSTOMERS GAME' WITH COLTS GIVES PACKERS TWO-WAY LIFT
OCTOBER 17 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - The Packers really did themselves a bundle of good two ways by wrapping a 38-33 harness around the Colts in last Sunday's thriller at the Stadium - a customers' game if there ever was one. To say Liz Blackbourn's operators needed that one badly is putting it too mildly. Victory was an absolute must after two straight defeats. One more setback and they would have been over the barrel as far as championship consideration is concerned. It's still an uphill pull, but they at least have a chance as things now stand. The thrilling manner in which victory was achieved is bringing added dividends in the way of crowd response for the Packers' second Stadium appearance next Sunday against the Rams. Increased activity at the ticket office is the best possible proof that the fans (1) were more than satisfied and (2) are talking it up. Which adds up to the best advertising and sales promotion in the world. "The demand has been much greater than it was the first two days last week," said Frosty Ferzaca, Milwaukee ticket director. "So it looks like a big crowd in the making for Sunday."...NOTHING BETTER THAN PERFECTION: There were dazzling maneuvers galore, defensive as well as offensive. So it's probably unfair to attempt to put the finger on the best or the most important. But there certainly wasn't a better or more vital play than the Tobin Rote to Gary Knafelc pass that gave the Packers their second touchdown and a 14-6 lead. That was a fine example of the pros at their best. Perfect timing and beautiful two-way execution. Rote cut loose at exactly the right split second. The ball sailed right to the mark and Knafelc did his part with a nifty catch despite the clinging presence of two desperate defenders. Incidentally, those secondary defenders did all that is humanly and legally possible to break up the play. Proving again that it just can't be done when a passer has enough protection at his discretion, the receiver is big enough and fast enough, and the pass is 100 percent on target. The battle of fullbacks, Howie Ferguson and Al Ameche, was quite a show itself. Wouldn't it be great if both were playing for the Packers?