NEWS AND NOTES
THOSE WHO MISSED THE GAME MISSED A LOT
OCTOBER 22 (Milwaukee Journal) - There's nothing to be done about it now because the game is over, but that part of metropolitan Milwaukee which did not see Sunday's professional football game at the Stadium (975,000 less 24,200) missed one of the greatest all-around exhibitions in Green Bay's long football history. Here was something so skillful and spectacular
that even the oldest followers of the club had to
scratch their heads to recall anything quite as good.
The Baltimore game in the rain a week ago was
wonderful. This, in California sunshine, was superb -
and the fact that Green Bay beat Los Angeles was
almost incidental. This had passing by Rote that
recalled the brightest days of Herber and Isbell and
receiving by Howton and Knafelc that brought back
memories of Don Hutson - and Huston was there
with a smile a mile wide. This had spectacular effort
spelled with a capital "E". A 60 yard pass in the air
from the end zone and completed. A 50 yard pass in
the air and completed. And a half dozen or so 40 or
50 yard passes that just fell out of reach or that
trickled off the receiver's hands - and these were
only a few of the afternoon's highlights. Fans gasped
and applauded and yelled as though there might
have been 40,000 of them...DOESN'T IT CARE?
And that was the only sad part of this day again.
Why only 24,200? Has Milwaukee become a one
sport town - a Braves town? (Not counting wrestling,
of course.) Can't it support two big league sports? Or
doesn't Milwaukee care about football? Here was a
situation just made to order it seems for 30,000 or
35,000 fans - or more. The Los Angeles Rams
always a colorful team. A perfect sunny day for
football. A whale of a winning effort against
Baltimore a week ago. An always spectacular
passing attack built around Rote and fine ends.
And the second smallest crowd of the day in the league - smaller even than the one which saw the game with Baltimore in the rain a week ago. Detroit had 55,662 for its game with the 49ers; the Giants, 48,108 for their game with the Steelers; the Bears, 48,364 for their game with the Colts, and Philadelphia, 36,545 for its game with the Cardinals. Only Washington in a city which can't support big league baseball, either, drew less at its game with Cleveland and it did not win the booby prize by much - 23,332....A LITTLE SAD: The Packers can't help but be terribly discouraged over their reception this year in the population center of the state and can't help but be giving serious thoughts, now that they are shortly going to have their own new stadium seating 32,000, of playing all of their games in Green Bay. Maybe that's not exactly the answer to their own little problems but it has crossed their minds more than once at their executive board meetings Monday noons. And it's all a little sad. Milwaukee shouldn't lose the Packers. Anyway, 975,000 people in metropolitan Milwaukee, less 24,200, missed one of the finest football exhibitions played here or anywhere else in many a harvest moon.
ROTE'S PASSES RIGHT ON THE BEAM
OCTOBER 23 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Tobin Rote throws the hardest pass in pro football. And when it's right on the beam it's the toughest to defend against. The Rams boasted the best pass defense in the league last season, but Sunday at the Stadium Rote made it look almost amateurish. The truth of the matter is that when Rote rifles passes with such perfection as he did against the Rams, no defense in pro ball can stop him. He hit the bullseye 16 times for 279 yards. "Rote was hitting his receivers perfectly," Coach Liz Blackbourn said Monday. "The way he was chucking them in would hurt any team. The long ones were mostly an individual game - our ends were having a great day. They were getting loose and catching 'em." Rote threw 32 times and didn't have one intercepted. The Rams only rushed him once, throwing him for an eight yard loss. While Billy Howton and Gary Knafelc are probably the best pass catching twosome in the business, Rote can think an improved offensive line for the best protection he's ever had with Green Bay. Blackbourn praised them all - Jim Ringo, Len Szafaryn, Bob Skoronski, Joe Skibinski, Buddy Brown, John Sandusky and Forrest Gregg. Skoronski (246) and Gregg (234) are rookies who have performed like seasoned pros under the coaching of Lou Rymkus, who learned the tricks of the trade with the championship Browns. Rymkus demands an all-out effort and that's just what he's getting. Of course, Blackbourn didn't forget his backs. "They all are giving Tob real good blocking." Fans can expect to see much more of Jack Losch, No. 1 draft choice from Miami. The rookie came to the Packers as a good halfback prospect - and an "outstanding pass receiver", they said. The Rams, like everyone else in the Stadium except the Packers, were bewildered when Losch tossed a 63-yard touchdown pass to Howton. "We locked the doors up in Green Bay last week to perfect that play," Liz chuckled. "Losch doesn't pass bad at all, does he?" Liz added, "and he can run, too." While the offense was running up its highest score in four years, the Packer defense was keeping the Rams from scoring with these plays:
* Val Joe Walker intercepted Bill Wade's pass intended for Elroy Hirsch on the Packer 12.
* Wade fumbled after a 53 yard march and Jim Capuzzi recovered on the Packer three.
* Wade's pass was deflected by Dave Hanner and intercepted by Bill Forester, who returned to the Ram 44.
* Rudy Bukich's pass was intercepted by Forester on Packer 41.
* Bukich's last ditch pass was intercepted by Capuzzi in the Packer end zone and he returned 65 yards to end the game.
Blackbourn was in his happiest mood, after the game, calling the outcome "spectacular." And that it was as the Packers scored six of 11 times they had the ball. It was a perfect Packer effort in every respect - one which labels Blackbourn's gang as a dangerous, hard-to-handle contender. The only sour note Monday was Blackbourn's report on Rote's injured knee. "It's pretty well jammed up and mighty sore," Liz said. "But he should be o.k. by Sunday; he has to be."
PACKERS' LOPSIDED WIN OVER RAM KEEP TITLE HOPES ALIVE
OCTOBER 23 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - It isn't easy to climb back into serious contention after a long drought in any type of competition. That goes double in a rough, dog eat dog sport like pro football. But it can be done, as the Packers have been and are proving. Year by year, game by game, they're moving back into the league, so to speak - building solidly by means of sound direction, hard work and a complete understanding of what it takes to succeed. It was unfortunate that the Bays ran into the inevitable tail-off at the wrong time - in the first two league games against the Lions and Bears, after an encouraging series of preseason exhibitions. Otherwise they would be in the thick of the championship fight at this very moment. They snapped out of it like real title threats in beating the Colts in their 1956 debut at Milwaukee County Stadium. And they looked even better in running the Rams ragged. That romp was more than a thing of beauty. It was a definite tipoff to the 11 other clubs that the Packers can and will take care of themselves in the men's league. Not that there is any guarantee of winning every games from now on, but any time a club can pour it on the Rams to the tune of 42-17, it has something - definitely...THE QUICK SCORING FORMULA: A vital part of that certain something means a dazzling pass attack, especially among the pros, who rack up relatively few yards and not so many points when they have to rely mainly on a running attack. But even the pros find it just about impossible to defend expertly when the other side achieves perfection through the airlanes. Which explains, briefly, why Liz Blackbourn's team gave those Rams the business. Tobin Rote, one of the greats of modern times when he is right, was all that and more. When Tobin is on the beam, as he was Sunday, the enemy is in for a rough time, for he has two of the league's best targets in Billy Howton and Gary Knafelc. Bill and Gary can shake themselves loose and, perhaps more important, can catch anything within reach. So when the passer gets protection and pitches strikes, quick and frequent scoring is practically assured. Keep on rolling, you Packers, and there's still a chance for the top, regardless of the Lions' record and the Bears' almost frightening display of power the last two weeks.
BAYS MAY CUT LOOP GAMES HERE
OCTOBER 23 (Green Bay) - General Manager Verne Lewellen of the Green Bay Packers declared Tuesday that poor attendance at the pro football club's games in Milwaukee may force it to "take our games out of there". "This is no threat," he said, "but if it becomes economically unsound to operate there we wont' have any other choice. Instead of playing three there next year," Lewellen added, "we may only play two." Under the present NFL schedule, the Packers split their six "home" games between the two cities. They drew sellout crowds of 24,668 for their first two games against the Lions and Bears here in rickety, outmoded City Stadium. At Milwaukee County Stadium, with its football capacity of about 40,000, the Packers and the Baltimore Colts played before 24,214 October 13 and the Packers-Rams game last Sunday drew only 24,200. The club still has one game left to play in each city. Ground has been broken for a modern, 32,000-seat stadium on the outskirts of Green Bay. It is expected to be completed by next season. Asked whether he thought the Packers would play all of their games at the new plant in the near future, Lewellen replied: "I doubt whether we'll ever play all six games here, at least in the indefinite future. This is strictly my personal opinion."