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."
GAME RECAP (MILWAUKEE SENTINEL)
(MILWAUKEE) - It was like the good old Hutson days at the Stadium Sunday, only better. Billy Howton, on the receiving end of passes from Tobin Rote and Jack Losch, gained a fantastic 257 yards to break the immortal Don Hutson’s mark, as the Packers crushed the Rams, 42-17, before 24,200 howling witnesses. Rote completed 16 of 32 passes for 342 yards. Howton, destined for distinction after each performance, surpassed Hutson’s best day in 1943 by 20 yards. The Rice rascal, who went into the game as the league’s top receiver, grabbed only seven passes but the manner in which he did was simply terrific.
BILLY SCORES 2
He leaped, he stretched, he faked the opposition dizzy. “Ay, there’s the rub,” thought the Rams, who knew they had run into another Hutson this beautiful Indian summer afternoon. Howton scored twice, but Rote wasn’t choosy with his receivers as he hit Gary Knafelc for two other touchdowns. Rote also chalked up a TD himself and Fred Cone got into the scoring act with a fourth quarter plunge which put the game in the rout class. Cone booted six conversions as the Packers ran up their highest point total since 1952 when they routed the Dallas Texans, 42-14.
RAMS LEAD, 7-0
The Rams grabbed a 7-0 lead the second time they had their mitts on the ball. But that was the only daylight they saw on the scoreboard as the Packers punched with fury to take a 21-10 halftime lead. Hank Younger, the games best runner with 106 yards, put the Gold Coasters ahead. Rookie End Clarke scored in the third quarter and Les Richter booted a 32 yard field goal besides two extra points. But the Packers were scoring more than twice as fast in routing their favorite Stadium foe. Lis Blackbourn’s gang has now beaten the Rams three straight at the Stadium, if ever an opponent were more welcomed by Lis, it’s the Los Angeles boys.
FERGUSON HALTED
Green Bay didn’t roll with ease on the ground, picking up 156 yards. But it didn’t have to with Rote striking for distance on every pitch. Fullback Howie Ferguson picked up only 23 yards on 10 carries – being a definite Ram target. Al Carmichael was the best ground gainer with 50 yards. But when you can gain 342 yards through the air, why go on the ground? The defending Western Division champions lived up their reputation only in the first quarter as they galloped 74 yards in four plays for the game’s first score. Bill Wade tossed a short pass to Younger and The Tank rode over three Packers on a 44 yard run which set up the score from the 23. After an exchange of fouls which gave L.A. the ball on the Packer 15, Younger went the distance on a quick opener and Richter converted. The Packers rolled following the kickoff, 68 yards in seven plays. A personal foul on the Rams (they were penalized 54 yards) gave the Packers a break on the Ram 36 after a third-down pass fizzled. Rote, who didn’t have a single pass intercepted, hit Howton on a 36 yard scoring pass. Cone converted and the count was deadlocked. The Rams were hungry for another score, but Val Joe Walker squelched their appetite by intercepting Wade’s TD bound pass to Elroy (Crazy Legs) Hirsch on the Packer 12 as the first quarter ended.
KNAFELC SCORES
After an exchange of punts, the Packers marched 75 yards in six plays to go ahead for keeps. Rote hit Howton for 38 yards on the first play, and another strike to Bill picked up 14. Joe Johnson carried for four and Rote then hit Knafelc for six. A quarterback sneak picked up a first down and the stage was set for Rote’s second scoring pass – a 14-yarder to Knafelc. Cone converted again. The Packers’ third touchdown resulted on a play Blackbourn must have cooked up in secret drills this past week. Rote tossed behind the line to Losch, and the Miami rookie threw his first pass as a pro. It wobbled its way to Howton and he was off to the races on a play which covered 63 yards. Cone booted again and the Packers stretched their lead to 21-7.
CAPUZZI RECOVERS
Jim Capuzzi, who played his best defensive game of the season, fell on Wade’s fumble on the Bay three moments later to stop another Ram threat. But on the next try, Los Angeles squeezed in Richter’s 33 yard field goal before the gun ended the first half. The Packers went into the dressing room with the news they had drilled the Ram defense with 232 yards through the air. More was to come in the second half. Dave Forester intercepted a Wade pass on the Packer 43 and ran it back to the Ram 44 to set up Packer touchdown No. 4. It took only eight plays and a Ram holding penalty to do it. The penalty gave the Packers another break after a third down pass was incomplete. The payoff was Rote’s 14 yard bullet to Knafelc, who cut perfectly in the end zone. Cone booted for the fourth time and the Packers led, 28-10.
LOS ANGELES -  7  3  7  0 - 17
GREEN BAY   -  7 14  7 14 - 42
1st - LA - Tank Younger, 1-yard run (Pat Richter kick) LOS ANGELES 7-0
1st - GB - Howton,. 36-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) TIED 7-7
2nd - GB - Knafelc, 14-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 14-7
2nd - GB - Howton, 63-yard pass from Losch (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 21-7
2nd - LA - Richter, 32-yard field goal GREEN BAY 21-10
3rd - GB - Knafelc, 14-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 28-10
3rd - LA - Leon Clarke, 26-yard pass from Rudy Bukich (Richter kick) GREEN BAY 28-17
4th - GB - Rote, 2-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 35-17
4th - GB - Cone, 2-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 42-17
PACKERS WILL CONSIDER REDUCING TICKET PRICES
OCTOBER 25 (Green Bay) - The possibility of a reduction in the price of tickets for its NFL games played at Milwaukee County Stadium next season was admitted here Wednesday by Verne Lewellen, general manager of the Green Bay Packers. He emphasized, however, that no decision will be made until the league schedule is drafted in March. The number of games that will be played in Milwaukee also will be decided at that time, Lewellen said. "However, it is my personal belief that we will still split our home schedule and play three games in Milwaukee and three in Green Bay, the same as this season," he added. "It is not a question of 'breaking even' at the gate in Milwaukee. We want Milwaukee's support at home to write off any deficit on the road." The Packer have drawn just over 24,000 in each of two games at the Milwaukee stadium, which seats 40,000 for football. Ticket prices were scaled from $4.75 to $1.50. The Packers defeated both Baltimore and Los Angeles, but the crowds were smaller than those here, where they have been beaten twice. They will conclude their Milwaukee schedule against Cleveland November 4 and make their last appearance here against San Francisco November 18. Lewellen also said that bids for the new 32,000 seat stadium here will be let after working plans are completed, about December 14, and expressed hope that it would be ready for the opening game of the 1957 season.
PACKERS' NEXT WOE: DO COLTS KICK BACK?
OCTOBER 25 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Coach Liz Blackbourn expects nothing but trouble every time he takes his Packers to Baltimore. It seems the Colts can get kicked around the league, but once they are in their own pasture they trot like winners. What give with the "sophomore" steed, the one which was pegged as a darkhorse this season? The Colts' offense is now doing better than any Baltimore team ever has. In fact, it has scored more points than Detroit, the undefeated division leader. However, Coach Weeb Ewbank's defense has collapsed to a point where victory has become unattainable. In four games the Colts have allowed 148 enemy points - a shattering 39 per game - to lead the NFL in this unenviable department by a wide margin...BEARS PLAY DIRTY? Baltimore termed quarterback George Shaw's injury "dirty play" by the Bears. Shaw suffered partially torn ligaments of a knee when clobbered by the Bears in the second quarter. Shaw had already thrown his pass, which was completed to Lenny Moore, before he was racked. In the Colts' first game with the Bears, Shaw completed 19 of 25 passes to beat the Bruins. Sunday he was off and running again. He has completed four of five when the Bears got to him...BEARS TOP IN OFFENSE: By gaining 477 yards rushing and passing against the Colts, the Bears have wrested the lead in total yards gained in the NFL from the Lions. With a third of the season played, the Bears have gained 1,624 yards (949 rushing and 675 passing). Detroit is only 23 yards behind with 1,601. The Packers are fifth with 1,290. The Bears continue to show the way in ground gaining with the Cardinals second. The Rams are the best passing team (906 yards) followed by the Lions (789) and the Packers (749)...PLAY OF GAME: Blackbourn credits Val Joe Walker for one of the finest defensive plays he has ever seen on his interception of Bill Wade's pass to Elroy Hirsch. Crazy Legs was running a slant, in and down. Walker positioned himself well, went up and took Wade's perfect pass away from Hirsch. Bobby Dillon is in a four way tie as the league's interception leader with four. And with the seasoned Billy Bookout and the improved play of Hank Gremminger and Jim Capuzzi, the Packer pass defense corps could stack up to the Bay tunit which led the league in pass interceptions last season.
BALTIMORE, PACKERS GIVEN EVEN RATING
OCTOBER 26 (Milwaukee Journal) - Neither coach Lisle Blackbourn of the Green Bay Packers nor the handicappers underestimate the Baltimore Colts for their NFL game at Baltimore Sunday. Blackbourn said Friday, "Never mind how they've done the last two games. Baltimore has a good team. They will be especially tough to beat at home." The handicappers agree. They call the game even. Green Bay goes into the game with two victories and two defeats and sole possession of third place in the Western Division. Baltimore shares fourth (and last) place with Los Angeles and San Francisco, each with a 1-3 record. One
would have a hard time believing that this Baltimore team had lost to the Chicago Bears, 58-27, in Chicago last Sunday off the scouting report which Wally Cruice of Milwaukee gave to Blackbourn. "Baltimore's still a good club," Cruice said. "They were ahead of the Bears as late as the third quarter, 21-20. They lost their quarterback (George Shaw) on injuries early in the game and their defensive backfield had some holes in it because Rechichar and Shula already were out and then Taseff got hurt. Unitas just couldn't fill in for
PACKERS SHOULD TAKE SERIOUS LOOK AT MILWAUKEE OPERATIONS
OCTOBER 24 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - The Green Bay Packer management's keen disappointment over the crowd at last Sunday's game with the Rams is understandable. It was a football entertainment off the top shelf. The weather was perfect. The buildup was all that could be asked, thanks to the thrilling victory over Baltimore the previous week and a sharp win at Philadelphia's expense in the preseason Midwest Shrine classic. Now the Rams were here - the Rams, one of the top attractions in pro football. Yet the turnstiles stopped clicking at 24,200, only 60 percent of the County Stadium capacity. Comparison with turnouts elsewhere added to the disappointment - 36,000 in Philadelphia; 48,000 in New York and Chicago, and 55,000 in Detroit. Only Washington, which missed by a matter of hundreds, failed to equal the Packers' total in Milwaukee. A look at those figures probably led to something more than disappointment, for there must be downright concern about the ultimate outcome of the rough and tumble fight for existence in a league where the dollar sign is all important..."HOUSE SCALING" NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: But before the Packers decide to eliminate or reduce the Milwaukee portion of their league schedule, on the theory that this territory is too Braves-minded and not football-minded to the degree necessary, they should take a long, serious look at their Milwaukee operation. Grant that baseball fever did not subside until well after the football season got underway officially. Grant the existence of other difficulties real or alleged. Yet there might be ways of improving the situation and "selling" the Packers to Milwaukee and the immediate metropolitan area. The Bays might even discover that they should at least share the blame for the absence of about 10,000 men, women and children who should have been but weren't there last Sunday. For one thing: Scaling the house, as sports promoters say, could stand considerable improvement at County Stadium. Four different prices of reserved seats - $4.75, $4.00, $3.50 and $2.25 - and a fifth for general admission ($1.50) make for confusion and irritation in themselves...BEARS HAVE TWO PRICES: It might be wise, too, to consider shaving the top price because Milwaukee, unlike Green Bay, offers volume business possibilities. That's on the list for next year, of course, as is a reduced price for advance buyers as a season ticket sale stimulant. The Bears, for instance, charge four bucks for all seats in the east stands and boxes. All grandstand seats, upper and lower, cost $3. There is no price break for season ticket buyers. Cleveland has three prices - $4, $3 and $2. The cost of each reserved seat in San Francisco is $3.75. The unreserved costs two bucks and children pay 50 cents. Washington has a standard seat price of $4.50, reduced to $3.30 when purchased on a season ticket basis (six for $19.80). All lower deck reserved seats in Detroit go for $3. Baltimore reserved seats cost $4.50 and $3.50, with a slight reduction for season ticket buyers ($25.20 and $19.80). Pittsburgh seems to go for the variety theme (2-3-5-6), with lower per game costs for the season buyers...PRACTICING HERE WOULD HELP: Then there's a psychological angle that needs straightening out quickly. At no time through the years have the Packers made themselves a part of Milwaukee. I'm thinking particularly of activities this week preceding a game here. Wouldn't it be promotionally wise and therefore economically profitable to have the team do all of its pre-game practicing in Milwaukee? Coaches and players would be available for on-the-spot pictures and stories, and also for radio interviews and television appearances - the same type of routine looked on as absolutely vital in other entertainment fields. Inevitably, fans would get the feeling of closeness - a feeling that the Packers really belong to them and aren't outsiders moving for an occasional visit. The opposite feeling is promoted by the standard procedure of years past. Arrive here Saturday, play the game and on their way again a matter of hours after the final gun. What if the Bears still were the Decatur Staleys playing three games a year in Chicago as occasional commuters? Does anyone believe Chicago would go ga-ga over them under those circumstances? I doubt it. The same thinking applies to Milwaukee and the Packers. To repeat, a lot can and must be done to improve the Milwaukee end of the two-city operation. So how about, Packer management?
AN OPEN LETTER TO LEWELLEN AND THE PACKERS
OCTOBER 24 (Milwaukee Journal - Oliver Kuechle) - Dear Lew: All of us share your disappointment over the crowds which have seen the Green Bay Packers in their two Milwaukee games thus far, and understand, I guess, why you have begun to think about playing fewer games down here next year. You're not in this game for the fun of it alone, of course, and if you find you can't operate profitably with the crowds you are getting here, there's only one thing to do. But Lew, just between you and me, and your executive board, too, don't you think you're scaling the house here just a little too high? Isn't $4.75 a little too much for your top price and $4 too much for your next? Nobody has the right to tell you what you should charge, but honestly, Lew, that's the one big complaint we're hearing around here...DISTURBED FANS: A lady called very disturbed after reading about how you are thinking of cutting down on the games you'll play here next year. "Can't they cut down their prices a little instead?" she asked. "My husband and I went to Sunday's game and it cost us almost $10 for tickets. Then we had to get a babysitter and had a sandwich after the game and the whole afternoon cost us around $15. We just can't afford that very often." A man wrote: "Can't they reduce the price for kids?" he said. "They're the wildest fans of all. Why don't they do something like what they do in Los Angeles?" And he explained the plan out there. You know the one: Every adult can take in five kids at 75 cents a head and they sit on the horseshoe end of the field. A man called: "What d'ya mean a bad football town?" he asked. "They're pricing themselves right out of the market, and that's the whole thing." Anyway, Lew, that's the way it has gone. They think you're charging too much...MUSTARD, HORSERADISH: And Lew, just between us again, would you really be charging the prices you are down here if it weren't for what you have in to do in Green Bay? Aren't you sort of caught in the middle and maybe unwillingly making Milwaukee pay? You know what I mean. There you are with a stadium that seats only 24,000 and a lot of clubs squawking. So you appease them as best you can and charge $4.75 top to boost the gate. But look what happens. You have 40,000 seats in Milwaukee and, though you might cut prices here and be further ahead, you don't dare. You don't dare because of what Green Bay would say if it had to pay $4.75 and Milwaukee something less. Your Green Bay fans would haul down the old family blunderbuss. And so you're caught between mustard on one side and horseradish on the other, and both very strong...MORE! MORE!: Anyway, Lew, Milwaukee doesn't want to see less of the Packers. It wants to see more - certainly more of the team that played against the Rams Sunday. And maybe something can be worked out on a new price scale, keeping a few $4.75 seats to remain consistent with the top price in Green Bay, but cutting the rest of the prices. Or maybe, Lew, Milwaukee will learn that even the seats up high and on the goal line or behind it are really wonderful seats at the Stadium. I know. I sat in the upper deck Sunday and right on the goal line and rarely ever enjoyed a game more. P.S. How about the Bear game someday here and see what it would draw? See you at the Cleveland game here November 4.
OVERCONFIDENCE? FIGURES FAVOR PACKERS; KNAFELC IS A FATHER
OCTOBER 24 (Milwaukee Journal) - For the first time in a long time, the Green Bay Packers will have to guard against overconfidence when they meet the Baltimore Colts at Baltimore Sunday. Lisle Blackbourn's Wisconsin pros have run up 80 points in their last two games, 38-33 and 42-17 victories over the Colts and Los Angeles, respectively. Baltimore, which will have its vociferous home crowd behind it, has permitted 96 points in its last two games, the Packer defeat and a 58-27 lacing by the Bears at Chicago last Sunday. Oddly, the Baltimores have scored 60 points and Green Bay has given up 50 the last two weekends. Where, oh where, did defense go?...Gary Knafelc, Packer end, celebrated the birth of his first child, a 7 pound 9 ounce son, by catching two touchdown passes Sunday. He and his running mate, Bill Howton, each have five touchdowns, tops among receivers...49ERS PREFER LIONS: The San Francisco 49ers, beaten by the Bears, 31-7, and Detroit, 20-17, on successive weekends, prefer Detroit. "I'll still take Detroit," Coach Frank Albert said, after he heard that the Bears had run up a basketball score on Baltimore. "I believe the Lions have a better all-around team." Second string quarterback Earl Morrall, last year's All-American at Michigan State, agreed. "Scores are misleading," he said, "and it seems to me that the Lions have a better team than the Bears."..."We'll stay in there like bulldogs and play every game to the hilt," said Cleveland coach Paul Brown after his Browns suffered their third defeat in four starts. He refused to count his team out of the NFL's Eastern Division race. The Browns will meet the Packers at County Stadium a week from Sunday...HOWTON WAY AHEAD: It should come as no surprise to anyone who say Sunday's game at County Stadium, but Bill Howton of the Packers is leading the pro football pass receivers in every department - in number of catches, 22; in yards gained, 516, and in yards gained per pass, 23 plus. Frank Gifford of New York is closest to him in receptions with 20 and Harlan Hill of the Bears in yards gained with 324...Rote now ranks seventh in the league's books among passers with an average gain of 6.99 yards a throw. Ed Brown of the Bears leads with 10.94 per attempt...Other Packer leaders include: Howton and Knafelc tied for fifth and Fred Cone 10th in scoring; Dick Deschaine, fourth in punting; Al Carmichael, fourth in punt returns and third in kickoff returns, and Bob Dillon, tied for first in interceptions with four.
PACKERS WOULD BE GREAT - IF THEY COULD RUN
OCTOBER 24 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Are the Packers another good third place team among Western Division ruffians or are they a definite title contender? They looked like world beaters in their 42-17 slaughter of the Rams last Sunday - and they didn't have any semblance of a running attack. They whipped the Rams because Tobin Rote pass them dizzy. There is no better passing in football when Rote is on. But just imagine what a great club Green Bay would be if it could roll like the Bears, for instance, on the ground. The Packers gained 342 yards passing and just 156 rushing against the Rams. And after four league games, the Bays have averaged 156 yards a game on the ground. The material is there. Fullback Howie Ferguson was the league's second best ground gainer last season, picking up 859 yards for a 4.5 average. Fergy is still the best Packer runner, but can only show 217 yards with a third of the season played. Halfbacks Al Carmichael and Joe Johnson can romp with the best of them if they are sprung free. This has yet to happen and there lies the crux of the trouble. The Packers need better offensive line blocking for a running attack. Rote hasn't had much confidence in his runners and he can't be blamed. With improved blocking he wouldn't be thinking of the pass all the time. Coach Liz Blackbourn realizes this problem more than anyone else. And so emphasis this week in Packertown must be on offensive line blocking before the team leaves for Sunday's engagement at Baltimore. Blackbourn has praised the same linemen for the protection they've give Rote. But as far as springing the runners, that's a different story. The Packers at the moment are a sure good third place team with an exceptional passing attack, a good defense and no running. But open the holes for Ferguson, Carmichael and Johnson and the Packers could match the Bears and Lions any Sunday.
SHAW CAN PLAY SUNDAY
OCTOBER 24 (Baltimore) - Physicians who examined George Shaww, injured Colt quarterback, said Wednesday he may be able to play Sunday against the Packers, but Gary Kerkorian was given the playbook Wednesday afternoon. The doctors reiterated their previous report, "there is no indication of a cartilage condition of X-rays show only a partially torn ligament."
Shaw. Losing Shaw was for Baltimore like if the Bears lost Casares and Brown or the Packers lost Rote and maybe Ferguson. Shaw's that important and if he can play against the Pack at Baltimore he will make plenty of trouble. Unitas (the quarterback who replaced Shaw) threw a flat pass right into J.C. Caroline's arms and all he could do was run 60 yards to a touchdown. His (Unitas') timing was off and caused a couple of fumbles and gave the Bears the ball inside Baltimore's 12 a few times. That made it easy. The fumbles weren't Ameche's fault. I thought The Horse played a pretty good game. Then the Bears also got a couple of easy ones on long passes when Hill got behind the secondary. Baltimore had a makeshift backfield in there and that didn't help. The Bears played a god game, but Baltimore gave them more than they took." Blackbourn said that he was concerned about Baltimore, too. "Playing them there, with their rabid fans yelling for them, won't help us," he said. "We beat them by only five points (38-33) in Milwaukee, you know." Bert Reichichar, Don Shula, Carl Taseff and middle guard Joe Campanella recovered from injuries, Baltimore's defense will be more rugged than what the Colts showed against the Packers and Bears the last two weekends, Blackbourn said. Shaw also may be ready to play quarterback. The Green Bay coach, too, had to guard against a letdown. The Packers were sharp in routing the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday, 42-17. As George Svendsen, San Francisco 49er scout, said recently, "If a team is up in this league one weekend, it's likely to get beaten the next. No one can afford to take a breath." The Packers will fly to Baltimore Saturday morning and work out there in the afternoon. The team will fly back to Green Bay after the game.
Green Bay Packers (2-2) 42, Los Angeles Rams (1-3) 17
Sunday October 21st 1956 (at Milwaukee)