GAME RECAP (MILWAUKEE SENTINEL)
(DETROIT) - The Packers got a treat instead of a treatment Thanksgiving Day when Tobin Rote engineered one of the greatest comebacks in Green Bay history - a three touchdown spurt in the fourth quarter which jolted the title bidding Lions, 24-20. The "carving" came before a sellout crowd of 54,087 at Briggs Stadium and a vast television audience. The 14 point underdogs couldn't punch across a touchdown for three quarters, the only score being Fred Cone's 12 yard field goal in the first period. But the way Rote plucked apart the savage Detroit defense in the final 15 minutes shouldn't happen to a turkey. Fifty-one yards in eight plays and the Bays had their first touchdown. Rote doing the honors with a two yard sneak. Four minutes later Tob hit Cone for a 14 yard TD play which climaxed a 52 yard march in nine plays. And the winning touchdown drive was the best of all as Rote pitched a 13 yard pass to Billy Howton in the end zone - the perfect ending to an 82 yard drive with a minute and a half to play. Detroit realized the Packers' offense was a pass, a punt and a prayer. It knew Rote was the man to stop. But when the rugged Texan is on he can't be beat - and was he on! Tob tossed 40 times in all directions and completed 21. The Lions tossed a wet blanket on Howton, who grabbed four for 53 yards. Rote then found Howie Ferguson on the loose and hit him seven times for 106 yards. And the Lions feared Ferguson as a runner. The remarkable thing about this victory was that Green Bay got more than its usual share of bum breaks, yet would not give up. The most prominent was Bobby Layne's 56 yard scoring play to Dave Middleton midway through the fourth period. Hank Gremminger batted the ball up in the air, but Middleton managed to get his fingers on it and went the distance untouched to put the Lions out in front, 20-10.
BAY DEFENSE TOUGH
And previous to this one, Rote completed to Johnson in the third quarter. But when he was tackled, the ball popped out of Johnson's mitts right into Yale Lary's paws on the Packer 22. The damage was Layne's 15 yard field goal six plays later. The Packers' defense can also take a bow. It bothered Layne to the extent that he completed only nine passes in 22 attempts. Three of Bobby's aerials were intercepted, the last being Bobby Dillon's steal on the Packer 12 with 17 seconds left to preserve this precious victory. Detroit started off on this wintry afternoon with a 41 yard march. It stalled with 40 yards to go and Jim Martin's 46 yard field goal attempt sailed wide to the right. Green Bay floundered through three plays and a fourth down
bobble of a pass from center by punter Dick Deschaine was almost ruinous - almost. How Deschaine ever managed to boot on the run 40 yards is still quite unbelievable.
PACKERS STRIKE BACK
But the Lions were going to score anyway as they went goalward from their own 45 in nine plays. Gene Gedman was the big gun with a 22-yard run. Leon Hart bolted over from the four for the touchdown and Layne's conversion made it 7-0. The Bays bounced right back. Rote started hitting Joe Johnson, Ferguson, Cone and Howton and in nine plays the Packers had a second down on Detroit's four yard line. The strategy then was Cone's 12 yard field goal with five seconds remaining in the first quarter. Just how tough Green Bay's defense played in the second period was shown by this statistic: The Lions' farthest advance was to the 50. When Tom Bettis nailed Gedman on a fourth down and one play on the 50, it was the beginning of frustration for Detroit. The Packers took over and marched goalward on a 25 yard from Rote to Cone pass which reached the Lions' 15. A holding penalty called the whole thing back.
TETEAK STEALS IT BACK
After an exchange of interceptions, Lary snaring a Rote pitch and Deral Teteak grabbing Layne's pass, Green Bay was given a last chance in the first half. Rote completed 14 yards to Johnson at the Lion 39. Rote then hurried the club for Cone's 30 yard field goal attempt but the gun sounded before the ball was snapped. Carl Karilivacz intercepted his first pass of the season as the second half got underway when he took Rote's pass away from Gary Knafelc in the end zone. The Lions were scoring conscious as they took over on their own 20. The play which hurt the Packers was 46 yard prance by the lumbering Hart, of all persons. It was the longest run by a Lion from scrimmage all season and reached the Packer 11. But the Packer defense got tough again and Detroit had to settle for Layne's 22 yard, fourth down field goal which put it ahead, 10-3, seven minutes into the third quarter.
LAYNE BOOTS FG
Moments later came Lary's interception of Rote's pass to Johnson who lost the ball after a jolting tackle. Detroit had a golden opportunity now from the Packer 22. But the best if could do again was a Layne field goal, this one splitting the uprights from 15 yards out and giving the Lions a 13-3 lead to complete the scoring in the third quarter. Now came the fireworks after Al Carmichael called for a fair catch of Jug Girard's punt on the Packer 49. Rote hit Knafelc for seven as the quarter ended. A third down pass to Ferguson picked up 10 more and another toss to the fullback was good for 16 - and the Packers were on the Lion 20. Two plays later Fergy grabbed his third pass of the series for a 14 yard gain to the Lions' two. It was the Packers' first touchdown when Rote sneaked over, Cone's conversion cut the deficit to 13-10. Four plays later after the ensuing kickoff, Layne uncorked his mighty heave to Middleton. It was a lightning fast touchdown - 56 yards - and upped the Lions' margin to 20-10 with eight minutes to play. But those remaining eight minutes were all Green Bay's and whoever dared to think the Packers could turn the trick at this stage of the game? Ferguson galloped 34 yards on the kickoff to his own 48. Then came passes to Fergy for 12, to Howton for 19. Rote picked up 13 yards on a keeper and Cone moved the ball to the Detroit 36 on a four yard plunge. Interference on Johnson moved the ball to the 30. Rote then hit Knafelc for 11 yards. Cone picked up five to the 14. And on second down Rote hit Freddie on the three and the 30 year old veteran rammed his way into paydirt. He added the conversion and the Packers brought a hush to this partisan audience as they were within striking distance, trailing by only 20-17. The Packer defense squelched the Lions' next chance and Girard punted - the ball rolling dead on the Green Bay 18. With less than four minutes to play and a fourth down on their own 27 and a yard to go, the Packers' last chance came up. Rote's flat pass to Howton made it with eight yards to spare. Tob's next two went haywire but on third down he unleashed a tremendous heave downfield. Jack Losch got behind the secondary and a mighty stretch on his part saved the day, the completion carrying 42 yards to the Detroit 21. Rote hit Knafelc for eight to the 13. And with a minute and a half remaining struck it rich by passing to Howton for the game winning touchdown. Cone's conversion was perfect and the Packers led for the first time, 24-20. The Lions' only chance then was Layne's passing. Bobby clicked with perfection to move the ball to the Packer 22. But his next pitch was stabbed by Dillon, who returned 36 yards to preserve all the hard work the Packers put into winning this one. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving spectacle - one the Bears can be thankful to the Packers for handing them the undisputed leadership of the Western Division. And the amazing thing about the Green Bay comeback was that the 24 points were the most scored against the Lions this season.
GREEN BAY -  3  0  0 21 - 24
DETROIT   -  7  0  6  7 - 20
1st - DET - Leon Hart, 5-yard run (Bobby Layne kick) DETROIT 7-0
1st - GB - Cone, 12-yard field goal DETROIT 7-3
3rd - DET - Layne, 22-yard field goal DETROIT 10-3
3rd - DET - Layne, 15-yard field goal DETROIT 13-3
4th - GB - Rote, 2-yard run (Cone kick) DETROIT 13-10
4th - DET - Dave Middleton, 56-yard pass from Layne (Layne kick) DETROIT 20-10
4th - GB - Cone, 14-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) DETROIT 20-17
4th - GB - Howton, 13-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 24-20
NEWS AND NOTES
ROTE WON'T QUIT IF LIZ HAS WAY
NOVEMBER 24 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - As Coach Liz Blackbourn put it Friday, "you could see it coming. When we gained momentum the other team tightened." It happened because Tobin Rote got hotter than a pistol, completing 11 passes for 166 yards in a furious fourth quarter explosion that overcame the Lions, 24-20, in Detroit Thursday. And this is the "old pro" who is thinking of retiring. Blackbourn said "we're not taking that too seriously especially after the way he looked against Detroit." When Rote gets hot and has a good thing going he can't be beat. He convinced the Lions - and a lot of other people, too - that retirement may be quite a few seasons away. Well, let's hope so. The Detroit defense hadn't yielded a touchdown in nine periods until Rote sneaked over to cap a 51-yard drive to start the last quarter fury. And within the space of four minutes, the seven year veteran directed two breathtaking scoring bursts that ended a four game Packer losing streak. Most of Rote's completions (he hit 21 of 40 for 289 yards) came off a slot formation. Bill Howton and Gary Knafelc were set far out on both ends, taking with them two or three defenders. The middle was left alarmingly open and here sailed most of Rote's successful shots. Howie Ferguson grabbed seven for 106 yards. Blackbourn said before the game that criticism of the Packers' running attack wasn't going to change his mind to pass even more. "We don't have to kid ourselves that we can run with the ball," Liz said. "But we can pass and pass well. So why shouldn't we pass more?" Rote has now completed 112 of 234 passes for 1,702 yards and 16 touchdowns - the best performance, by far, in the league. An amazing thing about this happy victory was the Packers' determination to win after the Lions had apparently put the game out reach, 20-10, with less than eight minutes to play. "Tob starting hitting perfectly and our boys had the desire," Blackbourn said. "It was a happy victory, one we deserved after numerous bum breaks and one we needed." Actually, it was the Packers' defense which outclassed Detroit's famed platoon this time. The Lions could muster only a 55 yard touchdown drive in the first quarter. Their fourth quarter TD was just plain lucky. Packer defensive halfback Hank Gremminger timed Bobby Layne's long pass perfectly as he cut in front of Dave Middleton. The ball bounced off Gremminger's hands for a much too easy TD. In between, the Lions couldn't penetrate the Bay wall for a touchdown as they marched to the Packer 38, 11, 8 and 32. Two short field goals by Layne were the best the Lions could do. Blackbourn's gang can now enjoy a four day holiday before preparing for the Cardinals at Chicago a week from Sunday. But for the coach and his staff, it's work galore for the upcoming draft at Philadelphia Monday.
PACKERS, CARDS EYE BONUS CHOICE
NOVEMBER 25 (Philadelphia) - The Packers and Cardinals participate in an out-of-the-hat drawing here Monday with the lucky team earning the right to select any graduation college football player in the nation as its NFL bonus choice. The bonus choice will be the first order of business at their partial college player draft meeting. For the second straight year, the American pros are drafting early to meet a competitive challenge for their Canadian counterparts. Prior to 1955, the NFL held its 30 rounds of player selection at its annual meeting in mid-January, but early winter bidding for talent by the Canadians forced Commissioner Bert Bell's circuit to schedule at least four rounds of selections for November. Bell announced recently that a fifth round would be held if there is unanimous consent, an unlikely event if Washington owner George Marshall keeps his promise to veto such a proposal. Los Angeles, as the team with the worst record among the 12 pro teams after Sunday's game will choose first in the regular draft, followed by San Francisco, Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Cleveland and will have to toss a coin to see in which order they will follow San Francisco, since they each now have an identical 3-6 record. After these three come Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, the Chicago Cardinals, New York, Detroit and the Chicago Bears. The bonus pick first was started in 1947. Under its rules each team winning the honor drops out until every club has won. Only Green Bay and the Cardinals are left in the drawing, won last year by Pittsburgh. The reports are that Green Bay will grab a hard running halfback if it draws the lucky slip, while the Cardinals are believed to be looking for a quarterback. There appears to be a bumper crop of college talent for the pros to harvest. Available for plucking are such stars as halfbacks Jim Swink of Texas Christian, Jon Arnett of Southern California, Jim Brown of Syracuse, Clarence Peaks of Michigan State and Tommy McDonald of Oklahoma; quarterbacks Paul Hornung of Notre Dame, John Brodie of Stanford, Len Dawson of Purdue, Wade Mitchell of Georgia Tech and Columbia's Claude Benham.
PACKERS GET BONUS CHOICE, PICK HORNUNG OF NOTRE DAME
NOVEMBER 26 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers won the 
1956 NFL bonus choice Monday and picked Notre Dame
quarterback Paul Hornung, Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn of Green
Bay drew the winning bonus slip out of a hat held by Commissioner
Bert Bell. There were only two teams competing for the bonus
choice this year, Green Bay and the Chicago Cardinals. In the first
round of the regular draft, in which the Packers had third choice, 
they picked Ron Kramer, rugged Michigan end. For their second
choice, the Packers took Joel Wells, Clemson halfback. Dalton
Truax, Tulane tackle, was the Packers' third round pick. Blackbourn,
in naming Hornung his choice, said of the Notre Dame star, "He 
has the great potential of all Notre Dame backs. He is a great
natural athlete, a tremendous competitor, has great speed and will
stand the type of punishment dealt out in the NFL." Blackbourn
further described Hornung as a "good punter, kickoff man, field goal
and extra point kicker and an outstanding defensive back." The
Green Bay choice was considered a mild surprise since it was
believed the Packers were more interested in running halfbacks
than a quarterback. They already have one of the league's finest
quarterbacks in Tobin Rote. Although Packer officials denied it, the
selection of Hornung indicated that Rote may keep a recent threat
to retire from the professional game after this season. Blackbourn,
however, said he believed Rote would not retire and that he could
find plenty of use for both the present Green Bay signal caller and
Hornung.
PACKERS DRAFT HORNUNG, KRAMER
NOVEMBER 26 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers selected
Notre Dame quarterback Paul Hornung as their NFL bonus choice
Monday after head coach Lisle Blackbourn drew the lucky slip from
the hat at the pro football draft meeting. In the first round of the
regular draft, Jon Arnett, Southern California halfback, selected by
the Los Angeles Rams as the No. 1 choice. The 12 teams
selected according to the standings as of Sunday with the last
place club first and the first place team last. Grabbed quickly in the
first round were such 1956 college All-American prospects as
Stanford's passing ace, John Brodie, second choice named by San
Francisco; Ron Kramer, Michigan end, tapped by Green Bay; Len
Dawson, Purdue quarterback, picked by Pittsburgh; Jim Brown,
Syracuse halfback, selected by Cleveland, and Clarence Peaks,
Michigan State halfback, drawn by Philadelphia. The Packers
followed with a halfback and a pair of tackles to round out their four
regular picks. Halfback Joel Wells of Clemson was Blackbourn's
second pick followed by Dalton Truax, Tulane, and Carl Vereen,
Georgia Tech. Commissioner Bert Bell presided over the partial
draft session - the teams selected four rounds - called to meet the
early Canadian league competition for American football talent. The
final 26 rounds of the annual player draft will be held during the
league's mid-January meeting. Only the Packers and the Chicago
Cardinals participated in the bonus selection since under league
rules all previous winners of the bonus player drop out until every
team in the league has been successful in the out-of-the-hat draw.
The Cardinals thus automatically will get the bonus selection next
year. The Green Bay coach described Hornung, a 6-2, 210-pound
quarterback as having "the greatest potential of all Notre Dame
backs. He is a great natural athlete, a tremendous competitor, has
great speed, and can take the punishment dealt in the NFL."
Blackbourn said Hornung was a good punter, kickoff man, field
goal and extra point kicker and a good defensive player. "He has
wonderful poise and in one year should become the greatest passer
in the league," said Blackbourn adding "we can use him at
quarterback, halfback and fullback." The selection of Hornung by
Green Bay was a mild surprise in some quarters since it was
thought the Packers were interested in hard-running halfbacks to
make their present quarterback, Tobin Rote, more effective. The
selection indicated the recent report that Rote would retire from pro
football at the end of this season bore more truth than fiction.
Blackbourn, however, said he did not believe Rote would retire.
Wells, a 6-1 1/2, 203-pound halfback, was named to the All-Atlantic
Coast Conference team for three years and ranked as one of its
best defensive backs. Offensively, he averaged 7.5 yards per carry
 He is a specialist on pass defense. Truax comes highly
recommended by Tulane coach Anton Pilney, who said: "I wouldn't
trade him for any tackles in the Southeastern Conference. He
weighs 222 pounds (over a 6-2 1/2 frame) and is fast enough to
catch the halfbacks." Vereen has expressed his desire to play pro
ball and has the physical assets. He's 6-6, weighs 242 and was a
standout in Georgia Tech's offensive line. No NFL meeting would be
complete without a rhubarb and this was no exception. George
Halas of the Bears and Edwin Anderson, president of the Lions, led
a floor fight to make eligible for the pro draft players in the Pacific
Coast Conference ruled ineligible for further college competition for
alleged recruitment violations. Anderson finally put the point to a
motion but it fell short of the necessary unanimous approval when
Baltimore's Don Kellett cast a "no" vote, declaring the league
should stick by its ruling prohibiting the drafting of any player before his class has graduate, whether or not he had made himself ineligible or his college had done so. The Bears created a mild stir in the third round when they drafted UCLA quarterback Ron Knox, who played with several Canadian teams this past fall.
ODDS AGAINST RETIREMENT - ROTE
NOVEMBER 26 (Green Bay) - Tobin Rote of the Green Bay Packers, regarded as one of the finest all-around quarterbacks in the NFL, Monday said he hasn't decided whether to retire after this season, but "the odds are pretty good that I won't." Rumors have been making the rounds for the last week or 10 days that the 28-year old veteran of seven NFL seasons planned to retire. The rumors cropped up again Monday at the NFL draft meeting in Philadelphia. "Whether I retire or not depends on a lot of things," said Rote. "I'm working on a two-year contract that expires at the end of the season. A lot depends on what's in the new contract. I'm not coming back for peanuts or to sit on the bench." Rote, who leads the NFL in passes attempted with 234, passed completed with 112, total yards gained passing with 1,702 and touchdown passes with 16, said injuries also would figure in his final decision. "My left knee was reinjured twice this year in the Rams game at Milwaukee and against the 49ers here," said the Rice alumnus. "I've been pretty lucky with it after I had an operation in college - up to now. I'm not taking anymore of a physical beating this year than usual." Rote said his wife left for their Houston home Monday and did not plan to return to Green Bay even if he did sign to play another season. "That's another factor," he said. "If I come back I'd have to be away from my family for five months and that's pretty tough." Asked whether retirement from the Packers would mean he would be through with football entirely, Rote replied: "I couldn't answer that. If some Canadian team came through with an offer I couldn't pass up, I'd probably play. I don't want to be one of those contract-time problems, but after all I have to consider my family. If I quit I have a good job with a motor freight line waiting for me in Houston. Before the season started, I definitely intended to retire after our last game. Folks up here were going to have a 'day' for me, but Liz (Coach Lisle Blackbourn) told them not to retire me too fast. So far he hasn't said anything to me. I'd kinda like to play at least one more season, but that depends."
HORNUNG TICKLED OVER CHOICE
NOVEMBER 27 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Notre Dame's Paul Hornung and Michigan's Ron Kramer were as happy to be picked so high in the NFL draft Monday as the Packers were to get them. "I'm tickled to death about being the bonus choice," said Hornung, the 6-2, 210 pound quarterback who has sparkled for the Irish this season despite their mediocre record. "I was just talking to Coach Druze (Marquette's John Druze) tonight, and he told me how wonderful all the fans are to the Packers in Green Bay," said Hornung via telephone from South Bend. He revealed the Packers had told him a week ago they would choose him if lucky enough to win the bonus pick. "I saw them beat Detroit on TV and they really looked good," Paul commented. Hornung said he definitely intended to play professional football, but his choice between the Packers and a Canadian team would have to await specific offers. He reported a Vancouver official contacted him Monday night and a Toronto official talked with him previously. Neither mentioned terms. The versatile star prefers to play quarterback, but "will do whatever I'm told." Speaking via telephone from Ann Arbor, Kramer said: "It's a good deal. Green Bay is close to my hometown (Detroit) so I'm happy the Packers drafted me." The rugged end had just returned from New York where he appears on a television program with other members of Collier's All-America team. Kramer said he had received a telegram from the Packers Monday informing him he had been their draft choice, but that Green Bay officials had made no contract with him previously. "Of course," he said, "I talked with Roger Zatkoff (Packer linebacker and former Michigan star) last week and I know all about the setup at Green Bay." The Packers will have to wait until next spring to sign the all-around athlete. He is captain of the Wolverine basketball team and may go out for track. He's one of the Midwest's best high jumpers and has paced the basketball team in scoring two straight years. Kramer declined to comment on whether he had been contacted by any Canadian football teams, but his tone of voice made it obvious he had. "Every player would rather be in the NFL instead of Canada," he said. "It would be an honor to play in the NFL. I like the wide open style of play. Of course, much will depend on the contract offered, and I won't discuss money until after I'm through competing here." The rugged end, who saw a little action at halfback for Michigan in practice, said he doesn't care where he plays in pro ball, but naturally prefers end. "Green Bay has a great quarterback in Tobin Rote, and they picked a dandy in Paul Hornung."
CARDS' BACK FRETS OVER PACKERS
NOVEMBER 28 (Chicago Tribune) - Ollie Matson - professional football player, student of the game, and gentleman - was talking about the most important qualifications for duty as a big league halfback. "Speed," he said. "Speed is first. You have to have that. Then comes maneuverability. And after that, power, intelligence, and - of course - desire." It is significant that the traits outlined by the Chicago Cardinal star are exactly those that make Matson one of pro football's greatest all around backs. The 6 foot 2 inch, 210 pounder from the University of San Francisco had one of his finest days Sunday, gaining 159 yards and scoring two touchdowns in the Cardinals' 38 to 27 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The performance enabled Matson to succeed Charlie Trippi as the south siders' greatest producer of yardage within a single season. Matson now has gained 748 yards, an all-time Cardinal record. Trippi's mark was 690, set in 1948. Matson, indeed, possesses all of the attributes previously mentioned, and in abundance. Complementing these assets is an ingredient which can accurately be described only as sheer determination. As Assistant Coach Bob Nowasky says: "Ollie is always a threat. Even with three or four tacklers hanging onto him, he can break loose. You can't knock him down just by bumping him; he's liable to knock you down in return." Coach Ray Richards agrees: "There are a lot of fast backs in the league, but very few who can combine speed with power the way Ollie does. He's a big, strong runner - yet extremely fast." Matson treated Comiskey park fans to an example of this speed Sunday, when he ran 79 yards for a touchdown on a straight power play between tackle and guard. On the play, a simple handoff, tackle Jack Jennings is supposed to make a quick block in the line, then hurry downfield to take out the safety man. But by the time Jennings completed the first block, his further services no longer were needed; Matson had outrun the safety man. Although Matson is an optimist, he is worried about the Cardinals' Comiskey park date with the Green Bay Packers next Sunday. Ollie thinks his team will halt the Packers on the ground, but fears the results of Tobin Rote's passing. "No matter how good our defensive backs are, they won't be able to stop Rote completely if he's hot," moaned Ollie. "I guess the only thing to do is outscore them." Which might not be as ambitious an undertaking as it sounds if Mr. Matson stays in top form.
PACKERS ADD JERRY SMITH
NOVEMBER 28 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers announced Wednesday that Jerry Smith, former Wisconsin guard, has been placed on the club's active list. Smith was added to the list to replace center Larry Lauer, who was put on the injured reserve list after he broke his wrist in the Detroit Lions game on Thanksgiving Day. Smith played with the San Francisco 49ers in 1952 and 1953, then spent the past two years in the Army. He rejoined the 49ers this year but was released after the third game. He is a six-footer and weighs 235 pounds.
CARDS COMMIT FOE'S GAME TO 'ROTE' MEMORY
NOVEMBER 29 (Chicago Tribune) - Coach Ray Richards is putting a heavy accent on defensive work this week as he prepares the Chicago Cardinals for Sunday's Comiskey park battle with the resurgent Green Bay Packers. The Packers, who aren't going anywhere in the current NFL race, to gargantuan heights in knocking down the Detroit Lions in last week's Thanksgiving day classic. They did it by exploiting a Detroit weakness on short passes over the middle. Richards intends to make certain the Cardinals fall no such easy prey to the passes of Tobin Rote, though admitting that when the Packer quarterback is "hot", he is almost unstoppable. "Our main job is to make sure we have no such glaring vulnerability as the Lions showed last week," the Cardinal coach said. "Green Bay finally took advantage of it in the last quarter." The Cardinals escaped without injury from their victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
CARDINALS FEAR ROTE'S PASSING
NOVEMBER 29 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Ollie Matson, one of pro football's greatest all-around backs, made one of the biggest understatements of the season Wednesday when he said: "I think we will be able to halt the Packers on the ground Sunday, but no matter how good our defensive backs are they won't be able to stop (Tobin) Rote completely if he's hot." Mr. Matson then added, "I guess the only thing to do is outscore them." To enlighten the whole Cardinal team before Sunday's game at Comiskey Park, Coach Liz Blackbourn's Packers don't run the ball - well, hardly ever. They don't have to run the way Rote is flipping the ball to Billy Howton, Gary Knafelc, Howie Ferguson, Joe Johnson, Fred Cone and Jack Losch - yes, seven receivers. Rote's arm klunked the Lions, 24-20, and it has produced 16 touchdowns and 1,714 yards, No other passer in the league comes close to matching this performance. Now Ollie himself could be more than an equalizer Sunday. The 6-2, 210 pound halfback had one of his finest days last Sunday, gaining 159 yards and scoring two touchdowns in the Cardinals' 38-27 victory over the Steelers. The performance enabled Matson to succeed Charlie Trippi as the club's greatest producer of yardage within a single season. Matson now has gained 748 yards, an all-time Cardinal record. Trippi's mark was 690, set in 1948. Blackbourn, realizing that his club has had trouble with runners like Lenny Moore of the Colts, Rick Casares of the Bears and Hugh McElhenny of the 49ers, must now design a trap to catch Mr. Matson - the fastest of them all. Cardinal assistant coach Bob Nowasky gave this warning: "Matson is always a threat. Even with three or four tacklers hanging onto him, he can break loose. You can't knock him down by just bumping him; he's liable to knock you down in return." Matson moved within 26 yards of Casares in the race for the individual ball carrying championship. Blackbourn's gang, well rested after a four-day vacation, has found it almost impossible drilling on the frozen turf at City Stadium. Liz said the ball carriers can only run straight ahead. The wintry setting will be left behind after Sunday's game when the Packers entrain for California. They will set up camp at the Sonoma Mission Inn in preparation for the 49er game December 8 and then leave for Pasadena prior for the finale at Los Angeles.
PRO'S TALENT DISTRIBUTION PLAN STILL IN NEED OF REVISION
NOVEMBER 29 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - In the early days of professional football, each club was free to negotiate with and sign players of its own choice. Success in lining up new talent was based strictly on bidding and/or persuasion. By 1934, owners came to realize that if the sport was to survive, some new talent distribution system must be devised. There was no share-the-wealth principle involved. Merely recognition that some semblance of equality of competition must be maintained over a period of time if a major sport is to grow and prosper. Under the old plan, it was possible for two or three clubs to skim off the cream and practically put rival outfits over the barrel before a season started. So the draft rule was adopted, to go into effect after the 1935 season, if memory serves. From that time on, the leading college stars were up for grabs one at a time, with each club taking a whack at the player pool in reverse order of finish in the final standings. The last place club had first choice and so on up to the top of the heap, with the champion getting last "dibs". Things went along that way for quite a spell. But finally, after the 1946 season, it was deemed wise to cook up another gimmick - the bonus pick...LONG WAIT FOR PACKERS: So that angle was added to the annual drafting ceremonies of January, 1947. The weakness was that all clubs, strong as well as weak, were immediately eligible to draw for a bonus extra. It was strictly a grab-bag deal. The only consolation for weaker clubs: Ultimately, all would get a kick at the cat because the winner of the draw each year would become ineligible until completion of the round robin. Look at the way that worked out for the Packers, who have been in dire need of material ever since the bonus system came into being. They finally made it this time - the eleventh beneficiary. Only the Chicago Cardinals will have to wait longer. The Cards' chance comes automatically next year. Presumably the plan is to resume the luck draw round robin two years hence. But before that time arrives, the club owners and Commissioner Bert Bell should take a long and serious look at the system - again, with balanced competition in mind. The thing to do, I feel, is to do something for the have-nots - like giving the last place club in each division an extra pick or at least confining the draw to all second division team. The top outfits certainly don't need any extra lifts...STILL DEALING IN FUTURES: Another old gripe was brought out in the first phase of the draft Monday when clubs went through the first four rounds. It's the business of trading off future draft choices. Obviously, only the tailenders become that desperate. And just as obviously, the leading contenders' chances of continuing to lord it over the tailenders are enhanced. A club trading players for next year's draft choices actually is bypassing the player limit. Future draftees (from rival clubs) are so many players farmed out in effect. All dealing in futures should be eliminated. Permit player trades or cash deals until cut-down date. Then each club should be forced to release all players beyond the legal limit of 33, with such released players available to any other club. Incidentally, the Chicago Bears made the most intriguing choice of all in the preliminary draft when they selected Ronnie Knox. Does that mean Halas U. also acquired Ronnie's loud mouthed stepfather? If so, I'll be waiting anxiously for the first time Harvey calls a press meeting and proceeds to give Halas and his coaches the facts of football life. Harvey's version of the facts, that is.
defense to do its part, too," Richards said yesterday. "We feel that our defense is as good as any in the league. We're not going to let Rote make suckers out of us. But the best way to keep him from throwing those touchdown passes is to keep the ball ourselves. That's not a new idea, of course. We're simply going to try to do a little better job of carrying it out than some of the other Packers' foes." The Cardinal coach said he thinks his team has recaptured the offensive spark
which produced an early season streak of four consecutive
victories. "If we can keep moving the ball like we did last
Sunday against the Steelers, we'll have possession the
majority of the time. If Rote doesn't have the ball, he can't
throw it."
CARD VICTORY OVER PACKERS A MUST TODAY
DECEMBER 2 (Chicago Tribune) - Chicago's Cardinals will
conclude their home season today against the Green Bay
Packers - PROBABLY. There's a chance that the football
may bounce once more on Comiskey park sod before the
year is over. Whether the Cards win today's contest will
help to determine that. The NFL title game is scheduled to
be played December 30 in the home park of the Eastern
division champion. So the Cards, of course, could guarantee
that the playoff will be held on Chicago's south side by
winning their divisional race. Victory over the Packers is a
necessary first step in achievement of that objective. The
Cards are a half game out of first place behind the New York
Giants. A Cardinal triumph over Green Bay, coupled with a 
Giant loss to the Washington Redskins today would put the
south siders on top of the heap. It is doubtful, however, 
whether the Cards can expect the Redskins to duplicate
their victory of two weeks ago over New York. Since then,
Washington has been beset by injuries, and the Giants
appear to have grown stronger. The Packers, off their
seasonal record of three verdicts against six defeats, do not
appear to be in the same class with the Cardinals, who have
compiled a 6 and 3 mark. The Cards have been installed as
six point favorites. But Green Bay's unimpressive record
belies both the Packers' Thanksgiving day upset of the 
highly regarded Detroit Lions and the presence of Tobin Rote
in the lineup. The Packers have perked up a bit since
downing the Lions, 24 to 20, on a three touchdown rally in
the final quarter led by the magnificent Rote. Jim Root, who
will start at quarterback for the second Sunday in a row, will
do the throwing for the Cardinals. Lamar McHan, the south
siders' regular signal caller until last week's temporary
suspension, is expected to get into the game the minute 
Root shows signs of fatigue. Richards plans to start rookie
Joe Childress of Auburn at right halfback. Childress, a
surprise starter at the position last week, did a capable job
of replacing Dave Mann, whose running has not been up to
par this year.
KRAMER, HORNUNG PACKER POSTS SET?
NOVEMBER 29 (Ann Arbor, MI) - Ron Kramer, Michigan's big end, will play right halfback, and Notre Dame quarterback Paul Hornung will play left half for the Packers. That was the report Thursday from Jack Vainisi, talent scout for the Packers. He arrived in Ann Arbor for preliminary talks with Kramer. Hornung was Green Bay's bonus pick in the NFL draft Monday. Kramer was Green Bay's choice on the first regular round. Kramer won't be signed to a contract until next spring, Vainisi said. He has eligibility remaining as a basketball star and trackman for the university. "He'll be Green Bay's right halfback or slot-back as we call it - to make use of his pass-catching, blocking and ball carrying ability," Vainisi said. Vainisi did not say why Hornung would be switched. Green Bay already has two fine pass receivers in ends Billy Howton and Gary Knafelc, and a veteran quarterback in Tobin Rote. Kramer's college coach, Bernie Oosterbaan, a one-time All-America end himself, threatened to use Kramer at right half this season in an emergency, but the situation never came up.
BACKS PLEASE RICHARDS
NOVEMBER 30 (Chicago Tribune) - On the south side, Ray Richards of the Cardinals said yesterday he was "very, very satisfied" with the starting backfield used in the victory over the Steelers last weekend. He said he will string along with the same array Sunday, when the Cards meet the Green Bay Packers in Comiskey park. Richards again will call upon Jim Root as his opening quarterback. Lamar McHan, back in the good graces of the Cardinals after last week's temporary suspension, will be available for relief duty. Rookie Joe Childress, off a great showing against the Steelers, again will open at right halfback. He'll be joined by veterans Ollie Matson at left half and Johnny Olszewski at fullback.
CARD CHANGE OFFENSE - AND WIN
NOVEMBER 30 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Last season the Cardinals were rinky dinks in professional football. Today they're title contenders. The secret to success could be the change in the basic offense designed by Coach Ray Richards. The Chicago schemer discarded the straight T and employed the split T. As a result the Cardinals have passed an average of only 16 times a game this year compared with 23 times per game last season. With more emphasis on running, Ollie Matson and Johnny Olszewski are having their greatest year. Oh. the Chicago South Siders haven't grounded their aerial attack. In nine game their quarterbacks have pitched 12 touchdown passes compared to 14 TD tosses for the whole '55 season. Matson, going into Sunday's game with the Packers at Comiskey Park, is only 23 yards behind Rick Casares of the Bears as the NFL's best runner and needs only 399 yards in his remaining three games to break the all-time league mark of 1,146 yards set by Steve Van Buren of Philadelphia in 1949. Johnny O's best effort - prior to this year - was his freshman season when he gained 386 yards. He now has 458 yards and, if he maintains this average, could go well over 600 yards - a Cardinal achievement made by Charlie Trippi (690) and broken this season by Matson (748). The Packers must not only contend with Matson and Olszewski but with rookie halfback Joe Childress as well. Childress, the Cardinals' first draft choice from Auburn, has earned himself a starting berth with his low, line crushing running. Jim Root, who guided the Cardinals to a 38-27 victory over the Steelers last Sunday, will again start at quarterback, with Lamar McHan, the problem fellow, ready to take over when needed. A couple of former Wisconsin linemen, John Dittrich and Bob Konovsky, have really caught fire as pros. Dittrich, 6-1, 230, is a starter at guard on offense and Konovsky, 6-2, 245, plays both ways, also at guard. The Cardinals are in a three-way race for the Eastern Division title and must beat the Packers Sunday to remain a serious threat. Washington and New York, the other contenders, play each other Sunday. Green Bay, inspired after beating Detroit Thanksgiving Day, has the potential to dump the Chicagoans if Tobin Rote is on the beam again. Rote triggered the Packers to a 31-14 decision over the Cards in Green Bay last fall. This will be the 53rd meeting between the rivals. The lowest scoring game was one in which neither team could get on the scoreboard, 0-0, in 1936. The highest score was a 55-24 Packer win at Green Bay in 1942.
CARDS' COACH PLOTS WAY TO STOP ROTE
DECEMBER 1 (Chicago Tribune) - Coach Ray Richards thinks he has the answer to a question which has puzzled NFL coaches since a young man fresh out of Rice Institute joined the Green Bay Packers six years ago. The question: How to stop Tobin Rote's passing. Richards' answer: Don't let him have the ball. Richards' Chicago Cardinals will try to put his philosophy into into practice tomorrow in Comiskey park week the Cardinal coaches have been talking ball control in drill sessions. "Of course we expect our
Green Bay Packers (3-6) 24, Detroit Lions (7-2) 20
Thursday November 22nd 1956 (at Detroit)