(GREEN BAY) - The amazing Packers tore the wrapping off their new million dollar home Sunday with a spectacular 21-17 comeback victory over the Bears. Impossible, but true - the Bruisers from the Bay made Teddy Bears out of the once grizzled Bruins with a command performance in the fourth quarter. Trailing 17-14, Babe Parilli sparked a 50 yard touchdown march in three plays and the defense took care of the rest, not allowing the Chicagoans to cross into Packer territory once. What a way to dedicate a new stadium! What a way to kick off their 39th year in pro football! With 32,132 eating up every minute of this thriller-diller, Green Bay flexed it's muscles as a smooth passing team despite the absence of Tobin Rote and showed it could be a devil on defense. The man of the hour was Parilli, who played the last three quarters. The Kentucky Babe competed nine out of 17 passes for 197 yards. His touchdown strikes were to Billy Howton, 37 yards in the second quarter and to Gary Knafelc, a six yard pitch which snapped all life from the Bears in the  fourth period. A lost Packer, this Parilli? I should say not. In all probability, Parilli was never sharper. His buggy whip arm cracked with authority as he side-stepped would-be tacklers and fired perfect pitches into the bread baskets of those great receivers. He moved the Packers when the chips were down. Defensively, it was a 100% team effort. It had to be stop pro football's most heralded offense. A devastating rush must have given Bear quarterbacks Ed Brown and Zeke Bratkowski a king-sized headacre throughout the day as can be attested by five interceptions (Bill Forester, Hank Gremming, Sam Palumbo and two by Bobby Dillon). But the best came last. When the Packers stopped Bobby Watkins from gaining one measly yard for a first down on the 50. It proved to be the turning point. In three plays the Packers iced things with 6 1/2 minutes to play by scoring the clincher. Chicago still had a chance when the Packers had to punt again. But what happened to Perry Jeter on Dick Deschaine's dazzling floating punt shouldn't have happened to one's worst enemy. With time ticking off (2 minutes left), Jim Temp and the ball met Jeter at the same time and wham, Larry Lauer, a one-time Monster himself, fell on the ball on the Bear 16 and that was the ball game. The Packers were content to run out of the clock and start NFL play with a bang. The third time the Bears got their hands on the ball they were touchdown bound, romping 77 yards in nine plays. Brown was on the beam and did honors himself with a five yard scamper around the Packers' right flank. George Blanda converted and the Bears lead, 7-0. With Howie Ferguson sidelined after the second running play and Bart Starr having a pass intercepted to set up the Bears' first score, Parilli took charge as the second quarter started and the Packers chalked up six points, marching 79 yards in 10 plays. The touchdown was spectacular. That man Howton shook loose and before the Bears could say "shucks" he had taken Parilli's pass over his shoulder for a 37-yard TD run. Parilli was rushed off his feet, yet managed to unleash this mighty one. There were 53 seconds of the second quarter elapsed when Freddie Cone's conversion split the uprights. Back bounced the Bears. The payoff of a 72-yard match was Brown's nifty pass to Harlon Hill. The lanky receiver scored with ease from 11 yards from paydirt. Blanda's boot put the Bears ahead, 14-7.
Al Carmichael's 33 yard return on the ensuing kickoff put the Packers in business for their second touchdown from their own 41. Parilli was hotter than a pistol as he passed first to Knafelc then to Howton. Fifty-nine yards the Packers roared. Cone bulled over from the one for the touchdown and his PAT knotted things up with 8 minutes of the second quarter played. Defensively, fireworks exploded in the remaining minutes of the first half. First Bob Kilcullen recovered Billy Kinard's fair catch. Then Forester evened things up by grabbing a Brown aerial. Cone's fumble three plays later on the Bear 24 was recovered by McNeil Moore and Gremminger came back to intercept a Bratkowski pass. With less than a minute remaining, Cone's attempted field goal from the Bear 47 was blocked by Bill George.
The Bears were content with Blanda's 13 yard field goal after moving from their own 21 as the third quarter kicked off. Before Paul Hornung's 50 yard field goal sailed wide to the left, a little rhubarb resulted in the Packers' Ollie Spencer and the Bears' Stan Wallce being dismissed for the afternoon. An exchange of interceptions ran out the third quarter. Then that comeback; when the defense did its job in halting the Bears from moving into Green Bay territory, then the offense took charge - Parilli side-stepping a vicious rush again and drilling a bullet into Knafelc's belly, as the Colorado Flash was kneeling in the end zone. Cone's boot came naturally and this old pro hotbed went wild.
CHICAGO   -  7  7  3  0 - 17
GREEN BAY -  0 14  0  7 - 21
1st - CHI - Ed Brown, 5-yard run (George Blanda kick) CHICAGO 7-0
2nd - GB - Howton, 37-yard pass from Parilli (Cone kick) TIED 7-7
2nd - CHI - Harlon Hill, 11-pass from Brown (Blanda kick) CHICAGO 14-7
2nd - GB - Cone, 1-yard run (Cone run) TIED 14-14
3rd - CHI - Blanda, 13-yard field goal CHICAGO 17-14
4th - GB - Knafelc, 6-yard pass from Parilli (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 21-17
According to the caption supplied, eventual Hall of Famers seated in the photo include Don Hutson, Arnie Herber, Tony Canadeo, and Curly Lambeau. The image is credited to D. Elliott Photography out of Milwaukee, Wis. (Photo Credit -
Then-Vice President Richard M. Nixon on the platform at the City Stadium dedication. Joining him in the festivities are the reigning Miss America, Marilyn Van Der Bur (left), and National Football League commissioner Bert Bell (right). (Photo Credit -
James Arness is pictured above outside the Northland Hotel in downtown Green Bay. Arness visited Green Bay on the last weekend of September 1957 for the dedication of the then brand-new City Stadium. The actor rode in a parade as Green Bay closed the old stadium on the east side and dedicated the new facility on the far west side. An estimated 18,000 people showed up, but “about two-thirds (were) children who were more interested in ‘Matt Dillon’ than football nostalgia," the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported. (Source: Packerville, USA Blog)
SEPTEMBER 30 (GREEN BAY) - "Surprised by Parilli's showing? No, we weren't surprised. We knew he could do what he did today." Lisle Blackbourn, coach of the Green Bay Packers, was talking after the upset of the Chicago Bears here Sunday. "You might call this V-Day," a spectator in the crowded dressing room said. "V is victory and V for vindication of your faith in Parilli." "That's right," Blackbourn said, "And V for Vito." Vito Parilli, the journeyman quarterback who played last year for the Cleveland Browns had one of his best days in football. He passed for two touchdowns and ignited the spark the Packers needed for their triumph over the big, bad Bears. "That's the best game I've ever seen Parilli play," a dejected Paddy Driscoll said in the Bears' quarters. "And that Howton was great. I thought, too, that your Carmichael played a good game." "The Packers were up for this one, coach," a sympathetic Bear writer chimed in. "Of course, they were up," Driscoll snapped. "But that's no excuse for our losing. This is opening game. Everybody should be up for this one." Even in the flush of winning the first game ever played in Green Bay's new City Stadium, Blackbourn refused to go overboard on the Packers' chance the rest of the way. "This was a good one to win," he said. "But I thought the game was about even. We'll enjoy our victory tonight and start thinking about the Lions (next Sunday's foe) tomorrow. I didn't really feel that the game was ours until Jeter fumbled that punt," he continued. "When he fumbled and Lauer (Larry) recovered for us, I figured we might win it." Perry Jeter fumbled a punt inside his own 10 yard line with little more than a minute to play. Jim Temp had a smashing tackle timed perfectly. He and the ball arrived almost simultaneously and Jeter, of course, departed. After that the Packers moved to a first down on the Bear two where the game ended. Driscoll refused to defend Jeter's action in attempting to catch the punt. "He should have signaled for a fair catch," he said. On a similarly fumbled punt by Billy Kinard of the Packers, Blackbourn was more lenient. "I think Kinard must have taken his eyes off the ball momentarily," he said. "Carmichael cut over in front of him just as the ball was coming down and I think that threw him off." Whereas Driscoll cited only three Packers for praise, Blackbourn was more inclusive. "Our defensive line kept getting better as the game wore on," he said. "Brown (Bear quarterback Ed Brown) kept going deeper and deeper. When the game was over, he was lucky to throw the ball at all." The Packers intercepted five passes, four in the second half. Bobby Dillon grabbed off two and Hank Gremminger, Bill Forester and Sam Palumbo one each. Tom Bettis just missed on two other interceptions and Dillon another. "Very disappointing," Bettis said of his near catches.
SEPTEMBER 30 (Green Bay) - The gayest time of the year in this neck of the woods is when the Packers beat the Bears. Monday was just that as every Tom, Dick and Harry grinned from ear to ear while talking up Sunday's 21-17 victory. The contagious spirit was reflected at the Packer ticket office, too. At noon the "All Sold Out" sign was tacked on the windows, assuring another sellout throng (32,150) for next Sunday's battle against Tobin Rote and the Lions. Liz Blackbourn was in a mighty chipper mood as he opened shop at 8:30 a.m to scheme trouble for Detroit. In walked Assistant Coaches Scooter McLean, Lou Rymkus and Jack Morton - more confident than ever that the Bays will amount to something this year. There is no doubt the Packers were hypoed by a gigantic stadium dedication weekend. But, as Blackbourn pointed out, "we didn't blow up despite that pressure. In fact, we got better as the game progressed." With the finger of guilt pointed at the offensive line for a sputtering pre-season attack, the boys up front performed in a manner which helped spell victory. Jim Ringo, Ollie Spencer, Norm Masters, Jim Salsbury and Norm Amundsen proved they could dish it out when it counted. Blackbourn was surprised the way the Bears "red-dogged" the Packers' quarterbacks. By rushing in their linebackers and defensive ends, the Bruins were content to go and get the passer and darn near forgot the ends. "I would say they gambled and lost," Blackbourn observed. "You know we have two fast receivers (Billy Howton and Gary Knafelc) and they weren't having any trouble going out. But that's the risk they took and I'm glad they did." When asked if Babe Parilli, who sparked the scoring drives, was now in the driver's seat, Liz said, "No. Bart Starr throws a lighter pass than Parilli. But when that wind raised heck with Starr's accuracy, we tried the Babe. He really rifled 'em in, didn't he?" A few statistics are noteworthy: When you can hold Rick Casares to 72 yards, Willie Galimore to 28 and Perry Jeter to 7, the Packer defense must be shaping up. And that goes for five interceptions, too! Dick Deschaine averaged 51.2 yards for five punts - and that's the reason he'll be around for seasons to come. His third quarter boot carried 71 yards. His final lofty punt, which was fumbled by Jeter, iced the victory. The Packers recovered and were on the Bear three when the gun sounded. Howton and Knafelc were the only Packers to catch passes. Billy outclassed the Bears' defense with eight completions for 165 yards and one touchdown. Knafelc grabbed four for 70 yards and one touchdown. Tom Bettis and Hank Gremminger showed tremendous improvement over a year ago. They stopped the Bears cold. Howie Ferguson was hurt after the second play of the game. He injured his left hip and not his knees, as first feared. Otherwise, the Packers came out of the game in good shape. The Bear linebacking situation was weakened in the first quarter when Wayne Hansen was forced to leave his position and take over for Larry Strickland, who was roughed up. The situation became serious when Stan Wallace was ejected for socking the Packers' Ollie Spencer. Green Bay now shows a fabulous 6 win, 1 tie mark since opening camp. This one was the confidence builder, though.
OCTOBER 1 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Green Bay Packers bear the Chicago Bears "up front". The infantry wore down the favored Western Division champions in the NFL opener at Green Bay's new stadium Sunday and that was the story, 21-17. The passing of Babe Parilli, the quarterback nobody wanted, produced the scores, of course, and Parilli played a whale of a game. Bart Starr is still not out of the picture. Coach Lisle Blackbourn is happy to have two quarterbacks, thank you. "We'll find work for both of them," he said. But the game was still won "in the trenches". The Packer defensive line handled Willie Galimore as if he were a high school lad rather than a sensation who had averaged about 10 yards a clip in six exhibition games. Even Rick Casares was stopped more than once by one man. That usually does not happen. The Packers played great football, individually and collectively. The way Green Bay played the Bears' feared end sweeps was something to behold. Linebackers Tom Bettis and Bill Forester, ends Nate Borden, Carlton Massey and Jim Temp, backs Hank Gremminger, John Petitbon, Bob Dillon, Billy Kinard and John Symank, guards Sam Palumbo and Ernie Danjean and tackles Dave Hanner and Jerry Helluin knifed through the Bear blockers to get at the carrier and slow him or stop him. The Packers' defenders, as the game wore on, fought through the Bears' fine pass protection and ruffled quarterback Ed Brown. When that happened, Brown's sharpness disappeared. The Bears "was dead", Green Bay's deep men then had more than an even chance, even against ends like Harlon Hill, Bill McColl and Jim Dooley. On offense, the Packers' front wall also found itself after a slow start. This is the fourth line which Lou Rymkus, line coach, has built in four years with the Packers. The men obtained from Detroit in the Rote deal - Oliver Spencer, Jim Salsbury and Norm Masters - worked hard. The fellows back from the service, rookie Norm Amundsen and veteran Al Barry, contributed. Carl Vereen, tall rookie from Georgia Tech, stepped in capably when Spencer was ejected in a scuffle with Stan Wallace, Bear linebacker. And Jim Ringo, the center and only man back from last year's interior wall, did his customary excellent job. Considering the all-out rush, or "blitz", that the Bears put on the passer, Parilli and Starr got good protection. Parilli had to skip around a few times and wriggle free from big Jack Hoffna or bigger Doug Atkins in order to get away his pass, but most of the time the blockers kept them away. And when Parilli did have time or find time somehow to look for his receivers they were open. The Bear pass defense has been a sore point in other years. It is still a sore point. They do not have the real good deep men. They have to rush the passer off his feet - or else. Blackbourn looked at the movies Monday night and said, "We still had our share of mistakes. But I'd rather make a few mistakes and win than play perfect football and lose. We've still got a lot of things to iron out." Much of the time Sunday, the Packers were playing a three man line - Hanner at middle guard, flanked by two of the ends or perhaps a tackle and an end. Often, Green Bay had as many as four linebackers at once. "We were using a little variation," the coach said. "We shifted things around to foul up their pass blocking protection. Maybe we did." Danjean, the 220 pound turtle from Auburn, came in for a little praise. "He's a pretty good boy," Blackbourn said. "He played a lot of football Sunday. He's short but he's mobile and he likes to get in there." Fullback Howie Ferguson was the only injured player. He went out with a bad hip after two plays. Before, his knees had been bothering him. He tends to brittleness. Paul Hornung, the bonus rookie, likely will be worked at both fullback and left halfback against Detroit at Green Bay Sunday. Spencer felt that he was the victim of circumstances in being asked to leave with Wallace. "He swung at me," Spencer said. "Maybe I charged him a little hard (on an attempted block), but all I did was grab him so he couldn't swing anymore." Blackbourn had an answer for that. "Don't play any attention to someone who wants to fight you," he said. "Just put your arms up to cover your face and walk away from them. With the headgear and mask and pads, they can't hurt you anyway, even if they swing all day. We need you to play football, not to fight."
OCTOBER 3 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Liz Blackbourn doesn't like to talk about it, but he feats the Packers could be in for a letdown Sunday against the Lions. "Last weekend certainly aroused our club no end," Blackbourn said Wednesday. "And we should have gained a little confidence after beating a team like the Bears. But I'm afraid - well, let's just hope we don't have a letdown." Blackbourn respects Sunday's invaders, perhaps as much as the Bears. "Their personnel is wonderful," he said. "They're bound to be in this thing to the end." While Detroit Coach George Wilson has been rotating quarterbacks Bobby Layne and Tobin Rote, Blackbourn believes Rote will surely get the starting assignment at Green Bay. Despite a murderous rush by the Colts last Sunday, Rote completed seven out of 12 passes for 90 yards and one touchdown. The Packers came out of the Bear scrap with two injuries, only one of any consequence. Howie Ferguson wrenched a joint in his hip on the second play of the game and it is doubtful he will suit up. Freddie Cone will start at fullback, backed by Paul Hornung. Safetyman Bobby Dillon developed a slight pull in his thigh muscle on Rick Casares' quick kick play in the first quarter. However, he turned in a superb performance, intercepting two passes and should be in shape by Sunday. The Bears weren't so fortunate. Center Larry Strickland's shoulder injury is serious enough to sideline him Saturday night against the Colts. Willie Galimore is still limping and Ronnie Knox has a swollen lip. Getting back to Hornung, Blackbourn praised the versatility of his bonus choice. "We certainly can move that fellow around," Liz said. "We use him on long field goals because he can put more kick into the ball than Fred Cone. He's not as accurate as Cone, but he'll come around." So bring on the Lions! Blackbourn had the same sentiments as another pro coach who said, "In this league what you did last week doesn't mean a thing. It's what you do this week what counts."
OCTOBER 4 (Milwaukee Journal) - In their fine NFL start, the Green Bay Packers received good help from the rookies. Eight out of 35 men are yearlings, a healthy ratio. They helped upset the Chicago Bears and will go after the Detroit Lions at Green Bay Sunday. Three play defense, end Jim Temp, guard Ernie Danjean and back John Symank. Five are on the offense, back Paul Hornung, end Ron Kramer, tackles Carl Vereen and Norm Masters and guard Norm Amundsen. Hornung of Notre Dame and Kramer of Michigan are the ballyhoo boys. They were All-Americans and hardly seem over-rated. Kramer loves to block and is a good target as a receiver. Hornung has played quarterback, left halfback and fullback and Coach Lisle Blackbourn is pleased with him. "He will get better, too," the coach said. Amundsen and Temp, former Wisconsin Badgers, came back from two years in the service and won berths against rugged competition. Norm Masters, former Michigan State athlete, belonged to three NFL teams before he played his first league game. He was drafted originally by the Chicago Cardinals, but played a year in Canada. Detroit got him in a trade, and, in turn, send him to Green Bay in the Tobin Rote deal. He is a starter. Vereen, of Georgia Tech, 6 feet 6 1/2 inches tall, is rated a fine prospect. He backs up Masters and Oliver Spencer. He was drafted in the fourth round last winter. Symank, of Florida, and Danjean, of Auburn, are bargain basement draftees. Danjean's name was drawn on the 19th round and Symank's on the 23rd. They have shored up the defense. Symank, who told the coached he weighed 179 3/4 pounds, plays safetyman. Danjean, middle guard and linebacker, is called "Turtle" because at 5-11 and 230 pounds he rather resembles one. The Packers of late have had good fortune on late draft choices, rejects and trades. Four fellows were picked up as free agents - Dick Deschaine from the sand lots, Howie Ferguson, Gary Knafelc and Larry Lauer. Trades brought in 10 others - Babe Parilli, Jerry Helluin, Bill Kinard, Carlton Massey, Don McIlhenny, Sam Palumbo, John Petitbon, Jim Salsbury, Oliver Spencer and Masters. Parilli, of course, played for the Packers once before. Bart Starr, Nate Borden and Al Barry were obtained late in the draft. Starr was 17th choice in 1956, Borden 25th in 1955 and Barry 30th and last in 1953.
OCTOBER 2 (Milwaukee Journal) - The worry in both the Detroit and Green Bay camps this week is how the Lions react to the 34-14 trouncing at Baltimore last Sunday. Detroit will meet Green Bay in Green Bay Sunday. "I don't know whether to be happy or sad," Green Bay Coach Lisle Blackbourn said after hearing the Lions had lost. "They could get fired up and snap back or they could keep down all season. I know they've got troubles." The Lions are worried, too. "It will take a lot of doing to rebuild this club into a contender," Detroit's president, Edwin J. Anderson, said. "This team needs a victory in a hurry," said George Wilson, after his first NFL game as head coach. Nor did the Lions get much encouragement out of the fact that the Packers beat the Western Division champion Chicago Bears, 21-17. "If we stay close to the Bears," said one of the Lions, "everything will be all right. They're still the team to beat." "You heard about the Titanic, didn't you?" halfback Gene Gedman interrupted. "They all went down together." Gedman was right - for the first weekend anyway. The champion Giants, the runner-up Bears, the Lions - all went down. Los Angeles barely kept its head above water, too, in its 17-13 squeaker with the supposedly weaker Philadelphia Eagles...Rookie fullback Jim Brown gained 89 yards in 21 carries in Cleveland's 6-3 defensive battle with the Giants. Brown had two 15-yard runs and each set up one of Lou Groza's field goals...INEXHAUSTIBLE MINE: Green Bay's defense gains new stature each week. It hardly resembles last year's. Rookies like Jim Temp, Ernie Danjean and John Symank have helped. The veterans seem revitalized and young pros like Hank Gremminger and Tom Bettis and Nate Borden keep coming. But the big change came with the trade with Cleveland. Carlton Massey, Sam Palumbo, John Petitbon, Billy Kinard - all these men were obtained from the Browns' defensive platoon and all have helped greatly. The Browns really got nothing from the trade - Bobby Garrett gave up the game on his return from service and Roger Zatkoff finally was traded again, to Detroit, for Lew Carpenter, still in the Army in Germany, and a future draft choice. Still, the Browns had enough left to hold the champion Giants - Connerly, Gifford, Heinrich, Webster, Triplett, et al - to one measly field goal. Paul Brown's mine of defensive gems would seem inexhaustible...Tobin Rote completed 7 out of 12 passes against Baltimore for 90 yards and one touchdown. Alan Ameche, the Wisconsin Horse turned Baltimore Colt, gained 44 yards in nine tries against the Lions...PLATOON PLAY: A good example of what Blackbourn was talking about when he mentioned "platoon" play as a reason for trading John Martinkovic to New York at cutdown time was afforded in Sunday's game with the Bears. Temp, Massey and Borden were retained as defensive ends because they are versatile enough to play on the platoons. They rushed the passer like Martinkovic, big but slow, never did and what rookie Temp of Wisconsin did in separating the Bears' Perry Jeter from the ball on a punt late in the game will not be soon forgotten, either by those at the game in person or by those brought close to the fumble play by television's long lens. He really pried him loose.
OCTOBER 3 (Milwaukee Journal) - Green Bay beat the Western Division champion Chicago Bears, 21-17, and Detroit was whipped by Baltimore, 34-14, so that would seem to make Green Bay a cinch against Detroit at Green Bay Sunday. "Not at all," said Walter Cruice, Green Bay scout who watched the game in Baltimore. "Detroit's got too fine personnel to count out. They could explode in the Packers' faces. Remember, the Packers and Colts had big psychological advantages in the openers, playing at home. The dedication of the new stadium had everyone in Green Bay steamed up. It was a tough place for the Bears to play. Baltimore is always a hard place to play, but especially for an opener. The fans for wild and so do the Colts."...Tom Wilson, Los Angeles Rams halfback who set a NFL rushing record against the Packers in last year's finale with 223 yards in 23 carries, gained 135 yards in 17 tries against Philadelphia last Sunday...QUICK QUOTES: George Wilson, Detroit coach, before the season opened: "This Lion team is as good as any (1952-54) that won the championship in Detroit. I can't promise the championship, but we'll battle it all the way."...Weeb Ewbank, Baltimore coach: "We got the breaks to win this one. Detroit's a good team. They'll get settled down. I hope they don't give us the big buildup like Buddy Parker did." (In 1955, Baltimore beat the Lions in the second game of the season and Parker, then Detroit coach, called the Colts "the best team I've ever seen in pro football." Baltimore finished fourth.)...Don Kellett, Baltimore general manager, to Edwin J. Anderson, Detroit president: "Our team is hungry and yours is complacent."...When Harvey Knox charged the other day that the Bears underpaid his stepson Ronnie, he might have mentioned that they also underplayed him at Green Bay. Ronnie was on the kickoff platoon, was knocked down by a hearty block and was helped from the field...MARCHETTI AGAIN: The Lions couldn't keep Gino Marchetti, Baltimore's ferocious defensive end, away from their quarterbacks. "We put two men on him and that didn't work," Detroit Coach George Wilson said. "It was the greatest end performance I have ever seen." Marchetti always plays that way against Green Bay...In one stretch, Bobby Layne found his receivers on 11 out 12 passes against Baltimore. Buddy Young, former Illinois and Colt star, said, "He had to be phenomenal. Layne's old enough so he's not the running threat he was. He's easier to defense." Young also called the Lions an "old club." "They've been," he said. "Now some of their key players have slowed down a second or two. You can tell better when you don't see 'em all the time, like me."
Green Bay Packers (1-0) 21, Chicago Bears (0-1) 17
Sunday September 29th 1957 (at Green Bay)