LOOKS FORWARD TO PRO BALL - BAYS SURPRISE CURRIE
DECEMBER 3 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - When a guy picks up a newspaper and discovers where his next job will be - that's a new twist to an old story. The usual thing to do is turn to the want ad section. But if you were Dan Currie, Michigan State center, you would have found your
new job offer splashed across the local sports pages. Currie, who
appeared on Ed Sullivan's TV show honoring the Coaches' All-
American team, returned from New York Monday afternoon, picked
up a paper and found out the Packers had drafted him. "Surprised?"
the Spartan All-American candidate answered to the same
question - "I sure was surprised Green Bay made me its first pick."
The 6-3, 230 pound lineman wants to play pro football, "I've been
looking forward to the day for a long time," Currie said. "I don't care
where I play just so I play." While Liz Blackbourn wanted Currie
more than any other college draftee available, so did Canada.
Currie said he had already been offered a Canadian bid - one he
prefers not to disclose. "I'll listen to them," he said. "But I would
prefer playing in the States and, well, I'm acquainted with two
members of the Packers and it would be swell playing with them
again." Currie said he played with Packer tackle Norm Masters in
the Rose Bowl. And Hank Bullough (Packer guard soon to be
released from the service soon) is an old buddy. But that's the only
acquaintance Currie has with the Bays. "I've only seen the Packers
play against the Lions," he said. Currie added that the Lions were
his first choice to play with because "that's my home town. But I've
heard about what a great pro town Green Bay is." Married and the
father of a daughter, Currie is classified 3-A by his draft board. And
if the Packers sign him, there should be little worry he will be lost
to military service. Currie said he was familiar with players like Ollie
Spencer, Jim Ringo, Jim Salsbury - "I would be playing in tough
company," he said, "but I sure would like it." The rugged lineman
was also looking forward to playing pro football's platoon system -
"that's the only way to play," he said.
PROS STILL AREN'T GOING ALL THE WAY IN CHANGING
DECEMBER 3 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - Apparently
some prodding by a congressional committee did it. But whatever
the inspiration. It's nice to note that the NFL is about to change
the system of awarding one so-called bonus extra in the annual
draft.The original plan, drawing for the added talent prize, smacked
too much of lottery in the eyes of committee members. Without
saying so, they also recognized that teams with the greatest need
could be moved to the end of the line by the luck of the draw. That's
just about what happened over the first 12-year span, which came
to an end with the Cardinals finally getting their long awaited shot
at an extra. The new proposal calls for giving the tailender first
crack when another cycle is started next year, working up from
that point until all the teams again have cut into the bonus act....
STILL DEALING IN FUTURES: That's a start in the right direction,
but only a start, for any system that guarantees every club a bonus choice - the haves as well as the have-nots - is out of step with what must have been a competition-balancing motive in the first place. The ideal way would be to confine bonus choice eligibility to the tailender, or two or more clubs in case of a tie for last place. If more widespread participation is insisted upon, the draw should be limited to second division outfits. On their records, the first division group doesn't need special consideration. Or, if they don't like that, why not toss the entire bonus business into the ashcan? Unfortunately, the pros aren't doing anything about an even greater weakness in their talent procurement and distribution setup. That, of course, is the old business of getting first dibs on outstanding newcomers by trading active players for future draft choices. That wasn't even mentioned in news dispatches from the preliminary meeting in Philadelphia. Look at the Los Angeles Rams. They came out of the early draft session (four rounds of selection) with SEVEN players. How come? The answer is simple: Three rival clubs owed them draft choices. It would be much better for all concerned if trades were limited to active pros and if each club had to release all surplus talent outright when cutdown date rolls around each season. Then all clubs would be starting from scratch and taking their chances when a new collegiate crop is up for grabs. The Packers, by the way, seem to have done all right in the first four rounds. Their No. 1 choice, Dan Currie of Michigan State, is a terrific football player - an ideal pro type. They could use a bellringing fullback. But there just aren't any Nagurskis, Hinkles and Ameches around. So the Bays did the next best thing and went for topnotch halfbacks, Jim Taylor and Dick Christy, as their second and third picks.
PACKERS DRAFT BIG 10'S 'BEST'
DECEMBER 3 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Dan Currie, whom Liz Blackbourn described as "a man among the boys in the Big 10," heads the list of rebuilding material for the Packers next fall. The 6-3, 230 pound Michigan State center was the Packers' first pick in the NFL's early draft at Philadelphia Monday. Currie is a rough and strong performer, one who wants to play pro football. In picking his prize lineman, Blackbourn, like four other coaches, passed up on the Spartans' bruising halfback, Walt Kowalczyk. But Blackbourn picked backfield help in the next two rounds, grabbing Jim Taylor, Louisiana State fullback; Dick Christy, North Carolina State halfback and Ray Nitschke, Illinois fullback, obtained from New York in the third round to complete a previous trade for John Martinkovic. Prior to the draft, Blackbourn considered Currie as his first pick if he were lucky enough to grab him. "Currie is the kind of lineman you always hope to get," said Blackbourn. "He's the pro type - and he wants to play. We'll probably use him as a defensive linebacker," Blackbourn added. "But then, too, he's a dandy replacement for our offensive center, Jim Ringo." Blackbourn said he passed up on Kowalczyk because he considered the Spartan runner too slow for pro ball. "Many a good college boy isn't a good pro candidate," Blackbourn pointed out. "I saw Kowalczyk when I coached Marquette. He's a good runner but not a fast starter - a necessity in this league." In the fourth round, Green Bay came up with a guard, Idaho's Jerry Kramer. The lowly Cardinals, the 12th team to earn the bonus choice since its inception in 1947, grabbed King Hill, Rice's outstanding quarterback. John Crow, Texas A&M fullback, was their No. 1 pick.