GAME RECAP (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL)
(LOS ANGELES) - While a crowd of 70,572 yelled for more, the Green Bay Packers were thrown to the Rams in the heat of a midsummer day here Sunday afternoon, 42-17. And the already crippled club, well mired in the Western Division cellar, also lost slotback Ron Kramer with a broken leg. Norman (The Dutchman) Van Brocklin, the quarterback who was roundly booed when he was introduced, passed for four touchdowns - five yards to Elroy Hirsch, 21 yards to Leon Clarke, 31 yards to Lamar Lundy and 61 yards to fullback Joe Marconi on a screen.
HIRSCH SCORES FINAL TD
Marconi also rushed over from three years out in the midst of all the scoring passes, so that when Van Brocklin's day was done, early in the fourth quarter, Los Angeles was situated well in front, 35-3. Bill Wade, Van Brocklin's understudy, then strode forth to a resounding cheer and pitched 35 yards to Hirsch, the Wausau wonder, for the final Los Angeles touchdown. Paige Cothren of the Mississippi Cothrens kicked the six extra points. For thoroughly buffetted and outclassed Green Bay, Fred Cone kicked a goal to keep the halftime score respectable at 14-3. And then in the fourth quarter with nothing mattering anymore, Babe Parilli passed eight yards to Howie Ferguson for the first touchdown and Bart Starr passed 13 yards to Max
McGee for the second. Cone converted each time.
MARCONI IS CHARITABLE
The Rams has the ball on Green Bay's four yard line at game's end, after Ron Waller's 76 yard dash on which Jim Temp brought him down from behind. Los Angeles surely would have obtained its seventh touchdown, but as the final gun sounded, Marconi dropped Wade's easy pass with no one to molest him two yards from the goal. The crowd pushed the total of fans who have watched the Rams this season to 998,456 for 11 league games and six exhibitions, at home and away. With Baltimore striving for some part of the title and the Rams pawing the ground now that they are at home again, the Coliseum's 102,000 capacity may well be taxed next Sunday for the finale between Los Angeles and Baltimore. Thus will the Rams become pro football's first team to play before a million fans in a season.
KRAMER BREAKS LEG
Kramer suffered the broken leg when he was tackled by two Rams in the first quarter after he had caught a pass. Being beaten, and badly, is nothing new in this almost tropical clime for the Packers. Green Bay now has visited here 12 times and has won only once. It has lost the last 10 times in a row and the Rams have scored no fewer than 30 points in any of the last nine. The chaps with horns on their helmets play like demons possessed before the fickle, yet faithful home folk. The Rams have won only one game away from home pasture in the last two league seasons, and that from Green Bay at Milwaukee three weeks ago, 31-27, with a great second half comeback. But at home, the Rams perform superbly, even though it is late in the season and they are destined to a second straight second division finish.
NO MATCH FOR RAMS
Green Bay, with its injured state to begin with and wearing thinner as the game went on, was by no means any match for Los Angeles at anytime Sunday, even though Liz Blackbourn paid a vendor $5 for 20 paper eye shades just before the game. They were for the troops along the sidelines to wear on the hot floor od the massive oval. Led by tackle Frank Fuller, the Rams permitted the Packers to run little and then only wide and harassed the passers incessantly while it still mattered. Van Brocklin and his playmates meanwhile rolled up 599 yards from scrimmage in a magnificent display of wasted talent.
GREEN BAY   -  0  3  0 14 - 17
LOS ANGELES -  7  7 14 14 - 42
1st - LA - Elroy Hirsch, 5-yd pass fr Norm Van Brocklin (Paige Cothren kick) LOS ANGELES 7-0
2nd - LA - Joe Marconi, 3-yard run (Cothren kick) LOS ANGELES 14-0
2nd - GB - Cone, 29-yard pass LOS ANGELES 14-3
3rd - LA - Leon Clarke, 21-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Cothren kick) LOS ANGELES 21-3
3rd - LA - Lamar Lundy, 31-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Cothren kick) LOS ANGELES 28-3
4th - LA - Marconi, 61-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Cothren kick) LOS ANGELES 35-3
4th - GB - Ferguson, 8-yard pass from Parilli (Cone kick) LOS ANGELES 35-10
4th - LA - Hirsch, 35-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Cothren kick) LOS ANGELES 42-10
4th - GB - McGee, 17-yard pass from Starr (Cone kick) LOS ANGELES 42-17
​NEWS AND NOTES
STRATEGY FALLS FLAT - JUST OUTPLAYED, EXPLAINS BLACKBOURN
DECEMBER 9 (Milwaukee Journal) - "We were outplayed," Lisle Blackbourn, coach of the beaten and battered Green Bay Packers, said after the game with the Los Angeles Rams
here Sunday. "We let them have three easy touchdowns and that's what made
it so one sided." The coach shook his head, sadly. The effects of the 42-17
lacing had not yet worn off. "We set up what amounted to an eight man line,"
he said. "We figured that would stop their wide stuff and make it tough on their
passing. We were vulnerable up the middle, but we gave them that."...
STRATEGY BACKFIRES: "So what happened? They ran wide on us. They
never did run up the middle. They never had to try it. The three easy
touchdowns that made it all the worse were the screen pass to Marconi,
Wade's pass to Hirsch for a touchdown and that seesaw pass to Lundy, who
was all alone. On the screen, we sent six men in on all-out rush. They'd been
beating us at our strength. so we gambled. Van Brocklin caught us with the
screen. Nobody smelled it and Marconi went all the way. Lundy scored on the
same play they beat us with at Milwaukee. We knew they were going to try it
again. Boyd slanted toward the middle, Gremminger went with the fake and
Lundy was alone on the side. On the other easy one, Wade changed the signal on the line of scrimmage. He saw Dillon was playing up close, so he sent Hirsch on a slant in from the left. Hirsch beat Petitbon and went all the way."...TOO MANY MISTAKES: "We've got a lot of men hurt but we made too many mistakes. The Rams played a great game. You wonder what they're doing in the second division." Like Topsy, Green Bay's hospital list just grows and grows. Kramer broke his leg Sunday. Only the walking wounded remain for the season finale at San Francisco next Sunday. There the Packers, or what is left of them, will try to interfere with the 49ers' title hopes. Kramer became the fourth Packer sidelined with broken bones. Others include guard Joe Skibinski, broken leg before the season opened; defensive end Nate Borden, broken arm two weeks ago; and middle guard Sam Palumbo, broken leg three weeks ago. Besides, regular offensive end Gary Knafelc was lost for the season after three games when he hurt his knee in practice. Palumbo's injury, inflicted in the first Ram game in Milwaukee, was originally diagnosed as a sprained ankle after X-rays showed no break. He tried working out again after a rest but the leg continued to ache. Further X-rays late last week showed a fracture and the former Notre Dame star is hobbling around in a walking cast...DOWN TO MINIMUM: The Packers started Sunday's game with 12 defensive players, the starters and tackle Tom Finnan, who was picked up on waivers from the Chicago Cardinals less than two weeks ago. Through most of the game, end Carlton Massey and Finnan shuttled back and forth, carrying defensive signals. Then middle guard Ernie Danjean was thrown out of the game for extracurricular activity (so was end Bill Ray Smith of the Rams), Massey switched to Danjean's position, Finnan took over in the line full time and Green Bay played with the bare minimum of defensive players. Defensive back Billy Kinard and rookie running back Paul Hornung did not play because of ankle injuries. Hornung tried kicking off to start the second half and limped back to the bench after he was blocked. Kinard sprained his ankle in practice Friday and is probably lost for next Sunday's finale, too. Hornung is also on the doubtful list. The Rams' main casualty was halfback Tom Wilson, who suffered a fractured cheek bone when he was tackled by Tom Bettis and Gremminger as he caught a pass in the second quarter. Gremminger hurt his arm on the play but stayed in the game because there was no one to replace him. Packer defensive end Jim Temp hurt his back but X-rays afterward showed no bone damage.
BAYS' PALUMBO ALSO BREAKS LEG
DECEMBER 9 (Boyes Springs, CA) - The Packers quietly slipped into this little hideaway late Monday afternoon, hoping to rest their weary bones and prepare for their finale against the San Francisco 49ers at Kexar Stadium Sunday. Coach Liz Blackbourn reported that slotback Ron Kramer and linebacker Sam Palumbo left the squad for their homes Monday. Kramer broke his right leg in the Ram game and Palumbo, it was discovered, also had a broken leg. He had been complaining of shin splints last week when X-rays proved otherwise. Kramer had been promised an invitation to the upcoming Hula Bowl in Hawaii and was a pretty dejected boy when he left the hospital. While Blackbourn would have liked to forget Sunday's 42-17 beating by the Rams, the fact remains that the Packers continue to lay their biggest eggs at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Bays have now lost 10 straight at L.A. Maybe it was the 70,000 plus which urged the Rams on - for they didn't run around the Packers, they ran over 'em. Ram coach Sid Gillman showed amazement at the size of the huge crowd. "I doubt if that's the real reason why we play so much better at home," he shook his head, "but I do know it sure does help." The Rams have won only one road game in the past two seasons, a thorn which has been stabbing deeply in Gillman's side. Blackbourn was still trying to figure what went haywire when he boarded the Packers' chartered plane. "We were having a very bad time stopping wide runs during the last few games," he said, "and so to set for the Rams' terrific backs we often had practically an eight-man line and then tried to red-dog the passer. So what happened? They lobbed soft screens over our heads and their fullbacks went crazy catching passes. That's good strategy by their quarterbacks, of course, and interesting to observe, except when it's happening to you. This game gets harder and more complicated every year," Liz continued. "And of course we coaches are making it tougher on ourselves by getting trickier and trickier. It's a vicious circle." While the Bays will have a major role in determining the Western Division champion Sunday, Blackbourn said, "you guess is as good as mine. But I'd surely like to surprise a few folks. These trips west have been awfully tough."
SAN FRANCISCO GAME IS ALREADY A SELLOUT
DECEMBER 10 (San Francisco) - The San Francisco 49ers already are assured of a sellout crowd Sunday when they will entertain the Green Bay Packers in their last regular season game. The 49ers reported that the last of the reserved sears for the Sunday finale were sold early Monday. Team doctors also reported that quarterback Y.A. Tittle will be ready to start against the Packers. Tittle pulled a muscle in his left leg Sunday and had to leave the Baltimore game in the final moments.
'GREEN' QBS WEAK POINT - HOWTON
DECEMBER 10 (Sonoma, CA) - "The heck with injuries and bad breaks," Billy Howton was saying Tuesday. "You can't alibi the kind of season we've been having." The likable Texan isn't the kind of guy who would point the finger of guilt on any individual, either. But he did believe that inexperience quarterbacking has hurt the Packers considerably this fall. "Don't get me wrong," Howton pointed out. "Bart Starr and Babe Parilli have played their heart out. They've really been on the spot. The responsibility to make us go rests on their shoulders. But with the personnel we've had this year, I believe we could have been in this thing down to the wire with an experience quarterback." Like a Tobin Rote? "Yes," Howton responded. "I'm not saying that Starr isn't the man," Howton continued. "I think in a year or two he's going to be one of the best in the business. But as it is now, we'll have to rise with his improvement. That's how much he means to us. The difference between Starr and Rote is their anticipation on a pass play," Howton explained. "The anticipation at times wasn't there with Bart. The way the league has been setting up their defenses - shooting in their linebackers has put a lot of pressure on our passers," Howton went on. "Therefore, they've had trouble hitting an open hand at times. Rote could smell 'em a mile off if we got open," Howton said. "Sure it's getting frustrating. But we're bound to improve. A pro quarterback isn't made overnight." Billy believed he was having a good season despite the team's failure. "I've been maneuvering better this year than any season before," he said. "I guess our passers just haven't seen me. But it's been good practice," he chuckled. The Packers' player representative returned to more pleasant topics, namely the improvements brought about by the Players Association. "One thing I've got to say," Howton smiled, "the Packer management has been darn cooperative with us in our demands. They were the first to recognize $50 a week exhibition pay, an injury reserve clause, a minimum player salary ($5,000). Now we are working on a pension plan. We hope to play an intrasquad game in the new stadium next summer," Howton explained. "The receipts would go into our pension fund. And the Packers said they would match the amount we personally put in say each player being assessed $300 a year." Howton also revealed the club is willing to set up a profit-sharing deal with the players once an adequate reserve (say $200,000) has been banked. So there's a distinct advantage playing for Green Bay - especially for a winning team.
PACKERS ATTEND CLASSES; SHARPEN WITS FOR FINALE
DECEMBER 11 (Milwaukee Journal) - Brawn alone is not enough in pro football. All players must be students. The dumb guy has trouble. Brains are standard equipment. As the Green Bay Packers prepare for their NFL final with the co-leading 49ers here Sunday, they are spending more time in the "classroom" than on the field. This is not unusual. It is the way of pro football, which every year becomes more complicated. "We coaches have only ourselves to blame," Lisle Blackbourn of the Packers said. "We are making it tougher for ourselves every season." Much of the classroom time is spent on movies. The Packers not only look over their last game (in this case the 42-17 beating by the Rams at Los Angeles last Sunday), but they look at films of their last game with San Francisco (won by the 49ers, 24-14) and at the 49ers' last game (a 17-13 thriller with Baltimore which enabled San Francisco to climb into a three way tie with the Colts and Detroit for the Western Division lead). Then, too, there are game reports by every player. The quarterbacks write theirs in essay form. Their report, by the very nature of their job, must be quite complete, must explore almost every phase of Green Bay's offense and the other team's defense. The rest of the players fill out standard forms. These reports are filed and used as refreshers the next time the two teams meet. The Packers this week are studying the reports they themselves made out on the 49ers after their first game in Milwaukee in October. "Working out these reports," Line Coach Lou Rymkus said, "makes the players think. He becomes more aware of his assignments this way." A typical report filed by offensive guard Al Barry listed the name of the opponent he faced, his number and position and how many years the opponent had been in the league. The Packer was asked to rate his opponent, from zero to six. Barry's opponent got three and a half. Then questions were asked about blocking: The best way to block the man, blocking difficulties encountered, and the best way to block on pass protection. Next, Barry was asked to discuss each opponent, giving clues to weaknesses and strengths. "72 (Herchman) has good pursuit, can be blocked on dives, can draw against him. 73 (Nomellini) when tapping be sure and get inside out angle." On the back of the report, general information on the opposing team was sought. What was their best defense? Answer: "43 (four man line and three linebackers)" What plays do you think work best against them? After some play numbers were mentioned, the Packer wrote, "During early part of game linebackers were very inside conscious. We were able to run outside and take the linebackers in. We had the 49ers line loosened up and just about anything would work." Other questions asked were: What errors did you make, what were you able to do against your opponent and did they use anything that was unexpected" The interior lineman finished his report with these remarks: "Our offensive line has best day of league season so far vs. 49er line. I don't think the reason for this was because we were playing above our heads. In fact, I think (at least myself) we are capable of better line play than we had vs. 49ers. This is actually the first game we stuck to our ground game. I believe our ground game will go against any team if we utilize it as we did against the 49ers."
PACKERS HOPE TO 'SAVE' YEAR BY BEATING 49ERS
DECEMBER 11 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Kezar Stadium will be jammed Sunday when the 49ers, who are up there on top, battle the cellar-dwelling Packers. What can the Packers have for an incentive? Even should they upset the 49ers they can't get out of the basement? "What more incentive could a last place club have than to finish the season by knocking over a top team," Coach Liz Blackbourn answered Wednesday. Blackbourn is not a 49er hater. "As a matter of fact I'd rather see the 49ers or Colts win," he said. "The Lions have won enough championships. But we've just got to be 49er haters to save our season." Blackbourn is also aware that his club must come up with a presentable showing in Sunday's finale or it will be difficult returning to an unhappy Green Bay. Another egg, like the one laid at the Coliseum last Sunday could jeopardize Blackbourn's position, although the executive board is pretty much agreed on retaining him through next year when his five year contract runs out. This is a tough business, battling a title contender before 59,000 screaming fans - especially when your team is physically beaten up. The Packers are presently down to 12 men in their defensive unit, which means one to spare. And fullback Paul Hornung, who re-injured his ankle in the Ram game, will be used on kickoffs only. He can't do much turning on his ankle. Blackbourn, who couldn't buy a break this season, consider the 49ers a very lucky club to be where they are. "They've won four of their seven games in the final seconds. To have won two of those four would have been par. But they've won all four." While 49er coach Frankie Albert will be watching the scoreboard for accounts of the other crucial contests involving the Colts and Lions, he is hardly taking the Packer game for granted. "We know we have another must-win game coming up with Green Bay," said Frankie. "The Packers gave us a good go in Milwaukee and we have only respect for them. Tittle had trouble in the first half but he found the range in the second half. It made a difference." Tittle will definitely to be ready Sunday. The veteran 49er quarterback, who had to leave the Colt game to rookie John Brodie to pull out in the final minute, suffered a muscle spasm. It's true that the Packer pass defense is one of the club's stronger points. The Bays lead the whole league in pass interceptions with 28, and Tittle is one of their chief victims. Y.A. had four picked off on him in Milwaukee. Bobby Dillon has intercepted nine this season and rookie John Symank eight. The Packers have been working out at Sonoma High School field in rather brisk weather. They don't figure they're subduable to any team despite their lowly position.
PACKERS REALLY GOT SOMEBODY IN CURRIE
DECEMBER 12 (MIlwaukee Journal - Oliver Kuechle) - The Green Bay Packers got themselves somebody when they picked Dan Currie, Michigan State's center, as their No. 1 man in the recent pro draft. "They not only got one of the best lineman of this year," Duff Daugherty, his coach, opined after the Journal's All-Star football dinner at the Milwaukee Athletic Club Wednesday night, "they got one of the best lineman of the last half dozen years." Daugherty, for all of the humor with which he always spices everything, is a man of very sincere feelings and when he says anything he means it. It was not in this particular case, then, a gratuitous plug for a boy who happened to play for him. "They'll be able to play Currie wherever they need him in the line. We had him at guard in his first couple of years, then at center, and we toyed for awhile putting him at tackle. He could even play end - he's fast enough. We had him down around 230 this year, but he could play at 240. And one of the best linebackers I've ever seen anywhere - ever." Milt Bruhn, with memories of Currie's play against Wisconsin a month ago still fresh, winced an assent...PACKER 'FARM': "You know," Duff chuckled, "we've been a pretty good farm for Green Bay. They could field half a Michigan State line next year if they wanted to. They've got Norm Masters (240) at tackle right now, they are going to get Hank Bullough (guard) back from the Army in a couple of months, and they could play Currie at end - and it wouldn't be bad, no, sir, not bad. I'd take them. Bullough - just heard from him the other day - has put on quite a bit of weight in the service, not fat, weight. He's up around 245 or so now and in shape." Daugherty expressed puzzlement why his quarterback of this year, Jim Ninowski, was not drafted earlier than the fourth round. (Cleveland got him.) "The pros are always looking for passing quarterbacks and here they had one of the best we've ever had right under their noses (Michigan State has had a succession of good ones - Morrall, Wilson, Yewcic, Dorow, etc.). "Ninowski is just an ordinary guy on defense - not as good as Morrall for instance. The pros platoon, though, and Ninowski can sharp shoot with any of them. He can run, too - a good runner. Big and tough. Those clubs that passed him up, if they wanted a quarterback, really muffed something."
'GAME BREAKER' HOWTON FINDS DEFENSES MAKING LIFE TOUGHER ON ENDS, PASSERS
DECEMBER 12 (San Francisco) - The Green Bay Packers do not have many "game breakers", which is one reason they are last in the NFL's Western Division. One great one they do have, a fellow who can conceivably go all the way on any play, is Bill Howton, their all-pro end. Howton sat before the fireplace at Sonoma Mission Inn, where the Packers are preparing for their season finale with the San Francisco 49ers here Sunday. He was wearing a gray letter sweater with a blue "R" on it, a memento of his college days at Rice Institute. Red haired and of slight build, Howton is 27 years old and in his sixth pro season. He possesses great speed on the field and he answered the questions in the same way he runs, fast, but with sureness. The interview went something like this:
Question: How many different patterns or routes do you use in trying to get free on a pass play?
Answer: Oh, we have maybe 25 or 30 individual patterns with variations for the right end, but we use about five of them as "bread and butter" patterns - "hooks", "swing hooks", "hook outs" and "rights" and "lefts". The others we use to take advantage of certain defenses.
Q: For example?
A: Well, against the Rams at Los Angeles Sunday, Shofner was playing me to the inside, so we needed something to the outside. We ran a "post corner" meaning Howton ran downfield toward the defender, then slanted toward the middle and then back toward the sideline corner. We made it go for about 30 yards.
Q: In your six seasons what changes have you noticed in pro football.
A: The offense hasn't changed much, but the defense sure had. They all try to put on a bigger rush on the passer now. Then you often don't have time to run down and finish your maneuver. You can't rush your maneuver or it throws the timing off and the quarterback, under that rush, will upset the routine if he throws too soon.
Q: How do you feel about linebackers who line up in front of you on a pass play and try to hold you at the line of scrimmage so you can't run your pattern?
A: It's part of the game. The defensive man is allowed to use his hands until the ball is in the air. Of course, there is a lot of unnecessary holding, tackling and blocking, but it's a judgment call and the officials seldom see it or call it. I guess they have too many other things to look for. Caroline (of the Bears) blocks on every play. You just have to try to throw him, or elude the block or jump over. They have another man about 10 yards waiting to pick you up. The idea is to slow you up so you lose a couple of steps and can't get out there before they get to the passer.
Q: What is the difference between having an experienced quarterback like Tobin Rote (whom the Packers traded to Detroit last summer) and a young quarterback like, say, Bart Starr (present Green Bay regular, in his second season)?
A: I certainly wouldn't want to knock Starr, because he is a very fine prospect, but the "big" quarterback like Rote or Norm Van Brocklin or Layne has that advantage of experience which you just can't beat. They throw the ball where no one can intercept it or knock it down. They get it out where you reach for it and don't have to wait for it. They have to anticipation which is so necessary. The difference between a touchdown and an interception is only a yard or two. The quarterback has to anticipate the end getting a step on his man. He can't wait until the break is actually made or the defensive man will close up again. It's got to be anticipation and it takes time for a quarterback to get that. Some never do and others just suddenly seem to get it all at once.
Q: Which player or team gives you the most trouble?
A: I'd have to say Warren Lahr of Cleveland is the one man who has been toughest for me. He seems to know what the play is going to be and he reacts awfully fast. Detroit usually doubles up on me so we 
NEW GATE RECORD ASSURED FOR NFL
DECEMBER 11 (Sporting News) - Bert Bell can already count on a new NFL attendance record, and with any luck in the weather and in the standings for the closing games, the increase could be a whopping gain of between seven and eight percent over 1956. For the past five years, the paid attendance (not the total attendance figures given out on games days) has shown an annual increase, from 2,052,126 in 1952 to 2,551,623 last season. The total for '57 is likely to hit around 2,750,000. Compared to the count for 1952, this would represent an increase of 34 percent over the brief span of six years! The boom in popularity is leaguewise and includes all but three clubs. The Green Bay Packers, first to close their home season of six games, raised their average paid attendance per game from 23,000 to 26,000. The Packers were able to average a virtual sellout of 31,000 for three games in their new stadium at Green Bay, but were unable to borrow crowd baseball enthusiasm in three games in Milwaukee. These game in the home of the Braves, County Stadium, averaged only 20,000 paid. The Baltimore Colts, intent on winning the first major league championship for their city since the old Orioles, pushed their average up from 39,000 to 45,500 per game, a tremendous increase. The Pacific Coast is booming. The San Francisco 49ers lifted their average from 41,000 in '56 to 51,000 this season for five games, with one to go. The Los Angeles Rams, who had the largest paid house of the year, 88,312 for a game with the the 49ers, showed an average of 69,000 for four games, compared to 50,000 for the six games of the '56 card. The two remaining games were likely to pull down the Rams' average, but the gain would still be considerable. The Cleveland Browns, out of the running for the first time in their history in 1956, averaged only 35,000 for that season. This year they rebounded with bumper crowds, to average 51,000 for six games. The arch-rivals of the Browns, the New York Giants, went up from 44,000 to 45,000 per game, with the Browns left for the finale. Pittsburgh's Steelers recorded a mild advance of 1,000 or so over their 28,000 average of '56. The Detroit Lions couldn't go any higher, because they habitually sell out Briggs Stadium at an average paid house of about 53,000. The Chicago Bears, another customary sellout attraction, had one weak crowd this year, to drop their average slightly, from 46,000 to 44,000. Washington's Redskins could put a little fat on their 24,000 average of '56, although their two closing games were only fair attractions. The Philadelphia Eagles definitely dropped off, from 24,500 to about 22,500. The Chicago Cardinals, sore spot of the league, were not even likely to hold last year's average of 16,500 paid per game. With the exception of the Cards, and the Green Bay foray into Milwaukee, all clubs either did as as well as they expected, considering their standings, or went far above anticipation. Bell credits the nationwide TV program of the past eight years with making pro ball known to millions of fans who hitherto had not viewed it. Obviously, he points out, many of these new fans are attending games.
PACKERS TO SHOW TIDY PROFIT
DECEMBER 12 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - There's gold in these hills - and the Packers should take enough loot out of sold-out Kezar Stadium Sunday to swell their gross profit (before tax deductions) for the 1957 season to $50,000. This was the word from General Manager Verne Lewellen here Thursday as he was assured of finishing in the black for the fourth year in a row. During the three years prior to 1954, the Packers lost $52,000. "Our total operating expenses have gone over the million dollar mark for the first time," Lewellen said. "The biggest single increase has been in player salaries. Hornung and Kramer aren't of the cheap variety and then too we've picked up two more players (from 33 to 35) this season," Lewellen continued. "The increase in player salaries has amounted to $65,000." The Packer GM recalled that it was only four years ago that the club got no more than its guarantee on the West Coast. Payoffs of today have been responsible for the club finishing in the black. Sunday's sellout (60,000) should represent the Bays' biggest money take. Despite 70,572 at the Coliseum last Sunday, Green Bay took home only $52,000. While talking about attendance figures, the conversation switched to the Packer Milwaukee picture. Although Lewellen said he was in no position at this time to make a definite statement, it was his belief that the club would play four league games in Green Bay next season and two in Milwaukee. "The Rams howled about their cut at Milwaukee this year," Lewellen pointed out. "They got about $100 over their guarantee ($20,000), so they want to play in Green Bay. I suppose the 49ers are unhappy, too, but they haven't approached me yet." Lewellen said that in the past four years the club has increased its net surplus from nothing to $140,000. It is his belief that with a quarter of a million in the till, the club wouldn't have to look upon the West Coast trips for a making or breaking year. "We're not in the business to make money," Lewellen concluded. "We just want to keep football in Green Bay." Meanwhile, out at the Sonoma Mission Inn, Coach Liz Blackbourn continued to groom his Packers for the 14-point favorite 49ers. And he emphatically said his club has a chance to knock off the title contenders. "If I didn't think so," he said, "I'd call off practice for the week and enjoy myself playing cards or maybe a little golf on the nice courses they have up here. What would be the sense of me working myself and the boys if I felt i would do no good? All of us could be taking it easy and having a little fun. Instead, we're here to do what we can about making a game of it. I don't say we're going to win it, but I do say that's what we have in mind." If this week's drills bear any indication on what will transpire Sunday, the 49ers could have their hands full. The Packers actually believe this club can be had.
usually pass to the other side. Shofner of the Rams is a very good rookie and should be great in a few years. He's got that speed.
Q: Do you and the quarterback do any "ad libbing" on pass patterns?
A: Not after the ball is snapped. In college we had a play where I had the choice of trying to beat the defensive man either of two ways, but then the quarterback just waited back there until I made my play and he only had to watch me. The pro quarterback has too many receivers to watch and not enough time for there to be anything like that up here. On the line of scrimmage, though, before the ball is snapped we often convert plays. We have a set of hand signals which I use to tell the quarterback the pattern I'm going to run. Hands on hips for one, rubbing my chin for another, spitting on my hands - five signals altogether. We use these when he hasn't called my pattern in the huddle. Then I give him my pattern after I look at the defensive setup. Or when a running play is called in the huddle and he changes with an audible signal to a pass play. He can call the switch to a pass play in the signals but he can't call the patterns so the ends (Howton and McGee) indicate with hand signals which patterns they will run.
Q: Any chance of the opposition stealing these signals?
A: No, because I go through the same routine on running plays and on plays where my pattern has already been called. In those cases the signals don't mean anything. If they try to steal 'em, it would be like a baseball coach telling a batter a curve was coming and then having the guy hit in the head by a fast ball.
DILLON HAS A SECRET AMBITION; HE'D LIKE TO PLAY AT END ON OFFENSE
DECEMBER 13 (Milwaukee Journal) - Bobby Dillon, the Green Bay Packers' all-pro defensive back, would like to play end on offense. "Maybe just in training camp," said the one eyed Texan, a six year veteran of the NFL. "I probably wouldn't do too well, but I'd like to try all those things on somebody else that all those ends have been pulling against me the last few years. I think I've learned quite a few tricks." Dillion laughed, a little wistfully. "I guess I won't ever get to try it," he said. "I know I know the moves and I've got the speed." How about catching the ball? "Well, I haven't got hands like Billy Howton. But then who has? But I think I can catch the ball all right." Dillon probably will never get a chance to try his secret ambition, because he is too good at defensive back. The University of Texas graduate, a sprint star in college, lost an eye in a childhood accident. It never has seemed to bother him too much, either on or off the field. His fellow Texan, Bobby Layne, Detroit quarterback, always kids him in the off-season, saying, "Bobby, you watch out when we play, because I'm going to pass to your blind side." Harlon Hill, the Chicago Bears' great end, said recently, "I find that Green Bay's Bobby Dillon is the toughest for me to get away from. Dillon only has one eye, but it's a mighty sharp one. At least, I've never had a good day against the Packers when he's in there." With a game to go to complete his sixth pro season, the one here against the 49ers Sunday, Dillon has intercepted 45 passes. After intercepting four his rookie year, he intercepted nine in 1953, seven in 1954, nine in 1955, seven in 1956 and nine so far this year. "Interceptions don't necessarily reflect how good a defensive back is," Dillon said. But one can tell Dillion is very conscious of the number he has. Probably for three reasons: 1) because of pride in his work, 2) because he is player-coach this year and wants to set a good example, and 3) because of negotiations for next year's contract. "I guess I'm one interception behind Milt Davis of Baltimore for the year. He got two last Sunday against San Francisco. I'd have 10, too, but one I got in the end zone against New York was called back because John Symank was called for interference on the receiver. Symank (Packers rookie defensive back) cost me the big one." Dillon thinks quite highly of Symank's work. The University of Florida boy, a Texas native, has eight interceptions himself. In Dillon's case, his consistency the last few years has been amazing, in that the pro teams aren't throwing as much as they used to. "It's probably because everybody has gone more to the four man line," Dillon said, "and it's a little easier to run." Also, for the last three seasons, the Packers have had a rookie on the side opposite Dillon - Doyle Nix at cornerback in 1955, Hank Gremminger at cornerback in 1956 and Symank at safety this season. The tendency, then, has been for the opposing quarterbacks to throw more to the left side to try to beat the rookies, Dillon plays right safety. "One thing about interceptions," Dillon said, "it's usually a lot harder for a defensive back to catch the ball than it is for the end. After all, the receiver is going with the ball and often we're headed the other way when we try to catch it. Say you're moving 15 miles an hour when you catch it. That adds about 30 miles an hour to the speed of the ball for us." Was there any particular type of pattern which was toughest to cover? "No, not particularly," Dillon said. "Some ends are more dangerous than others and are tougher on all kinds of plays. Some quarterbacks fake better than others. You have to be especially careful on play number passes - that's a play designed to look like a run that turns out to be a pass. You really have to be awake. You take a step forward and the pass goes all the way. Anyone who has been in the league for awhile has had it happen to him. You really get interceptions when your line rushes their passer. If the quarterback has the time and is one of the good ones he likely will put the ball where the defense can't do much about it except tackle the receiver. But when they put the rush on the quarterback, even the greatest ones will stink out the place. I've seen it happen."
BRODIE TO DIRECT 49ERS TOMORROW AGAINST PACKERS
DECEMBER 14 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - John Brodie, hero of last Sunday's victory pitch over the Colts, will take command of the 49ers in place of veteran Y.A. Tittle against the Packers Sunday. Tittle, with two pulled muscles in his thighs, is able to play but he can't run out of the pocket very well. Coach Frankie Albert hopes that Brodie can do the job over the distance because he wants a whole Tittle for a possible playoff or even a championship game later in the month. When Brodie was contacted, he said, "I'm ready, In fact this is my big moment. After last Sunday when I made it with the roof caving in why should I be shaky? Naturally, I feel sorry for Y.A. to have to give way when he's carried the load for 11 ballgames, but I have no shakes. I'm just cocky enough to think next to Tittle I'm the best." Albert chuckled when told of Brodie's confidence. "That's the kid for you, he's got what it takes. We kid the pants off him about sitting on the bench and now it's time to hand him the ball and say, go get 'em, kid. We're not worried." When Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn heard that Brodie was starting, he laughed, "What's Albert doing? Saving Tittle for the playoffs? He can't be taking us seriously." The Packers will finish preparations with a light workout Saturday morning. They'll move in from their northern retreat Sunday morning. Every seat (59,600) has been gobbled up. Scalpers are getting $10 to $15 a ticket. The whole town has gone nutty over their 49ers, who have always been a bridesmaid as far as a pro football championship is concerned - but never a bride.
PACKERS RATE 49ERS LUCKY BUT GOOD, TOO
DECEMBER 14 (Milwaukee Journal) - After viewing movies of San Francisco's victory last Sunday over Baltimore, Green Bay Coach Lisle Blackbourn has drastically revised his estimate of the 49ers, whom the Packers will face in their NFL finale Sunday. "When we played the 49ers the first time (in Milwaukee two months ago)," Blackbourn said. "I thought they were lucky to win (24-14). I still think so. They're not the same team now. They've had plenty of luck this season. You have to have it to win in this league. But they've developed into a pretty solid team. They did quite a job against the Colts." Blackbourn had special praise for Hugh McElhenny, the former all-pro halfback, who is now at end. "McElhenny is a great football player," Blackbourn said. "He adjusts to almost anything. He has terrific balance. He has the speed, he gets up in the air and goes after that ball and he can catch it. And once he catches it, watch out. He can really run with it. He drives the other team crazy." McElhenny caught eight passes against the Colts, including the winning one, a wobbly effort from rookie John Brodie with less than a minute to go. Sunday's game here between the Packers and 49ers will not be televised at all (WTMJ, The Milwaukee Journal station, will carry the radio broadcast starting at 3:30 pm, Milwaukee time). Many fans traveled as far as Nevada to see last Sunday's game here on TV. The last of some 60,000 seats, 4,500 general admission tickets, were sold Saturday. Those without tickets are just out of luck.
Los Angeles Rams (5-6) 42, Green Bay Packers (3-8) 17
Sunday December 8th 1957 (at Los Angeles)