STARR'S STEADINESS, GREEN BAY RUNNING PLEASE BLACKBOURN
NOVEMBER 12 (Milwaukee Journal) - Since the unwritten laws of the NFL, as written by Commissioner Bert Bell, include the commandment, "Thou shalt not criticize the officials," Green Bay Coach Lisle Blackbourn was questioned Tuesday about other phases of Sunday's controversial 21-14 loss by the Bears in Chicago. What, the coach was asked, did he think of the Packers' offense? "Well, we like to see them run a little," Blackbourn said. "I thought Starr at quarterback was quite steady. Hornung and McIlhenny have picked up our running game in many ways. They don't protect the passer as well, but much of this is due to inexperience. There is more to blocking, you know, that gritting your teeth. I thought the difference between the Bears this time and in the opener when we beat them was their defensive ends. They were all fired up. Thus Atkins will play about three games a year and when it's your misfortune to catch him in one of his days, watch out. Our defensive line did a little better. They were moving faster. We had some losses on pass plays, but part of it was our mistakes and part of it was in the play we had called. They'd gamble and rush in and if we didn't have a receiver swinging in the zone they'd left, we couldn't do anything about it. The Bears are a pretty good outfit on offense. I thought our defense played pretty well. Dillon played Hill perfectly on that pass along the sideline and figured to get an interception but Hill threw his body in his way and took the ball away. We didn't do too well on their winning drive. Of course, Galimore made that catch. The movies show he lost the ball on his shoulder, then picked it off again. On Casares' fumble, you can't tell who hit him. The play is screened, but the ball rolled out and right to a Bear, as if it had eyes. He wasn't anywhere near the play. After Forester's interception and before the play on the goal line, I was very disappointed that Starr didn't see McGee along under the goal posts. McIlhenny swung to the right on a play very similar to his touchdown and three of them followed him. That left McGee all alone, but Starr was watching McIlhenny. On the long one over Howton in the clear, that's a tough pass. It's an experienced man's throw. Howton was racing deep and it's not easy to put the ball in the right place. Starr will get that down with more experience. He's coming along fine." Blackbourn reported that tackle Norm Masters suffered a wrenched knee and that it was "very sore" Monday. If he cannot play against the Los Angeles Rams in Milwaukee County Stadium Sunday, the Packers will be down to four men to man the offensive guard and tackle spots. Norm Amundson, guard, is likely to miss the Ram game because of a knee injury suffered against New York. "We'll be a little short there," Blackbourn said. "Carl Vereen may have to take over for Masters, but he has been doing most of his work at the other tackle. Larry Lauer (reserve center) will have to be next man for everything."
SPOTLIGHT'S ON PACKER-RAM GATE HERE, TOO
NOVEMBER 13 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packers battle the Rams in a NFL game at the Stadium Sunday and the attendance figure looms almost as
important as the final score. Los Angeles has drawn
the fantastic total of 790,967 customers in four pre-
season games and four league contests at the
Coliseum. On the road, the Rams have attracted
sellouts in San Francisco, Chicago (Wrigley Field)
and Detroit. A turnaway crowd of 102,368 saw last
Sunday's Ram-49er game at Los Angeles. That
represented the largest gathering ever to see a pro
football game. "We realize Milwaukee is a terrific
baseball city," Ram Publicitor Bert Rose said
Tuesday. "Those baseball figures prove Milwaukee is
the best major league city in the league. But if the
Ram-Packer game Sunday draws less than 30,000,"
Rose added, "I would have to say that Milwaukee's
claim as the best sports town in America is a myth."
It is hard to believe that more than 102,000 fans, and
10,000 were turned away, will see a pro football game
in Los Angeles and from all indications a crowd
estimated at under 30,000 will turn out here Sunday.
"The Packers are a good football team," Rose
continued. "My Lord, we had a 2-4 record going into
last Sunday's game and we sold out the place. This
Western Conference is amazingly even. Green Bay is
just as good as the pace-setting 49ers. A five-way tie
for divisional honors is highly possible." Not only will
the Rams be watching Sunday's gate, but the
Packers will have a critical eye on the turnstile story,
too. The Ram-Packer game here, incidentally, has
never gone over the 30,000 mark. From all indications
the Packers could be pleasantly surprised with
Sunday's turnout, barring bad weather. Activity at the
Stadium has picked up considerably after last
Sunday's nip-and-tuck Packer-Bear scrap. Incidentally
the Packers sold out all three of their Green Bay
games this fall. And if the Milwaukee half of the
"home" slate doesn't pick up, the Bays will undoubtedly play four games in Green Bay next season and two in Milwaukee. The biggest crowd to see a Packer game at the Stadium this season was 26,322 against the Colts October 13. The 49er game here attracted 18,919. The Green Bay sellouts drew better than 32,000. This year the Rams are shooting for a new NFL attendance record of playing to more than a million spectators. The Gold Coasters need to average only 41,000 in their last five games. There has been some question about the legitimate paid crowd at the Coliseum, with the arrangement that any spectator who buys a $2.50 general admission ticket may bring in free as many as five boys 14 and under. "Our paid crowd Sunday was 93,500," said Rose. "We have two prices - $3.90 for reserved tickets and $2.50 general admission. The average number of kids who have come in free has averaged 1.8 per game. The advance ticket sale for last Sunday's record crowd was 57,500," Rose pointed out. "We had 7,300 reserved tickets left to sell at the gate - 64,800 is the reserved capacity at the Coliseum. We have 22 ticket batteries at the park (each with 2 to 4 ticket booths) and they were swamped," Rose beamed. "That crowd definitely inspired the Rams to their highest pitch." When the Rams opened business in L.A. in 1946, they had to guarantee a visiting team $20,000. The Eastern teams didn't want to come out west to play. The visitors still get 40%. Who has a thought now for the $20,000 guarantee?
RAMS HAVE TROUBLE; TOO MANY HALFBACKS
NOVEMBER 13 (Milwaukee Journal) - Sid Gillman,
Los Angeles Ram coach, finds himself in much the
same position as Old Mother Hubbard, except that
with him, he has so many halfbacks he doesn't know
what to do. For instance, Tom Wilson, "no college"
second yard man who was a high school teammate of
the Braves' Wes Covington leads the NFL in rushing
with 501 yards. Still, Wilson hardly played in the
Rams' 37-24 triumph over first place San Francisco at
Los Angeles last Sunday and he has no assurance
that he will play much against the Green Bay Packers
at County Stadium Sunday. This, despite the fact that
Wilson, as a rookie, set a league record against the
Packers in the Los Angeles finale last December by
rolling up 223 yards rushing in 23 carries (average; 9.7
yards a try). So, you ask, how come the league's
leading rusher get to play so little and gained only five
yards last Sunday? Because of Jon Arnett, Southern
California All-American, that's why. Arnett, the Rams'
first draft choice, started as an end, but the clamor for
him to get a shot at running back, plus Los Angeles'
poor start even with Wilson running up big yardage,
caused Gillman to give Arnett a whirl at halfback.
Arnett responded with 39 yards in 10 carries. He
remains an outstanding pass receiver and is already
feared around the league as a kickoff and punt return
man. Wisconsin fans have reason to remember Arnett
for the performance he put on against the Badgers at
Madison two years ago. Actually, the running back spot is more crowded than has been mentioned. Ron Waller, former Maryland ace, also plays there. As a rookie in 1955, Waller helped more than a little as Los Angeles won the Western Division title. He ranked fourth in the league rushing. Last year, even though he missed three games and part of another due to injuries, he stood 11th among the ball carriers. So Gillman has both quality and quantity, and not only at running halfback. Coach Lisle Blackbourn of the Packers should have such troubles. He'd welcome them.