(DETROIT) - The Green Bay Packers clinched last place in the Western Division and first place in the NFL draft by losing to the Detroit Lions here Thursday, 24-14. The annual Thanksgiving Day game was another "turkey", served up to 50,971 fans and a national television audience. Green Bay's offense, with Bart Starr at quarterback all the way, was somewhere better than it had been. It scored two touchdowns. It also contributed, however, directly or indirectly, to two Detroit touchdowns and a field goal and so a good afternoon's work by the defense went for naught.
The Packers, for a change, won the statistical battle, both on the ground and the air. Again, however, they wilted when it mattered most and from early in the third quarter until the last minute of play they could not so much as one first down. Al Carmichael caught a pass and then dropped it, giving the Lions the ball on Green Bay's five yard line. Detroit went from there to its first touchdown. Max McGee, back to punt, twice tried to run with the ball on fourth down and failed to make the necessary yardage. It led to other scores. The first time McGee made nine yards before he was run out of bounds. That was a yard short and gave Detroit the ball on the Packer 28. Jim Martin kicked a 32 yard field goal which gave the Lions a 10-7 lead at the half, even though they had gained only 42 yards from scrimmage in the first two quarters.
McGee's next mad dash occurred with four minutes to go and Detroit ahead, 17-14. This time it was fourth down and four on the Packer 24. McGee started to run to his right, was hemmed in and threw an ineffectual
pass which fell at the feet of Ray Nitschke, who was in to block for the punter. Six plays later, Detroit scored the clinching touchdown. Both of McGee's attempted runs were made on his own. He had nothing to say afterward except, "I thought I could make it." This was a loosely played game. Each team made only one good drive for a touchdown. The Packers' other touchdown, which led off the scoring, followed a fumbled punt. Once, early in the second quarter, the ball changed hands four times in five plays. First, fumbles were exchanged, then interceptions.
McGee, who was a goat for setting up 10 of Detroit's points, scored Green Bay's first touchdown and set up
the second with his pass catches and runs. On the first play from scrimmage the Packers almost got a touchdown. Starr pitched out to Paul Hornung, the leading runner of the day. Hornung ran to his right, then passed back across the field to Starr, who had drifted to his left. Starr then threw downfield to McGee, who was well behind the secondary. The ball, however, wobbled against the wind and didn't reach its destination. A few plays later, McGee punted to Terry Barr, who called for a fair catch, then dropped the ball as a Packer
rushed by him. Jim Salsbury fell on the ball on Detroit's 26  Barr claimed he was jostled, to no avail. After a three yard loss and an incomplete pass, Starr pitched a short one to McGee, slanting in from left end. McGee caught the ball on the 20 and, dodging and weaving to take advantage of blockers, the Tulane speedboy finished in the end zone. Hornung converted for a 7-0 lead.
The Packers then forced the Lions to punt, but on second down from the 13 Starr passed in the flat to Carmichael. The Southern California veteran caught the ball, juggled it, was tackled, dropped the ball and Alex Karras picked it up on the 10. He reached the five before he was tackled. Quarterback Tobin Rote then rolled out to the one where Bobby Dillon knocked him out of bounds and out of the game for one play. Earl Morrall came in, handed off to rookie Ken Webb, and with Martin's conversion, the Lions had a 7-7 tie the easy way. McGee then made his first run from punt formation after the snap from center bounced once on the ground and Martin put Detroit ahead, 10-7, still in the first quarter.
Early in the third period, the Lions tried to a fake field goal and the Packers took over on their 25. In eight plays Green Bay had a touchdown and a 14-10 lead. The big plays were Starr's 34 yard pass to Don McElhenny and Starr's 25 yard pass to McGee to the one. The second caught the Lions unawares as it was third down and two and they were bunched in, expecting a run. Hornung plunged the final yard and Hornung converted. The Lions immediately came back, 87 yards in 12 plays, to take a 17-14 lead. With a makeshift set of receivers, due to injuries to the regulars, Rote moved the team well. He always came through on the tough third down play. A defensive holding penalty also helped the Lions to a first down on the Packer four. Rote sneaked the final yards and Martin converted with only a minute of the third period left. Now it was three plays and punt, three plays and punt for the Packers. In between, the Lions gambled on fourth down at midfield and failed, but not even this gratuity helped Green Bay.
McGee finally tired of the routine and tried his run-pass play on fourth down. The Lions wasted little time going 24 hours to the extra score. Gene Gedman cartwheeled the last four yards and Martin converted. The defeat for Ray (Scooter) McLean's Packers was their eighth against one victory and one tie. The Lions, who scored their fourth victory against five defeats and a tie (with Green Bay) assured themselves of at least fifth place. The fallen champions lead the Packers by three games with two to play. The Packers' only consolation is that they will get first choice in the first four rounds of the draft of college players at Philadelphia next Monday. They will probably get first turn in the rest of the draft next January, too. Their season record not only seems likely to be the worst in the league, but the worst in Green Bay;s 40 years of professional football.
GREEN BAY -  7  0  7  0 - 14
DETROIT   - 10  0  7  7 - 24
1st - GB - McGee, 28-yard pass from Starr (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
1st - DET - Ken Webb, 1-yard run (Jim Martin kick) TIED 7-7
1st - DET- Martin, 32-yard field goal DETROIT 10-7
3rd - GB - McIlhenny, 1-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 14-10
3rd - DET - Tobin Rote, 1-yard run (Martin kick) DETROIT 17-14
4th - DET - Gene Gedman, 4-yard run (Martin kick) DETROIT 24-14
NOVEMBER 30 (Milwaukee Journal) - "I'll tell you the guy the Packers miss the most this year," said Pete Halas, scout for the Chicago Bears, "and that's Ron Kramer. Now there is my idea of the ideal slotback." Pete is the nephew of George Halas, owner-coach of the Bears. He was in Detroit to scout the NFL game between Green Bay and the Lions. The Bears also use the slot T offense. The ends are split out and one of the halfbacks takes his position a yard back between the end and the tackle - in the slot. He is called the slotback but really is a third end. "In order to make the slot T offense work," Pete Halas said, "you've got to have someone who can block and is big and can catch the ball no matter if he is hit or has somebody hanging all over him. Kramer could do that. He was a natural for the job. He was mean. He liked to knock people down. He liked contact. That's what you've got to have a slotback." Halas was asked how he would compare Kramer and Bill McColl, the pianist-surgeon who plays the position for the Bears. "McColl is a good man," the Bear scout said, "but he's not as mean as Kramer." Kramer is now in the Air Force. His status for the future, as far as the Packers are concerned, is in doubt. Meanwhile, the Packers have been hurting for a replacement. Steve Meilinger was obtained in a trade with Washington but he didn't fill the bill. Gary Knafelc, before he went out for the season with a knee operation, could catch the ball but couldn't block a lick. Now Joe Johnson, a willing worker but too small, is the regular...'A GOOD PLACE': Three former pro football stars, now in the broadcasting end of the game - George Connor, Leon Hart and Paul Christman - were exchanging stories before the Thanksgiving Day game. Someone told Connor, who does the comment for the Packer telecasts, "You ought to suit up with the Packers today. They're a man short with Bullough out with a knee." Connor, an old Chicago Bear, laughed and Hart, a fellow Notre Dame man who played for the Lions and now helps broadcast their games, said, "Yeh, when you're all done, you can always play at Green Bay." Christman, a quarterback on the Chicago Cardinals when they were champions, said, "Don't you guys laugh. I put in a year at Green Bay and it was all right. When someone gets drafted by the Packers or traded to them, he usually says, 'Green Bay, I don't want to go there.' Then he goes there and find it's quite a place. The people treat you real fine. They really make things nice for you." Christman, who now telecasts with the Cardinals, was asked if he thought that close contract with the fans in a town like Green Bay was good for the players. "Sure, it is," he said. "Green Bay is a good place for a pro football player." "Sure," Hart said. "I believe you. But it's still the salt mine of the league"...HE STUDIED: The night before the Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit, Ray (Scooter) McLean was asked who would start at quarterback against the Lions. "Bart Starr," the Packer coach said. "Why?" he was asked. Starr had not played quarterback at all against San Francisco in Milwaukee the Sunday before. "Well," McLean said. "Bart took the movies of our game and a Detroit game home with him and studied them all week. He showed a lot of eagerness. Anybody that wants to play that bad, he's just got to start."
NOVEMBER 30 (Philadelphia) - The NFL's player draft will come up here Monday and the system Commissioner Bert Bell credits with equalizing team strength will allow the Los Angeles rams to draft nine players in just four rounds and the Pittsburgh Steelers none? Is there something wrong? Walter Wolfner, managing director of the Chicago Cardinals, and George Preston Marshall, volatile owner of the Washington Redskins, say definitely yes. George Halas, long a power in pro football policy, declines comment. Other owners and general managers vary in opinion from "no" to no comment. Commissioner Bell, recognized as the father of the draft, sees nothing wrong in the situation. How do the Rams get nine and the Steelers none when each should pick four? The situation is brought about by the league policy which allows clubs to use future draft choices as part of player trades. "It's like borrowing money from a loan shark to pay somebody else," says Wolfner. He has proposed to equalize strength in the league. "By trading draft choices strong teams can afford to draft 'redshirts'. The strong get stronger and weak gets weaker." (Redshirts are collegians eligible for the pro draft because their class has graduated but with college eligibility remaining. The pros "ice" them for future delivery when they actually graduate.) Marshall, the flip talking Redskins' owner, is equally vehement in his opposition to trading away draft choices. He would prohibit any team from dealing off or releasing its first and second round choices until the player selected has been signed and participated in at least three games. Marshall emphasized that the teams which need the choices worst are the ones that trade. Those clubs in favor of trading draft choices point to the fact that it gives a team a chance to strengthen ranks immediately with a proven performer. Coach Buddy Parker of Pittsburgh, in complete command of the club, has traded so many draft choices that some Pittsburgh fans have been questioning his tactics. Parker, however, says he would rather have "proven players" then take a chance in the draft. He claims he is building for the present, not the future. Paul Brown, coach of the Cleveland Browns, feels the same way and so do George Wilson of the Detroit Lions and Pete Rozelle of the Los Angeles Rams. A check of the rosters, however, shows conclusively that the clubs in contention are led by players selected in the draft and not by those secured in trades with the use of draft choices. Cleveland, leading the eastern conference, has Jimmy Brown, Milt Plum, Jim Ninowski and Bobby Mitchell, all selected in the draft; Baltimore, in front in the western conference, is led by Alan Ameche, Lenny Moore, George Shaw, etc., all draftees, too. When the clubs convene Monday, Los Angeles will select nine players. Detroit is entitled to seven and Cleveland five. Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Green Bay, the Bears and Giants each will have three. San Francisco and the Cardinals retain their four choices. Pittsburgh has none. Thus three teams will share 21 of the 48 players to be selected. Bell says he thinks the trading of draft choices is fine. He harkens back to the days when he coached the Philadelphia Eagles. "I traded almost all my draft choices. I'd rather have a tried pro than a draft choice who may never make my squad." He forgot to mention, however, that the Bell-coached, owned, trained Eagles almost always finished last. 
DECEMBER 1 (Detroit) - Biggie Munn, athletic director and former football coach of Michigan State, said here Sunday night that he would have no comment on a report that he had been offered "complete charge" of the Green Bay Packers in the front office and on the field. Munn's name as mentioned for the coaching job several years ago. He refused comment then, too. Lisle Blackbourn was subsequently hired. It is understood that a Packer stockholder held exploratory talks with Munn in Detroit last week. In Philadelphia where the Packers are attending the NFL player draft meeting, General Manager Verne Lewellen said of the report: "We know nothing about the matter at all."
DECEMBER 1 (Green Bay) - X-rays Monday morning showed that Hank Gremminger, Green Bay's defensive halfback, had suffered a hairline fracture just below his knee in Thursday's game with Detroit at Detroit. He will go with the club to San Francisco, however, and will probably play in next Sunday's game.
DECEMBER 1 (Milwaukee Journal - Oliver Kuechle) - The Packer have queer ideas about where they fit into the scheme of things. They think they have but to nod to a good college coach, if and when they decided to make a change, and he will come running. They have another guess coming. An Associated Press story out of Detroit Monday morning said that a member of the Packers' front office had approached Biggie Munn, Michigan State's athletic director, ostensibly about the Packer job. General Manager Verne Lewellen, in Philadelphia for the draft meeting, denied it. Munn himself politely said "no comment" - and later laughed. The Packers have about as much chance to get Munn as they have of winning this year's championship. In the first place, he's set at Michigan State, in the second, if he does move he will go to Minnesota, his alma mater, and in the third, most good college coaches want nothing to do with pro ball. Their names are bandied around, but how many of them go? The Packers don't seem to understand this. There are things besides money...DUNCAN: Whether the Packers made a wise choice in passer Randy Duncan in Monday morning's draft remains to be seen. There's no question about Duncan's passing skill. He is a good one. As a runner, however, he leaves a lot to be desired. He is not, for instance, a Hackbart of a Thornton, when trapped, comparing him with Big Ten quarterbacks. He is not a ball carrier. The choice clearly indicated, however, that the Packers have just about given up on Bart Starr and Babe Parilli. Duncan next fall, if he plays, will certainly have every chance to be the No. 1 quarterback. If he plays? At season's start, he said he was not interested in pro ball. He must have changed his mind.
DECEMBER 1 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers chose Randy Duncan, Iowa quarterback, as the first selection in the annual NFL draft of college players here Monday. On the second and third rounds, Green Bay took Alex Hawkins, South Carolina halfback, and Boyd Dowler, Colorado quarterback-end. Packer coach Ray McLean claimed Duncan, prize quarterback of the Big Ten, immediately after Commissioner Bert Bell opened the draft meeting. The 12 teams met to select the first four rounds of their annual 30 player draft. In all, 48 college players were to be selected. The rest of the draft will be held at the league's winter meeting in January. Green Bay had first pick under the draft rules which provide that the teams select from last to first as shown in the standings the day before the meeting. Green Bay's 1-8-1 record currently is the worst in the league. The Packers got only three choices Monday. They had traded their fourth round choice to Cleveland for defensive end Len Ford. Hawkins is a 190 pound, 6 foot 1 inch halfback. Dowler is a 6-5, 215 pound end and quarterback who no doubt will be tried at slot back. He was blocking back in the single wing and also was used at end for his pass catching. He also is a punter. The Packers, badly in need of a good passing quarterback, felt they got him in the 21 year old Duncan, a former Des Moines high school start who in the last two years has passed Big Ten opposition dizzy. The 6 foot, 180 pounder, key man of the Rose Bowl bound Iowa team, led the Big Ten in total offense with 1,706 yards in nine games. He completed 101 of 172 passes for 1,347 yards, 11 touchdowns and an excellent 58.7 completion percentage.
NOVEMBER 27 (Detroit) - "Mistakes, that's what hurt us most. We make them and we don't have the finesse to come back." So said Coach Scooter McLean after his Packers dropped a 24-14 Thanksgiving Day decision to the Lions. He pinpointed two mistakes which he thought probably spelled defeat, a fumbled pass by Al Carmichael and Max McGee's decision to run with the ball on a fourth down situation in the fourth period. "Those two situations led to a total of 14 Lion points," said McLean. "We had enough opportunities to win the game. We had the momentum, but we didn't follow through. Instead, in the first period we gave them a tremendous lift with the fourth down mess (McGee's failure to make a first down) - and they took the lead away." With the Packers leading, 7-0, Carmichael fumbled a Bart Starr pass on his own 12 and Alex Karras recovered for the Lions and ran the ball back to the five. From there the Lions scored to knot the count. McLean, in recalling Carmichael's fumble said, "he could have run quite a way, he was open. But then we dropped a lot of key passes." McGee's attempt to run the ball in the fourth quarter gave the Lions possession on the Packer 24 from where they tallied. Asked he had censured McGee, Scooter said he had no comment. He did, however, indicate that he had informed McGee of his displeasure. He then went on to remark, "I think Max didn't realize the score of the game at the time," adding, "deep in his heart he was playing to win. He obviously didn't realize the position of the field and ran to the closed side." McGee's fourth down run in the first period gave the ball to the Lions on the Packer 28 and several plays later Jim Martin booted a 32-yard field goal. "I thought the boys really tried," McLean said. "The defense did a heckuva job." The Packers' lone casualty was Hank Gremminger. He injured his ankle when he tackled Tobin Rote in the third quarter. It is believed he sustained a torn ligament. "A Lion was standing on my foot," said Gremminger, "when Charlie Ane blocked me as I tackled Rote. I think I heard something snap." Rote, who was having a bruised kidney taken care of in the Lions' dressing room, had high praise for the Packers. "They were hitting as hard as any club we played this season," he said. George Wilson, Lions' coach, echoed Rote's sentiments. "They went all out to win for Scooter," he said. Wilson reported that tackles Gil Mains and Bob Miller both sustained knee injuries which could keep them out of the rest of the season.
NOVEMBER 28 (Milwaukee Journal) - In both dressing rooms after the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers here Thursday, 24-14, the talk was of Green Bay's defense. "Our defense played good ball," Ray (Scooter) McLean, Green Bay coach, said. "But we've got to score some points for them. They can't do it alone. We've got to score. We've got to get some easier ones." George Wilson, Detroit coach, said: "The Packers played real well on defense. Of course, we ourselves were all crippled up so we didn't have much offense. But I'd rather win a bad game than lose a good one." Tobin Rote, the former Packer who was less than sensational at quarterback for Detroit, also praised Green Bay's defense. "They were real tough out there," the Texan said. "I didn't have much of a day but we've had so many receivers injured that it's tough to get the timing of the new men. I wasn't throwing that ball very good, either." Back in the Packer dressing room, McLean was saying, "It's disgusting. When you have the momentum we had, the opportunities we had, then throw the game away." Bart Starr, Green Bay quarterback, said: "It was good to play again." He sat out the entire San Francisco game last Sunday. This time Babe Parilli and Joe Francis did not play. "On that interception," Starr said, "I just threw to the wrong man. Steve Meilinger was 10 yards behind the defense. I heard him holler at me after I threw the ball." The Packers' only serious casualty was defensive back Hank Gremminger. He was helped off the field in the third quarter with a bum ankle. He was walking with a limp after the game. The Lions, already crippled, lost tackles Bob Miller and Gil Mains with back and knee injuries, respectively.
NOVEMBER 29 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Well, now that the Packers have earned the first pick in Monday's early draft at Philadelphia, who will it be? That's like asking Coach Scooter McLean who are the "bad eggs" on his football team. He wouldn't say. "Right now we're looking at college films," McLean said Friday in the wake of the club's eighth loss, which entitles it to the No. 1 pick. "We've been on the telephone all day, talking to prospects," McLean said. "And we'll be in contact with these prospects until we decide which ones to pick. First a kid will tell us he wants to play and then he decides he doesn't. We've got to be sure. We'll be on that phone up to the last minute." McLean doesn't have to be acquainted with what he needs. Against the Lions Thanksgiving Day, the Packers again demonstrated that their offense can't produce enough points to win. "We need a quarterback and we need offensive backs first," McLean pointed out. "Honest, I can't tell you which one we'll draft first." McLean named some quarterbacks he's been in contact with. There is Iowa's Randy Duncan, Billy Stacy of Mississippi State, Tom Greene of Holy Cross, Lee Grosscup of Utah and Buddy Humphrey of Baylor. Scooter said he didn't care about the prospect's size, just as long as he can pass. Probably the best qualified prospect is Richie Petitbon of Tulane. He is available for the draft, but has a year of college eligibility left. However, McLean needs help immediately and can't wait until Petitbon is available. The Rams, with nine picks coming in the first four rounds, are in an excellent position to grab eligible juniors. When asked about Duncan, he said the six foot, 180 pound Hawkeye wants to play with the Packers. Scooter called him a good passer and rated him all-around in football faculties. As far as an offensive back is concerned, Don Clark of Ohio State was the first name mentioned by McLean as he went down a list of eligibles. This will be McLean's first crack at the top collegians. He must replace deadwood with the best rookies he can find, or the Packers will never get out of the wilderness. While the Rams and Lions will clean up on 16 picks in the 48 player draw, the Bays will get only three. They owe their fourth choice to the Browns for Lenny Ford. Making the trip to Philadelphia with McLean will be General Manager Verne Lewellen and talent scout Jack Vainisi. Assistant coach Nick Skorich will take the club to San Francisco Monday in preparation for its game December 7 against the 49ers. They'll headquarter at Rickey's Studio Inn, Palo Alto. The Packers previously stayed at Sonoma, about 50 miles north of Frisco. McLean said that Hank Gremminger was the only casualty in the Detroit game. He injured an ankle but should be ready for the 49ers. "Maybe a little California sunshine will do us good," was McLean's parting shot. But it appears they'll need more than sunshine to escape the worst record in 40 years. 
DECEMBER 2 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packers want Iowa
quarterback Randy Duncan to play with them next season, but
does Duncan want to play for the Packers? That was the big
question Monday after Green bay pried off the NFL player draft
by picking the pinpoint passer and field brain of the Rose Bowl
bound Big 10 champion. Duncan was gratified to learn he was
the No. 1 pick in the pro football draft, but he was surprised he
was picked by the Packers and not by the Rams. "I thought
the Rams were going to draft me," he said. "But I think Green
Bay is a real fine team. I don't know, though, whether I'm going
to play pro ball." Duncan said his basic desire is to become an
attorney and he intends to go after a law degree whether he
plays pro ball or not. "I might play if I get the right offer, but I'm
still thinking about going to law school," Duncan added. "I don't
know whether I could play and go to school at the same time,
but it might be especially hard at Green bay because there's no
school there." Duncan, returning to the Iowa campus after a
trip to New York to receive All-American awards, said both the
Rams and Packers had talked to him about playing pro ball,
"the Rams quite a lot," he said. "I didn't get any offers but I
suppose I'll hear from them now," Duncan said. "But right now
I'm just thinking of the Rose Bowl game and I don't think I'll talk
to them until after that." Duncan said that although he indicated
his interest in going to law school to the Packers, he believed
they might have drafted him with the idea that their offer could
be made attractive enough to change his mind. Iowa coach
Forest Evashevski said: "I think it's nice that he's thought of so
highly by the pros, but they don't think any more of him than I
do. We've still got the Rose Bowl game to play and I'm sure
Randy will be thinking about that and not dwell too much on
the pro aspects until after the game." Duncan is a 6-foot, 180-
pounder, Green Bay hopes he will solve its passing quarterback 
problems. Duncan led the Big 10 in total offense this season
with 1,706 yards in nine games. He completed 101 of 172
passes for 1,346 yards, 11 touchdowns and an excellent 58.7
pass completion percentage. The Packers also snared Alex
Hawkins, a 6-1, 190-pound halfback from South Carolina, in the
second round and Colorado quarterback Boyd Dowler in the
third. Their fourth pick went to Cleveland in payment for
acquiring Len Ford. Dowler, 6-5, 214 pounds, is a sprinter
capable of breaking 10 seconds in a track suit. He can kick,
run or pass and could be labeled for halfback duty with Green
Bay. The Rams reaped the biggest harvest as the pros opened the 1958 grab bag and dipped in for future stars. Los Angeles came up with nine players, their regular quota of four plus five secured in trades with other teams in past years. Detroit bagged seven and Cleveland and San Francisco five each during the four-hour session. Welding the loss acquired from Philadelphia in a deal which sent quarterback Norm Van Brocklin to the Eagles, the Rams picked Dick Bass, the nation's collegiate total offense leader. Los Angeles took Bass even though he has another year of eligibility at the College of the Pacific. In an oddity, no one was selected from Louisiana State, ranked No. 1 in the nation. No one was picked from Wisconsin or Marquette either.
DECEMBER 1 (Philadelphia) - Bert Bell told NFL owners Monday that he would like to continue to run the league "by persuasion" but that unless they end internal squabbling he is ready to give up his contract. Bell conferred with the owners after the annual player draft. "As far as I'm concerned," the 65-year old Bell said, "I don't want to be a Czar. I have always tried to do things by persuasion. But the individual bickering and the squawking of coaches has got to stop. If it doesn't I'll have to run strictly by the book. And unless I can run the league the way the books says, I will give up my contract." The owners retorted by giving the commissioner a vote of confidence and telling him run things by the book. The $50,000-a-year commissioner, now in his 13th year as head of the NFL, said he was annoyed by accusations of owners against each other; he was annoyed by the squawking of coaches about officials; he was tired of arguments. He told the owners that unless things were stopped they could have his job. Bell went on to say that he had warned the owners they must do something to cut down on scouting, training camp, travel and office expense. He said they must find a way to share the rich television money with the lower clubs. "Unless we do," Bell asserted, "we're going to be in trouble in the future." Worried about the increased costs of operation, Bell said the situation could become desperate for four or five clubs. He refused to name the teams, but it was obvious he was talking about the Eagles, Steelers, Packers and Cardinals.
DECEMBER 2 (Milwaukee Sentinel-Lloyd Larson) - Walter Wolfner, managing director of the Chicago Cardinals, last week put the blast on two things that are damaging to and therefore weaken the professional football structure:
1 - Drafting players still eligible for college competition even though their original class has graduated or is graduating.
2 - Trading future draft choices, a rather old and now standard practice.
The reasoning behind his demand for a change: "Unless the present draft setup is altered, the strong clubs will remain strong and the weak clubs will remain weak." The inference was that he would fight hard to assure more balanced competition. How hard he fought when the league's easly draft meeting was called to order is a matter of conjecture. If he did give it the old pro try, it's apparent he did not score, as witness what happened at Monday's draft session in Philadelphia. Three players still eligible for college play went in the first round: Dick Bass, College of Pacific halfback; Rick Kreitling, Illinois end, and Jackie Burkett, Auburn center. Los Angeles wound up with nine players and Detroit seven in the first four rounds. In each case, the extras were obtained by swapping players during the past year for draft rights to 1959 eligibles. By contrast, Pittsburgh, having traded off its first four choices, added no new talent...THE 'ORIGINAL CLASS' PROCEDURE: In case someone wonders how the pros can put the draft finger on a man still eligible for at least another college season, here's the way it works. The pro rule says a player is eligible for their league four years after he starts college. In the meantime, his progress towards graduation may be delayed by military service, change of schools, illness or withdrawal for any other reason. The players also may have been delayed in using up his allotted years of eligibility by being held out of official competition for a year, while a more or less officials member of a varsity squad. That's called "redshirting" by the colleges. Fortunately, the practice is going by the boards in leading conferences. Because of this four-years-after-matriculation policy, the pros can draft juniors like Bass, Kreitling and Burkett. Kreitling, for instance, enrolled originally at Auburn. The next year he transferred to Illinois, where he is now listed as a junior and has had only two seasons of varsity football. The starting year at Auburn (1955) is the one that counts, however. On that basis, his original class graduates next June and he is free, by pro rules, to switch to the Sunday League...CASE OF SAM WILLIAMS: The outstanding example of working the "original class" angle to the hilt was Los Angeles' selection of Sam Williams before he had played a minute for Michigan State. The giant Spartan end, now 27, was a freshman for a brief period in 1949. Then he quit school and worked for awhile before enlisting for a four year service hitch. Actually, he was eligible to join the pros, according to their rule, any time after June of 1953. Williams isn't the only current senior already wrapped up for 1959 delivery. Among others drafted previously is Gene Selawski, big Purdue tackle. The Rams undoubtedly are the most successful future dealers. Last year they drafted something like 15 players slated to graduate next June. Add the current draft extras and they are guaranteed a bulging stockpile of new talent, and presumably enough surplus to trade off for more future draft choices. In other words, the advantage should be self-perpetuating. That's what Wolfner surely had in mind. Even though a club, like Pittsburgh this year, can point to occasional immediate benefit from giving up draft choices, I still agree with Wolfner that the pros' draft policies are due for an overhauling. Specifically, they should keep hands off collegians until they have completed their eligibility span, and they should outlaw the growing practice of trading future draft choices in order to guarantee each club an equal shot at the new talent available each year.
DECEMBER 3 (Milwaukee Journal-Oliver Kuechle) - Now comes the hunt for a scapegoat for what has happened to the Green Bay Packers this unhappy football season. It was always thus: A scapegoat. An Associated Press story out of Green Bay Tuesday, quoting one of those familiar spokesmen with concealed identity, said that both Coach Scooter McLean and General Manager Verne Lewellen would be fired at season's end. The Packers have won one game, lost eight, tied one and at the moment are on the west coast awaiting what will probably be further hacking from the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. The "unidentified spokesman" unquestionably must be a member of the bulky executive committee of 13. Who else dare talk with such authority? The thought then comes, if changes must be made, why doesn't the executive committee of 13, including the spokesman, look right at itself? Why doesn't it get to the very bottom of the club's troubles?...'CONTRIBUTIONS': There is no need to dig again into the executive committee's "contributions" to the club's failures since life was made intolerable for Curly Lambeau 10 years ago and he fled the scene - the petty personal jealousies, the fender bending to get into the front row of the official parking areas around the stadium, the king making role a few insist they play, the archaic methods of administration by subcommittees, the weekly Monday meetings with the coach to explain what happened on Sunday, friendly but pointed little questions like "Why isn't so and so in there more? He's a pretty good man," the refusal to let a general manager direct things with a strong and an unfettered hand. There is no need to expound on them and other things of executive committee origin that have made for a completely unhealthy coaching or playing situation for so long. They exist - period. They lie at the bottom of the club's troubles....OVERHAULING: Hugh Strange of Neenah, a member of the 45 member board of directors, suggested a few weeks ago that a complete overhauling be made. He was right. Cut the 45 to half or less. Why an unwieldy 45? They're mostly there for window dressing. Get rid of the 13 man executive committee. Why 13 except to let a few fellows throw out their chests around town? A small hard core of old-timers (contract committee) runs the executive committee anyway. Create a general manager's job of real authority. Let him run the show from the rising of the curtain to the falling. Let him be responsible to a compact executive committee (which doesn't meet every week) but let him have no interference. Get a top notch coach, pay him well, give him security. The Packers cannot be revived in a year or two. It took Weeb Ewbank five years to bring the Baltimore Colts to the top. The firing of coaches has solved nothing - and since Lambeau's last year, 1949, the Packers have had Ronzani, Blackbourn, McLean, and, if the Associated Press story of Tuesday is correct, will shortly have Mr. X. The Packers must be saved. Hunting for a scapegoat for what has happened this year won't save them. The real trouble lies deep and the sooner the executive committee realizes this, the sooner the Packers will beat back. Why not reorganize the executive committee and start off fresh?
DECEMBER 4 (San Francisco) - Coach Frankie Albert of the 49ers said Thursday that he wasn't expecting any walkover next Sunday with the bedraggled Packers. "I think they're a solid team and the result could go either way," Albert said. "Don't forget that they gave us quite a battle in the early stages of our game with them November 23." The score of that tile was 9-9 going into the last period then San Francisco broke loose for three touchdowns. Albert characterized Thursday's practice as "just a normal workout" and said that both Y.A. Tittle and John Brodie, his ace quarterbacks were throwing well. He plans to go with the same lineups that faced Baltimore last Sunday with the exception of guard Lou Palatella who is replacing Bruce Bosley. Bosley is suffering from a bruised neck, Albert said, and may not be able to play. The Packers are training in nearby Palo Alto.
DECEMBER 5 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Iowa's All-American quarterback Randy Duncan told WEMP's Earl Gillespie Thursday that if he decides to play pro football it probably will be with the Packers. Duncan told Gillespie in a telephone call from New York that he informed Packers' Talent Scout Jack Vainisi, "I'm interested in playing pro football and also in getting my law degree. If I can manage to work those two things together, then I will play pro football. Right now I'm undecided," Duncan told Gillespie. The Packers picked Duncan in the first round of the pro draft Monday. He denied he said he would never play pro football. "If I decide to play, I probably will play with the Packers if everything come out all right contractwise and law school, too," Duncan said.
DECEMBER 6 (San Francisco) - There will be no pressure when the 49ers and the Packers, two of the NFL's have-nots, meet on Kezar Stadium's turf Sunday at 3:30 Milwaukee time. The 49ers are 10 points and more favorites to repeat over the luckless midwesterners they thumped, 33-12, two weeks ago in Milwaukee's frigid temperatures by virtue of a 21-point fourth period explosion. There's no reason to believe that Scooter McLean's decimated Packers, one-time winners and low on the NFL totem pole in both scoring and scored against, will be any stronger than they were before, especially in front of a home crowd of some 47,000 49er faithful. But it could be a spirited contest if the boys happen to be reminded of what occurred during and after the Milwaukee session. Five players were banished in that one for extra-curricular activity and the 49ers and Packers went at it hot and heavy on what the officials said was the final play of the game, although the scoreboard showed 36 seconds of play remaining. San Francisco enjoyed its most productive day against Green Bay, although touchdowns were hard to come by until the final period. Everything clicked, including "Alley-Opp", as the Y.A. Tittle conducted attack rolled for 539 yards with "Yard Arm" completing 20 of 35 attempts and throwing three TD passes. Despite that impressive attack the score was deadlocked 12-12 until Hugh McElhenny piled into the end zone from two yards out to set off the 49ers' spree. That has been the history of the Packers forces this season. Their sputtering offense has managed only 18 touchdowns in 10 games. Invariably, the defense has been overloaded with work and has come part in the late stages. The Packer defense will also be hurting with the absence of halfback Hank Gremminger. The pass defense specialist suffered a hairline fracture of the leg leg just below the knee Thanksgiving Day at Detroit. "It would be dangerous to use him," said McLean. "He'll stay with us and get daily treatments. But he won't suit up for the game." This will be the 16th meeting between the teams with the 49ers holding a 12-3 bulge. The only time the Packers ever whipped the San Franciscans at Kezar was in 1955 when Liz Blackbourn was coaching.
DECEMBER 2 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Green Bay Packers have quarterback problems - both present and future. Randy Duncan of Iowa, their first choice in the NFL draft of college players at Philadelphia Monday, said Tuesday, "I don't know whether I'm going to play pro ball." Duncan arrived in Iowa City after a trip to New York for a television appearance with an all-American team and said, "I thought the Los Angeles Rams were going to draft me." "I think Green Bay is a real fine team," he said. "I might play if I get the right offer, but I'm still thinking about going to law school. I don't know whether I could play and go to school at the same time. It might be especially hard at Green Bay, because there's no school there." Duncan said that he would talk the situation over with his father and Coach Forest Evashevski. "They both gave pretty good advice." Eveshevski said, "I think it's nice that he's thought of so highly by the pros, but they don't think any more of him that I do. We've still got the Rose Bowl game to play and I'm sure Randy will be thinking about that and not dwell too much on the pro aspects until after the game."
DECEMBER 2 (Columbia, SC) - South Carolina halfback Alex Hawkins says he is "very pleased" that he was a high choice in the NFL draft, but there was a good chance he may play his pro football in Canada. Hawkins was the No. 2 draft choice of the Green Bay Packers Monday. Hawkins said his selection by Green Bay was "fine with me." But he also has been interviewed by Coach Peahead Walker of the Montreal Alouettes and may play in the Canadian league "if there's enough money in it." Hawkins is majoring in psychology at South Carolina and hopes to eventually work as a college coach.
Detroit Lions (4-5) 24, Green Bay Packers (1-8-1) 14
Thursday November 27th 1958 (at Detroit)