NEWS AND NOTES
AL OLIVER WINCES AS RAIN FALLS AND WHY NOT?
AUGUST 21 (Milwaukee Journal) - Al Oliver winced as the rain came down in bucketfuls and so would you if you had Al Oliver's job. For Oliver of the Braves
grooms the baseball field at County Stadium
and there Wednesday night, sloshing around
infield mud and ripping up outfield grass were
Green Bay's and Pittsburgh's football bulls. It
will take a lot of doing, a lot of patching, to
restore the diamond for the Braves' return just
one week hence. The work started Thursday
morning - rolling, resodding, patching. And
there'll be grooming right up to the time the
club comes back. The job will be done, of
course, and the field will be ready, which is the
main thing. But the hazards of joint occupancy
by baseball and football in overlapping seasons
were seldom better shown...PRECEDENTS:
Actually, bearing in mind all that was involved,
the Shrine game should not have been played
Wednesday night. The Packers have as much
right to use a municipal field as the Braves, but
on a night like this there should have been
better judgment. A postponement till Thursday
was distinctly in order and exhibition football is
full of precedents. The threat of rain hung over
the humid city all day, the forecast promised
rain, and black skies built up most of the hot
afternoon. There was ample time to announce
a postponement. "Sure, we'd have been glad to
stay over an extra day," said Art Rooney who
owns the Steelers. "We've done it before." "We
were thinking of postponing it," said Herb
Mount, chairman of the Shrine Committee. "A
couple of years ago we had the same situation
but the clubs refused, so we didn't pursue it
any further." "Oh, we couldn't have possibly
postponed," said General Manager Verne
Lewellen of the Packers. "Too many out of
town people here." So the game was played
and nobody was really happy about it...MORE
THAN FIELD: There was more than the field involved in this, too. What is an exhibition for except to learn what men can do under fire? It was impossible to tell anything Wednesday night. Scooter McLean of the Pack and Buddy Parker of the Steelers know little more today than they did before the kickoff. And what do fans pay good money to see? Not this. The crowd of 17,294 suggested that in good weather the game would have drawn upward of 25,000. It was an excellent turnout considering conditions. Even in the rain, long queues lined up before the windows. The only winner was charity. One-third of the gate and all of the program revenue will go ti the Shrine's hospitals for crippled children. And wouldn't today have been a good day to play the game? Al Oliver thinks so, and so do a lot of others.
SCOOTER LOOKS AT FILMS, CAN'T TELL 'FRIEND' FROM FOE
AUGUST 22 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Scooter McLean's coming out party will have to be held all over again at Green Bay Labor Day. The Packers' debut under
the Scooter turned out to be a stuck-in-the-
muck affair as the heaviest rainstorm of the
season made the Stadium gridiron unplayable
Wednesday night. McLean returned to his St.
Norbert College retreat Thursday, still scraping
mud from his boots. He gave his 60-man squad
until midnight to forget about playing in the rain.
As far as that 3-0 defeat is concerned, it could
just have easily been a Packer victory. But it
really didn't matter. "Yes, I looked at the
pictures," McLean said, answering the first
question. "I couldn't tell one side from the other.
"No one knew who anyone was out there,"
Scooter continued. "It's too bad the game had
to be played under those conditions." McLean
was hesitant about cutting his squad. This first
preseason scrap was no proving ground. "But
we've got to get down to a more workable size,"
McLean said. "I'll have to make at least a half
dozen cuts this week." The Packers had
numerous chances to beat the Steelers.
Scooter pointed out that on a better field his
club could have easily scored. "If it had been a
good night, Tom Bettis would have scored when
he picked up that blocked punt," McLean said.
"But he had a hard time getting up off the
pitcher's mound." There were a few bright spots.
Scooter praised the play of his rookie defensive
line. He thought his All-Star boys, Dan Currie
and Ray Nitschke, did an excellent job backing
up the line. When asked why Joe Francis, the
quarterback star of the intrasquad game, didn't
play McLean answered: "It wasn't fair to let a
rookie quarterback play on a night like that. But
maybe we should have let him get a taste of
the defensive picture." End Max McGee, who
suffered a concussion in the intrasquad game,
was used very little. Scooter is not taking any chances with his veterans, and you can't blame him. Maxie had been conked on the head too often. But he's determined to not it let bother him. "You can't be gun-shy in this league," McGee said. Outside of getting a good mud bath, the squad came out without any serious injury. Mike Hudock, rookie center, reported a sore muscle in his side. While many a baseball fan wondered Thursday is the Stadium diamond would ever be restored to its well groomed self, Stadium Manager Bill Anderson said, it's not as damaged as most people think. "We could play baseball tonight," Anderson said. "The skin part of the infield dried out fast and was scraped and raked into shape. The worst part was the hips of the playing field, where the team's benches were set up. And there's a couple of spots behind second base where we'll have to re-sod." Anderson had 30 men working on the field Thursday. The crowd of 17,294 was most encouraging considering the heavy downpour. With better weather the count might have reached 30,000. It proved the Packers have a solid backing in Milwaukee. McLean must now wait until Labor Day to see what his boys can really do. They'll tackle a revamped Eagles in a 4:30 p.m.m game.
PACKERS PONDER PLAYER PROBLEM
AUGUST 22 (Green Bay) - Coach Ray (Scooter) McLean and his assistants viewed films and huddled on player cuts Friday. They must trim 17 players from the Green Bay Packers' roster in the next 10 days to conform with NFL rules. Right now, the Packers have 60 on their roster, including three men out with injuries - veteran tackle Jerry Helluin and rookies Harry Horton, an end from Wichita, and Earl Wayne Miller, a defensive back from Baylor. McLean said that he was heartened by some things he saw in the movies of the Packers' 3-0 defeat by Pittsburgh in the mud at Milwaukee Wednesday night.
AMUNDSEN DROPPED AS PACKERS CUT SIX
AUGUST 23 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers trimmed six players from their roster Saturday, including two Wisconsin men - guard Norm Amundsen, former University of Wisconsin star, and Willie Berzinski, halfback from La Crosse State. Amundsen made the team last year. Berzinski, former little All-American, was picked up as a free agent after playing with the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles. Others released Saturday included Doug Maison, quarterback from Hillside (Mich.) College; Ernie Cook, Toledo end; Joe Reese, Arkansas Tech end, and Esker Harris, UCLA linebacker. Maison was the Packers' seventh draft choice last winter; Cook, their 13th; Reese, 17th, and Harris, 25th. The Green Bay roster now includes 54 players. Coach Ray (Scooter) McLean must trim 11 more players by September 2. He may wait until after the exhibition game with the Philadelphia Eagles here Labor Day before making his final cut. The player limit for the league season, which opens here September 28 against the Chicago Bears, is 35.
KRAMER TO TEST KNEE WITH BAYS
AUGUST 24 (Green Bay) - Ron Kramer, the Packers' second leading pass receiver in his rookie year last season, will report to Coach Scooter McLean's camp Sunday to try out his knee. Kramer, who was the Packers' No. 1 draft choice, broke his leg December 8 against the Rams in Los Angeles and it was later discovered that ligaments were torn, too. The former Michigan All-American has been recuperating at Chicago after undergoing surgery last winter. It has been because of the knee that Kramer did not report to camp.
JOHNSON IS CUT BY GREEN BAY
AUGUST 26 (Green Bay) - Halfback Joe Johnson, a four year veteran of the NFL, was cut loose Tuesday by the Green Bay Packers. Johnson, former Boston College star, was drafted in 1953 and started playing with the Packers in 1954. Green Bay now has 54 players in camp, including Ron Kramer, who started workouts Sunday. The Packers must be down to 43 players by September 1 and 35 players by the time the season opens September 28.
GAME RECAP (MILWAUKEE SENTINEL)
(MILWAUKEE) – For 59 minutes and 59 seconds, the Packers and Steelers tossed mud in each other's eye. The game shaped up as a contest of no return in a  sea of mud. But the old ball game wasn't over until the "last out" Wednesday night at the Stadium when Tom Miner, a rookie obtained via north of the border, booted a 37-yard field goal with one second remaining to give Pittsburgh a 3-0 pre-season victory over Green Bay in the ninth annual Midwest Shrine Football Game.
17,294 ON HAND
To 17,924 customers who braved a cloudburst which slowed down to a steady downpour as the game progressed, the exhibition wasn't exactly a true picture of NFL play. It didn't take very long for the Home of the Braves to look like a farmer's pigpen as more than 100 bruisers wallowed in the infield, where unfortunately most of the play took place. Miner's kick was not seen by most of the rain-soaked fans, who headed for the gates after neither team showed many scoring threats. But to Miner, the winning boot got him off the hook.
PASS INTERCEPTED
It was only two plays earlier that the Steeler placekicker missed from 27 yards out. When Babe Parilli's pass was intercepted by Jack Butler, it game Miner the second chance he needed. From a standpoint of advancing to a scoring position, the Packers had the upper hand. Al Carmichael took the opening kickoff and returned it 61 yards to the Steeler 29. But Bart Starr couldn't bring 'em home, fumbling away the chance on the six. The Packers had another chance in the first quarter when Tom Bettis recovered a fumble on the Steeler 31. This time Paul Hornung's 27 yard field goal was blocked by Dale Dodrill.
SWITZER FUMBLES
Still another chance prevailed when Dave Hanner recovered a loose ball two plays later. Veryl Switzer gave it back to Pittsburgh on the 50 when he fumbled. With Parilli at the throttle the Packers found themselves knocking on the door from the Pittsburgh 7 as the second period neared its finish. Dodrill intercepted a Parilli toss and the state pros were halted again. The Steelers' farthest advancement was in the first quarter
when they plowed their way to the Packer 35. But when they crossed into Bay territory in the fourth quarter as the final seconds ticked to death, a field goal could do it - and it did.
HITS ON 3 PASSES
The conditions were anything but playable, yet the Packers could bump into the same weather in these climes during the fall. Starr, who usually is a good mudder, could only complete one out of six passes for 15 yards. Parilli, when Dodrill and Butler weren't on the receiving end, managed three completions in six tries. Rookies Joe Francis and Doug Maison didn't dirty their shoe laces as their teammates looked more and more like frogmen.
HARD RUNNING
Pittsburgh based its attack mainly on the passing of Earl Morrall and the running of Tank Younger, nine year veteran obtained from the Rams. Morrall completed four of 11 passes for 67 yards. Younger gained 57 yards in 16 carries. Hornung was the Packers' leading ground gainer with 29 yards in 11 carries, while Howie Ferguson picked up 24 in nine. As far as receivers went. Hornung led with one catch for 34 yards. It will be touch for Packer Coach Scooter McLean to base any cuts as a result of this contest.
PITTSBURGH -  0  0  0  3 -  3
GREEN BAY  -  0  0  0  0 -  0
PIT – Tom Miner, 37-yard field goal PITTSBURGH 3-0
club September 9 in Winston-Salem, N.C., for an exhibition with the Washington Redskins. The Eagles have a 1-1 record, having defeated Baltimore, 30-28, and having bowed to the Chicago Bears, 3-0.
KEN GRAY BACK, JOINS WORKOUT
AUGUST 28 (Green Bay) - Ken Gray, outstanding rookie defensive tackle who suffered a leg injury in Tuesday's scrimmage, was back in uniform and at work in Wednesday's practice after x-rays disclosed no serious injury. The Packers held a 20 minute scrimmage devoted to inside running plays as they prepared for their exhibition game with the Philadelphia Eagles here Monday at 4:30 p.m. Jim Shanley, rookie halfback from Oregon, worked out. He had been sidelined with a broken nose.
MCLEAN HAS NO QUARTERBACK WOES
AUGUST 28 (Green Bay) - Coach Scooter McLean of the Packers can choose between a home run hitter and a singles hitter for his quarterback this season, as the occasion demands. For the long, or home run passes as it's called in the NFL, he has Babe Parilli. For the short, hit-'em-where-they-are type of pass, he can call on Bart Starr. The two compliment each other. Parilli, 29, and Starr, 24, divided the quarterback position last season with fair, if not consistent, results. This year, McLean's first as head coach, each is expected to mirror results of incessant practice in his specialty. "Parilli's main problem has been a one track mind," McLean said Thursday as the Packers got ready for a Labor Day exhibition game with the Eagles. "He'd leave that huddle with one man in mind to throw to," McLean continued. "If that man was covered, Babe'd be lost. He'd have trouble picking out the pass defense and then run out of the pocket when he didn't have to and be thrown for a loss. Or, he'd throw anyway, most of the time for an interception. We've been working on him right along and he's thinking a lot better than he did before. I'd say he's shown a lot of improvement." Starr, an Alabaman with two years of NFL experience, is expected to develop into one of the finest quarterbacks in the league. His strong points are an accurate arm and the ability to control the ball, which is the biggest single factor in producing a victory. "There's no question that Starr has come a long way in the last two seasons," McLean said. "He can spot defensive moves and weaknesses real fast and studies all the time. I'd say he has an analytical mind. He knows the other team's movements, studies them before and after each game. Afterwards, he'll come to me and say, 'that fellow did this or that differently from the last time.' It usually takes more time for a college players to develop into a good pro quarterback, but Starr learns fast. He has a sixth sense about football." McLean said he never sets up his plays with the idea that a particular play will be a 65-yard spectacular. "I favor ball control," he said, "but when the long pass is there I want to be able to get it."
JOE JOHNSON TO STEELERS
AUGUST 28 (California, PA) - The Steelers Thursday purchased veteran halfback Joe Johnson from the Packers where he played for the last four years. Coach Buddy Parker also asked waivers on rookie back Don Bishop, a free agent from Los Angeles City College.
BABE PARILLI TO START FOR PACKERS MONDAY AGAINST PHILADELPHIA
AUGUST 28 (Green Bay) - Vito Parilli, the Kentucky Babe, will start at quarterback for the Green Bay Packers in their exhibition game with the Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Monday. The kickoff will be at 4:30 p.m. Does this mean that Parilli has moved ahead of Bart Starr in the fight for first string quarterback? "Not at all," Coach Ray (Scooter) McLean said Friday. "It's just the Babe's turn in this game. Bart will play plenty. And I expect that Joe Francis (rookie from Oregon State) will get in there, too, at quarterback, and at defensive back both." McLean plans to start an all-veteran offensive team against the Eagles. On defense, rookie Dan Currie of Michigan State will break into the starting lineup at linebacker.
KRAMER SIGNS
AUGUST 30 (Green Bay) - Packer Coach Scooter McLean announced Saturday that Ron Kramer, veteran slotback who broke a leg last year, signed his 1958 contract. Kramer has been working out with the Packers the past week. McLean said the former Michigan All-American has been moving well but his leg is still sore.
FISTFIGHTS NOW TABOO, SAYS SCOOTER
AUGUST 31 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - If there are any hard feelings among the Packers, you can bet they'll take them out on the Eagles Labor Day at Green Bay, 4:30 p.m. kickoff. Coach Scooter McLean is annoyed over the mushrooming publicity of camp fights. He vowed Saturday there would no more fistfights among his 54-man squad. "Why, this thing has grown way out proportion," McLean said. "A national magazine wants to send a reporter up here to get the whole story. We're in this business to build a football team. This isn't a Golden Gloves gym." Tempers flared and fistfights broke out the first week of practice. Apparently, very few were sure of their jobs. Thus, competition for 35 berths has become the keenest ever as Green Bay assembled its finest material in a decade. The Packers need a real preseason test really badly. Their initial encounter against the Steelers was no contest, as both clubs got stuck in the mud. "We're not ready for the season yet," Scooter warned. "Far from it. We must get out squad down to a more manageable size," he added. "Our offense has a lot to learn. Week by week we're adding plays and assignments. We'll keep rehearsing them in the preseason games and by the time the Bear game rolls around, we should be ready." Scooter admits the club has depth at every position, a situation which optimistic hopes are pinned on. Scooter also realized that when he cuts down to 35, he will be able to really pinpoint his strong and weak points. "So this is a see game for us," McLean concluded. "We'll see how far we've progressed and who we'll keep." McLean, naturally, prefers to win all the time. But his main purpose in the preseason is to get veterans into condition and test his new men. He doesn't have to convince Green Bay fans with an impressive "Grapefruit" record. He wants his bread to be buttered starting September 28. Scooter will suit up 52 players for the Eagle scrap. Veteran tackle Jerry Helluin and rookies halfback Ken Shanley and center Mike Hudock will not play. Helluin is still sidelined with a shoulder separation sustained in an intrasquad tiff. Shanley, an impressive halfback from Oregon, is out with a broken nose and Hudock has a ligament strain, not the result of fistfights. Otherwise, 52 eager gridders are rarin' to show their stuff against Philadelphia. McLean will start an all-veteran unit, directed by quarterback Babe Parilli, He'll intersperse new men, allowing them to perform alongside those with experience. Everyone will be used. Five cuts after the game will be based on their play. Scooter hoped for only two things. 1. That no one will be injured. 2. That it won't rain.
5 PACKERS FACE AXE AFTER EAGLE TILT
AUGUST 31 (Green Bay) - Labor Day will be an unlucky day for five Packers. Five will get the axe after a preseason showing against the Eagles. Unfair labor practices? A dirty trick on the working man's holiday? But rules are rules...and the NFL says Scooter McLean must lop five off his 54-man squad. The Eagles, fortunately, have already met the necessary limit. In fact, Buck Shaw's club is already cut to a workable 42. The game, therefore, is not just another exhibition as far as the Packers are concerned. Who will be fired...a veteran, rookie, service returnee, or player obtained in a trade? Barring another torrential downpour which marred their first preseason test in Milwaukee, the Packers should be able to handle the Eagles. Anxious to show the home folks how they've progressed after five weeks of practice, Scooter's gang is a fired up lot. Green Bay should have an edge in passing even though the proven Norm Van Brocklin is now pitching for the Eagles. The Packers have the better receivers and two capable passers in Bart Starr and Babe Parilli. The Kentucky Babe will start. He has looked good in practice. He has the confidence of his coach and his teammates. Babe needs this confidence. Parilli will be tossing to Billy Howton, Max McGee and Steve Meilinger. He'll have Don McIlhenny and Paul Hornung to carry the mail. Starr, who is expected to reach great heights this season, will get his first chance in the second quarter. Other subs are Howie Ferguson, Al Carmichael, Gary Knafelc, Veryl Switzer and Frank Purnell giving an idea of the veteran depth Scooter has in his backfield. Also tested will be quarterback Joe Francis, fullback Jim Taylor and halfbacks Dick Christy and Roy Hodge, all rookies. Veteran slotback Ron Kramer, hobbled with a sore knee, is a doubtful player. Van Brocklin, who after nine seasons with the Rams says he hopes "to play 10 more for Buck Shaw," apparently has lost none of his passing artistry. In two exhibitions, Van Brocklin completed 25 of 48 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns. Walt Kowalczyk, the sprinting blacksmith from Michigan State, Bill Barnes and Pete Retzlaff round out the starting Philly backfield. While fans will keep their eyes on these names, the fiercest competition will take place in the line. Shaw boasts the biggest defensive line in the league. It averages 258 pounds. "It will take a whale of an offensive line to move them," says Shaw. But there's a whale of fight going on in the Packer forward wall...something should give. The Eagles will also bump into a hornet's nest of Packer linebackers. There are Tom Bettis, Dan Currie, Ernie Danjean, Bill Forester, Neil Habig, Carlton Massey, Ray Nitschke and Sam Palumbo. Who will survive the cuts? Monday will tell.
PACKER EXCHANGE PUNCHES IN COMPETITION FOR POSITIONS
AUGUST 27 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers' private war - Packer against Packer- is continuing in camp as players seek to avoid the inevitable cuts that will come after next Monday's exhibition with the Philadelphia Eagles. Fist fights broke out again in a scrimmage Tuesday as Coach Ray (Scooter) McLean hustled his squad through another heavy workout. The intense competition for positions lead to the fighting. The squad, now down to 54, will be reduced by 10 after Monday's game. One injury resulted from the scrimmage but had nothing to do with the fisticuffs. Ken Gray, rookie tackle from Howard Payne College, was taken to the hospital with a leg injury. The extent of the injury will not be determined until after x-rays Wednesday. The rugged scrimmage, witnessed by 700 fans at City Stadium, stressed the running game again. Little passing was done by quarterbacks Babe Parilli and Bart Starr. One of the Packers' service returnees, tackle Forrest Gregg, left for Fort Carson, Col., to receive his discharge. He will rejoin the
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) 3, Green Bay Packers (0-1) 0
EXHIBITION - Wednesday August 20th 1958 (at Milwaukee)