Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi scratches his head as the Giants stop his team on the Packers' 40-yard line during a game in Bangor in 1959.

Bangor game was dawn of Lombardi era

For most players, whether they were wearing New York Giants or Green Bay Packers uniforms, the 1959 preseason exhibition game in Bangor was memorable more for what it represented to them: The dawn of the Vince Lombardi era in Green Bay. NFL Hall of Fame offensive tackle Forrest Gregg of Green Bay easily recalls the ’59 preseason because it was the Packers’ first under the rookie head coach, who has hired away from the Giants after five years as an assistant coach. “It was a great experience, to say the least, because I felt for the first time we had a chance to win,” said Gregg, who was starting his third NFL season. “He kind of instilled that sense of being a winner and making you believe it. He expected nothing less than the best.” Guard Jerry Kramer, who was starting his second season with Green Bay, recalled the contrast between his rookie season with a different head coach and his second, under Lombardi, who died of cancer in 1970 and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame the following year after winning the first two Super Bowl titles and five NFL championships with Green Bay. “Before Lombardi, we had a coach named [Ray] ‘Scooter’ McLean and he was [of] more of a very lenient nature where if you were a veteran and didn’t want to do some of the warmups, he wouldn’t get after you,” said Kramer, a five-time All-Pro who also handled kicking duties. “We went from lenient to… [prison].” With the Bangor game coming two weeks before the start of the regular season, Green Bay players had become familiar with the Lombardi way. “We knew all we needed to know about him by then. We knew to stay out of his way and try not to fall under his gaze,” said Kramer. “In that game, the Giants were up there and contenders with a bunch of world-class players and we didn’t know who the hell we were. We had a madman as coach, we thought, and we didn’t know if he knew something the rest of us didn’t or was just plumb crazy.” Lombardi ran a tight ship. Players didn’t even have access to water during their grueling practices and workouts. “I think it started the moment he got there. Nobody had the team made and there were no favors or skipping practices,” Kramer said. “Even the training room wasn’t safe. He’d tell you you weren’t injured and to get back out there. “He made us united because of the way he handled us. Our resentment for Lombardi kind of banded us together and had a unifying effect,” Kramer said. And the Packers stuck with the program. “It didn’t come quite that quickly, but there was a realization starting that ‘hey, there’s something going on here, and maybe this guy knows what the hell’s going on,’ but we weren’t quite sure yet,” said Kramer. “There was at least the start of thinking we’d give him a shot and not kill him just yet.” Giants players like offensive end/kicker Pat Summerall and halfback Frank Gifford recall being peppered with questions about Lombardi from friends and former teammates on the Packers’ roster. “Dave Hanner, one of the Packers starters, was a teammate with me at Arkansas and he was asking me about him,” said Summerall, who was all too familiar with Lombardi’s no-nonsense approach. “When I first went to the Giants, the first meeting I went to was when they were calling roll and he couldn’t get us quiet, so Lom-bardi walked in and cleared his throat and the entire room got quiet. I asked someone who he was and they said I’d find out soon enough.” One of Gifford’s best friends was Packer back Paul Hornung, who was curious to get the fellow Hall of Fame back’s take on Green Bay’s new coach. “When [Lombardi] was with us, he was a friend. He was a buddy, actually,” Gifford said. “The relationship between a head coach and a player is different than that of an assistant coach and a player. Most assistants are good friends with the players. If you’re not, then the players don’t really pay attention to you.” Gifford, an NFL Hall of Fame running back who was an eight-time All-Pro and the 1956 NFL MVP, says Lombardi wasn’t always the gruff taskmaster. “When he first game to the Giants, he tried to be very strict with his West Point coaching background and we liked him, but that didn’t last very long,” said Gifford, 79. “He came up to us in training camp about the third week in Salem, Oregon, and the guys had been paying no attention to him. He’d been ranting and raving and screaming, but we’d just look at him. “He asked us ‘Hey guys, what am I doing wrong?’ Charlie Conerly, who was a Marine in World War II, was there and I told him ‘Vinnie, you’re talking to guys who’ve fought in places like Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima.’ He changed dramatically after that.” Lombardi changed again as a rookie head coach of a young team not used to success. “We didn’t have that many established stars. Some of the older players had retired,” said fullback Jim Taylor, the first Packer player from the Lombardi era to enter the Hall of Fame. “He was going to whip butt and take names, and for the most part, we wanted to sweat hard, work hard and do whatever it takes for success.” Giants players were equally effusive of their praise for Lombardi. “Coach Lombardi was the finest teacher I think I’ve ever been around. He knew things like how long a guard’s first step should be to get to the quarterback and not trip over anybody,” Summerall said. “I think we all knew it wouldn’t be long before Lombardi turned things around with his knowledge and attention to detail. “Vince understood the entire game where most coaches understand parts of the game. When he went to Green Bay, he was one of my best friends and I stayed close with him after he left to go there.” Gregg said he borrowed Lombardi’s coaching philosophy when he went on to coach three NFL teams for 11 seasons. “The first two years I played pro ball, I never felt like I was in the best condition I could be. After going through training camp with him, I knew I would be when the season started,” said Gregg, who led the Cincinnati Bengals to the 1981 AFC title and a Super Bowl berth. “He worked us hard and got us ready to play.” “I was very ready to be disciplined,” said Taylor. “And Vince Lombardi made me the player that I was.”
SOURCE: Bangor Daily News (September 4th 2009)
GAME RECAP (MILWAUKEE SENTINEL)
(BANGOR, ME) – Vince Lombardi's Packers, who had averaged four touchdowns in winning two of three preseason games, couldn't score a single point here Saturday night as the Giants walked off with their second straight shutout, 14-0. A holding penalty nullified a Green Bay touchdown after Don McIlhenny returned the opening kickoff 62 yards. The Giants blocked two 45 yard field goal attempts by Paul Hornung. An interception, an overthrown TD pass and a fumble killed the Packers' other scoring chances.
WEBSTER SCORES 2
New York, which overwhelmed Detroit, 38-0, last week, capitalized on Jim Patton's interception of Babe Parilli's pass in the second period to score its first touchdown. A 49 yard pass play from George Shaw to Frank Gifford set up the second touchdown in the third quarter. Alex Webster, an old standby, scored both times for the Eastern Conference champions and both TDs were on two yard plunges. Reliable Pat Summerall converted. Lamar McHan started at quarterback for the Packers, but couldn't crank up a sustained drive. Parilli failed in his only shot in the second period and Joe Francis couldn't find his targets in the fourth quarter. Bart Starr wasn't used.
MARCH 88 YARDS
It was a grueling defensive duel. The Giants could put together only one long scoring drive, marching 86 yards in eight plays for the second touchdown. The alert Packers killed a budding New York drive in the second period when Norm Masters recovered Phil King's fumble on the Green Bay 41. Nate Borden squelched a fourth quarter Giant drive on the Packer 29 when he pounced on quarterback Lee Grosscup's fumble. The Packers started like a whirlwind, McIlhenny taking the opening kickoff and galloping 62 yards to the New York 38. Four plays later the Packers had third down on the 28. McHan hit Hornung for the touchdown, as Paul danced his way into the end zone. But a holding penalty killed what proved to be the Packers' only semblance of a score. Shaw, the fugitive from Baltimore, took over for Heinrich and tossed three straight incompletions. Don Chandler's punt rolled to the six, setting Green Bay deep in the hole. On second down from the 11, Parilli fired a pass up the middle. Patton grabbed it on the 30 and returned it to the Green Bay 16. Five plays later Webster plunged over from the two. Summerall's PAT was perfect with 1:45 to play in the second quarter. The best play of the game came up as as the third period got underway. From his 14, Shaw moved the Giants on the ground to their 40. Then came the big one, a 49 yard pass play from Shaw to Gifford. The fleet-footed Gifford reached Green Bay's 11 and Webster counted on his third try with seven minutes to play. Summerall again converted.
NEW YORK  -  0  7  7  0 - 14
GREEN BAY -  0  0  0  0 -  0
NY – Alex Webster, 2-yard run (Pat Summerall kick) NEW YORK 7-0
NY – Webster, 1-yard run (Summerall kick) NEW YORK 14-0
The 1959 Green Bay Packers
NEWS AND NOTES
PACKERS EXPLAIN LOCAL TV BLACKOUT
SEPTEMBER 5 (Green Bay) - Vince Lombardi, head coach and general manager of the Packers, Saturday issued a statement explaining why games played in Green Bay will not be televised in the Milwaukee area this year. "Since the CBS outlet in Milwaukee has changed from WXIX-TV, an ultra-high frequency station, to WITI-TV, a very high frequency station, Packer telecasts on the Milwaukee station will carry well into the home territory. Instead of covering only the Milwaukee metropolitan area, it will not reach into the Fox River Valley and lakeshore are almost to Green Bay itself. This would be a serious invasion of the 75-mile limit which NFL teams have always observed. It also would have a considerable effect on a large group of fans who attend games in Green Bay. We would very much like to have our fans in Milwaukee see the Green Bay games, but this is a situation which is beyond our control." Milwaukee viewers will see four Packers out-of-town games, those at Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit and New York.
DIXON CUT; 'SKINS NEXT FOR PACKERS
SEPTEMBER 6 (Bangor, ME) - The Packers headed for Greensboro, N.C., Sunday without rookie halfback George Dixon. Coach Vince Lombardi put the Bridgeport (Conn.) College Negro runner on waivers before the club boarded its charter flight to North Carolina. Dixon scored a touchdown on a dazzling 96 yard kickoff return against the 49ers and had beaten Al Carmichael out of a job. Dixon carried the ball once in Saturday night's 14-0 loss to the Giants and lost a yard. Lombardi now has five halfbacks on his 42-man squad. They are Paul Hornung, Don McIlhenny, Lew Carpenter (all veterans) and rookies Tim Brown and Alex Hawkins. The club's roster will be boosted to 44 this week when end Ron Kramer and linebacker Ray Nitschke join the Packers at their Greensboro camp. The Packers' next preseason game is against the Redskins Saturday night at Winston-Salem, N.C. Although his team was blanked for the first time, Lombardi was not unhappy with the Packers' losing performance against the Eastern Conference champion Giants. "It's been a long time since a team moved 125 yards on the ground against the Giants," Lombardi said. "But each time we got where we might have done some good, penalties or bad plays put us on trouble." After McIlhenny returned the opening kickoff 62 yards, Green Bay scored a touchdown when Lamar McHan and Hornung teamed up on a 28 yard scoring play. The fine effort was nullified by a holding penalty. The Packers were pounding on New York's door moments later. But the Giants' Jim Patton ended the threat, intercepting McHan's pass on the New York 10. Green Bay penetrated deep into Giant territory in the fourth quarter, reaching the 12 and 14. Francis overthrew on the first chance and fumbled away the other. Lombardi gave McHan a good chance, playing the ex-Cardinal for three quarters. He completed five passes in 14 attempts for 65 yards. Bart Starr, who started the Bear game and has been used sparingly, is expected to start against the Redskins. Lombardi, apparently, is no closer now than four weeks ago in picking a No. 1 quarterback.
PACKERS SELL DICK NOLAN; QB SEARCH NO NEARER END
SEPTEMBER 8 (Winston-Salem, NC) - The Green Bay Packers, last year's doormat in the Western Conference, are selling players. It was announced Monday that defensive halfback Dick Nolan has been sold to the New York Giants who tipped the Packers 14-0 in an exhibition game at Bangor, Maine, Saturday night. He was the second player dropped since the game. Immediately after the contest, the Packers placed rookie halfback George Dixon of Bridgeport, Conn., College on waivers. But as Nolan left the Packers training camp here, where Green Bay will play the Washington Redskins in an exhibition Saturday night, blocking back Ron Kramer returned. He was discharged from military service last Friday. The 27-year old Nolan, with the Giants from 1954 through 1957, was acquired recently by the Packers from the Chicago Cardinals. The Giants plan to use him as the fourth or fifth man in the defensive backfield. It was the Giant defensive backfield that slowed the Packers' search for a starting quarterback. Three candidates saw signal calling duty but none was impressive. The top performance was by Joe Francis, who got into action late and completed 4 of 7 attempts and had none intercepted. Starter Lamar McHan hit on 5 of 14 tosses for 60 yards and had none intercepted. Babe Parilli threw one pass and it was grabbed by the Giants in setting up a touchdown. Bart Starr saw only enough action to hold for two unsuccessful field goal attempts. Despite the results, which left the Packers 2-2 in the exhibition grind, Coach Vince Lombardi was far from disappointed. He said: "We were moving the ball pretty good during the early stages of the game. It's been a long time since a team moved the ball 133 times through New York's defensive team. I liked what I saw offensively, that is, with a good deal more work."
SOMEONE WILL GET BURNED IN PRO EXPANSION
SEPTEMBER 8 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - A tremendous explosion in the world of professional sports is scheduled to begin next year. For the pros, the next decade will be known as the "sizzling 60s" but with all that heat generated someone is likely to get pretty badly burned. A third major baseball league, born in poor little old deserted New York, aims for a start in 1961. Pro basketball, which has experimented with league games in the far west, hopes to invade Chicago and perhaps the West Coast in 1961. Pro hockey has California offers but probably would be the last to change the old order. For this long overdue expansion, generally involving the populated centers beyond the Mississippi, pro football has been the guiding force. The hard-bitten, often hard-pressed, NFL and the defunct All-America Conference share pioneering honors. The old Cleveland Rams won the NFL title in 1945 under a new ownership and, almost before the players had collected their playoff loot, the franchise was shifted to Los Angeles. That left the Browns of the new All-America Conference in sole possession of Cleveland, though the Rams had local Los Angeles competition from the AAC Dons. The AAC also opened up San Francisco with the 49ers. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Cleveland are now thriving members of the old National League. Football, of course, had a ready-made market for the pros in both Los Angeles and San Francisco where the colleges have been big time for many years with Southern California and UCLA in the south, California and Stanford reigning in the north. Though major league baseball had been rapped for failing to open up California before the Dodgers and Giants made their historic switch two years ago, the majors had the right idea at the wrong time. As early as late 1941, the old St. Louis Browns were set to move to Los Angeles. Pearl Harbor squashed that. A new pro football league hopes to get into action at Dallas, Houston, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles and two other cities by next fall. The new baseball league, called the Continental and directed by 77-year old Branch Rickey, has five founding cities. New York, Denver, Toronto, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Houston - tooling up for '61. There are twice as many applicants as can be accommodated in the new league's three remaining franchises. New leagues face a rougher row by far than orderly expansion such as the NBA envisions. There'll be big money lost - but the survivors should make the "sizzling 60s" a decade for the pros to remember.
PACKERS DRILL ON OFFENSE
SEPTEMBER 8 (Greensboro, NC) - The Packers went through light drills Tuesday and spent time polishing their offense for Saturday's game with the Redskins at Winston-Salem, N.C. Coach Vince Lombardi said he may give rookie Alex Hawkins a chance to shine before his "home folks" at a halfback spot. Hawkins was voted player of the year in the ACC. Linebacker Dan Currie and defensive halfback Jesse Whittenton, nursing old injuries, sat out the practice session with leg hurts. Lombardi indicated Currie would play Saturday, but that Whittenton would miss the game. Ron Kramer, the All-American end from Michigan, is expected to join the team Wednesday. He recently was discharged from six months active duty from the service.
HORNUNG STARS RUNNING, PASSING
SEPTEMBER 9 (Greensboro, NC) - Paul Horning, a sensational college quarterback, is running well at his halfback spot for the Green Bay Packers - and passing sharply. The former Notre Dame star, in his third year with the Packers, was the standout, both running and passing, in Wednesday's drills. The running of the 215-pound Hornung was described as brilliant. All four quarterbacks - Bart Starr, Babe Parilli, Lamar McHan and Joe Francis - worked with the first unit in the drills. Each has started an exhibition game. The signal caller for Saturday's exhibition clash with the Washington Redskins at Winston-Salem, N.C, has not been announced. But it was announced that rookie Alex Hawkins of South Carolina will open at right half.
NIXON EXPECTS MUCH IMPROVEMENT
SEPTEMBER 9 (Winston-Salem, NC) - Coach Mike Nixon has made it clear to his Washington team that he expects a considerably better game here Saturday night than the Redskins played in losing 52-14 to the Chicago Bears last week. The Redskins are working out here for the Piedmont Bowl exhibition game against the Green Bay Packers. Bill Stits, acquired this week from the San Francisco 49ers, joined the squad. A key defense man, this will be his sixth year in the NFL.
When the NFL came to Bangor …

In 1959, National Football League exhibition games were no big deal. The league now considered by many to sit atop the American sports world was still in its adolescence. There was no Super Bowl, no multimillion-dollar contracts for players and coaches, no satellite television packages or fantasy leagues. Each of the 12 teams back then played half a dozen games before the regular season began. About the only people who paid attention to the contests were the coaches trying to put teams together and the players trying to make the teams. So why, half a century later, is one NFL preseason game in Bangor between the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers still remembered so fondly by those who attended and — in some instances — by those who played? Well, when one game brings together 12 future Hall of Fame players from two storied franchises accounting for 10 NFL championships led by two eventual Hall of Fame coaches and one Hall of Fame owner, it was a rare chance to witness in small-town America some of the best the sport had to offer. Pat Summerall, the Giants’ offensive end/kicker and, later, CBS-TV announcer, had to think a bit but recalled the game in Maine in which he kicked two extra points. “I remember I caught a pass,” Summerall, 79, said in a telephone interview this week. “After, we got together with some Packers in our hotel and drank beer.” Summerall, who came to Bar Harbor for a vacation a few years back, came up with another specific Bangor memory. “We stayed at the Penobscot Hotel,” he recalled, referring to the former landmark on Exchange Street. “There were no closets in the room so we hung our clothing on the pipes overhead.” Jerry Kramer, Green Bay’s five-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman, also recalled the contest recently. He said Bangor had to be the smallest place he ever played an NFL game. “I remember going out to warm up. The grandstand wasn’t too big and it was obvious it was a high school field,” said Kramer, 73. “I think the Giants’ hotel was nearby and it seemed to me like it was leaning.” As it turned out, it would be the only chance for Mainers to see an NFL game played in the Pine Tree State. The league hasn’t returned since that uncommonly hot and humid September Saturday evening when an estimated 12,000 to 13,000 people crowded Garland Street Field to witness history. The favored Giants won 14-0 on two Alex Webster touchdown runs 50 years ago today.
How it happened
It would never happen in 2009. Today, preseason NFL games require stadiums that seat 60,000 fans or more, not to mention the fact that those exhibition contests are tied to season-ticket packages that would make moving such games to more remote areas problematic for the fans who pay the extra money to ensure access to the regular-season contests. But 1959 was a different time for the NFL. The league was about to be challenged by the upstart American Football League, which in the Northeast would lead to a specific challenge to the New York Giants’ dominance over all professional football fans in New England by the fledgling Boston Patriots. That fact alone wasn’t the primary incentive behind the Giants and Packers squaring off in the Queen City. But the notion that such a game would have been held in Bangor at any point in history remains a rather remarkable moment in the city’s sporting past. “I just remember how easy it seemed to get an event like this to come to a small town like Bangor, when today that would be impossible,” said Gordon Clapp, a well-known local businessman at the time and a key organizer of the event. Clapp chaired Bangor’s 125th anniversary steering committee that developed numerous events throughout 1959 ranging from a winter carnival and a college basketball tournament to parades and, yes, a professional football game. “We felt that usually the 125th anniversary is not an event that calls for a major celebration, but we wanted to use it more as something to help promote the area,” Clapp said. “But it was a rather ambitious undertaking.” Clapp and J. Dan Baldwin, another official involved in planning the city’s 125th anniversary celebration, were instrumental in discussions with P. Ballantine & Sons of Newark, N.J., the producers of Ballantine Beer and one of the Giants’ primary sponsors. “They had played at the Yale Bowl in an exhibition game the year before and it had been successful,” said Clapp. “The Giants were our home team back then, and we felt like it would be a coup to get them to come to Bangor, because this wasn’t a big city like Chicago or New York.” Once the teams did agree to meet in Bangor, it was up to local organizations, particularly the Bangor Jaycees, to work behind the scenes on staging the event. “There were a lot of meetings,” said Ed McInnis, a certified public accountant who was a member of the Jaycees and its game chairman. “We had to deal with concessions, parking, tickets, shuttle buses. We secured parking at the state hospital and at Bass Park, because we didn’t know how much parking we would need.” Turns out they needed parking for 12,000, the estimated crowd. “Most of the draw was from the Greater Bangor area,” Clapp said. “People from the Portland area wouldn’t come up because Bangor was the host, and the same was true with Augusta.” With seating for an estimated 17,670 fans — much of it rented seating placed on the visitors’ side of the field and behind each end zone — and promotional appearances in the area in advance of the game by such Giants stars as Kyle Rote, Andy Robustelli and Alex Webster, organizers hoped for a bigger crowd, especially after some 9,000 tickets were sold in advance. There was also a strong local connection as two University of Maine standouts and rookie pros — lineman Roger Ellis and offensive end Thurlow Cooper — were expected to play. “The only disappointing thing was that we had 12,000 people who came to the game, and we could have had another few thousand because of the seating capacity that had been brought in,” said Clapp, who now lives in Dunn, N.C., 40 miles southeast of Raleigh. “I talked to some people who said they didn’t go because it was an exhibition and the players wouldn’t try as hard. But in football if you let up, you get killed. Mel Triplett, who played for the Giants, suffered broken ribs during that game. You can’t tell him they weren’t hitting hard.”
Hot time in the Queen City
It wasn’t the hard hitting some of the greats who played in the game recalled. “I remember playing that game against the Giants. It was hot and humid. Unbelievable,” said former Packers offensive lineman Forrest Gregg, 75, who went on to coach the Cincinnati Bengals to an AFC title and Super Bowl appearance in 1981. “It was one of the hottest games I ever played in,” said Gregg, a Texas native who was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection in 13 seasons. “That’s what I remember most. I played in heat, but the humidity was unbearable.” As an eight-year NFL veteran, Giants Hall of Fame flanker-halfback Frank Gifford was used to late summer and early fall New England humidity because the team’s preseason facility was located in Winooski, Vt. “I don’t remember [the game in Bangor], really,” said Gifford, now 79 and co-owner of Lamb Chop Productions in Connecticut with his wife, Kathie Lee. “We trained a lot in hot, humid weather up near Burlington, Vermont, so we were used to it.” Hall of Fame Packers fullback Jim Taylor shared his memories of the brief visit to Bangor. “I don’t recall the temperature or anything, but vaguely remember being up there,” said Taylor, 73. “Got there that Friday and left the morning after [the game]. “I’d never been to Maine before, but we’ve been back a couple times on vacation.” None of the players interviewed had particularly poignant memories of Bangor. “Paul Hornung’s a good friend of mine and we couldn’t wait to get the game over with so we could do a little partying, but we never even went out,” Gifford said, referring to the former Packer halfback. Gregg pretty much summed up the experience for all the players and coaches. “That’s the furthest north or east I’ve ever been and we played games all over,” said Gregg. “I can’t remember when we got there but we weren’t there too long. We ate as a team, played the game, went to the hotel and left.”
No replay for Bangor
The disappointing turnout in Bangor led to the game actually losing money for its sponsor. McInnis said revenues for the so-called “Ballantine Bowl” totaled $42,342, which included money from concessions, ticket and program sales. Total expenses, meanwhile, were $66,553, which mostly went to the teams but included a bill of approximately $15,000 for the rented seating. “The revenue wasn’t close to the expenses,” said McInnis, who estimated that 125 of the 200 members of the Bangor Jaycees worked as volunteers at the game. “We got a bill for $15,000 for the seating and that was an unexpected amount. “We didn’t expect it and I don’t think Ballantine Beer did either, but they never blinked an eye.” Indeed, Ballantine made up the difference, leaving both the teams and the city in good financial stead after the game. “A lot of things worked in our favor,” said Clapp. “The Giants were looking for a place to play to fill in their exhibition schedule and Ballantine was insuring the event in a sense, so the teams couldn’t lose money and we couldn’t lose any money. “And Ballantine sold more beer that weekend in eastern Maine than they ever had before.” The Jaycees weren’t quite as fortunate — they didn’t lose money, but they had hoped to generate some income from the game to subsidize other club activities. “We were a little disappointed because we didn’t want to lose any money on the project, we wanted there to be money left over so [the Jaycees] could use it for some of our charitable projects,” said McInnis, who now resides in Phoenix. “But there just wasn’t any.” There was some talk in the immediate aftermath of the contest about a return game the next year, but those hopes quickly faded. “The comments I got were largely positive,” Clapp said. “A lot of people said, ‘Let’s do it again,’ but the Ballantine people were not as interested.” Yet despite the less than bountiful financial rewards, the Giants-Packers clash served its primary purposes — adding to Bangor’s 125th anniversary celebration, promoting the area in general, and bringing a taste of pro football to eastern Maine. “I don’t think we had any real problems, everything was pretty smooth,” said McInnis. “We worked awfully hard at ticket sales, but after a point there wasn’t anything we could do about it. “But all in all, I thought everybody was treated to a pretty good football game and it’s something you’ll never see in Maine again.”
(SOURCE: Bangor Daily News (September 4th 2009)
Giants coach Jim Lee Howell talks to tackle Bob Schmidt on the sidelines moments after coming off the field of play during a Giants-Packers game in Bangor in 1959.
PACKERS, SKINS ON TV TONIGHT
SEPTEMBER 12 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Vince Lombardi's Packers, picked as the most improved pro football team during the preseason fling, will show the nation's TV quarterbacks what they've got Saturday night when they battle the Washington Redskins at Winston-Salem, N.C. The game will be carried coast to coast on the ABC network. WISN-TV will pick up delayed action in the second quarter, beginning at 9:30 p.m. WTMJ will broadcast direct, 8 p.m. kickoff. Green Bay will be seeking its third victory in five preseason games. Washington, with a 1-3 record, is smarting from a 52-14 drubbing it took from the Bears last week. "The Redskins will have to come up with a good game," Packer Scout Wally Cruice said Friday. "The Bears rolled to a 35-0 lead over them last week in Jacksonville, Florida, capitalizing on a weak secondary." Since that disastrous demonstration, Washington Coach Mike Nixon ordered a return to the two-a-day drills. The Packers don't have to be reminded that the Redskins can be as tough as they come. Green Bay was whipped, 37-21, in the nation's capital last year. And in this Piedmont Bowl series with the Redskins the Packers have been able to win only one of four games. "Washington has a problem with its secondary and offensive line," Cruice pointed out. "Nixon has experimented with many rookies regardless of the score." Eddie LeBaron will start at quarterback for the 'Skins with halfbacks Dick James and Jim Podoley and fullback Don Bosseler. Punter Sam Baker will miss the game because of a back injury, Baker, the NFL's top kicker last year, complained of a back injury and was taken to the hospital for an examination. No report has been received from the doctors, but the ailment appears to be a slipped disc. With an overabundance of mediocrity at quarterback, Lombardi has been unable to come up with a No. 1 passer. Bart Starr, who has not started a game since the preseason opener against the Bears, will open against the Redskins. If Starr comes up with a good game, he may jump into the driver's seat. Joe Francis, who has done surprisingly well at quarterback, looks like the best understudy. Lamar McHan and Babe Parilli have looked good and bad. Cruice, who has seen just about every team, picks the Giants, Colts and Bears as the best. "The Bears' most obvious improvement has been the play of quarterback Zeke Bratkowski," said Cruice. "He seems to have found himself. New York is the class in the East. And the Colts, well, they come no better." In preseason play, the Packers lost in the final 41 seconds, 19-16, to the Bears and dropped a 14-0 decision to the Giants last week. The Packers will arrive in Milwaukee at 2:30 p.m. Sunday and set up camp at Oakton Manor, Pewaukee Lake, for the remaining two weeks before the league opener against the Bears in Green Bay September 27.
AMERICAN GRID LOOP MEETS TODAY
SEPTEMBER 12 (Beverly Hills, CA) - The new American Football League swings into operation Saturday with its first fulll-dress meeting and may decide how and when it will compete with the established NFL for professional and college players. Other items of interest which may emerge from the two-day meeting include the possibly the names of some of the coaches of the new teams. In this regard two big names were mentioned unofficially in connection with the Los Angeles entry backed by Barron Hilton, son of the celebrated hotel magnate, Conrad. Hilton told a news conference a few weeks ago he had talked to Eddie Erdelatz, former Naval Academy coach, about the headman's job for Los Angeles, but said he had not come to terms. It was rumored that Erdelatz would be paired with Frank Leahy, the former Notre Dame coach, as general manager, but Hilton would not comment on this. One radio sportscaster said Erdelatz would get $32,000 and Leahy a whopping $75,000 a year. Besides Hilton and his aid, Tom Eddy, those schedule to attend the weekend meeting included owners of the franchises in other proposed league cities: Lamar Hunt, 27-year old oil heir representing Dallas, Texas; Bud Adams of Houston, Texas; Bob Howsam of Denver; Max Winter of Minneapolis-St. Paul; and Don Shaughnessy and Nash Dohbel of New York. One of the items on the conference agenda was selection of two other cities to field football clubs and complete an eight-team circuit. Known to be under consideration are Seattle, Boston, New Orleans, Kansas City, St. Louis and Miami. A committee head by Hilton will make a recommendation for man to be named commissioner. Another committee will report on a league constitution and by-laws. Still another matter for discussion is the question of drafting college stars. Hunt, prime organizer of the new league, has indicated that it will probably draft the collegians about the same time as the NFL does late this year.
New York Giants 14, Green Bay Packers (2-2) 0
EXHIBITION - Saturday September 5th 1959 (at Bangor, ME)