'ALIGNMENT' IS KEY TO EXPANSION OF NFL
JANUARY 18 (Miami Beach, FL) - One word - alignment - could be the key to whether the NFL expands this year. The league's executive committee met for an hour Sunday night and in a lone action voted favorably to consider at Wednesday's annual meeting franchise applications from Dallas, St. Louis, Miami and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Acting Commissioner Austin Gunsel said a majority vote of the executive committee - comprising one representative from each of the 12 clubs - passed the action. He refused to disclose the vote but a reliable source said it was 10-2. The word "alignment" crept into the picture when several club owners were asked just what they meant by favoring expansion. The owners, who declined to be identified, said they thought the league should expand if a satisfactory alignment of the two conferences could be agreed on. For example, the Eastern Conference, now composed of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Washington, Chicago Cardinals and New York, wants the champion Baltimore Colts switched from West to East in any expansion plan. This could throw a major road block in the path of expansion plans led by George Halas, owner of the Chicago Bears. Also, an agreeable schedule and method of alloting players to new clubs would be necessary before new teams were admitted. The vote to consider the four franchise applications was cast along the lines of expansion feeling in the 40-year old pro league. Ten clubs have indicated a desire to consider expansion now. George Preston Marshall of Washington and Walter Wolfner of the Cardinals are against adding any team. Marshall remains firm in his belief that the league should stay a 12-club circuit. "I life things the way they are now," said the volatile Washington owner. However, he could be waging a losing fight unless he gets at least one more team to join the Redskins and Cardinals in the nminority opinion. The strategy of the others is to pass a constitutional amendment under which 10 of the 12 votes would be required for expansion. A unanimous vote is necessary now. Marshall is hoping the New York Giants will join him. Wellington and Jack Mara of the Giants say they are undecided on expansion. They want to hear specific plans first. It was learned that Gunsel, who was named acting commissioner last October after the death of Bert Bell, and Marshall Leahy, San Francisco attorney, are leading candidates for commissioner. A source said Gunsel possibly holds a 7-5 edge. It takes nine votes to elect.
UNITAS, HORNUNG BEAT EAST 38-21
JANUARY 18 (Los Angeles) - The accurate arm of Johnny Unitas, the dogged defensive play of Gene (Big Daddy) Lipscomb and the talented toe of Paul Hornung proved a winning combination in the 10th annual Pro Bowl. The West walloped the East 38-21 Sunday for its sixth triumph in the NFL's all-star series. A crowd of 56,876 in the Coliseum saw Baltimore's Unitas named the game's most valuable player, toss three touchdown passes - all in the first half - for a new Pro Bowl record. Green Bay's Hornung scored one touchdown, kicked a field goal and five conversions for a total of 14 points - another record. The West's defensive line was led by Baltimore's Lipscomb, named the game's top lineman. They held the East running game to a scant 59 yards.
PACKERS TO VOTE FOR EXPANSION
JANUARY 20 (Miami) - The Green Bay Packers will vote in favor of expanding the NFL this fall at today's showdown meeting here on the subject. Expansion is being opposed by George Preston Marshall of the Washington Redskins and Walter Wolfner, owner of the Chicago Cardinals. Other owners will attempt to amend the league by-laws today to allow the expansion over their objections. Coach and general manager Vince Lombardi said of the expansion plan, "Why not? If we're going to expand our league, we might as well do it right away." A 10-2 vote of the club owners could allow the amending of the by-laws to permit the expansion. The present NFL constitution permits a single dissenting vote to block expansion.
GREEN BAY SIGNS 13TH DRAFT PICK, HALFBACK PAUL WINSLOW
JANUARY 21 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers today announced the signing of their 13th draft choice, halfback Paul Winslow of North Carolina College. Winslow, 5-11 and 210 pounds, had been a regular end for three season before being moved to halfback at the North Carolina school in his senior year. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry on 90 rushes and picked up 404 yards in nine games. As a junior end he caught 13 passes and as a senior halfback he grabbed five. Pro scouts called Winslow, a graduate of P.W. Moore High School, Elizabeth City, N.C., the best back playing for a Negro school. His college coach, Herman Riddick, called him the "best back I have ever seen."
EAGLES OBTAIN CHRISTY, BROWN
JANUARY 26 (Philadelphia) - The Philadelphia Eagles announced Monday the signing of halfbacks Dick Christy and Tim Brown. Both were picked up as free agents. Christy, from Chester, Pa., originally was drafted the Green Bay Packers. But before the 1958 season he was traded to Pittsburgh. He was released by the Steelers last September. Brown played one game with the Packers last season before being released.
DALLAS 'IN'; TWIN CITES '61 NFL ENTRY
JANUARY 28 (Miami Beach, FL) - Dallas was admitted Thursday as the 13th team in the NFL. Commissioner Pete Rozelle also announced that Minneapolis-St. Paul will join the league in 1961. The Dallas Rangers, backed by a pair of 36-year old millionaires, will operate as a "swing" team next season. They were assigned to the Western Division of the NFL and will play one game against every other club in the league. Dallas' admission put the 40-year old pro circuit in direct competition with the infant American Football League in at least three cities. Both leagues will operate out of Dallas, New York and Los Angeles. The keenest competition for public acceptance, however, is expected to center in Dallas, where the AFL had set up one of its strongest franchises. Both the Rangers and the AFL Texans will play in the 75,000 sear Cotton Bowl and plan to televise their road games in competition with the rival club's home appearances. This was the first enlargement of the NFL since 1950, when San Francisco, Cleveland and Baltimore were absorbed from the disbanded All-America Conference. A Baltimore franchise - not the forerunners of the present NFL champions - played as a "swing" team in 1950 but folded after that season. In 1960, the NFL will play a 13-week schedule, one more than recent years, with each team sitting out one weekend. Professional football thus returned to Dallas after an absence of seven years. The New York Yanks (formerly the Boston Bulldogs) were shifted to Dallas in 1952 but failed to draw. The NFL picked up the franchise after that season and sold it to Carroll Rosenbloom for operation as the modern Colts.
LOMBARDI SAID 16TH, 20TH CHOICES
JANUARY 29 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers have signed their 16th and 20th draft choices, Vince Lombardi, coach and general manager, announced Thursday. John Littlejohn, a 22-year old halfback from Kansas State, was the Packers 16th choice. He stands 6-1 and weighs 190. Gilmer Lewis, the Bays' 20th selection, is a University of Oklahoma product where he was co-captain and all-Big Eight tackle in 1958. He is 21, stands 6-3, and weighs 220.
PACKERS HAD PRIDE, DESIRE UNDER 'VINNIE' SAYS LINEBACKER DAN CURRIE
JANUARY 29 (Sheboygan) - Vince Lombardi is a "dedicated man." Such is the appraisal of the Green Bay Packers head master by one of his prize pupils - defensive linebacker Dan Currie. The former Michigan State All-Americans, with two seasons of rugged pro football under his belt, Thursday evening told the Sheboygan Knights of Columbus of the highly encouraging 1959 season in which the Pack won seven and lost five. "Sure, there was dissention on the Packer squad before Vinnie (that's what we call him) came to Green Bay. Very few fellows wanted to play for Green Bay because of the reputation - during recent years - of turning out football bums," Currie said. "But Vince Lombardi has changed all that. He has given Green Bay players the pride they lacked before and a burning desire for a championship year." Still, the big fellow was not critical of Ray (Scooter) McLean (Lombardi's predecessor). "Scooter's hands were tied," he explained. "He tried his best, but was a victim of circumstances." Currie hinted that much of Lombardi's first year success was due to the fact that he was the "big boss", not only on the playing field, but in the front office (general manager) as well. He cited Paul Hornung, the former Notre Dame ace, as an example of a Packer who finally came into his own with a brilliant 1959 season under the new regime. "Among other things, Lombardi gave Hornung a chance to put his great talents to the best use; gave him responsibility," Currie said. The 235-pound, 6-3 linebacker commented, too, on other Packers in answer to questions. Of Ron Kramer - "Although Ron got a bad break by having no physical training to mend his badly injured leg while in service, he's still a great competitor and not through with pro ball by a long shot." Of Emlen Tunnell - "Em's done a wonderful job as a defensive back. He's a student of the game and knows well the offensive pattern of all other teams." Quarterbacks Bart Starr and Lamar McHan - "McHan was our best quarterback during those early games. Then when he hurt his shoulder, Starr was studying and working hard in order to be able to take over. He did just that, and was the best by far at the end of the season." Asked about the Packer defensive unit, which contributed so much to the fine Green Bay season, Currie credited Phil Bengtson (defensive line coach) with much of the success. "He's a good one," the visitor remarked, adding that detailed study of defensive variations, hard training work on the field, more red-dogging and an all-around "pride in defense" made the unit click. Currie was high in his praise for Johnny Unitas (he's the best), Big Daddy Lipscomb (he just runs over you) and the rest of the champion Baltimore Colts, but feels their title days are near the end. "Those Colts, and particularly that tremendous line, aren't getting any younger, you know..." And, while there was one Bear fan in the audience - who wished the Pack a 10-2 season in 1960 - the big Bay athlete let it be known that his squad has every intention (plus the desire and personnel) to do ever better in the NFL, come next fall.
TWO MORE INK PACKER PAPERS FOR 1960 PLAY
FEBRUARY 3 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers built their roster to nine today with the signing of the 12th draft choice Harry Ball and 17th draft choice Joe Gomes. Ball stands 6-1, weighs 235 pounds and hails from Boston College. Gomes, a 200-pound halfback from South Carolina, also stands 6-1. The nine men are from a possible 15 eligibles. Other eligibles include Dale Hackbart, Wisconsin's big quarterback, who will maintain his amateur status to play baseball for the Badgers this spring.
FAN HURT AT COUNTY STADIUM SUES PACKERS
FEBRUARY 4 (Milwaukee) - The Green Bay Packers were sued for $5,000 Wednesday by a fan who claimed he was mauled by a group of youngsters chasing a football because the club did not provide enough ushers. Hyman Domnitz, 42, said he suffered chest and shoulder injuries in the scramble by 20 to 30 youths for the football behind the north goal. The incident occurred October 13 at a Packers-Los Angeles Rams game in County Stadium. The ball landed in Domnitz's lap, and he claimed in circuit court there should have been more ushers present to prevent the boys from climbing over him to get it.