Green Bay Packers (1-0) 14, Brooklyn Tigers (0-1) 7
Sunday September 17th 1944 (at Milwaukee)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(MILWAUKEE) - The Packers launched the 1944 NFL season with a moderate 14 to 7 victory over the Brooklyn Tigers at State Fair park here Sunday afternoon in a mid-summer heat that all but melted the players and also the 12,994 spectators. The victory was the eighth in a row over the Eastern division club. The combination of Don Hutson and Irv Comp accounted for the first Packer scoring thrust, a 23-yard pass play doing the trick two seconds before the end of the first quarter. Each team scored once in the third period. The Tigers got their single touchdown on a one-yard plunge by Pug Manders. Shortly after, Lou Brock rolled over from the 17-yard line after a blocked punt set up the chance. Hutson added the two extra points for Green Bay and Bruiser Kinard got the Brooklyn point after.
TOO MANY INFRACTIONS
Except for the three scoring jaunts, the battle was not particularly interesting from the spectator standpoint. Rules infractions, particularly by the Tigers, broke the league's all-time record. Then, too, the extreme hear wore the players down more than usual. The Packers showed a little more staying power and that was the margin. The toughness of the Tigers is shown in the statistics, particularly those dealing with penalties. The eastern eleven was handed a total of 22 for 168 yards to break two former all-time National league records for one game. The number called smashed the old mark of 16 on the Chicago Cardinals against the Packers Sept. 13, 1936, and the total yardage ruined the 150-yard record set by the Chicago Bears against the Cardinals Oct. 11, 1942. Green Bay was outgained on the ground, 116 yards to Brooklyn's 138, and also in the air with 95 tallied for the Packers and 130 for the Tigers. The net yardage gave Green Bay 211 against 258 for Brooklyn. In the passing department, rookie Ken Fryer of Brooklyn and Comp were almost even. Comp completed six of 16 for 81 yards, while the rookie from West Virginia completed seven of 17 for 80.
HUTSON ADDS TO MARKS
For Hutson, who was starting his 10th year in the professional circuit, the game meant adding to all the five all-time league records that he holds. These now include: 388 passes received for 6,370 yards, 84 touchdowns by passes, 87 touchdowns altogether, and 643 points. In addition, he has scored a point in the last 36 consecutive games and has an unfinished run of 54 consecutive points with a miss. The Tigers showed that they are the strengthened ball club they were supposed to be and they probably will give Eastern division teams something to fret about before the year is over. The Packers found the going tough against their strong first string line. The heat unquestionably kept both teams from performing at top speed throughout, something which the Packers will have to do against the Chicago Bears next Sunday. While the one-touchdown margin was not too large, it was sufficient to get Green Bay off on the right foot for the flag race in the Western division. And it also gave the coaches a chance to discover weaknesses and errors that can be ironed out this week. Disregarding everything else, it showed the ball club that they have a hard fight ahead of them if they want to rule the league.
PACKERS START DRIVE
The first Green Bay touchdown came after the Tigers had had only two chances to run the ball. Fryer, a halfback who carried almost the entire burden for Brooklyn during the first three quarters, got off a poor kick that went out of bounds on the Packers' 37-yard line. Comp and fullback Ted Fritsch alternated to ring up two first downs to the Brooklyn 39. The Packers picked up another first down on the 23, when Frank Martin's interception of Comp's pass was nullified because of the Tigers' unnecessary roughness. On the next play, Hutson went straight ahead and then to his right and snagged Comp's pass on the 12-yard line. He outdistanced two Tigers and was all along as he crossed the goal line. His extra point try was squarely between the goal posts to give Green Bay a 7 to 0 lead. The Tigers unwound in the third quarter, scoring the first time they had their hands on the ball on a drive that carried 43 yards. The scoring series developed after Green Bay received the second half kickoff, couldn't advance beyond their own 21, and then lost yardage on a punt that carried only 22 yards to the Tigers' 43.
FRYER FLIPS PASS
On first down, Fryer flipped a pass to Bob Masterson for another first down on the 27. Three line plays brought the ball to the 15 and another first down. Manders cracked the middle to the 8 1/2. After the play gained nothing, Green Bay put itself in a serious hole on the 3 1/2-yard line on an offside penalty. Manders then drove through right tackle for two and a half yards. On the next play, he went over. Kinard converted to tie it up. Green Bay started to come back after Fritsch has returned the kickoff from the 10 to the 31 of the Packers. After a line thrust and pass failed, Comp threw a beauty to Hutson, who grabbed it on the 42 for a first down. Comp gained three at end and then threw to Fritsch, who made a one-handed catch and bulled his way to the Tigers' 41. After three line plays failed to gain the necessary yardage for a first down, Sorenson attempted a field goal from Tigers' 47. Martin caught the ball in the end zone for a touchback to out the ball in play on the 20. The Tigers tried a pass and Fryer gained three. On third down, his attempted punt was blocked by end Joel Mason, who deflected it into the air.
CHARLEY BROCK HELPS
From out of the scramble, center Charley Brock grabbed the ball and returned it to the 17 from the 20. On first down, Lou Brock cut to his left and romped across aided by two beautiful blocks by Sorenson and one by Larry Craig. Hutson converted to end the scoring with two minutes of the third quarter remaining. As the game progressed, it was marked more and more by penalties. Late in the third period, one such cost the Packers a third touchdown. On the second play after the kickoff, Charley Brock intercepted Fryer's pass on the Brooklyn 20 and went over the goal. The play was nullified, however, when Green Bay was penalized for holding to the 36-yard line. The Tigers then kicked out of danger. The play in the fourth quarter slowed down to a walk, as the officials called frequent miscues and ejected several ball players from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct. The contest resolved itself into a punting duel with the exception of one sprint by Comp from the Green Bay 46 to the Tigers' 25, a 29-yard jaunt.
LOSE SCORING CHANCE
The Green Bay scoring chance was lost three plays later when Dub McGibbnony, who did a good job of sparing off Fryer for the Tigers, intercepted Comp's aerial on the 12 and returned it to the 29. Nine plays later, the game ended with Green Bay in possession on Brooklyn's 37-yard line. There were no other major scoring threats by either team.
BROOKLYN - 0 0 7 0 - 7
GREEN BAY - 7 0 0 7 - 14
1ST - GB - Don Hutson, 23-yard pass from Irv Comp (Hutson kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
3RD - BR - Pug Manders, 1-yard run (Bruiser Kinard kick) TIED 7-7
4TH - GB - Lou Brock, 17-yard run (Hutson kick) GREEN BAY 14-7
TIGERS TAKE CHANGE OF NAME TO HEART; SET NEW PENALTY RECORD
SEPT 18 (Milwaukee) - The Brooklyn Tigers apparently have taken their change of name seriously because from the start of Sunday's game against the Packers they clawed their way to the extent that the first record breaking performance of the 1944 NFL season was entered on the books. Coach Curly Lambeau predicted that the game would be rough, basing his belief on encounters against the eastern team during past seasons. It wasn't long after the opening whistle that the Tigers began to use some of the tactics that gave them the rather dubious distinction of being the most penalized (for one game) team in the history of the league. Besides setting a new record, the Tigers helped to slow the contest down to less than a walk, making it difficult for spectators to keep their interest in the proceedings. For a while in the last quarter, it got so that nobody knew whether an advance of the ball was for a penalty or actually by rushing. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Tigers got two penalties in a row, the first when center George Smith deliberately threw his helmet at an official and the second on pass interference when Don Hutson was all but pinned down. Smith, incidentally, was ousted from the game for his wild pitch. Altogether, 31 penalties were passed out for a total of 252 yards...TIGERS ARE DISHEARTENED: The Tigers were high for the game. Coach Pete Cawthon, now in his second year as head mentor, has been pitching the team for the battle in hopes that they could post their first victory in eight league contests against the Packers and also to give them a head start in the Eastern division race. Although he was disappointed, he feels that the Tigers should do better than last year when they wound up in last place. The reserves are weak but the first string will hold its own with any Eastern half eleven this season...KICKOFF RULE INVOKED: Spectators had their first chance to find out how the new kickoff rule works. The Tigers drew two five-yard setbacks on the kicks succeeding their touchdown. The rule provided for the penalty when the ball goes out of bounds. On the other hand, Ted Fritsch and Glenn Sorenson handled the booting duties for the Packers very well. Both got kicks right down the middle and into the end zone. After the first Packer touchdown, Sorenson's towering kickoff was over the goal posts...WRAPPING NOTE: Before the Packers even step on the field, trainer Bud Jorgenson and his assistant, Gus Seaburg, tape them up to prevent injuries or to strengthen weak spots. The minimum amount of tape used is 550 yards, or slightly less than a quarter of a mile of the sticky stuff. Either one-inch or two-inch tape is used...PACKERS CHANGE BENCHES: The Packers went from the home team side of the field to the opponents' bench during the second half but not because there is a league rule to that effect, as many people thought. League rules provide, however, that two telephones must be available for coach-to-bench instructions from the stands. Only one was installed in the fair park press box booth. Consequently, Coach Lambeau used it in the first half and Brooklyn had it in the second half. The bench telephone was on the home team side so the Packers had to shift positions...EX-PLAYERS ATTEND TILT: Ex-Packer players who attended the game included Dr. Clem Neacy, an end in the early 1920's, Frank Balasz and Chet Adams. Neacy, a Navy doctor now, and Balasz, who is in the Marines, recently returned from the Pacific theater while Adams, an Army man, used a weekend pass to come from Battle Creek, Mich. Balasz, who had 29 months of service and a flock of battles, is recovering from malaria and is anxious to return to the gridiron...PLENTY OF COVERAGE: Coverage of the game was the most complete since the championship playoff in the same park in 1939, the last title year for the Packers. Fourteen special wires to newspaper offices were used, including five to New York papers and one to Brooklyn. The eastern scribes have been with the club since it started training early in August. Incidentally, the ball players admit they will be anxious to get home. Pug Manders, veteran fullback, said it was fun for a while, but not anymore...LEAGUE OFFICIALS PRESENT: League officials who attended the game included Commissioner Elmer Layden and Publicity Director George Strickler. The latter has added several new wrinkles to the official statistics sheets, requiring almost a special staff to handle all the details. This year the statisticians will not only file an official tally with league headquarters but also will provide a play-by-play account in book form. Purpose of this is to provide a more accurate check in case some of the statistics are questioned, Strickler says...NAMED IN MAGAZINE: Two men who have connected with the Packers since their start 26 years ago received acclaim in the "Pro Football Illustrated" magazine published Saturday. They are Coach Curly Lambeau, dean of the league coaches, and G.W. Calhoun, who has handled publicity for the ball club since the "hat passing" says. The magazine also carries a story by Calhoun, who traced the history of the Packers from their start down to the present time. A flock of good action pictures of the Packers are used in the publication, which has nationwide circulation...Tackle Paul Berezney, who finally arrived from the west coast, showed the Bays coaching staff that he had burned the midnight oil studying the plays. Quizzed about his assignments, he passed the examination 100 percent...FIVE BLOCKED KICKS: Although kicks blocked in the exhibition games don't count, the Packers' total to date stands at five, testifying to the fact that Line Coach George Trafton has the boys charging hard. The blocked punt Sunday led to the Packers' second touchdown...The victory over the Tigers was the 215th in Green Bay history...Big surprise of the game was the play of rookie halfback Ken Fryer of West Virginia. He does practically all the passing, kicking and running for the Tigers...Two members of the eastern team played football with Don Hutson's brother at Pine Bluff, Ark., and three others were his teammates at Alabama...Ray Johnson, sports editor of the Nashville Tennessean, was present and liked the game so much he made reservations for next Sunday's battle against the Bears.
PACKERS UNIMPRESSIVE; PENALTIES SPOIL GAME
SEPT 18 (Milwaukee Journal) - A good many spectators went away from State Fair park Sunday disappointed in the pro football game and disappointed in the Green Bay Packers. The heat had something to do with this. Football players, particularly weighty veterans in pro ball, cannot be expected to put up an A-1 brand of play on a hot day, particularly early in the season. Snappy football and snappy weather go together. The Packers undoubtedly will improve, but they will have to improve greatly to be a real contender in the National league race. The Bays' running game was unimpressive Sunday. It had flashes of class but was not at all consistent. At times, the backs did not seem to have any idea of where they were going. The forward passing game did not look good enough to take up the slack, either. Without Don Hutson, it would have been pitiable. Hutson, however, is only half of a passing combination. The other half was woefully lacking Sunday. Irv Comp's record indicates that he is a good passer and a good running back, but he was neither against Brooklyn. Pregame reports were that he was overweight and he looked it Sunday. Most of the time, he ran as if he was overweight and he looked it Sunday. Back to pass, he could not elude rushers. This was due partly to poor protection but partly to his own poor maneuvering. And his passing was atrocious. Hutson never had a chance at many of the passes. The game itself was spoiled by too many penalties. Brooklyn set a league record with 21, and nine were called on the Packers. The game was halted for penalties on 30 of some 160 plays. The officials were not at fault. Brooklyn started out to spoil the Bays' passing game by roughing the passer. Comp took a beating back there and the officials had to stop it. The Tigers resented these penalties and drew others. A pro game is more than a contest. It is entertainment which depends for its existence on patronage. A game full of penalties is poor entertainment. The players certainly should know the rules and should obey them much better than these two teams did Sunday.
NEW TRANS-AMERICA GRID LEAGUE FORMED
SEPT 18 (New York) - Plans for a new professional football circuit, to be known as the Trans-America Football league, were announced today after an organization meeting attended by representatives of six cities. John F. (Chick) Meehan, former Syracuse, New York university and Manhattan coach, is president of the league, which will not start competition until after the war. Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia were admitted to the league today while applications for franchises are being considered by groups from Boston and Miami. Only Houston and Miami were not represented at today's meeting. Meehan said the applications for the use of principal stadia in each city had been made and that in several cases the use of the stadia had been assured. Counting heavily on air travel to support an "intersectional" grouping. Meehan explained that potential scheduled has been worked out with the aid of airlines. He refused to say whether the circuit would respect NFL contracts although he indicated that the clubs would bid freely for players listed in the National league's draft. Other league officers are Harry Joe Brown, Los Angeles movie producer, vice president; John (Ox) Da Grosa, now a Holy Cross coach, secretary, and J. Basil Maguire of New York, treasurer.
RAY NOLTING LOST TO BEARS SUNDAY
SEPT 19 (Chicago) - The Chicago Bears' hopes for a victory over the Green Bay Packers at Green Bay Sunday received a heavy jolt Monday when it was learned that Ray Nolting, veteran halfback, had suffered a broken bone in his leg in Sunday's 20-10 victory over the New York Giants in an exhibition. It also remained in doubtful whether Ray McLean, who pulled a muscle in the all-star game August 30 and who has been on the sidelines since, would be able to play at top speed.
PACKERS, HAVING FOUND THEIR HANDS, MAY SURPRISE BEARS
SEPT 19 (Chicago) - Mr. George Trafton, speculatively thrust out two long, bony hands, then chuckled: "You know, those Bears are going to be in for a surprise Sunday." It was evident that large George was referring to an engagement the defending NFL champions have in Green Bay and that his hands had something to do with it. At the time George had his huge body comfortably parked in one of the several chairs which line the lobby of the Northland hotel, which, on those afternoons the Bears and Packers play each year, becomes the temporary capital of professional football...LINEMEN GIVE HIM SURPRISE: "To put it mildly, I was surprised when I watched the Packers linemen in action a few weeks ago," confessed Trafton, who played 12 seasons at center in the Bears' pioneer days, and now is the new line coach of Curly Lambeau's Packers. "Actually," said George, in a voice that showed a narrow triumph over disbelief, "these big Packer linemen were just a group of billy goats. As far as they were concerned, their big hands were just something to use in downing a meal. They might as well have had their hands tied in back of 'em for all the good they were doing."...DISCOVER NEW USE FOR HANDS: Then - thrusting out both of his brawny arms - "I taught 'em that these were weapons to use in a football game. Imagine this - Baby Ray, 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 250 pounds - four years with Tennessee, six seasons with the Packers - was depending solely on shoulder blocks. I gave him a few pointers on use of his hands. Came the exhibition game with Boston and the Baby tore through there, blocked a punt, picked up the ball, and stepped over for a touchdown." "And what do you think Ray said?" " ' This is fun!' " he exclaimed to Trafton. The idea of using the hands as a potent weapon has spread to the linemen, and when the Bears go up against the Packers Sunday they will not be long in noticing that something drastic has happened to those gents in the forward wall. This year Packer linemen have blocked five punts, in other years normal production for an entire season. Football observers, in recent years, have said the Bears beat the Packers because of superior team spirit and an additional oomph in the line. If the Packers beat the Bears Sunday - their last victory over their Chicago rival was in November of 1941 - maybe Trafton will get some credit.
PACKERS START PRACTICE FOR TILT WITH ARCH-RIVALS FROM CHICAGO
SEPT 19 (Green Bay) - Refreshed after a day's layoff, the Packers began today to prepare for their game Sunday at City stadium against their arch-rivals, the Chicago Bears, defending world's champions, and the difference between a title and no-title to the Green Bay eleven during their last four NFL campaigns. The game will be the Bears' first in league competition this year while the Packers will be seeking their second victory. As in other seasons, the outcome of the contest could very well determine far in advance of the season's choice which team will hold the top rung in the Western division. It has usually happened in the past that the team holding the advantage in victories in this intra-division series has also had the margin at the end of the season. It occurred during 1943 even though the Bears won only one game while the other was a tie...BEARS ARE STRONG: Coach Curly Lambeau, satisfied that his ball club won over a rough, tough Brooklyn team last Sunday, has no illusions about the strength of the Bears even though they have lost what most people like to call their ball club, quarterback Sid Luckman. A good indication of what Co-Coaches Hunk Anderson and Luke Johnson have cooked up was given in the 20 to 10 victory the Bruins scored over the New York Giants in Sunday's exhibition. Half a dozen or so faulty spots in Green Bay's play against the Tigers will have to be eradicated before Sunday. The process started this morning although the Tuesday after the game is usually given over to a strenuous running session to get kinks out of the players' muscles. Lambeau summed up this week's practice schedule thus: "We have many faults to correct if we want to beat the Bears." Extra work is to be devoted to deception and timing, especially in the passing attack, where the Packers were outgained by the Tigers. Blocking was also spotty although on several occasions Packers slammed Brooklyn would be tacklers aside like so many sacks of flour. In the Bear game, the blocking will have to be sharp and sustained because letdowns against the Bruins usually mean disaster...TIGERS WERE ROUGH: Although Brooklyn came up with the roughest tactics ever seen in the league, speaking statistically and otherwise, the Packers were fortunate in that none of them was seriously hurt. With the sort of rules infractions committed by the Tigers, the local team was lucky to escape with only the bumps and bruises, sore optics and noses that did result. At least partial blame for the infractions could be laid to the officials for letting the game get out of hand. With the lid of secrecy clamped on, a tradition before the Bear game because they turn every wisp of information about the Packers to their advantage, practice sessions this week will be carried on behind closed gates. Suffice it say that comparatively long drills are scheduled Wednesday and Thursday with tapering off the last two days before the contest. One double session may be held...NO SELLOUT YET: Approximately 5,000 seats remain on hand for the battle, ticket headquarters reports, scotching rumors that a sellout is already a reality. The ticket office in the American Legion building will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day this week and tickets will be issued on a first come, first served basis. The game here in 1943 drew 23,675 paying customers.
BALAZS DESCRIBES GRID GAME INTERRUPTED BY JAP SHELLING
SEPT 19 (Green Bay) - A football game interrupted by Japanese shelling was described by Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Balazs, 26, former Iowa university, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cardinals fullback, upon his return from the Southwest Pacific. "Between air raids, members of our aviation squadron started a football game on Bougainville's airstrip, located just a few hundred yards behind the front lines," said the husky Leatherneck, who saw the Packers play Brooklyn in Milwaukee Sunday. "Capt. Ernie Nevers, our commanding officer and former Stanford All-American, organized the teams and played himself. It was great fun - that is until the Japs lobbed over some shells and sent us diving for the foxholes."...HAS PRESIDENTIAL CITATION: Staff Sgt. Balasz wears the Presidential Citation ribbon for his service in the Solomon Islands. He was attached to the forwards ground echelon of the "Rockettes", a torpedo bomber squadron. His squadron also was commanded by Adm. William F. Halsey. While stationed at Munda, Balazs was a member of the famed "Wake Avengers", a fighter squadron which shot down 71 Jap Zeros in the Northern Solomons and New Britain areas. Beginning his gridiron career at Chicago's Lane Tech High school, where he earned All-State and All-City honors, he later gained prominence in the Big Ten with the Iowa Hawkeyes. He played with the Chicago All-Star team in 1939 and then with the Green Bay Packers for three season, winding up his pre-way football playing with the Chicago Cardinals...ENLISTED IN 1942: He enlisted in the Marine corps in March, 1942, and later was graduated from a Marine radio school at Texas A. and M., prior to his overseas assignment. "If the war doesn't last too long," he said. "I intend to resume professional football playing." His mother, Mrs. Steve Balazs, lives at 2814 Broadway, Chicago, Ill.
BOSTON RECRUIT MET DON HUTSON BEFORE KICKOFF
SEPT 19 (New York) - This story trickled back from the recent Packers-Boston Yanks exhibition in Buffalo. The morning of the game, Frank Santora, 17-year old Yank quarterback fresh out of Garfield, N.J. high school, was telling a stranger in the hotel lobby about his football skill. Santora had just disposed of George Cafego as a Yank "regular" when another "stranger", Big Buford Ray, Green Bay tackle, came along and asked: "Going to breakfast, Don?" Santora stared and gulped as he began to recognize his listener then finally blurted: "Gosh, you couldn't be - you couldn't be - Don Hutson, could you?" Hutson admitted his identity and all Frank could say was, "Gee whiz, Mr. Hutson, I sure am glad to know you." He probably found that the only time folks in that league are glad to know Don is off the field.
BEARS IN FORM FOR GREEN BAY? HEAR 'EM MOAN!
SEPT 20 (Collegeville, IN) - The Chicago Bears today went into their pre-Green Bay mournful period in contemplating Sunday's game against the Packers in the Wisconsin town. "We'll need all the breaks - and then we'll be lucky to win," said the chief mourner, Co-Coach Luke Johnsos, while his associated nodded grim ascent. "You just can't hope to win with a lot of freshmen in the lineup. We'll have to start an almost all-rookie backfield and that's no good when you add up all the veterans Curly Lambeau has at his command."...With Ray Nolting, regular left half, out for at least a month, and the physical condition of Ray McLean, the No. 1 right half, doubtful, added burden is being placed on the backs. Henry Magarita probably will start at left half and it will either be Al Grygo or sophomore Doug McNulty at right half. Johnny Long, Sid Luckman's successor at quarterback, will start, as will fullback Gary Famiglietti. Nolting suffered a broken leg in a crackup with two New York Giants at Buffalo Sunday while fielding a pass...Tom Roberts, 215 pound tackle obtained from the New York Giants in a trade for Bill Petrilas, end and halfback, has joined the Bears.
SECRECY SHROUDS PACKER PRACTICE FOR SUNDAY FRACAS AGAINST BEARS
SEPT 20 (Green Bay) - A secrecy similar to that imposed by the military before a big battle shrouded the preparations of the Packers for the 51st NFL battle against the Chicago Bears at City stadium Sunday. Despite the lack of details, a communique from the headquarters of Coach Curly Lambeau today said a great deal. "We will have to be much better if we want to win the ball game," was the official text of the message from the Bay coach as he went through a pile of charts and graphs that indicated to him just how much power the Bears can be expected to have when they come to the city for their annual setup of the Packers. The Bears now have two exhibition games against league opposition out of the way. The first they lost to Washington by a 21 to 7 score and the second they won over the New York Giants by 20 to 10, coming from behind in the last quarter. Using an old subterfuge, the Bruins laid low until that final period in New York...TURN ON HEAT: However, when they turned on the heat the Giants' defense melted as into nothing and the fans saw a semblance of the power which lifted the Chicago eleven to the world football championship in 1943. The potency of their attack is not a thing of the past as some observers would like to have Green Bay fans believe, making them a little overconfident. You can paste a note in your hat that the Bears are still tough. The loss of such men as Sid Luckman, Harry Clark and Bill Osmanski in the backfield and of the veteran guard Danny Fortmann, Jim Benton and Bronko Nagurski, who did both forward all and backfield duty for the Bears last year, naturally reduce their power somewhat but plenty of other veterans are on hand. Now practicing at Collegeville, Ind., the Bears did sustain a serious loss when it was discovered that left halfback Ray Nolting had broken his leg against the Giants and would be shelved for a month. This probably will cause the Bruins to be even more fired up for Sunday's game...RONZANI ON SQUAD: To fill the gap by Nolting's injury, the Bears are expected to have Ray (Scooter) McLean ready. Now in his fifth season in pro ball, McLean has been out with an injury and did not play in any of the exhibition games in the east. Handling the other backfield assignments will be Gene Ronzani, who returned this year after several years off, Doug McNulty and Gary Famiglietti. The forward wall is manned by such veterans as George Musso, shifted from tackle to guard for his 12th season with the Bears, Bulldog Turner, center, George Wilson at end and Al Hoptowit at tackle. In all, the Bears have 14 hands who have appeared against the Packers in previous contests. Lambeau is concerned about the condition of the players because he knows that they must be in top shape if they want to stand up against the battering flung their way for 60 minutes Sunday afternoon. The coach is praying for fair weather so that the heavy work schedule can be carried out without change...SEE GAME PICTURES: The first of several squad meetings was held Tuesday afternoon and this morning this team was to see pictures of the game last Sunday against the Brooklyn Tigers. They had been told about the mistakes made in the contest and this morning they actually saw them and should profit accordingly, especially since there will be the practice sessions to help along.
GRID PROMOTERS TRYING TO LAND YANKEES' PARK
SEPT 20 (New York) - Any pro football league that can get control of the Yankee stadium and the Los Angeles coliseum will have the upper hand in the furious postwar competition that is likely to take place. So far three leagues are proposed - the All-American conference, the Trans-America league and the United States league - besides the established National league. They're all planning to invade New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles, which also figures in the National's postwar plans beside having three or four clubs in existing coast circuits. In the key cities only those two fields would fill the major league bill. The All-American conference, through Mrs. Lou Gehrig, figures to have an "in" at Yankee stadium, and so does the Trans-America loop, which awarded a New York franchise to J. Basil Maguire, whose wife is one of the Rupper heiresses. The Los Angeles coliseum is city-owned, but is controlled by the colleges that play their big games there and so far they've turned a very chilly shoulder toward all propositions.
PACKERS, BEARS TO PLAY 51ST GAME IN PRO FOOTBALL'S OLDEST RIVALRY
SEPT 21 (Green Bay) - Ever since the Packers and the Chicago Bears began their famous NFL series back in 1921, the annual contests have been marked by nothing if not bitter rivalry producing the kind of football which brought increasing crowds to City stadium or the home park of the Chicago eleven. Next Sunday's contest between the two teams can be expected to add another brilliant chapter to the story of the oldest series in the professional game. Pregame interest, somewhat lethargic up to midweek, has begun to rise and before the kickoff whistle at 2 p.m. will have zoomed up to the bursting point. The battle will be the 51st regular league contest between the teams and it highlights the circuit's second week of operation for this 1944 season. Only one other game is scheduled. The Cleveland Rams will travel to Pittsburgh to meet the combined Chicago Cardinals-Pittsburgh Steelers...PACKERS AFTER NO. 20: Should the Packers win their 20th game in the series and their first on the home grounds since 1939, they will have a head start of two games on the defending Western division title holders and world champions. A defeat would seriously hurt their pennant chances since the Bears have the faculty of getting stronger as the season progresses. The series record gives the Packers 19 victories and 26 losses. Five were ties. A look at the Green Bay schedule shows successive contests against Detroit, Card-Pitts, Cleveland and Detroit again before they move into Chicago Nov. 5 for their second tangle with the Bears. While the other elevens are strong, the Packers must get past the Bears if they want to strengthen their chances for the flag. This has been the case in previous years. There is no reason to believe it won't happen again. Coach Curly Lambeau sent his team through a long offensive drill Wednesday morning and followed it with a workout on defense against Bear plays in the afternoon. He emphasized that the Bruins need only a very small opening to unleash the scoring power than has been the scourge of the league in the last several years. While the workouts are going on, spectators are not welcome because it is conceivable that among the apparently innocent onlookers there could be a gentleman or two with leanings toward the Bears. To eliminate this chance, Lambeau has clamped the lid on and is working the team in secret. Besides the drills at the field, skull sessions are being held inside...TICKETS GOING FAST: A crowd of well over 20,000 will be on hand to see the game, it was indicated today, when Ticket Director Ralph C. Smith said that only 2,000 tickets remain to be sold. The ticket office in the American Legion building has been swamped with requests for pasteboards. They are being sold on a first come, first serve basis. If the demand continues, last year's attendance of close to 24,000 should be equaled. Meanwhile, the Bears were also in secret sessions at St. Joseph's college in Collegeville, Ind., a quiet little hamlet 80 miles from Chicago. They will wind up their drills there Friday, go into Chicago that night and arrive here late Saturday afternoon. Reports from the Bear camp are filled with "bear" stories, if a pun may be used. Co-Coach Luke Johnsos said, "We'll need all the breaks - and then we'll be lucky to win," thereby setting a new record for consecutive years in which he has used the same quotation from his little black book. His associates nodded agreement, the while they watched the veterans and rookies plan assorted mayhem on the Packers...TEAM RECORDS EVEN: Records of the two teams to date indicate that the outfit with the most stamina and spirit should win. The Packers lost to the Washington Redskins, 20 to 7, and the Bears were defeated, 21 to 7. Green Bay won over Boston, 28 to 0, and the Bears beat a better New York Giants team, 21 to 0. Opening the league season, the Packers defeated Brooklyn, 14 to 7. In the annual All-Star game, their first of the year, the Chicago team won, 24 to 21.
LUCKMAN - THE WHISPERS PERSIST THAT HE WILL PLAY WITH BEARS SUNDAY
SEPT 21 (Milwaukee Journal) - The whispers persist that Sid Luckman, an ensign in the merchant marine, will be with the Bears Sunday when they line up against the Packers at Green Bay. In fact, Thursday they grew louder than ever when the same sources that wanted to bet he would play against the College All-Stars, long before announcement of this was made, wanted to bet again that he would be in the lineup this week. The odds on the game immediately changed. The Packers, favorites from the beginning, were no better than even money Thursday. The case of Ben Paschal of the Giants was mentioned as the precedent Luckman may follow. Paschal, also in the merchant marine, took advantage of a 48 hour furlough last Sunday to play with the New York Giants against the Bears in Buffalo. The league has no rule to govern such cases. It well might have, though...The Bears now hold a seven-game edge in their all-time rivalry with the Packers. They have won 26 games, lost 19 and have scored 632 points against 499. Green Bay scored its last victory in 1941, winning in Chicago, 16-14.
GOLDENBERG IS SIGNED
SEPT 22 (Green Bay) - Charles (Buckets) Goldenberg, a veteran of 11 seasons play with the Packers, today had come out of voluntary retirement to join the team for his 12th season, according to an announcement by Coach Curly Lambeau. The surprise announcement gave the Packers a definite edge in the psychological warfare being waged before the Green Bay eleven's annual battle against the Chicago Bears at City stadium Sunday. The return of Goldenberg, a Milwaukee restaurant owner and field captain for the Packers for several seasons, occurred so rapidly that it left the coach wondering just how it happened. During a phone conversation with Lambeau, Goldenberg asked him how things were going for Sunday's 51st game against the Bears. He told Lambeau he would report for practice if the Bay coach felt it could help the team. The result was that the veteran linesman rejoined the team speedily, coming up from Milwaukee in time to get in a few licks during Thursday afternoon's long defensive drill against Bear plays. He is 32 years old, weighs 220 pounds and is five feet 10 inches tall. He started out with the Packers as a backfielder and then was shifted to guard. As a ball carrier, he scored 10 touchdowns...FIVE VETERAN GUARDS: Addition of Buckets to the squad brings the guard list to five veterans and one rookie. His experience will come in handy against the Bears, who are bemoaning the fact that the Packers have it over them in veteran material. Announcing the return of Goldenberg, Lambeau also said it is possible that a veteran halfback may join the team next week. He did not announce the name. The second day of double drills Thursday brought the team to the end of its strenuous pregame preparations although workouts were scheduled today and Saturday. Indicating that no tomfoolery is being tolerated, the coach said each mistake made in a skull session on assignments Thursday night cost the the players who made them $5 each. The team also had a look at motion pictures of previous games last night. The potential strength of the Bears was reduced somewhat when it was revealed that halfback Roy Dale McKay, who sustained a leg injury on the eastern exhibition tour, would not be in uniform. The injury is not entirely healed and it was felt that no chances should be taken to aggravate the hurt. This, in effect, matches the loss of halfback Ray Nolting to the Bears. Nolting broke his leg last Sunday against the New York Giants...THREE PASSERS AVAILABLE: With McKay out, the Packers will have to rely on the passing of Irv Comp, rookie Paul Duhart, who saw considerable service against the Brooklyn Tigers last Sunday, and veteran Lou Brock, who scored the game-winning touchdown deep in the third quarter of the Milwaukee game. The Bears, one of the most formidable teams in the league with passes when Sid Luckman was around to thrown them, are beginning to admit that a rookie, Johnny Long, is improving steadily in his tough assignment as Luckman's successor. Long, a six footer, played at Colgate university and will start against the Packers, the Bear coaches have announced. Against the Giants, the Bears threw only eight passes, a new low for them in recent seasons. The joker in that, however, is that however, is that five were completed, two of them for
touchdowns. Long pitched one of them for three yards, and the veteran, Gene Ronzani, tossed the other. The potency of Long's arm is indicated in the figures on one 45-yard touchdown march. He passed on three of the four plays leading to score for 18, 23 and nine yards in succession. Principal catching was done by the veteran ends, George Wilson and Connie Berry. The Packers are pushing defensive work to be keyed on for such a setup. From the Bear camp came word that the other starters in the backfield, besides Long, will probably be Henry Magarita at left, eight Al Grygo or sophomore Doug McNulty at right and Gary Famiglietti at full. Ray McLean, the No. 1 right half, is reportedly injured and won't see much action against Green Bay.
LT. PANNELL GETS CITATION
SEPT 23 (Green Bay) - Lt. (jg) Ernie Pannell, former Packer player, has not only distinguished himself in combat against Japanese forces as commander of a motor torpedo boat but has directed the rescue of a companion craft and all of its crew while under heavy fire from the enemy, the commanders of the Allied naval forces in the Southwest Pacific announced. The citation was given by Adm. T.C. Kinkaid, the commander who also announced that Pannell had been given the Silver Star medal as a result of his action. The former Green Bay gridder played with the club in 1941 after starring with the Texas A. and M. team for two years. He scored one touchdown for the Packers.
PACKERS, BEARS TO TANGLE SUNDAY IN CITY STADIUM
SEPT 23 (Green Bay) - Green Bay will become the professional football capital of the world Sunday when the Packers and the Chicago Bears tangle in the 51st renewal of their classic series started in 1921, first year of the NFL. The kickoff is scheduled for 2 o'clock, and a sellout crowd of 25,000 is expected. The game will be the second for the Packers in league competition and the first for the Chicago eleven. A victory for Green Bay would mean a full two-game head start for them in the race for the Western division pennant. The Bears, on the other hand, will leave nothing undone to secure the margin and their first defense of their divisional title. This became more apparent than ever late Friday night when it was announced in Chicago that Ens. Sid Luckman had signed a contract and will play Sunday. Luckman, now stationed at Sheepshead, N.Y., maritime base, obtained permission to play from his commanding officer. He entered the service after the championship playoff in Chicago last year, when it was believed he would not be available this season...SIGNS FULL CONTRACT: Acting President Ralph Brizzolara of the Bears said that the veteran quarterback, rated as the sparkplug of the team in its pennant drive, has signed a contract for the full 1944 season and that his playing time will be during his regular weekend leaves, until such time as he is called for sea duty. Luckman also played
with the Bears against the College All-Stars. It had been rumored that Luckman would play but Friday night's announcement was the first definite word that he had been signed and could play on weekends. The announcement took Coach Curly Lambeau by surprise. The Packer coach said only, "I wish I had Tony Canadeo." The latter is in the Army. Both elevens have been working in secret this week. The Packers came up with an important announcement of their own Friday, when it was revealed that the front line corps had been strengthened with the return of veteran guard, Buckets Goldenberg. The only information given out previously by the Bear coaches was that halfback Ray Nolting had broken a leg and would be unavailable...EXPECT CLASSIC BATTLE: Regardless of the secrecy imposed by both coaching staffs, the game is sure to be another of the dog-eat-dog affairs that have annually made the game one of the most outstanding in the circuit. Both clubs have veterans aplenty although the Packers must be conceded the edge in this department with 22 against 15 for the Bruins. Both also have strong running and passing games and personnel to engineer them. For the Packers a victory would mean more than just a start toward the divisional flag. It would be their first victory against the Bears in City stadium since 1939, when they won by a 21 to 16 margin and then went on to take the pro league title. In the historical series, the Bays have won 19 of the battles, lost 26 and five ended in stalemates. The Packers have scored 499 points against 632 for the Bears, who last lost to Green Bay in 1941 by 16-14. Interest in the game has zoomed, as predicted earlier this week, and the staff at the ticket headquarters in the American Legion building has been rushed to handle customers. Less than 1,000 seats remained to be had at an early hour today and it was expected that most of them would be gone before 9 tonight, when the office closes...GAME IS TOSS-UP: On the basis of exhibition contests, the result is a tossup. This is further emphasized by the fact that, against the Washington Redskins, the Packers lost by a 20 to 7 margin while the Bears were toppled by 21 to 7. In two other preseason appearances, Green Bay won over Sampson's Bluejackets and the new Boston Yanks. The Bears showed their power last Sunday by winning, 20-10, over the New York Giants while the Packers were defeating Brooklyn in a league game, 14 to 7. The battle will once more pit the basic Notre Dame system the Packers use against the highly-touted T formation. Coach Lambeau has stressed defense in workouts this week. A final drill on signals was held this morning. Backfield cripples have finally come around and some of the timing, missed throughout the week, began to show up. To bolster the fullback spot, manned by two veterans, Lambeau has shifted Ben Starrett, veteran blocking back, to that position. Starrett has looked good in workouts and probably will be used there against the Bears. There were no other changes to report today as the team tapered off to await the kickoff whistle. The Bears wound up their workouts at Collegeville, Ind., Friday and will arrive here at 4:45 today on the Milwaukee road...PACKER VETERANS START: The probable starting lineup for the Packers includes 11 veterans. In the forward wall will be Don Hutson and Harry Jacunski, ends, Baby Ray and Paul Berezney, tackle, Bill Kuusisto and Pete Tinsley, guards, and Charley Brock, center. The backfield will have Irv Comp and Lou Brock at halfbacks, Ted Fritsch at full and Larry Craig at the blocking back spot. Others expected to see service include linemen Joel Mason, Goldenberg, Ray Wheba, Mike Bucchanieri, Bob Flowers, Ade Schwammel, Glen Sorenson and backs Paul Duhart, Joe Laws and Don Perkins. Against this array, the Bears will start eight veterans and three roookies, one of them in the backfield and two in the line. The Chicago coaches said they would rely on a ball carrying corps of Luckman at quarter, Gary Famiglietti at fullback, Doug McNulty and Henry Magarita at the halves. Margarits is a freshman. A probable change to strengthen the backfield would have Ray (Scooter) McLean at right half in place of Margarita. The forward wall starters will include Rudy Smeja and George Wilson, ends, Al Hoptowit and Dom Sigillo, tackles, Pete Gadauskas and George Zorich, guards, and Clyde (Bulldog) Turner, center. Smeja and Zorich are rookies. Replacements in the line include Connie Mack Berry, Abe Croft, an end who reportedly has great pass snatching ability, Al Barbatsky, George Musso, now in his 12th season to match the experience of the Packers' Goldenberg at guard, and Fred Mundee.
BEARS SIGN LUCKMAN FOR FULL SEASON
SEPT 23 (Chicago) - Sid Luckman, veteran quarterback who, probably more than any other man, is responsible for putting T.N.T. in the Chicago Bears' T formation, has signed a Bears contract for the full 1944 season, and there is a possibility that he will remain with the NFL champions throughout the campaign, Ralph Brizzolara, business manager of the Bears, announced last night. Luckman is to report to the Bears in Chicago this morning and will play for the champions against the Packers in Green Bay, Wis., tomorrow...GRANTED INDEFINITE LEAVE: Luckman, an ensign in the merchant marine who has been stations at Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., has been grated a leave of indefinite duration by his commanding officer, according to Brizzolara, and will remain with the Bears until called for sea duty. "This call may come soon, and again there is a possibility that Luckman will be with us for the entire season," the Bears' business manager said. "It is virtually certain that Sid will be with us for at least several games." Before facing the Packers, Luckman must be qualified by the National league and registered within the time limit, which for tomorrow's game is midnight tonight, but the eligibility requirements are mere formalities which the Bears will not fail to meet...CHANGE BATTLE PLANS: When the Bears arrived in Chicago last night from their Indiana conditioning grounds, it was with the intention of stressing a running game against the Packers. The signing of Luckman not only necessitated a quick change in battle strategy, but brought welcome relief to a backfield riddled by the loss of Ray Nolting (broken leg) and doubt over Ray McLean's condition. Green Bay is in a predicament in which the Bears found themselves before the return of Luckman. They have been unable to obtain a reasonable facsimile of their departed passer, Cecil Isbell. They are expected to stress a running game, with Irv Comp, Lou Brock and rookie Paul Duhart hurling such passes as are thrown, and fullback Ted Fritsch leading the ground attack. The Bears are to leave for Green Bay today.
BEARS AND LUCKMAN PICKED OVER BAYS
SEPT 24 (Green Bay) - Curly Lambeau and his Packers were at the point of explosion Saturday night as they awaited the whistle that will send them against the Chicago Bears here Sunday afternoon before a capacity crowd of 24,000. The mere presence of the Bears is enough in itself at any time to excite the town and the team. The presence of Sid Luckman, an ensign in the merchant marine, who obtained leave to be with his team and who flew west from New York Saturday, has now increased the feeling to a pitch not often reached. It was not so much that Luckman had rejoined the Bears a day before what is always one of the crucial games of the season. It was rather the way in which both the Bears and the league, which means Commissioner Elmer Layden, handled the whole matter. It was very reminiscent of the old catch as catch days of pro football in which anything went. The feeling was that Layden, as commissioner, had failed to take cognizance of the whispers which for two weeks persisted that Luckman would fly west to play in the game, and that the Bears, apparently knowing for some time that Luckman would be with them, withheld announcement until a day before the game. With Luckman in the lineup, the Bears immediately became the favorites. His quarterbacking, passing and kicking all commanded the utmost respect. His quarterbacking, in fact, was certain to give the Bears a lift where, off their showing in exhibitions, they needed one most. Green Bay, however, had their own ideas about the game. They felt that they weren't originally picked to be the best team in the west without reason, and that they can win whether or not the Bears have Luckman or not. Like the town itself, they were all steamed up over the Luckman case. Neither team will enter the game in the best of shape. The Bears, who have been training at Collegeville, Ind., will be without the services of Ray
Nolting, veteran halfback, who suffered a broken bone in his leg in the exhibition against the Giants last week. The Packers will have to get along without Roy McKay, perhaps the best tailback on the squad. McKay also has a bad leg. All other Packer cripples - and there were several of them after the bruising Brooklyn game last week - will be ready to start, however, including Pete Tinsley, Glen Sorenson and Cy Perkins, the most seriously injured. Ray McLean, shifty halfback, who has seen no action since the All-Star game because of a pulled muscle, will also be ready to open for the Bears. Green Bay's chief hopes again rested on its various passing combinations, with Irv Comp in the leading passing role and the one and only Don Hutson in the principal catching role. "Comp holds the key for us," Lambeau said, "because besides his passing, he will probably do most of our running. If he should have a big day, the Bears may not know what hit them - even with Luckman." The Bears, almost cocky with Luckman in their midst, arrived in Green Bay last Saturday afternoon. Sunday's game will start at 2 o'clock. Only 700 tickets remained to be sold, assuring a capacity crowd even before the gates open Sunday noon. One other league game will be played Sunday, the new Cardinal-Pitt combine meeting the Cleveland Rams at Pittsburgh. Card-Pitt ruled an overwhelming favorite after its surprisingly good showing against Washington in an exhibition a week ago.