New York Giants (5-1-1) 24, Green Bay Packers (7-2) 0
Sunday November 19th 1944 (at New York)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(NEW YORK) - On a very weird Sabbath afternoon, some 56,481 of the faithful turned out here at the Polo Grounds to watch the Green Bay Packers take one whale of a licking while winning the Western division pro football title. Let's be rough about it. The Packers looked very poor while bowing to the New York Giants by a thorough 24 to 0 count. And yet, through the courtesy of the Detroit Lions who walloped those Bears from Chicago, the Green Bay team can't be nosed out now for the division title. The story of the game before the largest crowd of the current professional football season can be summed up briefly. It would boil down to the matter of intercepted passes.
SNAG FIVE AERIALS
The Giants snagged five aerials from the Packer backs intended for Packer receivers. On the three of those occasions, New York punched through to score some points. One was an easy 15-yard field goal by the aging Ken Strong. The other two were touchdowns. It didn't matter that the Packers made 18 first downs to the Giants' nine. They don't pay off on first downs. It's the final tabulation that counts. Ask the politicians. The Packers just couldn't seem to untrack during the matinee. They showed flashes of power at times. Once carrying from their own seven and a half yard line well into Giant territory. But each time they bogged down or lost the ball through an interception and the Giants came plugging back to rock Green Bay on its heels.
LEAD IN YARDAGE
The Packers made 131 yards rushing to 221 by the Giants, but led in passing yardage 152 to 36. That made the total ground gained by the Packers 283 yards to 257 by New York. Green Bay attempted 34 passes and clicked on 14; the Giants only one of six. But that one was a honey. It burgeoned from the hand of your dark haired neighbor, Arnie Herber, and was accepted by Frank Liebel all alone about 15 yards out. He completed the distance unescorted to make the gain on the touchdown play the only 36 yards New York scored through the air. Not bad for Herber, a gent who gave up football some years back only to be hauled out of the mothballs and retirement by stout Steve Owen. One, watching this thing unfold here under sunny skies and brisk, chilly weather, couldn't quite understand what had happened to the powerful Wisconsin team. Fight, they played their hearts out, but due credit must be given the Giants. They seemed to sense what was coming at every turn, their line outcharged the Packer forwards, and the Green Bay attack never gained the old clincher. The final punch just wasn't there.
IS SECOND SHUTOUT
The 24 points scored by the Giants marked the highest total they have ever amassed against Green Bay. The shutout, of course, was the second this season for the Packers, a thing unheard of for many semesters previous to this one. But, in the end, this whipping may be a good thing for the men of Lambeau. New York isn't the best team in the league and the Packers will meet a tougher one in the finals. A lacing like that of today may fire Green Bay to heights that will carry them through to the pro title. And here are the unpleasant details. The Giants kicked off, Strong booting to Laws, who took the ball on the goal line and came back to the 16. Fritsch lost a yard through his left tackle. Two passes failed. Livingston took the Packer punt and came back about five to the Packer 49. A long pass by that old Green Bay favorite, Arnie Herber, failed.
WILLING TO GAMBLE
The Giants seemed willing to gamble on a long one to get an early score. Livingston made a yard on a spinner. Hutson intercepted Herber's pass, fell, but got up and ran back a yard to the Packer 35, fumbled, and the Giants apparently recovered the ball. That brought a conference. The Packers, however, were given the ball as the whistle had blown before Hutson dropped the egg. Comp failed to gain. Fritsch ran his right tackle for two. Comp hit Hutson with a spot pass on the 46 for a first down. Fritsch was spilled on a wide run to his left for a yard loss. It was third and nine when Comp got but a yard. A Comp pass was knocked down. Ted Fritsch punted out on the Giants' 25. Livingston ran to his left, cut back and split the Packers line to the Giants 39 where Comp, the last man, nailed him. He followed with three.
GIANTS POUNDING HARD
Cuff took a shovel pass in the backfield, juggled it, but raced to the Packer 33 for another first down. Livingston ripped center for seven. The Giants were pounding hard at the yielding Packer line. Calligaro ran his left end for a yard. Livingston charged straight through center for still another first down on the Packer 21. The Packers stiffened and two line charges failed to gain more than two yards. Comp unintentionally kicked a fumbled Giant lateral and the Packers were penalized to the 13-yard line, but given possession to halt the first big Giant threat. Fritsch failed to gain. On a reverse, he made four yards. Comp started to pass, saw Huston covered, ran to his left and then tossed to Don for a first on the Packer 25. Livingston intercepted a Comp pass intended for Hutson and raced 34 yards for a Giant touchdown. Ken Strong added the extra point and the Giants led 7-0. Strong kicked off, Fritsch taking the ball back of the goal line and running back to his 23, where he hit awfully hard. The Packers took time out. Duhart ran to his left, fumbled but Craig recovered, and it was first down for the Packers on their 39.
LOSES ONE YARD
Perkins lost a yard. Comp passed to Duhart, who made a shoestring catch, juggled, but recovered to run for about 10 yards and a first down on the Giant 41. Comp was detained at the line of scrimmage. Comp completed a wide pass to Perkins for only two yards. Comp passed to Wheba for a first down on the Giant 30 as the quarter ended with the score: Giants 7, Packers 0. The Packers had seemed to shake a bit of their sluggishness as the first period ended. The Giants broke up a forward pass and for a moment it looked as though they had taken possession, but the whistle had blown. Comp tossed Wheba for another first on the Giant 20. Hutson lost a pass in the end zone as Livingston knocked it down. Fritsch went through center for two. Hutson couldn't connect with Comp's pass. It was fourth down and eight. A Comp pass to Duhart was knocked down in the end zone and the Giants took over on their 20. Bill Paschal came in and on the first play made nine yards through center. Cuff reversed for a first down on the Giant 33. Paschal again hit center for three. Wheba submarined Paschal for a yard loss. Paschal made four. Younce punted out of bounds on the Packer 45. The Packers lost for a back in motion. Comp hit off tackle for eight, ran wide to his right for two more, and tossed to Hutson for a first down on the Giants 27.
LAWS MAKES EIGHT
Laws made eight but the gain was cancelled when a back was in motion and the Bays were given another five-yard penalty. Laws tried the same play and ran to the Giant 31. It was second and four. Fritsch ran to his right for a first down on the Giant 25. Laws hit center for three. Comp completed one to Laws for two yards. It was last down, eight. Comp's pass was knocked down and the Giants again took over on their 23. The Giants lost five for offside. Paschal ran for seven. Ward Cuff broke through the middle and was pulled down by Comp, again the final man, on the Giant 48 when it looked as though he was away for a touchdown. Herber's long pass was incomplete. Paschal roared through center for a first down on the Packer 36. Herber tossed a long one to Leibel, who took it all alone and trotted over for another Giant touchdown. Strong added the extra point and the Giants led 14-0.
The Packers didn't look like contenders at this point, the Giants having taken the play away from them entirely. Strong kicked into the end zone and and the Giants almost recovered for a touchdown but one Packers, at the last minute, kicked the ball out of the field. It was slow thinking on the Packers' part and was almost disastrous. Fritsch ran hard but gained only a yard. Perkins made a yard. A long Comp pass was incomplete, but interference was ruled and the Packers given the ball on the Giants' 45. A pass to Wheba was knocked down. Comp tossed to Duhart, who was spilled on the Giant 16. Comp completed a short pass to Wheba was complete, but a back in motion gave them, instead, a five yard penalty. Pass to Hutson was incomplete although a Giant back rode Don almost to the goal. Another pass to Hutson was tipped out of his hands. It was last down, 17 yards to the goal. Duhart was spilled for a loss on the Giant 24. The Giants took over. The Giants lost five for too many time outs. Paschal made three. Another line play failed to gain as the half ended with the Giants leading, 14-0.
SLIPS IN END ZONE
The third period started with Strong booting for the Giants to Comp, who took the ball in the end zone, slipped and was downed on the Packer 15. A clipping penalty set the ball half the distance to the goal, on the seven and a half yard line. The Packers took time out. Duhart was dropped at the line of scrimmage. Fritsch bulled for four. Laws raced right through the middle for a first down on the Packer 23. Fritsch made two yards on a reverse. Comp passed to Duhart on a first down on the Packer 40. Duhart reversed for a yard. Hutson on an end around made three. Laws raced right through center to the Giants 49 for another first down. Laws repeated through a somewhat buckling Giant center of the line for about eight. Fritsch was dropped for a loss of two yards. Duhart was stopped and it was fourth and two. The Packers elected to try and Duhart just made a first down on the Giant 37. Duhart was stopped by Calligaro, who was playing a wonderful defensive game for New York. Duhart dropped the pass from center and then threw one incomplete. Comp came in for Duhart and passed the ball being intercepted by Younce, who slipped on the Giant 40.
Paschal failed to gain at Wheba's post. He made three. Cuff took a reverse right through the Packer team and ran to the Green Bay 27. Paschal hit center for six. Paschal bulled right through to the Packer 10. Cuff failed to gain. Herber's toss to Cuff in the end zone was knocked down. Paschal carried three yards and place the ball in front of the goal posts. Strong entered the game for what looked like a field goal attempt. It was from the 15, and good. The Giants led 17-0. Strong kicked off to Laws, who took it on the seven and ripped back to the Packer 31. Perkins made two. A double reverse with Duhart finally coming up with the ball, gained but one. Livingston intercepted a Packer pass on the 37 and raced down the sidelines to the eight. Laws was the passer on the play. Paschal made three. He made another yard. Paschal dynamited to within a foot of the goal line as the third period ended with the score, Giants 17, Green Bay 0. Paschal plunged right through for the Giant touchdown. Strong added the extra point and the Giants led 24-0. Strong kicked off to Urban. On third down Duhart passed to Wheba for nine and a half yards. Duhart lost two yards and the Packers the ball on their 42. Herber lost 15 yards attempting to pass. Livingston almost broke free for a touchdown run but was nailed finally on the Packer 40. Younce punted into the end zone and the Packers took over on their 20. McKay, who had just gone in, tossed to Laws for a first down on the 31. McKay tossed to Urban for another first on the 42. McKay's next pass was intercepted by Petrilas on the Giant 45 and he ran back to the Packer 44.
GIANTS NO GAIN
The Giants failed to gain and Younce punted to Laws, who took the ball on his eight and ran back to the 24. Perkins galloped for a first down on the 39. The Giants held. McKay lofted a beautiful punt to Livingston, who caught the ball on the 10 and was dumped on the 13. On the first play Cuff ran right through to the 27. Livingston lost five. Cuff made it up. The Giants couldn't gain and Younce punted high and wide to Laws, who came back four yards to the Packer 24. Starrett lost two. McKay made five. McKay couldn't find a receiver, so he ran for a first down on the Packer 37. His pass to Laws was incomplete but the Giants lost fire for offside. Beebe intercepted a McKay pass and ran to the Packer 42. The Giants lost five for a back in motion. Petrilas made 10 through center. Held, the Giants punted, Beebe's shot going into the end zone. McKay's long pass was incomplete. Urban on an end around made but two. One more line play and the game ended with the Giants winning, 24-0.
GREEN BAY - 0 0 0 0 - 0
NEW YORK - 7 7 3 7 - 24
1ST - NY - Howie Livingston, 34-yard interception return (Ken Strong kick) NEW YORK 7-0
2ND - NY - Frank Liebel, 36-yard pass from Arnie Herber (Strong kick) NEW YORK 14-0
3RD - NY - Strong, 15-yard field goal NEW YORK 17-0
4TH - NY - Bill Paschal, 1-yard run (Strong kick) NEW YORK 24-0
PACKERS LAY GIANT LOSS TO SLUGGISH LINE
NOV 20 (New York) - The Green Bay Packers, champions of the western division of the NFL despite their 24 to 0 licking her yesterday by the New York Giants, headed for home this afternoon where they will prepare for their final regularly scheduled game with the Card-Pitts Sunday in Chicago. The new western champions, while not actually viewing their fourth division title since 1933 with distaste, were a grouchy group of athletes. They apparently are not concerned over meeting the Giants again in the league playoff Dec. 17, or Philadelphia or Washington, which also are in the eastern race, but they are disappointed over their performance before the season's record crowd of 56,481...HUTSON GETS NO PROTECTION: "We were outcharged badly," was the explanation by Coach Curly Lambeau. "Our timing was off and Don Hutson was forced to stand uncovered waiting for Irv Comp's passes when the delay made possible interception." The Giants played a typical late November game, for which Steve Owen's men are famed, and moreover the Polo Grounds generally has been a jinx to the Packers. Yesterday's game, although the score was the largest in series history for the winners, was reminiscent of the 1938 game here. In that contest, Clarke Hinkle, an all time Packer great, received the kickoff starting the second half on his own 5 yard line, fumbled and recovered. Then, confused, ran to his end zone, downing the ball for a safety. Yesterday Ted Fritsch and Comp let a Giant kickoff roll into the end zone and Joe Laws barely saved a Giant recovery and touchdown when he rushed back to bat the ball over the end line...TAKES EXCEPTION TO ARTICLE: The Packers' lack of cohesion on attack was heightened by mental lapses. Hutson undoubtedly also was disturbed by a recent article in a national weekly which praised him as pro football's greatest star but described him as being a loner and said he feuded with Cecil Isbell the last season Isbell played with Green Bay. That matter now has been thoroughly discussed with the author. Harry Jacunski, Packer end, suffered a knee injury earl in yesterday's game. He may not be able to play against the Card-Pitts but he should be ready for the playoff. Lou Brock, Packer halfback, who has been out of the lineup for weeks, might have seen service yesterday if there had been any prospect of victory. He is counted on for the championship...LAWS SHOWS HIS CLASS: Paul Duhart and Laws were the only Packer backs entirely free of minor injuries, and Laws, in particular, played a splendid game. Neither Comp nor Fritsch had speed nor drive because of injuries. Among the visitors to Packer headquarters was Lt. (j.g.) Ernie Pannell, a member of the 1941 All-Star squad and Green Bay tackle, who is on leave after 18 months on a P-T boat in South Pacific. Green Bay's seven victories, which won the western championship, were at the expense of Brooklyn, the Bears and Card-Pitts in single games, and double triumphs over Cleveland and Detroit. The Bears and Giants defeated the Packers.
NEW PRO LOOP PLANS TO PLAY
NOV 20 (Baltimore) - The United States Professional Football league definitely will operate in 1945 with the Honolulu team to have a temporary home location in a "major eastern city" until the war ends, President Roland D. Payne of Pittsburgh said Sunday. Payne announced completion of the organization structure of the league at the close of a two day meeting of directors. Because of expected transportation problems, officials decided not to include several prospective Pacific coast teams in their plans for next season. Lt. M.M. Zenoff of the merchant marine represented Milwaukee. Ralph W. Olson, head of the Honolulu franchise, expressed optimism over the future of football in the islands and said that "as soon as traveling conditions warrant, the Honolulu club will operate there, opening an avenue of expansion which will include cities in the west and south." If the war should end before the start of the 1945 season, there was a definite indication that the directors would revise scheduled to include the west coast teams. Olson said the Honolulu club had made preliminary arrangements for selection of a coaching staff and players and that an announcement might be made soon regarding which city had been selected for the temporary playing site.
PACKERS TO WIND UP SEASON NEXT SUNDAY
NOV 21 (Green Bay) - The Packers, champions of the Western division of the NFL, returned to Green Bay today to prepare for their final league game against the Card-Pitt combination next Sunday at Comiskey park on the south side of Chicago. Win, lose or draw against the winless wonders - the combine has lost eight straight- the Bays will meet the Eastern division champions in mid-December for the world professional crown. The team was to arrive from New York on the Milwaukee road Chippewa at 4:40 this afternoon. While the eastern swing was not particularly rosy because of the 24-0 loss to the New York Giants, the ball club can enhance its championship margin with victory No. 8 against the combine even though the pennant doesn't hang in the balance. After that, it will be fulltime work for the league title contest...TITLE GAME IN EAST: The championship game this year is to be played in the park of the Eastern division winner since it was played in the west last year. At present writing, it appears as if the Philadelphia Eagles have the strongest club in the east although they may run into a tough customer in the Chicago Bears next Sunday. The second place Giants and Redskins are hard after the Eagles, who are by no means assured of keeping the pace. The eastern half could end in a tie as it did last season. Should this occur, the playoff would be Dec. 17, and the championship Dec. 24. Such enforced idleness would not be to the liking of Coach Curly Lambeau, who knows that plenty of work must be done to get a ball club tuned for a title fracas. In any event, the Bays will have to wait at least three weeks - from Nov. 26 to Dec. 17 - before they swing into action again...WON SEVEN TITLES: Not counting the 1941 season, when the Packers and Bears finished in a tie for the Western division top and the former lost the playoff, the Packers have won seven titles. Three of these were taken before the circuit was split into two divisions and four since that time. In championship playoffs, the Packers defeated Boston in 1936, lost to New York in 1938, and defeated the Giants in 1939. The records for championship years shows: 1929 - won 12, lost 0, tied 1; 1930 - won 10, lost 3, tied 1; 1931 - won 12, lost 2, tied 0; 1936 - won 10, lost 1, tied 1; 1938 - won 8, lost 3, tied 0; 1939 - won 9, lost 2, tied 0. In 1941, both the Bears and Packers won 10, lost 1 and tied 0, but the Bruins won the playoff in Chicago, 33-14...GRIGAS IS STAR: On the road to the 1944 title, the Packers previously knocked off the Card-Pitts, 34-7. They will have three days in which to get set for the encounter, which may not be a pushover. The combine has a strong line but no offense except halfback Johnny Grigas, who has carried the load all season. He has high ranking in the league's individual ground gaining records to prove it. But he couldn't do everything and the Card-Pitts are without victory.
NOV 21 (Milwaukee Journal) - A scant 3,500 watched the hapless Card-Pitts against Cleveland at Comiskey park Sunday. It will be a box office triumph, considering everything, if 5,000 watch the Packers and Card-Pitts in the same park this week...Don Hutson's lead in the hot national pro league individual scoring race was cut to 12 points Sunday. Hutson has 68 points, Frankie Sinkwich of the Lions 56 and Roy Zimmerman of the Eagles 55...Saddest men in New York Sunday night were Red Smith, Green Bay's former line coach, who now helps Steve Owen; Arnie Herber, Green Bay's former passing star, who now wears the spangles of the Giants, and Len Calligaro, who had a tryout with the Packers, then was cut adrift to be picked up by the Giants. They all moaned low Sunday night - in between hearty laughs.
PACKERS TO PLAY HOLLYWOOD IN COAST BENEFIT
NOV 21 (Los Angeles) - The Los Angeles board of supervisors today granted permission for a football game in Memorial Coliseum Dec. 3 between the Hollywood Rangers, California professional team, and the Green Bay Packers of the National league. The game has been arranged by the Los Angeles Publishers' association, which will use the proceeds for charitable purposes.
SCOOTER MCLEAN THROUGH; ALSO BEAR TITLE DREAMS
NOV 21 (Chicago) - Ray (Scooter) McLean, the Bears' hard luck halfback, is through for the remainder of the season, the coaches said yesterday. The remainder of the season, for the Bears, adds up to Sunday's game with the unbeaten Eagles in Philadelphia, and an excursion into Pittsburgh the following Sunday for a match against the Card-Pitts. McLean's right arm, injured earlier in the season, was hurt when Alex Wojciechowicz plowed into him in Sunday's game in Detroit. Being excluded from the National league title game is a new experience for the Bears, who have participated in four straight. Adding to their unhappiness is the knowledge that they will not be a party in football's glamor game, the College All-Star spectacle next fall. But as one member of the coaching staff put it: "We hate to lose, but I guess we have to take our bumps once in awhile."...FOURTH WESTERN TITLE FOR PACKERS: The Bears had a hunch the Giants would beat the Packers - which they did. But the Bears also thought they would be able to take care of the Lions - which they didn't. Perhaps it didn't make much difference, because it takes a lot of imagination to give the Card-Pitts a chance to trip up the Green Bay Packers Sunday in Comiskey park. This is Green Bay's fourth western division championship since the East-West system was installed in 1933. The Packers previously won in 1936, 1938 and 1939, twice going on to win in the title playoff. They whipped Boston (now the Washington Redskins) in 1936, 21 to 6, and defeated the Giants in 1939, 27 to 0, after having lost the previous season to the Giants, 23 to 17. Green Bay won championships in 1929-30-31 when there was no league divisions. Being in the eastern race is breathless stuff for the Philadelphia Eagles, who last had a winning team in 1925. The Eagles have been in and out of the league many times. Under the modern East-West plan they never before have had a winning team and were in the doormat class...THREE MORE GAMES FOR EAGLES: Now the Eagles have five victories and two ties. The Redskins and Giants are deadlocked for second place with five victories, one loss and one tie. To finish unbeaten, the Eagles must beat or tie the Bears, Tigers and Rams on successive Sundays in Shibe Park. The assignment against the Bears appears the toughest, especially on the basis of past contests between the two. They first met in 1933, Philadelphia winning, 3 to 0. Since then they've engaged in seven games, the Bears winning all of them and usually by top heavy scores.
LAMBEAU, ISBELL, HUTSON DENY WIZARD STORY
NOV 22 (Green Bay) - Coach Curly Lambeau said today that former line coach Red Smith of the Packers had "misinformed" Arthur Daley, sports editor of the New York Times, about Don Hutson's relationship with other members of the team and with Cecil Isbell, star passer of the club for five season before his retirement in 1942. The Packer coach was referring to statements about Hutson made in last week's issue of Collier's, a national magazine, under the heading, "The Wizard of Green Bay." Lambeau charged Smith, who resigned early this year, with giving Daley the information and expressed astonishment that his former line coach could guided on any statements so far from the facts. The background for the article was given to Daley by Smith, Lambeau said, "because I called Daley twice on the telephone while we were in New York to find out where he obtained the information. Daley told me twice it had come from Red. You can put me on the record as saying that I am thoroughly burned up about it." Daley's article said that Isbell and Hutson were not even on speaking terms the last season they played together. "As a matter of fact," the Packer coach stated, "Isbell and Hutson are the best of friends and there is no truth to the statement that they were not on speaking terms. Don has visited Isbell's home and just this year sat on the Purdue bench at the Michigan game at Isbell's invitation." Hutson said he was dumbfounded when he read the article and he called Daley to find out why he had made such charges. "Daley was all apologies about it but he could have asked Isbell, me or hundreds of others whether what he had written was true. I can't understand why he would do that without checking the truth of the statements first." Isbell, contacted by the Press-Gazette at Lafayette, Ind., said: "The statements in the article are absolutely not true. Don Hutson and I never had any trouble and I think that we got a pretty rotten deal. I am very unhappy about the whole thing and I feel that Daley owes both Huston and me an apology." The Purdue coach, asked whether he and Hutson had any differences at all, said, "We never had any difference. In fact, not even a minor squabble. We always tried to help each other out. I can truthfully say that we never had an argument. It seems to me that Daley should have checked with at least one of us to find out if what he wrote was true." As for Huston's relationship with other members of the team, Lambeau emphasized, "Don is one of the best liked men on the squad. We never had a finer man on a ball club than Hutson. He has attended practice faithfully and never has missed a practice." The coach added that Smith had told Daley that Hutson didn't practice and that his teammates resented him because he was a "loner", a term used in sports for players who do not mix with others on the team. On this matter, Isbell said, "I think I was as much a member of the Packer team for five years as anyone else and I never knew until I read that article last week that any of Don's teammates resented him." Lambeau continued, "Red Smith made trouble for us when he was here and we attempted to protect him. But when he violates the first principle of sportsmanship by giving out deliberate falsehoods, it is time to call a halt."
NO COAST GAME
NOV 22 (Green Bay) - E.L. (Curly) Lambeau, coach of the Green Bay Packers, said today his team will not play the Hollywood Rangers in Los Angeles Dec. 3, as was reported in Los Angeles last night. Lambeau said the Green Bay management has turned down all offers of games to be played between the time the regular NFL season ends for Green Bay on Sunday and the playoff game with the eastern division winner of the league.
CROWLEY HEAD OF NEW LOOP
NOV 22 (Chicago) - Lt. Cdr. James (Sleepy Jim) Crowley, one of the famed four horsemen of Notre Dame and a former head football coach at Fordham university, Wednesday had a five year contract to serve as commissioner of the All-America conference, a newly organized professional football league. Crowley, a veteran of 16 months' service in the south Pacific, is athletic officer and football coach at Sampson (N.Y.) naval center. He will assume office as commissioner as soon as he is discharged from the Navy, when headquarters of the league will be established in New York City...RELEASED BY COLLINS: Crowley had been signed by Ted Collins as postwar coach of the Boston Yanks of the NFL but was released from the contract so he could accept the commissioner's post. Terms of Crowley's contract were not disclosed but it was reported that he will receive $125,000 for the five year team. He will preside at his first league meeting in New York December 9. Six cities, New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Los Angeles and San Francisco, have been given franchises in the new league. In addition, applications from Boston, Miami, Atlanta and Detroit will be considered at the December meeting...FAME IN 1924: Crowley starred as left halfback on Notre Dame's 1924 team. He began his coaching career immediately following his graduation, serving at the University of Georgia, Michigan State and Fordham. His greatest coaching success was achieved at Fordham, where he served from 1933 to 1941, when his teams compiled a record of 55 victories against 12 defeats and seven ties. Crowley enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served as coach of the North Carolina preflight team that season.
PACKERS BACK HOME; DRILL HARD FOR CARD-PITT TILT NEXT SUNDAY
NOV 22 (Green Bay) - Just because the Packers have cinched the Western division championship does not mean that they are not going to make every effort to close their 10-game season with a clear-cut victory over the Card-Pitt combination in Chicago's Comiskey park next Sunday afternoon, Coach Curly Lambeau said today before a squad meeting. "We're in a position now to close our regular league season as a championship club should," the coach said, "and we're going to do our best to achieve that objective." A win over the winless combine would give the Packers a season's record of eight victories and two defeats, at least a couple games better than the runnerup team...START PRACTICE SESSIONS: The squad returned from New York late Tuesday afternoon, and started practice sessions today for the final league test. After Sunday every move of the team and coaching staff will be directed toward reaching ultimate perfection for the championship playoff in the park of the Eastern division winner. The game will be played either Dec. 17 or Dec. 24. The Packer coach said the team has more than its share of cripples, some of whom probably will not see action against the Card-Pitts. Members of the end, tackle and halfback corps are not in the best of physical shape, a situation that has prevailed since the Cleveland contest here Oct. 22. "We've never had so many crippled at one time since the team was organized in 1919," Lambeau said...NO EXHIBITION GAMES: Although he did not reveal what the practice plans are for the championship tilt, Lambeau said that the team definitely would not play an exhibition against a service team between next Sunday and the title tussle. Offers from Omaha, Neb., Los Angeles, and Camp Perry, Va., interests from postseason games have been refused and the team will remain here before entraining for the east. The Bays still continue to lead the league in the scoring department with 203 points in nine contests against 121 for their opponents. The coach said that sessions this week would be pointed toward ironing out mental lapses that occurred against the New York Giants last Sunday. Additional urge will be given to the players to learn their assignments, especially on offense, he said...WOULD LIKE VICTORY: The Card-Pitts would like to post their first victory this season over the champions. Somewhat of an enigma all season, the combine should be one of the toughest outfits in the division, but this has not materialized. Although early season dissension has been erased, the team has not begun to roll as yet. Offensively, the club has an outstanding runner in Johnny Grigas, who leads the league in ground gaining. The Packers will leave for Chicago late Saturday afternoon.
NOV 22 (Milwaukee Journal) - The good old toe of Ken Strong, and it is an old one for he has been around the NFL since way back when, has lost none of its "kick". With five field goals in eight attempts, Strong leads the league in this department of play...A lot of requests are still coming in about this season's
pro league playoffs now that the Packers have cinched the championship in the western division of the league. The playoffs will be held on the home grounds of the eastern divisional winners...Irv Comp had one of his worst days of the season at New York Sunday, which probably explains in part anyway why the Packers looked so bad. Comp, who could be one of the really great backs in the pro league, still isn't down to his best playing weight...Curly Lambeau is trying to arrange some exhibition for his Packers to fill in on the long layoff between next Sunday's game with the Card-Pitts at Chicago and the playoffs December 17.
BIG CROWD HEX WON'T HANDICAP PACKERS SUNDAY
NOV 22 (Chicago) - The fact that the Green Bay Packers have lost two of three big NFL games this season has taken some of the glamor from their western division triumph. They not only lost them, but were shut out each time. A crowd of 45,553 watched the Bears knock the Packers back on their heels in Wrigley field, 21 to 0, and end their dreams of a perfect campaign. Last Sunday the Polo Grounds bulged with 56,481 who saw the Wisconsin eleven flounder and lose to the Giants, 24 to 0. In their first big game of the season, the Packers managed to whip the Bears, 42 to 28, but only after having blown a 28 to 0 lead...GET BIG CROWD JITTERS: This is not the first time the Packers have been whipped before huge crowds in Wrigley field and the Polo Grounds, leading some pro football followers to believe that the villagers get stage fright when they visit the nation's two largest cities. The Packers shouldn't have big crowd jitters Sunday in Comiskey park when they close their regular season with the Card-Pitts, but, if they do, it won't make any difference, because Green Bay can win this one or leave it alone, as the western race is over...BROCK IS THEIR INSPIRATION: One sharp observer, who has followed the Packers closely for years, charges their sag to the absence of Lou Brock, the veteran halfback who came to Green Bay from Purdue six seasons ago. Brock, he declares, is the inspirational force in the Packers' backfield. He was not playing when the team was humiliated by the Bears and Giants. In fact, Lou has missed his team's last four games and yesterday, when the Packers passed through Chicago, he visited Dr. Daniel Leventhal, the orthopedic surgeon who has been patching him up since his Purdue days. Dr. Leventhal, who operated on Brock's right knee in 1940, said that an operation will be necessary on his left knee because of torn cartilage. It will be postponed until after the Packers' championship game.
HUTSON SCORING HOPES REST ON SUNDAY'S GAME
NOV 23 (Chicago) - Don Hutson, who has been held scoreless in two of the Green Bay Packers' last three games, as indeed was the entire team, may have what is known as a field day Sunday when the new western champions close their regular season against the Card-Pitts in Comiskey park. Hutson needs a goodly number of points if he is to win the league's individual scoring title for the fifth straight season. Don has only a 12 point mead on Frankie Sinkwich of Detroit, who, in turn, paces the Eagles' Leroy Zimmerman by a single point. The Green Bay veteran has scored 68 points on seven touchdowns, all after catching passes and 26 extra points. Mel Bleeker, incidentally, the Eagles' rookie halfback from Southern California, is the top touchdown scorer with eight. Sinkwich has two games to catch up while Zimmerman has three. Don has made several false starts in announcing his retirement. While he doubtlessly was sincere each time, pressure of club officials and the good citizens of Green Bay forced him to reconsider. Now that he has stayed on long enough to help the Packers break the Bears' stranglehold on the western division, the stringy Arkansas may have just the proper ammunition to make another retirement announcement stick. If so, Chicago fans will be seeing the last of Hutson as competitor Sunday.
MYSTERY VOICE TELLS CURLY LAMBEAU PACKERS WERE SCOUTED AT THEIR BEAR MOUNTAIN TRAINING QUARTERS
NOV 24 (Green Bay) - Curly Lambeau answered his telephone in the Hotel New Yorker Sunday about an hour or so after the Packers had lost to the Giants. "Lambeau?" a voice on the other end of the line queried. "Yes, this is Curly." "Well, listen. Next time you play here in New York don't train at Bear Mountain. Every one of your practice was scouted." "Who is this?" Curly asked. "Never mind my name. I'm a friend." There was a click, indicating the caller had hung up. Upset, Curly frowned. The message bothered him. "We don't do that in this league," he said. "Sure, we scout the games, but we don't spy on practices. It could have been done, too. The field was down below a hill and there was an administration building overlooking the site." Don Hutson walked in about then and Curly told him about the call. "It was possible," Hutson agreed. "They were shifting to meet those new plays of ours...and we haven't run them off against any other team in the league this year."...TWO THINGS
WRONG: Two things combined to whip the Packers. One was missed assignments. The ball carrier was there, but the hole wasn't opened. Or the hole was opened though the massive Giant forwards, but the ball carrier had been dumped because his blockers hadn't functioned. The other was press notices. Curly worried about that. The boys arrived in New York on Thursday, ready for battle. Then they began to read fine things about themselves, and before long it seemed to them all they had to do was walk out on the field, and the Giants would concede. But the Giants didn't appear to have read those notices, or, if they did, they just got mad about it and went to work..Even the fact the Packers had won the Western division title didn't make Curly feel any better. "I don't line to back into anything," he said. "The only thing that will make me feel good is for us to win the championship."...PASSING IS POOR: The Packer passing was poor throughout the game. Don Hutson played his game out and was clear time and again. But whenever he was free the passers failed to throw the ball to him. In addition, the Bays were sluggish. Immediately after the second Giant touchdown, Ken Strong kicked off into the end zone. East and West High school players know better than to ignore the ball, but the Packers stood around while an alert Giant end roared down the field intent on falling on the sphere for a touchdown. Only at the last minute did one of the Bays realize there was no cover on the play and his last minute lunge sent the ball out of the end zone to avert another New York score...WOULD BE UNDERDOG: It was a typical Packer-Giant game with Green Bay the favorite and Stout Steve Owen's men the underdogs. "I'd like to come into New York just once with the odds on the Giants," Curly said. "Then we would really show them." Crestfallen were the gents who placed a bob here and there. The boys around the Stem made their clients give 14 points if they took the Packers...Three former Packers, now all in the Navy, saw the game. They were Lt. Ernie Pannell, the big tackle, now in command of a PT boat in the Pacific. Ernie, however, has a 25 day furlough and has his wife with him. The others were Gus Zarnas, former Packer guard, and Herman Schneidman, blocking back...SURE OF TITLE: And one other note from Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. They are counting their chickens way ahead here. Sport scribes, members of the Eagles, and just plain wise guys have already delivered both the Eastern division title and the pro championship to the home team. Optimism runs riot, and it's hard to argue. Didn't the Eagles slaughter the Packers at Nashville, the boys ask? And a guy has to admit 33 to 13 wasn't exactly a hairline decision. It's a great fight. Your reporter is attempting to hold off the pack. They haven't mussed us up yet, but, baby, we could use several husky Wisconsin reinforcements right now.
HOTTEST THING IN PRO GRID CIRCUIT IS MR. FIREBALL SINKWICH OF DETROIT
NOV 24 (Chicago) - The hottest package in the NFL - although you have to look twice at the league statistics to notice it - is Fireball Frankie Sinkwich, the Detroit Lions' rip-roarin' halfback. Some 21,000 fans at Detroit Sunday were sold on the fact when Sinkwich pitched four touchdown passes as the Lions crushed the Bears, 41-21, but the league's weekly statistical release shows that the former two-time All-America back from Georgia shines at much more than just tossing a football. Actually, passing is Frankie's weakest department - a fifth-place ranking with 48 completions in 123 attempts. On the other hand, he's second in scoring behind peerless Don Hutson with 56 points; third in ground gaining with 533 yards in 134 tries and in punting with a 40.9 average; and fourth in punt returns with a 13.3 average...BEST TRIPLE THREAT: All of which makes Sinkwich the best triple-threat performer by far in a league where specialists abound. Frankie, who stands an inch under six feet and weighs 195 pounds, is an all-out competitor whose hard running had made a dent in other than the league record book. Rival coaches shudder when the slambang Georgian, who made 1941 and 1942 All-America teams, rips into the line. More than once this season, would-be tacklers have been seriously injured in tangling with Sinkwich. Johnny Grigas, the only bright spot in a dismal Card-Pittsburgh season, maintained his leadership in ground gaining last weekend, although his margin over second place Bill Paschal of the New York Giants was trimmed to six yards. Grigas gained only 35 yards in 17 tries against Cleveland for an eight-game total of 589, compared with Paschal's aggregate of 583...FILCHOCK WIDENS LEAD: Frank Filchock of Washington strengthened his lead in passing with six completions in 11 tries as the Redskins bit the dust before the Philadelphia Eagles, 37-7. Filchock heads the department with 73 hits in 123 tosses, followed by Sid Luckman of the Bears with 62 in 114. Although Hutson still is tops in scoring with 68 points, 12 ahead of Sinkwich and 13 in front of Leroy Zimmerman of the Eagles, the great Green Bay end is in danger of being dethroned as the point-making champion for the first time in five seasons. He has only one more game to play while Sinkwich has two and Zimmerman three. Sammy Baugh of Washington, league punting champion for the past four seasons, moved into the lead in that department from fourth place with an average of 42.1 yards in 33 attempts. Hutson continued to lead in pass receiving with 53 catches for 870 yards, while Ken Strong of New York kept ahead in the somewhat neglected field goal department with five out of eight.
GREEN BAY MAY TURN ROY MCKAY LOOSE SUNDAY
NOV 24 (Chicago) - Roy McKay, a hard running sharpshooting passer from Texas who has had little exercise on northern gridirons, may be turned loose Sunday by the Green Bay Packers when they close their victorious season against the Card-Pitts in Comiskey park. McKay, member of the last two College All-Star squads, saw little action in either of the games against the Redskins or Bears in Dyche stadium because of injuries. After getting an honorable discharge from the army, the Texan reported to the Packers last fall confident that his time, at last, had arrived...PASSES FIRST TEST: Then he was felled by a knee injury, which defied all healing ministrations. It wasn't until two Sundays ago that Roy made his National league debut. That was in Cleveland against the Rams. He passed this first test with flying colors. He completed three of seven passes for 47 yards, including a touchdown. He carried the ball twice for 14 yards. He punted five times for an average of 39.2 yards. Before the season opened, Coach Curly Lambeau predicted that McKay would be one of the outstanding freshman backs in the league. The sample which the Texan showed his coach at Cleveland indicated that Curly was not talking lightly.
CARD-PITT TEAM QUESTION MARK OF 1944 PRO FOOTBALL CAMPAIGN
NOV 24 (Green Bay) - Now is the time to consider the strange case of the Card-Pitt football team which will help the Packers to wind up their regular league season next Sunday at Comiskey park in Chicago. Everybody thinks the combine should fall before the onslaught of the Bays, Western division champions, but Sunday may be the day when the Card-Pitts break into the victory column for the first time this year. It must be recorded that the Packers are the favorites because of their previous 34-7 victory and likewise because they should be in no mood to tinker after their 24-0 loss to the New York Giants last Sunday. A win would give them eight victories and two defeats for the season. A loss would make them somewhat less than favorites for the championship playoff Dec. 17 in the home park of the Eastern winner...TEAM IS ENIGMA: But to get back to the Card-Pitts (also referred to as the Card-Pitts by some writers because of their no victory record), the team has been an enigma all season. No less than an authority on the strength of opponents than Coach Curly Lambeau figured before the season started that the dual eleven would be one of the toughest in the league and his opinion was held by other coaches around the circuit. What happened? Maybe the team never did get over losing its first game to Cleveland in the final minutes, 30-28. At any rate, it folded up and has lost seven straight since that time, including the previous rout by the Packers here in mid-October. Defensively, the team has a good record but offensively nothing has worked right and the Card-Pitts have only 81 points to show for their work in eight games. When Pittsburgh and the Cardinals merged for the 1944 season, Co-coaches Walt Kiesling and Phil Handler had the pick of players from the two clubs. They chose 16 veterans for the line and six for the backfield, including fullback Johnny Grigas, current leader in the league's ground gaining department. In the forward wall, the combine has only a single first-year player while there are four in the backfield. With all that experience, the team should click soon. Whether they can unleash potential power against the Packers Sunday is another question. Having played one less game than the Bays, they are comparable defensively except in total scoring by opponents. The Packers have allowed 121 points while the Card-Pitts have given up 244. Offensively, Green Bay leads the league in marks with 203 and C-P has 81...DEFENSIVE STATISTICS: League defensive records show the teams have allowed opponents the following: first
downs - Green Bay 109, Card-Pitt 86; yards gained - Green Bay 2,260, Card-Pitt 2,316; opponents' average gain per rush - Green Bay 3.4, Card-Pitt 3.4; passes - Green Bay allowed 83 completions of 209 attempted, Card-Pitt allowed 76 completions of 154 attempted; passes intercepted - Green Bay 25, Card-Pitt 14. The Packers had their last long workout for their league closer today. Thursday they ate their Thanksgiving turkey after a morning session that followed a squad meeting. Coach Lambeau has stressed assignments, a department in which the Bays were weak against the Giants. Several cripples are rounding into shape but the team definitely will not be up to full strength. The club will leave late Saturday afternoon for Chicago and will headquarter at the Knickerbocker hotel. The return will be made Sunday evening.
PACKERS TO DROP CURTAIN ON 1944 LEAGUE CAMPAIGN WITH CARD-PITT
NOV 25 (Green Bay) - The Packers will drop the curtain on their 25th season in the NFL against the Card-Pitt combination in Comiskey park in Chicago Sunday afternoon. The game, scheduled to start at 2 o'clock, will not be the last for the Bays this year since they still have the championship playoff with the Eastern winner to consider. While the Bays are toiling against the combine, the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and New York Giants engage in important grid tussles with first place at stake in the other half of the league. Outcome of these games may do much to determine which club the Packers will meet Dec. 17 for the professional championship. Philadelphia has the most difficult task, meeting the thrice-defeated Chicago Bears at Philadelphia. The Redskins and Giants have what should be easy pickings, the former tangling with the Boston Yanks and Steve Owen's Giants mixing with the cellar-dwelling Tigers of Brooklyn. In the other game, the Detroit Lions meet the Rams in Cleveland...SHOULD COME BACK: The Western half champs are still smarting under their 24-0 setback at the hands of the Giants last Sunday. If history repeats itself they should come back with a bang to hand the winless Card-Pitts their ninth straight defeat. A victory would be the eighth this season for the Bays against two defeats, and a positive finish to the first clear-cut championship season since 1939. After the defeat by the Chicago Bears, the Bays came back to play one of their best games this season - if not their best - to crown the Cleveland Rams, 42-7. Then there was the resurgence after the Brooklyn opener, which the home tesam won, 14-7. The next Sunday, Green Bay ripped up and down the City stadium turf to humble the defending champion Bears, 42-28. The odds certainly favor the Packers although Coach Curly Lambeau is fearful lest injuries reduce effectiveness to a point where the Card-Pitt eleven would have little trouble. The coach said he had reports that the combine has been practicing overtime all week in hopes of being in top form with the added incentive of getting their first victory this season over the championship team. "The Card-Pitts hope to catch us on the end of a letdown," Lambeau said. "However, we figure they're in for somewhat of a surprise." The Packer coach said his starting lineup would include several first-year men who have shown considerable spirit during the week's drills. The game experience will also serve to make them more valuable for the championship playoff. Only player who may not see action is halfback Lou Brock, who has been out since Oct. 29 with an injured knee. Veteran end Harry Jacunski also has an injured leg but probably will play. Starters named by Lambeau include Alex Urban and Ray Wheba, ends; Tiny Croft and Ade Schwammel, tackles; Charley Tollefson and Mike Buchhanieri, guards, and Bob Flowers, center. The backfield corps will have Roy McKay at left half, Paul Duhart at right, Ben Starrett at blocking back and Don Perkins at full. The principal offense weapon of the Card-Pitt eleven all season has been Johnny Grigas, currently leading the league in ground gaining. The only other backfielder who showed power in the contest here is little Johnny McCarthy, 160-pounder making his first try in the pro circuit. The line is studded with veterans including Conway Baker and Marshall Robnett, guards; Chet Bulger and Gilford (Cactus Face) Duggan, tackles; Eddie Rucinski and Walter Kiechefski, ends...EAGLES VS. BEARS: In the other league games, the Bears may prove to be the stumbling block for the Eagles, who will rely again on the bullet arm of Roy Zimmerman and the piston-leg of Steve Van Buren to carry them to their sixth straight victory. The Redskins, humbled by the Eagles 37-7 last week, should regain their equilibrium against the oft-beaten Yanks although a previous clash between the two teams was won by the 'Skins in a squeak, 21-14. The Giants have become hotter as the season progressed and face a breather in Brooklyn. A second place berth may be the reward of the winner of the Detroit-Cleveland encounter. The game is expected to be a tossing duel between Frankie Sinkwich, who threw four touchdown passes last week, and freshman Albie Reisz of the Rams. In a previous clash, the Rams came from behind to win, 20-17, after trailing the better part of four quarters. After losing three in a row they humbled the Card-Pitts last week, 33-6.
PACKERS GET VACATION BEFORE RETURNING FOR TITLE CONTEST SESSIONS
NOV 25 (Green Bay) - The Packers will suspend practice until Dec. 4 after their game Sunday with the Card-Pitt eleven in Chicago, according to an announcement today by Coach Curly Lambeau. Practice will be resumed here a week from Monday for the NFL's championship playoff in the park of the Eastern division winner. The coach said that team members would be free to do as they wish although they have been ordered to keep strict training. Weighed in this morning, they are to report Dec. 4 at the same weight. Several members of the squad also have been ordered to run daily. The others will forego all work to give their legs a rest, Lambeau said. Present plans are to hold sessions here until just before the championship clash. Lambeau said he has been informed by weather bureau officials that no freezing weather is contemplated here until Dec. 20 and conditions should be satisfactory for practice on the home grounds. The Bays will have at least two weeks to prepare for the playoff and they may have three depending on the outcome of the Eastern division race.
PACKERS AND CARD-PITTS TO CLASH TODAY
NOV 26 (Chicago) - The Green Bay Packers, champions of the NFL's western division after having trailed the Bears' cleats four consecutive seasons, today play the tenth and final game of their 1944 schedule. Their opponents in Comiskey park are the combined Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers, who have proved over a doleful campaign that perhaps halt a team is better than two. Game time is 2 p.m. Today's program will be enlivened by a precision drill exhibition by a junior marine drill team from Marine post 273 of the American Legion at 1:45 p.m., 15 minutes before the kickoff. Comdr. Jack Dempsey, former world heavyweight boxing champion and now with the coast guard, will give a short talk during the halftime in behalf of the 6th war loan drive...GAME OF MANY "LASTS": Curly Lambeau and his aid, George Trafton, may choose to use this afternoon's contest as a laboratory for the championship battle which will be played Dec. 17 on the home grounds of the eleven which wins the eastern championship. Going into today's games, Philadelphia, New York and Washington still are in the running in the east, so there will be Green Bay scouts - perhaps including the great Lambeau himself - watching these three teams in action today. It is a game of many "lasts". It's the last pro football game of the season in Chicago. It's the last time the merged Cards and Pitts will play. Next season, they will be on their own and everyone concerned will be much happier. It may be the last game appearance in Chicago of Don Hutson, the Packers' great end, who has every intention of making this tenth season his final one...BROCK MAY PLAY: Something definitely has happened to the Packers since they scored victories in their first six league contests. They stumbled in No. 7, when the Bears blanked them, 21 to 0, in Wrigley field. The following week the northerners braced and walloped the Cleveland Rams. But last week they were humbled in New York by the Giants, 24 to 0. Loss of Lou Brock in the last five games has taken much of the spark from the Packers' backfield. He may make a brief appearance in today's game, but Coach Lambeau will take no chances of anything happening which will keep him out of the title game. The former Purdue halfback has a knee injury.
NOV 26 (Chicago) - Officials of four NFL clubs will meet in Philadelphia Tuesday to make plans for the championship playoff December 17. The New York Giants, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles, who are battling for the eastern title, and the Green Bay Packers, western winners, will be represented.
PACKERS TO USE SUBS AGAINST CARD-PITTS
NOV 26 (Chicago) - Having "backed" into the championship game last week while losing to the New York Giants (the Chicago Bears also lost), the Green Bay Packers Sunday will simply go through the motions as they close their regular season against the hapless Card-Pitt combination at Comiskey park, Chicago. Lambeau has announced that the game would be played largely by men who haven't seen a great deal of action in the regular season - Roy McKay, Bob Kahler, Ray Wheba, Mike Buccannerri, Bob Flowers, Forrest McPherson and Ade Schwammel among others. Despite this decision, the Packers still ruled overwhelming favorites. A week's vacation will be given the squad after Sunday's battle, after which preparations will be begun for the playoffs in the east December 17. The league spotlight, meanwhile, will swing to Philadelphia, where Greasy Neale's high flying Eagles, leaders in the eastern division of the league and probable opponents of the Packers in the playoffs, will meet the Chicago Bears in the feature game of the day. The Eagles, who are using the T formation with devastating effect, must win to remain on top of the heap. They have still to lose a game. They are slight favorites. In other games, the New York Giants, still with a chance for the title if anything happens to the Eagles, will have a breather against Brooklyn, Washington, also with a chance for the title, will take on Boston, and Cleveland will play host to the resurging Lions who last week ruined the last championship hopes of the Bears. The Giants and Redskins are overwhelming favorites. Detroit is a slight favorite over Cleveland.