Green Bay Packers (3-2) 10, Detroit Lions (0-5) 7
Sunday October 27th 1946 (at Milwaukee)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(MILWAUKEE) - Despite a marked deficiency of Vitamin B (Blocking), the Green Bay Packers mixed a lot of defense with a minimum of offense to eke out a 10-7 NFL decision over Detroit's rejuvenated Lions before nearly 24,000 ladies and gentlemen here Sunday afternoon. And to make it all the sweeter, the New York Giants blanked the Chicago Bears, thereby putting the Packers into second place in the Western division and making it possible for the Bays to take first place by beating the Bears in Chicago next Sunday. But out in State Fair park, the Packers had a tremendous job on their hands. The Lions, beaten four in a row, were rough, tough and aggressive. The Packers, on the other hand, seemed to have their minds on other things - chief of which was next Sunday's engagement in the Windy city. Offensively, the Packers didn't have much more than a prayer and that "more" represented a smattering of passing; some slick running by fullback Walt Schlinkman; and that ace of all criminals - Captain Charley Brock; and fullback Ted Fritsch's healthy right toe. Defensively, the Packers were alert, allowing the Lions just 97 yards on the ground and 84 in the air, half of which came in Detroit's desperate air attack as the game ended. The Lions worked their way into Bay territory just five times and never got beyond the 40 except during the last second drive. This was the third straight Sunday that the Packers held their foes to just seven points, beating Philly, 19-7, Pittsburgh, 17-7, and Sunday Detroit 10-7. This Lion-Packer tilt bore a strange resemblance to the Packer-Pitt game of a week ago. Fritsch led off with a 41-yard field goal in the second quarter and a couple of minutes later Detroit went ahead 7-3 when Dave Ryan scooped up Tony Canadeo's fumble on the Bay 36 and ran unmolested to the end zone. The second half was only a minute old when Thief Brock just up and took the ball out of fullback Camp Wilson's hands on the Detroit 30 and ran to the 22, setting up the touchdown that won the game. Nine plays later, Schlinkman, on fourth down, slid over left tackle for the score and Roy McKay, working for the injured Fritsch, kicked the extra point. The Lions started their last quarter drive on the Packer 23 and were helped along immensely on a weird interference penalty. Canadeo intercepted a pass on the 35 and at the same time the officials accused Nussbaumer of interfering with the intended receiver despite the fact that Canadeo intercepted the ball about eight yards in front of the so-called infraction. The Packers drove into Detroit territory nine times, twice in the last quarter when McKay and, this is right, Mr. Baby Ray intercepted passes and ran to the 36 and 23-yard lines, respectively. Incidentally, it was the first time Ray had ever intercepted a pass in league competition. Mr. Schlinkman gained himself 59 yards in 14 tries for an average of 4.2 in leading the puny Bay ground attack. The other fullback, Mr. Fritsch, tossed in 26 yards in nine attempts before he went out. In total offense yardage, the Packers and Lions were dead even with 158 yards apiece. And this just about proves that the best defense proved to be the winning offense Sunday...Green Bay received the opening kickoff for the fourth straight Sunday, and proceeded to get two first downs, thereby making the Bays quite chesty - not a healthy condition for any football team. Canadeo, Fritsch and Nussbaumer combined for the first downs to the Detroit 46, but then Fritsch was stopped and Comp was smeared 22 yards trying to pass. The teams exchanged punts and the Pack made another first down through courtesy of a holding penalty. With the blockers asleep Comp decided to throw a pass and completed it to Nussbaumer for 20 yards and position on the Detroit 42. But that was all and McKay punted again to the 14. The ball was hot so Callahan quick-kicked and the Packers started on the 30. McKay ripped off 14 yards but the Detroits somehow had 12 men on the field and the gain was nullified and Detroit drew a five-yard penalty. Canadeo made five more for a firster and Schlinkman hit 10 through center for another first down on the Detroit 47. The Packer attack again stalled and McKay punted into the end zone...The Packers got the first break, but couldn't produce when Odson recovered Callahan's fumble on the Detroit 28 as the first quarter ended. A 15-yard penalty on the Bays and some meek blocking forced Fritsch to try a field goal from the 45 but it went wide. The Lions soon tried another quick kick and Nussbaumer took it on the Detroit 45 and raced to the 30. Two runs failed and Canadeo just missed Nussbaumer in the end zone so Fritsch tried another field goal, this time from the 37, but missed. Detroit was so elated that it made its first first down a second later when Wilson ran 15 yards up the middle. But this Detroit splurge was short-lived as Brock recovered a lateral fumble on the Detroit 36 for the second break to swing in favor of Green Bay. It was soon up to Fritsch's toe again - and this time he connected from the 41...Detroit just got one break and made it count for a touchdown. Schlinkman had just submarined through center for 15 yards and a first down on the Packer 44 when the Packer backfield tried a juggling act without success. Ryan scooped it up on the 36 and ran for a touchdown. DeShane booted the extra point to give Detroit a 7-3 lead. Detroit announced that it was in a fighting mood just before the half when Ryan took a swing at Brock after Captain Charley had tackled him on an eight-yard gain. Odson smothered the fire though by laying a tackle into Ryan and quiet was restored...Both clubs came out for the second half with that old blood and fire, as it were, and on the first play deal old Mr. Brock pulled his thieving act. Fritsch made eight to the 14 and Canadeo added two for a first down on the 12. Fritsch tried a run off left end and gained a yard but was hurt on the play. The injury put Ted out for the afternoon. The Lions drew a penalty for delaying the game and Canadeo made it first down on the one-foot line. This is where trouble set it and it wasn't until fourth down that Schlinkman found a hole at left guard big enough to score through. McKay was good on the extra point and the Bays led, 10-7. Detroit charged back for a couple of first downs and then gambled on a fourth down pass on the Packer 45, Forte throwing in the decisive tackle. The Packers couldn't dent the ground so Comp tried a pass and Callahan intercepted it on the Detroit 45. Detroit soon tried a pass too but McKay intercepted it on the Packer 40 and ran to the Detroit 46 as the third quarter ended...The Pack made eight yards in three plays and then tried a bit of gambling themselves, and drew an ace as Schlinkman picked up four yards and a first down on the Lion 34. Things looked good until the referee found the Pack clipping and the Bays couldn't make up the yardage in four downs so Detroit took over. Craig and Luhn threw Wilson for a six yard loss and the Lions punted to the Bay 28. Schlinkman gained eight yards but that was all so McKay tried a punt, putting it out of bounds on Detroit's 39. McKay was roughed badly on the play but the officials didn't see a thing. Roy, incidentally, went out of the game with an injury on the play. Big Ray put the Packers in position directly as he intercepted a screen pass, which on the previous two plays was good for 13 yards. Ray rumbled four yards to the Detroit 46. Comp threw two passes to Goodnight and Nussbaumer, each for eight yards, and Schlinkman picked up 11 to bring the Bays to the 24...Then the spark flickered out as Nussbaumer was tossed for a five yard loss and three passes failed, the ball going to Detroit. The Lions then started a drive that left the Bays speechless. The Lions opened up with a passing attack as the seconds ticked away and Canadeo intercepted one on the Detroit 35 but the officials accused Nussbaumer on interfering with the receiver and it gave Detroit a first down on its own 44. Then it started. Ryan tossed to Westfall for 18; Callahan connected with Maderick for six; and Ryan pegged to Ed Frutig, ex-Packer, for 10 and a first down on the Bay 20 with 20 seconds left. Ryan hit center for four and then pegged to Westfall for five yards as the game ended.
DETROIT - 0 7 0 0 - 7
GREEN BAY - 0 3 7 0 - 10
2ND - GB - Ted Fritsch, 41-yard field goal GREEN BAY 3-0
2ND - DET - Dave Ryan, 36-yard fumble return (Chuck DeShane kick) DETROIT 7-3
3RD - GB - Walt Schlinkman, 2-yard run (Roy McKay kick) GREEN BAY 10-7
DORAIS, LAMBEAU ASTONISHED AT DEFENSIVE WORK OF TWO SQUADS
OCT 28 (Green Bay) - Two old Notre Dame men, known to all grid followers as exponents of wide open, point-potent football, were more astonished than the 24,000 fans who sat in the State Fair park stands to see the Packers and Detroit Lions do a complete about face and turn in what was probably the NFL's finest dual defensive performance thus far this season. The gentlemen mentioned are E.L. (Curly) Lambeau, mentor of the Packers who played halfback under the immortal Knute Rockne in 1919, and Gus Dorais, the front end of the famous Dorais to Rockne pas combine from 1911 through 1914 who now coaches the Detroit Lions. Both agreed that defensively neither team could have been much tougher, spending most of the 60 minutes allotted them in an air-tight battle that saw both touchdowns come on breaks. Except for those two flashes and ted Fritsch's 41-yard second period field goal, they battled it out between the 30-yard lines, apparently lacking the punch for a sustained drive. Dorais, who saw his Lions drop their fifth straight league test, felt that it should have ended in a scoreless tie because "neither team showed very much. It could have very easily ended 0-0 and I think justice would have been done." The slender, mild-mannered Detroit pilot, who is having his worst season since assuming the Lion helm in 1941, wasn't too unhappy, however, because the scoreboard showed a much more respectable margin of defeat than in their last two contests against the Chicago Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams. To his mind, the outstanding player in the Packer lineup was stocky Walt Schlinkman, the Texas Tech alumnus, who was the mainstay of the Bay offense, scoring the only touchdown on a two-yard blast and picking up necessary first down yardage on other occasions to keep the offense alive. Lambeau, visited in his room at the Hotel Schroeder in the midst of a postgame discussion with Assistant Coach Don Hutson and Line Coach Walt Kiesling, viewed the afternoon's events, both here and in other league cities, with mixed emotions. The Packer mentor was in an expansive mood, because the Green Bay victory, coupled with the Bears' loss to the New York Giants and the Rams' setback at the hands of the Cardinals, put the Bays only a half game out of first place in the league's western division, right behind the Bears. But he was also feeling uneasy about next Sunday's business with those same Bears at Wrigley field in Chicago. "If we play ball against them like we did against them line we did against the Lions we're in for a terrific lacing," he said flatly. "The coaching department is far from satisfied with the general play today, particularly because we're positive they can play much better ball. Our execution, both in blocking and tackling, was very poor," he declared, "and those two sure-touchdown passes we dropped in the open didn't do us any good either." He and his two aids were, however, pleased with the work of several players who contributed big shares to the win. Up front, they thought that Baby Ray, the 250-pound Tennessee bruiser, and Nolan (Slim) Luhn, the Tulsa U. product, did some fine work in the clutches and they also had kind words for the performances of Bob Forte, late of Arkansas, and Schlinkman. Taking another glance at the rapidly league standings, Lambeau mused, half to himself, "Now if we could only have taken the Rams down here..."...Just before the kickoff, Dorais was honored by his old schoolmates from Chippewa Falls, Wis., who presented him with two gifts. The presentation was made by Roy L. Brecke, former secretary to Gov. Walter S. Goodland, and James (Buck) Shea. Dorais, Brecke told the fans, was quarterback on the Chippewa Falls High eleven back in 1909, the year before he left to begin a brilliant career at Notre Dame...Although they probably didn't knwo it, the Packers and Lions were undergoing "inspection" by an admiral. He was Rear Admiral Thomas L. Gatch, commander of the service forces, Atlantic Fleet, who viewed the proceedings from the park press box. The admiral arrived midway in the second quarter with a motor police escort after giving an address at a Navy Day observance at the Hotel Schroeder sponsored by the Milwaukee council of the Navy league. He was accompanied by Lt. Cmdr. John Kane, his aide and flag lieutenant. Following the game, he was presented with the game ball, with the autographs of all the Packer players, by Coach Lambeau...Probably the most interested spectator, aside from the Packer partisans, was Walter Halas, brother of Bear Coach George Halas, who was scrutinizing the Bays closely with an eye to next Sunday's contest in the Windy City. His son, Peter, was his spotter...Only one member of the Detroit press made the trip to Milwaukee, Bob Latshaw of the Detroit Free-Press. The Motor City newspapers have apparently lost most of their interest in the Lions after watching them drop their four previous league decisions...Among the distinguished visitors was Hugh (Shorty) Ray, technical editor of the NFL rule book, who came in from Chicago for the game...After the game, Walter Schlinkman, Packer fullback, enjoyed a brief reunion in the Hotel Schroeder lobby with Damon Tassos, Lion guard, and Camp Wilson, Detroit halfback. Walt played against the pair when Tassos operated in the line for Texas A. and M., and Wilson played for Tulsa U...For Director Wilner Burke and the Packer Lumberjacks band, Sunday's excursion was the final trip of the season. As usual, the band performed before and after the game, between halves and during timeouts, for an appreciative audience. They were supplemented by the drum majorette trio, Shirley Schwaller and Phyllis Kessler of West High and Carol Jean Collard, the band's 8-year old "sweetheart".
BEARS ARRIVE TO DRILL FOR THOSE PACKERS
OCT 29 (Chicago) - The Bears will have to get down to serious work this week. They found that out Sunday afternoon in the Polo Grounds while taking a 14 to 0 beating from the Giants - their first loss of the year. And the lesson was brought home in an even more sobering fashion yesterday when they returned from New York. For once, the town wasn't talking about the mighty Bears. The Cardinals, formerly the Bears' poor south side relations in the National league, were the chief topic of football conversation. The fans weren't talking about the Bears' Sid Luckman. They were talking about the Cards' Paul Christman, who outpitched both Luckman and the Rams' Bob Waterfield in the first half of the pennant race. Specifically, the fans were buzzing about the hurling lesson Christman gave Waterfield Sunday in Comiskey park while the varsity improved Cards were walloping the champion Rams, 34 to 10...PLAY AT BOSTON: The Cardinals, who will be rewarded with an additional day of rest today, will battle the Boston Yanks in Boston next Sunday. The names of Bill Osmanski, Hugh Gallarneau, Scooter McLean and Dante Magnani - or any other active Bear ball carrier - were omitted from Loop conversations. Any speculation on the Bears' backfield power, or recent lack of it, hinged on how quickly the injured George McAfee would return to action. There is a suspicion that, until McAfee returns, the Bears will find the second half of the league race a lot tougher than the first half. Without McAfee, in fact, the Bears could lost their hold on first place in the Western division as early as next Sunday afternoon, when they play their return Donnybrook with Green Bay in Wrigley field...THERE'S SOMETHING AT STAKE: Three Sundays ago it appeared the annual capacity crowd would watch the Bears and Packers solely for traditional reasons. The Bears had added two impressive league victories to five exhibition triumphs. They were rolling in prewar championship style. The Packers had added two league losses to four exhibition setbacks. They looked like last place contenders. How times have changed! The Packers have whipped the Eagles, Steelers and Lions while the Bears were tying the Rams, edging out the Eagles, and losing to the Giants. Another triumph Sunday would move the Packers past the Bears into first place.
OCT 29 (Milwaukee Journal) - And seconds - and this concerns our heroes of the cash and carry league, the Packers. The Packers today rest in second place in the western division of the league, a half game behind the Bears. (Let's forget all about Sunday's game. Despite what happened, they are still in second place.) Seconds cost the Packers at least a temporary undisputed lead as the race has finally taken shape - seconds in the game with the Los Angeles Rams at State Fair Park three weeks ago. That was the game in which the Rams drove 80 yards in the last few minutes, in which they were stopped on the goal line on the play which should have ended the game except for the referee's whistle, and in which, because of the whistle, they got another play and scored. A victory over the Rams, which well might have been, and the Packers today, instead of having a standing of 3 and 2 would have a standing of 4 and 1, and would rest in first place all alone. Inches and seconds - a nice happy thought for the day...FOUR MAN LINE: Could it be that the New York Giants have come up with a defense that has the T in check? They say, you know, the defense always catches up with the offense, and in Sunday's game the New York Giants really caught up with the Bears. They held them to some 70 yards rushing. A lot of things go into a football game, and it may not be the theoretical defense the Giants used at all. But there is interesting speculation nonetheless in what they did. Here it is: They used a tight four man line, anchored at either end by two great tackles, Tex Coulter of Army and Jim White of Notre Dame. They played two of their backers-up three yards back and maybe a step inside their tackles, and they dropped their ends back three yards, creating the effect of four-four - a tight four up front, and wide four among the backers-up, including the ends. The rest of the backs were deployed normally - either in a shallow two-one or a shallow three. The defense is not exactly new. Marquette tried something like it against Wisconsin, and you know what happened there. With the personnel the Giants have, however, especially with those two big tackles, it worked to perfection, as not only the result of the game but the statistics show. How long has it been since the Bears were held without a point? How long since they had to get their only real scoring opportunity on a fumble? How long since they were held to 73 yards rushing? Maybe that four man line - with the right personnel - is the answer.
PACKERS FACE CHICAGO BEARS IN DRIVE FOR NATIONAL LOOP TOP
OCT 29 (Green Bay) - Well, whaddya know! The Packers and Bears are scheduled to meet in Chicago next Sunday. This fact has been known since last April when the NFL gathered in some secluded hotel room and drew up the 1946 calendar of football activities. The fact that wasn't known, however, is that the Packers will be fighting for undisputed possession of first place in the Western division - a rather merry turn of events in view of the Bays' slow start this season. For the record, next Sunday's blowout will be the 56th between the oldest pro football rivals in this young world. In the past 55 events, the Bears won 29, the Packers 21 and five contests finished in knots. Both teams are exercising in secret as is the case during Bear-Packer Week. Neither Packer Curly Lambeau nor Bear George Halas will talk, and you can't blame 'em. Everything they do this week is strictly off the record or under the cuff, as it were...So you see, dear friends, this is also a rough week for your reporter. We don't have a thing to work with except what took place in the past five Sundays. First, it can be said that the Packers and Bears are shaping up as two different types of teams. The Packers, for instance, started this season with a grunt and a groan before swinging into the win column. The Bears are quite the opposite. They clipped off five exhibition foes and three straight league wins before the famine set in. Even though the Bears are in front of the Packers alphabetically, let's start with the Packers since they represent the city where you earn your bread and butter. Lambeau's boys lost three straight exhibitions, 7-6 to Philly; 35-31 to Washington; and 35-21 to the N.Y. Giants. They entered the opening league battle with the Bears with a lot of confidence but something was wrong in Denmark and everybody, including the Packers, knew it. The result was a 30-7 licking...Then came Los Angeles and its star-studded Rams in Milwaukee. The Packers played pretty white rings around the Stars but lost in the last eight seconds, 21-17. Incidentally, the Packers and Lambeau still burn every time they think about the official's unexplained timeout that gave Los Angeles time to run off the game winning play. On the time Sunday, the Bears exploded in the last quarter to exploded in the last quarter to whip the Cardinals, 34-17, after seeing the black handwriting on the wall for three quarters. The Packers then went east for a show with the Eagles who had beaten the Rams, 25-17. It was a great day in Shibe park as the Bays, behind 7-0, completely hamstrung the Birds the rest of the way, 19-7. That handwriting started to get blacker out in Chicago as the Bears were indeed fortunate to draw a 28-28 knot with the Rams...Pittsburgh was next for Green Bay. Despite Bill Dudley and a scrappy Steeler club, the Packers scored twice in the last quarter to win, 17-7. And on the same day, the Bears were having a rough time downing the Van Buren-less Eagles, 28-21. That brings us up to last Sunday when the Packers and Detroit hooked up in a defensive gem that was decided on Ted Fritsch's field goal, 10-7. The Bears, meantime, were being blanked (no kidding) by the Giants and their powerful line, 14-0, in a contest that had the Bears "winning" a statistical verdict. Now, dear people, you can take up from there. We've got to get out to our knot hole at the Packer practice field.
RECORD OF HUGS IN BAY-LION TILT PUTS KEN KEUPER ON TOP
OCT 29 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers' defense against points, best in the Western division and third best in the NFL, could be better. Of the 25 players Coach Curly Lambeau used Sunday for the purpose of keeping Detroit from scoring, 18 were credited with full tackles or at least pieces of a tackle such as slowing up a runner enough to allow a teammate to put him down. Seven did not make a direct tackle although they may been in on a pileup which wasn't counted in our figures. The Packers made a total of 63 tackles, 34 by the linemen and 29 by backs. Leader of the group was blocking quarterback Ken Keuper, who made 10 tackles, two in the first half and eight in the second. Keuper plays mostly on defense and close to the line. End Slim Luhn was next with eight and Captain Charley Brock and back Bob Forte were tied with seven apiece. Next was center Buddy Gatewood who got six. In the No. 4 class were blocking back Larry Craig, an offensive man, and back Bob Nussbaumer. Tackle Baby Ray and guard Dick Wildung got three apiece. In the No. 2 class were guard Al Sparlis and tackle Paul Lipscomb, while those getting one were back Walt Schlinkman, back Roy McKay, center Bob Flowers, tackle Bill Lee, back Irv Comp, tackle Tiny Croft and back Cliff Aberson. The centers got 14 tackles between them; the ends eight (all by Luhn); the tackles seven; and the guards five. What does all this mean? Just this: That the seven guys who didn't get tackles and those who participated in tackling will all have to be tackling the Chicago Bears' legs off if the Packers expect to win next Sunday. We could into a long discourse on blocking which was absolutely nil last Sunday, but there is a space shortage you know. But there is room for one statement: Without blocking next Sunday, the Packers will be - Oh, we can't say it here!...HOW ABOUT SOME CHANGES MR. NFL: Detroit had 12 men on the field when Roy McKay zipped though the middle for 15 yards; so there was a five-yard penalty on the Lions, and, of course, the gain was nullified. Whether Detroit's 12th man was there (on the field) intentionally or not we don't know, but the penalty (five yards without loss of a down) removed the Packer gain and incidentally a first down. The offended team (Green Bay) does not have the choice of taking the gain instead of the penalty. There was a similar experience in the Bear-Ram game several weeks ago. Stydahar just missed the extra point that would have left the Rams ahead, 28-27, but the Bears had a 12th man on the field. The Rams didn't have a chance to refuse the penalty because actually it is an official's penalty. For the benefit of the offended team, let them have a choice between the gain (refusal to let the Bears kick again in the Rams' case and 15 yards in the Packers') and the five yard advance on penalty...SHORT STUFF AND JUNK: Baby Ray never intercepted a pass in league action until Sunday when he anticipated a screen pass and was there at the line waiting. Two plays before, the Detroits completed a screen pass and "that darned thing whizzed past me only a foot away," Baby said. "Shoulda had that one too," he added...Tilly Voss, ex-Giant, Bear and Packer, picks his three former bosses, Steve Owen, George Halas and Curly Lambeau, "the most successful coaches in pro football today". Voss played here in 1927 and he's living in Detroit now...The Eagles' Greasy Neale would take Steve Van Buren any day over George McAfee. Says Neale: "Van Buren can run over them as well as away from them, and McAfee can only run away." Incidentally, McAfee hasn't seen any league action for the Bears yet in 1946 and we're wondering about next Sunday...Card coach Jimmy Conzelman has lost 40 pounds since last May, presenting a fairly graphic example of what it takes to assemble a team in major league football. Turk Edwards, Redskin coach, twice turned down the job because he didn't think he was ready for a head coachship.
CHECK PACKERS' RECORD IN BATTLE OF STATISTICS
OCT 30 (Milwaukee Sentinel-Lloyd Larson) - According to the story books, figures don't lie. But there are times when figures actually do a little fibbing. For instance, Ohio State and Minnesota recorded identical yardage totals by rushing and passing last Saturday. Yet, the Buckeyes won the game by the comfortable margin of 39-9. And here are other examples from the Western Conference: Northwestern, leading the race, has the best record on offense, but ranks only fifth best defensively...Illinois, currently runner-up, is no better than sixth offensively and fourth defensively...Indiana, tied for fifth in the standings, tops all rivals defensively and ranks fourth on offense. Among the pros, too, figures don't always paint a true picture. Take the case of the New York Giants, who gained a total of 160 yards (73 rushing and 87 passing) and still blanked the Chicago Bears, who completed 23 out of 40 passes for 227 yards and rushed for 155 - a grand total of 382. Final score: Giants 14, Bears 0. And so it is with the Green Bay Packers, who have three victories and two defeats and came within a few second of beating the Rams - a victory which would have given them the National League's western division lead as of this date. Taken by and large, the Bays haven't looked like prospective champions on the field and haven't been any fireballers statistically. So, again, cold figures don't bear out the standings...PASSING IS KEY TO LOW YARDAGE TOTAL: In five league games, the Lambeaumen have gained a net total of 1,173 yards - an average of 234.6, which is very ordinary for the pros, who usually fling the ball often and for large gains. The breakdown per game shows: Passing, 96 yards; rushing, 138. Against the Rams, the Packers, in their best game, gained 396 yards and against the Steelers, thanks to long marches on the ground, they piled up 371. Which means that they were held to 406 yards in the other three league tussles. The answer to all this probably is passing - rather, the lack of it. The Bays have pitched 93 passes, 66 of which fell incomplete or were intercepted. Only 27 clicked for a "batting average" of .290. A team hitting no better than .290 not only fails to rack up touchdowns directly, but also decreases its own chances of doing it the hard way - on the ground. After all, an effective pass attack does double duty: 1 - Gains yards in big chunks, and 2 - loosens up the defense on running plays. Moral: Oil up the passing attack before next Sunday's meeting with the hungry Chicago Bears! Here is the resume of Green Bay's offensive efforts in league games to date:
2 PACKERS TOP NFL STATISTICS
OCT 30 (Green Bay) - Two members of the Green Bay Packers are leading the NFL in their specialties, according to statistics released by the league offices today. Texas Roy McKay continuing to top the punters and Ted Fritsch taking the field goal lead from veteran Ward Cuff of the Chicago Cardinals. McKay punted six times against the Detroit Lions at Milwaukee to boost his total to 29 in five games and his average to 43 yards per kick. Fritsch booted a 41-yard field goal, his fourth in six attempts, to displace Cuff, who has four in eight tries. Tommy Thompson, the Philadelphia quarterback who got into the Army with only one eye and remained to be decorated in action, took third place from Sid Luckman in the NFL statistics this week, moving in behind Paul Christman and Sammy Baugh. Bob Waterfield moved into fifth ahead of Frank Filchock of the New York Giants. Three touchdowns on eighteen completions in 24 attempts, including the last minute score which gave the Eagles a 28 to 24 victory over unbeaten Washington, lifted the veteran out of a tie for fourth place and constituted the finest single game performance of the year...DUDLEY INCEASES LEAD: Christman retained the lead by completing 16 of 30 attempts for 227 yards and two touchdowns as the Chicago Cardinals whipped the world champion Los Angeles Rams. Baugh made secure his second place with eight out of eleven, although two of his passes were intercepted and he did not connect for a score. Bill Dudley of Pittsburgh added to his ground gaining lead, picking up 30 yards in eight attempts against Boston, but the former B-29 pilot was more active in other departments. Two touchdowns and a pair of extra points moved him from sixth to second in scoring. He moved from fourth into a tie for third in punting and tied last year's winning total in interceptions by snaring his sixth and seventh enemy pass of the season.
REMEMBER 1941? PACKERS BEAR BEARS, 16-14; HOW ABOUT 1946?
OCT 30 (Green Bay) - Back in 1941, the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears were pretty hot stuff around the country. Seems like they were so good that they finished their Western division battle in a tie, each club winning 10 and losing one. No other team
could beat them except "them themselves". South of a line running about a mile north of Milwaukee, the experts acclaimed the Bears as the greatest of all pro time especially after the Bears dusted off the Bays, 25-17, at City stadium on Sept. 28 of that infamous year. The two rivals entered the second phase of their arguments fairly even since the Bears had five straight wins and the Bays captured six in a row after losing to the Bruins. The place was Wrigley field and the date was Nov. 2 - one day less than five years ago next Sunday. The Bears, with their T-formation getting almost getting almost unbelievable publicity all over the United States, were favored. but the Packers were determined to win. They had so much spirit and grit that the "great" Bear line couldn't get started not to mention the Messrs. Luckman, McAfee and Osmanski. The final score was 16-14 in favor of Green Bay...The story hasn't changed much for next Sunday's meeting between the two rivals in Wrigley field. The Packers will be fighting to get into first place and thereby making a big stab toward that 1946 championship lettuce. The Packers have seven holdovers from the 1941 classic and the Bears have 11 - a pretty good combination if you've ever thrown those square marbles. Back with the Packers are tackles Baby Ray and Bill Lee, both nine-year men; guard Russ Letlow, blocking back Larry Craig and captain-center Charley Brock, all eight-year men; end Carl Mulleneaux, a six-year pro vet; and halfback Herman Rohrig, a youngster of only three years with the Bays. Rohrig, incidentally, was a freshman in 1941 and later went into service. Back with the Bears are backs Sid Luckman, Bill Osmanski, George McAfee and Hugh Gallarneau; end George Wilson; tackle Ed Kolman and Joe Stydahar; guards Ray Bray and Al Baisi; and centers Bulldog Turner and Al Matuza. Wilson is the old man of the group, having put in 10 years. Stydahar has been around for nine; Luckman, eight; Osmanski and Turner, six each; Bray, five; Kolman, Gallarneau, Baisi, Matuza, McAfee, four each...From Chicago, the Bear publicists report that "except for minor bruises the Bears came out of the Giant fray in good condition." It adds: "Bulldog Turner is expected to start against the Packers while Joe Osmanski, Frank Maznicki and Ray McLean will be available for full time duty." The Bears office release fails to mention Luckman and McAfee, who hasn't played in a league game this season because of a leg hurt. He was mysteriously missing when the Bears were in Green Bay Sept. 29. However, Chicago newspaper reports claim McAfee will be ready for next Sunday. Incidentally, the press in Chicago also reported Tuesday that Turner picked up a charley horse early in the Giant game and didn't finish while Luckman developed a knee hurt. This type of injury won't bother "Luck" who will probably play only on offense as a passer and a signal caller...Speaking of injuries, the Packers, with few exceptions, will be in top shape. Bob Adkins, who fractured his leg in the New York exhibition, has the cast off but will not be used against the Bears. Bruce Smith, who rested a kidney hurt on the bench last Sunday, will see action against the Bears as will big, tough and rough Ed Neal, who also was held from duty last Sunday. Though physical injuries are serious enough, the injury that could hurt the Packers more than anything is upstairs in that old brain. They call it mental attitude, and it wins and loses a lot of ball games. The Packers find themselves in a delightful spot since a win would put them in first place and on the inside track toward the championship and $$$$. These two items alone should provide the Bays with that winning spirit...Tony Canadeo is leading Packer ground gainers with a total of 220 yards in 62 attempts for an average of 3.5. Fullback Ted Fritsch is next with 182 yards. Another fullback, Walt Schlinkman, crept into third place among the Packers with a big burst against Detroit. He now has gained 96 yards in 34 attempts. Canadeo is fifth in league ground gaining averages. Bob Forte and Smith have the top averages, although they have carried the ball few times. Smith gained 72 yards in 10 attempts for a 7.2 average, and Forte gained 42 in three tries for a 14-yard average. The Packer ground averages are as follows:
PACKERS INVADE BEAR LAIR
OCT 30 (Green Bay) - All roads lead to Chicago next Sunday where Coach E.L. (Curly) Lambeau's pennant-seeking Packers and the Chicago Bears will renew their long and bloody grid rivalry for the 56th time at the Windy City's Wrigley field, 2 p.m. This one shapes up as a "natural" because right now the two clubs are running one-two in the NFL's Western division race, the Bears riding the top rung and the Packers handing on tight, just a half lap below. As all good Packer fans know, the Lambeau will be out for blood this time, with the memory of that sad 30-7 setback at
City stadium here four weeks ago to give them all the pep and ginger they need without thinking of their position in the standings. But the fact of the matter is, if the Bays win, they'll be perched on top of the loop, a half game ahead of the bristling Bruins, who now have won three, lost one and tied one while the Packers have won three and lost two. All three Packer victories came after losing their first two tussles, that one to the Bears and the disputed decision to the Los Angeles Rams, proving that Lambeau's men are definitely on the upgrade. The Bay pigskin tutor is keeping his fingers crossed in the hopes that all his boys will be ready to go against the Bears because he knows he'll need every ounce of power he can muster to muzzle the Halasmen who'll be fighting made after dropping that 14-0 game to Stout Steve Owen's rough and tough New York Giants last Sunday.
NOTE TO PHOTOG: LET'S GET HUNK
OCT 30 (Chicago) - The sports photographers haven't snapped a good kissing picture since Eddie Dyer smacked Enos Slaughter on his tobacco dimple - a few minutes after the Cardinals' seductive slugger scored the winning run of the World Series. But maybe romance will return to sports Sunday afternoon in Wrigley field. Certainly, if the Bears' line finally charges and tackles as it can, but hasn't yet and the Bears hold their western division lead in the National league by whipping the second place Packers, somebody ought to kiss one of the coaches. Hunk Anderson would seem to be the logical choice. Hunk's overdue - unless you want to count the time back in early August when his cocker spaniel, Champ, bit him on the leg...BULLDOG COULD APPLY PRESSURE: Ken Kavanaugh, a romantic southern lad, could serve as Champ's stand-in - and it might be a good idea for photographers desiring the stock dressing room shot to ask Bulldog Turner's assistance. If Bulldog gets the right grip on Hunk's arm, Hunk will be glad to cooperate. After that, it's almost a sure fire picture. The only failure this year occurred in the Red Sox dressing room after the first game with the Cardinals. A prominent Bostonian, allegedly Ted Williams, flatly refused to kiss the home run hitter, Rudy York. The incident revealed a lack of harmony which may have widespread repercussions...IT JUST COULDN'T MISS: It's made to order for the advertising copywriter. Expect something like this in those strip soap ads by spring: A slugging rookie reports to a big league training camp (let's say the Cubs), earns a starting berth and wins the season opener with a ninth inning home run. However, there is no rush of Cub volunteers to kiss our aromatic hero in the shower room. Our hero wonders why. He broods. He asks questions, but even Bob Lewis, the traveling secretary, won't tell him why his reservations call for the baggage car instead of the Pullman. Our hero's hitting falls off. He departs for Los Angeles. The slump persists. Nobody loves him. By early September he is playing for Peoria in the Three-Eye league. There, fortunately for the Cubs, he overhears several of his teammates whispering in the shower room. It's a shock to our hero, but he recovers quickly, buys a cake of soap and returns to the Cubs in time to beat the Cards for the pennant with a homer in the last game of the year. Fadeout: Lewis and Charley Grimm kissing our hero. We should have more virile, convincing advertising of this nature. Move stars collect too much of the easy endorsement dough - Athletes, particularly college coaches, have been overlooked shamefully. It's been six years, for instance, since Elmer Layden, then Notre Dame coach, manfully revealed in a full-page spread that he wore long underwear. It would seem the copywriters have missed a bet in Frank Leahy, Layden's lugubrious successor. Frank would right into another of those stock ads. Example: Frank is walking sorrowfully from the projection room after reviewing the Iowa pictures and sighing over the punchless Irish offense (only 41 points!). Two assistant coaches are in the background. One is saying to the other: "I wonder what's got into Frank lately?" From there, of course, any apprentice copywriter could suggest a dozen remedies, in jars, tubes and tablet form, including the large economy size gallon jug, which would have Frank smiling like a toothpaste ad in 10 minutes.
SPIRIT SOARS AS PACKERS WORK HARD FOR CHICAGO BEAR BATTLE
OCT 31 (Green Bay) - The weather was changeable out at the Packer practice field Wednesday. It was kinda muggy and hot as the boys went through their calisthenics and then the air got crisp and the sun peeked out. Soon, some dark clouds loosened up and sprinkled a bit of rain. It looked like there was a storm brewing. Then the wind started to howl and blew leaves all over the place. And the first thing you knew the black clouds had disappeared and the Bays were bathed in sunshine again. Expect you'd like to know what the Packers did during their two hours. But that is a secret for the obvious reason that the Green Bays play the Bears in Chicago next Sunday. This much isn't secret, however: The spirit was terrific - on all 33's. The big boys, who were six seconds out of first place at one time, can smell that top spot. And they're fully aware that in order to take over the lead they must whip the Bears. The old spirit and guts, the greatest weapons in football, were among the Packers Wednesday and they had more of it today - a healthy sign before any game and especially the Bear tiff. A brief example of the drill on Wednesday: The Bays went into every play howling and screaming like they had just beaten somebody - and bad. They were yelling at each other, handing a bit of praise when things went good and growling when they went bad. And so we end Phase No. 1 of today's Bear-Packer sketch. Phase No. 2 follows...The Green Bay Packers' defense may be their best offense against the Bears in Chicago Sunday. Once the air offensive scourge of the NFL, the Bays now are the top defensive club, against passing and points, in the West division. Only Pittsburgh, in the Eastern division, has a better defensive record against passing and points. The Bays, for instance, have allowed opponents 583 yards on 47 completed passes, while Pitt has given up 536 yards on 40 passes. The Bears' opponents have gained 629 yards by passing on 37 passes. In short, the Bear opponents averaged 17 yards every time they passed while the Packers' foes made slightly over 12 yards. The Packers and Bears are even in interceptions - snaring 11 apiece. Now for Phase No. 3, a bit of offense...The Bears and Packers are virtually even in ground yardage, the Bays making 712 and the Bears 711. But here's the about-face from former Bear-Packer teams. The Bears have gained 930 yards passing compared to the Packers' 481. On first downs rushing, the Bears outdid the Bays, 41-40, but in passing the Bears hold a 31-16 advantage. An interesting comparison of the two clubs can be seen in a table running with this story. And now for Phase 4, a bit on individuals...Not too much can be said about individuals because the Packers have adopted a team spirit which has no place for individualism. However, in the interests of you readers, we will use the names of four lads - Herman Rohrig, Ted Fritsch, Bruce Smith, and Bob Adkins. The first three are bothered somewhat with hurts and whether they can go at a 100 percent clip is purely up to themselves, barring serious injuries, of course. Guard Adkins, while his leg is out of a cast, will be unable to play...The daily news reports from
Chicago today revealed that the Bears have added a new back. Lloyd Reese, from their Akron farm club. The 240-pound back, who averaged 8.8 yards per crash in the minor circuit, is expected to see plenty of action. Veteran Bill Osmanski had been carrying most of the fullback load since Joe Osmanski and Don Perkins are supposedly hurt. The report says that all of the Bear cripples, with the exception of George McAfee, will be ready to go Sunday. McAfee's ailment seems to be a mystery in Chicago. However, in Green Bay, the Packers wouldn't be a bit surprised if George saw action.
BILL DUDLEY IS MOVING TOWARD MORE RECORDS
OCT 31 (New York) - Although adding to his ground gaining lead, Bill Dudley of the Pittsburgh Steelers was more active in other offensive departments of play last Sunday, according to statistics released by the NFL Wednesday. Dudley picked up 30 yards against the Boston Yanks to increase his ground gaining total to 399 in 81 attempts for a 4.9 percentage. The onetime Virginia star also scored two touchdowns and a pair of extra points to jump from sixth to second in the individual scoring race, five points behind Ward Cuff of the Chicago Cardinals, who paces the loop with 42 points. Dudley also moved into a third place tie with Sid Luckman of the Bears for punting honors and intercepted two passes to boost his total to seven, tops in the loop. The punt return leadership was also retained by Dudley, who has brought back 10 boots 153 yards for an average distance of 15.3. Ray McLean of the Bears is second with a 12.2 figure. Paul Christman of the Chicago Cardinals continued to lead the passers. Christman completed 16 of 30 attempts for 227 yards against Los Angeles to run his output to 56 in 114 tries and 891 yards. The pass receiving leadership was retained by Jim Benton of Los Angeles. He has gathered in 23 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns. Green Bay's Ted Fritsch displaced Cuff as the circuit's top field goal kicker. The veteran Packer booted his fourth three pointed in six tries against Detroit. Cuff has placekicked four in eight attempts. Another Packer, Roy McKay, continued to lead the punters, averaging 43 yards on 29 punts, while Frank Seno of the Cards replaced Abe Karnofsky of Boston as the top kickoff return leader. Seno, who two weeks ago returned a New York kickoff 105 yards, has brought back nine kickoffs for a total of 289 yards, while Karnofsky has returned 10 for 244 yards.
PACKER LINE WILL MEET A MR. REESE OF BEARS SUNDAY
OCT 31 (Chicago) - Coach George Halas remarked after the Bears' workout in Wrigley field yesterday: "The pre-war champion Bears were running teams. So far this year we've been a passing team. To regain the championship this year, we have to become a running team again." Halas then revealed the first move in the campaign to bolster the ground offense. He pointed to a husky, black-haired youngster. "That's Lloyd Reese. We've just brought him up from our Akron farm club. He's a fullback - a six footer, 240 pounds, and lots of drive. And we didn't bring him up to from Akron to sit on the bench - he'll get plenty of work against the Packers Sunday afternoon." The 24 year old Reese was an offensive standout in the Bears' training sessions at Collegeville, Ind., but was unfamiliar with the complex T offense. Halas decided the youngster would develop faster playing the T in the minors than watching it in the majors. It was a wise decision. Reese has averaged 8.8 yards per plunge for Akron and scored four touchdowns in six games. Under Coach Gene Ronzani, the ex-Bear quarterback, Lloyd has become familiar with the Halas offense. Recently Ronzani told Halas: "Any time you need a fullback, Reese is ready to go." With Bill Osmanski overworked, and the other two fullbacks - Joe Osmanski and Don Perkins - question marks because of recurrent leg injuries, and the western division lead in the National league at stake against the Packers Sunday afternoon would seem an excellent time for Reese to make Ronzani's prediction look good before a sellout crowd of 45,000 in Wrigley field. Reese is a native of New Philadelphia, O., and played at the University of Tennessee in 1940-41 before joining the Army air forces. All the Bear cripples - with the exception of George McAfee - should be in good shape for Green Bay. Bulldog Turner, whose first quarter withdrawal handicapped the Bears seriously against the Giants, will be back at center. Sid Luckman has lost the limp accruing from his New York left injury. "We're lucky Sid doesn't have a sore arm," Halas said. "We threw 40 passes against the Giants. Anytime we have to throw 40 times something's wrong with our ground attack." The first place Bears could virtually eliminate the Packers from the western scramble with a victory Sunday - but not if Luckman has to fire 40 passes. Sid never worked that hard when the Bears were winning the western title in 1941 and 1943 with vital victories over the Packers. In 1941, Sid completed only 5 of 14 passes for only 48 yards while the runners were accumulating 267. In 1943, Sid completed 7 of 15 for 155 yards while the runners made 218. Maybe, as Halas hopes, the addition of Reese will restore the necessary running ration to the Bears' offense.
AERIAL DEFENSIVE ABILITY MARK OF ACE BACK; FIELD GOAL ON KICKOFF
OCT 31 (Green Bay) - Good running backs in the NFL are a dime a dozen, and that is said with all respect to some of the Packer flashes. The balance wheel between an all-league back (and that doesn't include a blocking quarterback or a T quarterback because they rarely carry the ball) and the ordinary breakaway or plunging ace should be this: His ability to defense against passes. Boys like McAfee, Van Buren, Harmon, Dudley, Canadeo, Fritsch and Smith to mention a few could make an all-pro team for their work as runners, but when the experts sit down to pick the 1946 bests let them do one of two things: (1) Select two backfields, one a defensive unit and the other an offensive group; or (2) use careful judgment in naming at least two backs who are experts on pass defense. At any rate someone should get credit for the five or six touchdowns per game that were not scored because of great pass defenders. Pro football this year has one great change, brought about chiefly by the new substitution rule. The new movement is resulting in use of two teams - one for defense and the other for defense. So, dear readers, if you're dreaming up a star backfield please do no forget Joe Blow who can knock down a pass anywhere and anyhow...KICKOFF FIELD GOAL IN PRO BALL: The boys around the corner were discussing a rule for pros permitting them to boot field goals on kickoffs. This, we dare say, would become rather monotonous since kickers like Fritsch, Cuff, Strong and others can split those uprights regularly on kickoffs. However, if you want a change, how about allowing a field goal provision on kickoffs in the last two, or even five minutes of each half. This certainly would kill a lot of ties and provide a bit more excitement...WHAT ABOUT THAT OTHER LEAGUE: It's been a long time since we mentioned the other pro football league, and can you blame us. With the exception of Cleveland, the other teams seem to have the rocky sledding the NFL thought it would experience. The crowds just aren't reporting and the coaching muddle is strictly a joke. Five mentors have left and the Chicago entry even got do hard up that the players coached themselves. Sounds sorta semi-proish, and let's go on record here and now as follows: There is only one major football league - the National circuit. Regarding Cleveland's booming home crowds, we have it on good authority that Cleveland is lousy with FREE tickets (for putting up signs, etc.) for Brownie home tilts.
PACKERS ARE CONCEDING BEARS BIG NOTHING
NOV 1 (Green Bay) - The Packers aren't conceding the Bears a thing. That comes from the boss himself, Curly Lambeau, and he has the full backing of his players and coaching aides, Walt Kiesling and Don Hutson. Lambeau is convinced that his Packers can beat anything around this National league. IF all his boys give out every minute they're in action. And the sweetest part is this: The Packers, themselves, are feeling the game way. In short, the Packers are bristling with spirit which means a lot of fight - one of the most important factors in any Bear-Packer game. Lambeau expects his boys to let loose with everything Sunday because everything is at stake: (1) First place; (2) an inside track toward the National league championship plus a four-figure gold plum; and (3) a final knockdown of the T-formation...The Packers continued to steam Thursday and the spirit was riding high again today. There was just a touch of ugliness - a beautiful sign - in Thursday's drill as the boys muffed a play or two. The confidence is high and along with it the Packers are developing a "meanness" that is necessary to whip the Bears at their own game. Actually, the Packers and Bears will enter Sunday's game fairly even. The one exception is passing, but on the other hand the Packers have a better record for pass defense. The Bears have been shutout once this season, while the Bays scored in every game...About passing, the Packers have shown nothing to match Sid Luckman's record - YET. But it develops today that the Packers' passing, long dreaded in the National loop, could provide a twin for the Bays' ground offensive which so far has outdistanced the Bears' turf activities. Thus far, Irv Comp has been shouldering most of the Packer passing but Lambeau has a number of other backs who can throw. Chief receivers are ends Nolan Luhn and Clyde Goodnight, but don't forget everybody is eligible to receive except the centers, guards and tackles. The fullbacks, Ted Fritsch and Walt Schlinkman, and left half Tony Canadeo have been carrying the brunt of the Bay ground offense. But a lot of backs have yet to open up as yet, and Sunday seems like a good time for same...The Packer line, of course, is the key to victory and it can be said that the Bay forwards, at times, have played themselves some fine games. In practice this week, the big wall showed considerable drive and gusts on offense and defense. Youngster Urb Odson, at tackle, seems to be coming into his own while the two veterans, Baby Ray and Paul Lipscomb, are working harder than ever. After Thursday's drill they jogged up and down the field twice - purely on their own hook. Big Ed Neal, who didn't play against Detroit last Sunday, is laying off the heavy stuff and spends some of his time shadow boxing in a corner of the field. Ed holds a number of collegiate boxing victories. In short, the Packers, with the exception of guard Bob Adkins, who won't uniform, will be ready physically, and from the view of things this week they'll be in super shape mentally...Besides putting them themselves in the front seat of the National league's gravy ($$$) train, the Packers can upset a pot of T in Wrigley field. The T pot hasn't been boiling much of late because somebody has been putting out the fire that's been keeping it boiling. The Giants did a wonderful job of fire extinguishing last Sunday by bottling up the Bears' T-formation to such an extent that it couldn't even score a point. On the same day out in Washington, the T-minded Philly Eagles dropped behind the Redskins, 24-0, at halftime. Between halves, the Eagles decided to switch over to the single wing and forget about the T entirely. The result: Philly scored 28 points to win 28-24. The Eagles got their first lesson when the Packers pushed them back over 50 yards in three minutes to gain a safety on Oct. 13. The Pack has a line that would like nothing better than to jam the point of the T right into Lake Michigan Sunday p.m. Without a point, the T would be rather dull.
SUPER-DUPER RUMOR FOUNDRY: IF HUTSON PLAYS SUNDAY, MCAFEE OR TURNTER WILL WORK IN T-QUARTERBACK; WHO'S KIDDIN' WHO?
NOV 1 (Green Bay) - How did you like those apples out of Chicago re Don Hutson getting back into uniform again? Dapper Dan, who made up his mind to quit football after the last game in 1945, still is Coach Don and not player Don. Hut calls the rumor story "plain foolish and mighty silly". Here's how the yarn started: The Bears' daily publicity sheet came out with the dope that "this will be the first time in 12 years that Hutson will not play in Wrigley field". That fact is perfectly true. However, near the bottom of the story, there was this note: "The Bears, naturally, are prepared for any eventuality, which includes the last minute appearance of Hutson in uniform." The Chicago papers jumped on that like you or I would a century note floating loose in the breeze. The story from Chicago is kind corny because if Hutson had decided to play he would have had to be placed in the eligible list by last Tuesday, which would mean that the Bears would know all about it anyway. Now that we're on the subject of rumors and how they start, here's one that we dreamed up while listening to Frank Sinatra swoon the other night. It goes like this: George McAfee, who passes very effectively from the left side (like Frankie sing), will play T-quarterback if and when Sid Luckman, who is supposedly injured, goes out Sunday. Mr. McAfee has been mysteriously sidelined during the league season and the closest thing to his availability seems to be a report that he wears a sweat shirt in practice. Now Mr. McAfee
isn't going to step onto Wrigley field Sunday and run as of old after six weeks of bench warming. However, it's possible he can step into Luck's shoes if Mr. Luck comes up with that injury. Young Tom Farris, Luckman's understudy, hasn't been panning out too well and McAfee, being an all-around sort, could fit into the T where his legs wouldn't get so much use. It's purely a rumor, folks. After listening to Sinatra, and imagining McAfee in the slot, we were unfortunate enough to hear that other singer, Mr. Rudy Valee. This brought on another rumor: That Bulldog Turner, long a center, has worked so close to Luckman that he will exchange places with Sid. In short Turner will save his charley horse by using his arm for passing. Somebody should have turned on a Strauss waltz. Here's something that isn't a rumor: Tom Miller, Packer switch end, twice was named the most valuable Philadelphia Eagle player in games against the Bears. Philly writers always pick the most valuable ace at Eagle home games, and when the Bays were out there recently they named that big tackle, Red Kilroy.
BEARS TAKE NO CHANCES; DRILL FOR MR. HUTSON
NOV 1 (Chicago Tribune) - This continues to be a screwy football season. Coach George Halas reports the Bears devoted an hour of their drill in Wrigley field yesterday to reviewing defenses for Don Hutson. The Bears usually carry about 12 defenses in their repertoire, but - with special Hutson variations - the number always was raised to 28 when the Packers' pass catching end came to town. Hutson will be here again Sunday afternoon. The Packers insist Don will act solely as bench assistant to Coach Curly Lambeau. However, Halas seems suspicious that - with the western division lead at stake - Don will assist Curly with a brief pass catching appearance. The considerate Packers sought to allay Halas' suspicions yesterday. "I have no intention of playing any more at all. Even if I had, it would have been necessary for me to be placed on the eligible player list by Tuesday of this week - and the Bears would have known." When informed of Hutson's forthright utterance, Halas said: "Unless I've been misreading the rules for many years, Don can be restored to eligibility as late as noon Saturday. You know, I think we'll spend another hour on Hutson defenses tomorrow." Meanwhile, the Packers were reviewing their defenses for George McAfee, the celebrated "One Play" game buster, who hasn't participated in even one play during the Bears' first five games. Halas says McAfee's knee injury has not healed sufficiently to risk using his ace ball carrier against the Packers. However, Halas' McAfee bulletin will be viewed with genuine suspicion in Green Bay. The Bears must beat the runner-up Packers to retain the western lead. Halas might use McAfee as a decoy in a tight spot. So it would seem that the Bears and Packers yesterday prepared for the biggest pro game of the year by readying defenses for two fellows who probably will be just spectators among the sellout crowd of 45,000. Not that the alleged workouts were waste motion. The Packers have a trio of excellent receivers in Clyde Goodnight, Nolan Luhn and Bob Nussbaumer. And the Packers' McAfee defense may be needed to stop some pretty fair Bear runners - for instance, Hugh Gallarneau, Frank Maznicki, Dante Magnani or Scooter McLean. The Bears also went through extended offensive maneuvers. Lloyd Reese, the rookie from Akron, was running at first team fullback. Halas said the 240 pound Reese will get lots of work against the Packer line, although dependable Bill Osmanski retains the starting assignment. Bill rested yesterday to permit Lloyd to become familiar with quirks in the Bears' offense which are not incorporated in the Akron farm club's attack.
HUTSON 'WON'T' PLAY
NOV 1 (Milwaukee) - Coach Curly Lambeau and Don Hutson came out yesterday with flat denials of reports Don would be in the Green Bay Packer lineup Sunday when the Bays invade Chicago to renew their bitter rivalry with the Bears. Coach Lambeau declared flatly: "There's nothing to it," while Hutson stated: "I have no intention of playing anymore at all. Even if I had it would have been necessary for my name to be placed on the eligible player list by Tuesday of this week - and the Bears would know." Reports had Hutson working out in secret for the past two weeks for his leap from retirement. At the New York office of the NFL, it was stated that Hutson would be able to play providing his name was placed on the list by Saturday.
PACKERS, BEARS CLASH 56TH TIME IN CHICAGO
NOV 2 (En Route To Chicago) - The Green Bay Packers are riding the rails this evening with a WE WILL WIN spirit. They're going to Chicago to play their most hated rivals, the Bears, for the 56th time since 1921 Sunday afternoon in a 1946 NFL classic that will either put the Packers in first place or drop them down the ladder another notch. The place is Wrigley field on Chicago's north side, and 46,000 persons will be on hand. Kickoff is at 2 o'clock. It was just 18 days ago that the Packers made another train trip vowing that they'd win. They were going to Philadelphia and needed a win to stay in the race. They had spirit and guts to burn, and it paid off, 19-7, over the T-minded Eagles. It's been the same story all week, and today they pulled out of the North Western station steaming with confidence...There is another likeness between the Philly and Chicago trips. Back on Oct. 13, the Eagles were two touchdown favorites and today the Chicago press hailed the Bears as a 24-13 winner. The Bays love the role of underdog because it makes victory all the juicier. The Packers have been pointing for this one since last Sept. 29 at City stadium when the Bears grounded out a 30-7 win. That day, the Bays looked and worked badly and they knew it. The Bears, on the other hand, felt that they played their best ball of the season on that terrible Sunday. So the Bays cannot help but feel what would have happened if the Packers had produced a 100 percent performance. The Packers will know tomorrow because they're going to Chicago with a great team spirit which means full speed ahead for every Blue and Gold gridder every second they're in action...The Green Bay crew closed a week of successful drills with a light warmup this morning in the stadium and everybody got a chance to take his last physical stretch before cutting loose Sunday. They're relaxing in a rather mean frame of mind from now on until 2 o'clock when they can let go with everything in this battle that will decide whether or not the Packers can really start discussing a return trip to the home of the East division champion. Sunday's battle, and it will be just that, shapes up as a struggle - on the basis of past showings at least - between the Bears' passing and the Packers' passing defense. Neither team has bristled too much on the ground. Coach Curly Lambeau hold a big ace up his sleeve - an air offensive. Thus far, the Packers have shown little or nothing to compare with activities of Bear passer Sid Luckman. But Sunday may be the day the Bays take to the ozone successfully...The Packers are in great condition physically and mentally. Fullback Ted Fritsch and halfback Bruce Smith are bothered with physical hurts somewhat but they'll be going at top speed whenever they're in action. All of the pitching arms, incidentally, are loose as goose grease and the receivers are ready. What the Packers and Bears do offensively is, of course, a dark secret. It's a good bet though that Hugh Gallarneau and Bill Osmanski will carry the load on the ground for the Bears, with help from fullback rookie Lloyd Reese. George McAfee may be used in spots - if at all. Luckman will do all of the passing unless George Halas has a surprise up his sleeve. For the Packers, at least six gents are apt to divide up the passing duties and all of the backs plus the ends are possible receivers; all the more to confuse Bear defenses. Chief among these are Irv Comp, Tony Canadeo, and Cliff Aberson. The racing along the ground could feature Fritsch and his expert fullback mate, Walt Schlinkman. From halfback slots, Canadeo, Comp, Bruce Smith, Herman Rohrig, Bob Nussbaumer, Bob Forte and Charley Mitchell will run behind the blocking of Larry Craig, Ken Keuper, and Al Zupek...The man from Texas, Roy McKay, will work from the fullback and halfback posts plus doing an important job - punting, a duty he has done better than any other kicker in the league in 1945 and so far in 1946. In front of all these backs are the guys who really do the heavy work - the linemen. From end to end, the wall is in perfect condition. The closest thing to an injuree - guard Ed Neal - is completely healed after a good rest and is raring to go. For the first time in many years, Lambeau has potential power in the first two positions (and three in some cases) at each line spot, including the wise old heads of veterans Baby Ray, Russ Letlow and Bill Lee. The starting line will probably have Goodnight and Luhn at ends; Ray and Lipscomb at tackles; rookies Dick Wildung and Merv Pregulman at guards; and Charley Brock at center. Backing up these boys are Tom Miller and Don Wells at ends; Tiny Croft, Lee and Urb Odson at tackles; Al Sparlis, Letlow and Bill Kuusisto at the guards; and Bob Flowers and Buddy Gatewood at the center...The Packers will stay at the Knickerbocker hotel tonight and will return on the Milwaukee Road on Sunday night, arriving at 10:40.
LEAD IN BOTH PRO DIVISIONS AT STAKE IN SUNDAY'S GAMES
NOV 2 (Milwaukee Journal) - The lead in both divisions of the NFL will be at stake Sunday when the New York Giants, eastern pace setters, invade Philadelphia and the Green Bay Packers move in against the Chicago Bears, front runners in the western half of the pro circuit. If Philadelphia's Eagles whip the Giants, they will take over the eastern lead, but only if Washington fails to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh. A Redskin victory and a New York defeat would return the Skins to the top spot. The Packers, beaten twice in five starts, could move into the western lead by beating the Bears, whose record includes three wins, a loss and a tie. The Giants with four victories and one defeat, have the best record in the league. Washington has won three, lost one and tied one, while Philadelphia has won three and lost two. In other NFL games Sunday the Los Angeles Rams, fourth place team in the west, visit Detroit, whose Lions are in the western cellar, and the third place Chicago Cardinals invade Boston, last place team in the east, for the only game involving clubs of both divisions. Neither leader is in danger in the All-America conference, which scatters its games throughout the weekend. The Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Rockets, both operating under new coaches, were scheduled for a game in Chicago Friday night but it was postponed in midafternoon because of rain. The San Francisco Forty-niners, who
knocked the Cleveland Browns out of the unbeaten class last Sunday to leave both professional leagues without a single undefeated team, entertain the Buffalo Bisons Saturday. The Bisons have been doing some upsetting of their own, stopping the Rockets last week and the Forty-niners two weeks ago. The Browns, still well out in front in the western division, will be at Los Angeles for a battle with the Dons Sunday while the New York Yankees, firmly entrenched in the eastern lead, entertain the Miami Seahawks.
PACKERS' BOSS SAYS TEAM AT TOP FOR BEARS
NOV 2 (Chicago Tribune) - "Good!" exclaimed Curly Lambeau yesterday when a call from Chicago to Green Bay brought him the knowledge that heavy rains had cut down the Bears' drill. "I hope it rains in Chicago all day tomorrow, too," said Curly with a voice which must have had a leer running interference. Lambeau said the Green Bay weather was fine and that his Packers enjoyed a good round of practice for tomorrow's game in Wrigley field with the Bears. "I can say one thing," Curly continued. "We'll be a lot better than we were last September when the Bears beat us up here by a score I'm trying to forget. (The score was 30 to 7.) I really think we'll be up for this game." The Green Bay coach could have pointed out that his team has gradually improved while the Bears have shown signs of disintegrating. The Packers will arrive in Chicago early this evening and bed down at the Knickerbocker hotel. Laying at rest the latest report that Don Hutson may come out of retirement against the Bears, Lambeau said the veteran end will not play. The Packers, with the exception of Bob Adkins, who suffered a leg injury several weeks ago, are at full strength. Two special trains will carry Green Bay and Wisconsin fans to Sunday's contest.
PACKERS IN BEST SHAPE OF SEASON FOR BEARS
NOV 2 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Green Bay Packers will be in the best shape of the season for tomorrow's vindication - and possible championship - battle with the Bears at Wrigley Field, Chicago. That was the word straight from the feedbox in Green Bay following the Bays' last preparatory session yesterday. Coach Curly Lambeau promised that his chunky halfback, Herman Rohrig, will be ready to go after a layoff of two weeks. And Rohrig is a man he needs. The former Nebraska star, who confined his activities to running, blocking and tackling before he went away to way, blossomed this season as a passer - the squad's best passer, in fact. In the Packers' best game against the Rams at State Fair Park, it may be recalled, Rohrig did some effective long distance firing - the kind the club will need if it hopes to give the Bears an argument tomorrow. Bruce Smith, the top running back, and Ted Fritsch, first string fullback, also are slated to be in there. Smith sat out last week's Pittsburgh game here while Fritsch was forced out by injury early in the third quarter. The Bears continue as definite favorite, yet there is no complete absence of Packer money. Which is the tipoff that the capacity crowd may see some unexpected fireworks, as Lambeau hinted. "We're out to win this one, but if we do lose, the Bears won't be beating any second rate outfit," said Lambeau.
BAYS FIGHT FOR LOOP LEAD IN BEAR TUSSLE
NOV 2 (Chicago) - Five weeks ago - the day the Packers all but run out of their own stadium at Green Bay by the Bears - no one would have dared even suggest that they would have a chance to go into the NFL's Western division lead the next time they met. But that's actually the situation as those ancient rivals await the renewal of pro football's "Yale-Harvard" series at Wrigley Field here tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. Victorious in three of their four games since that dreary September 29 afternoon, the Packers can overtake the big bad Bears IF they reverse the result of the first meeting. The Bears are setting the pace with three victories, one defeat and one tie. Naturally, it's a mighty big "if" so big that the Halasmen are 14 point favorites over the House of Lambeau, which is about the correct theoretical difference on the basis of performances to date. The Bears, starting with the 30 to 7 decision over Green Bay, have rolled up 113 points to 80 for their opponents while the Packers have been outscored, 72 to 70, in their five league games. What's more, the Bays have looked bad more times than they've looked good. Despite all this, the Packers are confident they'll be in the ball game all the way and even grant themselves a chance to win. The wave of optimism is based on (1) the return to top or near-top shape of key men like Herman Rohrig, Bruce Smith and Ted Fritsch, and (2) the belief that all their sloppy play is behind them. The Bears, too, are in the best physical condition of the season. George McAfee, the wonder man, is the only regular or near-regular on the doubtful list. And even he may be turned loose after a long resting siege necessitated by an early season injury. So opportunity knocks again for the Packers. If they fail to make the most of it, they will have heard the last knock of its kind for 1946.
PACKERS, BEARS RENEW OLD RIVALRY
NOV 3 (Milwaukee Journal) - Curly Lambeau's Green Bay Packers, having fought their way back into contention in the western division of the National league after dropping their first two games, go out to take over the lead itself, if they can, when they meet the bitterest of all their rivals, the Chicago Bears, at Wrigley field Sunday afternoon. The game is a "must" in Green Bay's scheme of things. A victory, and the Packers, despite all their ups and downs in one of the toughest seasons they have ever gone through, will take over undisputed first place; a defeat, and they can just about kiss themselves out of the race. No team, it seems, can succeed to the mantle in the western division with three defeats, and the Packers already have two against them. In this clutch, though, the Packers were ready - as ready, perhaps, as they have been for any game this season. They arrived here Saturday night with their best week of work behind them and with a spirited determination to take advantage of the happy situation in which they suddenly find themselves. Even physically, the team was in its best shape of a month. Ted Fritsch still carried a few bumps and Bruce Smith an injured side, but both will be ready to play, even ready to start. Fritsch, in fact, is almost certain to start. The rest of the squad was in tiptop shape. Only certain nonstarter was Don Hutson, despite persistent reports that the once great pass receiver might forget about his retirement to play this one game. "Not a chance, not a chance," was Lambeau's repeated comment. "Who started that story anyway?" Green Bay's chief hope rested on its consistently improving defense and a running game which Lambeau believes has finally started to jell. Defensively, the Packers will go into the game with a record just about as good as Chicago's. The Packers have allowed 1,316 yards against them in five games, the Bears 1,228. Only offensively do the Bears hold a marked edge, with 1,748, against 1,205, but if Lambeau is correct about his observations of what has happened to Green Bay's running game in the last week, the difference will not be nearly so great Sunday. The Bears, meanwhile, were in a mood to avenge themselves for the licking they suffered at New York's hands a week ago. They, too, like the Packers, will be in their best shape of a month, with Joe Osmanski, Frank Maznicki and even George McAfee ready to start. Whether McAfee, who because of his long layoff has done little work, will be ready to play in more than spots, however, was doubtful. The Bears ruled a 13 point favorite. A capacity crowd of 45,000 will see the game. The game will be the fifty-seventh in the long rivalry. The Bears have won 30, the Packers 21. The others were ties.
LEAD AT STAKE TODAY AS BEARS BATTLE PACKERS
NOV 3 (Chicago Tribune) - A western division title hangs in the balance this afternoon as it usually does, when the Bears and Green Bay get around to their traditional second gridiron fuss of the season. A sellout crowd of 45,000 in Wrigley field will learn whether the Bears have the stuff to keep their slim lead as the final half of the National league season begins. Though the Packers are the immediate danger, the Chicago Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams still are strong contenders in the western sector. The Bears, who had exhibited signs of the staggers in previous games, fell apart last Sunday in losing to the Giants in New York, 14 to 0. The Packers, who bounced back after consecutive losses to the Bears in Green Bay and the Rams in Milwaukee, won their third straight last Sunday, a not impressive 10 to 7 decision over the Detroit Lions. Not even the Bears are looking forward to a repetition of the 30 to 7 triumph they scored over the Packers in their September meeting. Irv Comp, the Packers' top passer, was injured early in that game. Clyde Goodnight, end, and Bruce Smith, halfback, were sidelined with hurts and several others were badly bruised. The Bears' physical condition perhaps has deteriorated somewhat since that opener, though it is on the improve. Bulldog Turner was knocked out of last week's game in the Polo Grounds, but is listed as a starter. Frank Maznicki, Joe Osmanski and rookie Lloyd Reese will give the Bears added power in the backfield. Reese if the 238-pound fullback from the team's Akron farm club. Maznicki, a hard running back and expert goal kicker, and young Osmanski, a fullback, haven't played since the first Green Bay match. Bill Osmanski and Don Perkins will also be available for duty at fullback. The Packers, for many years at the head of the pro football passing parade - when Arnie Herber and Cecil Isbell were pitching - now must win games by sweeps of their fleet runners and the power drives of fullbacks Ted Fritsch and Walter Schlinkman. Green Bay has made 40 first downs by rushing to 16 in the air. The Bears have made 41 on the ground and 31 by passing in the five league games. The Bears' passer, Sid Luckman, is fourth in the league with 54 completions in 114 throws. He is paced by the Cardinals' Paul Christman, the Redskins' Sammy Baugh, and the Eagles' Tommy Thompson. Leading Chicago pass receiver is Ray (Scooter) McLean, who has caught 12 for 287 yards and 12 touchdowns. Other big Bear targets are Capt. George Wilson, Dante Magnani, Ken Kavanaugh and Hugh Gallarneau.