Green Bay Packers (1-0) 31, Boston Yanks (0-1) 0
Friday September 17th 1948 (at Boston)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(BOSTON) - The Green Bay Packers successfully accomplished their first NFL mission here Friday night, walloping the over-sized by under privileged Boston Yanks, 31-0, before 15,443 fans. In posting their third shutout in four starts this season, the Packers presented a vicious defense that left Boston's offense on the high school side. The Packers came up with four touchdowns, one in each quarter, after opening with Teddy Fritsch's 25-yard field goal. But it could have been more humiliating for the green-shirted Bostons because the Packer offense was spotty with four scoring opportunities muffed. The night's business put polish on the Bear-Packer collision in Green Bay a week from Sunday. The Bears, you know, clubbed Boston twice in non-league competition, 42-7 and 28-14. So take your choice, but don't forget the Packers didn't ration Boston a point and permitted only seven in four tilts. Activity in Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox baseball forces, reached a grand climax on the second play of the third quarter. Ralph Earhart, the Packers' version of a scatback, zig-zagged 72 yards for a touchdown and highly-partisan Boston fans relented. They actually let out a cheer. Earhart's run was terrific. He put on such an amazing exhibition of side stepping and cutting that the writers never even saw any of the blockers. We were too dumbfounded at the absolute manner in which he left the Yanks grasping at the air once he got up a head of steam. A minute after it happened somebody asked, "Who did the blocking?" and nobody seemed to know. Briefly here's how the Packers scored. Fritsch booted his field goal after a 50-yard march stalled on the Boston 16. Near the end of the second quarter, quarterback Jack Jacobs pitched 14 yards down the alley to Bob Forte in the end zone. Early in the second heat, Fred Provo, passing from left half, found Nolan Luhn in the end zone with a 20-yard throw. After Earhart's run, Tony Canadeo cracked around end for two yards in the last quarter.
CODY KICKS POINTS
In a surprise move, fullback Ed Cody went into kick the extra points, making 'em with ease. The "new" kicker got plenty of experience at his new job and, besides, there were 250 odd Cody fans who drove over from nearby New Britain, Conn., his hometown. The statistics tell some of the story. The Packers rolled up 19 first downs, including 11 by rushing, while Boston made just one of its F.D.'s by rushing. The secret of Green Bay's success, of course, was the hard charging Packer line, led by Larry Craig, Dick Wildung, Ed Neal and Paul Lipscomb. Craig had the Boston passers, particularly Roy Zimmerman, completely crazy. Early in the second half, the Yanks put two men on Craig. Offensively, there were flashed of form. The deception on some plays were expert while on others terrible. But the offense showed signs of getting Bear-minded. Jacobs led the squad the first half and then Perry Moss and Irv Comp took over. Jacobs pitched 22 times and completed 11 for 64 yards and one TD to pace the Pack's air attack. On the ground, Earhart made 112 yards in only six tries for a fancy average. Canadeo and Ed Smith were the wheel horses, carrying 10 and nine times for 44 and 43 yards, respectively. Provo also added 44. Another newcomer to get his baptism was Jug Girard, who gained 10 yards in two tries, missed on two passes, and got off three good punts. Everybody got into action except fullback Walt Schlinkman, who is nursing an injured knee. Schlinkman was ready but Coach Curly Lambeau, who watched from the upper deck, apparently had one eye on the Bear game. The lovely details, and may they continue to be such follows:
PLAY GENEROUS HOSTS
Boston played the role of generous hosts in helping their guests to a 3-0 lead four minutes after the opening kickoff. Smith went out for a pass on the Boston 20 at which point Dave Ryan gave him a momentary hug. It was interference, and on the ensuing fourth down Fritsch stepped back on the 25 and booted a field goal. This happened after the Yanks received and couldn't budge the Bay line in three tries. In fact, Dick Wildung, Paul Lipscomb and Larry Craig held them to a minus of five yards. Jay Rhodemyre, the rookie Packer center, then proceeded to set up another touchdown. He intercepted Roy Zimmerman's pass on the Boston 38 and raced to the 15. But three plays later Ed Cody fumbled and Carroll Vogelaar recovered for Boston. The Packer line exerted itself again and Zimmerman got off a 65-yard punt which Ed Smith took on the 20 over his shoulders and raced back to the 37. This time the Pack meant business. With Canadeo running and Jacobs passing and the Yanks tossing in a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness, the Packers found themselves on the Boston 14. On third downs, Jacobs spotted Forte deep in the end zone for six points. Cody kicked the extra point and it was 10-0. Early in the second heat, after a Boston bid failed again, the Packers upped the ante to 17-0 on seven easy lessons. Fred Provo ran four, Cody 10, and then the Yanks were called for interference, Seno bumping Goodnight on the Boston 24. It happened again on third down, but the characters were different. The passer was Provo and the TD maker Nolan Luhn who made a nice stretch catch in the end zone. Cody converted. The Yanks started to get Craig fever so the Pack soon had another chance. They started on their own 43 and ambled to the 38 but Gene Malinowski intercepted a high Jacobs aerial. A bunch of penalties gave the Bostons six chances to make a first down, but it wasn't enough. The Packers started another drive from their own 32 and reached the 23, with Earhart tossing in 11 on three tries and Provo advancing 28 in one attempt. But Luhn dropped Jacobs' fourth down pass on the eight and the Yanks took over the end of the half. Earhart's fireworks opened the second half after which the Yanks ran into Craig after three straight times for a net loss of six yards. A moment later, the Packers stalled after making a first down, punted for the first time, Jacobs getting off a 45-yarder. The Yanks then licked off four straight first downs as the local customers went crazy. With the aid of a 15-yard penalty, pass interference and a couple of long Zimmerman passes, the Yanks found themselves on the Packer 10. After Ramboli gained four, Pritko dropped a sure TD pass on the goal line. That left 'em heartless and the Pack took over on downs. The game then resolved into a punting duel until midway in the fourth quarter when Ken Roskie intercepted a Zimmerman pass on the Boston 41. With Roskie and Ed Smith running, the Packers reached the 18 where Comp fumbled and Ramboli recovered. But Neal returned the compliment. He recovered Zimmerman's fumble on the three-yard line. Cody twice gave the ball to Cody, who reached the one and on third down Canadeo skipped around right end for the TD, with Cody and Comp faking beautifully as the Yank line squeezed toward the middle. That's it.
Ray Riddick, former crack Packer defensive end, saw the last half. His Lowell High team was playing Friday night and it was finished early enough for him to see the Packer. Another ex-Packer visitor was Bill Kern, tackle great, who was going through Boston on business. Orville Thomas, of the U.S. Coast Guard and Green Bay, helped Bud Jorgenson and Tim O'Brien in the training room. Gene Ronzani and Walter Halas scouted the game for the Bears, Green Bay's next opponent. Stepping into the press box overlooking the field, an usher asked us: "Ever been to Fenway Park before?" We said "no" and he explained thusly pointing to left field: "That's where Ted Williams plays." After the game, Coach Curly Lambeau relieved the writers concerning the blockers on Earhart's touchdown run. He pointed out that guard Damon Tassos set up the key block that set Ralph loose and then tackle Paul Lipscomb got in the final lick. Oddly enough, Earhart ran behind Lipscomb and seemingly gave Lipscomb directions. Lambeau, incidentally, was elated with the result and he and his aides all agreed that "there were many mistakes," and Lambeau added: "We can't make any mistakes against the Bears."
GREEN BAY - 10 7 7 7 - 31
BOSTON - 0 0 0 0 - 0
1st - GB - Ted Fritsch, 25-yard field goal GREEN BAY 3-0
1st - GB - Bob Forte, 14-yard pass from Jack Jacobs (Ed Cody kick) GREEN BAY 10-0
2nd - GB - Nolan Luhn, 20-yard pass from Fred Provo (Cody kick) GREEN BAY 17-0
3rd - GB - Ralph Earhart, 72-yard run (Cody kick) GREEN BAY 24-0
4th - GB - Tony Canadeo, 2-yard run (Cody kick) GREEN BAY 31-0
PACKERS EYE BEAR BATTLE
SEPT 19 (Milwaukee Journal) - "Set your watches back two hours, everybody," Curly Lambeau ordered his Green Bay Packers as they piled into a plane in Boston Saturday for the trip back to Green Bay. "Set 'em back to our time - Bear time." And so the buildup began for Green Bay's next start in the traditionally bitter game with the Chicago Bears at Green Bay next Sunday afternoon. The 31-0 victory over the Boston Yankees in Fenway park Friday night was already forgotten - forgotten, that is, except for the mistakes the Packers made. The concentration was entirely on the Bears. "We looked good in spots Friday night," Lambeau agreed, "but we also looked bad in others. Our pass defense wasn't what it should have been. We've got a lot of work to do with guys like Luckman, Lujack and Layne to throw against us next week." The Packers came out of the Boston game in tip top shape, and, barring any injuries in practice this week, should be almost at full strength for the Bears. Only Bob Skoglund, veteran end, who did not even make the trip to Boston, will not be ready. Walt Schlinkman, the best of the fullbacks who did not play against the Yankees; Don Wells, injured end, who played only briefly; Jack Jacobs, who saw only limited action; Jack Mead, veteran end, who did not make the trip to Boston, either, and Bruce Smith, who got a little bump early in the game and then coasted, all will be ready for top effort. The victory over Boston was a simple affair. Green Bay's running game, directed principally against the ends, its passing game and its defense against running were entirely too much for the team Clipper Smith turned out. The Bears have been installed six point favorites in the next start. A light workout Sunday for the Packers will be followed by two a day drills and skull sessions at night through Friday. The game has been a sellout for several weeks.
GREEN BAY REVEALS A POTENTIAL AS GREAT AS ANY OTHER CLUB
SEPT 20 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Packers might blow to the Bears Sunday. And they might blow to some other teams along the way. Anytime they do, though, it won't be because they didn't have a chance at the start, and an even chance or the next to it. At Boston Friday night, as they walloped the Boston Yankees, 31-0, they showed once again that they have the potential to stand up on even teams against any team in the league - and that goes for the Bears and Cardinals, the two toughest rivals, in the western division. The potential was revealed some time or another in just about everything that goes into the makeup of a top notcher - depth of material and balance, speed, passing, kicking, savvy, desire, and preparation or coaching. At a leisurely pace, for this was not especially inspired football, they scored a touchdown each quarter - two in the air and two on the ground - a field goal, and they permitted the Yankees beyond midfield only once...ATTACK IS DIRECTED: The speed, running, blocking and savvy were demonstrated in the consistently successful attack at the flanks, away from the massive Boston line, and you had to see it to appreciate it. Especially impressive was Ralph Earhart on his 72 yard touchdown jaunt. A block by Paul Lipscomb helped set him free. Another by Damon Tassos got him out of trouble. His speed carried him downfield. And his savvy, with which in the open he directed his blockers, finally opened the way to the absolute clear. The depth and balance were demonstrated by the 34 men Lambeau used. Only the injured Walt Schlinkman, of the 35 men eligible for the game, did not get into the contest. Jug Girard and Perry Moss got in for the first time. The kicking was demonstrated by Fritsch, Jacobs and Girard. Fritsch chipped in with a 25 yard field goal and booted all of his kickoffs into the end zone, Jacobs, on three punts and Girard on two, averaged 45 yards despite one wobbler that sailed out of bounds and didn't go more than 25 yards. The desire and preparation were demonstrated in the general play. The Yankees got 16 yards rushing all night against a defense set for them and the Packers got 274. Only in pass defense, which will get heavy attention this week, did the club show any serious lapses. The passing was demonstrated by Girard, Fred Provo and the tried and finished Jacobs. Jacobs did most of it and finished with an even .500 with 11 completions in 22 attempts. Provo completed the one pass he tried, for a touchdown, and Girard might well have completed his one, a long one, if Clyde Goodnight had not let up a few feet from the ball. Everyone of the passers had exceptionally good protection...CLUB HAS ADDED GOOD NEW STRENGTH: It becomes increasingly apparent that the Packers have added extremely valuable new strength. They may not have acquired the Lujacks and Laynes and Conerlys and Gilmers, the boys with the big names but they have acquired football players. Jay Rhodemyre of Kentucky and Lloyd Baxter of Southern Methodist at center, Larry Olsonoski of Minnesota and Evan Vogds of Wisconsin at guards, Ted Cook of the Detroit Lions at end, Earhart of Texas Tech and Ed Smith of Texas Mines at right half, Girard at left half and Ken Roskie of South Carolina at fullback may well spell the difference between a club which last year lost four games by a total of nine points and a club which this year will not lose them, or not all of them anyway. On top of this, some of the veterans have taken a new lease on life. Baby Ray has started out as he seldom has before. So has Larry Craig - unquestionably, on the basis of his play so far, the best defensive end in the league; Bob Skoglund, now injured and a doubtful starter in the Bear game; Don Wells, Ed Bell, Irv Comp, Urban Odson, Dick Wildung, Tony Canadeo, Bob Forte, Jack Jacobs and the club's two best fullbacks, Walt Schlinkman and Ed Cody, all have come up with sparkling ball in the last two starts. They must hold it, of course, but it appears they may. Yep, the Packers might blow to the Bears Sunday, and they might blow to some others, but they will blow only to a corking good team.
NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYS FULL SCHEDULE
SEPTEMBER 20 (Milwaukee Journal) - A full schedule of games awaits the National league this week now that the Packers and Boston Yankees opened the season last Friday. On Wednesday the Detroit Lions will meet the Los Angeles Rams in Los Angeles, on Friday the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Cardinals will go to it at Comiskey park, Chicago, and on Sunday, Pittsburgh will open at Washington and the Bears, of course, will visit Green Bay.
PACKERS, BEARS IN 60TH COLLISION AT CITY STADIUM SUNDAY AFTERNOON
SEPT 20 (Green Bay) - "Set your watches Chicago Bear time." Thus spoke Packer Coach Curly Lambeau as the Green Bay party watched Boston disappear from a giant airliner Saturday morning. It was the first reference to the Game of the Century - Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers at City stadium next Sunday afternoon, and a rather subtle one at that. That was the last the Packers heard of the Bears until Sunday morning when the club took a workout at Rockwood lodge - official opening of the Bear week. It was strictly a kink-removing session and the real practice campaign started this morning. In case you are not familiar with next Sunday's business, let's cite a few facts. The Packers and Bears will be meeting in the 59th regularly scheduled game. Actually, it will be the club's 60th collision if you count the Western division playoff in '41. For our purposes this week, we'll refer to the game as the 60th between the two teams...WORLD TITLE EDGE: The long series - professional football's most heated rivalry - shows the Bears with 32 victories and the Bays with 22 wins. Five knots were played. The Bears scored a total of 839 points and the Packers 673. The Bears are the only team in the league to hold won-lost and point advantages over the Packers. The Bears won seven world championships and the Packers six. A year ago, the Packers and Bears split, Green Bay winning the opener at City stadium, 29-20, and Chicago taking the Wrigley field classic, 20-17. The Packers haven't been able to whip the Bears twice in the same season since 1935 - Don Hutson's first year - when the Bays copped, 7-0 in City stadium and 17-14 in Chicago. The 1948 situation is most interesting in view of the fact that Green Bay went unbeaten in its three game non-league schedule while the Bears lost one game, 17-7 to the New York Giants, who fell victim to the Packers, 7-0. Besides, the Packers got off to a head start - thanks to the schedule - by beating Boston's Yanks in the league opener, 31-0. The Bears closed non-loop activity by barely edging the Redskins, 17-14, in Baltimore Sunday. Washington was clubbed by Green Bay, 43-0...TWO UNBEATEN
TEAMS: In the National Grapefruit league, the defending champion Chicago Cardinals and the Packers finished as the only unbeaten teams with three victories apiece. The Cards scored 104 points while the Packers counted 59. On the defense, the Packers compiled an amazing record, permitting only one touchdown - that by Pittsburgh in a 9-7 battle. And the Packers figure that a penalty almost "gave" the Steelers that one. Actually, Boston should have had a touchdown Friday night. Steve Pritko was on the goal line, when he dropped a perfect pass. But the Yanks got into Packer territory only one other time, so the defense was really operating. The Packers should be in good condition for the Bear game. Only two of the boys are taking it easy - left halfbacks Bruce Smith and Fred Provo. Smith came up with a back ailment before the Boston game and went in for only one play, while Provo developed a knee injury during the contest. Both probably will be ready. The three doubtfuls - Jack Jacobs, Walt Schlinkman and Don Wells - will be ready. Jacobs, who cut his foot trying to remove a callous with a razor blade, played only the first half of the Boston game as did Wells who was nursing a sore foot, a reminder of the Washington tilt. Schlinkman was held out of the Boston game with a bad knee but he was running hard in pregame warmups and practice Sunday and today. The injured right ends, still in the hospital, won't see any action, of course. They are Bob Skoglund and Jack Mead, both knee victims.
PACKERS HAVE MESSRS. OUTSIDE AND INSIDE; AN 'OFFSIDE', TOO
SEPT 20 (Green Bay) - Boston hangovers: Ralph (Traffic Cop) Earhart's 72-yard run was one of the longest scoring jaunts from scrimmage since Andy Uram galloped 97 yards for a TD against the Chicago Cardinals in Milwaukee Oct. 8, 1939. Coach Curly Lambeau recalled an odd one about Uram's run. The Packers were near the goal post and Andy was to run the ball away for position for a punt. "But everybody did a perfect job of blocking and nobody put a hand on Andy," said Curly. Some of the Packers are calling Earhart "traffic cop" because of his job of directing blockers on his TD chase. Speaking about nicknames, let's here and now take a page from the Army's notebook and label Teddy Fritsch Mr. Outside and Walt Schlinkman Mr. Inside. Both are fullbacks, unlike the Army's Glenn Davis, a halfback, and Doc Blanchard, a fullback. Fritsch is proving quite effective on slashes outside the tackles because he gets a chance to start rolling, while Schlinkman, with his quick start, generally cracks inside the tackles. What about fullbacks Ed Cody and Ken Roskie. Just name 'em Mr. Inside II and Mr. Outside II. Lambeau, when informed of his fullbacks' new names, joked "name Ed Mr. Offside." Cody was caught a couple of times in the Boston game for being offside (in motion). Schlinkman, incidentally, didn't play because of an injured knee but "I got more tired just sitting there watching." Tony Canadeo's 44 yards in 10 attempts boosted his all-time total to 2,031, thereby becoming the second Packer in history to break the 2,000 mark. The all-time leader is Clarke Hinkle, who picked up 3,860 in 112 games in 10 seasons for a league record that still stands. Tony gained his yardage in 55 games...The 31-0 victory over Boston was the Packers' 213th in league competition since 1921 and 232nd since 1919...The Packers have a warm spot for Harvard university. Harvard athletic officials went out of their way, offering every facility they had available including their "hospital". The Harvard varsity football practice was even delayed an hour until the Pack finished...The Packers got a look at Niagara Falls from about 8,000 feet on the return trip. It was sort of a special treat and made the journey only 30 minutes longer...Hank Johnson, native of Appleton and former Lawrence college athletic publicity director, has the same position at Harvard...Tackle Jim Kekeris and guard Damon Tassos are Greeks. "Only trouble is," Damon says, "I can't speak the language with Jim."...Boston newspapers and radios are going whole hog on the baseball pennant races, led by the Red Sox and Braves. The sheets carried baseball headlines above those of a local election one day. The radios, on the hour, announce something like this: "You are listening to Station So and So in Boston, the baseball capital of the world" or "Boston, the city that's leading both major baseball leagues". It's no wonder barely over 15,000 fans got football-minded enough to watch the Packers and Yanks.
BEARS, LUCKMAN TO OFFER PACKERS FIRST REAL TEST OF SEASON SUNDAY
SEPT 21 (Green Bay) - Every game is a "first" of some kind for the Packers. On the non-league front, the Packer-New York Giant game was the club's first invasion of Minneapolis since the early 1920's; the Pittsburgh game here was the Packers' first look at the single wing this season; and the Washington game saw the Packers offense explode for the first time. On the NFL front, the Packers played their opener at Boston and the result was Green Bay's first blue chip victory. Now come the Chicago Bears - the Packers' second opponent. Probably the most important "first" that can be applied to next Sunday's most-important business at City stadium is that the Packers will be playing their "initial" Western division opponent this season. Western division teams mean trouble for the Packers. It's an old habit, the West divisioners having won 10 out of 15 championships since the league was split into two divisions in 1933. Eastern division outfits won only four of 17 non-loop appearances with Western sector teams this season, Philadelphia getting two and New York and Washington one each. How 'bout another "first"? This is purely commentary, but let's point out that the Packers will get their first real test on City stadium turf. They will be pushed to the limit on offense and defense...THEN THERE IS LUJACK: The defense must cope with the game's greatest T-quarterback, Sid Luckman; one of the top break-away runners, George McAfee; and such elegant pass catchers as Jim Keane and Ken Kavanaugh. Then there is Johnny Lujack, the Notre Dame marvel, who is supposed to be walking in Luckman's footsteps. The Bear offense has rolled up 146 points in six non-league starts this season for an average of nearly 25. The Packer offense, which has played two distinct types of football in the first four games, will be bucking the
usual Bear line - big, rough and extremely tough. This wall is led by center Bulldog Turner and tackles Fred Davis and Walt Stickel and guard Ray Bray. The Green Bay defense has been rugged, permitting just one touchdown in four games. Few coaches, even the Bears' George Halas, could ask for any less. The Packer line twice allowed opponents less than 20 yards by rushing; New York getting only eight and Boston just 16. Green Bay's offense has been spasmodic, so to speak, but very effective. It produced only 16 points in copping the first two non-leaguers, 7-0 over New York and 9-7 over Pittsburgh, and then went on a binge, socking home 74 points in crushing the Redskins, 43-0, and Boston, 31-0. This discussion could go on for pages but let's continue tomorrow night and close with a brief report on happenings from Rockwood lodge...EXTRA HOUR OF PASSING: Quarterback Irv Comp, who did a neat job of directing the Packers when Jack Jacobs exited from the Boston game, limped through practice Monday with a sprained ankle. The big boy, who seems to gain more confidence with each game, hurt himself during practice Sunday. Comp, however, will be ready for the Bear game. Jacobs and Perry Moss handled the passing in Monday's drill which, incidentally, featured an extra hour of pitching. The only other "active" casualty is left halfback Bruce Smith, who has an ailing back. Recently hurt Don Wells and Walt Schlinkman are running hard and will be ready. The two right ends, Bob Skoglund and Jack Mead, who drew serious knee injuries in the Washington game, left the hospital Monday and resumed life at Rockwood. They are lost for the Bear game.
CHICAGO'S PRO ELEVENS FACE STIFF HURDLES
SEPT 21 (Chicago) - This is a big week for Chicago's two NFL teams. The Cardinals open defense of their championship Friday night in Comiskey park against the Philadelphia Eagles, whom they whipped on the same field last December for the crown. The Bears, after a vigorous and successful exhibition campaign, will move into Green Bay Saturday for their traditional battle the next day with the power-packed Packers...ROCKETS FACE BROWNS: The Rockets, Chicago's representative in the All-America conference, come right back against the Cleveland Browns, who beat them, four touchdowns to one, last week in Soldiers' field. Tomorrow night marks a new milestone in the long career of Alvin (Bo) McMillin, who will make his National league coaching debut by sending out the Detroit Lions against the Los Angeles Rams on the coast. There's a growing suspicion Bo is on the right track for a revival in Detroit...COACHES CONFIDENT: But chief interest probably centers on the Bears and Packers. Here are two teams which definitely are out to top the Cardinals. Coach E.L. (Curly) Lambeau, starting his 30th season with the Packers, says this is his best team since before World War II, and the same statement has been credited to George Halas, proprietor of the Bears since their infant days. After Sunday's exhibition game with the Washington Redskins in Baltimore, the Bears returned to their training base in Collegeville, Ind., and yesterday morning started preparations for Sunday's opener. The Bears had a narrow escape with the Redskins, winning 17 to 14 for their fifth exhibition victory. George McAfee and Ken Kavanaugh played only briefly. The Bears will come into Chicago Friday and stay overnight in the Knickerbocker hotel, drill Saturday morning then leave later the day for Green Bay. Between now and game time, two players will be lopped off to trim the squad to the required 35. The goal booting chores probably will fall to Johnny Lujack, through his ankle, injured in the College All-Star game, still is giving him trouble.
TOP DOG, UNDERDOG??? PACK REMINDED OF TILT
SEPT 22 (Green Bay) - George Halas would like to enter next Sunday's Packer-Bear classic for an underdog. The top dog of the Bears - coach and owner, that is - could conceivably hold that rating in view of non-league activity which saw the Bears drop one in six starts and the Packers sweep their three-game series. Comparative scores of two games, in particular, would seem to leave the Packers with that unhealthy rank known as the favorite. The Packers beat the New York Giants, 7-0, while the Bears lost to the Giants, 17-7. The Packers beat Washington, 43-0, while the Bears had to come from behind in the last 50 seconds to beat Washington, 17-14. But just between us girls, Halas could be playing possum. The whole thing centers on the Bears' key T-quarterback position where Halas is trying to break in Johnny Lujack and Bobby Layne as successors to Sid Luckman, the veteran master of the "T" who started to get a bit wobbly last year. For proof, the Packers intercepted five of his passes in the opener here in 1947 and the Cardinals treated him badly in both appearances. In losing to the Giants and near-losing to Washington, it's possible that Mr. Halas might have left rookies Lujack and Layne operate for experience and "show" purposes, with not too much scoreboard pressure. Luckman didn't play the last half of the New York game and he had a so-called bad day against Washington. The Bears were in an ideal spot for that underdog role against the Packers last Sunday. They, naturally, had heard that the Packers beat Boston, 31-0, Friday night and that Washington was easy stuff for the Packers. A close game with Washington would apparently do the trick and that's exactly what resulted...WINGS OF PROSPERITY: So, boys and girls, the Bears would seem to have the edge in the psychological department - at the moment. But today is only Wednesday, which means that the Packers have about three and a half days in which to remove themselves from those glorious victory clouds. The Packers were apparently still riding the wings of prosperity Tuesday as a two-hour workout left Coach Curly Lambeau and his staff on the disappointed side. The mentors discovered a number of "yawners" as the squad took the field and the entire session lacked the necessary Bear week enthusiasm - definitely not an aid in the digestion of "bear" meat. Lambeau called time out Tuesday and reminded the Bays that the NFL schedule calls for them to meet the Bears next Sunday. And Lambeau should know whereof he speaks for he had presided for the Packers at 59 Packer-Bear collisions. A good, stiff scrimmage was ordered for this morning against Bear defenses - plus a defensive workout against the Chicago offense. Various Packers got into the shoes of Sid Luckman, George McAfee, J.R. Boone, Ken Kavanaugh and Jim Keane...WHAT? ORANGE UNIFORMS!: The only missing item were the Bear uniforms. And speaking of uniforms, the Bears this year are reportedly wearing orange pants instead of their usual white. Since this is Bear week, the activities of the various Packers at Rockwood lodge are strictly off the record. However, it is safe to say that injured right end Bob Skoglund is workout out daily - on a bicycle. Skoglund and Jack Mead, another right end, left the hospital Monday after suffering identical knee injuries in the Washington game. Skoglund and Mean, both cartilage cases, are lost for the Bear game.
'CHAMPIONSHIP FIRE?' PACK NEEDS IT
SEPT 23 (Green Bay) - The Packer-Bear game at City stadium Sunday afternoon won't decided the NFL championship. But it will go a long way toward deciding whether or not the unbeaten Green Bays are made of that championship "stuff". Packer Coach Curly Lambeau is convinced that "if we've got that championship fire we can beat the Bears." At the moment, he's not so sure because the tune of practice at Rockwood lodge has been off key. The 1947 Packers, for instance, had championship possibilities but not the proper title blaze. After losing to the Cardinals in Chicago last fall, 21-20, Lambeau stated flatly: "We've got a good ball club, but not a championship one." The Packers had dropped an 18-17 decision to Pittsburgh and a 20-17 battle to the Bears on the two previous Sundays. The right championship push in those three close battles would have turned the tricks and given the Packers a crack at their seventh world championship - not to mention lining the pockets of 30-odd players with extra green stuff. The real test Sunday rests in the fact that the Packers, on the basis of non-league results, must be installed as something of a favorite. If the Packers can plaster the Bears despite their unhealthy role, then they possess a good quantity of championship stuff. Before getting into a brief report from Rockwood lodge, let's remind you fans not to take the Packers' role of favorite too seriously. The Bears' underdog rating is obviously some of Bear Coach George Halas' work, with Washington as the guinea pig. The Packers beat the Skins, 43-0, two weeks ago. So all Halas had to do was take it easy on Washington last Sunday and thereby win the healthy underdog rating. And it was "easy" indeed - 17 to 14 in favor of the Bears. Halas' plans could be seen in two paragraphs penned by the honorable Ed Prell in the Chicago Tribune this morning. Here they are: "This is for Bear fans who might be distressed at the Bears' tailspin in their last two exhibitions - a 17 to 7 loss to the Giants and a narrow 17 to 14 escape over the Redskins. For the last two weeks the Bears have been concentrating on their battle plan against the Green Bay Packers, with the two aforesaid warmups just incidental to their real purpose." The Packers' practice on Wednesday was, as the eastern scribes spell it, "lowzay". The ends had a terrible time hanging onto passes much less getting to the proper spot; there were fumbles galore; some of the backs were running easy; and the signals got jammed up too often for comfort. What's more, several cases of playing "cousins" were noted among the linesmen during a scrimmage period. This same illness was noted the week of practice for the Pittsburgh game, and the Steelers almost came up with a victory, the Pack emerging with a not-too-impressive 9-7 decision. A like performance against the Bears would result in a hurried call for adding machines to the press box Sunday afternoon - to add up the Bears' scores. It there was a bright spot Wednesday, it occurred after the morning practice. Some of the players spent 15 or 20 minutes on their own. Quarterback Jack Jacobs drilled passing to some of the ends while halfback Tony Canadeo worked on several backfield maneuvers. Ted Fritsch spent considerable time with his field goal kicking, and quarterback Perry Moss warmed up his pitching arm with Earl Gillespie, WJPG sportscaster, who, incidentally, turned up as the only casualty. Gillespie broke a bone in his finger catching Moss' throws, and Earl swears Perry threw a "curve". Also assisting were centers Bob Flowers and Lloyd Baxter, back Bruce Smith and guard Ed Neal. Lambeau indicated that Moss and Earl (Jug) Girard may get a good spot of duty against the Bears. Girard has been doing particularly well with his passing and punting, and his knee is giving him no trouble...PACKER PACKINGS: The Bear game, of course, is sold slick and clean out but some tickets are still available for the Detroit and Los Angeles games here Oct. 3 and 17, respectively, but don't wait!...Fullback Fritsch is wearing a glass nail on the kicking toe of his right foot. The original nail came loose in the Boston game and had to be removed. The glass nail is healing into place, so to speak. Fritsch already has kicked five field goals - one against Pittsburgh, three against Washington and one in the Boston game...Ed Crim, Milwaukee Road passenger agent and Packer travel expert, reported today that the Milwaukee Road will operate a special train to Green Bay from Chicago for next Sunday's game. The train arrives here at 12:30 Sunday afternoon and leaves at 6:30 p.m. The Bears, incidentally, will sleep at the Packers' Chicago home, the Hotel Knickerbocker, on Friday night and leave Chicago at 12:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon on the MR, arriving here at 4:23. They'll headquarter at the Northland hotel.
VENTURELLI SHOULD LAND BEAR JOB
SEPT 24 (Chicago) - Fred Venturelli, 40-year old Chicago Bear hopeful from Wisconsin, has been out to prove to papa bear Halas to hire him for kicking and that alone. Up to this year, Halas has never wasted one man's talents on booting alone, and at the start of this season was of the same mind. But Venturelli has given local bigwigs some food for thought. The Bears have crossed the goal line an even twenty times in six exhibition games. And Venturelli has kicked between the goal posts those same twenty times. In the field goal department, Venturelli missed once in three times from the 31 yard stripe. But last week's field goal boot against Washington won the contest. So now it's up to Halas. The Bears open league play Sunday at Green Bay, and by that time Venturelli will be either on the program or back on the farm.
THERE'LL BE SOME 'L' IN PACKER-BEAR CLASH
SEPT 24 (Green Bay) - Let's not forget the Chicago Bears' three "L" raisers - Luckman, Lujack and Layne. Mainsprings of the vaunted T-formation attack, Sid, Johnny and Bobby will be the chief targets of every Green Bay Packer when the two clubs collide for the 60th time since 1921 at City stadium Sunday afternoon. These three are quarterbacks, and, according to the book, each "L" is a passing demon. They will be helpful to the Pack in only one position - prone and clutching the ball. Luckman, now in his 10th pro season, is the game's all-time T-formation quarterback. He performed in 19 Bear-Packer games since he joined the Bears in 1939, and was largely responsible for leading his club to victories in 14 of them. There are some who say Luckman is slipping with age, but Luckman gained more yards passing than he ever did in 1947 - a total of 2,712. He picked up 2,194 in 1943 - the only other season he bettered 2,000. A year ago, Sid tossed 24 touchdown passes - four less than in 1943...INTERCEPT FIVE PASSES: But Sid did show signs of cracking at the seams in the opener here last year, which Green Bay won, 29-20. Five of his passes were intercepted but he charged back for his best season, throwing expertly in leading the Bears to a 20-17 win in the return match at Wrigley field. At that, he had the dubious honor of leading the league in pass interceptions last season with 31. Slipping or not, Luckman is still the Packers' greatest thorn until he proves otherwise. How much Lujack and Layne work against the Packers won't be known until about 4:30 Sunday afternoon, but Bear publicity today contained this line: "Lujack and Layne will be at quarterback whenever Coach George Halas decides that Sid Luckman needs a rest." Of course, that's propaganda - strictly off the cob - but it sounds logical. It's a good bet that Halas won't tender the important duties of QB to a couple of rookies with a brain trust like Luckman in uniform...LUJACK AT LEFT HALFBACK: But don't be surprised if Notre Dame Lujack turns up at left halfback. He's supposed to be some shakes as a runner and experienced in that role. Also, don't be surprised if Lujack, Luckman and Layne do a bit of pass receiving themselves. Luckman went down for passes twice last year on trick plays. For that matter, one can't be surprised at anything in a Packer-Bear game. Center Bulldog Turner is apt to show up at fullback (Haw, haw). Now that you've heard about the Bears, let's travel to Rockwood lodge and investigate the Packers. Coach Curly Lambeau and his staff are far from pleased with practice developments. The rough stuff in the morning lacked the drive and spirit and the timing was definitely off color in signal drills. The Pack defense was worked out in the afternoon drill and pictures of the Packers' 20-17 defeat by the Bears last year were shown last night. The club tapered off with a light workout this morning..."WE'LL BE SHELLACKED": Lambeau repeated his statement of Wednesday that "we'll be shellacked unless we snap out of it and get fired up." He recalled a similar situation in 1940 and the result was: Bears 41, Packers 10. To back up his worry, Lambeau feels that the present Bear outfit is "the best since 1941." If you're rusty, fans, that 1941 machine was a championship one, though the Packers gave it a rugged run. The two teams' only losses were to each other and the Western division title had to be settled in a special playoff which the Bears won.
PACKERS, BEARS IN 60TH COLLISION HERE SUNDAY; IT'S A TOSSUP
SEPT 25 (Chicago) - The Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears - representing professional football's greatest rivalry - square off for the 60th time at City stadium Sunday afternoon. Nearly 26,000 persons will jam the compact arena for the pro game's Number One traditional thriller. Kickoff is set for 2 o'clock. The weatherman promised a clear sky and perfect football temperatures - slightly over 70. From this corner, the game looms as a tossup, but - Bear Coach George Halas figures his team is an underdog, while Packer Coach Curly Lambeau definitely can't see Green Bay in the role of favorite. Washington was the guinea pig in Halas' chase for the coveted underdog rating. The Bays trounced Washington, 43-0, while the Bears had trouble winning, 17-14. Lambeau is sure the Bears took it easy with Washington - played under wraps, so to it easy with Washington - played under wraps, so to speak. To ice his point, this printed report came out of the Bear camp this week: "For the last two weeks the Bears
have been concentrating on their battle plan against the Green Bay Packers, with the two aforesaid warmups (a 17-7 loss to New York and the win over Washington) just incidental to their real purpose." Why a tossup? Because anything can happen, and generally does when traditional and hated rivals collide. If anything, the Packers could possibly be underdogs because they represent the Little Town in its battle for recognition against the Big Town. What's more, the Bears hold a won-lost club over the Packers - 32 wins to 22 since 1921...AN IRONCLAD DEFENSE?: The Packers again will stake their victory claim on an ironclad defense which has permitted just one touchdown in three non-loopers and one NFL tussle (31-0 over Boston), while the Bears likely will depend on their Sid Luckman-led offense backed up by the teams' greatest pass receivers - Jim (Kutner) Keane and Ken (Dewell) Kavanaugh. The key to stopping Luckman and the Bears' vaunted passing game will be held chiefly by rushing ends Larry Craig and Don Wells and a wide-awake defensive backfield. The Packers intercepted four Boston passes but Yank throwers Roy Zimmerman and Boley Danciwicz hardly could carry the shoes of Luckman and possibly his aerial assistants, Johnny Lujack and Bobby Layne. Rookies likely will play an important part in the running for both clubs. The Packers will dispatch Ed Smith, Ralph Earhart and Jug Girard against the speedy J.R. Boone, Allen Lawler and Lujack, if he works at left half. But for experience, the Packers can toss Ted Fritsch, Walt Schlinkman, Tony Canadeo, Bob Forte against Bears Don Kindt, George McAfee and Joe Osmanski. It's a good bet that the Packer aerial attack will be in the wiry paws of Indian Jack Jacobs, the quarterback who played terrific ball in leading the Pack to a 29-20 victory over the Bears a year ago. Everybody but the tackles, guards and centers probably will be catching passes, though Nolan Luhn and Clyde Goodnight have been the leaders in this department...BEARS FACE CARDS "NEXT": The big battle up front - in the line and from tackle to tackle - will be led by left tackle Dick Wildung, the ex-Minnesota ace, who captained the Packers in their four victories. He will bump heads with the Bears' right tackle, Walt Stickel. Paul Lipscomb, Urban Odson and Ed Bell will tangle with the Bear left tackles, Fred David and rookie George Connor. Backing up Wildung will be Baby Ray, back for his 11th season, and big Jim Kekeris. Larry Olsonoski is the only rookie among the Packer guards although Evan Vogds and Don Deeks are newcomers with former pro experience. The vets are Ed Neal, Ralph Davis and Damon Tassos. At center, the Bears will lead with one of the game's all-time greats, Bulldog Turner. Veteran Bob Flowers works with Packer newcomers Jay Rhodemyre and Lloyd Baxter at center. The Bears will be opening their 1948 season. They meet their city rivals, the Cardinals, Monday night, Oct. 4., at Comiskey park...SIDE SHOW: The Bears were due in Green Bay on the 4:25 Milwaukee Road Hiawatha. They will headquarter at the Northland tonight. The special Milwaukee Road trains running from Milwaukee and Chicago will bring close to 1,000 fans alone. Fans without tickets have been asked to stay away from the stadium. The game has been sold out for several weeks and no tickets will be available. It was an even 10 years that the Bears whipped the Packers, 2-0, during a driving rain. But there won't be any rain Sunday, according to the weatherman. Incidentally, 20 years ago the Packers tied the Bears, 12-12, and then defeated them twice, 16-6 and 6-0. Those two victories started a string of seven for Green Bay. The Packers will be trying for their 214th NFL victory while the Bears will be seeking their 213th.
CARDS' MAULDIN DIES AFTER GAME
SEPT 25 (Chicago) - Stan Mauldin, 27-year old star tackle for the Chicago Cardinals, dies early today of an apparent heart attack in the club's dressing room at Comiskey Park. He collapsed after taking a shower. The 225-pound former University of Texas athlete played only part of the Cards' NFL opener with Philadelphia. During the last half he raised his hand on the field, signaling he wanted to be relieved, a customary gesture of linemen who wish a substitute to replace them. He returned to the bench and "sweated out" the closely fought contest with many of his teammates. The Cards made their winning touchdown - 21-14 - in the last four minutes on a pass. It was then that Mauldin told his coaches, Jimmy Conzelman and Phil Handler: "I want to get back in there...Let me go." Those were the last words the coaches heard him speak. Mauldin, father of a 5-year old son, Daniel, played the last two minutes while the Cardinals, National league champions, sealed their victory. He went to the dressing room with his excited and happy teammates...WIFE WITH HIM: As he undressed, he complained of a headache. After he showered, he commented: "That was a pretty nice game we won, fellows." Then he collapsed. An rescue squad was summoned. They placed an oxygen mask over his face and worked over him for one hour and 20 minutes as his teammates grouped solemnly in the dressing room. He was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m. (CDT) by Dr. Sidney Portis, a heart specialist, who had been called in. Mauldin's wide, Helen, was with him when he died. Dr. Portis said Mauldin died of "either a hemorrhage at the base of the skull or a massive coronary attack." It was the first such fatality in pro football history in Chicago.
BEARS, PACKERS MEET FOR BATTLE
SEPT 25 (Chicago Tribune) - That most delightful rivalry in professional football, Bears versus Packers, has its 60th showing tomorrow afternoon when 25,000 fortunate fans will jam pack City Stadium to see for themselves how heavy are the 1948 guns of these time tested grid feudists. Green Bay, because of evidence piled up these last few weeks, ruled a 7-5 favorite to provide a shocker to the Bears in the first National league game of the season. Investors stringing along with the Bears also were offered two points on even money bets. The Packers' unusual role as favorites was dictated by their 31 to 0 opening league victory over Boston, which followed a 43 to 0 rout of the Redskins in an exhibition. Against Washington last Sunday, the Bears won in the final minutes, 17 to 14. In the preceding warmup, the Bears had lost to the New York Giants, 17 to 7. It might be a good guess that the Bears were purposely hiding their true strength in the last two exhibitions to make for such a situation as will exist at tomorrow's kickoff. They would gladly exchange a warmup defeat for a triumph over Green Bay. Last year, the Packers, in a similar setting, whipped the Bears, 29 to 20, the only victory they've gained over their old playmates in the last five contests. In the return march in November of 1947 the Bears won 20 to 17 - one of the eight straight which had them headed for the western title until they lost their two final starts of a 12 game schedule. The pattern, at game's beginning, anyway, will have Sid Luckman of the Bears and Indian Jack Jacobs of the Packers as centerpieces. A year ago, Indian Jack outpointed Luckman up here, playing terrifically on defense, making three interceptions. Each team is loaded with potential freshmen stars. The Packers think highly of Ralph Earhart, speedy back from Texas Tech, and Ed Smith, another back from Texas Mines. Because of injuries, Earl (Jug) Girard of Wisconsin and Perry Moss of Illinois have been delayed. The Bears' top backfield rookies to date have been J.R. Boone of Tulsa and Allen Lawler of Texas. The two new quarterbacks, Notre Dame's Johnny Lujack and Texas' Bobby Layne, were not outstanding in their outings along the warmup trail.
PACKERS AND BEARS RENEW OLD RIVALRY
SEPTEMBER 26 (Green Bay) - The oldest and most bitter rivalry in the NFL resumes here Sunday afternoon, the rivalry between the Packers and the Bears, and it has a twist this year that is both new and strange: The Packers are the choice. Whether they really should be or not is something else - and a lot of smart followers of pro football don't believe they should be - but that is still how it will when they get together before a capacity crowd of 24,500 in their 60th game. It'll be Green Bay to win by three. The explanation, of course, is not hard to find. While the Bears at the start of the season were generally regarded as the team to beat in the western division, they have done nothing in their most recent starts to strengthen the feeling. They blew to the New York Giants in an exhibition less than two weeks ago, 17-7, and only last Sunday barely nosed out the crippled Washington Redskins, 17-14. In themselves, these showings might not be so significant except that the Packers against the same teams rolled handsomely. They beat the Giants, 7-0, after careening up and down the field almost at will, and they slaughtered the Redskins, 43-0. The original odds, which favored the Bears by 7 points, slipped to 3, then to even and finally swung to Green Bay's favor. Lambeau was annoyed by the odds. "Favorites?" he stormed Saturday night. "How can they make us the favorites? Can't they see what Halas (George Halas of the Bears) has been doing in the last few games? He's been deliberately laying low. He's been playing possum. He's got the greatest team he's had since 1941 and we'll be lucky to get a tie - maybe lucky to hold down the score. Who's he fooling, anyway?" On paper the Bears do look like the greatest team Halas has had since 1941 whatever the result of some of their exhibitions. He had retained the best men of the last few years and surrounded them with some of the best rookies in pro football - Bobby Layne, Johnny Lujack, George Connor, J.R. Boone, a scat back; Jim Canady, Hank Norberg, Dick Flanagan, Allen Lawler, another scat back, and Washington Serini, just to mention a few. Scout reports indicate that in the recent games in which they looked so flat, they barely went through the motions, obviously saving everything for Sunday's encounter here. At the same time, though, it is also true that the Packers will counter with one of their best crops of rookies in
recent years. Jay Rhodemyre, Ralph Earhart, Evan Vogds, Lloyd Baxter, Perry Moss, Jug Girard, Ed Smith, Larry Olsonoski have given the Packers stature they haven't had since before the war. Like most duels in this series in recent years, it will probably be fought largely in the air, with the ageless Sid Luckman, Lujack and Layne pitching for the Bears and Jack Jacobs, Girard and Moss for Green Bay. Each side has fine receivers. There is not much to choose between the lines. The Bears have one of the greatest in the game with men like Bulldog Turner, Drulis, Bray, Stickel, Davis, Kavanaugh and Keane, but Green Bay isn't far behind with Wildung, Olsonoski, Rhodemyre, Vogds, Lipscomb, Luhn and Craig. There isn't much to choose in speed, either. Both teams have it, the Bears especially in rookies Boone, Lawler, Canady and Minni - and the Packers will see a lot of them. The Bears hold a decided edge in the series. They have won 32 times and lost only 22. Five of the games have ended in ties. The kickoff will be at 2 o'clock, and if you don't have tickets don't come. The game sold out more than a month ago.