1948 Green Bay Packers
LAMBEAU EYES DRAFT IN PLANS FOR 1949
DEC 7 (Green Bay) - Curly Lambeau, coach and general manager of the Green Bay Packers, today was looking ahead to the National league draft meeting in Philadelphia, Dec. 20, as the first step in preparation for the 1949 season. He indicated he would be seeking a passing quarterback, as well as other talent to fill in spots where the present players were "below championship requirements." "There is much to be done and we've started doing it," Lambeau said, reviewing a season which saw the Packers finish out of the first division for the first time and below .500 for only the second time in history...'JUDGMENT PROVED WRONG': "Although extremely disappointing and aggravating, the situation is not exactly a new one for the Packers. We faced it before - in 1933 and 1934 - and came back to win championships in 1936 and 1938 and a divisional title in 1938. We corrected it then and we can and will correct it now. It was not one or two or four big situations that kept us from winning more. It was fifteen or more little things. I made some mistakes, a lot of mistakes. My judgment proved wrong on numerous occasions. I wish I could make over a few decisions." Lambeau said: "We had some very good boys this year, players who measured up to every major standard. We had other players whose performances would have been much more impressive had we been more successful as a team. But we also had some whose play and effort definitely were not up to championship requirements. And championship football is all we are going to tolerate in Green Bay in the future."...FAILURE NOT PUZZLING: There is nothing puzzling about the Packers' failure, Lambeau said. "We know what held us back and we are going to correct it. It will just take hard work and some sound thinking. Our passing, quite obviously, was far from being satisfactory and was a handicap all year. That and the fact that a number of veterans did not play the kind of football we expected from them and know they can play."
PICTURE THE PACKERS WEARING T-FORMATION GRID CLOTHING!
DEC 7 (Green Bay) - It is fun to dream – especially when you’re wide awake. During the late minutes of Sunday’s Packer-Cardinal game in Chicago we got to picturing the Packers dressed up in the terrorizing T-formation. You can’t help but expounding about the T when you watch three guys like Pat Harder, Elmer Angsman and Charley Trippi take handoffs from Paul Christman and Ray Mallouf on quick openers through the line. You notice that Harder, Angsman and Trippi each have a 50-50 break on cracking the line – each can crack straight ahead. You get to dreaming about the Packer offense – especially the case of Bay right halfbacks, who must run at least the length of the line (parallel to it) before they can cut over the
line. You get to dreaming what a slippery kid like Ralph Earhart would do once he eeled through the line – off the T. Packer left halfbacks and fullbacks virtually run off the T under the present system, and, if statistics are correct, a Packer left halfback, Mr. Anthony Canadeo, and a Packer fullback, Mr. Walter Schlinkman, are the club’s top yard makers with 589 and 441 yards, respectively. Tony made 123 attempts and Walt 106. Despite the long-run, sideways handicap, Earhart has gained 146 yards in 25 attempts in 12 games. He’s carried on the average of only twice a contest. Take that handicap away by letting him run off the T and you have another explosion to go with Tony and Walter. Now, let’s use Sunday’s game as an example. The Cardinals’ three-cylinder T-system – Angsman, Harder and Trippi – carried the ball 42 times out of a total 55 rushes for 174 yards. The Packers’ two-cylinder steamer (Canadeo and Schlinkman) carried 24 times out of 33 rushes for a total gain of 98 yards. The third cylinder, Mr. Right Halfback? Earhart went once for 14 yards and Ed Smith carried twice for eight yards. Actually, they went 52 yards because in each run they have to go an extra 10 yards before breaking over the line o’ scrimmage. Gee, it’s fun dreamin’. Incidentally, Trippi, Angsman and Harder didn’t carry once during the last quarter Sunday...Mrs. Jay Rhodemyre watched her husband, the Packer center, perform for the first time as a pro Sunday. She came up from Evansville, Ind., where the Rhodemyres reside…Frank Balazs, former Packer fullback and now a Chicago policeman, visited the Packers in the dressing room after the game…Cardinal officials said the crowd would have reached 32,000 with good weather, but rain started about 45 minutes before kickoff…About 10 of the Packers left Chicago for their homes after the game, the remainder returning to Green Bay to close out personal business. Among the new Green Bay settlers are Nolan Luhn, Red Vogds and Ralph Davis. Ted Cook will take a bride Dec. 18 in Birmingham, Ala.
WHAT WAS THE MATTER WITH THE PACKERS?
DEC 8 (Milwaukee Sentinel-Lloyd Larson) - Here's a letter containing observations with which I agree and a perfectly logical question which has been asked many, many times during the season and in the days since it closed: "Things sure are out of balance in Wisconsin. A certain element has been putting on a smear campaign against the state university because of the losing football season. Twisting the truth and accepting rumors as truth, if not telling downright lies. Undermining and dividing by planting ideas. It foes far beyond shooting at individuals or expressing honest opinions. Yet this same element forgets all about another state institution, the Green Bay Packers. They were supposed to be championship bound and wound up with three victories and nine defeats and the worst record in history. Why the smear I don't know. But that's not my question. What I want to know is what WAS the matter with the Packers?" Frankly, I feel the No. 1 trouble with the Packers was and is Rockwood Lodge, their living and training quarters outside the city of Green Bay. There have been rumors galore and many opinions on the subject ever since the poor showing in the first game with the Bears. Differences in pay, the blanket half-game pay fines, flops on the part of individuals, overall strength (or lack of it) on the coaching staff and one thing or another are supposed to have contributed to the "My Happiness" theme in reverse...THE IDEA THAT DIDN'T WORK OUT: It's quite obvious, too, that there was some over-evaluation of material. But I still feel that the spacious new Packer home, Rockwood Lodge, had more to do with the "situation" than anything else. It seemed like a good idea when the Packer Corporation took over the lodge months before the 1947 season. There the Packers, noted for their college spirit, would have a campus of their own, with practice facilities outside their door. There they would live together, live football and become more closely knit than ever before. The aim was to stir up even more of the college spirit, and, in the long run, gain added advantage over big city rivals. Yea, it was a good idea. But it hasn't worked out that way at all. The players saw too much of each other. The football diet was too heavy. "Morning, noon, afternoon and night we got nothing but football and it was too much," as some have explained. The players also resented being herded together like juveniles. Many of them are mature men with families. And the families, of course, were moved off the "campus" after a year's trial run...PLAYER-FAN RELATIONSHIP IS LOST: Important as those considerations are, there's an even greater weakness in the Rockwood setup. This has to do with the player-fan relationship - the very spirit responsible for the Packers' tremendous success through the years. Largely because of this spirit - the direct and loyal backing of Green Bay's young and old - the Packers became famous as the only professional team with the college touch. The lost touch was best explained by a former Packer great who said: "In the old days we lived in town and mingled with the people. Each one of us knew hundreds of fans by name and perhaps thousands by sight. They knew us and were our friends. With that mutual feeling of friendship came a deep sense of responsibility. We didn't care to face those people if we lost. And when we did lose, we wouldn't have dared face them if we hadn't put out to the limit. We had our gripes and naturally had our differences, even with the coach. But those people kept us together."...THE FAN ANGLE MAKES IT UNANIMOUS: To bear out the former star's point, I've heard expressions like this by citizens of Green Bay who have been on the bandwagon for years: "Before the team moved out of town, we recognized every player in his street clothes and knew most of them. We liked to look on ourselves as a big happy family. We fans were definitely in the act. But today the players are strangers to most of us. Things just aren't the same since they went off to live by themselves." Which makes it unanimous. If the players are unhappy and the fans prefer to go back to the days B.R. (Before Rockwood), the thing to do is pull a reverse and make all of Green Bay the campus once again.
JACK JACOBS IN GOOD CONDITION AFTER OPERATION
DEC 8 (Green Bay) - Jack Jacobs, Green Bay Packer quarterback, submitted to an emergency appendectomy Monday and was reported in good condition today at St. Vincent hospital. Jacobs suffered periodic attacks during the NFL season, spending three days in the hospital before the second Detroit game, but did not miss a game. The former Oklahoma university ace, one of the league’s leading passers and punters a year ago, slumped badly this season and wound up third among the punters with a 40.3 yard average and 14th among the passers with 11.4 percent of his tosses intercepted.
A RESHUFFLING OF GREEN BAY'S COACHING STAFF IS LIKELY
DEC 10 (Milwaukee Journal) - A reshuffling of the coaching staff may be Curly Lambeau's first step in the rebuilding program he has outlined for his Packers. Of his present staff, only Walt Kiesling, line coach, it is understood, will remain. Backfield coach Bo Molenda, so the story goes, will rejoin the New York Giants, with whom he spent so many successful years both as a player and an assistant coach, and Don Hutson will give up football to devote all of his time to his Kaiser-Frazier distributorship. Hutson, in fact, had a contract this season which called for only two days of coaching. It is no secret that Lambeau would like to woo Cecil Isbell, his old passing star, away from the Baltimore Colts as backfield coach - has tried to woo him, in fact. The hitch lies in the salary. Isbell gets $12,000 as head coach from the Colts. And $12,000 is money the Packers or any other club has never or very seldom paid for an assistant coach. Several other former Packers have been mentioned for the other probable vacancy...Lambeau was in Reno, Nev., Friday to talk to Stan Heath, whom the Packers picked as their No. 1 choice in the recent "secret" in Pittsburgh. Heath will come high. The New York Yankees of the All-America league have already offered him $40,000 for two seasons.
ROCKWOOD LODGE IS GOOD FOR PACKERS, PUBLICITOR CLAIMS
DEC 11 (Green Bay) - It took an American, Mr. Hemingway, to explain the inner meaning of bullfighting, but no Spaniard has, as yet, returned the favor by explaining Rockwood. This is a pity because the values of the Lodge have never been set forth adequately. It would not be true to say that the people who flock to City stadium and State Fair park are not aware of Rockwood lodge, home of the Green Bay Packers, but for the lack of a little practice and sensible analysis, some of them, at least, miss its ultimate worth. “I am sure,” says Curly Lambeau, “that if the fans were acquainted with the facts, they would agree that Rockwood is good for the Packers.” The facts are: Lambeau and the corporation first became interested in acquiring a place such as Rockwood during the height of the housing problem in 1945. Only the lodge enabled Lambeau to assemble a
squad in 1946. And the housing situation, local and national, still is a problem…NONE ARE OBLIGATED: No Packer is obligated to live at Rockwood. Several have resided in Green Bay every season. At the end of the present campaign, a survey of the squad revealed all but two men preferred Rockwood. Without a single exception, members of the present squad who were with the Packers before Rockwood lauded the lodge as a definite improvement over the old days, when players lived around town and were awakened at all hours of the night by well-meaning, but thoughtless, well-wishers, especially on Saturday nights. “It’s the best thing for Packer morale and results,” is the way these veterans put it. Buckets Goldenberg, a practical fellow of wide experience in things athletic, echoes the sentiment of his old teammates. “If we had had Rockwood in my years with the club,” says the former All-league guard, “we would have won two more championships.” Goldenberg played with the Packers from 1933 to 1945, during which time they won three world championships…BIERMAN, CONZELMAN IMPRESSED: Bernie Bierman paid a visit to the Packers last summer, took one look at Rockwood, and said: “This is the finest setup I have ever seen in college or professional sports. The Packers are very fortunate.” Jimmy Conzelman browsed around the lodge while his Chicago Cardinals were preparing to scrimmage the Packers last August. “I’d give anything for a place like this for the Cardinals,” he said. “Imaging having them here together all season.” Even George Halas, to whom big operations and success are no novelty, told listeners last September, “I’d have a Rockwood tomorrow if I could find one.” The atmosphere around hotels is not good for football. In the case of the Packers, living in town posed other problems besides the frequent molestations at wee hours. When it became necessary to hold long workouts, players arriving back at their quarters late found very little choice remaining on menus. Proper food, of course, is one of the chief factors in the conditioning of athletes. At Rockwood, their diets can be supervised carefully…AS MUCH OPPORTUNITY: Contrary to popular impressions, Packer fans in Green Bay have as much opportunity to see and visit with the players now as they did before Rockwood. The Packers, of course, are unavailable after 11 o’clock, the club’s curfew hour, but this is not a Rockwood rule. It has always been in force. Except for the hours when they are practicing or in meetings, the players are in town, gathered at places where Packers have gathered for years. Those few who remain at the lodge do so out of a dislike for lobby sitting. Athletes have changed in the last eight years. So have most of the people who used to find it important and inspiring to have a speaking acquaintance with the players. Otherwise, the same people would be striking up the same old acquaintances with Packers at the same old haunts. The haunts are there, and so are the Packers. “Rockwood lodge,” says Lambeau, the one man best qualified to comment, “is not responsible for our losses. The players like the lodge. A year ago, when we planned to stop off down south for the last two weeks of the season, the players said they preferred to go ‘home” to Rockwood. We did and worked out in the snow.”
PASSER STAN HEATH AGREES TO PLAY WITH PACKERS - LAMBEAU
DEC 13 (Green Bay) - Stan Heath will play for the Green Bay Packers next fall. The University of Nevada passing star who established a new collegiate pitching record this fall said so himself in Reno, Nev., over the weekend. He told Packer Coach Curly Lambeau that “I’ll sign with the Packers after the first of the year.” Lambeau picked up some other good news – a signature from Ralph Olsen, star University of Utah center. Olsen, the first player placed under contract to Green Bay for 1949, had been drafted by the Packers in 1946. Olsen, 25, was named on the USC’s all-opponent team this season. He packs 225 pounds on a 6-foot, 4-inch frame. Olsen told Lambeau that he will play any position in the line. The Utah star has a reputation as a terrific linebacker and downfield blocker. He’ll be competing with Bob Flowers, Jay Rhodemyre and Lloyd Baxter next season. Olsen, incidentally, was a Navy pursuit pilot during the war. His 225 pounds made him one of the biggest pilots in the Navy. He also played varsity basketball at Utah. Heath, former star at Shorewood (Milwaukee) High school and the University of Wisconsin, completed 126 out of 223 passes at Nevada this season to roll up a tremendous 2,005 yards, a new collegiate record formerly held by Charley Connerly, who now plays with the New York Giants. Heath also sailed 22 touchdown passes to pace the country. Heath still has to play against Hawaii Dec. 20 and against Villanova in the Harbor Bowl game New Year’s eve. The Nevada ace, Packer fans hope, will be the answer to the Packers’ quarterback and aerial troubles last season. Jack Jacobs, with a sore arm, finished below 10th in league passing while rookie Perry Moss and veteran Irv Comp had similar headaches. Heath had only one bad day this year. Against Santa Clara, he was unable to operate effectively because of a stiff wind and dust storm. On one occasion a pass was virtually blown back to him. Heath, in agreeing to sign with the Packers, ended the hopes of the New York Yankees of the All-America Conference, who has made an offer two weeks ago. The Packers drafted Heath a year ago and National league clubs agreed to uphold the Bays’ selection at a secret meeting in Pittsburgh recently despite the fact that Heath had another year of eligibility left. Heath is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 passer. He was named on the United Press All-American.
HEATH AGREES TO SIGN CONTRACT WITH PACKERS
DEC 14 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - "Stan (Heath) will sign with the Green Bay Packers sometime after the first of the year," Mickey Heath, father and former Brewer baseball manager, told the Sentinel last night following a telephone conversation with his son at Reno, Nev. "Stan's decision came after he had conferred with Packer Coach Curly Lambeau, who made a more substantial offer than that given by the New York Yankees of the All-America League," the elder Heath said. Both the Yankees and the Packers held the respective draft rights to Heath. Earlier the New York club had announced a $40,000 contract for two years had been drawn to lure the former Milwaukee passing star to the AA circuit. Heath said that the "figure agreed upon could not be divulged at this time. Anyway," he added, "it would be up to the club to make that announcement." Lambeau, in Salt Lake City, to sign Ralph Olsen, star Utah center, said only the formality of the signature remained before Heath would be a full-fledged Packer. Since Heath, who as a member of the Nevada football team still has two collegiate games to play, it was impossible for him to affix a signature to any contract at this time. Nevada, where he skyrocketed to fame as the national collegiate offensive leader, will the University of Hawaii at Honolulu and Villanova, in the Harbor Bowl. After those two games, Heath's eligibility will be used up and he will be free to sign. Heath went to Nevada two seasons ago after having attended the University of Wisconsin in 1946. By transferring he lost one year of competition and thereby became eligible prey for the pros. By a break in the National League draw, the Packers earned a bonus player and Heath was the logical choice. Almost immediately after his matriculation into Nevada, Heath began to command the headlines. His aerial wizardry brought Nevada one victory after another. Then, this year his pitching arm became even more effective and as the weeks rolled along, Heath zoomed as the leading college football passer. His yardage continued to mount and soon he took over the total offensive leadership, combining ground and air yards, although Heath never ran the ball except on the most rare occasions.
FATHER HEATH CONFIRMS SON'S PACKER PLANS
DEC 14 (Milwaukee) - It looked today as though the Green Bay Packers had won their second straight player duel with the New York Yankees. Mickey Heath, father of Stan, the sensational Nevada forward passer, said here his son told him “he will sign with the Packers sometime after the first of the year.” Last season the Packers and the Yankees engaged in a round of bidding for the services of Earl (Jug) Girard, University of Wisconsin halfback. The Packers won, signing Girard for a reported $7,500 annually. He spent most of this season on the bench. “Stan’s decision came after he had conferred with Packer Coach Curly Lambeau, who made a more substantial offer than that given by the Yankees,” the elder Heath said. “The figure agreed upon cannot be divulged at this time. Anyway, it would be up to the club to make that announcement.” The Yankees were rumored several weeks ago to have offered young Heat, who broke national collegiate passing records this year, a two year contract for $40,000. Traditionally, the Packers never announce player salaries. The bidding contest between the Packers of the National league and the Yankees of the All-America conference for Heath cropped up several weeks ago and led to disclosure that both professional leagues had held secret draft meetings. Heath has two more games to play for Nevada before his eligibility runs out. The Wolfpack has dates remaining with the University of Hawaii at Honolulu and with Villanova in the Harbor Bowl on New Year’ day…In an interview with John Mooney, Salt Lake Telegram sports editor, Lambeau selected an all-Packer team. Lambeau stopped in Salt Lake City after conferring with Heath in Reno. His selections: Ends – Don Hutson and LaVerne Dilweg; tackles – Cub Buck and Bill Kern; guards – Buckets Goldenberg and Mike Michalske; center – Charlie Brock; quarterback – Red Dunn; halfbacks – Cecil Isbell and Vern Lewellen; fullback – Clarke Hinkle. Lambeau left for an unannounced destination after signing Ralph Olsen, 220-pound center at the University of Utah, to a Packer contract. Lambeau said he might try the 6-foot, 4-inch Olsen out as an end. Locally, two Packers are recovering from operations. Jack Jacobs has left the hospital after an appendectomy while guard Red Vogds has entered St. Vincent for a tonsillectomy. One other Packer received the “knife” the season – end Bob Skoglund, who underwent a knee operation in Pittsburgh late in November. Skoglund injured his knee during a non-league game with Washington in Birmingham, Ala., Sept. 11, and never got into action the rest of the league season. Skoglund is expected back tougher than ever next year. His loss handicapped left or right end where Skoglund played under Larry Craig or Don Wells. Wells, incidentally, underwent a similar operation here after the 1947 season.
UP SURVEY SHOWS ATTENDANCE DROP IN TWO PRO GRID LEAGUES
DEC 15 (New York) - Professional football took an attendance beating of nearly a half million persons this season. A United Press survey of the attendance of the regular season games, exclusive of the playoffs, showed that the 116 games played in the National league and All-America conference this year drew 3,281,709 fans, against 3,726,374 in 1947. The decrease was 444,665, a percentage decline of 11.93. Only four teams, two in each league, showed increased in patronage at home games. They were the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cardinals in the National, and the San Francisco Forty-niners and the Baltimore Colts in the All-America. The National league suffered the most. Its attendance for 60 games dropped off 247,737 fans, a percentage of 12.96. The 10 teams in that league drew 1,663,980 this year - a per game average of 27,733 - against 1,911,717 and a per game average of 31,862 in 1947...49ERS IN BIGGEST GAIN: The All-America lost 196,928 customers, a percentage decline of 10.85 - from a total of 1,814,657 who saw the 56 conference games in 1947 to the 1,617,729 who saw the same number of games this year. The Forty-niners showed the biggest increase of any team - 45,394 - with the Bears next in line with a net gain of 33,016. The New York Yankees of the All-America had the biggest decline, 96,567. The Cleveland Browns, despite their unbeaten season, registered a drop of 74,141. The biggest decline in the National was the 64,364 lost by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Boston Yanks and New York Giants also suffered big drops - 52,063 and 50,847, respectively. Once again, the Brooklyn Dodgers in the All-America and the Boston Yanks in the National played to the fewest persons in their home games. The Dodgers drew 72,497 for seven contests, the Yanks 73,010 for six. The Green Bay Packers recorded an attendance of 147,645 for six games this year. In 1947 for the same number of games the crowd numbered 166,400. The decrease was 18,755.
XMAS GIFT SUGGESTION: PACKER SEASON TICKET CERTIFICATES
DEC 16 (Green Bay) - Santa Claus stepped into the Packer picture today. It's this way: If you're between a sweat and a stew about what to get Jim or Mary for Christmas, step into the Packer ticket office in the Legion building on Walnut street and see what the Packers are offering: Season ticket certificates for the team's 1949 home games. Carl Mraz, Packer ticket director, reported today that already three or four dozen certificates have been snapped up for Christmas mailing or personal presentation...On another Packer front, plans are being completed for Green Bay's invasion of the NFL's annual draft meeting in Philadelphia next Monday. The Packers will be represented by Coach Curly Lambeau, Publicity Director George Strickland and Bob Conrad. League representatives will gather in Philadelphia Saturday, attend the Cardinal-Eagle championship game Sunday, and start drafting at 10 o'clock Monday morning in the Bellvue-Stratford hotel. The draft process will be finished sometime Monday night. Behind the draft meeting, representatives will decide on the number of players to be selected. A year ago, each club selected 30 but there are reports that this figure will be reduced to 20 Monday...PLAYER HASH: Packer quarterback Jack Jacobs is walking around cautiously these days for two reasons - the slipper streets and that recent appendectomy. Jacobs plans to leave Green Bay about next Wednesday to spend the Christmas holidays at his home in Muskogee, Okla. Guard Ralph Davis will represent the Packers at the annual welfare dinner in Racine Saturday noon. Then, he'll go to Madison to attend the wedding of Jack Wink, former Wisconsin back. Red Vogds, Packer guard recovering from a tonsillectomy, also may attend the wedding. Both Davis and Vogds are ex-Badgers...A Chicago newspaper reported late Wednesday that there are signs of an armistice between the NFL and the All-America conference. It added that Owner-Coach George Halas of the Chicago Bears conferred recently with two key owners in the AAC - Ben Lindheimer of the Los Angeles Dons and Dan Topping of the New York Yankees. Out in Los Angeles with the Packers recently, we heard rumors that the owners of the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers would like to get into the National league. This coincides with the Chicago paper's report that Anthony Morabito, owner of the 49ers, and Art McBride, Cleveland owner, are ready to ask the AAC to prove that it has enough cash to operate in Chicago, Brooklyn and Baltimore next season. The whole thing may be settled one way or the other at the National league's annual meeting in Chicago in mid-January. The AAC generally holds its annual business meeting in January, too.
EAGLES' OWNER WANTS UNITED FOOTBALL DRAFT
DEC 16 (Philadelphia) - Alexis Thompson Thursday opened the way for a new peace offensive in professional football. The millionaire owner of the Philadelphia Eagles disclosed he planned to "feel out" his NFL colleagues on their latest reaction to a common draft with the All-America conference. "Either that or some other sensible solution," he said, "to the fantastic situation that finds me with a championship football team that will lose close to $32,000 this year." The National league and All-America conference have been at loggerheads for three years. The differences have only produced high salaries for players and money losing franchises for owners. "I'd like to make some 'sense and cents' out of this muddled pro football business," Thompson explained. "Please understand. I'm not the kind that changes my mind on this subject every 24 hours. I'm 100% in back of any policy the league decides on but I'd be a fool if I didn't try and resolve a situation in which most of us are losing money," he added. Thompson is determined to try and make other National league owners see the light at the draft meeting Monday. "I tried last year," he said, "but nobody would even second my motion for a discussion of the problem. Like the little boy with a firecracker who won't listen until he gets burned, maybe the other owners now are ready to use their better judgement," he said. Thompson declared that he personally believed the All-America backers were foolhardy in entering pro football. "But darn it, they're in it. They haven't folded up. The competition has driven salaries up so high that nobody can make a franchise really pay. We must recognize this and act accordingly."
CLEVELAND, FRISCO MAY BOLT PRO LOOP
DEC 16 (Cleveland) - The All-America Football Conference, sharply divided into four layers of prosperity, and the lack of it, will take another stab at retrenchment tomorrow in the most vital meeting of its brief but stormy history. Out of the conferences that will precede Sunday's Cleveland Browns-Buffalo Bills championship game may come such news on franchise relocations; refinancing; compromises made among bickering club owners; withdrawal of two teams; or the bitter prediction of doom in 1949. The good teams in the AAC do not with to continue keeping company with the bad ones, especially when they can join the rival National league. The not-so-bad clubs figure they can go another year, but only if the league retains its present magnitude, which would comprise eight teams, including two very bad ones. The very bad ones don't know if they'll operate at all. Shaved down, the All-American Conference, analyzed according to available information on present financial condition and ability to keep going, would come to something like this: Good - San Francisco and Cleveland; Bad - Baltimore and Buffalo; Indifferent - Los Angeles and New York; Nothing Doing - Brooklyn and Chicago. Breaking that down even further, the situation runs like this: Cleveland and San Francisco, both operating in territories unchallenged by the National League and virtually assured of NFL membership should they elect to jump, are in sound shape. Los Angeles and New York, both operating in territories shared by NFL teams, can keep going. The Dons are good drawers in sports conscious Los Angeles, and the Yankees own their home park, and thereby are spared the cost of rental. Should Cleveland and San Francisco leave, however, the Dons and Yanks would be hard pressed to continue. Buffalo and Baltimore did not draw on the road and are losing at home, despite civic pride in two cities unchallenged by rival league teams. These clubs conceivable could go another year if the All-America Conference retains its present magnitude, which means not only Cleveland and San Francisco must stay but Chicago and Brooklyn - or new equivalents - as well. Chicago and Brooklyn, not only losing both games and money, apparently have overstepped the saturation points of the large municipalities in which they operate. It becomes increasingly clear that Chicago, with the Bears and Cards of the National League, will not support a third team. Ditto for Brooklyn, challenged by the Yanks and Giants across the bridge. The bad teams, then, may relocate - Chicago, possibly, to Milwaukee; Brooklyn, it's rumored, to Montreal. And the good teams must decide they want to put up with the bad ones again.
TRUCE OR RENEWED OUTBREAK OF WAR IS PRO GRID PROBLEM
DEC 17 (Cleveland) - Reports of a possible armistice in the dollar war with the senior NFL greeted owners of the three year old All-America conference as they gathered Friday for their annual meeting and title playoff game. The All-American circuit has been for such a truce right along by National owners have opposed it in the belief that the established circuit could outlast the newcomer. A writer for a New York newspaper, Joe King, predicted Thursday that the All-America conference would fold up, and that the champion Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco Forty-niners would enter the national loop. However, Admiral Jonas Ingram, commissioner of the All-America, says his league goes into session with a better outlook than a comparable time a year ago. Ingram said he also anticipated peace with the National league within 30 days. "Our only problem will be in Chicago and we expect to make that out main topic," Ingram said. "A year ago we had three problems, Chicago, Brooklyn and Baltimore. Brooklyn had a bad year from the attendance and victory standpoints, but Branch Rickey assured me his baseball operations will carry football and that he expects to continue. As for this war between the leagues, I'm confident seven of the National league owners are in favor of some kind of working agreement now. I'm confident some kind of sentiment will be made within the next month. The main thing is to work out the makeup of the leagues and arrange a schedule that will have no conflicts and plan a common draft. I'm in favor of two eight team leagues, with one team from Chicago in each." Ingram did not say who the lone National league holdup was, but apparently it is George Preston Marshall, owner of the Washington Redskins. Marshall reiterated his opposition to a truce Thursday after Alexis Thompson, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, came up once again with the proposal that the two leagues get together. Thompson says he lost $32,000 this year, even though his team won the eastern division title of the National league. In the present football war, one club in the National league and one in the All-America draft a player. The athlete then auctions himself to the high bidder. Stan Heath of Nevada this week reportedly rejected a $40,000, three year contract with the New York Yankees for a better one offered by the Green Bay Packers of the National. Under a common draft Heath would be approached by only one club. A one year, $5,000 pact might be the result. Ted Collins, owner of the National league's Boston eleven, has placed his losses of the last four years at $720,000. The Chicago Rockers of the conference reportedly are out $1,000,000 in three years. The Rockets have had new owners each season.
EAGLES, CARDS TO BOLT NL? REPORT PACKERS SET TO QUIT
DEC 17 (Cleveland) - You can believe nothing you hear and half of what you see at the All-America Football Conference meeting here. Rumors, rumors, rumors...Some of the reports floating through the hotel lobbies as the AA confab goes into its second day are: 1. The Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Cardinals of the National League will bolt to the All-America. 2. The Green Bay Packers of the NFL are about ready to throw in the sponge. 3. The two leagues are on the verge of peace, a common draft and a world series of football (between NFL and AA championship teams). One thing seemed certain: the All-America will operate as an eight team circuit in 1949. Commissioner Jonas Ingram said tonight: "We are proceeding with plans for next season and will hold our draft meeting as scheduled Monday." The AA bosses also went on record as favoring peace at once with the National League. Said Ingram: "Cooperative relations with the NFL continue to be the desire of our conference." Ingram stated that unless peace between the two rivals was reached within the next 30 days he would quit as AA commissioner. But back to the rumors: The report that peace between the league was not far off was substantiated by the announcement of Dan Topping, New York Yankees president, that he would be glad to serve as landlord should the AA and NFL loop champions care to meet on his field at Yankee Stadium. Another report said Alexis Thompson, Eagles owner, would send his club against the AA champ if his team defeated the Chicago Cardinals in their title game Sunday. It was pointed out that Topping and Thompson are close friends. Thompson has repeatedly spoken for peace with the All-America. Other lesser rumors had the Chicago Rockets, Brooklyn, Baltimore and Buffalo on the verge of financial collapse; the Boston Yanks or Philadelphia Eagles taking over the New York Yankees franchise in the AA and millionaire Topping "broke".
CARDS, EAGLES DOMINATE STAR '11'; CANADEO ON SECOND SQUAD
DEC 17 (New York) - The defending champion Chicago Cardinals nosed out the challenging Philadelphia Eagles, four positions to three, on the United Press NFL all-star team announced today. The Cards displayed power both in the line and in the backfield in seizing the four spots on the honor eleven selected by UP football writers. They landed end Mal Kutner and guard Garrad Ramsey in the line and halfback Charley Trippi and fullback Pat Harder in the backfield. Earlier, Harder also was named most valuable player in the league this season. The Eagles contributed end Pete Pihos, tackle Al Wistert and back Steve Van Buren. The team was rounded out by tackle Dick Huffman of Los Angeles, guard Ray Bray and center Clyde (Bulldog) Turner of the Bears, and the one and only quarterback, Sammy Baugh of Washington. The ends were standouts this season. Kutner, a 197-pound streak of speed playing his third year with the Cardinals, scored 14 touchdowns by catching passes. In all, he caught 41 tosses and - although not a back - he was the second leading scorer in the league with 90 points. Fullback Harder led with 110. Pihos, in his sophomore year in the circuit, caught 46 passes, including 11 for touchdowns...BRAY FROM SMALL COLLEGE: Sheer power dominated the guards and tackles. Huffman, a 251-pounder from Tennessee, proved a pillar of strength for a Los Angeles team which was not in the title running. Wistert was a behind-the-scenes reason for Philadelphia's second straight Eastern division title. This veteran of six years in professional football showed no signs of weakening with age. Bray is one of those even-increasing cases for small colleges. No Notre Dame or Michigan alumnus, he hails from little West Michigan State. Yet he made the grade in pro football. This is his seventh year, and he's 31 years old. The ageless Turner was a unanimous choice at center. A vicious character at all times, he is Mr. Bear by now, as far as Chicago fans are concerned. The quarterback assignment was the toughest for the writers to fill. On one hand, they had old-man-riverlike Sammy Baugh. On the other there was Philadelphia's Tommy Thompson, leading passer this season according to official statistics. But Thompson was set aside partly in respect to Baugh's payoff pitches even when he was with a losing team. Sammy ranked only fourth among tossers this season with 162 of 299 completed for 2,599 yards. But he scored 22 touchdowns with those aerials, and his 86-yard toss against New York Oct. 3 was the longest of the season...The Green Bay Packers had a representative on the second team - Tony Canadeo, veteran left halfback. Canadeo led the club in yards gained, 589, and topped the league in ground gaining for the first nine weeks. His backfield mates are Thompson, the Bears' George McAfee and fullback Joe Muha of Philadelphia. The Associated Press today came out with its all-pro team, including the All-America conference. No Packers were rated on the first or second teams. Honorable mention was given center Jay Rhodemyre and Canadeo.
CARDS FAVORED TO WIN; PRO TRUCE IS REPORTED
DEC 18 (Philadelphia) - The NFL and the All-America conference have agreed to some type of truce, the Associated Press learned Saturday night. An announcement concerning the truce is expected Sunday. All-America conference officials are in Cleveland for their annual meeting. National league officials are here for a session Monday. No details of the settlement were learned. The report came shortly after Ted Collins, owner of the Boston franchise of the National league, announced he would move his team to New York. Another important development on the eve of the National league playoff game was the announcement by Charles Ewart, general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles, that "several syndicates have shown an interest in purchasing the Eagles," but he denied flatly that any deal had been completed or was nearing completion. The first official step in a peace between the rival league which have been fighting a costly gridiron war for three years probably would be the resignation of Jonas Ingram as commissioner of the All-America and the elevation of Bert Bell of the National league to commissioner of all professional football. This report was substantiated by an earlier one which said that Ingram was ready to step down because of poor health. Bell said Saturday that "on the record and off the record there has been no truce" between the National league and the All-America conference. He said, however, that it was possible that the National league might consider applications from All-America teams to join the National league. Collins, in announcing the shift of the Yanks from Boston to New York, said that he had worked out an agreement with the New York Giants. Maurice (Clipper) Smith will not be back as coach of the Yanks next season, Collins said. Smith made this decision of his own accord, Collins added. Ewart said that four or five groups had made inquiries about the Eagles. The inquiries were directed to owner Alexis Thompson, now recovering from an appendicitis operation at a New York hospital. The franchise has not been a money maker. Thompson said earlier that this year's team will lose approximately $32,000 and he is reported to have dropped $50,000 last year.
LAMBEAU SAYS 'NO'
DEC 18 (Philadelphia) - Manager Curly Lambeau of the Green Bay Packers said Saturday night that there was no truth in the report that a truce would be declared Sunday in the pro football war and that it would not even be considered at the National league meeting. "This is a draft meeting," he said, "and the rules permit no other business to be taken up."
ALL-AMERICA OWNERS RECEPTIVE FOR PEACE
DEC 18 (Cleveland) - All-America conference football team owners gave all of their eight clubs a financial bill of health Saturday, including the dollar starved Chicago Rockets. Then they agreed with George Halas, owner of the National league Chicago Bears, that the time had come for peace between the two leagues. Halas, in Philadelphia for that circuit's playoff game, had said a "sensible solution" of the situation was due and indicated that he would introduce the subject at the National league meeting Monday. Jonas Ingram, commissioner of the All-America, said: "I sincerely hope something along that line will develop." He added that he still favored a playoff game on December 26 between the champions of the circuits and pointed out that the weather in Los Angeles would be favorable. Ben F. Lindheimer, Los Angeles, chairman of the executive committee, said that if the Chicago Rockets failed to post a $200,000 guarantee on February 5 in the league meeting at New York another city was willing to take over the club. There were indications that he meant Dallas. A conference rule requires each club to post $200,000. This rule was suspended last season. It was reinstated Saturday. The Rockets had to be rescued by a $100,000 fund raised by other owners in midseason and also were allowed to forego the $15,000 guarantee to each visiting club. Brooklyn has to pay only $10,000 to eastern clubs but paid the western teams in full. All teams hereafter must pay $15,000. The Rockets have had new owners each year. R. Edward Garn, spokesman for the Chicago stockholders, that virtually the same 1948 backers would operate the club in 1949. The owners also discussed the television problem but delayed action until February. Only Cleveland, Buffalo and San Francisco did not televise their home games last season. The other five owners agreed television had hurt their gate receipts. The suggestion to cut the player limit from 35 to either 30 or 28 also was deferred until February.
AAC CLUBS MEET WITH NFL
DEC 20 (Green Bay Press-Gazette - Philadelphia) - Five club representatives of the All-American conference moved into the City of Brotherly Love today with something to sell to the NFL. They are the Cleveland Browns, represented by Owner Arthur (Mickey) McBride; the San Francisco 49ers, Tony Morabito; the Los Angeles Dons, Ben J. Lindheimer; Buffalo Bills, James Breuil; and New York Yankees, Dan Topping. Arrival of the AAC representatives immediately led to a fresh flood of conjecture about the reported "peace" between the two leagues. However, National league spokesmen said that the AAC owners do not represent a committee of the junior circuits. They are merely trying to seek membership in the National league or combine themselves in such a manner that two or three possible clubs could be admitted to the senior wheel. Bearing out this belief, Admiral Jonas Ingram, AAC commissioner, did not plan to attend the National league session. He said in Cleveland over the weekend that "I'll resign in 30 days if the two leagues don't get together." Commissioner Bert Bell of the National league had no comment other than confirming the fact that five club representatives of the AAC were coming here today. Reports here indicate that the All-America loop cannot possible operate next year if the National league accepts several AAC clubs. Two of the most acceptable are Cleveland and San Francisco, the one-two clubs in the Western division. Conjecture as to how several AAC clubs can be dissolved into the NFL went something like this: (1) McBride of Cleveland sees no possible future for his unbeaten Browns what with terrific financial losses on the road from such centers as Chicago, Buffalo, Baltimore and New York. (2) Breuil of the Bills can't see any future for pro football in Buffalo but is still interested in the game and would like to combine his team with another for entrance in the NFL. (3) Lindheimer of the Dons, who has been pouring money into the Chicago Rockets and Brooklyn Dodgers, wants to combine his team with the Los Angeles Rams and thus the two squads would command the major pro grid interest in Southern California. (4) Morabito of the 49ers is convinced there is rook for two pro clubs on the west coast and thus hopes to join the NFL and form a natural rivalry with a combined Los Angeles team. (5) Topping of the Yankees is reportedly interested in getting out of pro football in view of his terrific losses this season. The first move regarding his status came over the weekend when Owner Ted Collins of the Boston Yanks announced that Boston's 1949 games will be played in New York. The report said that the games would be played in the Polo grounds - home of the NY Giants - but this was not confirmed by Polo ground officials. NFL approval is necessary for the shift. The other AAC clubs - Chicago Rockets, Baltimore Colts and Brooklyn Dodgers - are on the fence. The Rockets have been a losing proposition for three years while the Dodgers are Lindheimer-money sponsored. Brooklyn, too, has been a losing deal. The Colts, though Baltimore is considered a good sports town, are hoping for the best - either that the AAC remains active or that they cane get into the National. However, the Colts, Rockets and Dodgers did not have official representation at the NFL meeting today...TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT: While rumors of peace efforts between the two leagues were developing at a one-a-minute rate last week, most of the National leaguers insisted there had been no negotiations. But it has become increasingly evident that what they called "informal man-to-man talks" actually were something more than that, with Topping acting as an intermediary to carry proposals and suggestions between the two groups. Topping, a former National league club owner, switched to the All-America conference. National league owners - who apparently feel they have the upper hand - remained closeted in a conference after their brief announcement Sunday night and would not comment on today's meeting. One observer close to the scene predicted that they would "lay down the proposition and the All-America would have to take it or leave it." In any event, this proposition would put the All-America out of existence as a separate league. The National leaguers admittedly would be glad to accept Morabito's San Francisco team and McBride's Cleveland club in their circuit. Whether the remaining AAC clubs - under the reported NFL proposition - merely would go out of business, whether some of them would combine with NFL team or whether some face-saving gesture, such as buying players from defunct teams, would be made still remained in the realm of conjecture. Most significant of the weekend statements come from George Halas, owner-coach of the Chicago Bears, long a power in the NFL affairs. Halas, here for the playoff games, said a "sensible solution" of the situation was due. He added that he would introduce the subject at the National league meeting...LAMBEAU HAS NO COMMENT: Coach Curly Lambeau of the Green Bay Packers, also here for the playoff and draft, said he had "no comment". Halas and Lambeau both are favorable to expanding the National league but neither are recognizing what the All-America conference calls a "peace move". The National league's annual draft, scheduled for 9 o'clock this morning, was postponed until 2 o'clock this afternoon. However, the clubs were not expected to get at the draft today in view of the discussions on possible expansion. If the draft is postponed, it will be held in two or three weeks. The National league's annual business meeting is set for Chicago Jan. 20.
MERGER TO BRING TRUCE IN PRO FOOTBALL WAR
DEC 20 (Philadelphia) - The professional football war is over, after three years of strife and losses which ran into millions of dollars. The All-America Football conference, which just completed its third season, will pass out of existence, barring last minute balking by the club owners involved, and the NFL will operate next season with 12 teams instead of 10. Only the Cleveland Browns, three times champions of the All-America, and the San Francisco Forty-niners will survive the collapse of the junior circuit. They will be the new clubs in the National league. The Los Angeles Dons of the All-America will
amalgamate with the Los Angeles Rams of the National. The Boston club will absorb the Buffalo Bills. The New York Yanks, Baltimore Colts, Brooklyn Dodgers and the Chicago Rockets will fold up, perhaps with some face saving player sales. The Boston club of the National league will move to New York and play at Yankee stadium. Of course, as stated above, the harsh teams of the National leaguers may result in some balking, but the only financially healthy clubs in the All-America are expected to exert pressure which will keep the others in line. Arthur B. McBride of Cleveland and Tony Morabito of San Francisco are reported to have forced a settlement by threatening to jump from the All-America to the National. They were the only money-makers in their league. Dan Topping of the Yankees is under pressure from fellow stockholders in the baseball club to get out of football. He will be satisfied to have the baseball club become landlord for the Boston Yankees. James Breuil of Buffalo is willing to disband his team but wants to remain in the game. Ted Collins of Boston is expected to accommodate him. Ben Lindheimer of the Los Angeles Dons will be satisfied to join forces with the Rams. It is significant, perhaps, that these men - McBride, Morabito, Topping, Breuil and Lindheimer - make up the All-America committee which came here Monday from their own league meeting in Cleveland to talk peace with the National leaguers. Despite denials by all National league club owners that there have been any peace negotiations, it is understood that a basis for the truce was reached in personal discussions between club owners of the two circuits. Topping of the All-America, who jumped from the other league, has talked with eastern National league club owners and George Halas of the Chicago Bears, a power in the National, met with McBride and Morabito last week. Alexis Thompson, millionaire owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, which won the National league title Sunday, has been talking peace to his fellow clubowners and to All-America rivals for more than a year. Tim Mara, founder of the New York Giants, a die-hard opponent of any peace gesture, called for only two teams in New York instead of three. The Giants, usually money-makers, have had tough going with two All-America clubs, the Yankees and the Dodgers, competing for business. Thompson is reported willing to sell the Philadelphia Eagles and this may offer a means of satisfying some of the AA men unwilling to get out of football. Breuil may form a syndicate to buy the Eagles. The only problem not solved was what to do about the Baltimore club. The All-America moguls feel honor bound to do something for the civic leaders whom they induced to step in and save the Baltimore Colts from collapsing. Under present plans, the National league will have an eastern division consisting of the two New York clubs, Philadelphia, Washington, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and a western loop consisting of the two Chicago clubs, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
TWO RIVAL PRO GRID LEAGUES MOVE CLOSER TO A SETTLEMENT
DEC 20 (Philadelphia) - There was no peace on the far fling professional football front Tuesday but prospects for a settlement of the three year war were brighter than ever before. One crystal clear fact emerged from the meeting between representatives of the NFL and the All-America Conference here over the weekend: Both leagues are genuinely interested in trying to find a solution to their problem. They did not solve it after 12 hours of discussions Monday, but they could hardly be expected to settle something of three years' standing in 12 hours. It was the first formal meeting between the two leagues since the All-America conference was formed in 1946. More meetings will undoubtedly follow and each will probably bring the rivals closer together. There is a strong possibility that within a month the two will have had a meeting of minds. Most difference were apparently ironed out here. It was agreed that the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco Forty-niners enter the National leaguee, that the Boston Yankees move to New York with Jim Breuil of the Buffalo Bills as a partner of Ted Collins, that Dan Reeves' Los Angeles Rams and Ben Lindheimer's Los Angeles Dons amalgamate, and that the Chicago Rockets and New York Yankees disband. The long stumbling block, and a big one, was Baltimore. National league owners do not want Baltimore. It would give them 13 teams and create an impossible problem in dividing the reorganized league into two equal divisions. American league owners, having made ironclad commitments, cannot, however, how they can drop Baltimore. They countered with the proposition that both Baltimore and the Los Angeles Dons be admitted into the National league in addition to Cleveland and San Francisco, the Dons separate from the Rams, which would give Los Angeles two teams, and that the National league operate as a 14 team league instead of a 12. George Marshall, whose Washington Redskins play only 60 miles from Baltimore, was said to have vigorously led the fight against Baltimore's inclusion. George Halas of the Chicago Bears later was asked point blank if Baltimore was the "holdup" in a settlement. "I'd rather not discuss that," he said. "All I can say is that we had a nice meeting and friendly relations were established." All of the details and most of the comment on the meeting were presented by NFL publicist Joseph Labrum in a formal statement which said: "Representatives of the NFL and the All-America conference concluded a meeting in Philadelphia Monday night. Efforts by both sides to formulate a mutually satisfactory agreement were not consummated. The committee terminated the meeting with the expectation that future meetings might provide some formula for a common understanding, between the two leagues." Neither league commissioner - Bell of the NFL nor Admiral Jonas Ingram of the AAC - would comment on the negotiations.
PACKERS DRAFT DWORSKY OF UM
DEC 21 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers announced their first draft selection as Stan Heath, sensational University of Nevada passer. Selection of Heath by the Bays, Doak Walker of Southern Methodist by Boston, and Georgia's Johnny Rauch by Detroit sustained reports of choices made at a secret National league draft meeting Nov. 15. The NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles announced selection of Rutgers quarterback Frank Burns, Notre Dame signal caller Frank Triupcka - now recovering from a back injury - and Terry Brennan, brilliant running Notre Dame halfback. The Eagles already own rights to deal Penn center Charley Bednarik. Other Green Bay choices were Dan Dworsky, Michigan center, and Bob Summerhays, Utah back. The Chicago Bears picked Ben Bendrick, Wisconsin fullback. The Detroit Lions also traded guard Dick Stovall to the Washington Redskins for NFL draft rights to Joe Colone, Penn State fullback, and Jack Kurkowski, Detroit university back.
WHY ADD THE WEAK? ASKS NATIONAL LEAGUE
DEC 21 (Philadelphia) - A spokesman for the NFL came up with the answer Wednesday as to why his league and the All-America conference did not come to terms at their weekend peace meetings here. The spokeman, who asked that his name be withheld, epigramatically put it this way: "There is no way of strengthening the strong by adding the weak." His reference was to the insistence of the All-America conference that Baltimore be included in any reorganization plan. It was this above everything else that kept the two leagues from getting together. The spokesman pointed out that the Boston Yanks of the NFL lost between $15,000 and $20,000 the day they played the Chicago Bears in Boston and added that undoubtedly some All-America teams experienced similar losses. "Now, if we added Baltimore, we'd have another weak sister," he said. "What do you suppose would happen if Baltimore played the Yanks? It just wouldn't be good business. The National league doesn't have a thing against Baltimore. We think it's a great town for football. But we don't think a 40 mile metropolitan area of less than 2,000,000 people (Washington and Baltimore) can support two teams. Our Washington club couldn't do any better financially. It has made money in its last 28 games. A Baltimore franchise in our league would certainly hurt Washington. That's the way it is now. Maybe in a couple of years, the picture will be different and we'll be anxious to take Baltimore into our league. Not now, though." Meanwhile, the attempt of two rival leagues to reach an understanding has not been abandoned. There were strong suggestions from owners in both leagues that all the differences which still remain might be resolved at meetings to be held within the next few weeks. Commissioner Bert Bell of the National league said that he was "definitely hopeful" that peace could be attained. At the same time he issued a statement in which he said that George Preston Marshall, Washington Redskins' president, was not involved in the difficulties surrounding the Baltimore franchise. Some observers assumed that Marshall's objections caused that impasse. "Regardless of what has been said or written," Bell said. "Mr. Marshall at the meeting requested to be kept out of any discission of the Baltimore controversy. Nine members went on record as opposed to Baltimore, and Mr. Marshall, at his own request, did not enter into any discussion regarding the matter." Bell admitted that he would meet Ben Lindheimer (owner of the Los Angeles Dons and chairman of the All-America's peace delegation) in Chicago within a day or two to resume negotiations. "We'll see George Halas then and do some more talking," he said. The National league, meanwhile, completed its draft here Tuesday. The All-America conference did the same in Cleveland. Because of the outside chance that the leagues will not get together, most clubs declined to reveal their full draft lists. The Green Bay Packers announced only their first three choices. In Cleveland the Chicago Rockets announced they had drafted Stan Heath.
BROOKLYN THROUGH, SAYS NEW YORK NEWS
DEC 21 (New York) - The New York Daily News said Wednesday that the Brooklyn football Dodgers of the All-America conference would not operate as a football team in 1949. The News said it had "definitely learned that the Dodgers will drop their All-America franchise regardless of how the pro grid muddle eventually irons itself out." The article predicted that all Dodger players "will be thrown in a talent pool for the hybrid team that eventually will operate out of Yankee stadium."
NFL OPTIMISTIC OVER MEETING WITH AAC
DEC 21 (Green Bay Press-Gazette - Philadelphia) - While no agreement was reached with five club representatives of the All-America conference, NFL officials held an optimistic view today after their unprecedented meeting here Monday. Green Bay Packer Coach Curly Lambeau was one of 10 NFL club representatives at the 14-hour parley to speak out on the subject. The other was George Preston Marshall, owner of the Washington Redskins. "The meeting was very satisfactory," Lambeau stated, "and while no agreement was reached there is a definite possibility that the two groups will meet again before the 1949 (playing) season starts." The door was left open for a renewal of negotiations as a joint announcement by Commissioner Bert Bell of the NFL and Ben Lindheimer, chairman of the AAC executive committee, expressed hope that "future meetings" would establish a "common understanding". But no date was set for another meeting...FIRST TIME TOGETHER: It was agreed, though, that the fact that representatives of both leagues had sat down with each other for the first time and held an amicable discussion with a big step toward an eventual agreement. However, the two loops started to hold separate player draft meetings today - the NFL here and the AAC in Cleveland - setting the stage for more of the cut throat competition for talent that has hurt owners of both leagues financially. Discussing the meet, Lambeau said that "addition of the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers would create an ideal situation in the National league. However, addition of two more teams, which would give the NFL 14 teams, would not be unfavorable but there would be many more problems to iron out." A 14-team league, Lambeau said, would leave the NFL with one weak link. This, he indicated, would be a second team in Los Angeles. Besides the Los Angeles Dons, the AAC hoped to add Baltimore, Cleveland and San Francisco...SIXTH RANKING TEAM: Marshall stated: "What do we want Baltimore for? We have enough of our own headaches without adding any more." Marshall, of course, was cold on admitting Baltimore - only 40 miles away from his money making Redskins. To this, Lindheimer countered, "Baltimore is the sixth ranking team in all professional football as far as income is concerned." Actually, the Colts refused to give up their AAC franchise. Lindheimer said that the AAC would "consider no deal which did not include Baltimore." Lindheimer said that proposed merger of his Dons with the LA Rams had his opposition because he believers Los Angeles large enough to support two pro teams. This, of course, could not be "seen" by the NFL. Lindheimer added that his league was quite ready to play another season as the All-America conference. On the other hand, Marshall said that another season would only make the AAC owners "get tireder"...SHUFFLE THE LINEUPS: The basic disagreement at the meeting was that the AAC wanted to keep two league operating while the NFL wanted to admit two or possibly three AAC teams to its league. (Lambeau said that the NFL cannot operate with an odd number setup. One club would have to be idle every Sunday. He indicated that Baltimore was the 13th club.) The NFL proposed that there be one league, the National; that the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns be admitted to the NFL; and that the Rams and Dons be merged. Another AAC proposal was that both league be maintained - but with shuffled lineups...The coaches were in general agreement prior to the 9 a.m. (CST) opening of the draft session that the crop of college material available is pretty thin. Many of the better players already have been spoken for. The Philadelphia Eagles have draft rights to Chuck Bednarik, Penn's All-America center, and Clyde (Smackover) Scott, University of Arkansas scatback, as well as Alex Sarkisian, Northwestern center. Green Bay has the inside track on Stan Heath, the University of Nevada's record-breaking passer. Many of the rest of the choice college talent is in the junior and sophomore ranks and thus ineligible for the draft.
LEWELLEN COMPARES GRID GREATS OF 20 YEARS AGO WITH MODERNS
DEC 22 (Green Bay) - "It would be my candid opinion that the top ranking football players of 20 years ago would still be top ranking players today." This may come as a surprise who regard present day football greats without peers in gridiron history, but the statement comes from Verne Lewellen, one of the Green Bay Packers' all-time halfbacks and one of pro football's earliest stars, and thus carries undeniable weight. Particularly in view of the fact that, during his nine-year span in the NFL, he played with and against some whose feats have become legends. For example, Verne, who ranks third in all-time Packer scoring with 301 points, referred to "fellows like Mike Michalske, Lavvie Dilweg, Red Dunn, Clarke Hinkle and Cal Hubbard - because they were that type of ball player. This, of course, is not by any means a complete list - I mention them because they were men I played with." Now a Standard Oil company official here, Lewellen, who is considered by most veteran grid followers as the greatest punter in pro history, had another salient point of comparison. "It's easier now. In my day we played from 45 to 60 minutes of every game. So you had to pace yourself - the harder the game it was the longer you had to play. One of the main reasons, of course, was the fact that the difference between the first and second string then was greater than it is today. Substituting the second string for the first then was like substituting the third today."...PLAYED FOR LOVE OF IT: Would he like to be playing today? "Most certainly - I'd be a fool not to want to. Back in those days we played for the love of it because the financial return was no great incentive, even for the highest paid ball players. And the lowest paid ball players could have made just as much money digging ditches." The biggest change in the game from his time to the present, he conceded, is that "the whole stress now is on offense. Every time they get the ball they try to score. Back 20 years ago, they thought they could get out of danger by punting. Let 'em have the ball - you could hold 'em anyway." Lewellen, who gained fame as the only football-playing district attorney in history when he held that Brown County position from 1928-32, claims that "rules changes have had a lot to do with speeding up the offense. Rules like passing from anywhere behind the line and the rule protecting the passer. Now you can hold the ball until the last second without getting killed, where before the passer had a tendency to hurry his throw because they didn't care where or how they hit you. Herber, for example, took a terrific amount of punishment."...HIS BIGGEST THRILL: He was not loath to debunk the popular conception that the rebirth of the T-formation has been responsible for accelerated offense. "There are a lot of poor clubs using the 'T'", he observed, "and there are a lot of good clubs using it. Green Bay had a good ball club for years and didn't use the T until two years ago. In fact, there was one period where we went 23 games - we were tied once - without being beaten." This reminded him of what he termed his biggest thrill of his career - when the Packers won their first national championship at New York in 1929. "We beat the Giants, 20-6, and the amazing part about it, we didn't have our regular lineup. Red Dunn and Eddie Kotal, our two regulars, were hurt so I was shifted from left half to quarterback, and a fullback, Hurdis McCrary, was shifted to left half. Johnny Blood was at the other halfback, his regular position. Ten of us played 60 minutes," he grinned, "and the 11th, Bowdoin, got hurt in the last minute. He was replaced by Paul Minnick. Otherwise all eleven of us would have played 60 minutes. When you compare that to the amount of substituting done today you can see the difference." Another game in 1928 in New York - the Packers' first appearance in Gotham - has a prominent place in the former Nebraska star's memory. "Everybody was sympathizing with us about how bad we were going to get beat. And they all felt sorry for Eddie Kotal because he didn't he didn't have a helmet - they thought we were too poor to buy sufficient equipment. Actually, Eddie never wore a helmet. They were shocked when we beat the Giants, 7-0."...LASTED NINE YEARS: (Although he modestly forgot to mention it, the records show that he scored the lone and winning touchdown in the game when he ran over after faking a field goal attempt. He subsequently was named to the 1928 All-Pro eleven.) A member of Nebraska elevens, which twice played and twice defeated the Four Horsemen, he suspects that one of his illustrious quartet was responsible for his coming to Green Bay. "I think, although I have no way of proving it, that Jimmy Crowley (Green Bay's contribution to the Four Horsemen) talked to Curly Lambeau about me." Thought he was famed for his kicking, most present day coaches would marvel most at the fact that he was able to last nine years in pro football at its rugged best - or worst - considering he weighed but 168 pounds when he joined the Packers in 1924 and only 172 at his retirement in 1932. How did he explain his punting (he reportedly averaged between 70 and 80 yards a kick) success? "Hours of practice, that's all. Dropping the ball right's the biggest thing." He admitted he had "a few kicks between 80 and 90 yards - but darn few of those - and with a strong wind."...HUTSON, HINKLE RATED: What about the greats he's seen and played against? "Without question, Don Hutson was the greatest offensive threat we have ever seen." Then, after a pause, "Clarke Hinkle was the greatest all-around ball player I've ever seen." This, then, meant he considered 'The Hink' superior to Bronko Nagurski? "As an all-around player, yes. As far as that's concerned, Ernie Nevers was a greater all-around fullback than Nagurski." Slipping over to the unsuccessful 1948 Packers, he was unable to ascribe "one basis cause. But one thing was obvious the moment they stepped on the field - they didn't have the old Packer spirit which is the one thing Green Bay has always been noted for - ever since I can remember it has been called the 'pro team with the college spirit' - and that's always good for one or two touchdowns."
STAN HEATH, DWORSKY AND SUMMERHAYS PACKER CHOICES
DEC 22 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers, one of the first to announce their complete draft list a year ago, today put the "quietus" on all but three of their selections for the 1949 season. The three revealed Tuesday afternoon were Stan Heath, Nevada passing star; Dan Dworsky, University of Michigan center; and Bob Summerhays, Utah back. Of the 10 National league clubs, only the Philadelphia Eagles announced their complete draft list. The other clubs are keeping the names secret until the players are contacted. Packer Coach Curly Lambeau, who participated in the National league's meeting with the All-American conference and the NFL draft in Philadelphia Monday and Tuesday, apparently has decided to keep the Bay choices secret although he was not available for comment today...HEADS INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Heath, also drafted by the Chicago Rockets of the AAC, finished the 1948 season as the nation's leading passer. Lambeau, after a conference with Heath in Reno, announced recently that Heath promised him that he would sign with the Bays shortly after Jan. 1. The fact that the New York Yankees were dickering with Heath was not mentioned today in dispatched from Cleveland where the AAC held its draft Tuesday. The AAC announcement stated that Heath is on the Rocket list. Heath dominates individual statistics prepared by the NCAA. The Milwaukee pitcher, who formerly played at Wisconsin, accounted for four high marks this season. On the single game basis, Heath (1) made the most rushing and passing yards against San Jose State, 337; (2) the most yards passing, 327, against Oklahoma City; (3) the most completions, 22, against Tulsa; and (4) the most touchdown passes, 5, against Oklahoma City. Heath was the only gridder to account for 300 or more yards in an afternoon on three different occasions. He also did it against St. Mary's with 306 yards...DETROIT, BOSTON IN DEAL: Dworsky is considered a good, all-around player. He played in the Michigan backfield a year ago but then was shifted to center. The Packers added one other center for 1949 duty - Ralph Olsen of Utah. Little is known at about Summerhays except that he is reported to be very fast. John Panelli, the Notre Dame fullback drafted by the Packers a year ago, showed up on the Detroit roster together with Johnny Rauch, the star Georgia passer. Apparently some complication had set in on Panelli and the facts could not be ascertained until Lambeau comes home. A deal between Detroit and Boston marked the post-draft period. The Lions traded their draft rights to Rauch to Boston for first choice on Doak Walker, the SMU great. Detroit already has two passers, Fred Enke and Clyde LeForce, but needs a runner of Walker's ability while the Yanks could make good use of Rauch's passing talents. Cleveland picked Walker in the AAC and the New York Yanks grabbed Rauch. Few of the AAC choices were made public...BELL TALKS OF BIDDING: Despite reports of a resumption of big bidding for college stars between the two loops, Commissioner Bert Bell of the NFL said in Philadelphia that he is inclined to think the cash bidding won't be particularly spirited. "After all," Bell said, "there were not many outstanding name players in the college ranks this year. There wasn't anything near as many as there have been during the past several seasons. It stands to reason," Bell went on, "that there won't be any fabulous salary offers for the crop that's available now." Bell predicted that there won't be many fat bonuses for the 1948 crop and that "economic conditions will bring the scale down for the high salaried players in the game today."
LOW FINISH HELPED PACK GET UTAH BACK
DEC 23 (Green Bay) - There's one consolation for being low in the NFL standings: you get an early pick in the draft. The Packers, with a 3-9 record, closed 1948 action below the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles. Thus, Curly Lambeau was able to land Bob
Summerhays, Utah fullback, on the want list of both the Bears and Rams. The Detroit Lions, who finished below Green Bay, had planned to pick Summerhays in a later round but the Packers had selected him earlier. Summerhays was one of three players drafted and announced by the Packers. The 22 remaining will be kept secret until they are contacted and signed. The other two are Stan Heath, Nevada's great quarterback who led the nation in passing last fall, and Dan Dworsky, Michigan center...SWITCHED TO CENTER: The Utah back, the only fullback on the West team in the annual Shrine game in San Francisco, put in a year at West Point during the Blanchard-Davis era. However, with little chance to play under Blanchard, Summerhays moved on to Utah where he played for three seasons. Summerhays packs 208 pounds and stands 6 feet, 1 inch tall. He's fast enough to run off the halfback slot. What's more, he has considerable experience as a linebacker. Dwowsky played for four years at Michigan as a defensive center. He came up from Sioux Falls, Ia., High as a fullback but was quickly switched to center. Dworsky and Dick Kempthorn were the big guns in Michigan's rugged defense in the last two years. Dworsky, just 21, served for two seasons as defensive quarterback, calling all defensive signals. He stands 6-2 and weighs 210. The Michigan star is an architecture student and won several prizes for his drawings. He's also an oil painter...EXPLAIN PANELLI CASE: Lambeau explained the John Panelli case. The Notre Dame fullback, drafted this week by Detroit, was drafted by the Packers a year ago. Lambeau said that Panelli was picked last winter on the strength that he would graduate after summer school and thus be eligible for the 1948 season. However, Panelli, an honor student, decided to pass up summer school and play another season of football with Notre Dame, thus cancelling the Packers' rights to him...Though the unprecedented meeting of the NFL and All-America conference in Philadelphia this week is now history, a spokesman for the National league, who asked that with a good explanation as to why his league and the AAC did not come to terms. "There is no way to strengthen the strong by adding the weak," he said. His reference was to the insistence of the All-America conference that Baltimore be included in any reorganization plans. It was that above everything else that kept the two leagues from getting together. The spokesman pointed out that the Boston Yanks of the NFL lost between $15,000 and $25,000 the day they played the Chicago Bears in Boston and added that undoubtedly some All-America teams experienced similar losses...ANOTHER WEAK SISTER: "Now, if we added Baltimore, we'd have another weak sister," he said. "What do you suppose would happen if Baltimore played the Yanks? It just wouldn't be good business. The National league doesn't have a thing against Baltimore. We think it's a great town for football. But we don't think a 40 mile metropolitan area of less than 3,000,000 people (Washington and Baltimore) can support two teams. Our Washington club couldn't do any better financially. It has made money in its last 28 games. A Baltimore franchise in our league would certainly hurt Washington. That's the way it is now. Maybe in a couple of years, the picture will be different and we'll be anxious to take Baltimore into our league. Not now, though."...Owner Ted Collins said yesterday that his transplanted NFL club definitely will play in the Polo Grounds in New York next season, sharing dates with the New York Giants. Collins said he had arranged a meeting with John V. Mara, president of the football Giants, and Horace Stoneman, head of the baseball Giants, who lease the park to the football teams, for some time shortly after the holidays. At this time a lease will be drawn up and a division of dates arranged. Each team will play six home games, including one in which the other New York club will be the visitor. The Boston Yanks name will be dropped, but no other name has been chosen. "Just call them the New York Somebodies," Collins said.
PEACE NEAR - 49ERS OWNER
DEC 24 (San Francisco) - As Anthony J. (Tony) Morabito see its, "the door is open for peace" between the two warring professional football loops, the All-America Conference and the National League. Morabito is owner of the San Francisco 49ers of the AAC. "The two leagues are in disagreement on only a few points," Morabito said, "and it shouldn't take too many more meetings before cooperation is reached on even those points." With reference to NFL Commissioner Bert Bell's expressed hopes for peace before the next National League meeting in January, Morabito said: "If peace isn't declared within 30 days, it'll probably be so late that the 1949 seasonal plans will have gone to the extent that they can't be called off. In that event, the All-America Conference would play with its eight teams again."
PACKER VIEW PRO PROSPECTS IN BOWL GAMES; OPTIMISM FOR '49
DEC 28 (Green Bay) - The secrecy attached to 22 of the 25 college football players drafted by the Packers will remove some of the local interest from the nation’s bowl games New Year’s day, but it’s significant to note that the Packers will be represented at the Sugar and Orange bowls and possibly the Rose and Harbor bowls. It’s also safe to report that scores of present and past Packer players will be somewhere in the stands at the 20-odd contests. Coach Curly Lambeau is on the west coast at the moment and the game he attends will depend on the turn of player contract talks. He might decide to hop over to San Francisco to watch the East-West Shrine game, in which Bob Summerhays, Utah fullback drafted by the Bays, will perform. Or he might move over to San Diego to view the Nevada-Villanova Harbor bowl tilt featuring the nation’s passing leader, Stan Heath of Nevada. Lambeau recently reported that Heath agreed to sign with the Packers after the first of the year – which could be about 5 o’clock (Pacific coast time) Saturday afternoon. It’s possible, too, Lambeau may sit on the Rose bowl contest – if any Northwestern or California boys were drafted by the Packers. The third announced draftee, Dan Dworsky of Michigan, already saw his bowl action for the North team in the North-South game Christmas day. E.R. Fischer, president of Green Bay Packers, Inc., and Assistant Coach Don Hutson will view major bowl tests – Fischer at the Orange bowl in Miami and Hutson at the Sugar bowl in New Orleans. Fischer, a personal friend of Wally Butts, coach of the Georgia team playing Texas, will keep his eyes on two or three Packer possibilities. Hutson, in addition to watching recent draftees, will eye Paul Burris, Oklahoma’s All-American guard, and Jack Mitchell, Oklahoma quarterback. Burris and Mitchell were drafted by Green Bay in January 1947. Mitchell, however, recently stated that he planned to enter business rather than play pro ball. Bowl games have become a gathering place for scouts and coaches of both professional leagues. The contests offer pro representatives a good opportunity to see their drafted personnel operate under the terrific pressure generated by the advance publicity and fan interest. You can bet that a week from today or tomorrow will bring the first of a long series of player signing announcements – not only from the Packers but from all of the other pro clubs. When the first of those contracts start coming in (and we hope the first will be Heath), we can forget about that disastrous 1948 season and proceed, optimistically, toward the 1949 campaign – the Packers’ 31st in pro ball and their 29th in the National league.