San Francisco 49ers (6-4-1) 31, Green Bay Packers (3-8) 19
Sunday December 9th 1951 (at San Francisco)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(SAN FRANCISCO) - Coach Gene Ronzani blamed an anonymous official's accidental interference and injuries to key men for the Green Bay Packers' failure to hold their early fourth quarter lead against the San Francisco 49ers here Sunday afternoon. With quarterback Frankie Albert pitching and running beautifully, the 49ers pulled out 31-19. The Packers led most of the way and were ahead, 19-7, four minutes into the final period. Then, first and 10 on the Packer 28, Albert fired a pass intended for Jim Monachino on the 15. Packer Charlie Schroll, playing deep, appeared set for the interception. That's when, Ronzani lamented in the dressing room, "one of the officials got in the way," blocking off Schroll from an almost certain snare that would have stopped the 49ers. Two plays later, fullback Joe Perry made 11 and first down on the 18. Monachino hit for three. Albert passed over the middle to Gordon Soltau for 12 and Monachino scored the final three, standing. Soltau's conversion put San Francisco ahead, 24-19, and the Packers couldn't regain a lead. Packer Tobin Rote, playing all but a few minutes on offense, passed beautifully and kept Green Bay ahead most of the way. But his crippled receivers time after time were just a step short and his surefire pitches when uncaught.
ROTE RUNS 51 YARDS
Despite that, Rote completed 16 of 35 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Bob Thomason, who relieved Rote for a few plays, completed three of six attempts for 29 yards. Rote also scored 51 yards on the ground, averaging three yards on 17 carries. Ronzani said his squad still was slowed terrifically from the physical battering it took from the Pittsburgh Steelers four weeks ago. The boys couldn’t get up speed or carry through four rock and sock quarters on their injured legs. The Packers’ lack of depth was quickly apparent – and costly. Jug Girard, Rip Collins and Rebel Steiner made only token appearances. Girard and Steiner may play some in the season finale Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, but Ronzani doesn’t expect much of either. He doubts Collins will play at all. Billy Grimes, another dangerous back, was inserted only for punt and kickoff returns. He too is a victim of injury-weakened underpinning. Carleton Elliott, who snared a majority of the 19 completed Packer pitches, played all over the field. Actually, Ronzani used him on both ends – and on defense as well as offense. Elliott picked off one of Rote’s two touchdown passes, an 11-yarder.
LEGS COULDN’T PRODUCE
Ronzani said he needed Girard to relieve Rote against the 49ers, but didn’t risk aggravating his leg injury. As it was, Girard twice failed to get under perfectly tossed Rote aerials that could have made a big difference. From the stands, it might have looked as if the former Wisconsin ace was loafing. But his legs just couldn’t produce. The Packers took a 3-0 lead midway in the first quarter when Fred Cone placekicked a field goal from the 20 yards line. Bob Summerhays had started the Packer drive by intercepting Y.A. Tittle’s pass and racing 24 yards to the 49ers 34. Rote made five, then on fourth down fired 12 yards to Ray Pelfrey on the 17. Jansante took a five yard Rote pass. Rote made one, then passed incomplete and called on Cone’s toe. The 49ers came back fast, Joe Arenas returning the kickoff 38 to his 41. Joe Perry shot around left end for 36 to the Packer 23. John Strzykalski made another 10 in three plunges. The Packers threw Perry for two lost, Strzykalski made one and a pass failed. On fourth down, Gordon Soltau tied with a field goal from the 22 with two minutes of the first period remaining. Early in the second quarter, the Packers and penalties hurled the 49ers back 42 yards in three plays and forced a punt. The Packers couldn’t move with Thomason in and punted. But Dom Moselle intercepted on the Packers 30 and Rote came back to spark a 70 yard drive. He passed to Elliott for nine and plunged two for first down. The 49ers were set back 15 for kneeing. (That was the first of three 49ers’ kneeing penalties; Ronzani said that violation went on all through the game. Why only three penalties?) Thomason came back to pass nine to Pelfrey. Rote ran for five and first down on the 27. He hit Elliott for seven, then plunged for three. An offside penalty set the Packer back 15. Pelfrey took a Rote pitch for eight. Another slipped through his hands. Cone came in to boot a field goal from the 37, and Green Bay led 6-3. The 49ers bounced back with an 80 yard drive in eight plays from the kickoff. Two 14-yard spurts by Arenas and a Tittle to Soltau 27-yard pass sparked the march. Arenas scored through the center, standing. Soltau converted and San Francisco led 10-6. Green Bay struck back quickly. With two minutes left, Bob Mann made 10 and Rote five to the Packer 44. Rote fired 46 yards to Moselee on the 49ers 10. Rote made seven, then fired to Pelfrey in the end zone. Cone converted and Green Bay led 13-10 at halftime. The 49ers took the third quarter kickoff and went 78 yards to score in 11 plays. Albert, taking over the quarterbacking from Tittle, made the key play, a 34-yard sprint through the middle, then cut left down the sideline to the four. Arenas scored in two tries, Soltau converted and the 49ers led 17-13.
DAVIS RECOVERS FUMBLE
Green Bay bounced right back into the lead after Harper Davis recovered Arenas’ fumble on the Packer 47. Rote passed to Elliott for six, then seven. Trapped, Rote made nine, then eight. A 49er offside moved the Packers to the 18, Rote passed seven to Elliott, then 11 to Elliott, alone in the end zone. Cone’s attempted conversion bounced back from a goal post, but Green Bay led 19-17. The 49ers went 58 yards for their third touchdown, scored by Jim Monachino from three yards out. That’s the drive Ronzani squawked about – it included the interception that could have been but wasn’t by Schroll. The 49ers went only 39 for their final touchdown after Bob White intercepted a Rote pitch in midfield and returned 11. Soltau made a dazzling, fumbling catch of a nine yard Albert pass in the end zone for the tally. The big end slipped and fell; the ball bounced from his hands into the air, and back into his grasp. Then he converted, for a 31-19 final. The Packers wound up in a passing flurry, but the patterns wouldn’t work with cripples.
GREEN BAY - 3 10 6 0 - 19
SAN FRANCISCO - 3 7 7 14 - 31
GREEN BAY SAN FRANCISCO
First Downs 16 27
Rushing-Yards-TD 21-42-0 52-302-3
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 41-19-179-2-4 19-14-170-1-2
Sacked-Yards 4-34 7-65
Net Passing Yards 145 105
Total Yards 221 472
Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-1
Turnovers 4 3
Yards penalized 4-30 9-105
1ST - GB - Fred Cone, 20-yard field goal GREEN BAY 3-0
1ST - SF - Gordie Soltau, 23-yard field goal TIED 3-3
2ND - GB - Cone, 37-yard field goal GREEN BAY 6-3
2ND - SF - Joe Arenas, 7-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 10-6
2ND - GB - Ray Pelfrey, 3-yard pass from Tobin Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 13-10
3RD - SF - Arenas, 1-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 17-13
3RD - GB - Carleton Elliott, 11-yard pass from Rote (Kick failed) GREEN BAY 19-17
4TH - SF - Jim Monachino, 3-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 24-19
4TH - SF - Soltau, 9-yd pass fr Frankie Albert (Gail Bruce pass from Albert) SAN FRANCISCO 31-19
GREEN BAY - Tobin Rote 17-48, Fred Cone 2-0, Tony Canadeo 2-(-6)
SAN FRANCISCO - Joe Arenas 12-108 2 TD, Joe Perry 16-82, Frankie Albert 2-28, Johnny Strzykalski 7-25, Pete Schabarum 7-24, Jim Monachino 5-24 1 TD, Verl Lillywhite 1-7, Bishop Strickland 1-3, Y.A. Tittle 2-1
GREEN BAY - Tobin Rote 35-16-150 2 TD 3 INT, Bobby Thomason 6-3-29
SAN FRANCISCO - Frankie Albert 11-9-97 1 TD, Y.A. Tittle 8-5-73 2 INT
GREEN BAY - Carl Elliott 7-55 1 TD, Bob Mann 4-43, Ray Pelfrey 3-9 1 TD, Dom Moselle 1-47, Dick Moje 1-11, Fred Cone 1-8, Val Jansante 1-6, Tony Canadeo 1-0
SAN FRANCISCO - Gordie Soltau 7-66 1 TD, Alyn Beals 3-30, Pete Schabarum 2-44, Billy Wilson 2-30
CURLY SPECTATOR FOR FIRST TIME
DEC 10 (Chicago) - Curly Lambeau, dean of NFL coaches, was a professional football game spectator Sunday for the first time in his 33 year NFL career. Lambeau, who resigned Friday as coach of the Chicago Cardinals, attended the Cardinal-Washington Redskins game at Comiskey park. During his long pro career, Lambeau was either on the bench as a coach on in the stands scouting. Lambeau organized the Green Bay Packers and served as coach for 31 years. Two years ago, he signed with the Cardinals. Lambeau said here Sunday that he plans to visit his family in Green Bay this week and then attend the Bear-Cardinal game next Sunday. In San Francisco, Joe Kuharich, coach of the undefeated, untied University of San Francisco Dons, said he “would be happy to talk” about coaching the Cardinals. He was mentioned as a candidate to succeed Lambeau. Kuharich said he has not been contacted by the Cards. He said he'd been considered a candidate when Lambeau was appointed in 1949. Kuharich played tackle for Chicago in 1940-41 and '45, and then went on to the Pittsburgh Steelers as an assistant to the late Jock Sutherland. He came to U.S.F. in 1947 as line coach under Ed McKeever. He succeeded McKeever in 1948.
INJURIES STRIKE PACKERS; MOJE OUT OF RAM GAME
DEC 11 (Boyes Springs, CA) - The Green Bay Packers returned to work here today wondering “what you have to win a game.” The club absorbed its sixth straight NFL defeat to the San Francisco Forty Niners Sunday, 31 to 19, in a battle which saw the Packers ahead by 19-17 with 10 minutes left. Green Bay closes out its 1951 season against the Rams in Los Angeles next Sunday and Coach Gene Ronzani and his boys know it will be no easy task. The Rams are still in the running for the National conference championship and they’ll be “high” just in case Detroit fumbles in its finale at San Francisco. A win for the Lions would give Detroit the title. The Packers aren’t particularly interested in which team wins the title; they just want to win a ball game. But this will their last chance this season. The Packers have no reason to feel optimistic over Sunday’s battle, which with a flock of new injuries, and, of course, the Rams’ 28 to 0 victory over Green Bay out in Milwaukee Oct. 21…ONE LESS PLAYER: The Packers will go into the Ram game with one less player than they had for San Francisco. The missing one is end Dick Moje who suffered a leg injury and will be in no condition to play. It’s particularly painful because Dick, a former Ram, is a resident of Los Angeles and would have relished the chance to oppose his old teammates before the home folks. Several other athletes were banged up in the Forty Niner game and will be below par against the Rams. Jug Girard came up with a leg injury early in the game and played considerable offense and defense against Frisco despite the fact that they could not maneuver well. Also injured was Rip Collins, who has a bad ankle. Up front the most serious injuree was Captain Dick Wildung who suffered a leg hurt. The bulwark of the Packers’ defensive line, Wildung likely will be weakened Sunday. On the bright side, Backfield Coach Ray McLean returned to practice today after spending the last five days in the hospital with a severe case of the flu. McLean developed a cold en route to California and was removed to the hospital shortly after the squad arrived last week. Ronzani said he was anxious to look at the Packer-Forty Niner pictures to further
study the Frisco defense against the Bays’ one-backer formation. Quarterback Tobin Rote finished with a total of 51 yards in 17 carries while the Packer rushers, including Rote, had a net of 42 yards. The difference is brought about by deducting yards lost trying to pass from the rushing total. The Forty Niners, at times, used three and four tackles in their line to rush Rote. They played a four and five man defensive line most of the time but the heavier tackles were able to break through the Packers’ protective corps for Rote. The Packers will remain here through Wednesday and then take a daylight trip to Los Angeles where they’ll headquarter at the Ambassador hotel.
STYDAHAR REFUSES TO ALIBI FOR RAMS' DEFEAT BY LIONS
DEC 11 (Los Angeles) - To the melancholy strains of “What Can I Say, Dear, After I Say I’m Sorry,” Jumbo Joe Styadahar, showing the effects of three football games in two days (he replayed Sunday’s game twice Sunday night), addressed the Football Writers Association yesterday on what is currently his favorite subject, the Los Angeles Ram-Detroit Lion games. The Lions, you’ll remember, scored with 2m. 16s. left to defeat the Rams, 24-22, at the Coliseum Sunday as 67,892 customers sat by helplessly. “We lost to a good ball club,” he remarked, “and the way we played we’d lose only one game out of 25. We played a good game.” Stydahar stoutly defended the Ram strategy of kicking field goals. The Rams had been criticized by some for booting three-pointers instead of going for touchdowns worth twice as much on the current market. “In every instance that we tried a field goal the situation called for it,” Stydahar said. “The Lions found themselves in a fourth-down situation deep in Ram territory only once and what did they do? They kicked a field goal. Their three touchdowns were all scored with downs still remaining.” Although he wasn’t waving a San Francisco 49er pennant, it was obvious to one and all that Stydahar, his team, his bosses and his fans, desire a 49er victory over the Lions at the Bay City Sunday in the worst way. Only by a 49er triumph can the Rams retain a chance for the title, providing the Los Angeles team trips Green Bay this weekend. Asked about the 49ers’ prospects of caging the Lions, Stydahar crossed his fingers behind his back and replied: “The 49ers have some chance, but it’s not too great. It’s a slim one. The Lions have something to go for now, and they’ll be going all out.”
PACK RECEIVES 'SLIGHT' LIFT FOR LA TILT SUNDAY
DEC 12 (Boyes Springs, CA) - The Green Bay Packers got a slight lift from the NFL statistics today – very slight. The Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay’s opponent in the Coliseum next Sunday, aren’t represented among the league’s kickoff return or interception leaders. But the Rams have a stranglehold on just about every other department of play – especially passing and pass receiving. The lack of “interceptionists” among the first 10 is surprising in view of the Rams’ power as a defensive unit. But, as Coach Gene Ronzani pointed out, “the Rams are well balanced on defense and have no standout in particular.” Otto Schnellbacker of the New York Giants leads the interceptors with 10 for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Despite the presence of their speed merchants, the Rams have averaged little on kickoff returns. Possibly because the Rams are always kicking off themselves? The Bays’ Billy Grimes ranks eighth among the KO leaders with 23 for 582 yards or an average of 25.3. The Rams’ talented Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterfield rank one-two in the passing section. Van Brocklin completed 95 out of 185 for 1,673 yards and 13 touchdowns. His completion percentage is 51.4. Waterfield completed 78 out of 158 for 1,362 yards and eight TDs. The pair accounted for 21 TDs passing…BEST COMPLETION PERCENTAGE: Actually, the Packers’ Tobin Rote and Bobby Thomason show up better in some departments of passing. Thomason, for instance, has the best percentage of completions in the league, 57.6. He has completed 118 passes (23 more than Van Brocklin) in 205 attempts for 1,262 yards. Rote has thrown 216 passes, completing 86 for 1,205 yards and 13 touchdowns. Tobin and Bobby pitched 24 TD passes – three more than the Rams’ stars. The Rams’ talented Elroy Hirsch leads the pass catchers with 60 receptions for 1,349 yards and 14 touchdowns, while the Packers have three catches among the leading group. Bob Mann is tops with 39 catches for 573 yards and eight TDs; Ray Pelfrey had 36 for 418 and four; and Carleton Elliott nudged into the top picture with 30 catches for 259 yards and three TDs. Rote stepped into eighth place among the league leading ground gainers, with his running off the one-backer formation. Tobin now has 499 yards in 68 attempts for the loop’s top average, 7.3. The Rams’ Dan Towler is third with 752 yards in 113 attempts for an average of 6.7. The Rams’ Dick Hoerner is a step ahead of Rote, seventh, with 528 yards in 86 tries. Van Brocklin and the Bays’ Jug Girard are tied in the punting department, each with averages of 40.4. Jug booted 52 times while Van Brocklin kicked 45 times.
PACKERS' DEFENSIVE SLIDE STARTED AFTER INJURY EPIDEMIC
DEC 12 (Green Bay) - The point totals offer a rather conclusive method of evaluating a football club or comparing it with teams of other years. The 1951 Bays, for instance, have scored 240 points and permitted their opponents 333 points in 11 games. The 1950 Bays, in 12 games, counted 244 and allowed 406. Thus, the present Packers can top last year’s offensive record by scoring more than four points and better the 1950 defensive mark by holding the Los Angeles Rams to less than 73 points in the NFL finale in LA next Sunday. The point totals are cold evidence; they don’t tell how the Packers operated with half-a-defense in three crucial games against the Bears, Lions and Yanks; they don’t tell how a pass was intercepted at the wrong time; or how a touchdown was missed from the one-yard line when it might have meant winning a game. The Packers’ offense – on a point basis – ranks fifth in the league behind the Rams (350), Lions (319), Browns (307) and Bears (272). The Bay defense against points is 11th in the 12-team circuit, the NY Yanks being the only other club with more point permissions, 355. Let’s look into the Packers’ defense. The 1950 Bays allowed their foes 24 touchdowns by rushing, 24 by passing, and eight on runbacks (interceptions, kickoffs or punts) in the 12 games – or a total of 56 teedees. The present team, in 11 tests, permitted 21 touchdowns rushing, 20 by passing and three by runbacks – or a total of 45 teedees. Thus, unless the Rams score 11 touchdowns Sunday, the Packers’ defense will show an overall improvement over that of 1950. Digging deeper into the Bays’ defense, it’s interesting to note that the Packers’ “permission” problem really erupted after that 17-injury game with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh Nov. 11. In the next four game (Bears, Detroit, Yanks and Forty Niners), the injury-riddled Packer defense permitted a total of 18 touchdowns – nine by passing, seven by rushing and two on runbacks – or nearly half of the total of 45 thus far. Here’s how the injuries ruined the Bay defense in those four crucial battles – a victory in any one of which would have given the Bays their best won-lost season since 1947. In the Bear game, the Packers slammed to a 13-3 lead but then it became a matter of stopping the Bears’ murderous rushing headed by big John Dottley. But the Bays just couldn’t stop him with linebackers Bob Summerhays and Chuck Schroll and defensive end Ab Wimberly, among others, out of commission. The Bears finished with three TDs rushing and won, 24-13. Against Detroit, the linebacking problem was virtually the same but, to make it worse, defensive halfback Rebel Steiner was
out with injuries. Thus, the “new” linebackers had difficulty knocking down (consistently, at least) the pass catching ends and backs, placing a terrific strain on the defensive halfbacks. The Lions raced to four TDs passing, one rushing and two on blessed events – runbacks of punts which finally broke the Packers’ back. The Yanks caught the Packers without Steiner who might have worried the NY receivers a little more than did Rip Collins, an inexperienced pass defender. Wimberly had to be relieved early in that game, too, helping Bob Celeri’s chances of longer life – especially on his two miracle throws. Out in Frisco, the Packers kept even with their tough foe but the injury jinx started to tell midway in the fourth quarter when the Forty Niners ran away for two touchdowns. A “deep” club like the Browns, Rams and Forty Niners can stand a certain number of injuries because their replacements are almost as good as the top-flighters. But the Packers just aren’t “deep” enough. And it shows in this respect: That the Bays lost leads in their last four games – 13 to 3 in the Bear game, 21 to 10 against Detroit, 21 to 10 against the Yanks, and 6-3, 16-10 and 19-17 against the Forth Niners.
HUBBARD HAS 50-50 CHANCE OF SAVING EYE AFTER MISHAP
DEC 12 (St. Louis) - Cal Hubbard, American league umpire and one-time Green Bay Packer star, stands a “50-50 or better” chance of not losing the sight of his left eye, his doctor said Tuesday night. Hubbard was hit in the eye by a ricocheting shotgun pellet while on a hunting trip. He placed a ban on hospital reports concerning his condition. The mishap occurred Monday near Milan, Mo., and a supervisor at the hospital said only that Hubbard is “doing fine.” James Payne, a member of the hunting party, said the incident occurred as Hubbard sat in a car. Another hunter, Willard Robinson, fired at the ground and killed a rabbit, but a pellet glanced upward, hitting Hubbard’s left eye.
ROTE MAY SPELL TROUBLE FOR RAMS
DEC 12 (Los Angeles) - Quarterbacks who run with the ball – Graham, Layne, Albert – are poison to the Rams. That being the case, they may quaff another cup of hemlock Sunday when Tobin Rote performs here with the Green Bay Packers. Bobby Layne was Detroit’s best running back against the Rams. His 25-yard jaunt set up Doak Walker’s winning touchdown toss to Leon Hart. Otto Graham’s “keeps” in a last-minute drive fixed it so that Lou Groza could kick a field goal and nose the Rams out of the world championship a year ago…RAMS RUN DIZZY: Albert invariably runs our boys dizzy. Well, none of these gifted gentlemen can run as well as Rote. He operates from a novel “one-back” formation dreamed up by Coach Gene Ronzani. When introduced against the Chicago Bears recently, the new-fangled formation gave Green Bay a quick 13-3 lead. A fumble on the Bear 5 and a stall on the Bear 1 dissipated the Packers’ victory chances. The Rams could score but one touchdown against the Lion defense. Green Bay tallied five on Detroit, concentrating on the “one-back” setup. Rote, a rangy Texan from Rice Institute and cousin of the Giants’ Kyle Rote, ran for 150 yards in 14 tries against the Bears and added 131 yards more in 15 shots at the Lions. Ronzani’s brain child has the quarterback (Rote) all by himself four yards behind the center. Two of the backs, generally left half Tony Canadeo and fullback Fred Cone, go wide to one side while right half Dom Moselle is spread to the opposite side…CAN PASS, TOO: Rote then has the option of running or passing. He can pass a bit, incidentally. He has flipped for 13 touchdowns, the same number as the NFL’s No. 1 heaver, Norm Van Brocklin. When the Packers employ the straight T, our old Ram friend, Bobby Thomason, takes over. The handsome VMI grad has the highest pass completion percentage in the league, 57.6%, and has thrown 11 touchdown passes. So it is elemental, my dear Stydahar, that the Rams concentrate on beating the Packers Sunday instead of tuning in on the Lion-49er game at Frisco.
PACKERS NEAR NFL AIR MARK, BETTER '42 CLUB RECORDS
DEC 13 (Boyes Springs, CA) - The Green Bay Packers can break the NFL record for most passes attempted in one season when they engage the Los Angeles Rams in the LA Coliseum Sunday afternoon. The present record of 453 attempts was established by the 1950 Rams. The Packers, closing out practice at the Sonoma Mission Inn here, already have thrown 422 passes in 11 games – 31 short of the mark. Which means that they’ll have to attempt at least 32 to snap the mark…The Bay aerial circus averaged 38.3 passes in the first 11 league game. If the first Packer-Ram game in Milwaukee Oct. 21 is any indication, the Packers will break the mark by a wide margin. In that contest, the Bays threw an even 50 aerials and completed 22 for 243 yards. Coach Gene Ronzani and his Packers are more interested, however, in completions. The Bays are leading the league in number of passes completed, 204 – or 30 more than the Rams. The Packers’ 204-completion total ranks as the fourth highest in the history of the NFL. Los Angeles completed 253 last fall for the loop mark while Washington’s 231 completions in 1947 rank second. Baltimore completed 206 in 1950. Three or more completions Sunday would boost the Packers into third place in the all-time league record…Actually, the Packers rank right with the Rams as the passingest team this year. The Packers edged ‘em in attempts and completions, but the Rams gained more yards, 3,040 to 2,467. The Packers completed 24 touchdown passes against 21 for the Rams. The Rams made 120 first downs by passing and the Packers 100 – the only clubs to hit the century mark. It’s interesting to note that the 1951 Packers already have cracked two passing standards established by the aerial Bays of 1942 – a club that featured the Cecil Isbell-to-Don Hutson combination. The ’42 club gained 2,407 yards in the air – 60 less than the 1951 figures – and completed 172 – or 32 less than the present mark. Both team records are likely to be fattened against the Rams…The 1951 Packers are well ahead of the 1950 club in all departments of passing. Here are the 1951 figures thus far, with the 1950 totals in parens: Attempts 422 (367); completions 204 (140); percent complete 48.3 (38.1); yards gained 2,467 (1,831); first downs 100 (70); touchdown passes 24 (14); interceptions 26 (37). Needing a victory to stay in the National conference championship just in case the Detroit Lions lose at San Francisco, the Rams are expected to throw the passing book at the Packers. In the Milwaukee battle, the Packers and Rams battled to a scoreless knot until the last two minutes of the third quarter. Then, a Packer touchdown drive was halted a yard short of the goal and Dan Towler raced nearly 80 yards for a Ram TD to “open” the contest. The Rams scored three times in the last quarter – twice on passes…Though the Rams gained 323 yards rushing in the Milwaukee game, the Packers are expecting the Rams to open with their powerful air attack early. Defensive practice this week was aimed at stopping the Ram throwing – especially to Elroy Hirsch, the league’s leading pass catcher. The Packers leave for Los Angeles tonight, arriving there Friday morning. They’ll headquarter at the Ambassador hotel and practice Friday and Saturday in the Coliseum. The Bays will be one under the league limit of 33 players for Sunday’s game. End Dick Moje, injured in the Forty Niner contest, has been sent home – to Los Angeles. He returns next year.
WATERFIELD, VAN BROCKLIN, HIRCH CINCHES FOR INDIVIDUAL CROWNS
DEC 13 (Los Angeles) - It will no small consolation should they fail to qualify for the championship, but the Rams will walk off with at least three individual statistical titles by the time the regular NFL campaign closes Sunday. Elroy (Crazy Legs) Hirsch shouldn’t have any trouble being crowned king of the pass catchers, Norm Van Brocklin seems assured of his second straight passing championship and Capt. Bob Waterfield appears to have sewed up the field goal-kicking honors. Waterbuckets also had an outside chance to finish on top in total points and passing…HIRSCH IN FRONT: Official statistics released yesterday show Hirsch out in front with 60 receptions, 1,439 yards (a league record) and 14 touchdowns. His nearest pursuers are Fran Polsfoot, Cards, 54-774-4, and Gordon Soltau, San Francisco, 54-762-6. Hirsch will give Los Angeles the receiving championship for the fourth consecutive year. Tom Fears made a show of the field in 1948-49-50, but an early season injury ruined his chance to repeat this year. Van Brocklin and Waterfield are running 1-2 in passing. The Dutchman has averaged 9.04 yards a fling. He has completed 95 of 185 attempts for 1,673 yards and 13 touchdowns. Waterfield’s average if 8.62, achieved on 78 completions in 158 attempts for 1,362 yards and eight teedees…FIVE FIELD GOALS: The Ram captain’s five field goals against Detroit catapulted him into the lead. His total of 13 equals the league record set by Lou Groza of Cleveland in 1950. Groza is second this year with nine. Capt. Bob has scored three touchdowns and kicked 35 extra points and 13 field goals for an aggregate of 92 points, three behind the pace-setting Doak Walker of Detroit…ROTE ON TOP: Deacon Dan Towler, the Ram fullback who led the league’s rushers for one week, would have to make a superhuman effort against Green Bay here Sunday to overtake Rob Goode of Washington and Eddie Price of the Giants. The threesome has gained 844, 883 and 752 yards, respectively. And the Deacon doesn’t even have the best average anymore. He is moving at a 6.7-yard clip, but the Packers’ quarterback, Tobin Rote, sports a 7.3 average. The Rams needs 321 yards in their final game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers to equal their own total yards gained record of 5,420. The Rams’ total for 11 games played this season is 5,099 yards, 2,059 passing and 3,040 passing.
PACKERS TRAIN FOR FINAL GAME
DEC 13 (Los Angeles) - The Green Bay Packers drilled today for the final game of the NFL season, a Sunday tilt with the pass-happy Los Angeles Rams. Quarterbacks Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterfield lead the league in passing, with Van Brocklin racking up an average gain of 9.04 yards and Waterfield right behind with 8.62 yards. Van Brocklin has completed 95 of 185 attempts for 1,673 yards this season, including 13 touchdowns. Waterfield's passing record is 78 completions in 158 tries for 1,362 yards. The Packer defensive units will be keeping their eyes on the Rams' Elroy Hirsch, who lead the league in pass receiving, grabbing 60 aerials for 1,349 yards. Bob Thomason of the Packers is in 15th place among the league's passers, followed by teammate Tobin Rote. Thomason has completed 118 passes, third highest in the league, out of 205 attempts for an average of 57.6 percent, best in the loop. Rote has completed 86 out of 216, including 13 which went for touchdowns. The Packers have lost six straight and will be gunning for their fourth win in 12 starts.
PACKERS TWO-TD UNDERDOG IN RAM GAME
DEC 14 (Los Angeles) - The Green Bay Packers arrived here today and found themselves a two-touchdown underdog for their 1951 NFL finale against the Los Angeles Rams in the Coliseum Sunday afternoon. Headquartering the Ambassador hotel, the Packers are pointing for an upset victory over the powerful Rams but much will depend on the outcome of the Detroit-San Francisco game. Both games are scheduled to start at 4 o’clock, Green Bay time, and the progress of the Forty Niner-Lion test will be reported regularly during the Packer-Ram event. A victory for the Lions would give Detroit the National conference championship while a win for the Forty Niners would put the Rams in a possible first place tie with the Chicago Bears – if the Rams and Bears win. The Packers are hoping the Rams have their thoughts on the Lion-Forty Niner game. It’s possible that the Packer-Ram game may last longer than the Lion-Forty Niner event because the Bays and LA’s do more passing (the clock stops after each incompleted pass). The Rams came out of the loss to the Lions in good physical condition, according to Ram Coach Joe Stydahar. The Packers haven’t been as lucky. Captain-tackle Dick Wildung, the spearhead of the Bay defensive line, may see little action because of an injury in last Sunday’s game. Dick Moje, the new end, won’t see any action and Jug Girard and Rip Collins, offensive and defensive backs, are hobbling. The newspaper boys out here are looking for a wide open battle. They point to the Packers’ new spread formation, which isn’t new to coast fans and the Rams because they saw the Packer-Detroit game on television Thanksgiving day. Two former Rams will be in the Packer lineup – quarterback Bobby Thomason, who handles most of the Bays’ straight “T”, and guard Dave Stephenson. A crowd of 35,000 is expected for what could be the Rams’ most important contest.
RONZANI MUST DECIDE SOON ON WHAT TO DO WITH THOMASON
DEC 14 (Green Bay) - You got problems? Consider the tremendous one facing Packer Head Coach Gene Ronzani. During the next 15 days, Ronzani must decide what to do with Bobby Thomason, the sharp-shooting Packer quarterback who sports the best pass completion percentage in the NFL through 11 games. Thomason, the Los Angeles Rams’ No. 1 draft choice in 1949, came to the Packers last summer in a deal with the Rams. The transaction terms: If the Packers keep Thomason after Dec. 31, 1951, they are to give the Rams their No. 1 and No. 2 draft choices at
the 1952 draft meeting; if the Packers return Thomason, the Packers retain their No. 1 and No.2 choices, and the deal is, in effect, off. The Thomason deal, possibly in the fire since last winter, could somehow explain why Ronzani didn’t draft a top-flight quarterback at last year’s picking party, his lone QB selection being Joe Ernst of Tulane, who was No. 15 on the draft list. Shortly after the draft, Ronzani signed Dick Flowers of Northwestern, the Big Ten’s passing leader in 1950, and Wisconsin’s Bob Petruska, but, by the time Trainer Bud Jorgenson started removing the moth balls, Mr. Flowers moved into Uncle Sam’s Marine service. That’s about the time Thomason stepped into the picture – not to mention Bob McCraney, a promising rookie QB out of Dartmouth. The training season wasn’t many days old when Bob got the call from Uncle Sam’s Navy and the Packers’ QB’ing was in charge of Thomason, Petruska and Tobin Rote, the lone QB holdover from the 1950 club. Petruska was cut adrift after the third non-league game, leaving Bob and Tobin at the helm. Thomason and Rote thus far completed 24 touchdowns passes between ‘em – three more than the Rams’ Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin. Thomason worked behind Waterfield and Van Brocklin in ’49, and in 1950 was farmed out to Richmond despite efforts by the Packers to get him a year ago. The problem? Let’s hash over a few angles. If Ronzani hands Thomason back to the Rams, he’ll get a chance to use No. 1 and No. 2 draft choices for outstanding linemen or defensive backs or linebackers – his main objectives in view of this season’s defensive troubles. What’s more, there’ll be a number of good top-flight quarterbacks up in the draft (unlike a year ago) – just in case Gene wants to land a big-namer to understudy Rote (The Packers, incidentally, will probably draw third in the draft behind the Yanks and Cardinals). If Ronzani keeps Thomason, the Packers will have the backbone of their 1951 offense (fifth in the league in points, first in pass completions and second in passing yards) intact for 1952. Ronzani feels that Thomason and Rote form as tough a QB combination as there is in the league. They might have even been tougher had the defense been able to hold up in several games – especially the last four. Other angles: If Ronzani keeps Thomason, the Packers won’t pick anybody in the draft until 27 players are selected – unless they are lucky enough to win the bonus choice. Incidentally, the bonus choice is not included in the Thomason deal. If the Packers give Thomason back, Ronzani might be able to turn his No. 1 or No. 2 choices into four or maybe five badly-needed linemen. As an example, the Cleveland Browns stated publicly that they hope to have Don Klosterman of Loyola as a successor to Otto Graham. Should the Packers pick Klosterman, it’s likely that the Browns would give plenty of playing talent for him. The Packers and Browns have already engaged in a similar transaction – one that didn’t hurt the Packers and banked them for the future. They received Dom Moselle, Ace Loomis, Charley Schroll and Dan Orlich for the rights to Bob Gain, the Packers’ No. 1 draft choice who finished out ’50 in Canada and is now reportedly in the Army. Loomis is only a rookie with valuable possibilities, while Moselle could make any club in the league. No matter how you look at it, Ronzani has a tremendous problem on his shoulders. To make it worse, Thomason likes playing for Green Bay. He’s one of the leading handoff experts and accuracy passers in the league. He’s not a gifted runner like Rote. Bob seldom runs because he knows he’s not a good runner. Rote, on the other hand, loves to run – especially off Ronzani’s spread. Man, it’s a good thing Ronzani has broad shoulders. The problems are heavy, indeed! Gene and his onetime Chicago Bear teammate, Ram Coach Joe Stydahar, may hash over the Thomason deal after Sunday’s finale in LA. Come to think of it, maybe Joe and Gene could work out a trade for Thomason for a present Packer player.
MEMBERS OF MEN'S QUARTERBACK CLUB GET LOOK AT TWO 'FIRSTS'
DEC 14 (Green Bay) - The Men’s Quarterback club got a look at two “firsts” at Washington Junior High school auditorium Thursday night. Appearing for the first time in these parts as a speaker since he left WJPG as sports director was Earl Gillespie, the former Bluejay first sacker now handling sports broadcasts, including the Marquette, Hawk and Brewer contests, for Milwaukee’s WEMP. Shown for the first time for the QBs was the film, Packer Highlights, of the first six games this season, narrated by Harry Wismer. The leading thrill plays by both teams of each game are displayed in exceptional close-up shots. Gillespie told of his experiences in Milwaukee broadcasting, the rise of the Brewers to the Little World Series championship, the fight displayed by the Marquette football team, and the new interest of Milwaukee fans in the Packers. Earl reported that Milwaukee’s new stadium will seat 36,000 for football games at the present but, in the future, the capacity will be increased to over 70,000. The Brewers expect to open in the new stadium next spring. Gillespie said that “Milwaukee is growing to like the Packers,” adding that better backing by the press and radio and the play of the Packers were the chief reasons. Quarterbacks and chief quarterback Herman Martell subjected Gillespie to a question-and-answer period. One query concerned Frank Volm, the former Green Bay West and Marquette quarterback who was drafted by the Chicago Bears last January. Both Gillespie and Martell agreed that it was Volm’s misfortune to wind up with the Bears “who already were stocked with three quarterbacks.” Gillespie pointed out the important of Billy Reed, the former Bluejay shortstop, to the Brewers. Reed’s hitting and infield play helped the Brewers surprise the rest of the American association, he said. As to the Hawks, Gillespie reported that they are drawing well enough for a first-year team in the league but that they would lose money this season. They have been averaging around 3,300 fans but 3,900 are needed to break even, he stated. Members of the club “voice voted” to hold one more meeting – next Thursday night. Films of both Packer games on the west coast will be shown, Martell announced.
HUBBARD 'GETTING ALONG NICELY', HOSPITAL REPORTS
DEC 14 (St. Louis) - Hospital attendants were still vague Thursday night in describing an eye injury suffered by Cal Hubbard, American league umpire and former Green Bay Packer football player, in a hunting accident last Monday. Attendants would say only that “he is getting along nicely,” leaving unanswered the question of whether Hubbard’s career as an umpire is endangered. A companion on the hunting trip quoted a doctor as saying Hubbard stands a “50-50 or better” chance of retaining use of his left eye. The umpire was struck in the eye by a shotgun pellet that ricocheted off the ground after a companion had shot a rabbit on a hunt near Milan, Mo.
GREEN BAY PACKERS ARRIVE TODAY FOR TIFF WITH RAMS
DEC 14 (Los Angeles) - Green Bay’s Packers arrive in town today with every intention of being as rude to their hosts, the Los Angeles rams, as was the man who comes to dinner. The Packers aren’t going anywhere fast, having won only three of their 11 starts, but they’ll be nice and loose Sunday while, for the Rams, the Coliseum contest will be a “must” affair…FOUR EX-RAMS: Gene Ronzani’s herd of hoofballers only make one local appearance each season, but most of ‘em are not strangers to Southland fans. There are four former Rams on the squad – quarterback Bobby Thomason, tackle Howard Ruetz, end Dick Moje and guard Trapper Stephenson. Halfback Rebel Steiner played for the 1946 Alabama Rose Bowl team, which handed SC its first Pasadena defeat, 34-14, and end Bob Mann was a member of the great Michigan outfit which blanked the Trojans in the ’48 Rose Bowl game, 49-0…FORMER DONS: Three regulars – halfbacks Billy Grimes and Harper Davis and end Abner Wimberly – used to play for the Dons. The Packers, who held Los Angeles scoreless for nearly three quarterback before bowing 28-0 at Milwaukee in October, arrive on the Daylight around suppertime. They’ll stay at the Ambassador. A workout is scheduled for 11 o’clock tomorrow at Gilmore Field…PACKER PLATTER: Rookie fullback Fred Cone has booted five field goals in five tries…The game will be aired by a special 24-second Wisconsin hookup…Center Jay Rhodemyre was voted the outstanding player in the College All-Star game at Chicago in 1948…End Dan Orlich played on the same Nevada University team with the Rams’ Kid Kalmanir and Stan Heath…Sunday will probably be Tony Canadeo’s last game. Now in his 10th season with the Packers, the Silver Fox needs to gain 15 yards against the Rams to boost his all-time rushing total to 4,000 – an average of 400 yards per season. Tony and his brother, Savior, operate a pest-exterminating service in Green Bay. Tony was one pest few teams ever exterminated…Ronzani heads a coaching staff composed of Chicago Bear alumni (in Green Bay, yet). It comprises Dick Plasman, Tarzan Taylor, Scooter McLean and Chuck Drulis…The Packer captain, Dick Wildung, has been a top tackle in all six campaigns since graduating from Minnesota…While the Packers are a Wisconsin institution, there are only five native sons on the squad – Jug Girard, Ace Loomis, Dom Moselle and Ruetz.
PACKERS END '51 SEASON AGAINST RAMS
DEC 15 (Los Angeles) - The Green Bay Packers will shoot the works – cripples and all – in an effort to score some points on the powerhouse Los Angeles Rams in their NFL finals for the 1951 season in the Coliseum Sunday afternoon. A crowd of around 35,000 will witness the struggle and the kickoff is set for 4 o’clock, Green Bay time. Fans out there are expecting the Rams to breeze through the Packers to protect Los Angeles’ chance of remaining in the National conference championship. The Rams are a two-touchdown favorite. But a Ram victory won’t mean a thing if the Detroit Lions beat the Forty-Niners in San Francisco. A Lion victory would give Detroit the NC title regardless of what the Rams do. A Forty-Niner win, however, would put the Rams into a possible first place tie – if the Packers cop. The Packers could possibly benefit from a victory by Detroit – if the Lions can do it before the Ram-Packer game is over. Both games will start at the same time and an announced Detroit victory might produce a Ram letdown…NO SUCH “BREAK”: But Coach Gene Ronzani isn’t planning on any such “break” and, besides, Ronzani feels that “it might work the other day; it might work the Rams mad.” The Packers’ No. 1 objective here Sunday is to score points. The Rams handed the high-scoring Bays their only shutout this season, 28 to 0, in the first game in Milwaukee. In that battle, the Packers fought the Rams to a scoreless knot until two minutes before the end of the third quarter. Then, the Packers failed to
score from the one-yard line and the Rams took a 7-0 lead on Dan Towler’s long run. The Rams get their first look at the Packers’ “R” or one-back formation – in the flesh, that is. They saw it on television when the Bays used it against the Lions in Detroit Thanksgiving day. Quarterback Tobin Rote, who picked up 499 yards rushing off the formation, likely will handle most of the “R” plays, with QB Bobby Thomason working most of the time out of the “T” and the twin. The Packers will be aching where it really hurts – in their defensive line – due to an injury to tackle-captain Dick Wildung. Also bothered with injuries are Jug Girard, punter and defensive ace who also takes a crack at pass catching, and Rip Collins, offensive and defensive back. The Rams are expected to rely mostly on their passing power, headed by Norm Van Brocklin, Bob Waterfield, Tom Fears and Elroy Hirsch and their “bull elephant” backfield composed of Waterfield and three fullbacks, Dick Hoerner, Tank Younger and Dan Towler. The pitching of Thomason and Rote to such as Bob Mann, Ray Pelfrey, Dom Moselle and Carleton Elliott will be the Packers’ main hope of springing an upset. The Packers, headquartering at the Ambassador hotel, worked out here this morning after spending the week at Boyes Springs near San Francisco. The squad will break up after the game and many of the players will leave for their homes. Those returning to Green Bay are expected to arrive Wednesday.
PRO TREND TOWARD PASSING; FOUR BETTER 2,000 ON TURF
DEC 15 (Green Bay) - The trend in pro football continues on its merry way toward passing. In the first 11 games this season, only four of the dozen NFL clubs gained over 2,000 yards by rushing – the Forty Niners (2,279); Bears (2,264); Rams (2,059) and Redskins (2,033). Even the Pittsburgh Steelers, who for years stressed power running, turned to the forward pass. The Steelers, despite the murder of the single wing on the ground, are the third poorest teams in rushing, with 1,305 yards. Second poorest are the Yanks of New York, with 1,294 yards, and the poorest are (you guessed it) the Packers. Green Bay, which is setting passing records (including those of the great 1942 Bay air machine) but throwing, has gained but 1,151 yards in 11 tests on the ground – an average of 104 per start. The league record for fewest yards gained rushing in one season is 298, by the Davey O’Briened Philadelphia Eagles in 1940. The “rush” went out of the Packers when Jack Cloud, the powerhouse fullback, injured his back early in the season. The William and Mary crusher was the key to the Bays’ “T” and twin formation, with his explosive bursts up the middle. Coach Gene Ronzani souped up the ground attack by presenting the one-backer and letting 200-pound quarterback Tobin Rote run loose. Rote averaged 110 yards rushing alone in the last four games. Even the championship Cleveland Browns dropped off on the ground and it can be traced, to some extent, on injuries to their big fullback, Marion Motley. The Browns were limited to 1,612 yards on the ground but more than made up for it with 2,049 yards passing – not to mention the best defense in the league. Fullbacks are a must in the T. The loop’s leading ground teams, as listed above, each have crack crushers – Joe Perry, John Dottley, Dick Hoerner and Rob Goode. Despite the Browns’ big penalty “setbacks” in the Bear game, the Bruins are still the leaders in the penalty department with 1.035 yards. The Packers, by comparison, were penalized 716 yards and a mess of touchdowns. Least penalized team was Pittsburgh with only 380 yards. After watching the Steelers give the Pack a physical beating out in Pitt, we wonder how come. The Bays came out of that game with 17 different injuries…The Cardinals, meeting the Bears for the 61st time tomorrow, will be playing under their 17th and 18th coaches since 1921. Curly Lambeau, the former Packer coach and founder who resigned as Cardinal coach a week ago, was the 16th Card mentor. The team will be handled by Phil Handler and Cecil Isbell. Actually, Handler is back for his third try. He handled the club in 1943-44-45, again in 1949 as a partner of Buddy Parker, and now…Wonder if Sid Luckman will swing the New York Yank deal this year. The former Chicago Bear quarterback and Yank owner Ted Collins were only $50,000 apart in talks last winter. Luckman and several associates from Chicago are still interested and Collins’ interest in the game is diminishing. Luckman would handle the coaching, of course. Ted was so busy with his radio and television business this fall that he didn’t get around to personally meeting Yank coach Jimmy Phelan until shortly before the Packers played in New York Oct. 28 – the fifth game of the season.
RAMS IN FAREWELL APPEARANCE - MAYBE
DEC 15 (Los Angeles) - Tomorrow very likely will your last chance this year to watch the Los Angeles Rams, the team that might have been – although there yet remains the outside chance that we’ll get another peek or two at football’s most unpredictable team. They play the Green Bay Packers at the Coliseum and our side must win, just in case San Francisco ups and raps the Detroit Lions in the immediate vicinity of their medullae oblongata. Some 30,000 fans are expected for the 2 o’clock game. That would mean just about enough people to buy peanuts for Jumbo Joe Stydahar’s Bull Elephant backfield, as Bob Hope notified at Ye Old Ram blowout the other night…PACKERS CHECK IN: Gene Ronzani and his Packers checked in at the Ambassador soon after sundown yesterday. They’ve schedule a drill at Gilmore Field for 11 o’clock this morning. While there are the usual number of aches and pains, only one Packer is not expected to see action. He is Dick Moje, the big blond from Loyola who formerly belonged to the Rams. Moje, a fine end, has been hounded by knee injuries ever since he turned pro. Along with his newfangled trick formation which has more wingspread than a DC6, Ronzani will introduce some bright and shining new faces to local fandom…EX-CLEVELANDERS: Two of them, halfbacks Ace Loomis and Dom Moselle, had the high honor of being the last men lopped off by Paul Brown when he pared his Cleveland squad to legal size. They came to Green Bay in the deal by which Brown acquired the rights to Bob Gain, Kentucky All-American tackle who jumped to the Canadian League. Both are products of Wisconsin teachers’ colleges. Loomis is from Oshkosh, Moselle from Superior. Green Bay has one of the best rookie fullbacks in the NFL, Clemson’s Fred Cone, and a rugged new linebacker in 220-pound Walt Michaels of Washington & Lee. Another likely star of the future is a combination halfback-end, Ray Pelfrey, who hails from that seat of blue grass culture, East Kentucky State. Stydahar will be sans the services of Andy Robustelli, who damaged his knee somewhat in the Detroit game. Handy Harry Thompson will replace the rookie at right end on defense. The Rams are two-touchdown favorites.
RAMS, PACKERS CLASH IN FINALE
DEC 16 (Los Angeles) - This is the day of decision for the Los Angeles Rams, not to mention three other entries in the NFL’s National Conference. The Rams play Green Bay at the Coliseum, pace-setting Detroit meets the 49ers at Frisco and the Bears and Cardinals collide in Chicago…FOUR-HORSE RACE: Any one of them except Green Bay and the Cards could pick up the marbles. With a blanket finish assured, here’s how the contenders stand as they pound down the stretch:
W L T .PCT
Detroit 7 3 1 .700
Los Angeles 7 4 0 .636
Chicago Bears 7 4 0 .636
San Francisco 6 4 1 .600
As a public service, permit me to point out for the umpteenth time this week that there are more possible solutions to this scramble than there are to the Korean situation, to wit:..DETROIT FAVORED: 1 – Detroit takes it all by either beating or tying the 49ers. 2 – Los Angeles and/or the Bears finish on top by winning while the Lions are losing. 3 – The 49ers tie with Detroit with the title by winning while the Rams and Bears are losing. 4 – It’s a four-way deadlock if the Rams and Bears play tie games while the 49ers are winning. Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Bears are favored today, so if the dope runs true to form the Lions will play the Cleveland Browns for the championship Sunday in Detroit…RAMS MUST WIN: Sometimes the dope does not run true to form, and that’s why the Rams must make with a sterling effort today. Favored by 10 points, they blew the duke to Detroit. A win would have given them no worse than a tie for the title. Now they’re in the embarrassing position of having to make goo-goo eyes at their old pals, the 49ers, who hold the key to entire situation. I am quite sure Dick Hoerner and Glenn Davis would send Christmas cards to Hardy Brown, the ferocious 49er linebacker who flattened ‘em both, should Frisco tame the Lions...PACKER ARE FAIR: Meanwhile, Gene Ronzani's Packers ain't sayin' nothin'. It's a fair ball club that has had its moments, such as when it beat Pittsburgh, 35-33, and dumped the Philadelphia Eagles, 37-24. The Packers boast two fine passers in Bobby Thomason and Tobin Rote, who've tossed more touchdowns between them than Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin. Rote operates from the "one-back backfield", a spread formation which has shaken him loose often enough for him to become the league's eighth ranking runnre. And Rote sports the best average at 7.3 yards. Green Bay has some dangerous receivers, notably Bob Mann, Ray Pelfrey, Carlton Elliorr and Tuddy Reid. One of the NFL's all-time great halfbacks, Tony Canadeo, in all probability will retire after today's game. The 10-year Packer vet needs but 15 yards to run his total to 4,000, second only to Steve Van Buren. The Rams will be shooting at some marks, too. By gaining 322 yards, they'll break their own league record for total offense in a season. The mark of 5,420 was set by Los Angeles last year...BOB NEEDS ONE GOAL: Capt. Bob Waterfield can set a new league record by booting his 14th field goal of the season. And Crazy Legs Hirsch will break his own fresh league record for yards gained on passes every time he hooks one today. He has piled up 1,349 strides in 11 games. Hirsch needs three touchdown passes to equal Don Hutson's all-time mark. P.S. I love the 49ers, too.
PACKERS END SEASON IN LOS ANGELES
DEC 16 (Los Angeles) - The Green Bay Packers end a disappointing NFL season today at the Los Angeles Coliseum in a game with the second-place Rams. The Packers, with the second worst defensive record in the league, will run up against a team sparked by the loop's two leading passers, Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterfield. Green Bay coach Gene Ronzani said he expected to try his new "I" formation against the Rams, in hopes of outscoring the powerful Los Angeles club. Quarterback Tobin Rote operates as the sparkplug of the new spread formation. Los Angeles, tied with the Chicago Bears, for second place in the National Conference, smashed out a victory over the Packers in their early-season game in Milwaukee. The Rams have won seven and lost four this season, while the Packers have won three and lost eight. Four teams - Detroit, the Chicago Bears, Los Angeles and San Francisco - will be fighting it out for the National Conference championship and the right to meet the Cleveland Browns, winners of the American Conference, for the 1951 title. Detroit (7-3-1) leads and can sew up the title - and squelch all the "ifs" and "buts" - by whipping the 49ers. But that might not be so easy for the Lions to do. The 49ers (6-4-1) upset the Lions two weeks ago, and playing at home this time, could do it again. If the Lions lost, then Los Angeles and the Bears (both 7-4) will have a chance to win or tie (each other) for the title. The circuit closes out its 32nd regular season.