Cleveland Browns (1-0) 27, Green Bay Packers (0-1) 0
Saturday September 27th 1953 (at Milwaukee)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(MILWAUKEE) - An organized unit of football players met a disorganized group here Sunday afternoon, and the result was inevitable: Cleveland Browns 27, Green Bay Packers 0! That was the shocking picture as the Packers launched their 34th season in the NFL before 22,604 spectators in this city’s new County stadium. The Packers, a highly-respected 295-point machine in ’52, showed practically nothing on offense in this dismal presentation. They entered sacred Brown territory only three times all afternoon under their own power and one other time got there by recovering a fumbled punt. Defending passing champions, the Packers gained only 66 yards by throwing, though some of this deficiency can be traced to the loss of Bill Howton, the club’s brilliant young pass catcher who was sidelined by injuries. The Bays settled for 93 yards by rushing, thus rounding out a 159-yard afternoon – some 2.6 yards per minute. Though the Browns piled up three touchdowns and two field goals, the Packers had several brilliant moments on defense. The Bays limited the Browns to 96 yards on the ground, stopping the visitors twice inside the 25. The Browns never were able to score on a forward pass but the sharp shooting of quarterback Otto Graham set up all five scores. The great signal caller completed 18 out of 24 throws for 280 yards, including individual advances of 41, 54 and 47 yards. Graham rounded out one of his own highest scoring games by sneaking for the first two touchdowns in the first and second quarters. Ken Carpenter scored the third in the third frame on a five-yard run, while Lou (The Toe) Groza booted field goals of 15 and 29 yards. It was 7-0 at the first quarter mark, 17-0 at the half and 27-0 going into the standstill fourth period. The Packers appeared “up” for this opener, but the mechanic of offense were missing – somewhere. There was little coordination between the backs and the linemen and the blocking just “wasn’t”. The Browns, on the other hand, appeared sharp on defense. They ripped Packer blockers aside and often “stuck” potential Bay pass receivers to the line long enough to render the Bay passing all but harmless. Once the receivers got into the open, they were quickly enveloped by the defensive outfielders. And so it went – for just about all of the 60 minutes. The Packers, who failed to score in the last halves of their last four games, now have gone scoreless in six straight quarters – all against the well-oiled Browns – and, including the last two frames in the exhibition game at Cleveland a week ago last Saturday night. The Packers completed only eight passes all afternoon, four each by Tobin Rote and Babe Parilli. And the most spectacular play of the day by both teams was a leaping catch of a Rote throw by Bob Mann for 11 yards in the fourth quarter. The Packers' longest one-play advance was 33 yards midway in the fourth frame - when Ace Loomis recovered a Parilli punt fumbled by Billy Reynolds on the Brown 17. Just before the game ended, Rote and Breezy Reid worked a 26-yard aerial for the next longest. The Packers made two definite threats when it appeared the tide might be turned toward Green Bay. Midway in the first quarter, with the score 7-0, the Packers smashed the Browns back 11 yards to force Groza to try and miss a field goal from the 29. Then, Parilli engineered the Packers from their own 20 to the Brown 32 where the Clevelanders stiffened and Fred Cone missed a field goal from the 44. At the start of the second half, with the score 17-0, the Packers started from their own 20 and moved to the Brown 37 where Al Carmichael fumbled and the Browns recovered. The Browns made it 20-0 in six plays and the picture was fairly well painted. The Packers got a fine break shortly after the Browns received the opening kickoff. Starting from his own 20, Carpenter made 11 yards in two tries. Then, on first down, Dub Jones worked into the clear for a sure 69-yard TD play, but Graham overshot him. Horace Gillom was forced to punt and the Bays got their first chance on their own 10. Three runs by J.R. Boone, Howie Ferguson and Reid gained only four yards and Parilli punted to the Packer 42. Jones then took Graham's pass near the line to the right, shook loose a couple of tacklers, broke away from Val Joe Walker on the 20 and then was shoved out of bounds on the Bay one-yard line by Marv Johnson. Graham "snuck" it over and Groza kicked the first of three extra points. The next Packer chance for a first down went bad when Parilli went wide with a 15-yard pass to Mann. Graham took to the air and his first throw was intercepted by Johnson on the Packer 44. But Boone dropped and recovered a handoff from Parilli for a 10-yard loss and Tommy Thompson batted up and intercepted a Parilli pass in the Packer 12 as the Brown linebackers all charged in. George Hays and Dave Hanner led the Packers' first big defensive stand in pushing the Browns back 11 yards to the Packer 23 in three plays. Groza's field goal try was wide to the left. With the crowd encouraging them, the Packers started moving as Reid made five and Ferguson fumbled after gaining six and Dick Logan recovered for a first down on the Bay 31. The cheering got louder as Ferguson took Parilli's pass to the 42 for 11 yards. Ferguson went five and Parilli four up the middle. On fourth down, with inches to go, the Browns went offside and the Bays had a first down on the Brown 45. A defensive holding penalty made it another first down on the 40. At this point, the attack stopped, especially after Parilli's fumble was recovered by Reid, and Cone missed his FG from the 44. On the second play of the second frame, Graham and Reynolds worked a 54-yard pass to the 14, with Bobby Dillon knocking the receiver out of bounds. The Bay line again grew tough and held on the nine, but Groza went back to the 15 to kick a field goal. Rote, making his first appearance, was smeared for a 10-yard loss to the Bay nine. On third down, he got off a 57-yard quick kick that was downed on the Brown 42 where the Bays got the ball back when Walker recovered Reynolds' fumble. The Packers couldn't make a first down, though Mann caught Rote's 12-yard throw after two running plays lost four yards, so the Browns took over on their own 46 and drove 54 yards to a TD in 12 plays. Most of the yardage was handled on three Graham throws to Renfro for 39 yards, and Graham scored on a sneak from the one. The Packers started a nifty drive at the start of the second half. Cone ripped nine yards off left end and Carmichael made it a first down on the 31. Carmichael hit the left side for five and Cone shot through right tackle for 19 on the Bays' longest rushing play of the day to the Browns' 45. Carmichael bolted through practically the same hole to the 37, but fumbled and Gorgal recovered. Graham got off a beautiful high lob pass to Renfro off to his left side for a 47-yard gain to the Bay 17. The Bay line and a holding penalty forced a field goal by Green from the 29 to make it 20-0. After some harmless sparring by both clubs, the Browns took over on their own 39 and drive 61 yards to a TD. Graham ate up 50 of the yards on passes to Brewster, Renfro, Dante Lavelli and Jones and Carpenter raced around left end for five yards and the final scoring. Early in the fourth quarter, Rote gained 13 yards in two runs and then hit Elliott for a seven-yard gain to the Packer 45. Ferguson moved it to the 50 in two tries, but three passes went incomplete and Parilli punted. Reynolds fumbled the boot and Loomis fell on it on the 17. The fans started to leave as three Rote passes went incomplete and a fourth to Ferguson lost five yards. With two minutes left, Rote threw to Reid for 26 and to Mann for 11 to the Brown 18, but on the last play of the game, Thompson intercepted Rote's throw on the one, fumbled and recovered around the five. PS - The Bears play at City stadium next Sunday afternoon.
CLEVELAND - 7 10 10 0 - 27
GREEN BAY - 0 0 0 0 - 0
CLEVELAND GREEN BAY
First Downs 19 12
Rushing-Yards-TD 32-96-3 31-93-0
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 26-20-280-0-1 27-8-66-0-3
Sacked-Yards 1-10 1-11
Net Passing Yards 270 55
Total Yards 366 148
Fumbles-lost 2-2 4-1
Turnovers 3 4
Yards penalized 9-58 2-20
1ST - CLE - Otto Graham, 1-yard run (Lou Groza kick) CLEVELAND 7-0
2ND - CLE - Groza, 15-yard field goal CLEVELAND 10-0
2ND - CLE - Graham, 1-yard run (Groza kick) CLEVELAND 17-0
3RD - CLE - Groza, 29-yard field goal CLEVELAND 20-0
3RD - CLE - Ken Carpenter, 5-yard run (Groza kick) CLEVELAND 27-0
GREEN BAY - Fred Cone 6-35, Howie Ferguson 8-20, Al Carmichael 3-15, Tobin Rote 3-11, Babe Parilli 3-11, Breezy Reid 2-8, Larry Coutre 1-4, J.R. Boone 1-(-11)
CLEVELAND - Marion Motley 7-34, Ray Renfro 6-27, Ken Carpenter 6-22 1 TD, Chick Jagade 5-11, Otto Graham 3-4 2 TD, Billy Reynolds 3-3, Dub Jones 2-(-5)
GREEN BAY - Tobin Rote 15-4-55 2 INT, Babe Parilli 12-4-11 1 INT
CLEVELAND - Otto Graham 24-18-292 1 INT, George Ratterman 2-2-(-12)
GREEN BAY - Breezy Reid 2-26, Bob Mann 2-22, Howie Ferguson 2-6, Carl Elliott 1-7, J.R. Boone 1-5
CLEVELAND - Ray Renfro 6-97, Dante Lavelli 4-45, Ken Carpenter 3-9, Dub Jones 2-61, Pete Brewster 2-25, Billy Reynolds 1-55, Marion Motley 1-(-1), Horace Gillom 1-(-11)
CANADEO TO HOST TELEVISION SHOW
SEPT 27 (Green Bay) - Tony Canadeo, the "Grey Ghost of Gonzaga", who starred at halfback 11 seasons for the Green Bay Packers, will make his debut as master of ceremonies on a television show here Thursday night. Canadeo will be the host of the "Packer TV Touchdown Club" show over WBAY-TV and featuring 15 minutes of films of the Packer game played the previous weekend plus interviews with coaches and players.
TETEAK ON WAIVERS; SZAFARYN ON 'LIST'
SEPT 28 (Green Bay) - Deral Teteak, veteran linebacker, was placed on waivers and Len Szafaryn, veteran guard, was placed on the injured reserve list by Packer coach Gene Ronzani to bring the squad down to the player limit of 33 Saturday afternoon.
'WE PLANNED FOR THIS ONE - AND WE WANTED IT': CLEVELAND'S BROWN SAYS
SEPT 28 (Milwaukee) - Though he' s a fine gentleman and always the soul of courage, candor is a religion with Paul Brown, precisionist extraordinary who guides the fortunes of Cleveland's awesome Browns. Thus his opening post-game comment was hardly surprising. "It probably wasn't a good game fan-wise or Green Bay-wise," Peerless Paul volunteered. "But I liked the way our boys played and that's all I'm responsible for." Brown, giving further indication he's no shrinking violet, elaborated on his theme. "I think our defensive team gave a standout performance. We anticipated a four-man line and that's what they (the Packers) used, so we were set for it and it didn't bother us a bit. It didn't affect our pass protection at all. Of course, they were handicapped," Paul admitted. "Howton couldn't play and they need him. He's a big threat." Cleveland's Mr. Football, surrounded in the dressing room by the brawny, deep-chested fellows who had just done themselves proud for old Brown U. and spoiled the Packers' debut in spacious County stadium, felt "a thing that helped us was pacing our halfbacks. Our big boys got tired blocking in there so I alternated them to keep them fresh. It worked out pretty well," Paul reflected, with pardonable pride. "Of course, we were in pretty good shape. We planned for this one. It was a big game - our opener - and we wanted it." Asked if he thought Al Carmichael's fumble, which brought the Packers' longest concerted drive of the day to an abrupt end on the Cleveland 34 following the second half kickoff, could have changed the game's completion, Brown replied, "It probably did take the starch out of them. It must have affected their morale all right, it may have affected the score, but I don't believe it would have altered the outcome. I still think we would have won if he hadn't fumbled," Paul declared with characteristic frankness. "We had some bad breaks of our own, you know. They took that long pass away from us because of a clipping penalty and Billy Reynolds fumbled a punt that Green Bay recovered on our 16-yard line," the Browns' headmaster reminded. "There are those things on both sides in every game. But you always think only of your own bad breaks, never of the other fellow's. Which is only natural, I suppose. As far as we're concerned," Paul let it be known, "We just try to make it as tough as we can for everybody we can. It's a fast track - face it." Accepting congratulatory handshakes that come from all sides, he made it clear the convincing victory had given him no delusions. "We don't let ourselves get exuberant over one game," Paul insisted. "We know if you do, somebody is liable to knock your head off the next week. Oh, it happens to us, but we try not to let it happen too often." Brown, who seldom forgets his consuming passion, here permitted himself a rare smile as he watched a pair of youngsters, both in the neighborhood of ten years, solemnly picking up equipment strewn about the dressing room. Inclining his head toward them, Paul chuckled, "These kids are pretty serious about their jobs." At this point, somebody informed him that Bert Rechichar, a Brown in 1952, had kicked a record 56-yard field goal for the Baltimore Colts. "Did the Toe (Lou Groza) hear that?" he wanted to know. "He'll be wounded. He missed one from no more than 20 yards out today. I've never seen him miss one from that close in." "Did you hear that, Toe?" he called out as Groza appeared. Lou allowed that he had, whereupon Brown bantered, "My goodness, 56 yards! He much have taken a 10-yard run at the ball, don't you think, Lou?"..."The boys felt they could win - and I did, too," Gene Ronzani, still replaying the game two hours after it was over, declared in the Hotel Schroeder's Room 929 at twilight Sunday night. "But," shaking his head, "you see how good you'd have to be to overcome a ball club like that. It's just like Rocky Marciano fighting some unknown. He might rise to the heights and knock off the champion - but the odds always are heavily against it. That's the way it was with us today; I thought we had that chance, but we just couldn't do it." "Just to show you the difference between the two clubs, think about this," the Packers' head man advised, "Their smallest back, Ray Renfro, is as big as our biggest back, with the exception of Howie Ferguson. And almost all of them are faster than our boys." "And the size of those Browns! Take, for example," Gene went on, "their big end, Len Ford. He weighs 265 pounds, How can one of our little backs handle a man that size? It can't be done. But we went into the game with full knowledge of these factors - and I still thought we could win. A few mistakes by our boys, particularly those two fumbles, hurt us. And we played three quarters of the ball game defensively. You can't do that and win football games." Aside from Fred Cone, who suffered a slight concussion early in the fourth quarter, the Packers escaped unscathed physically, Ronzani reported, save for "the usual quota of bumps and bruises. You never know, of course, about those things. Any one of the boys may come up with a stiff muscle by tomorrow. But so far, everything seems to be all right."...His chest glistening with perspiration, Gus Cifelli, recent addition to the Packers via the Detroit Lions, admitted, "The Browns are a much improved ball club. They've got more snap and fire than they had last year." This came, as the expression goes, right from the horse's mouth for Signor Cifelli can be considered one of the NFL's foremost authorities on the merits of the Browns. With the Lions, he faced the Browns in every game Detroit has played against Cleveland since the perennial Eastern conference champions entered the league in 1950 - and the Lions have yet to lose to them. "They're an improved team over what they were in the championship game last year," Gus opined. "In fact, they're an improved team over the one we (the Lions) tied in that 24-24 game two weeks ago. They have a lot of fire, don't they?" Turning to the Packers, the king-sized Notre Dame alumnus said earnestly, "I think we've got a lot better team than we showed today. I don't know what it was - we just didn't seem to click." The traditional question: How did he find Green Bay? "I love it," he replied with alacrity and unmistakable sincerity. "I like the small town atmosphere. It's more like playing for a college team. I'm just waiting for my wife to join me. I'm sure she'll love it, too." "Football in Green Bay is the way football should be," said Cifelli. "You have the fans behind you all the way and that should give you that extra emotional lift. You have it in high school and you have it in college. Then, when you get into pro ball in a town like Detroit, you're playing alone."..."What a football team," mountainous Clayton Tonnemaker muttered in another corner of the dressing room. "I've never seen anything like it. It's fantastic! They never do anything wrong. I have a choice - either hold up the end or watch the swing man. So I hold up the end and the quarter hits the swing man. I cover the swing man and Graham hits the end," Clayton groaned, turning his hands palms upward in a gesture of futility. "I don't know whether they KNOW what I'm going to do or whether they just outguess me - but it's uncanny."...Cifelli came within an ace of being among the missing when the Packers boarded the Milwaukee-bound Chicago and North Western '400' at 11 o'clock Saturday morning. Winded, he clambered aboard just as the train began to move, panting, "I didn't know you had two railroad stations in this town. I went to the one across from the office (the Milwaukee Road)." At 10:52, eight minutes before the Packers' scheduled departure, Gus was still at the MR station, when he discovered his error. Unable to find a cab, he ran the distance - encumbered with an overcoat and luggage - to the C. & N.W. depot. "I got there just as the conductor was waving all clear," Cifelli grinned, adding, "my legs are still shaking."...Tonnemaker and John Sandusky, Brown tackle, figured in a spirited exchange late in the third quarter. Sandusky, with the play already completed, rose from the turf and belligerently jolted the Minnesota giant. Clayt effectively cooled his ire, however. A twist of the hip dropped Sandusky and Tonnemaker conveniently fell astride him, whereupon the aggressor exhibited no further disposition to argue...It may be the first of a series of annual announcements, but the Giants' peerless Otto Graham confided Saturday, "I've been thinking of this as my last year." Otto, who makes his home in Evanston, Ill., reportedly has a lucrative insurance business...Before getting into uniform, all of the Packers ventured into County stadium to inspect the $5,000,000 layout - and pronounced themselves well satisfied with what they say. "This is a good ball park, boy," Larry Coutre declared and Head Coach Gene Ronzani, noting that the skin portion of the infield had been well sodded, commented, "Good transformation."...The new clock on the stadium scoreboard, both of which were donated by Fred Miller, conked out at the start of the game and wasn't repaired until the first half had nearly run its course. Bill Clancy, veteran timer who had served in that capacity along with Austin Destache for 18 years, said it was the first time in his memory that a field clock had ever failed to function.
PACKERS DRILL OFFENSE FOR 69TH BEAR TILT SUNDAY
SEPT 29 (Green Bay) - The Packers started from scratch today - at least on offense. Shutout by the Cleveland Browns in Milwaukee Sunday to the tune of 27 to 0, the Packers had their work cut out as they loosened up for their traditional contest with the hated Chicago Bears in City stadium next Sunday afternoon. Offense likely will be the order of the entire week of the "zero" against the Browns. The Packers invaded Brown territory only three times under their own power and got there one other time by recovering a fumbled punt. The Packers came out of the Brown battle in good physical condition and the squad should be at peak strength for the Bears. Fullback Fred Cone was shaken up considerably, but was back to normal today. End Bob Mann is okay, too, it can be added. The little firebrand, spectators figured Sunday, was all but knocked out of commission for weeks when he made a leaping catch of a Tobin Rote pass late in the game. As he came down, a Brown flipped him over and Bob came down on a point between his head and shoulder. This morning's drill was a light one, designed chiefly to loosening up the players and removing a lot of the bumps and bruises. The players had Monday off - as usual during the league season - while the coaching staff, Gene Ronzani, Ray McLean, Chuck Drulis and Hugh Devore, spent the day getting a program set up for the Bear game...The players and coaches were guests of the Packer executive committee and the board of directors at a dinner at the YMCA this noon...The Packers and Bears will be colliding in the 69th renewal of their traditional feud here Sunday. Kickoff, don't forget, is at 1:30. The game has been sold out for more than a month, thus assuring a crowd of around 25,000. Both teams will be looking for their first league victory. Besides the Packers' loss to the Browns before 22,604 in Milwaukee, the Bears dropped a 13 to 9 decision to the Baltimore Colts. The deadly enemies split their 1952 series, the Bears winning here 24 to 14 and the Packers taking the nightcap in Chicago, 41 to 28. Thus, the Packers will be going after their second straight victory over the Bears, a feat that was last accomplished when the Packers won the second game in 1938 by 24 to 17 and took the first game in '39 by 21 to 16. In the series, the longest in the history of pro football, the Bears won 39, the Packers captured 24 and five games ended in ties since the teams started playing in 1921.
EXPRESS CONFIDENCE IN PACKER PILOTS, PLAYERS
SEPT 29 (Green Bay) - Complete confidence in the Packer coaching staff and Packer players was expressed by the Packer executive committee at a meeting at the YMCA this noon of all three groups. Packer President Russell W. Bogda told the coaches and players in the presence of the committee: "This meeting today is called to carry to you the feeling that the executive committee has confidence in its coaching staff and its players - all rumors to the contrary notwithstanding. We wish to make it clear here and now that insofar as the coaching staff is concerned, there will be no changes, and the confidence of the board in the ability of the present coaching staff to bring to the front the capacity of the ball club is unimpaired. The executive committee, along with the coaching staff, feels that we have the nucleus of a good ball club, with personnel capable, if it gives its best, of competing with any club in the National league."
RONZANI PACKERS NEVER WON AN OPENER, NEVER LOST 2ND'S
SEPT 29 (Green Bay) - The Packers, under the Ronzani regime, have never won an opening NFL game. In the four starters, the Packers lost to Detroit in 1950 by 45 to 7, to the Chicago Bears by 31-20 in 1951, to the Bears in 1952 by 24-14 and just last Sunday to the Cleveland Browns, 27 to 0. In those four losses, the Packers were outscored 127 points to 41. On the bright side, the Packers under Ronzani have never lost their second league game, beating Washington 35 to 21 in '50, Pittsburgh 35 to 33 in '51 and Washington 35 to 20 in '52. The scores of the "first" and the "seconds" indicate that the Packers showed a decided improvement after the openers, allowing even that opening opponents Detroit and the Bears were tougher than Washington and Pittsburgh in the first three seasons. The decided difference in the Packers' points (41) in the openers against their foes' 127 would seem to indicate that the Packers aren't quite ready for their league kickoffs. Games against the same foes later in the same season were practically the same or much closer and in one case the Packers turned the tables. In 1950, the Packers and Lions played a 24-21 game in Detroit; in 1951, the Packers lost to the Bears in Chicago 24-13; and in 1952 the Packers walloped the Bears in Chicago 41 to 28. The Packers won't get another crack at Cleveland this year...Were the Packers ready for the Browns Sunday? We didn't think they were, which is why we couldn't feel safe in picking them to win. The players appeared upset mentally and we'd like to present here today both sides to our belief. Coach Gene Ronzani reduced the squad to something like 35 players at the start of the week - Monday. The athletes felt a collective relief since they then were certain that they had made the squad and could pursue the coaches' plans for the Brown game. But on Tuesday, a rumor swept the group that five more players were coming in. A number of the players started worrying, wondering whether they'd be here more than a day or two and, at the same time, pushing the importance of the Brown game into the backs of their minds. One player told me: "These boys should be thinking who I'm supposed to take out on this play, etc.; instead, they don't even know whether they'll play against the Browns." On the other side of today's fence, Ronzani refuses to stand pat if he thinks he can get a better man for any position. Thus, last week, he brought in tackle Gus Cifelli to bolster the offensive line and Johnny Papit - both on trades for undisclosed draft choices - to assist the offensive backfield. In addition, three men released by other clubs came in on their own - on a look-see basis - thus making a total of five players. As the Packers lost four straight non-league games, Ronzani figured more than ever that he couldn't go with what he had. Thus, the big turnovers of players in the past three weeks...Despite the mental strain during the week, the Packers looked "up" for the big opener. They filed in 15 minutes before the kickoff Sunday and sat quietly. Nobody spoke; they had things on their mind - the Browns. But we got the impression they were "cramming" - like the student who tried to get ready for the final examination a day or two before the exams. And, as things developed, Professor Paul Brown and his 33 school teachers wouldn't mark any of the Packers "answers" right. Maybe some of the answers were wrong!
BRAWLS, CLAMORING FANS MAR PRO FOOTBALL DEBUTS
SEPT 29 (Chicago Tribune) - Few seasons in the history of the NFL have opened amid as much confusion as the 34th annual championship race which got underway with six games on Sunday. Player fights, complaints on officials, and, in one instance, rumors of fan rebellion against a coach somewhat beclouded the successful start of most favorites, including the Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns. An altercation that involved the personnel of both teams and finally spread to the stands in Kezar stadium, where San Francisco upset the Philadelphia Eagles, 31 to 21, brought a special bulletin from the office of Commissioner Bert Bell yesterday, charging head coaches with all responsibility in future player scuffles. Primary purpose of the bulletin, Bell explained in Philadelphia, was to prevent players and others from the bench from rushing out on the field at the first indication of flare-ups between active combatants. Bell said, "The head coach of each member club and the member club shall be held absolutely responsible for the conduct of all players and other persons who are sitting on the bench or who are between the players and the sidelines." On the south side, a situation in the Chicago Cardinals-Washington Redskins game apparently confused everybody but the officials and the Redskins, who gave their coach, Curly Lambeau, his second opening day victory over the Chicagoans since he was dismissed as Cardinal head man in 1951. Referee Bill Downees, surprised to learn there any question over the decision, said there was no question that gave the Redskins the ball when a fourth down gamble backfired against the Cardinals midway through the fourth quarter. "The Cardinals had almost two yards to go," Downes explained, "and when we saw they were going to go for it, we all became extra alert. Umpire Carl Brubaker jumped into the pile up and marked the forward progress of the ball when Johnny Olszewski was downed. We've learned to do that this year. More players than ever before try to get an extra foot or two by pushing the ball forward. Then somebody pushes it back three feet and we're in trouble. So now we use the foot. I marked the spot of Brubaker's foot with a pencil. We measured to the pencil and the Cardinals lacked about four inches. Then we turned the ball around so Washington would not get 11 1/4 inches (length of the ball) advantage on its next series. Some Cardinals saw the ball ahead of the pencil and complained, but I explained it to Bob Dove, their captain, and he was satisfied. Then I looked up and here was Stydahar shouting over my shoulder," Downes chuckled. "I asked him how he got there and since he hadn't received permission from any of the officials, there was nothing to do under the rules but step off a 15 yard penalty." Green Bay's 27 to 0 defeat by the Cleveland Browns in Milwaukee unloosed another rumble of rumors over Gene Ronzani's tenure as Packer coach. Russell Bogda, president of the Packers, and Tubby Bero, Green Bay chief of police who is a member of the executive committee, denied that any change is contemplated or has ever been discussed by the committee. Rumors persist, however, that Ronzani's fate hangs on the outcome of next week's game against the Chicago Bears, who fumbled away their opener to the Baltimore Colts, 13 to 9, Sunday. Green Bay has been a disappointment to rabid Packer followers, who had vision of a divisional championship until the team dropped five consecutive games and failed to score in the last half of any of them. Ronzani is working on the first year of a three year contract which, according to Bogda, embodies a cash release clause. Under the clause, he can be relieved at any time for a stipulated amount, said to be $7,500.
PACKERS ASK WAIVERS ON DERAL TETEAK - FANS DEMAND BAYS RETAIN FORMER OSHKOSH HIGH, UW GRIDDER
SEPT 29 (Green Bay) - Going hand-in-hand with the Green Bay Packer coaching mess which flared up Tuesday night, is the announcement that Deral Teteak, former Oshkosh High School athletic great and later a star gridder at Wisconsin, has been placed on the NFL's waiver list. According to reports out of Green Bay, letters are being circulated demanding that the Packers retain Teteak. Just how much weight the letters and petitions will carry remains to be seen. Teteak was placed on waivers before the Packers lost their initial NFL game last Sunday in Milwaukee, where the Bays were whitewashed, 27-0, by the Cleveland Browns. After compiling a brilliant record as a linebacker at Wisconsin where he gained national recognition, Teteak was signed by the Packers, and was one of three rookies named to play in the All-Pro Bowl game in Los Angeles, a classic which takes place following the completion of league play in December. Teteak's being named to the All-Pro game lineup as a rookie was an almost unheard-of happening. During the 1952 season, Teteak was an outstanding linebacker and numerous circles vowed that the Packers would be a title threat in 1953 when Clayton Tonnemaker rejoined the Bays. Tonnemaker has been used exclusively this season as a linebacker, a position where he piled up quite a record while Teteak has been on the sidelines more than he has seen active action after playing great ball during the 1952 campaign.
PACKER HOPES FADE AS OFFENSE FAILS
SEPT 29 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - It's one thing to lose a football game, even by a considerable margin, while doing some scoring yourself. But to fail to score and move the ball consistently, especially in pro ball - well, it's rough. Which is to say the Green Bay Packers have a terrific job on their hands as they try to pull themselves together and stand up to their ancient enemies, the Chicago Bears, in their second NFL game at the Bay next Sunday. The Bears fortunately don't seem to be the fearsome Bears of old. Even so, the Packers will have to come up with a vastly improved offense if they hope to have a chance. Certainly the attack uncorked against the rugged Cleveland Browns here Sunday won't do. In fact, it isn't only the 27-0 licking by the Browns that is causing concern. Even with the incomparable Bill Howton in the lineup, they failed to show too much scoring power while dropping four straight exhibitions. Only in the season's opener at Minneapolis, the 31-7 romp over a New York Giants team that obviously wasn't ready, and possibly the first half against Pittsburgh in the Shrine game here, did the Ronzanimen give any indication of taking up where they left off last year in the point production department. With three years of steady improvement behind them during the rebuilding stage, and blessed with the best one-two passing punch in the league, the Packers were expected to offer at least a fairly serious title threat this season. Some experts went so far as to label them the team to beat, thereby causing hope to soar beyond control. Even three years ago they averaged 20 plus points in 12 games, suffered no shutout and scored less than 14 points in only one match. The defensive problem was acute, of course. So they had to settle for a record of three wins and nine losses. In 1951 both offense and defense were slightly better, although the final won-lost record remained the same. The club suffered its only shutout at the hands of the Rams and was held to seven points by Pittsburgh. Otherwise the scores ranged from 13 to 37, with a season's average of 21 plus. Last year, with Howton, Babe Parilli, Tobin Rote and Bob Mann leading the way, they racked up from 12 to 42 points a game - an average of almost 25 - and showed a sharp upswing on defense. Result: A mighty respectable 6-6 record. So imagine the happiness caused by the 27-0 Cleveland beating in the football inaugural at the new Stadium - only the second goose egg in four years and only the fourth time the offense failed to produce double figure scores. The loss of Howton was brutally damaging. Anyone will admit that, for the slippery Texan is one of football's great receivers and, as such, makes it easier to spring other catchers into the open - vital plus value such as Don Hutson once provided. But that isn't the only answer. The real key to the situation is the failure to give Parilli and Rote the necessary protection. Modern pro football is based on an effective passing attack, but it can't be effective when the receivers don't get time to outmaneuver the secondary and the passers are forced to get rid of the ball too soon or eat it, as they say in the trade. Parilli and Rote had so little chance that even a Howton couldn't have had much of a day against the Browns. The Browns proved the point in that very game. Otto Graham is endowed with little more, if any, physical equipment for passing than Parilli and Rote. But his protection, figuratively speaking, gave him enough time to read a book, figuratively speaking, before firing. In other words, he pitched when he was ready while the Packers passed more or less as the Browns decided, which usually was the wrong time. The few times Graham was badly rushed he was no miracle man. But the breakthrough by the Packer linemen didn't come often enough. And now on to the Green Bay home opener with the Bears - a "must" game perhaps more than ever in history.
PACKERS' EXECUTIVE GROUP HAS 'CONFIDENCE' IN RONZANI
SEPT 29 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers' executive committee took cognizance Tuesday of rumors that coach Gene Ronzani was on his way out with an official statement that it has "full confidence" in the coaching staff and players. Ronzani has been under fire from local fans throughout the pre-season exhibition period. The Packers won only one exhibition game and were shutout by Cleveland, 27-0, in the league opener. Russell W. Bogda, president, made the confidence statement at a special meeting Tuesday attended by directors, coaches and players. "This meeting is called to carry to you the feeling that the executive committee has confidence in its coaching staff and its players, all rumors to the contrary notwithstanding," Bogda said. "We wish to make it clear here and now that insofar as the coaching staff is concerned there will be no changes and the confidence of the board in the present coaching staff is unimpaired.The executive committee, along with the coaching staff, feels that we have the nucleus of a good ball club, with the personnel capable, if it gives its best, of competing with any club in the league." Ronzani was given a three-year contract for an undisclosed amount last winter. It is said to contain, however, a clause permitting dismissal at any time upon payment of $7,500.
RONZANI UNDER FIRE, BUT HIS JOB IS SAFE
SEPTEMBER 29 (Milwaukee - Associated Press) - Gene Ronzani, it appeared today, will remain as head coach of the Green Bay Packers. At least, that's the word out of Green Bay where the Packer front office yesterday gave the stocky ex-quarterback a "vote of confidence" in one of the most surprising moves made in years. "The executive committee," Russell Bodga, club president, told Ronzani at a special meeting, "has confidence in its coaching staff and its players, all rumors to the contrary notwithstanding." Bodga's action was unusual in that until Tuesday's meeting there never had been the slightest official displeasure voiced with Ronzani's coaching methods, despite a decidedly inferior exhibition season. In fact, early in the fall, the word was that the Packers had a powerhouse and finally were coming into their own in the NFL after many years in the doldrums. The howling started when, after a sensational debut against the New York Giants, the club seemed to fall apart. It lost four straight exhibition games, failing to score in the second half of each. Then, to cap the dismal showings, came Sunday's 27-0 loss to Cleveland in the league opener. Even before that game in County Stadium here, fans were talking, The pressbox was flooded with rumors that Ronzani was on his way out. Afterwards it was worse. Fans started walking out in the third quarter. On Monday the switchboard at the Green Bay Press-Gazette was flooded with calls from people checking on what they'd heard. According to reports there was no discussion of Ronzani's status at Monday's regular executive committee meeting. Bogda's statement came at a special session Tuesday attended by directors, coaches and players. "We wish to make it clear here and now that insofar as the coaching staff is concerned there will be no changes, and the confidence of the board in the ability of the present coaching staff to bring to the front the capacity of the ball club is unimpaired," Bogda declared. "The executive committee, along with the coaching staff, feels that we have the nucleus of a good ball club, with the personnel capable, if it gives its best, of competing with any club in the league." Despite a wealth of rookie talent, outstanding collegiate players a year ago whom a Packers spokesman less than a month ago declared were sure to stick, only a few remain. Gone are such highly regarded linemen as Bill Georges, Floyd Harrawood, Jack Morgan, Bill Murray and Vic Rimkus. In their places are veterans like 32-year old Dick Wildung, returned after a two-year retirement, and Bud Cifelli, picked up on waivers from the Detroit Lions.
MILWAUKEE BRAVES' SUCCESS BENEFITS OTHER STATE SPORTS
SEPT 29 (Milwaukee) - The fabulous success story of the Milwaukee Braves did not end with the close of the baseball season, but it has spread out to virtually every sports organization in Wisconsin. When the Braves' franchise was suddenly shifted to Milwaukee from Boston last spring, it was feared by local sports promoters that every dollar spent on major league baseball would be one less dollar spent for other types of sports. But a survey shows that the tremendous enthusiasm exhibited by the fans for the Braves during the summer has spread to collegiate and professional football, basketball, hockey and boxing, with advance ticket sales up 300 to 400 percent. Although the Braves set a new all-time National League attendance record in their first year in Milwaukee, it did not hurt attendance at games in the state's two minor leagues, the Class C Northern League and Class D Wisconsin State League. The Braves drew 1,826,397 during the season and club officials are speaking confidently about an attendance of more than 2,000,000 next year as a result of 7,500 new permanent seats now being erected at the County Stadium. The only sport which hasn't cashed in on the Braves tidal wave so far is boxing, which has experienced its usual summer lull with no major bouts scheduled. But Phil Valley, promoter of the Wisconsin Boxing Club, said, "The Braves have made people more sports-minded, and I'm pretty sure it is going to help my ticket sales when we start our season again next month." The Green Bay Packers sold more than three times as many season tickets for their games in Milwaukee this year as were sold in 1952. A club spokesman said, "There is no doubt that the enthusiasm shown for the Braves has helped us, both in our games at Milwaukee and at Green Bay." F.L. (Jug) Earp, former Green Bay star who now serves as the club's public relations director, said, "I've talked to countless persons out in the state who told me they never saw a professional team play until the Braves came into Milwaukee, but they're buying season tickets for Packer games now and we're all going to benefit. The Packers sold 12,000 season tickets in Milwaukee and about the same number for games at Green Bay. The club plays half of its home games in each city. Last year, only about 4,000 tickets were sold in advance for Milwaukee games and only slightly more for contests at Green Bay, which is 125 miles north of Milwaukee. Ben Kerner, general manager of the Milwaukee Hawks of the NBA, said "with our season still five weeks away, we are at least 400 percent ahead of all previous years in our season ticket sales." Kerner, a veteran midwestern sports promoter, said "the interest manifested through the Braves has people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin thinking sports, reading sports and wanting to be part of a big league picture." College sports has been aided, too. Stan Lowe, ticket manager at Marquette University, said advance season ticket sales for the football season were up 300 percent. "I think there has been a tremendous surge in the interest in athletics in Milwaukee and Wisconsin since the Braves came to town," Lowe said. "This has been reflected in our sales of tickets and there is no question about it."
GOT A BEAR TICKET? YOU'RE FORTUNATE!
SEPT 30 (Green Bay) - Do you have a ticket for next Sunday's Packer-Bear game? If you do, then consider yourself lucky because there is every prospect of an extra-special, rip-roaring game of ball at City stadium. There are a number of reasons (and this isn't a sale talk because you cannot buy, beg, borrow or steal a ducat) why blood will be spilled on the ancient Green Bay sod. First thing, both clubs will go into the battle with zero records. Which means that both will bounce back hard! The Packers have had enough experiences down through the years to know that the Bears are murder on the rebound. The Bears, by the same token, are aware of the fact that the Packers are a bit on the edgy side this week, what with the 27 to 0 loss to the Cleveland Browns in Milwaukee last Sunday. What's more, Bear coach George Halas, for sure, will have his athletes "high" for this one. Ronzani, his staff and the players - given a vote of confidence by the Packer executive committee - are approaching Sunday's game with a fresh outlook, so to speak. In short, the 1953 Packer-Bear will be a new "opener" for both clubs. It furnishes each team with an opportunity to get back into the championship running. Word from Chicago is that the Bears were not disheartened by their 13 to 9 loss to the Colts in Baltimore Sunday. They beat Baltimore by almost 3 to 1 in passing and rushing yardage but bad breaks near pay dirt ruined their scoring chances. The Colts scored their only TD by returning an intercepted pass and booted two fields - one a 56-yarder by Bert Rechichar...Actually, Sunday's game will be the 70th meeting of the two clubs but only the 68th regularly-scheduled league game between the traditional rivals. The hated foes played two "odd" games - an exhibition in Milwaukee in 1934 and a Western division playoff in 1941, when each club finished regular league play with 10-1 records. In scheduled league competition, the Bears won 38, the Packers took 24 and five finished in ties, making for a total of 67 contests. The Bears won the exhibition, 10-6, and the division playoff, 33-14, making 40 wins for the Bears, 24 for the Packers and five ties. The Packer-Bear exhibition, incidentally, was played at State Fair park in Milwaukee, smack in the middle of the league season, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 1934. It was the first Packer night game there and was won by the Bears, 10-6. The contest was attended by 10,000 persons, which was considered a good crowd at the time in Milwaukee. A crowd of 13,000-plus saw the Packers and Bears clash earlier that year in Green Bay, and it was reported as a record gate...LITTLE BITS: Probably the best performance by a Packer rookie in the Brown game was turned in by Bill Forester, the middle guard from SMU. Forester, who started out his
pro training with an eye toward making the club as a fullback, made eight clean tackles to place one ahead of middle linebacker Clayton Tonnemaker. Forester, who also can play tackle, was shifted to the MG spot shortly before the Brown exhibition in Cleveland and looked good down there, too. At least four different players were tried at the spot during the training campaign. Ray Bray toiled at the middle guard spot during the 1952 season, but retired last winter. The Packers removed the kinks in yesterday morning's running session and then got down to real business this morning, working out an offensive for the Bear game. And trainer Bud Jorgenson is smiling because of the fine condition of the squad, with the exception, of course, of end Bill Howton, who will be lost for a couple of more games with chest injuries. Howton was injured against the Browns in Cleveland and sat out last Sunday's test...A concentrated week of outdoor and indoor preparation is scheduled this week. One break will be the appearance of the coaches and players at the opening of the Men's Quarterback club at Washington Junior High Thursday night.
SEPT 30 (Hamilton, ONT) - Halfback Billy Grimes, formerly of the Green Bay Packers; end Alton Baldwin and back Auburn Lambreth Wednesday were released by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
IT'S GOOD 'FIGURES' DON'T COUNTY IN END
OCT 1 (Green Bay) - It is fortunate that statistics don't mean a darned thing - at least in the final score. The Packers, beaten on the scoreboard and in the statistics column by the Cleveland Browns last Sunday 27 to 0, at the same time took a "mythical" setback at the hands of the Chicago Bears in the same two places. Although they lost 13-9, the Bears still managed to score nine points in their opener against the Baltimore Colts - a sort of 9 to 0 edge over the Bays on the big board. In the "six point" column, the Bears gave our boys a pretty good going over. For instance: The Bears made 20 first downs against the Packers' 11; the Bears got 147 yards rushing and the Packers 93; and, this isn't good, the Bears flew off 225 yards against the Packers' 66 in the air. In total yardage, the Bears gained 372 and Green Bay 159. The Packers, it must be stated, were playing against a tougher defensive unit than the Bears. One of the Colt defenders, Bert Rechichar, was traded away to the Colts by the Browns - as an example of Cleveland's stand-pat and well-oiled defensive unit. Rechichar, oddly, turned out to be the hero, intercepting one pass for a touchdown and booting a record 56-yard field goal. The Bears, incidentally, tried 34 passes and completed 19 - over 50 percent. The Packers attempted 27 and completed only eight - well below 50 percent...GAVE IT AWAY EIGHT TIMES: The Bears "gave" the ball away eight times - four on interceptions and four on fumbles. The Packers handed it to the Browns four times - three on interceptions and once on a fumble. Coach George Halas' athletes figure they're almost due to stretch some of those yards into touchdowns against the Bays. Coach Gene Ronzani is certain the Packers not only will pile up some yards but will break out of their scoring lethargy...Bill Forester, rookie middle guard for Green Bay, has been selected as most valuable player in the Packer-Brown game and will receive a wrist watch from Colonial Jewelers of Milwaukee as a reward. The selection is made by Sportscaster Earl Gillespie, sports editor Lloyd Larson and this writer...Who will start at quarterback for the Bears? It doesn't make much of a difference because veteran George Blanda and rookie Tommy O'Connell of Illinois will be in and out during most of the game. Both Blanda and O'Connell passed well in the Baltimore game, but George has experience. According to the Bears' three-deep, the Chicago club is carrying four offensive quarterbacks - one other veteran, Steve Romanik and one other rookie, Willie Thrower of Michigan State. Romanik had a hot day against the Packers here a year ago, a game won by thee Halas-men, 24 to 14. Listed as a starting fullback for Chicago is Jack Hoffman, who played end in his four previous seasons in Chicago. Hoffman, who packs 215 pounds and can catch a pass, apparently has beaten out big John Dottley and Fred Morrison. Dottley, like Romanik, had himself a hot afternoon here last year. Probably the most startling chance in the Bear lineup over previous years is the shifting of George Connor, veteran captain and linebacker, to offensive left tackle. A similar situation was presented by the Browns this season when they switched Bill Willis, their talented middle guard, to offensive tackle. With Gene Schroeder in the service, the Bears likely will lead off with Bill Wightkin and Bill McColl at offensive ends. At defensive ends, that man is back, Mr. Ed Sprinkle, along with rookie Bert Hensley. The bulk of the rushing likely will be up to Hoffman and halfbacks Eddie Macon and Billy Stone, both veterans. Billy Anderson, the club's No. 1 draft choice and rated as the fastest man in football, is listed at right half behind Stone and George Figner, a rookie from Colorado...The Packers spent several minutes on the tackling dummy after yesterday's morning workout in an effort to sharpen up their tackling and blocking...The Bears are due in Green Bay at 3:20 Saturday afternoon on the Chicago and North Western and will headquarter at the Northland hotel. They'll return to Chicago on the same line at 5:45 Sunday evening.
BEARS WORK ON PASS DEFENSE FOR PACKERS
OCT 1 (Chicago Tribune) - Defense became a matter of primary importance in the Chicago Bears' camp yesterday when scout reports indicated that the Bears will see more passes in their contest at Green Bay Sunday than they have encountered at anytime this year. Coach George Halas ordered a long workout against passes, outlining defenses against Bill Howton, star Packer receiver, even though Packer sources insist the fleet end will not be able to oppose the Chicagoans. Howton missed Sunday's opener against Cleveland because of injured ribs. Halas also warned the squad to be alert for Gib Dawson as a receiver. The rookie halfback from Texas and the Chicago All-Star squad has not figured
prominently in Green Bay's pass attack to date, but Halas expects him to be one of the chief targets of Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote Sunday, particularly if Howton is still incapacitated. Dawson is reputed to be as talented a receiver as most of the National league's better known ends.
DAWSON, BOONE INJURIES MAY HARM PACKERS
OCT 1 (Green Bay) - Coach Gene Ronzani today discounted the possibility that Gib Dawson and J.R. Boone, halfbacks, would be of much service to the Green Bay Packers Sunday when the Chicago Bears come here to open the NFL season in Green Bay. Both are handicapped by pulled leg muscles. The Chicago Bears yesterday held a long workout on offense in Wrigley field emphasizing holding of the ball. Six fumbles, Coach George Halas reminded the squad, resulted in defeat at Baltimore last week.
PACKERS AIM PRACTICE AT BETTER SCORING PLAYS
OCT 1 (Green Bay) - Green Bay Packer drills were aimed at the scoring side of the game Thursday as the Bays prepared for the continuation of the longest rivalry in professional football. The Packers will meet the Chicago Bears in City Stadium here Sunday, for the 69th time since 1921. The Bears have won 39, the Bays 24, with five ties. A sellout crowd of 25,000 was expected as each squad battles for its first victory of the 1953 NFL season. Green Bay was trampled by Cleveland, 27-0, last Sunday, while the Bears lost to the Baltimore Colts, 13-9. Coach Gene Ronzani threw the bulk of practice this week to offensive patterns. The Packers have not scored for six quarters, including the second half of the final exhibition against the Browns and last Sunday's entire game against the same team. End Bill Howton was still out with injuries and fullback Fred Cone was slowly recovering from a bad shaking up from the Browns.
'WE'RE READY FOR THE BEARS'
OCT 2 (Green Bay) - "We're ready for the Bears!" That's the official word from Packer coach Gene Ronzani. The burly Bay mentor made this pronouncement before more than 500 members of the Men's Quarterback club at their first meeting of the 1953 season at Washington Junior High school last night. Ronzani pointed out that the "spirit of the squad is excellent and we're ready to meet the Bears." The traditional rivals clash at City stadium Sunday afternoon. Ronzani paid tribute to the Cleveland Browns, who whipped the Packers 27 to 0 last Sunday. He reviewed their record and added that they are an "exceptionally well coached club." The Quarterbacks greeted Ronzani's brief remarks with loud applause and then settled back to hear comments from other members of the staff - Ray McLean, Hugh Devore and Chuck Drulis. McLean stated that "there are no differences between the coach and the players and among the coaches and players, themselves." He was referring to rumors that cropped up early this week following the loss to the Browns. Devore, in his first season as a Packer assistant, touched on the player-fan relationship and explained that "we want to win for the fine fans in Green Bay." He added, "I'm sure the boys will show you the type of football you deserve against the Bears." Bernard (Boob) Darling, the onetime Packer center who served as master of ceremonies, urged the quarterbacks and "all your friends and fans to back the team to the limit." Darling added, "Let's give these kids a pat on the back and always speak to them on the street; they're fighting for us." The players were introduced individually on the stage. The question-answer period was postponed one week since only three questions were placed in the Q-A box. Ronzani later was interviewed, along with end Bob Mann, by Tony Canadeo on WBAY-TV. At the QB meeting, Jug Earp narrated...The heavy part of the Packer preparation for the Bears was finished with a stiff workout today. Ronzani ordered another 15 minutes of tackling on the dummy yesterday for the purpose of sharpening up the club's tackling and blocking...The Packers Sunday will smash into what Bear coach George Halas claims are the best linebackers in professional football - Jerry Shipkey, 215 pounds, late of the Pittsburgh Steelers; Frank Dempsey, 234, and Gerald Weatherly, 218. For "spare" duty are George Connor, 240, who has been switched to offensive tackle, and John Helwig, 208, the rookie guard from Notre Dame. The trade of Shipkey last winter wasn't greeted with too much gusto in other National league camps. The veteran fullback from UCLA was considered one of the best LB'ers in the game. Arrival of Shipkey permitted Halas to strengthen his offensive line - by switching Connor who will be on the left side. Captain Connor, if things get really tough, will go both ways. The Bears' other offensive tackle is a rookie - Kline Gilbert, a 224-pounder out of Mississippi. He's
replacing Bulldog Turner, who played that position last season after years and years at center and linebacker. Turner since has retired. The Bears are due in Green Bay on the 3:20 North Western Saturday afternoon. They'll headquarter at the Northland hotel.
LUMBERJACK BAND BEST IN 15 YEARS - DIRECTOR
OCT 2 (Green Bay) - The Packer Lumberjack band, which makes its "official" 1953 debut at the Packer-Chicago Bear game in City stadium Sunday afternoon, "is the best band we've had in 15 years," Director Wilner Burke said today. "There is no doubt in my mind that this is the finest organization we've ever had," Burke declared. The band, founded in 1921 by George DeLair, was streamlined to its present size when a reorganization was effected in 1939. Burke served as manager that year and became director the following season. Burke said that a number of newcomers from Neenah, Menasha, Two Rivers, Manitowoc and Green Bay, blending with veteran holdovers, have improved the band's quality even over 1952.
FORESTER SELECTED OUTSTANDING PACKER
OCT 2 (Green Bay) - Bill Forester, rookie linebacker from SMU was selected Friday as the outstanding Packer player in last Sunday's game against the Browns. Forester was credited with eight clean tackles and his fine defensive play helped keep Cleveland's running game in check. He will receive a Benrus wristwatch.
PACKERS FACE BEARS TODAY IN 'MUST' BATTLE
OCT 3 (Green Bay) - Green Bay, the biggest little football town in the world, tonight eagerly awaited the outcome of tomorrow's 69th meeting between its floundering Packers and the Chicago Bears for some clue to the fate of Coach Gene Ronzani. Rumors that Ronzani, a former Bear star and only two seasons ago the toast of the town, was on his way out were stilled temporarily this week when Russ Bogda, club president, announced the executive committee had "full confidence" in him and his staff. A loss tomorrow conceivably could reverse the situation and the betting tonight was that it would. Green Bay, after having been named a top flight championship contender and conquering an unprepared New York Giant eleven in its first exhibition, dropped its next five games, including the league opener to the Cleveland Browns, 27 to 0, in Milwaukee last Sunday. Green Bay is not in the best of shape for tomorrow's Bear invasion, a traditional league home opener for the Packers. Bill Howton, star receiver, has damaged ribs. He did not oppose Cleveland and is not expected to play
tomorrow. Halfbacks J.R. Boone and rookie Gib Dawson from Texas, also were ailing. Ronzani hopes the presence of the Bears, whose series with the Packers constitutes the bitterest and longest in professional football, will add zest to an attack that has failed to score in the second half of its last five games. He steadfastly defends his club, making excuses for its failures with a long recitation of injuries, and unforeseen defections, such as military service and retirements.
PACK TACKLES BEARS BEFORE 25,000 HERE SUNDAY
OCT 3 (Green Bay) - The Packers and Bears - football's oldest and bitterest rivals - resume their traditional football series under strange circumstances at City stadium Sunday afternoon. Both teams already have been handed their first loss - and that's unusual. Rarely do these two clubs go into the early-season battle with a one in the "lost" column and nobody in these parts can quite remembers a similar situation, although the two clubs generally play their opener against each other. Regardless of the standings, a sellout crowd of 25,000 - the game has been sold out for six weeks - will witness the 70th contest in a series that started back in 1921, long before a number of Sunday's combatants were born. Kickoff is set for 1:30. Two other NFL games are set for Sunday afternoon - Cleveland at the Chicago Cardinals and Los Angeles at San Francisco - and two tonight - New York at Pittsburgh and Detroit at the Baltimore Colts. The Packers and Bears have the same intentions for Sunday - getting back into the Western division championship running. The two clubs presently are tied in last place in the Western loop, the Packers having lost to Cleveland, 27 to 0, and the Bears to Baltimore, 13 to 9. The Packers will be starting from scratch in the offense department since they failed to score against the Browns and, incidentally, got into Cleveland territory only three times under their own power. The Bears ripped up and down the field against the Colts but managed only nine points, outyarding their opponents almost two to one. The Colts scored by returning an intercepted pass and two field goals, thus showing up the Bears' defensive
power. The Packers' big offensive wheel, Bill Howton, who caught 13 TD passes last year, will again be sidelined, the result of chest injuries suffered in the non-league against the Browns in Cleveland two weeks ago. Bill is expected to be out for a game or two more. Loss of Howton means that the Packers' important air game will be in the hands of Bob Mann, the veteran light-footer at left end, and Stretch Elliott, who will start in Howton's spot at right end. These two likely will be the chief target of the quarterbacks, Tobin Rote and Babe Parilli, although a host of backs will be eligible. Limited to only 150 yards by rushing and passing last Sunday, the Packers spent just about all week polishing their offense and Coach Gene Ronzani is hoping the Bay rushers and passers can have better success against the Bears. Chief target for the Packer defense, headed by Dick Wildung, Dave Hanner, John Martinkovic and Clayton Tonnemaker, will be George Blanda, probably the starting quarterback, and the famous rookie quarterback from Illinois, Tommy O'Connell. With Eddie Macon at left half and Billy Stone at right and John Hoffman at fullback, the Bears will uncork plenty of speed. Hoffman was switched from offensive end, thus apparently beating out big John Dottley. The Bears will present a top-flight corps of linebackers in Jerry Shipkey, late of Pittsburgh, Frank Dempsey and George Connor or Gerald Weatherly. Connor will start at offensive left tackle - a new spot for him - but could be pressed into linebacking duty. The Bears are expected to start one rookie - right offensive tackle Kline Gilbert of Mississippi - while the Packer starters will be all pro-experienced unless Jim Ringo opens at center for Dave Stephenson. Ronzani could possibly start two other rookies - Gib Dawson at left half and Al Carmichael at right half. Nobody would be very surprised if Halas opened with O'Connell at QB. The last time Halas started a rookie quarterback here was in 1948, when Johnny Lujack broke in - to the tune of a 45-7 Bear victory. Another possible Bear starter is HB Billy Anderson, the Bears' No. 1 draft choice who is rated the fastest man in football...The Bears were due in this afternoon at 3:20 on the North Western. They'll rest tonight at the Northland hotel and return Sunday evening at 5:45 on the North Western. The Packers will be going after their first home victory over the Bears since 1950, when the Bays won 31-21. The Bays also will be going after their second straight win over the Bears, the first of the possible pair coming in Chicago last fall, 41-28. The last time the Packers won two in a row over the Bears occurred late in the 1930s when the Bays won in the nightcap in Chicago by 24-17 in 1938 and took the opener in 1939 by 21-16.