San Francisco 49ers (8-3) 48, Green Bay Packers (2-8-1) 14
Sunday December 6th 1953 (at San Francisco)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(SAN FRANCISCO) - The powerful San Francisco Forty Niners today held the distinction of handing the Green Bay Packers their two worst beatings of the 1953 NFL season. The Forty Niners downed Green Bay 37 to 7 in Milwaukee two weeks ago and yesterday socked the Packers 48 to 14 before 33,887 in Kezar Stadium. The Milwaukee presentation was conducted in a heavy, wet snow and the game here Sunday was played in a driving rainstorm. The defeat placed Green Bay further in the van of the Western division. The Packers now have won two, lost eight and tied one. Green Bay will close its 1953 season at Los Angeles Saturday afternoon. Hugh Devore and Ray McLean, who are co-coaching the Packers in the final two games on the west coast, had little to say after the contest. Devore did comment, however: “When a team’s down, there’s nothing much you can do about it.” Statistically, the game was even. Green Bay had 284 net yards against 293 for San Francisco and led in first downs 17 to 15. But the difference lay in a hard-charging San Francisco forward wall which rushed quarterbacks Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote on passes. The Forty Niners intercepted five passes…BAD PASS FROM CENTER: San Francisco jumped off to a 21-0 lead before the Packers were able to get on the scoreboard. Starting from its own 48 midway in the second quarter, Green Bay went the distance in 10 plays. They were aided by two pass interference penalties. The second, with Green Bay on the San Francisco 16, came on a toss from Parilli to end Bill Howton. Interference was claimed on the one. Then, workhorse fullback Fed Cone plunged over and converted the extra point. The half ended 21-7 shortly after Cone ran with a bad pass from center on a 23 yard field goal attempt but couldn’t make the necessary yardage for a first down. Early in the fourth quarter, with the Forty Niners leading 38-7, Parilli threw a beautiful pass to halfback Don Barton for 42 yards and the final Packer score. Cone again converted. The Forty Niners kicked off to open the game, held the Packers to three yards and then put the ball into play on the Green Bay 49. Left halfback Joe Arenas plunged over center for the last two yards of the scoring drive. The second Forty Niner score was set up when Lowell Wagner intercepted Parilli’s pass and returned 32 yards to Green Bay’s 19. Y.A. Tittle, the San Francisco quarterback, was clipped for a 10-yard loss and then passed to Hugh McElhenny for the score. Gordon Soltau kicked both first quarter conversions…TURNS FIELD INTO MUD: A steady rain turned the field to mud in the second period. The Forty Niners took possession of the ball on the 50-yard line and clipped downfield. Fullback Joe Perry punched ten yards through the middle for the final ten yards. Soltau converted. Two touchdowns and a field goal swamped the Packers in the third period. For the initial score, the Forty Niners went 39 yards on two plays, Arenas covering the last 12 to score. The other touchdown came when halfback Rex Berry intercepted a Parilli aerial and zipped 30 yards. Soltau kicked both conversions and booted a 14-yard field goal. The Forty Niners went 79 yards in five plays for their sixth touchdown, Tittle passing to end Billy Wilson in the end zone for the final two yards. Late in the game, the Forty Niners stole another Green Bay pass on the Packers’ 39 and Soltau kicked a field goal from 28 yards out.
GREEN BAY - 0 7 0 7 - 14
SAN FRANCISCO - 14 7 17 10 - 48
GREEN BAY SAN FRANCISCO
First Downs 17 15
Rushing-Yards-TD 35-94-1 32-115-3
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 35-16-193-1-5 21-11-197-2-1
Sacked-Yards 0-3 2-21
Net Passing Yards 190 176
Total Yards 284 291
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-1
Turnovers 6 2
Yards penalized 3-35 6-44
1ST - SF - Joe Arenas, 2-yard run (Gordie Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 7-0
1ST - SF - Hugh McElhenny, 29-yard pass from Y.A.Tittle (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 14-0
2ND - SF - Joe Perry, 10-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 21-0
2ND - GB - Fred Cone, 1-yard run (Cone kick) SAN FRANCISCO 21-7
3RD - SF - Arenas, 12-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 28-7
3RD - SF - Rex Berry, 30-yard interception return (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 35-7
3RD - SF - Soltau, 14-yard field goal SAN FRANCISCO 38-7
4TH - GB - Don Barton, 42-yard pass from Babe Parilli (Cone kick) SAN FRANCISCO 38-14
4TH - SF - Wilson, 2-yard pass from Tittle (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 45-14
4TH - SF - Soltau, 29-yard field goal SAN FRANCISCO 48-14
GREEN BAY - Fred Cone 12-43 1 TD, Breezy Reid 10-23, Don Barton 3-9, Howie Ferguson 5-9, Al Carmichael 4-5, J.R. Boone 1-5
SAN FRANCISCO - Joe Perry 12-38 1 TD, Billy Mixon 1-30, Hugh McElhenny 6-20, Joe Arenas 8-19 2 TD, Pete Schabarum 3-8, Y.A. Tittle 2-0
GREEN BAY - Babe Parilli 25-13-149 1 TD 3 INT, Tobin Rote 10-3-46 2 INT
SAN FRANCISCO - Y.A. Tittle 20-11-197 2 TD 1 INT, Hal Ledyard 1-0-0
GREEN BAY - Billy Howton 5-79, Al Carmichael 4-29, Bob Mann 2-24, Don Barton 1-42 1 TD, Clive Rush 1-9, Breezy Reid 1-8, Byron Bailey 1-6, Howie Ferguson 1-(-2)
SAN FRANCISCO - Billy Wilson 5-61 1 TD, Hugh McElhenny 2-56 1 TD, Gordie Soltau 2-39, Joe Perry 1-36, Joe Arenas 1-5
RONZANI SAYS: DIDN'T EXPECT IT WOULD BE THAT BAD...!
DEC 7 (San Francisco) - Former head coach Gene Ronzani of the Green Bay Packers shook his head sadly yesterday after the 48-14 rout of the Packers by the San Francisco 49ers and said: “I certainly didn’t expect it would be that bad. There’s no doubt but that San Francisco is the best team in the Western division. You just can’t make mistakes against them. Detroit, which leads the 49ers by one game for the division title with but one game to go, is a good team,” he added, “and has been winning close ones.” Ronzani traveled west to see the game on the same train with the Pack. He attributed many of the Packer defeats this season to injuries to key men at inopportune times. The chunky former coach said he would have worked a phone in the pressbox to help Green Bay if allowed but that Green Bay directors had ordered against it. Nonetheless, he called plays for reporters. On a pass intercepted by San Francisco from Packer quarterback Babe Parilli which went for a score, Ronzani said: “That’s what coaches get blamed for. All season long, I’ve told Parilli and Tobin Rote not to scatter arm their passes. It’s better to eat the ball then to throw it up for grabs.” Asked how Green Bay felt before the game, Ronzani said: “I don’t know. I couldn’t even got into the dressing room. It was something beyond my control. I hated to see them take that beating.”
JOHNSON OUT; PACK FACES DEFENSE PROBLEM FOR LA
DEC 8 (Boys Springs, CA) - Co-Coaches Hugh Devore and Ray McLean faced a serious defensive problem today as they prepared the Green Bay Packers for their 1953 NFL finale against the Rams in LA Saturday. The Packers are down to about “two and a half” defensive halfbacks – Ace Loomis, Bennie Aldridge and an injured Val Joe Walker. Marv Johnson was the object of some immediate “affections” on the part of the San Francisco Forty Niners last Sunday. They ganged up on him early and re-dislocated his shoulder, leaving the Packers with
three defensive halfbacks. Later in the game, Walker was injured and Gib Dawson, an offensive halfback, was pressed into defensive service. Johnson suffered a dislocated shoulder in the Baltimore Colt game Oct. 31, and then was sent to his home in San Francisco to rest up for the last two games on the west coast. Johnson was the second defensive halfback the Packers lost in their last two games. Bobby Dillon, ace of the defensive corps with nine interceptions, suffered injured knees in the Detroit contest Thanksgiving Day and had to be sent home for the rest of the season. Johnson, of course, will be unable to play next Sunday. Devore and McLean will give Dawson and offensive halfback Don Barton practice this week and defense and it’s possible against the Rams on defense. The Packer defense will be getting its stiffest test from the Rams’ great receivers – Tom Fears, Elroy Hirsch, Bob Boyd, to mention a few. When Johnson went out in the Forty Niner game, Devore and McLean switched to a 5-3-3 defense, with Loomis, Aldridge and Walker in the outfield and Clayton Tonnemaker, Bob Forte and Deral Teteak as linebackers. Devore said yesterday that “we really missed Dillon; his presence would have helped control the situation.” The Packers’ offensive line was weakened some fairly early in the game when Len Szafaryn, left tackle, injured his leg. Szafaryn likely will be ready for the Rams…Devore said that “we’re all appreciative of the many fine wires of good wishes sent to us from the fans back home. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the fans on behalf of the players and coaches.”…The Packers will remain at Sonoma Mission Inn here through Wednesday and leave for Los Angeles at 8 o’clock Thursday morning. They’ll arrive in LA at 6 o’clock Thursday evening and headquarter at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel. The Packers heard today that the Rams be in top physical condition for their 1953 contest. In addition, the papers carried news that the Rams have selected Andy Robustelli, defensive right end, as their outstanding lineman of the year. Andy also won that honor last year. The 220-pounder from Arnold College was honored at the Rams’ banquet Monday night at the Biltmore Bowl. Ever since he joined the team in 1951, Robustelli has been recognized as one of the National League’s top defensive wingman. He excels in rushing the passer. Volney (Skeet) Quinlan was voted the outstanding Ram back. Center Leon McLaughlin was give the most valuable player award. Rookie-of-the-year, the Rams voted, was Frank Fuller, their big tackle from Kentucky.
PACKERS MAY DELAY NAMING NEW COACH
DEC 9 (Green Bay) - Green Bay Packers' Executive Committee may not decide on a new coach before the NFL meeting at Philadelphia in January. Although several applications have been received for the job formerly held by Gene Ronzani, a spokesman for the club said the Executive Committee may not name his successor for several weeks. In that case, assistant coaches Hugh Devore and Ray McLean and talent scout Jack Vainisi will attend the NFL draft meeting to pick the college players the Packers want for 1954. Ronzani resigned November 27 as a result of the Packers' poor showing this year. Devore and McLean were named to direct the team in its last two games. The Executive Committee was reported considering several coaches who did not apply for the post but might accept if it were offered. The Packers are in California preparing for their season finale with the Los Angeles Rams Saturday in Los Angeles. Ronzani, who saw the Packers-San Francisco 49er game from the press box, was expected to see the game at Los Angeles as part of his "vacation" trip in the west.
PACK 'STOPPED' PERRY! HOW ABOUT TOWLER?
DEC 9 (Boys Springs, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Almost overlooked in the Green Bay Packers’ 48 to 14 loss to San Francisco last Sunday is the fact that the Bays limited the great Joe Perry to a mere 38 yards rushing. Perry carried 12 times for an average of 3.2 per trip – well below his league leading 5.2. In eleven games thus far, Perry has piled up 910 yards in 175 attempts. He gained 153 yards rushing against the Packers in Milwaukee earlier. In holding off Perry, the Bays forced The Jet to lose ground to the Los Angeles Rams’ great Dan Towler, who ranks second in the ground derby with 795 yards in 143 tries, an average of 4.6. The Packers, in the process of preparing here for their 1953 NFL finale in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon, are keeping Towler in mind – not to mention Skeets Quinlan, the tiny but swift LA halfback who ranks right behind Towler in the league’s ground race. Quinlan moved 680 yards in 94 attempts for the best average in the league – 7.2 per trip. Breezy Reid, the Packers’ left halfback, gained only 23 yards in 10 carries against the Forty Niners but managed to move from 10th to ninth place in league rushing. Reid ran 83 times for 444 yards thus far for an average of 5.3. The latest statistics pointed out for the Packers that Elroy Hirsch has been the Rams’ most effective pass catcher. Hirsch ranks fifth in the league with 52 catches for 745 yards and four touchdowns. The Rams’ Tom Fears, who plays left end, and Bob Boyd, who plays right end behind Hirsch, are not listed among the top ten players. With the retirement of kicker Ben Agajanian,
Hirsch and Fears also divide up the field goal and extra point kicking chores…VAN BROCKLIN TAKES SECOND: With a hot performance against the Baltimore Colts last Saturday, Ram quarterback Norm Van Brocklin moved into second place in passing with an average of 9.45 yards per attempt. Otto Graham of Cleveland is first with 10.60 and Y.A. Tittle of San Francisco third with 8.14. The Packers’ Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote are 13th and 14th, respectively. Babe is averaging 5.65 per throw and Rote 5.26. Each has thrown four touchdown passes. Co-Coaches Hugh Devore and Ray McLean were faced today with offensive and defensive problems. The problem on offense was merely lack of scoring. The Bays were limited to 14 against ‘Frisco last Sunday, 15 against Detroit and seven against ‘Frisco in Milwaukee – 36 in three games, or an average of 12 per. The emphasis was on passing in practice this week since the Rams aren’t blessed with the best pass defense in the league. At least the LA club doesn’t have a player among the first 10 in pass interceptions. Defensively, Devore and McLean worked Gib Dawson and Don Barton into the hole left by Marv Johnson, who suffered his second shoulder dislocation in two games Sunday. In the Detroit game, the Packers lost defensive back Bobby Dillon. The Rams likely will aim their passing attack at Dawson and/or Barton right quick in an effort to get the jump Saturday.
RAMS LEAD LEAGUE IN SCORING, RUNNING
DEC 9 (Los Angeles) - Small consolation, to be sure, what with their titular aspirations kaput, but the Rams can collect a few NFL statistical honors provided they have a red-hot afternoon here Saturday when they play Green Bay. At the moment, they’re leading the league in rushing with 1,990 yards, are tied with Philadelphia and San Francisco in total touchdowns with 43 apiece and are pushing the Eagles for total offense honors…RATTLE AND ROLL: But the Rams really will have to rattle and roll to salvage any of these team championships, on account the 49ers will be able to name the score when they host the beat-up Baltimore Colts Sunday. At the moment San Francisco is only six points behind L.A. in scoring and a scant 12 yards in rushing. Los Angeles hasn’t won team ground gaining honors since 1947 when the greatest collection of ball carriers in the club’s history amassed 2,171 yards, men like Gehrke, Washington, Harmon, Banta, Horvath, Hoffman, Bleeker, Magnani and West. Remember?...TOTAL YARDAGE: In scoring, though, Los Angeles has led the league since 1950. The Rams set an all-time high of 466 points that season, and followed up with 392 in ’51 and 349 last season. If Hamp Pool’s charges can make hay all weekend while the Eagles are up against Cleveland, the NFL’s strongest defensive team, they could come up with the total yardage crown. Jim Trimble’s Eagles now lead the Rams by 102 yards – 4,352 to 4,250. Cleveland won last year with 4,352 yards by the all-time record of 5,506 yards belongs to the ’51 Rams. The Packers, recovering from that nasty accident at Kezar Stadium Sunday, will come to town tomorrow afternoon. They will stay at the Hollywood Roosevelt. It’ll be another nationally-televised contest…nationally, that is, except for Southern California.
FORTE LOST FOR PACK FINAL
DEC 10 (Boys Springs, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – The Green Bay Packers received another blow where it hurts most – on defense – as they arrived here today to complete preparations for their 1953 NFL finale against the Los Angeles Rams in the Coliseum Sunday afternoon. Capt. Bob Forte, the veteran linebacker, has been called to New Orleans to be with his father, who will undergo a serious operation this weekend. His father was injured in an auto accident recently and has been in critical condition. Thus, the Packers have suffered serious losses in the last three weeks. Defensive halfback Bobby Dillon injured both knees late in the Detroit game, after intercepting four passes, and was lost for the two games on the west coast. Against San Francisco last Sunday, defensive halfback Marv Johnson re-dislocated his shoulder and will be unable to play against the Rams. And now Forte will also miss the finale! Roger Zatkoff, the former Michigan linebacker and tackle who displayed amazing ability as a defensive end in the last four or five games, will be readied for duty as a linebacker. Stretch Elliott probably will replace Zatkoff as defensive end. The number of linebackers used will depend on the type of defense in operation, Co-Coaches Hugh Devore and Ray McLean said. At times against ‘Frisco, Forte, Deral Teteak and Clayton Tonnemaker worked at the same time. Under this setup, Zatkoff would take Forte’s position Some of the early training at Boys Springs, near San Francisco, was spent in breaking in a new defensive halfback to replace Johnson and work with Val Joe Walker, who was hurt against the Forty Niners, Bennie Aldridge and Ace Loomis. Worked into the defensive unit were Gib Dawson and Don Barton, both offensive halfbacks, and Clive Rush, an offensive end. A good ball hawk, Rush could find a home as a defensive halfback – depending, of course, on his ability as a tackler. The Packers left their Sonoma Mission Inn headquarters at 6 o’clock this morning and were due to arrive at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel this evening at 6 o’clock, losing a full day of much needed practice. Devore and McLean will give the squad a good workout Friday and then await the kickoff which is set for 4 o’clock (Green Bay time) Saturday afternoon.
WADE, RICHTER ESCAPE KNEE OPERATIONS
DEC 10 (Los Angeles) - Two of the most valuable knees in football, belonging to Bill Wade and Les Richter, will not undergo surgery, according to Coach Hampton Pool of the Rams, who is counting on Wade and Richter to join the Rams next season. Wade, star Vanderbilt quarterback, and Richter, former California All-America guard, both suffered knee injuries in service football this past season. Operations were indicated at first, but Pool has been advised by medicos that surgery is not necessary.
SC ROSE BOWL HEROES – BUKICH AND CARMICHAEL – MEET SATURDAY
DEC 10 (Los Angeles) – For the second time since they were the twin heroes of Troy’s 7-0 Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, the paths of Rudy Bukich and Al (Hoagy) Carmichael will cross again Saturday. Bukich, the slingin’ Slav, will play a spot of quarterback for the Rams while his ex-teammate keeps busy running the ball for the Green Bay Packers. It was Bukich’s 22-yard strike to Carmichael in the end zone last New Year’s Day which ended the Big Ten’s long (and
slightly embarrassing) domination of the Pasadena classic…NO. 1 CHOICE: A couple of weeks later, at the NFL draft meeting, Carmichael was Green Bay’s Number 1 choice while Bukich was taken by the Rams in the third round. While neither has burned up the pro league as rookies, each has had his big moments. Carmichael’s best game was against the Rams in Milwaukee when he returned kickoffs and punts for an incredible total of 238 yards. His four longest runs covered 57, 52, 44 and 43 yards, and it wasn’t his fault that the Packers were beaten, 38 to 20…FIRST SCORE: Bukich scored his first and only touchdown for the Rams in that game – on a buck after directing a long march. It was Rudy’s first appearance in a league game and he made the most of it by completing five of eight passes for 84 yards. His best game, though, was at Chicago when he rallied the Rams from a 17-0 deficit with a 10-point splurge that led to an eventual 24-24 tie with the Cardinals. Bukich, who can fire the ball a mile, has a seasonal passing record of 29 attempts, 14 completions for 169 yards but no touchdowns and only one interception. He has appeared in seven games…RELAX, YOUNG MAN: Sometimes Bukich grows impatient because Hamp Pool doesn’t use him more. Relax, Rudy. A guy named Van Brocklin got to throw only 58 passes in his rookie year with the Rams. While yet in the Marines, Carmichael had a tryout with the Rams at Redlands in ’49, but Clark Shaughnessy advised him to acquire a college education before turning pro. At the time, Shag said that Al was good enough to make the team. Some observers feel that Jess Hill did not take advantage of the Gardena galloper’s running ability last year by using him, for the most part, as a wingback…NIFTY AVERAGE: With Green Bay, Carmichael has averaged 4.2 yards on 45 carries. He ranks third among NFL punt returners with a 10-yard average and seventh in kickoff returns with a flossy 25-yard mean. His singleton score of the season was accomplished on a 41-yard dash through the Chicago Bears. Gene Ronzani, able but deposed coach of the Packers who made the western trip with them at his own expense, arrived in town last night. The Packers, now directed by Ronzani’s former aides, Ray (Scooter) McLean and Hugh Devore, are due to check in at the Hollywood Roosevelt tonight. Although the team had a disappointing season from an artistic standpoint, it will show a profit, according to Jug Earp, the Packer publicitor. Which should be music to the ears of the clubs’ 1,700 stockholders.
RAMS 14-POINT PICK TO WHIP PACK; WATCH AL, RUDY BUKICH!
DEC 11 (Los Angeles-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Los Angeles Rams ruled a solid 14-point favorite to whip the Green Bay Packers before 25,000 witnesses and a national television audience at the Coliseum Saturday afternoon. The Rams downed the Packers 38 to 20 in their first NFL meeting in Milwaukee Oct. 11. Little has happened since to indicate that the Packers will reverse the Rams’ chances. Los Angeles presently holds a 7-3-1 record, two of the losses being administered by the San Francisco Forty Niners and the other by the Chicago Bears. The Chicago Cardinals were responsible for the tie. The Rams whipped the world champion Detroit Lions twice. Ram Coach Hampton Pool is expecting a tough battle despite damaging injuries suffered by the Packers, as well as the loss of Captain Bob Forte, who was called to Louisiana by the illness of his father. Green Bay will enter the contest with a 2-8-1 mark, the two victories coming over the Baltimore Colts. Also out of action are defensive halfback Marvin Johnson and fullback Howie Ferguson. Johnson re-dislocated his shoulder and Ferguson suffered chest injuries in last Sunday’s San Francisco game. Packer Co-Coaches Hugh Devore and Ray McLean sent the Bays through their last workout of the 1953 season today. A good share of the time had to be spent in polishing a makeshift defense brought about by the loss of Forte and Johnson. Working in the defensive outfield were offensive halfbacks Gib Dawson and Don Barton and end Clive Rush. Getting considerable “play” out here is the battle between the Packers’ Al Carmichael, who likely will be in the starting lineup, and Ram quarterback Rudy Bukich, who is understudy to veteran Norm Van Brocklin. Carmichael and Bukich were teammates at Southern California for four years and in the 1953 Rose Bowl game Bukich threw the touchdown pass to Carmichael that beat Wisconsin 7 to 0. Carmichael likely will work with halfback Floyd Reid, quarterback Babe Parilli and fullback Fred Cone in the starting Bay backfield. Capt. Don Paul will lead the Rams into action. The Rams, their title hopes blasted by a total of eight points scored by the Forty Niners and Bears in three games, apparently have retained their local popularity. They will have performed before more than 500,000 fans in nine home games. Kickoff Saturday is set for 4 o’clock, Green Bay time. The Packers are headquartering at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. They’ll leave LA at 10 o’clock Saturday night by train, scattering to their home in all parts of the country. Devore and McLean will return to Green Bay after the contest.
BIG NY JOINS LITTLE GB IN COACHING HUNT; COLTS NEXT? 2 PIONEERS LEFT
DEC 11 (Green Bay) - New York, the largest city in the NFL, today joined the Green Bay Packers, the loop’s smallest city, in a hunt for coaches to head their professional football teams. And judging from stories making the rounds, the league’s newest city, Baltimore, will soon join Green Bay and New York in the same quest. The Packers started their search last week – shortly after accepting the resignation of Gene Ronzani and naming Hugh Devore and Ray McLean co-coaches for the last two games on the west coast. The Giants of New York will have Steve Owen coach for one more game – the 1953 finale against Detroit’s lions in New York Sunday. Steve’s retirement, announced yesterday, becomes effective after the contest…BIGGEST TURNOVER IN YEARS: Baltimore is reportedly dissatisfied with the work of Keith Molesworth, the former Chicago Bear quarterback. The Colts, who played as the Dallas Texans in ’52, won three games thus far – two over the Chicago Bears and one over Washington. They meet the powerful San Francisco Forty Niners Sunday. If the Colts make a change, the league will be undergoing one of the biggest one-season coaching turnovers in years. The remaining nine clubs apparently will stand pat with their 1953 staffs, although rumblings were heard out of Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Chicago Cardinals and Detroit. Pitt owner Art Rooney quieted talk about Coach Joe Bach leaving recently when he announced that Joe would return in ’54. Los Angeles’ unexpected tie with the lowly Chicago Cardinals Nov. 15 brought out the wolves in the City of Stars, but Coach Hampton Pool is still there and likely will remain for another year. Hamp may have trouble, though, if the Rams lose to the Packers Sunday. The Ram management must be considered “touchy” on the basis of their many coaching changes in the last five years…IT COULD BACKFIRE!: Despite the Cardinals’ poor record (0-10-1), jovial Joe Stydahar will remain out of Walter Wolfner’s doghouse for at least another year.
However, Joe’s remarks this week about his lack of good players – not to mention the rescinded fines, won’t sit so hot in the player psychology department. It could backfire! The Cards play the Bears Sunday. Buddy Parker might run into trouble if the Detroit Lions lose to the Giants Sunday and drop a playoff to San Francisco. The Lions haven’t been world beaters this year and stories of dissension on the club weren’t all corn. The Lions are a terrific team but some of the stars are still living on the 1952 gravy. With the bacon in sight again, however, the Lions could jell overnight and make it easier for Buddy next year. Owner George Halas of the Bears isn’t expected to fire himself – or resign, as they put it these days. However, Halas might “realign” his staff for ’54. It’s a known fact that all is not peaches and creams among the coaching aides. George was about ready to be ties a couple of times this season, and for various games appointed this or that aide to take charge of this or that game. Halas won’t continue with that hit-and-miss setup. Fixtures, of course, are Paul Brown at Cleveland, Curly Lambeau at Washington, Jim Trimble at Philadelphia and Buck Shaw at San Francisco…TWO PIONEERS LEFT: The resignation of Owen left Lambeau and Halas as the league’s only remaining active pioneer coaches. Steve came on as Giants’ head coach in 1931 after years of playing with the Giants, while Lambeau and Halas are both charter mentors, starting Green Bay and the Bears, respectively, in league competition in 1921 after a couple of years of non-league play. Lambeau, Halas and Owen all have experienced rocky times. Halas’ Bears have been on the skids for two seasons, but Lambeau is this year making a comeback (6-4-1) after experiencing trouble in Green Bay from 1948 (3-9) through 1949 (2-10), with the Cardinals in 1950 (5-7) and 1951 (3-9), and in his first year with Washington, 1952 (4-8). Owen’s decision to retire marked a rather tragic end to his career. Big, likeable Steve always had a reputation for his rugged defenses. Yet, his Giants suffered two of the most lopsided defeats in pro history in the last two years – 63 to 7 at the hands of Pittsburgh in ’52 and 62-14 to Cleveland just last Sunday. Maybe the Giants can give Steve a going-upstairs gift Sunday – a victory over the world champion Detroit Lions. It would be a wonderful tribute to a wonderful guy!
REAL PACKER FANS!
DEC 11 (Green Bay) – “You are real Packer fans and deserve congratulations,” Chief Quarterback Jerry Atkinson told 50-odd quarterbacks who attended Thursday night’s meeting of the Men’s Quarterback Club at Washington Junior High School. Since pictures of the Packers’ game against Detroit and San Francisco were not available, the quarterbacks were shown two “earlier” Packer games – the 31 to 21 victory over the Bears here in ’45 and a 24 to 0 loss to the New York Giants in 1944. The Packers beat the Giants 14-7 in the championship game that year. Former Packer halfback Joe Laws, who appeared in both games, narrated the pictures, referring to himself as “the old man.”
RAMS SEEK 10TH STRAIGHT OVER PACKERS
DEC 11 (Los Angeles) - Hamp Pool's Rams will be shooting for their 10th straight win since '48 over Green Bay tomorrow - and they're gonna let the Packer have it with both barrels if possible. "I know this sounds like a football coach talking," said Pool, the football coach, "but Green Bay is in a lovely spot to knock us off. The Packers probably figure we'll be 'down' since dropping out of contention. If Green Bay plays the kind of football it did in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, we'll have all we can handle."...BURNING MIDNIGHT OIL: It goes without saying that Pool and his staff are taking the game seriously, although it will have no bearing on the NFL race. The coaches were still at work when I called Pool on the phone at Ram headquarters Wednesday near midnight. Green Bay has a lot of good football players but the club just didn't seem to jell this year after most of the experts had tabbed it as the darkhorse entry. The quarterbacks, Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote, placed and showed behind Dutch Van Brocklin in the 1952 aerial sweepstakes. For some inexplainable reason, they now rank 13th and 14th in the league...BEST WINGMAN: Bill Howton was far and away the NFL's best offensive end last season. He missed the first four league games this year because of injuries. Bill and the speedy Bob Mann present a dangerous threat to the leaky L.A. defense. Fullback Fred Cone is an underrated player. He's the league's fifth-ranking scorer, with 69 points. The Clemson grad has scored six touchdowns, kicked four field goals and added 21 extra points. At least three Packer defensive men would be standouts on any man's ball club: end Johnny Martinkovic, linebacker Clayton Tonnemaker and tackle Dave Hanner...FORMER RAMS: Three former Rams are with the club: Trapper Dave Stephenson, center; fullback Howard Ferguson and halfback Marv Johnson. The latter is out with a shoulder injury. Also missing will the Packer captain, Bob Forte, who flew to New Orleans yesterday to be with his ailing father. In baseball, the last game of the season between noncontenders generally turns into a hippodrome with everybody clowning it up with pitchers catching and catchers pitching, etc. I asked Pool if he was gonna let Don Paul play quarterback tomorrow and he turned purple. "We're going to play this one for all it's worth," he snapped. "We've already lost our share." Ram fans will get another long look at the two rookies, linebacker Bob Griffin and end Gene Lipscomb, who wowed 'em last week. Both will start on defense.
PACKERS' FINALE AGAINST RAMS ON TV
DEC 11 (Los Angeles) - The Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams wind up their 1953 NFL campaign in a Saturday afternoon battle at Memorial Coliseum. The Rams are solid favorites to hand the Packers their ninth setback of the regular season and do it before some 25,000 witnesses and a national television audience. The contest is set to start at 4 p.m. (Milwaukee time) and will be televised over WTMJ-TV. The Rams, their title hopes blasted by a total of eight points scored by the San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears in three games, apparently have retained their local popularity. They will have performed before more than 500,000 fans in nine home games. Green Bay became an early victim of injuries, but the club can always be expected to give any rival, including the Rams, a busy afternoon. Leading the Packer attack will be a backfield composed of Babe Parilli, Floyd Reid, Al Carmichael and Fred Cone. The Rams will lead off with Norm Van Brocklin, Skeet Quinlan, V.T. Smith, and "Deacon Dan" Towler. Local patrons will be watching the efforts of Carmichael and the Rams' alternate quarterback, Rudy Bukich. There were the touchdown combination for Southern California which doomed Wisconsin, 7-0, in the Rose Bowl game last New Year's Day. The Rams have 12-3 edge in the series with the Packers. Los Angeles won the first meeting this season at Milwaukee, 38-20.
RAMS CLOSE OUT IN TIFF WITH PACKERS
DEC 12 (Los Angeles) - It's all out, end of the line for the Rams today...and for the Green Bay Packers, too. The Los Angeles pros close out their 20-game schedule as they go gunning for their 10th consecutive win over the Packers. Kickoff time is 2 o'clock and the anticipated "small but enthusiastic gathering" will rattle around the Coliseum like a dice in a rain barrel...OUTSIDE CHANCE: It would be a nice gesture for rabid Ram rooters to give their heroes a resounding sendoff today. They finally missed the boat after four successive seasons in titular contention, but their overall '52 record of 13-5-1 for 19 games is by no means disgraceful. Hamp Pool's third-place team still is in there punching for league honors in total offense, rushing and scoring. Dan Towler and Crazy Legs Hirsch yet have an outside chance to win their specialties. But none of these things will be settled until after all returns are in tomorrow...STRONG OFFENSE: It should be a spirited contest, being a "salary" game. Even the goldbrickers put out on the final round, hoping for a tilt in salary come spring. Pool already has said that extensive revamping of the personnel is necessary for '54, particularly in his platoon on defense. Trades and "retirements" announcements can be expected after the NFL meeting next month. "We lead the league in scoring with a 30-point average, but we can't win unless we stop the other fellow," Pool pointed out. "Our offense will take care of itself" The aforesaid defense should pump up its average today; Green Bay has only two wins over Baltimore and a tie with the Bears to show for 11 games. Green Bay's exiled coach, Gene Ronzani, will be in the press box this afternoon enjoying an enforced vacation while his former aides, Ray (Scooter) McLean and Hugh Devore, handle the club. Incidentally, the Packers' stockholders, all 1,700, have appointed a screening committee to choose Ronzani's successor. The unlucky fellow will be named after the season ends but before the drafting conclave...STARTS REGULARS: Pool will pull no punches today although the Rams breezed to a 38-20 win over the Packers in Milwaukee. He will start his No. 1 backfield of Norm Van Brocklin, Skeet Quinlan, Vitamin Smith and Towler, along with Tom Fears and Hirsch at the ends. Rookies Gene Lipscomb and Bob Griffin, who caught the fancy of the Baltimore game's gathering last week, are listed as defensive starters...SPLIT-T ATTACK: Either Babe Parilli or Tobin Rote will lead Green Bay's split-T attack. Floyd Reid and SC's Al Carmichael are the starting halfbacks with versatile Fred Cone at full. Other artists of note in the Packer cast include Bill Howton, Bob Mann, J.R. Boone, Val Joe Walker, Gib Dawson and Clayton Tonnemaker.
CRIPPLED PACKERS FACE RAMS IN FINALE AT LA
DEC 12 (Los Angeles) - The Green Bay Packers, who are crippled defensively almost beyond recognition, face the Los Angeles Rams in Memorial Coliseum here this afternoon in the 1953 NFL finale for both clubs. Kickoff is set for 4 o'clock, Green Bay time, and a crowd of around 25,000 is expected. The game will be televised nationally. The Packers will be trying to post that elusive third victory while the Rams will be going for win No. 8. The Bays experienced seven losses and managed a tie with the Chicago Bears. The Rams lost three and tied the Chicago Cardinals. Los Angeles enters today's game a goof 14-point favorite. Hampton Pool's club downed the Packers 38 to 20 in Milwaukee earlier. Packer Co-Coaches Hugh Devore and Ray McLean said that the Bays are in "fine mental condition but the physical condition is terrible." The Packers will try to combat the strong Los Angeles air game with only two defensive outfielders - Ace Loomis and Bennie Aldridge. Val Joe Walker was limping in practice Friday and will be at half-speed today. Marv Johnson re-dislocated his shoulder last Sunday and is out. In the Thanksgiving Day game at Detroit, Bobby Dillon was lost for the season by injuries. Devore and McLean said that end Clive Rush and offensive halfbacks Don Barton and Gib Dawson will be pressed into defensive service. Also on defense, the Packers will play without Capt. Bob Forte, who left the squad Wednesday to be with his critically ill father in Louisiana. This means that defensive end Roger Zatkoff will have to move into Forte's linebacking position. Because of the shortage of outfielders, the co-coaches may have to go with three linebackers - Zatkoff, Deral Teteak and Clayton Tonnemaker, thus reducing their chances against the Rams' air machine. The Bays, with Zatkoff going as a LB'er, will be down to two ends on defense, one of whom, Carleton Elliott, plays mostly on offense. The other is all-pro John Martinkovic. The injuries offensively aren't quite as serious, but there are some. Both fullbacks are ailing. Howie Ferguson has chest injuries and probably won't play at al while Fred Cone has been limping...ROTE MAY START: Veteran Tobin Rote may get the starting call over Babe Parilli at quarterback. Floyd Reid, the league's top ground gainer, will be at left half. Al Carmichael at right and Cone at fullback. If Cone is slowed down too much by injuries, Reid may shift to fullback. Limited to two touchdowns or less in their last three games, the Packers face the necessity of scoring at least four TDs this afternoon - in view of the club's weakened defense. Expected to see considerable action are Barton and Dawson. Barton caught a touchdown pass from Parilli last Sunday and was open on a couple of other occasions. Dawson, hampered by pulled muscles most of the season, is in good condition and anxious to run. The Rams haven't changed since Milwaukee. Van Brocklin is expected to throw most of the day to Elroy Hirsch, Tom Fears and Bob Boyd - their ace pass catchers, and to hand off to big Dan Towler on rushing plays. The Packers will leave here by train at 10 o'clock tonight and scatter to their homes in all parts of the country. Those returning to Green Bay, including Devore and McLean, are due to arrive here on the North Western at 8:20 Monday night.
REICHARDT ON ALL-AAF '11'
DEC 12 (Washington) - Bill Reichardt of Bolling Air Force base, who formerly starred at the University of
HUGH DEVORE FAST FACTS
* Hugh Devore was a freshman end at Notre Dame in Coach Knute Rockne's final year, 1930, and was the Fighting Irish's co-captain his senior year. He went to Notre Dame from St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, N.J. * Devore twice served one-year stints as coach at Notre Dame, posting a 7-2-1 record in 1945 and going 2-7 in 1963. From 1958-67 he was freshman coach and recruiter at Notre Dame and was head coach for two separate one-year periods. He later was assistant athletic director.
* He was also a head coach at Providence, St. Bonaventure, New York University and the University of Dayton, as well as an assistant at Notre Dame and Holy Cross.
* He coached the Eagles in 1956 and 1957, where his teams were 7-16-1, after having been an assistant with the Green Bay Packers in 1953.
* His last coaching job was with the Houston Oilers.
* At Fordham, he coached the ``Seven Blocks of Granite,`` including Vince Lombardi.
* After leaving the Houston Oilers, Devore worked for the Houston Sports Association, a position he retained until retiring at the age of 75.
Iowa and with the Green Bay Packers, was named on the 1953 All-Air Force football team yesterday. Bill, who made the switch to defense this year, was a devastating linebacker as well as a pulverizer of enemy forward walls. Voted the most valuable player in the Big Ten in 1951, he led the midwest in ground gaining and was named to several All-American teams. Five-yard Reichardt, as he was nicknamed, gained 630 yards in 127 carries for an average of 6.5. Weighing 215 pounds and possessing the speed of many halfbacks, Bill blasted through enemy tacklers and was the hardest man on the team to bring down. Bolling AFB had one of the top service teams in the nation and were ranked in back of Fort Ord and the Quantico Marines. Led by Reichardt, the Generals, after dropping their first three games, won their last seven in a row. Reichardt will receive a gold watch for one of the top five vote getters in the Air Force Times poll for the 1953 All-USAF team.
TIME OUT! BY ORV WONDER (OSHKOSH NORTHWESTERN)
DEC 12 (Oshkosh) - After glancing over the NFL statistical tables on individual efforts, it's easy to see why the Green Bay Packers are locked in the loop cellar. There isn't a Packer anywhere near the leaders in the various departments outside of Al Carmichael, one of the prize rookies of the season - and a dark and dreary campaign it is, too, for the Bays. Green Bay's top ground gainer is Breezy Reid down in ninth place with 444 yards. The leader is Joe Perry of the 49ers with a bulging 910 yards. The air arm long has been the pro's measuring stick. Green Bay's passed are so far down they'll never see daylight. Babe Parilli is the No. 1 Bay passer but tanks 13th - Tobin Rote is a notch below that. There are no Packers listed in the pass receiving tables and when it come to the punting list, the Packers draw another blank. Fred Cone is the Bay's No. 1 scorer and ranks fifth with 69 points - 30 behind Lou "The Toe" Groza of the famed Cleveland Browns. Carmichael is the only Packer to make the grade twice. He's third in punt returns and seventh in kickoff returns. Bobby Dillon, plagued by injuries, is fifth among interception leaders with nine steals - the leader has only 11 filched aerials. With so little to offer, there's no reason whatsoever to think the Packers will "upset" the Los Angeles Rams in a TV game beginning at 4 o'clock this afternoon. I like the Rams by plenty!