The 1954 Green Bay Packers - 4-8 (5TH - Western Conference)
Head Coach: Lisle Blackbourn
1954 PRE-SEASON RESULTS (2-4)
AUGUST (1-2) RESULT RECORD ATT RSH PSS RSH PSS STARTING QB LEADING RUSHER LEADING PASSER LEADING RECEIVER
14 Chicago Cardinals at Minneapolis L 10-27 0- 1-0 21,000
21 G-CLEVELAND BROWNS L 13-14 0- 2-0 15,747
28 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 36-14 1- 2-0 14,012
4 Philadelphia Eagles at Hershey, PA L 13-24 1- 3-0 6,134
11 Washington Redskins at Raleigh, NC W 31- 3 2- 3-0 16,000
18 M-NEW YORK GIANTS L 27-38 2- 4-0 17,000
1954 REGULAR SEASON RESULTS
26 G-PITTSBURGH STEELERS (0-0) L 20-21 0- 1-0 20,675 161 91 128 316 Tobin Rote Breezy Reid (95) Tobin Rote (101) Billy Howton (3-69)
3 G-CHICAGO BEARS (0-1) L 3-10 0- 2-0 24,414 95 179 81 142 Tobin Rote Breezy Reid (71) Tobin Rote (192) Billy Howton (4-100)
10 M-SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-0-1) L 17-23 0- 3-0 15,571 52 94 271 101 Tobin Rote Howie Ferguson (41) Tobin Rote (126) Two tied with 2 each
17 M-LOS ANGELES RAMS (1-1-1) W 35-17 1- 3-0 17,455 175 273 168 277 Tobin Rote Tobin Rote (75) Tobin Rote (284) Howie Ferguson (7-49)
24 at Baltimore Colts (1-3) W 7- 6 2- 3-0 28,680 102 192 131 90 Tobin Rote Breezy Reid (77) Tobin Rote (214) Billy Howton (11-147)
30 at Philadelphia Eagles (4-1) W 37-14 3- 3-0 25,378 66 89 102 101 Tobin Rote Tobin Rote (46) Tobin Rote (148) Billy Howton (4-31)
7 at Chicago Bears (3-3) L 23-28 3- 4-0 47,038 153 182 104 278 Tobin Rote Veryl Switzer (56) Tobin Rote (204) Max McGee (5-77)
13 M-BALTIMORE COLTS (1-6) W 24-13 4- 4-0 19,786 188 154 240 84 Tobin Rote Howie Ferguson (112) Tobin Rote (164) Howie Ferguson (5-44)
21 G-DETROIT LIONS (6-1) L 17-21 4- 5-0 20,767 74 277 188 230 Tobin Rote Al Carmichael (35) Tobin Rote (294) Billy Howton (7-101)
25 at Detroit Lions (7-1) L 24-28 4- 6-0 55,532 133 217 85 214 Tobin Rote Breezy Reid (61) Tobin Rote (254) Two tied with 4 each
5 at San Francisco 49ers (5-4-1) L 0-35 4- 7-0 32,012 55 216 237 212 Tobin Rote Breezy Reid (27) Tobin Rote (152) Howie Ferguson (7-53)
12 at Los Angeles Rams (5-5-1) L 27-35 4- 8-0 38,839 74 195 136 434 Tobin Rote Howie Ferguson (15) Tobin Rote (178) Max McGee (9-105)
G - Green Bay M - Milwaukee
1954 IN REVIEW
New coach Lisle Blackbourn hardly endeared himselves to the faithful as the Packers lost their first three games, but the team suddenly came around, beating the Rams, Eagles and Colts (twice) for four wins in their next five games. Blackbourn hardly had time to enjoy the renaissance, though, as the Lions (twice), 49ers and Rams handed Green Bay four painful losses to end the season.
PACKER GENERAL MANAGERS
For the first three decades of the Packer franchise, the general manager could be easily identified. He was the head coach - Curly Lambeau and, then, Gene Ronzani. In 1954, the Executive Committee decided it was time to make a change in the management structure. As the NFL became more complex, it was apparent that one person would be hard pressed to put together a team, coach that team, keep on top of the free agent talent, prepare for a college draft, and handle the administrative details. As a result, former Packer legend Verne Lewellen was handed the reins as the first "true" general manager in
team history. In 1928, while still playing for Green Bay, he ran successfully for Brown County district attorney, as a Republican, against teammate Lavie Dilweg. Re-elected in 1930, he was swept out of office in the Roosevelt-Democratic landslide of 1932. In 1950, he rejoined the Packers as a member of the executive committee. He was general manager from 1954-58, and remained with the franchise as the business manager from 1961-67. Lewellen's claim to fame may have been moving the Packer training camp to St. Norbert College in 1958. The Packers had practiced in Grand Rapids, Minnesota (1951-53) and at Stevens Point State College (1954-57) prior to the decision to relocate closer to home. Vince Lombardi came to Green Bay in 1959 as head coach and general manager, ending Lewellen's tenure.
PACKER GENERAL MANAGERS SINCE 1959
VINCE LOMBARDI (1959-68) - In all but his final year, Lombardi served as both head coach and general manager. After one uncomfortable year in the front officer, the Hall-of-Famer moved on to Washington, where cancer cut his life short.
PHIL BENGSTON (1969-70) - Bengston picked up the reins as GM from Lombardi, but his draft record during his two-year dual reign was questionable at best.
DAN DEVINE (1971-74) - Devine may have won a division title in 1972, and had a number of productive draft choices, his overall report card as general manager could be summed up in one word: John Hadl, a trade which backfired.
BART STARR (1975-80) - After five years as head coach and GM, Starr had a record of 31-57-2. The Executive Committee stripped him of the GM role following a 5-11 record in 1980, and the position remained open for seven years.
TOM BRAATZ (1987-91) - Other than a productive draft in 1990, Braatz, whose official title was Executive Vice President of football operations , accomplished little in his tenure, and was fired in the middle of a 4-12 season.
RON WOLF (1991-2001) - Wolf acted quickly as the new GM, firing Lindy Infante, hiring Mike Holmgren, and acquiring Brett Favre in his first six months. For most, his tenure was the most successful as a GM in Green Bay.
MIKE SHERMAN (2001-05) - By the end of Sherman's dual tenure, the debate over having one person in both roles was raging again. Team CEO Bob Harlan restructured the team's football operations, and removed Sherman as GM after the 2004 season.
TED THOMPSON (2005-2018) - Thompson has definitely left his fingerprints on the franchise - firing Sherman one year after taking over as GM, ushering in the end of the Brett Favre era, and trying to restore the Packers to Super Bowl contention. While not always popular with the fans, he has become best known as being allegedly adverse to free agency and trades, preferring to build the team through the draft. Thompson has already brought home one Super Bowl trophy, and has the team in position to contend for even more hardware for the trophy case.
BRIAN GUTEKUNST (2018 - Now) - He originally joined the team in 1998 and served as a scout and assistant executive before being promoted in general manager in 2018. He was promoted to director of player personnel in March 2016. In January 2018, Packers general manager Ted Thompson, who had been recently diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disorder, assumed a reduced role and named Gutekunst to the position after interviewing other internal candidates.
NAME NO POS HGT WGT COLLEGE YR PR A G HOW ACQUIRED
Dick Afflis 75 G 6- 0 250 Nevada 4 4 25 12 1951 Draft-16th
Al Barry 63 G 6- 2 225 USC 1 1 23 12 1953 Draft-30th
Buddy Brown 62 G 6- 1 225 Arkansas 2 4 27 12 1953 FA-Wash (52)
Al Carmichael 42 HB 6- 1 190 USC 2 2 25 10 1953 Draft-1st
Fred Cone 31 FB 5-11 200 Clemson 4 4 28 12 1951 Draft-3rd
Bobby Dillon 44 DB 6- 1 180 Texas 3 3 24 12 1952 Draft-3rd
Carlton Elliott 80 E 6- 4 230 Virginia 4 4 26 12 1950 Draft-13th
Howie Ferguson 37 FB 6- 2 210 No College 2 2 24 12 1953 FA
Bill Forrester 69 DT 6- 3 235 SMU 2 2 22 12 1953 Draft-3rd
Bob Garrett 15 QB 6- 1 198 Stanford 1 1 22 9 1954 Trade-Cleve
Dave Hanner 77 DT 6- 2 260 Arkansas 3 3 24 12 1952 Draft-5th
Jerry Helluin 72 DT 6- 2 280 Tulane 1 3 25 12 1954 Trade- Cleve
Billy Howton 86 E 6- 2 190 Rice 3 3 24 12 1952 Draft-2nd
Art Hunter 70 T 6- 4 240 Notre Dame 1 1 21 12 1954 Draft-1st
Joe Johnson 40 HB 6- 0 185 Boston College 1 1 24 12 1953 Draft-11th
Gary Knafelc 84 E 6- 4 205 Colorado 1 1 22 8 1954 FA-Cardinals
Gene Knutson 81 E 6- 2 205 Michigan 1 1 21 12 1954 Draft-10th
Bob Mann 87 E 5-11 175 Michigan 5 7 30 3 1950 FA-Detroit
John Martinkovic 83 DE 6- 3 245 Xavier 4 4 27 12 1951 Trade- Wash
Max McGee 88 E 6- 3 203 Tulane 1 1 22 12 1954 draft-5th
Lou Mihajlovich 41 E 5-11 175 Indiana 1 1 29 3 1954 FA-Detroit
Don Miller 20 DB 6- 2 195 SMU 1 1 22 1 1954 FA
Jim Psaltis 48 HB 6- 1 190 USC 1 2 26 11 1954 FA-Cards (53)
Floyd Reid 24 HB 5-10 190 Georgia 5 5 27 12 1950 FA-Bears
Jim Ringo 51 C 6- 1 230 Syracuse 2 2 24 12 1953 Draft-7th
Tobin Rote 18 QB 6- 3 205 Rice 5 5 26 12 1950 Draft-2nd
Steve Ruzich 61 G 6- 2 230 Ohio State 3 3 25 12 1952 FA
Clarence Self 28 DB 5- 9 185 Wisconsin 2 5 28 12 1954 FA-GB (1952)
Dave Stephenson 53 G 6- 2 225 West Virginia 4 5 28 12 1951 FA-LA (1950)
Veryl Switzer 27 HB 5-11 190 Kansas State 1 1 22 12 1954 Draft-1st
Len Szafaryn 68 G 6- 2 225 North Carolina 3 4 26 12 1950 Trade- Wash
Deral Teteak 66 LB 5-10 210 Wisconsin 3 3 24 6 1952 Draft-9th
Clayton Tonnemaker58 LB 6- 2 240 Minnesota 3 3 26 12 1950 Draft-1st
Val Joe Walker 47 DB 6- 1 179 SMU 2 2 24 10 1953 Trade-NY
Gene White 88 DB 6- 2 205 Georgia 1 1 24 8 1954 FA
Roger Zatkoff 74 T 6- 2 215 Michigan 2 2 23 12 1953 Draft-5th
NO - Jersey Number POS - Position HGT - Height WGT - Weight YR - Years with Packers PR - Years of
Professional Football AGE - Age at Start of Season G - Games Played FA - Free Agent
1954 PACKERS DRAFT (January 28, 1954)
RND-PICK NAME POS COLLEGE
1a - 3 Art Hunter T Notre Dame
1b - 4 Veryl Switzer (A) HB Kansas State
2 - 15 Bob Fleck T Syracuse
3 - 27 George Timberlake G USC
4a - 39 to Washington Redskins for Johnny Papit
4b - 40 Tom Allman (B) FB West Virginia
5 - 51 Max McGee E Tulane
6 - 63 to Detroit Lions for Gus Cifelli
7 - 75 Sam Marshall T Florida A&M
8 - 87 Jimmie Williams T Texas Tech
9 - 99 Dave Davis E Georgia Tech
10 - 111 Gene Knutson E Michigan
11 - 123 Ken Hall E North Texas State
12 - 135 Bill Oliver HB Alabama
13 - 147 Mike Takacs G Ohio State
14 - 159 Dave Johnson HB Rice
15 - 171 to San Francisco 49ers for Ben Aldridge
16 - 183 Desmond Koch HB USC
17 - 195 J.D. Roberts G Oklahoma
18 - 207 Emery Barnes E Oregon
19 - 219 Ken Hall C Springfield
20 - 231 Herbert Lowell G Pacific
21 - 243 Art Liebscher HB Pacific
22 - 255 Bill Buford T Morgan State
23 - 267 Clint Sathrum QB St. Olaf
24 - 279 Marvin Tennefoss E Stanford
25 - 291 Jack Smalley T Alabama
26 - 303 *-Ralph Baierl T Maryland
27 - 315 Hosea Sims E Marquette
28 - 327 Evan Slonac FB Michigan State
29 - 339 Jerry Dufek T St. Norbert
30 - 351 Terry Campbell QB Washington St
A - from New York Giants (1953) B - from Baltimore Colts * - Juniors
1954 PACKER TRANSACTIONS
JUNE 23 - Traded 1955 4th round pick to CLEVELAND for DL Jerry Helluin
JUNE 27 - Signed E Gene White and E Wayne Hopkins.
AUG 5 - Traded QB Babe Parilli and OT Bob Fleck to CLEVELAND for QB Bob Garrett, OT John Bauer, DB Don Miller and OT Chester Gierula. Signed E Lou Mihajlovic off waivers from DETROIT.
SEPT 20 - Traded OT John Bauer to NEW YORK for 1955 20th round pick. Released QB Elroy Falkenstein, FB Clyde Sanders, HB Bub Roffler, HB Evan Slonac, HB Tom Pagna, LB Nick Adduci, LB Lou Mihajlovich, LB Mike Maccloli, G Dick Doleman, G Mike Takacs, C Charles Grant and E Hosea Sims.
OCT 4 - Released DB Don Miller. Signed E Gary Knafelc off waivers from CHICAGO CARDINALS.
NOV 10 - Placed DB Gene White on injured reserve. Signed LB Lou Mihajlovich.
TWO PACKERS TO NCAA PARLEY
JAN 4 (Green Bay) - Verne Lewellen, new general manager of the Packers, and Jack Vainisi, Packer scout and office assistant, will fly to Cincinnati Tuesday to attend the 48th annual convention of the NCAA. The Packer representatives will get first-hand information from the various coaches on players the Packers intend to select in the annual college player draft, Jan. 28...Vainisi reported today that Bobby Dillon, the Packers' defensive back who injured both knees in the Thanksgiving Day game against Detroit, is recuperating from an operation on one of his knees in Temple, Tex. The cast will be removed Tuesday.
IT'S STILL $64 QUESTION: WHO WILL BE NEW COACH OF PACKERS?
JAN 5 (Green Bay) - Contents of today's Pro Football Book: 1 - Lent is Almost Over, 2 - Lewellen Leaves Oil, 3 - Alumni Get Set, 4 - Iron Mike...CHAPTER I: Come tomorrow, the Packers will have been without a head coach for 40 days and 40 nights - a pretty long "fast". During the period of no sweets, etc., Packer fans have been busy imagining the big day - when they (the Packers) announce the new head coach. If you'll pardon some shop talk, we've had the big type polished off for some time now. As the big day approaches (it should be soon), nobody seems to have anything concrete on which to chew - or rather discuss. Names are a dime a dozen. During the bowl period over the holidays, naturally the names of the bowl coaches were being kicked around. Closest to home among this group is Biggie Munn, coach of the Michigan State Rose Bowl champions. Munn, so the press wires say, will become athletic director at MSC
and his line coach will become head coach. People want to know, "Why?" Could be that Biggie can earn more money as athletic director. He can get away from pressure!! Yet, Munn is at the height of his career! He could reach a new pinnacle as a pro coach! Stuff like that there is what's making the rounds. Then there's Bud Wilkinson. He's set for 10 years at Oklahoma. Yet, we see by the papers that he talked with the Minnesota people. Don't make sense. Why does he even talk with somebody else if he's not interested. Jim Tatum, the big man from Maryland, gets his name mentioned in some of our better joints. So do Ivy Williamson of Wisconsin and Liz Blackbourn of Marquette. There are literally "hundreds" of other guys. Fellers without a big national name, but, who a lot of people think, might have the goods to produce in pro ball. Tom Hearden, the ex-St. Norbert and East High member now freshman coach at Wisconsin, is in this group. Tom has never coached a loser. Some people point to Hugh Devore, the former Notre Damer who worked as an assistant last year, and Ray McLean, a Packer assistant for three seasons. The argument for Devore especially is merely this: "We know what we go, let's give him a try instead of bringing in somebody new." On the other hand, you get this: "Let's start fresh. Get a whole new bunch." At any rate, the entire business is making this a rather hot and interesting offseason...CHAPTER II: Verne Lewellen officially started his duties as Packer general manager today - up in the air. Lewellen and Jack Vainisi, Packer scout and office aide, left by plane this morning for Cincinnati where they'll attend the 48th annual national collegiate convention. Lewellen was given the royal good wish by his former employer, Standard Oil, at a banquet at the Hotel Northland yesterday noon. Nearly 30 officials of the Green Bay branch officer, where Verne worked since 1942, attended and roundly toasted the onetime Packer star. Brief talks were given by Russ Bogda, Packer president, and Standard Oil officials J.J. Hoffmeister, who acted as toastmaster, H.J. Hilliard, S.F. Armstrong, E.I. Boldon and John McCabe. The meeting was highlighted by reading by Boldon of a poem written especially for the occasion by W.W. (Bob) Griese of Green Bay. Lewellen said that his main job will be to "change the thinking of the players and the thinking of the fans; the danger last fall was that fans had become complacent and the players many times did not have the oldtime Green Bay spirit."...CHAPTER III: John Biolo, former Packer guard and presently assistant West High football coach, was named president of the packer Alumni association at its monthly meeting at the Beaumont Hotel last night. He succeeds Al Rose. Other new officers are Bernard Darling, vice president; J.A. (Gus) Rosenow, secretary-treasurer; and Al Petcka, sergeant at arms. The board of directors is composed of Charley Brock, Jug Earp, Biolo, Darling, Rosenow and Rose. The association voted to extend its congratulations to the Packers in their selection of a general manager and decided to study the Quarterback club position...CHAPTER IV: A famed former Packer, Iron Mike Michalske, was mentioned today as a possible successor to Ray George, head football coach at Texas A&M. Mike presently is line coach at that school. He joined George last fall after serving under former Packer George Sauer at Baylor. Another coach mentioned for George's job is Jules V. Sikes, former Kansas coach.
NOT EVEN GOOD RUMOR ON NEW PACKER COACH
JAN 6 (Green Bay) - Up to noon today, there was no official word - not even a good rumor - on the $64 question: Who will be the new head coach of the Packers? Speculation heightened as college coaches from all over the country met in Cincinnati today in the 48th annual convention. There was no pro news out of that center, but most of the clubs in the NFL, including the Packers, had their agents present. Whether the Packers are searching for a coach in Cincinnati, of course, is unknown, but Packer general manager Verne Lewellen and Packer scout Jack Vainisi are in attendance there. The meetings afford them with an opportunity to discuss with the college coaches the talents of players they intend to draft at the pro parley Jan. 28.
HUGH DEVORE NAMED GRID COACH AT DAYTON
JAN 6 (Cincinnati) - Hugh Devore, assistant football coach of the Green Bay Packers the past season, Wednesday night was named head coach at the University of Dayton, succeeding Joe Gavin, who has resigned. Devore, 43, who will begin his 20th year in the coaching field, was appointed by Dayton Athletic Director Harry Raujan here for the NCAA's annual convention. The soft-spoken Devore was co-coach with Ray McLean for the Packers' last two games of the 1953 season following the resignation of Gene Ronzani. It was understood he was among those being considered for the head coaching job with the Packers. Devore, who taught Green Bay ends last year, played at Notre Dame, where he was graduated in 1934. From 1935 to 1937, he was an assistant to Frank Leahy at Fordham. In 1943, Devore returned to Notre Dame was an aide to Leahy and assumed head coaching duties in 1944, when the Irish coach entered military service. His team won seven, lost two and tied one. In 1946, he was named coach at St. Bonaventure College, where his teams won 25, lost nine and tied once in four season. He switched to New York University in 1950 and remained until the Violets abandoned big time football. Devore also coached at Fordham, Providence and Holy Cross.
MAY JOIN STEELERS
JAN 6 (Green Bay) - Gene Ronzani, deposed coach of the Green Bay Packers, is weighing an offer to join the staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
RONZANI MAY BE CARDINALS AID
JAN 6 (Chicago) - An exclusive story in the Chicago American stated Thursday that Gene Ronzani, deposed coach of the Green Bay Packers, is in line for a job as assistant to Joe Stydahar of the Chicago Cardinals. Stydahar is expected to drop all three of his present aids and will sign Ray Richards and Bob Snyder along with Ronzani, the story added.
LISLE BLACKBOURN NAMED HEAD COACH OF PACKERS
JAN 7 (Green Bay) - Lisle W. (Liz) Blackbourn is the head coach of the Packers! The 54-year old head football coach at Marquette university agreed to terms today at the NCAA meeting in Cincinnati, where he conferred with Verne Lewellen, the Packers' general manager. Blackbourn signed a three year contract. Thus, the fortunes of the Packers were placed in the hands of a "college man" - a new twist in the 35-year history of one of the oldest clubs in the NFL. Blackbourn is the third coach in the organization's colorful life. Curly Lambeau founded the team and head coached it for 30 years, leaving in February of 1950. Gene Ronzani took over that year and missed four complete seasons by two games, resigning last Nov. 27. Appointment of the new coach was made by the executive committee of Green Bay Packers, Inc., Wednesday night and final arrangements were made in Cincinnati this morning. Blackbourn's selection ends more than 40 days of work by a Packer screening committee, which interviewed coaching prospects all over the nation. Among the highly-considered candidates was Hugh Devore, assistant coach of the Packers last year who along with Ray McLean co-coaches the Packers in their last two game last fall. Devore, however, signed a contract last night to coach Dayton university. Blackbourn comes to the Packers highly recommended by contemporaries in the coaching profession as a rigid fundamentalist, a strict disciplinarian and a leader who has the ability to get the most out of his players. His teams have always been noted for their crisp blocking and tackling. The new coach is entirely a native Wisconsin product, as he was born in Lancaster 54 years ago, attended public school there and then starred in football for four years at Lawrence college in Appleton, captaining the team in his senior year. After he graduated from Lawrence in 1925, he became head football coach and athletic director at Washington High in Milwaukee. In 22 years there, his teams won 140, lost 30 and tied six. His squads won 10 championships and tied for another. He retired at Washington in 1946 and became a full time scout and instructor for the University of Wisconsin. In 1948, he was named backfield coach at Wisconsin by Harry Stuhldreher. He was one of the leading candidates for the Wisconsin head coaching position when Stuhldreher left after the 1948 season, but lost out to Ivy Williamson. Blackbourn then became line coach under Frank Murray at Marquette in 1949, and advanced to the head coaching position in 1950, signing a five-year contract. In four seasons at MU, Blackbourn's teams won 18, lost 17 and tied four. Blackbourn gave Marquette a winning team his first year, snaring five, losing three and tying one. The school was in the midst of a drive for material during the next two seasons. The Hilltoppers compiled a 4-6-1 record in 1951, one of the losses being a 20-14 game with Michigan State. The Spartans had to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to win it. Material was still thin in 1952 as the freshman squad grew strong. The varsity made off with a 3-5-1 record, the highlight being a 21 to 0 upset victory over Boston College and Harry Agganis. The drive for material started to pay off in 1953, when Marquette won six, lost three against Wisconsin, Michigan State and Indiana by a total of nine points, and tied one. One of the stars of the club was Green Bay’s Dave Donarski, MU’s No. 1 fullback as a sophomore. Blackbourn gave up what might have been one of the best Marquette teams in history. Most of the 1953 players will return next fall – plus a host of promising newcomers, including Green Bay’s Lee Hermsen, who already has been rated as a prospective Marquette all-timer. Blackbourn used the straight T-formation at Marquette in his first three years there and then shifted to the split T last fall. His Marquette teams have always made considerable use of the pass. Blackbourn, a stocky, gray-haired man, is considered a versatile coach, usually installing the system that best first his material. He was one of the few coaches of major schools who applauded the decision to abandon two-platoon football last year. Blackbourn countered the one-platoon play by training two full teams and substituting a full squad instead of one or two players. Blackbourn was active throughout Milwaukee and Wisconsin in his efforts to “outdo” his friendly rival at the University of Wisconsin, Ivy Williamson. And off the performances of 1953, Blackbourn was approaching the period he might battle Wisconsin on even terms. In his drive to build up Marquette football, Blackbourn developed the Marquette Minute Men, an organization of some 200 leading businessmen who backed Marquette's athletics, and also the Marquette Quarterback club. He is well known throughout the state because of the numerous personal appearances he had made since going to Marquette, and as head coach of the state high school coaches association for a number of years he was at Washington High. Blackbourn is married and has two sons. He and his wide, Maryland, and son Charles currently live in Milwaukee. His son, Lisle, Jr., operates the family farm at Beetown. He is expected to move his home to Green Bay in near future.
MU CAMPUS STUNNED
JAN 7 (Milwaukee) - Marquette campus was stunned with the word that the popular football coach Liz Blackbourn was leaving to become head coach of the Packers. "We're terribly sorry to lose 'Liz'," said the Rev. Clarence J. Ryan, S.J., chairman of the Marquette Athletic Board, "but we're glad to see him get the opportunity with the Packers. He is an outstanding coach and we at Marquette wish him the very best in his new venture."
'NO TIME TO WASTE' - LIZ BLACKBOURN
JAN 8 (Green Bay) - "There is no time to waste..." "I will be up there Monday and start looking at pictures of all of the Packers' games last fall to ascertain the club's needs..." It was Lisle W. (Liz) Blackbourn, the Packers' new head coach, speaking via telephone from Cincinnati where he's attending the NCAA convention with Packer general manager Verne Lewellen and Packer scout Jack Vainisi. Packer officials figured Blackbourn would need at least a week to clean up affairs at Marquette but Liz said. "I am leaving here Friday afternoon (Cincinnati) and can finish up detail at Marquette Saturday and Sunday. I'll drive up to Green Bay and be ready to go early Monday morning," Blackbourn said. Liz said he wanted to make his observations as to the player needs of the Packers and planned to do it by making a "minute study of the films. After that I can discuss player problems with others who were close to the team last year," he added. Blackbourn expects to have a good line on the material needs when he goes to the NFL draft meeting in Philadelphia Jan. 28. Preliminary arrangements for the draft have been made by Vainisi and discussions between Vainisi, Lewellen and Blackbourn were started shortly after the announcement of Blackbourn's appointment yesterday. Liz said he could not comment on the club's playing personnel "because I'm not familiar with the players." The new mentor said he saw a number of the Packers' games on television last fall and the first halves of the club's games in Milwaukee. "The first halves?" we asked. "Our pictures (Marquette games) always came in about 3:30 on Sunday afternoons and we always started preparing for next week's games as soon as those films
arrived." Thus, Blackbourn indicated that he wastes no time whatsoever in preparing for future games. And this comment yesterday from Ted Carpenter, Marquette publicist, can be added: "Liz is a farm boy to start with and he's used to getting up early and working late. With Liz as head coach, we had the hardest working staff in college football." Blackbourn is overwhelmed by the opportunity to coach professional football. He led off his conversation yesterday, "I've always been tremendously interested in the Packers and I'm flattered to have the opportunity." Blackbourn said he is preparing himself to recognize the different problems encountered in professional football - selection of material, the draft, the style of ball, etc. "But I believer the game is still the same. There must be good blocking and tackling," he pointed, adding with a laugh "and the size of the ball and the field is the same as it is in college ball." One of Blackbourn's first tasks in Cincinnati was the hiring of assistants. "I can't name anyone in particular yet," he explained, "but I've made a few contacts with the prospects at the meetings here." The new head coach has been given a free hand in the selection of assistants." Speculation continued, however, today that one of Blackbourn's top choices as an assistant coach would be Tom Hearden, former East High and St. Norbert college coach and onetime Packer back. Hearden served as freshman coach at the University of Wisconsin last fall and will finish work on his master's degree there in February. It is known that Blackbourn and Hearden has had a number of conferences at the Cincinnati convention. The Packers still have a holdover from the 1952 regime - backfield coach Liz McLean, who is presently scouting the North-South camps at Mobile, Ala., for the Packers. McLean earlier scouted two other bowl games. McLean is due back here over the weekend. Before leaving, Ray agreed to be of assistance to the Packers until the coaching affairs were straightened out. Hugh Devore, who co-coached the Packers along with McLean in their final two games on the west coast, has signed as head coach at Dayton university...Blackbourn said he plans to move his family to Green Bay in June "after my boy graduates." His son, Charles, is an outstanding halfback at Washington High in Milwaukee where Liz coached for 22 years. "That boy is having quite a time trying to decide what college to attend," Liz laughed. The Blackbourn's oldest son, Lisle Jr., is running the family farm in Beetown. Incidentally, Blackbourn said he is undecided what to do about his weekly television show in Milwaukee, "The Coaches Room", over WCAN-TV. "I was supposed to start a series on basketball next Tuesday night," he said...Lewellen, reached in Cincinnati yesterday, said that "Liz will grow on our community and he's the type of man that will bring the Packers out of their present predicament." The new general manager said that the new mentor is "a really hard worker, a good organizer, a disciplinarian and a top public relations man."...Attorney Victor McCormick of Green Bay, long active in Marquette affairs, called the selection of Blackbourn as "an outstanding appointment". McCormick, a member of the Marquette University athletic board when Liz was hired as line coach in 1949 and a year later when he was named head coach, said, "I know the qualifications of Mr. Blackbourn very well and I'm sure he is an excellent choice as Packer coach." McCormick no longer is a member of the athletic board, but is now a member of the Marquette board of governors...Packer public relations chief Jug Earp expressed enthusiasm yesterday following the appointment of Blackbourn. "I used to bang heads against him in some scrimmages in Milwaukee years ago and I've known him ever since. He's just the man we need up here."
CHOICE OF BLACKBOURN CONFIRMS NEW APPROACH
JAN 8 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - Selection of Lisle (Liz) Blackbourn as the new head coach of the Packers is the second and conclusive bit of proof of the new approach in Green Bay to the problem of competing on a basis of equality with the rest of the NFL. The choice, incidentally, was not as unexpected as the sudden announcement Thursday would indicate. Despite the pledge of secrecy on the part of the screening committee appointed to survey the field of possible successors to Gene Ronzani, it was known that Blackbourn was among those approached and seriously considered. First step in the reshuffle was the decision to hire a general manager for the first time in the club's long history. Verne Lewellen, himself a former Packer star and long vitally interested in the Packers' welfare, accepted the assignment to coordinate all activities and take over many of the duties handled previously by the unwieldy executive committee. Lewellen also had headed the screening committee. So he was well equipped to tackle his first big job when he became general manager - that of picking the coach. He had interviewed and checked on the qualifications of Blackbourn, among others, before becoming a full-time employee of the Packer corporation. The second phase of what can be called the modernizing program had to do with the type of background and experience to be considered most desirable. Would the Packer chiefs go for one with professional experience? Or would they move into the university field? Lewellen undoubtedly had a lot to do with it. But whatever the main influence, it soon became apparent that most of the big wheels leaned toward a coach who had been identified successfully only with college football. The history of Paul Brown at Cleveland and Buck Shaw at San Francisco - than whom there are no more respected coaches in pro bowl - surely played an important part in the thinking. Ivy Williamson, Bud Wilkinson, Jim Tatum and Bernie Bierman were among those high on the prospect list along with Blackbourn. In fact, it was significant that the name of coach long connected with pro football never did pop up. Hugh Devore, who was in the running from the state, had his first whirl at the play for pay business last year when he left the college ranks to become Ronzani's assistant. Surely that was a fresh approach for one of the charter members of the pro league - a club which has had only two coaches, Ronzani and Curly Lambeau. With the exception of one springtime assignment at Notre Dame, all of Ronzani's coaching apprenticeship was served in the Chicago Bears' organization. Lambeau, who founded the Packers, has spent his entire coaching life with the pros. Blackbourn, who did an outstanding job for Marquette in his four years on the Hilltop, will do the same for the Packers or break his neck in the attempt. He's that type - the Paul Brown type. Aggressive, thorough, painstaking, great capacity for and willingness to work and work some more. He plays strictly to win and makes no bones about it. All his staff members and players better plan on doing the same or else. Liz's background, in fact, follows the Brown pattern to a considerable degree - a dazzling record in high school, successful in the university field. The main difference is that fate decreed it should take him longer to get into rugged postgraduate competition. Although the actual job is brand new, the Packers and what they mean to this state aren't new to Blackbourn. He is a native of Wisconsin, gained his higher education in this state (Lawrence College), has spent his entire coaching life in this state, and, obviously, has been intensely interested in everything having to do with football in this state. So he moved into his new assignment, his greatest challenge, knowing what it's all about and what it will take to get the Packers' house in order. It's noteworthy that Liz tackles the big one at an age when few men are looking for new worlds to conquer. That denotes a fighting spirit which, in turn, means he and the Packers can go far together. Here's to them!
COLLEGE ALL-STARS TRIM HAWAII 11
JAN 8 (Honolulu) - Stanford's Bobby Garrett passed the College All-Stars to an 18-14 victory over the Hawaii All-Stars Friday night before 20,000 spectators in balmy Hawaiian weather. Garrett's pitching plus yeoman work from UCLA's Paul Cameron punched over three touchdowns in the first half. But the Hawaiians - although aided by six professionals - couldn't catch up. Outstanding player of the game, however, was halfback Skippy Dyer, a former Los Angeles junior college back, now with the Marines in Hawaii. His tricky open field running gave the crowd most of its thrills. The Hawaiian All-Stars made the only touchdown of the second half when Elroy (Crazylegs) Hirsch of the Los Angeles Rams took a sideline pass from Babe Parilli of the Green Bay Packers, shook off Cameron and went 25 yards for a touchdown in the third period.
HEARDEN NAMED PACKER AIDE
JAN 9 (Green Bay) - Green Bay's own Tom Hearden stepped into the Packer picture today. The one-time East High, Notre Dame and Packer halfback, who compiled a fantastic .840 won-lost record in 20 years of high school and college coaching, became the first assistant signed by head coach Lisle W. Blackbourn at the NCAA convention in Cincinnati yesterday. Hearden, 49, thus returns officially to the Packers after an absence of 26 years, though he had been vitally interested in his pro "alma mater" since he finished two Packer playing seasons in 1928. Both Blackbourn and Hearden are heading toward their home base. Blackbourn was to arrive in Milwaukee today, close out his affairs at Marquette Sunday and start to work here Monday morning. Hearden visited his brother, Peter, in Indianapolis Friday night and is expected here tonight. Returning last night from the Cincinnati parley were Verne Lewellen, the Packers' general manager who signed Blackbourn Thursday, and Packer scout Jack Vainisi. The only Packer representative "outstanding" is Ray McLean, the club's backfield coach for the last three seasons who will scout the North-South game in Mobile, Ala., this afternoon and then return here Sunday. McLean scouted two other bowl games during the holidays. McLean will make a complete report on the game in preparation for the club's draft and likely will review the past season with Blackbourn. McLean, who along with Hugh Devore co-coached the Packers in their last two games after the resignation of Gene Ronzani, agreed to assist the Packers in scouting the bowl contests and preparing for the draft. McLean's status with the Packers as to the future is unknown at the moment. Blackbourn has been given full authority to select members of his staff. McLean, onetime Chicago Bear halfback, came to the Packers in 1951, after serving as head coach for three seasons at Lewis college. Blackbourn and Hearden - once rivals as coaches at Milwaukee Washington and Racine St. Catherine, respectively - now combine two of the top coaching records in the country. Blackbourn's all-time head coaching mark is 158 victories, 47 losses and 10 ties in 26 years, while Hearden has compiled 126 wins, 24 losses and ties in 20 seasons. Between then, Blackbourn and Hearden have 284 victories, 71 losses and 18 ties - a percentage of exactly .800. Addition of Hearden adds to the college theme being introduced to the Packers who, especially in the earlier years, were known as "the pro team with the college spirit." Hearden was born in Appleton in 1904, but came to Green Bay as a youngster and attended St. Patrick and SS. Peter and Paul grade schools. He played three seasons of football at East High and captained the team in his senior year, 1922. Hearden enrolled at Notre Dame in 1923 and played with the varsity in 1924-25-26, co-captaining the Irish under Knute Rockne in his senior year. He graduated from Notre Dame in June of 1927 and, oddly enough, decided against coaching after Rockne recommended him as an assistant at Ohio State. Hearden joined the Packers in the fall of 1927 and played in six games, alternating with then head coach Curly Lambeau at right halfback. Incidentally, G.M. Lewellen was at left half that season. Hearden suffered injuries that kept him out of the other games. He returned to the club in 1928 but injuries again plagued him and he played in only two games. In 1929, Tom worked for the Chicago Surface Lines in Chicago and saw some action with the Chicago Bears at the same time. Hearden decided on a coaching career early in 1930 and took the job at Racine St. Catherine High. He remained there six years, compiling 34 victories, eight losses and six ties. Hearden "came home" in 1936 to take over the East High grid fortunes. He led off with three straight unbeaten seasons and had a state-record string of 36 victories going before losing to West 13-0 in the final game of 1939. In seven years at East, Hearden lost only three games - two in his final season (1942), and rolled up 51 wins and two losses. Tom became a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II and was named backfield coach under Don Faurot at Iowa Pre-Flight. After two seasons under Faurot, Hearden was named head coach of Iowa P-F but the war ended and the team was disbanded. Hearden signed as head coach at St. Norbert college in 1946 and posted 41 victories, 13 defeats and no ties. His Knight elevens had three unbeaten seasons, 8-0 in 1946, 7-0 in '50 and 6-0 in '52. Hearden resigned at St. Norbert a year ago and enrolled at the University of Wisconsin to complete work on his master's degree. Last fall, he worked as Wisconsin freshman coach. Tom married the former Miss Marion Moore of Green Bay in January of 1933 and they have three children, Sarah, 20, Tommy, 11, and Jimmy, 10. The Heardens reside at 1008 Doty Street.
NEW PACK COACH ARRIVES
JAN 11 (Green Bay) - Lisle Blackbourn came to Green Bay today for the first time in his new capacity as head coach of the Packers. The former Marquette university mentor, signed last Thursday to a three-year Packer contract, had expected to start "bright and early" this morning but last-minute details in Milwaukee plus tough driving conditions delayed his arrival until 11:55. The Packer office was buzzin' this morning as Blackbourn was awaited. Making his first appearance was Tom Hearden, the former East High and St. Norbert college coach, who was named backfield coach Saturday. Back from the NCAA convention in Cincinnati and launching the "new week" in Packer affairs were Verne Lewellen, the club's new general manager, and scout Jack Vainisi. Rounding out the office staff is the biggest of the lot - hefty Jug Earp, public relations chief. Also on hand to put out the welcome mat were Russ Bogda, club president, and John Torinus, a member of the Packer executive committee. Blackbourn was to be officially introduced at a luncheon meeting of the committee this noon. Also due in today was Ray McLean, the Packers' field goal since 1951 who scouted the North-South game for the Packers in Mobile, Ala., Saturday. McLean will make a report on prospects he observed in the game and likely will discuss the 1953 Packer season with Blackbourn. Interviewed in Milwaukee over the weekend by the press services, Blackbourn said he would probably name soon a new line coach who would help him select an end coach. "I think I'd like to discuss the selection of an end coach with the line coach," he said. Blackbourn said he was looking for a line coach who knew a lot about pass protection - "a man who could give us good instruction on protecting passers as we could get." The new coach revealed that he had interviewed seven or eight candidates for the line position at Cincinnati last week, but "we're going to be a bit slower in the selection for that position." Other immediate problems facing Blackbourn are going over game movies "for the purpose of observing our needs in the player draft" in Philadelphia Jan. 28 and talking over available players with Vainisi. Blackbourn said he would view the movies of Packer games in an effort to see "first hand where the thing broke down." He was referring to the Packers' 2-9-1 record last season...McLean planned to talk with Blackbourn this afternoon. The former Chicago Bear halfback and Lewis College coach said he had a "rough" time flying into Chicago from Mobile yesterday. "The warm front hit the cold front somewhere near Birmingham and it took us about an hour to finally land there; there were a lot of the North players in the same plane," McLean said. McLean arrived by train from Chicago at 9 o'clock this morning.
WELCOME MR. BLACKBOURN
JAN 12 (Green Bay) - The choice of Lisle Blackbourn to coach the Green Bay Packers, and Mr. Blackbourn's acceptance of the challenge offered by the professional football field, puts Green Bay in position to prepare adequately for the coming season. Mr. Blackbourn's record indicates that he has many of the qualifications needed for the leadership of the Packers. While Mr. Ronzani's departure appeared to have been dictated by many important considerations, it should be noted that he left the Packers in sound condition both physically and financially. The team had a good year at the box office and the finances are probably as good as they have ever been. The players, in spit of many reverses on the field, kept their spirit and there is certainly a sound foundation for future success. There are many Packer fans who, while agreeing that Mr. Ronzani's departure was necessary, will nevertheless declare that he came close, perhaps very close, to making a real success of his work here. The reports on Blackbourn are that he is a strong disciplinarian and a stickler for sound, fundamental football practices. There is indication that he gets the most out of the material he has available. Those are qualifications desirable everywhere and are winning qualifications when accomplished by the spirit of competition and the ability to lead.
CONFIDENCE! PRO PROSPECT 'PLAYED WITH KIDS AROUND OUR HOUSE,' LIZ
JAN 12 (Green Bay) - One of the five big, thick, ledger-type, loose leaf notebooks was opening on a table at the Packer office. Scout Jack Vainisi flipped it in the middle as Coach Lisle Blackbourn prepared to have his picture snapped. "Say, I know that young man," Blackbourn pulled back as a vicious-looking back looked up from a picture in the book. "He used to play with the kids around our house in Milwaukee; no, he never went to Washington (where Blackbourn coached for 22 years). He was quite a star at Pulaski High," Liz added. Blackbourn was looking down at a picture of Neil J. (Bull) Worden, the Milwaukee boy who plays fullback at Notre Dame. This coincidence, of course, made it easier for Blackborun to smile for the picture taking. Liz, Tom Hearden and Ray McLean had just spent a couple of hours looking at Packer game pictures of 1953 in the dark room below and the sudden exposure to daylight made it hard to produce smiles. Blackbourn isn't leaping at any draft ideas until he gets a good look at the Packer movies for the purpose of finding out for himself "what our needs are." He'll spend the next three or four days and possibly a week viewing the performance of each player in each game - most of the time in slow motion. It isn't any secret that Worden's picture and history appear in Vainisi's "ledger". The 185-pound piledriver is considered among the pros as the best pro prospect in the Notre Dame backfield, which also included the illustrious Johnny Lattner. Worden's picture and history likely are in every camp in the National league. Worden is 5-11 and appears on the stocky side, since he possesses powerfully-built legs. He was Notre Dame's leading fullback for the last three years. Worden participated in track, football and baseball at Pulaski. He was an all-city and all-state back in his senior year. Vainisi says he is looking forward to the draft and "we'll have all of the names of prospects at our fingertips at all times during the draft." The five big ledgers, classified according to position, contain the "meat" of the country's prospects - approximately 4,000 players. For the draft, the names of the players will be listed on large working cards in the order they are rated by coaches and scouts. Players drafted by other clubs will be scratched immediately from the cards, giving the Packers a quick look at "who's on first." Blackbourn made his first official appearance before the press' radio and television at a luncheon meeting at the Beaumont Hotel this noon. As a result, the new coach's first observations and impressions will emerge from that session. The former Marquette coach hasn't had much time to get his thoughts together for public presentation. He's bent on seeing the Packer films to better familiarize himself with the club and to draw some conclusion as to why the club skidded from a 6-6 record in 1952 to 2-9-1 in 1953...PRO PACKINS': Travis Tidwell, former Auburn star and ex-New York Giants, said at his home in Birmingham, Ala., that he plans to play in Canada next year. He has signed a contract with Carl Voyles, coach of the Hamilton, Ont., team. He played under Voyles at Auburn. Tidwell never did quite cut the buck in the NFL. He was badly treated by the Packers when they downed the Giants in a non-leaguer in Boston in 1950...Among the first to come in to see the new coach yesterday was Jim Coffeen, the Packers' "voice" at all home games. Coffeen, onetime Packer player himself, is feeling fine after a siege of illness that put him in the hospital for a short spell.
COACH EYES PACKER PASS PROTECTION, PLANS ON 'T', 3 AIDES
JAN 13 (Green Bay) - Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote, the Packers' two air arms - not to mention all of Packer fandom, will be happy to know that protection for the passer is high in the mind of Coach Lisle Blackbourn. Parill and Rote were tossed for losses totaling 280 yards - almost three times the length of the field - in 12 NFL games last year. Only the Chicago Cardinals and Baltimore Colts had their pitchers jarred back more yards. "I'm speaking from a spectator standpoint," Blackbourn reminded, "but I believe was a weakness in that department last fall." Blackbourn, addressing press, radio and television people at a luncheon at the Beaumont Hotel yesterday said, "you can't be too good in pass protection and at times there always seemed to be a weakness in it." And Verne Lewellen, Packer general manager, chimed in "even the Browns had trouble with their pass protection." He was referring to the manner in which the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions rushed Otto Graham in the Browns' last two games. Blackbourn, revealing that he is looking for a line coach, explained that "if he (the line coach) excels in anything I hope it will be the ability to teach protection for the passer." Thus, Blackbourn indicated that he expects to make full use of the Packers' air machine - a unit that won the National League passing championship in 1952 and skidded badly in 1953. In discussing formations, Blackbourn again indicated that he intended to keep the forward pass as his main weapon. "We'll use the T as our basic formation, with some features of the split Y. The splut T, which I used at Marquette last fall, won't be used exclusively because it is hard to develop and effective passing attack off that formation. We'll also use split ends, set flankers, etc.," he pointed out...Blackbourn said he plans to install a player grading system next fall. "We'll use those films and go over each player and find out the reason why this play or that play didn't work; each player will be graded accordingly, and we'll know exactly why some plays don't work," he explained. The coach visualized loss of a day as "a problem that will have to be worked out." He said, "at Marquette, we got films of Saturday's game on Sunday afternoon and we could go to work immediately. I understand that we can't get some of our Packer films until Tuesdays. We'd lost all of Monday and a good chance to have the boys graded for the start of practice Tuesday." Blackbourn and Backfield Coach Tom Hearden are getting a chance to "grade" the Packers in films of their 1953 games. "We're going backwards," Lisle laughed, "and gradually working toward the start of the season; then maybe we can compare some of the boys to their performance in 1952. We're halfway through the first quarter of the Los Angeles game and it's quite a job running that film back and forth and looking over each player on each play." In addition, Blackbourn said, "we've got to find out the club's overall plan for each game from the movies - plus the spirit and morale of the team." He said he was aware of the fact that there were some changes in the last two games which were co-coached by Hugh Devore and Ray McLean following the resignation of Gene Ronzani Nov. 27...On the matter
of coaching, Blackbourn announced that he will operate with a fur-man staff - a backfield coach, a line coach, an end coach and himself. Tom Hearden already has been selected as backfield coach. Several prospects have been contacted for the job of line coach, Lisle revealed, adding, "I want the line coach to have a hand in picking an end coach because their work is so closely coordinated." Hearden couldn't be at the luncheon. He is attending classes two days a week at the University of Wisconsin, Tuesdays and Thursday, working on his master's degree. Tom will finish his course at the end of the first semester late this month, after which he will devote full rime to his new work. "I got Tom as backfield coach as soon I possibly could. He's closely connected in this area, I've always admired him, he has one of the finest coaching records in the country, and he's a good, sound coach," Blackbourn told the group. Reviewing his brief period at the Packer office since reporting Monday, Blackbourn said that "Jack (Vainisi, Packer scout) has done on outstanding job and I'll be leaning on him plenty for information on all of the college prospects." Referring to GM Verne Lewellen, Blackbourn said, "I can't tell you how good it feels to work with Verne. Without him, it would have been a super human task - cold as I am - to come in here at this time."...The matter of a training site was discussed by members of the group and Lewellen said that "we're considering the matter carefully - training at home or away." The Packers trained at Grand Rapids, Minn., the last three seasons. Lewellen said he would be "happy if a training season at home could be worked out." However, he added quickly, "there are advantages and disadvantages to both training at home and away; we've had preliminary letters from schools and communities asking us about having the Packers train at their places next fall." Lewellen said that the Rockwood Lodge property, formerly owned and operated as a training site by the Packers, had been sold. The main building on the site burned down in January of 1950 and never was rebuilt.
GET JORGENSON IN BOWL? WEST CHOICE SUNDAY
JAN 14 (Green Bay) - If these first few paragraphs sound like a plug for Bud Jorgenson, it is! Several weeks ago, the Packers' Jug Earp - in the process of pounding the drums for the Packer-Ram game in Los Angeles, suggested this to Paul Schissler, promoter of the All-Pro Bowl game Sunday: "We have in Green Bay, Wisconsin a gentleman named Carl W. (Bud) Jorgenson, who happens to be the trainer for the Packers. Mr. Jorgenson also is dean of trainers in the NFL. He had been connected with the Packers for 30 years - practically since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. In the early years, he was assistant to trainer Dave Woodward, and when Dave passed on Jorgenson became the trainer. Now, Mr. Schissler, I think it would be a fitting idea for Bud to be a member of the Western division team." To make a long story short, Bud won't be in Los Angeles Sunday. The muscle work on the athletes, including Packers Dave Hanner, John Martinkovic and Clayton Tonnemaker, will be done by the trainers at the schools the teams are using as training headquarters. Schissler thought highly of bringing out Jorgenson but the promotor, working through the National League, has a limited budget which already had been set up the time Bud's name was suggested. It might be opined that Bowl officials also missed a bet by not selecting the Packers' find pass catching end, Bill Howton. As a rookie, Howton had a terrific season and he was a sure bet for last January's pro bowler. He thrilled the audience by catching an 87-yard touchdown pass, playing as a right halfback flanker. Howton came nowhere near matching his '52 play in '53, although an injury knocked him out of the first four games and put him at a handicap once he returned. However, we'll bet the presence of Howton Sunday would boost the ticket sales. The Eastern division, coached by Cleveland's Paul Brown, has 30 players and the Western division, in charge of Buddy Parker of Detroit, will have 31. The West was allowed an extra player when Commissioner Bert Bell decreed it would be an injustice if the Rams' Norm Van Brocklin or Y.A. Tittle of the 49ers was left off the team. All pros are compelled to show for the game unless disqualified for injuries. Kyle Rote of the New York Giants has been dropped because of hurts and Brown selected his young star halfback, Ray Renfro, to take Kyle's place. Each member of the winning team will receive $700 and each loser $500 - both plus expenses. The inaugural game in January of 1951 was won by the East 28-27 but West took the next two games, 30-13 and 27-7. West is favored to win its third straight Sunday. The game will be telecast over WBAY-TV, starting at 3 o'clock.
DISTINGUISHED GUESTS AT PACKER WELCOME
JAN 15 (Green Bay) - The program was completed today for the Public Packer Welcome at the Hotel Northland Saturday night. And prospects are good for a sellout crowd, according to Jerry Atkinson, chairman of the event. Only 65 of the 500 tickets, at $2.25 each, available were left this morning. The Association of Commerce, handling the sale, said that any remaining tickets will be placed on sale at the door Saturday night. At present, they may be purchased at the A-C. The big night has been planned as an official welcome for three new faces in the Packer picture - Head Coach Lisle W. (Liz) Blackbourn, General Manager Verne Lewellen and Backfield Coach Tom Hearden. For Blackbourn, it will be his first official introduction to Green Bay. A native of Lancaster, Wis., Blackbourn spent the past 26 years coaching in Milwaukee - 22 at Washington High and four at Marquette. He will be accompanied by Mrs. Blackbourn and one of his two sons, Charles, a senior at Washington High. Many distinguished guests will be present. Among them are the Rev. Max G. Barnett, vice president of Marquette university, Mayor Frank Ziedler of Milwaukee and the Rt. Rev. S.M. Killeen, Abbot, Premonatratensian Order. There is a possibility that Gene Autry, the nationally-famous radio, television and movie cowboy, will be present. Autry will be in town for a personal appearance at the Columbus club Saturday. He has been invited to attend the Packer welcome. The evening will open with a reception for press, radio and television people and other invited guests in the main dining room at 5:30. The main program will open with serving of dinner at 6:30 in the Crystal ballroom. From 7:30 to 8, there will be entertainment by Norm Dygon on the piano. The program, starting at 8, will be opened with remarks by Reynolds Challoner, president of the Association of Commerce. Atkinson, chairman of the AC's sports committee, then will take over as master of ceremonies. After community singing led by Hal O'Halloran, the following guests will be introduced: Father Barnett, Abbott Killeen, John Biolo, president of the Packer Alumni Assn,; Mrs. Mary McMillin Jacobs, president of the Womens's Quarterback club; Mayor Ziedler; Autry; newspaper, radio and TV people; and Mayor Dominic Olejniczak. As a climax, Packer president Russ Bogda will present Blackbourn, Lewellen and Hearden. A smoker in the main dining room will follow.
500 TO WELCOME NEW PACK REGIME
JAN 16 (Green Bay) - Nearly 500 fans will herald the start of the new Packer regime at a dinner meeting at the Northland Hotel at 6:30 this evening. A few tickets likely will be available at the door. It will be an official welcome for Lisle W. (Liz) Blackbourn, the Packers' new head coach, Verne Lewellen, new general manager of the club, and Tom Hearden, new backfield coach. Since Lewellen and Hearden are familiar faces in these parts, the program also will serve as the official introduction of Blackbourn, the former Milwaukee Washington High and Marquette university mentor who was named Jan. 7 to succeed Gene Ronzani. Also to be presented to the community will be Mrs. Blackbourn and one of their two sons, Charles - senior at Washington High. Their other, Lisle, Jr., is at the family farm in Beetown, Wis., and will be unable to attend. Talks by the three men will climax the after-dinner program. They will be introduced by Packer President Russell W. Bogda. A number of distinguished guests will be on the program. Among them are the Rev. Max G. Barnett, vice-president of Marquette, and the Rt. Rev. S.M. Killeen, Abbott, Premonstratensian Order, and Mayor Frank Ziedler of Milwaukee. There's an outside chance that Gene Autry, the famous movie, radio and television cowboy, may make an appearance. He's in town today for a performance at the Columbus Club, and has been invited. Among others to be presented by Master of Ceremonies Jerry Atkinson, will be John Biolo, president of the Packer Alumni Assn., Mrs. Mary McMillin Jacobs, president of the Women's Quarterback Club, and newspaper, radio and television people. The opening remarks will be made by Reynolds Challoner, president of the Association of Commerce. There will be community singing led by Hal O'Halloran and entertainment by Norm Dygon at the piano.
PROS IN BOWL GO SUNDAY
JAN 16 (Los Angeles) - The 1953 football wars, lopping over just a bit into 1954, finally come to an end Sunday when the finest professionals of the NFL engage in the fourth annual Pro Bowl game in Memorial Coliseum. The contest, expected to attract upward of 35,000 fans, pits 31 selected players of the Western conference against a like squad of the Eastern conference. It will be televised nationally over the Dumont system. The kickoff is slated for 3 p.m., Green Bay time. The game will be carried over WBAY-TV. The Westerners, with a three-decker passing staff of Bobby Layne, Norm Van Brocklin and Y.A. Tittle, and a brilliant array of receivers, plus a seemingly superior ground attack, is favored to win by at least a touchdown. Hoping to upset such calculations, however, are such equally excellent stars of the Eastern team as passers Otto Graham and Bobby Thomason, and such receivers as Pete Pihos, Dante Lavelli and Elbie Nickel. Leading ground gainers for the West include Joe Perry, Dan Towler, Tank Younger, Hugh McElhenny and Doak Walker. The East can field such runners as Ray Renfro, Harry Jagade, Lynn Chandnois, Johnny Olszewski and Frank Gifford. The West, handled by Buddy Parker, coach of the champion Detroit Lions, will be seeking its third straight victories. Packers with the West team are Clayton Tonnemaker, tackle Dave Hanner and end John Martinkovic.
COLD OUTSIDE? PACKER SPIRIT STARTS TO BOIL
JAN 18 (Green Bay) - Packer spirit continued to boil today as the "hard corps" of Packer fandom spread the word about Saturday night's heart-gripping welcome for the new regime. And it seemed quite coincidental, in response, that the Packers' hottest preseason pep party was held on the coldest night of the year. Packer spirit had been very cold last season, but there was every indication today that things were warming up. The mercury was plunging to 19 degrees below zero outside the Northland Hotel when 500 fans, who paid $2.25 per plate for the opportunity to be present in the Crystal ballroom, unleashed a standing three-minute ovation as the new head coach of the Packers, Lisle W. (Liz) Blackbourn, was presented. It appeared evident that this nucleus of Packer Backers was certain that the Packers were on the right track - on the way back. Verne Lewellen, the cub's new general manager, had just given a stirring address, tracing the start of the real Green Bay spirit, professional football, the needs of the club and plans for the future, when he suddenly introduced Blackbourn. The new head coach, a veteran of literally thousands of speeches, tributes, tense moments and games, seemed to stand in shocked, choked pleasure as the big gathering applauded him. Blackbourn immediately expressed his thanks, saying, in a clear, sharp voice, "It was tremendous to have been so warmly greeted." He added, "You are a fine, bolstering influence on me - and certainly the hard corps of Packer fans." Since Lewellen already had outlined the aims of the club, Blackbourn cited the "tremendous thing this Packer football is to Green Bay." For instance, he said, "we have a group (the Packers) of football players who represent the highest standards in the game; one of the greatest things resulting from this association is the example that these players set for the youth of the city." The mentor said that "the conduct of the Packers is the responsibility of the coaches in our community." Blackbourn told the audience that "I am going to have some good men to lean on, and I'm happy that Verne is on my side." He added, "I am certainly glad that Tom Hearden is on our staff." Mention of Hearden's name brought an immediate handclap from the fans. And Blackbourn added, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." He was referring to their rivalry as high school coaches. Hearden said he had known Liz for 20 years, "I know his methods and I know they are sound. He deserves the cooperation of all of the coaches, the players and the fans. You will hear little from me; I believe the head coach should do the talking." Touching on his high school rivalry with Blackbourn, Hearden recalled his first game (as coach at Racine St. Catherine) against Blackbourn (as coach at Milwaukee Washington), "I don't recall the score but I still remember Wally Cruice (who was in the audience) going for his sixth touchdown." Lewellen asked the fans: "Can we revive the old Packer spirit? What happened to this spirit from the standpoint of the loyalty of the fans and the player, himself?" The Bay GM answered his questions this way: "No one can tell me that the Packer spirit is dead. I believe it is merely lying dormant, waiting for someone to revive it. It can be revived to proportions we had never known in the past. We have gone beyond the horse and buggy stage. Today, pro football is big business. Spirit is not enough. There must be other things to keep us alive, such as keeping the Packer corporation in good financial condition, operating every department with efficiency which means letting the left hand knowing what the right hand is doing, and having a better team." Lewellen said he thought a better team could be obtained through "purchase and trade of players, the draft and increasing the abilities of the players." He pointed out that the present personnel of the Packers is being studies by the coaches as to the weaknesses and strength of the players. "Possibly some of the latent abilities of some of the players can be developed through proper instruction," he said. Lewellen declared that "we intend to get back to the teaching of fundamentals - blocking and tackling, condition and strict enforcement of training rules." In closing, Lewellen urged the fans "to revive that never-say-die spirit and let's have positive thinking - not negative." Other talks were made by Rev. Max G. Barnett, vice-president of Marquette university, Mayor Dominic Olejniczak, Packer publicity director Jug Earp, Alderman Charles Quirk of Milwaukee, Reynolds Challoner, president of the Association of Commerce; and Packer president Russ Bogda. Jerry Atkinson served as master of ceremonies. Many other people were introduced, including members of the press, television and radio, former Packers, Packer officials and Backers. Father Barnett spoke highly of Blackbourn and pointed out that "this is an occasion for rejoicing; we have come to know Liz as a man of honest intelligence and we at Marquette highly respect him in his dealings with the students, the faculty and the public." Olejniczak asked the fans to "get behind the new coach 100 percent; he deserves our every support." Challoner outlines the Packer changes that "were necessary" and pledged the support of the Association of Commerce. Packer officials received a score of congratulating messages. Abbott S.M. Killeen, unable to be present, wrote in part, "With these two men (Blackbourn and Hearden) I am sure that the highest hopes of the community will be attained." Other messages came from Ivy Williamson, head football coach at the University of Wisconsin; Con Jennings, Marquette athletic director; Charley Johnson, sports editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune; Tex Reynolds, Racine columnist; Russ Winnie, manager of Milwaukee radio station WTMJ who handled the early Packer broadcasts, and many others. Stopping in early for few words was Gene Autry, the famous radio, movie and TV cowboy who was in town for two shows.
BROWNS TO WIN BONUS CHOICE?
JAN 20 (Green Bay) - The Cleveland Browns will win the bonus choice at the annual meeting of the NFL in Philadelphia next week. Without revealing our mystic powers, let's just explain that Paragraph 2 resulted from a combination of two theories: (1) That the rich get richer and (2) The Trend. Both reasons got hand in hand, so to speak, since it has been the trend for the rich to get richer, and, we might add, luckier. A year ago, for instance, the well-heeled San Francisco Forty Niners needed the bonus kick like they needed a hole in the head. But they won it from Green Bay, Chicago Cardinals, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and (ahem) Cleveland. The Forty Niners picked end Harry Babcock, umpteenth in a long line guys "just like Hutson." Harry wound up on defense. The year before, the Los Angeles Rams had just won the championship, and, you guessed it, they also won the bonus choice. They picked quarterback Bill Wade despite the fact that they already had Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterfield. Ditto hole in the head! In 1951, the New York Giants won the great Kyle Rote when their strongest suit was just fine. The year before, Detroit grabbed Leon Hart when the Lion muscles were starting to bulge. In 1949, the Philadelphia Eagles were still fingering their playoff pennants when Santa dropped in with Chuck Bednarik. Washington had the greatest, Sammy Baugh, in 1948 when Harry Gilmer came up as a bonus. Away back in 1947 when Commissioner Bert Bell thought up this pre-draft thrill, you'll never guess who won the first bonus choice. None other than the lucky Bears! George Halas' Monsters had just won the flag. But George's luck must have run out because the guy he picked, back Bob Fennimore, never did live up to expectations. All of the picks, except Fennimore and Wade, who likely will make his debut next fall after two years in service, turned out to be stars. Now, friends, you can see why rich Cleveland is a lead pipe cinch to win the bonus choice from Green Bay, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and the Cardinals. Unfortunately, we are unable to reveal - for sure, that is - the Browns' bonus pick. Offhand, we don't see any glaring weaknesses on that outfit. Best guess, though, is Bobby Garrett, the great Stanford quarterback who has been rated as "everybody's bonus pick". The Browns don't need a quarterback, what with Otto Graham and George Ratterman, but Bobby Boy would assure the Browns of "half a team" via the trade route. What are the Packers' chances of winning the bonus pick? That, to put it mildly, is most unpredictable - unless the trend changes or unless our luck changes. Maybe the Packers' new head, Liz Blackbourn, can change that luck. Liz is keeping his fingers crossed, too. Who would the Packers pick as a bonus if they won? There's no official word on that, but Blackbourn said the other day that he expected most clubs to pick Garrett. Bobby would be excellent insurance if Babe Parilli was called into service. If The Babe stays around, Garrett could mean half of somebody's line. Anyhow, keep the knuckles crossed!
'HINTERLAND' PLEASED WITH PACK REGIME, TOO
JAN 21 (Neenah) - The folks out in the hinterlands apparently are pleased with the new Packer regime - too! There was no doubt how the Green Bayites felt about the selection of Lisle W. (Liz) Blackbourn as head coach of the Packers at the big welcome banquet in Green Bay Saturday night. The reaction was the same at the Neenah Quarterback Club's seventh annual pork and beef festival for the Neenah High School football team. This was a big event. More than 500 people crowded the basement of St. Patrick's school and, as a climax, the great Red Grange delivered an address. The magic six-letter word - Packer - spiced the talks throughout the program. And to make it official, Packer publicist Jug Earp introduced "the new head coach of the Packers, a fella I'm positive will do a terrific job - Liz Blackbourn." The new Packer mentor paid tribute to the "greatest All-American present tonight - Mark Catlin, Sr," who was Lisle's coach at Lawrence college. "Somebody was saying something about desire here tonight," Blackbourn said, "and when that Catlin looked at you under those bushy eyebrows and those cold, gray eyes, you had desire." The other All-American present was Allan Ameche, Wisconsin's great fullback - not to mention Jimmy Miller, the sophomore who did such a fine job of directing the Badgers from quarterback last fall. "If you can't beat 'em, we'll join 'em," Blackbourn said, referring to Marquette's loss to Wisconsin last fall, "and I hope to see Allan in one year and Miller in two - in Green Bay." Tribute to Blackbourn and "best wishes" to him were made throughout the evening. Grange, undoubtedly reflecting the feeling in Chicago, where he's affiliated with the Bears in spirit, said, "I', sure you're going to have a fine team up there with Mr. Blackbourn as coach. We all wish him all the luck in the world." Mentioned Ameche, Grange said, "I hope that when Allan finishes his career at Wisconsin, he goes right up there - at Green Bay." Ameche said earlier in the evening that he planned to play professional football in 1955. "Ole No. 77" talked briefly about the intense rivalry between George Halas, coach of the Bears, and Curly Lambeau, founder and head coach of the Packers for 30 years. "Those two fellows never shook hands after a game. They just didn't believe in it, because they wanted to beat each other so badly." He spoke highly of the famous Packer-Bear feud and added that "Coach Blackbourn will certainly add fuel to the rivalry." Larry Clark, former Packer game sportscaster, served as master of ceremonies and introduced a number of guests. Among them was Jug Girard, the former Packer who moved to Detroit in time to get in on two world's championships. The Jugger wished the Packers and Blackbourn "the best of luck except on two Sundays every year." Asked by Clark what he did with his championship playoff check, Girard said that he bought a new car in Detroit, drove it home to Kaukauna and then "my wife smashed it up." Just to put a happy ending to the Girard story, the Jugger reported after the banquet that "we're starting to build a house in Kaukauna tomorrow; yeh, starting the basement." The Packers were well represented. Besides Blackbourn and Earp, there were scout Jack Vainisi and directors Max Murphy and Mickey McCormick. Blackbourn, incidentally, put in a rather trying day yesterday. He delivered an address in Stevens Point Tuesday night and developed motor trouble going home late in the evening. He was forced to stay in Appleton that night and remained there while his car was being repaired on Wednesday.
LINEMEN TOP PACK NEED IN DRAFT, LIZ DISCOVER
JAN 22 (Green Bay) - Packer coach Lisle Blackbourn has come to the conclusion that "our No. 1 need our of the draft is linemen." Starting his 15th day in the Packer chair today, Blackbourn pointed out: "Maybe that isn't news to you people who have followed your team so closely, but from the pictures we've looked over, I'd say that we've got to bolster that line. Of course, we'll take that top-notch back if we get the chance early - we can use some of those, too, but a stronger line would help us considerably. Just recall some of the contending clubs in the league; they've got, No. 1, good, big lines." Blackbourn has completed a preliminary look at Packer game pictures of 1953 - "enough to size up the situation as to our needs." Presently, he's going over names of prospective draft choices with Scout Jack Vainisi, talking via long distance telephone with Packer players, and working out draft strategy. Blackbourn
isn't announcing his draft intention - as to names, for the simple reason that it would be giving comfort to the enemy. Since the Packers are sitting in a good position in the first round, several of the opposing clubs would be anxious to know what Blackbourn has in mind...FIRST PICK FROM GIANTS: The Packers, for instance, could possibly win three players in the first round - two for sure. They're in the running for the bonus pick with Cleveland, Chicago Cardinals, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Their own first round pick will be made after the Cardinals lead off (after the bonus ceremony). Since the New York Giants owe Green Bay their first round pick in the Arnie Galiffa deal, the Packers will get another shot in the third or fourth slot. Whether it's No. 3 or No. 4 will depend on the flip of a coin between the Giants and Baltimore, who finished in a deadlock last fall. Thus, if the Packers win the bonus and New York wins the flip, they can claim three of the first four picks in the country. That's the best they can do! In his preparation for the draft, Blackbourn came across several more problems. "That fast boy, Barton, won't be back; he's in the Army," Lisle said, recalling his speed in the Los Angeles game. Don Barton, an unheralded back from Texas, broke his ankle in the first non-league game last year and was forced to sit out until the last three league games. Blackbourn said that Steve Dowden, the offensive tackle from Baylor, has decided to give up professional football. Dowden came to the Packers in 1952 in the trade with Detroit for Jug Girard. He did exceptionally well in his first year, but remained home in '53 following a death in his family. On the brighter side, an effort is being made to return Ab Wimberly, the clever defensive end, to Packerland. Wimberly, who worked beautifully with giant John Martinkovic in 1952, coached at his alma mater, Louisiana State, last fall. During the course of a conversation at lunch yesterday, Blackbourn said that the name of the Packers' line coach would be announced sometime after the draft meeting. As he said earlier, "I'm still interested in getting someone who is familiar with the pro style of line play and someone who knows pass protection." The gentlemanly coach, asked about training sites, said he liked the idea of training at home. The Packers trained at Grand Rapids, Minn. in 1951-52-53. As to training itself, Blackbourn pointed out that "I'm not a great believer in secret practices all the time; they (the other teams) know what you've got. It's different, though, when you want to sew up defenses."
PACKERS TO GET 29 PLAYERS IN DRAFT - UNLESS
JAN 25 (Green Bay) - The Packers will get 29 instead of the standard 30 players out of the 1954 college player draft in Philadelphia Thursday. Unless they win the bonus choice! As a result of five deals during the past two seasons, the Packers will gain two choices – a first and a fourth – and lose three, a fourth, sixth and 15th. In other words, the Packers will give three for two. The only way they can come out even is by snaring the bonus in the pre-draft competition with Cleveland, Chicago Cardinals, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. While the Packers will come off with one less players (unless, of course) Coach Lisle Blackbourn has the advantage of an extra selection in the first round – well worth the loss of the 15th pick, the sixth or even both. That extra No. 1 pick resulted from deal with the New York Giants for quarterback Arnie Galiffa. With the first choice, the Packers also obtained defensive halfback Val Joe Walker. The Packers “gained” the fourth pick will be at the expense of Baltimore on the switch that sent rookie quarterback Bob Flowers to the Colts. Ironically, Flowers played under Fred Enke and was injured in the Packer-Colt game in Green Bay, going out for the rest of the season. The four lost choices are: No. 4 to Washington for halfback Johnny Papit, No. 6 to Detroit for tackle Gus Cifelli, and No. 15 to San Francisco for defensive halfback Bennie Aldridge. Papit stayed around long enough to score a touchdown against Los Angeles before being released. Oddly enough, Papit went back to Washington as a free agent when injuries wrecked the Redskin backfield. Cifelli, a regular at offensive right tackle on Detroit’s championship team of 1952, was obtained to fill the hole left by the retirement of right tackle Steve Dowden. Incidentally, Steve also came from Detroit – the previous year – in a trade for halfback Jug Girard. Aldridge went to camp with the Packers last fall and remained following the release of defensive halfback Clarence Self and Dan Sandifer after the fourth non-conference game. There will be considerable switching of draft choices Thursday as the “details” of various players deals are revealed – some for the first time. In one of the major trades, the Redskins obtained Don Doll from Detroit for second round draft choices this year and in 1955. One of the better defensive halfbacks in the league, Doll led the Lions’ defensive platoon in ’52 and with Washington last fall was named to the Eastern All-Star team for the Pro Bowl. What’s more, as a member of the Western All Stars in the 1953 Pro Bowl game, Doll was named the most valuable player…The Packer contingent is busy today with last minute details prior to leaving for the annual convention. Representing the Packers will be President Russ Bogda, General Manager Verne Lewellen, Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn, Assistant Coach Ray McLean, Scout Jack Vainisi and Attorney F.N. Trowbridge, a member of the executive committee. The group will fly out of Green Bay Tuesday morning and leave Chicago by plane at 1:30 in the afternoon. The parley will open Wednesday with preliminary meetings, including a rules session for the coaches and a discussion among club executives on television and radio. Trowbridge will represent the Packers in legal matters. The draft is scheduled to start at 9 o’clock Thursday morning, Green Bay time, although there is generally a delay of about a half hour. It will continue throughout the day and likely finish up about 2 or 3 o’clock Friday morning. For the first time in the history of the league, the draft meeting will be open to the press, radio and television. The scribes and ‘casters will be seated in a special section in the draft room.
NFL READY FOR 'FINEST' MEETING IN PHILADELPHIA
JAN 26 (Green Bay) - The Draft…Rules Changes…Television…College Worries…Player Limits…Franchise Changes…Canadian War…High uprights. Those items of official and unofficial business – to mention a few – will highlight the “finest” annual meeting of the NFL in Philadelphia, starting Wednesday and closing Saturday or Sunday. Commissioner Bert Bell feels this way about the offseason firing in the Bellevue Stratford Hotel: “We ought to have our finest meeting in several years. No one is mad at anyone else, everyone is happy – and the league’s attendance has increased 30 percent since 1949.” All of the opening day will be spent mulling over television before rewriting the league’s bylaws to conform with the federal court’s recent decision on TV and radio policies. Sitting in on this conference from Green Bay will be Packer President Russ Bogda, Attorney F.N. Trowbridge, a member of the Packer executive committee, and General Manager Verne Lewellen. During this interlude, the remaining three members of the Packer delegation, Head Coach Liz Blackbourn, Scout Jack Vainisi and Assistant Coach Ray McLean, will be making last-minute preparations for the college player draft, opening first thing Thursday morning. Television actually isn’t a problem anymore for the pros. In fact, it’s a pleasure what with the success the league had in ’53 with its Westinghouse contract providing benefits to every club in the league. The league’s lawyers will explain to the clubs the fine print in the federal court’s decision on TV and radio. The league feels that it won the suit, although the ruling sets forth that the league can no longer control radio broadcasts, nor can it control television in a club’s home territory while that team is on the road. Similar to the league’s policy, the ruling allows the league to blackout areas where a game is being played…The pros may get a complaint from college representatives, who are worried about the impact of pro television of Saturday night games – some of the just a few hours after college games. The colleges have learned that many out-of-town fans in some sections of the country will pass up a 75-mile day trip to see a college play in the afternoon when they can remain at home and watch a pro game over TV at night. The colleges are claiming that the pros are violating their unwritten rights by playing Saturday nights. This gripe likely will get little consideration from the NFL…Another item of resulting-from-television business, mostly unofficial, is the transfer of the Chicago Cardinals franchise to Buffalo, which held a berth in the old All-America conference. Since it take a unanimous vote to shift a franchise and since the Cardinals definitely aren’t interested in moving, this item of business likely will be relegated to the hotel corridors. Walter Wolfner, business manager of the Cards, said the other day, “We think Chicago is big enough, sportsminded enough, and its fans like pro football enough to support two teams. We are never going to move.” Television, of course, helped to increase the sentiment for moving the Cardinals. Road games of the Cardinals or Bears can’t be televised back to Chicago when one team is on the road and the other is home on the same day. Paul Brown of Cleveland and George Marshall of Washington already expressed themselves in favor of one-team cities. Buffalo officials, headed by attorney Abe Saperston, already have approached Bell on the possibility of receiving the Cards. But they won’t attend the meeting…The annual player limit fight – between the rich and the poor – probably will come up for discussion. There is considerable sentiment for increasing the limit from its present 33 plus the injured reserve list to a flat 35 and no injured reserve list. Under the present plan, clubs carried a couple of players as injured – some of them not serious, and managed to hide two or three others. Under the new program, players hurt would remain as part of the 35. If a new player was to be added to replace the injured one, the injuree would have to be placed on waivers and thus undoubtedly be lost to some other club. The well-heeled clubs all are in favor of a higher limit…The league probably won’t get too excited – at least not openly – about the Canadian league’s love for United States college stars. Bell stated that the league’s position recently when he pointed out: “All I have to say is that if Canada wants a war, they’ll get it. Canadian football is okay as long as the owners respect each other’s contracts and our contracts.” Canadian clubs have singed a number of American college and pro hot shots in the last few years, many of them already have returned. Bell is ready to announce several “requests” by stars to return to American football…At least four rule changes will up before the coaches in their meetings Wednesday. The changes, if favored, could come up for a vote later in the meeting. Bell’s pet – abolition of the extra point and use of a sudden death period to decide tie games – will be brought forth. Blackbourn is against the plan because he feels that it gives the clubs with great field goal kickers an advantage – the Browns, with Lou (The Toe) Groza, for one. Other changes would (1) partially return the pros to the college rule which makes the ball dead when any part of the carrier’s body touches the ground and (2) order an automatic loss of 15 seconds in the last two minutes of either half if an offensive man is hurt with the offensive man behind or the score tied. On Point 1, the proposed pro rule – unlike the college rule – would permit a ball carrier who slips in the open to get up and resume his advance. Only if actually knocked down by a tackler, although no longer in his grasp, would be a ball carrier henceforth be kept from advancing the ball. The purpose is to reduce injuries which piling so often produces. The Packers lost both of their offensive ends – Bill Howton and Bob Mann – for a total of six league games as the result of injuries receiving in piling after the advance had been stopped. No penalties were called in either case. Point 2 is proposed to do away with faking in order to prolong the playing time as Notre Dame did against Iowa last fall. The fake injury is a common practice among the pros but no games were decided by a false hurt last fall...The goal post change will be suggested by Ronald Gibbs, veteran National League referee, who feels that higher uprights will take the heat off officials on placekicks and tries for extra points that sailed high over goal. Occasionally a kick passing over an upright is too high to make an accurate call, he pointed out recently. In addition, observed from the angle of a grandstand seat, such kicks frequently look different than they do from the referee’s vantage point behind the kicker. Gibbs suggested raining the uprights “several feet”…A total of 361 players will be selected in the annual player draft. The odd “one” is the bonus choice, which will be fought for by Green Bay, Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Chicago Cardinals. These five clubs will draw numbers out of a hat until the lucky one pops up. The winner will get his choice of any player in the country. Incidentally, the league likely will vote later on an amendment to kill the bonus choice after each team has won once. Drafting will start Thursday morning about 9:30, Green Bay time, and will continue far into the night until each club has made 30 selections. And to give fans a better picture of the draft, press, radio and television representatives have been invited to sit on the picking – first time in history!
PACK EYES LINEMEN, TOP BACK IN DRAFT THURSDAY
JAN 27 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Like Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn said the other day: “Our main concern is linemen, but we won’t pass up a chance to grab a good back.” That, in part, reveals some of the Packer strategy to be used in the NFL’s annual draft opening in the Bellevue-Stratford hotel Thursday morning. Blackbourn also had stated earlier that everybody’s bonus choice would be Bobby Garrett, Stanford’s great quarterback. Thus, if the Packers win the BC in the kickoff against Cleveland, Baltimore, Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh, it can be assumed that Garrett would become a Packer. If the bonus choice (Garrett) goes elsewhere, it’s just about anybody’s guess as to the Packers’ next choice in the first round. The Packers will draw in the No. 2 slot behind the Cardinals and will receive the New York Giants’ No. 1 pick (made at the request of the Packers) to complete the Arnie Galiffa deal. The Giants will draft third or fourth, depending on the flip of a coin, with Baltimore. Since winning the bonus is strictly luck, Blackbourn isn’t making any great plans for Garrett. However, it’s a good bet the Packers will go for a top lineman and a top back in that first round – or possibly two forwards, if they don’t snare the bonus. This brings to mind several names – tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame, end-back Steve Meilinger of Kentucky, tackle Bob Fleck of Syracuse, back Veryl Swtizer of Kansas State, back Johnny Lattner of Notre Dame, tackle Dick Chapman of Rice, guard J.D. Roberts of Oklahoma, end Tom Nickeloff of Southern Cal, tackle Ed Meadows of Duke, back Paul Cameron of UCLA, to mention a few. In working out their strategy, the Packer representatives are busy evaluating the needs of other clubs in the league – particularly the Cardinals. For instance, if the quarterback-lacking Cardinals don’t win the bonus, they’ll likely go for a QB as their No. 1 pick – possibly Bernie Faloney of Maryland. Which could leave Meilinger or Hunter or Switzer to the Packers. However, should the Cardinals win the bonus, they would pick Garrett and then follow with maybe Hunter or Meilinger. Meilinger, Hunter and Switzer, it might be guessed, are rated high by the Packer contingent. Meilinger, a six-foot-three, 220-pound specimen, is something of a horse. He already has played every position but guard and center. The onetime teammate of the Packers’ Babe Parilli was a junior offensive end when the Babe played as a rookie for the Pack – in 1952. After two games and two losses, Coach Bear Bryant switched him to quarterback and the Kentuckians won five of their next six games. Meilinger, in the single platoon last fall, played defensive end, offensive end and halfback and defensive halfback – not to mention linebacker in a pinch. He never stayed at one position long enough to gain All-America but ranks high in professional football notebooks. Hunter is a 5-4, 240-pounder with speed, who specializes in a position where the Packers need help – offensive tackle. This giant is only the third player in Notre Dame history to play three positions in three years; he performed at an offensive center as a sophomore, offensive end as a junior, and offensive tackle as a senior. Bernie Crimmis, the former Packers, played right half, fullback and guard, in that order, from 1939-41, and Marty Wendell was a fullback in ’44, center in ’46 and guard in ’47-48. Switzer stands 5-11 and packs 190 pounds and is considered one of the top two-way prospects in the country. ND’s Lattner isn’t rated exactly as the best pro prospect – especially on offense. The clutch runner, however, is being boomed as a great defensive halfback for the pros. Another Notre Dame player, fullback Neil Worden of Milwaukee, probably won’t last through the first round. Worden, who played with the kids around Blackbourn’s house as a youngster, is believed to be the best in a thin fullback crop. Worden, despite his light 192 pounds, has plenty of heart, power and savvy. Cameron, who packs about 200 pounds, also probably will go early. Besides being a strong runner, Cameron can throw the ‘skin – short and long. He runs a lot like the Packers’ Cecil Isbell – especially inside the tackles, reminded Packer publicist Jug Earp. While some of these names sound juicy, observers here figure that pickings will be slim this year because of the return of the one-platoon system in college football. Some of the boys who would have been defensive standouts couldn’t make the grade because they were lacking in offensive ability. And the same was true for good offensive prospects who were too weak on defense. Packer scout Jack Vainisi said that preparation for the 1954 draft has been more difficult “because a number of boys who were double platoon stars in 1952 were lost in the one-platoon shift and harder for the pros to find.” In the draft a year ago, the 12 clubs picked 78 juniors and sophomores who became eligible for pro ball because their classes would have graduated in 1953. “In other words,” Vainisi pointed out, “78 good boys are already lost for the draft tomorrow.” Most of the clubs are likely to grab off juniors in the later rounds Thursday for delivery in 1955. The Packers drafted six juniors a year ago, but one of them, tackle Bill Lucky of Baylor, had to be forfeited when the Packers were unable to prove his eligibility. Lucky will be eligible, however, for the draft tomorrow and the Packers may re-pick him. The other five are halfback Joe Johnson of Boston College, halfback Dick Curran of Arizona State, center Bob Orders of West Virginia, tackle Charles Wrenn of Texas Christian and blocking quarterback George Bozanic of Southern California. Wrenn, a 250-pounder, already is in service and won’t be around next fall. Johnson and Curran each stand six feet tall and pack 185 pounds, and are noted for their speed. Orders, former West Point star dropped from the Army in the cribbing scandal, weighs 220 pounds. Bozanic stands 6-2 and goes 210 pounds. Working out final details on the draft are Blackbourn, Vainisi and assistant coaches Tom Hearden and Ray McLean. Hearden was a last minute passenger yesterday after he was able to get away from his studies at the University of Wisconsin. Tom will receive his master’s degree next month. Participating in the discussions on television today were Packer president Russ Bogda, general manager Verne Lewellen and attorney F.N. Trowbridge, a member of the Packer executive committee.
DRAFT IMPORTANT? TEXANS MAY HAVE HAD ‘NIP ‘N TUCK’
JAN 27 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – How important is the college player draft? Maybe this story, something of a second guess by still amusing, can answer the question: Back in January of 1952, at the draft meeting in New York, the New York Yanks, who a few days later became the Dallas Texans, drew first in the draft due to its last place finish in 1951. Despite the fact that the Texans were desperately in need of a quarterback, they selected Les Richter, the linebacker from Southern California. In the second round, they picked up Gino Marchetti, a tackle-linebacker from San Francisco. In selecting Richter, the Yanks passed up the heralded Vito (Babe) Parilli of Kentucky, who was promptly chosen by the Packers. Then, in the second round, the Yanks overlooked Bill Howton of Rice, who was just as promptly nailed by the Packers. This passing combination, known as “Nip and Tuck” by the Packers, certainly would have given the Texans power they never were able to generate all season. And, come to think of it, had the Texans selected Parilli and Howton, it isn’t too far-fetched to believe the NFL still might have pro ball in Dallas. While the failure of pro ball in Texas was attributed to more than playing personnel, it’s for sure Parilli and Howton might have helped the Texans to a few more victories – possibly enough to heighten interest and keep the pay sport there. But, me well. The Packers got Parilli and Howton and defeated the Texans twice in ’52 and the Baltimore Colts (their successors) twice last fall, with Howton scoring six touchdowns in the four games. The draft is important!...Realizing the importance of the draft for the first time as head coaches will be Liz Blackbourn of the Packers, Weeb Ewbank of Baltimore and Jim Lee Howell of the New York Giants. Blackbourn, as explained in today’s draft story, has a definite plan based on reports on the 1953 club and close observation of the 1953 Packer film. Ewbank’s No. 1 need is a quarterback, while Howell must find some breakaway backs and offensive ends. And speaking of coaches, eight of the dozen head coaches in the NFL are “college men”, having had experience as head coaches or assistants at college and universities. The C-men are Hamp Pool of the Rams, Paul Brown of the Browns, Jim Trimble of the Eagles, Joe Bach of the Steelers, Buck Shaw of the Forty Niners and Blackbourn, Ewbank and Howell. The remaining four who came up through the pro ranks are headed by the veteran pro football fathers – Curly Lambeau and George Halas, and followed by Joe Stydahar and Buddy Parker…All this talk about drafting juniors has made a lot of people to wonder why some club doesn’t draft Al Ameche, the University of Wisconsin’s famed fullback. Ameche isn’t eligible for the draft tomorrow because his class doesn’t graduate until June of 1955. Al will play as a senior next fall. Juniors who are eligible to be picked in the draft stayed out of school for a year or two – in most cases for Uncle Sam’s service. Bob (Toughy) Young, the former East High star at Wisconsin, furnishes an example. Bob came to Wisconsin the same year Ameche enrolled; thus Young’s class will be graduated in ’55. However, Young will play as a junior in ’55 if he competes next fall. Bob remained out of school for a year due to illness. Incidentally, Ameche is interested in playing pro ball.
STEVENS POINT POSSIBLE TRAINING SITE
JAN 28 (Stevens Point) - Stevens Point remains a possibility as training site for the Green Bay Packers this summer. An informal committee will meet Friday and from that number representatives may be chosen to go to Green Bay and confer with the professional football team's officials. The city can offer the Packers an attractive setup at Central State college which has convenient facilities for living quarters and eating as well as practicing. An intrasquad game such as concludes the August drills could be viewed by more than 5,000 fans with the addition of bleachers in the end zones of Goerke Park. Wausau, Eagle River and Ripon have all taken steps to lure the Packers to their communities. Green Bay, itself, where for many years the Bays did their pre-season work at Rockwood Lodge, could turn out to be training headquarters again. And, though Grand Rapids seemed out of the question, it is possible the Packers may even choose that Minnesota camp once more. Right now the main concern of the Packers is this week's draft taking place in Philadelphia. Vern Lewellen, the new business manager, says no camp will be picked until after the meeting. Both he and Blackbourn are reportedly leaning toward Green Bay but naturally could be swayed by tempting offers such as one that could originate out of Stevens Point.
PACKERS LAND HUNTER, SWITZER, FLECK IN NFL DRAFT
JAN 28 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Strengthening themselves where they were weakest in 1953, the Green Bay Packers today grabbed off last season’s two most prized college tackles and a swift halfback in the first two round of the NFL’s annual draft meeting in the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel here. After the talent-laden Cleveland Browns had won the bonus choice and snapped up quarterback Bob Garrett of Stanford, the Packers selected Art Hunter, Notre Dame giant rated as the No. 1 collegian tackle in the nation, as their first pick. Then, collecting a fat dividend on a trade with the New York Giants last fall, they acquired the Giants’ first choice, halfback Veryl Switzer of Kansas State. New York earlier had dealt defensive halfback Val Joe Walker to the Packers under terms of the Galiffa deal. In the second round, head coach Lisle (Liz) Blackbourn made off with an unexpected prize, Bob Fleck, huge Syracuse tackle. He and Hunter were rated the finest in the country at their positions and Blackbourn hadn’t expected Fleck to last out the first round. Continuing their search for talent to bolster the line, the Packers picked George Timberlake, University of South California guard, in the third round. Green Bay’s fourth selection was fullback Tom Allman of West Virginia’s 1954 Sugar Bowl eleven and the fifth was Max McGee, Tulane’s halfback. Allman, 6 feet and 210 pounds, reportedly is an excellent blocker and good pass receiver. McGee, a rangy 6-3, 200-pounder, is considered an outstanding pass receiver and Blackbourn says he will be converted to offensive end to fill the hole left by the departure of Clive Rush, who today signed as an assistant coach at Dayton university. The Packers acquired Allman for the Baltimore Colts in payment for quarterback Dick Flowers, traded to the Colts last fall. The Packers’ own fourth pick went to Washington for halfback Johnny Papit. They also will lose their sixth choice to the Detroit Lions in exchange for tackle Gus Cifelli, who came to Green Bay during the 1953 season…Hunter, only the third player in Notre Dame history to play three positions in three years, and the mountainous Fleck are figured to give the Packers help where they need it most – at offensive tackle. Another prime requisite, in Blackbourn’s estimation, was a speedy halfback and he feels that he had him in Switzer, tabbed a 190-pound “Buddy Young”. The 5-11 Kansas State Negro was far and away the outstanding running back in the East-West Shrine game at San Francisco New Year’s Day. Timberlake, a 6-1, 220-pound specimen, starred for Southern California against Wisconsin in the 1953 Rose Bowl game. He is a veteran of three seasons on the Trojan varsity. In Hunter and Fleck, Blackbourn acquired 500 pounds of tackle. Hunter, who was once employed at end by Notre Dame coach Frank Leahy because of his speed, stands 6-2 and scales 240 pounds. Fleck, who plays middle guard on defense and will be the biggest the Packers have had at that position since Ed Neal, also is 6-2 but carries 260 pounds. Explaining why he had passed over Kentucky’s highly regarded Steve Meilinger, Blackbourn said, “I feel that Switzer will do us more good. Judging by the films of last year’s games, the Packers were hurt because they lacked a really fast back, Meilinger is a fine football player, but he couldn’t help us in that respect.” The Packers were able to land both Hunter and Fleck because only one other tackle was chosen in the first two rounds. He was Dick Chapman of Rice Institute, drafted by the World Champion Detroit Lions. The Packers bypassed Chapman after they learned he is independently wealthy and an atomic physicist – and thus probably would not be interested in playing pro football…Cleveland’s success in the bonus draw came as no surprise here. It merely followed the pattern of previous years in which the “halves” invariably have come up with the plum, much to the dismay of the “have nots”. A year ago, the San Francisco Forty Niners hit the jackpot and took Harry Babcock, Georgia end. In 1952, the then champion Los Angeles Rams came up with Bill Wade. The year before, the New York Giants, at that time battling the Browns for the Eastern Conference championship annually, landed Kyle Rote, and in 1950, the Lions picked Leon Hart. The already-quarterback rich Cleveland team took Garrett apparently either as insurance for the aging Otto Graham or as trade bait to strengthen other positions. Speculation already is ripe here that Coach Paul Brown will deal away either Graham’s understudy, George Ratterman, or Garrett before the start of the 1954 season. Oddly enough, three of the other four teams (Pittsburgh, Chicago Cardinals and Baltimore) engaging in the bonus grab needed quarterbacks to strengthen their clubs. All were on record as seeking a passer and all were far below Cleveland in the standings last season…Working with Blackbourn at the Packer tackle were Scout Jack Vainisi, Assistant Coaches Tom Hearden and Ray McLean, General Manager Verne Lewellen and President Russ Bogda. Press, radio and TV representatives also sat in on the session for the first time in NFL history.
PACK DEALT BLOW BY SIGNING OF RUSH AS DAYTON U. AIDE
JAN 28 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – Packer Coach Lisle Blackbourn received an unexpected blow last night when the news broke that end Clive Rush had been signed as an assistant coach under Hugh Devore at Dayton University. “We had planned on him to play plenty of end next fall, and maybe some defensive halfbacking,” Liz said, adding “looks like we’ll have to go for an end now fairly early in the draft – that’s one position we weren’t worrying about.” As if the news from Dayton wasn’t bad enough, Blackbourn had just heard a talk by Bob Snyder, the National league’s Man-Against-Canada, at Wednesday night’s meeting. Snyder told the delegates that Canadian clubs had contacted and made offers to just about every top football player in the country. This pointed up to Blackbourn that the Packers might possibly have to bid against Canadian teams for the players they want, which reminds of the war against the All-American conference. This Canadian thing is on a minor scale, of course, but there’s no question but what the northerners could possibly hurt the Packers. In the last four years of Canadian war, the Packers have lost only one top-drawer draft choice – Bob Gain, the Kentucky tackle who was the Bays’ No. 1 pick in 1950. Gain never should have been allowed to get away. Reportedly, the difference between Green Bay and the Canadian club was only $500. Blackbourn, in giving considerable thought to the problem of signing these players, “Once we draft ‘em.”…The winner of the bonus choice is another story but it is interesting to note how the Browns felt about Bobby Garrett, the great Stanford quarterback, last night – 12 hours before the draft started. Coach Paul Brown had arranged specific meetings with the other four bonus-eligible clubs (Green Bay, Baltimore, Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh) for the purpose of talking trade. That would indicate what Mr. Brown thinks of Mr. Garrett…The Packers have seven representatives at the 1954 parley. Besides Packer Coach Blackbourn, there are President Russ Bogda, General Manager Verne Lewellen, Assistant Coaches Tom Hearden and Ray McLean, Scout Jack Vainisi and Attorney F.N. Trowbridge. Gene Ronzani, former Packer head coach, is here, presumably looking for a job. Commissioner Bert Bell gave out some lovable attendance figures last night. In 72 league games last fall, the league drew a record 2,164,585 fans – an increase of 112,489 over 1952. The increase boiled down to 5.2 percent or 1,500 per game. The ’53 mark represents an increase of 45 percent since 1945. Pro football is here to stay!
RYMKUS, MCLEAN NAMED PACK AIDES
JAN 29 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Green Bay Packers’ coaching staff today was complete with the announcement by Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn that Lou Rymkus, former Notre Dame and Cleveland Brown tackle, has been named line coach and Ray (Scooter) McLean as his third aide. Tom Hearden, former St. Norbert college strategist, had been appointed backfield coach Jan. 9. Indicating his pleasure over securing the services of Rymkus and McLean, Blackbourn said, “This arrangement will give us a more flexible staff since McLean will be able to perform more duties than an end coach.” He originally had planned to complete the staff with line and end coaches. Like Hearden, Rymkus and McLean will be employed the year-around in Green Bay and Rymkus will take up permanent residence in the home of the Packers. McLean has been a Green Bay resident since joining the Packer staff. Rymkus, who comes to the Packers with glowing recommendations, played seven years of professional football, six with Cleveland and one with the Washington Redskins, and enjoys the distinction of having played in the championship game each of those seven seasons. A graduate of Chicago’s Tilden Tech High School, where he was a member of the varsity for three seasons, Rymkus later starred at Notre Dame for three years, 1940-41-42, and was named the team’s most valuable player as a senior. After spending the 1943 season with Washington and playing against the Chicago Bears in that year’s title game, Rymkus entered the Navy in 1944 and played for Bainbridge, Md. In 1945, he was transferred to Pearl Harbor and in the fall of that tear was stationed at Notre Dame, where he was tackle coach under Hugh Devore, a Packer aide in 1953. Rymkus joined the Browns in 1946 and played six seasons in Cleveland, retiring after the 1951 season. In the spring of 1952, he was an assistant to Bernie Crimmins at Indiana University, but remained out of football in the fall of that year. Last season, he served as line coach under Bob Snyder with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian league. Born Nov. 6, 1919, Rymkus presently makes his home in Cleveland, but he said he will sell his home there and move to Green Bay. He is married and the father of nine-year-old sons, Pat and Mike. McLean, who came to Green Bay in 1951, will be returning for his fourth season. Backfield coach the last three years, it is expected he will be assigned other duties for 1954. Scooter, who scouted the North-South, Orange and Senior Bowl games for the Packers, played college football at St. Anselm’s in Manchester, N.H., where he was a standout. He also competed in track, hockey and baseball there. One of football’s fastest halfbacks, he later played eight years with the Chicago Bears, during which time he was a member of four championship teams. Upon retiring from the gridiron, McLean became head coach at Lewis College in Lockport, Ill., serving from 1948 to 1950, before joining the Packer staff in ’51. McLean, born in Lowell, Mass., on December 6, 1915, is married and the father of a year-old son.
DRAFT GIVES 'STRONG LINE'
JAN 29 ((Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – The Packers had the makings of powerful line today – one that Coach Lisle Blackbourn hopes will restore Green Bay as a passing power in the NFL. “We came here looking for a strong line and we believe we have made a step toward that end,” Blackbourn commented early this morning after the league completed its 19th annual college player draft in the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. Out of a possible 29, the Packers selected 19 linemen – or two-thirds of the entire list – in an effort to give Babe Parilli, Tobin Rote and company the protection they need to make the club’s passing and running game click. Actually, the bulk of the protection is concentrated from tackle to tackles – the men who keep the inner sanctum clear. The Bays landed eight tackles, four guards and one center – 13 men who average better than 230 pounds…The tackle crop is headed by Art Hunter, the club’s No. 1 choice from Notre dame. Hunter, a 240-pounder with speed, specializes in offense and he can go at center or guard. In the No. 3 slot, Bob Fleck, the 260-pound offenser from Syracuse and also an experienced middle guard. Those two add up to 500 pounds alone. The seventh and eighth choices contained 460 pounds of tackle – Sam Marshall, the Negro All-American from Florida A. and M. and 220-pound Jim Williams, also a kickoff man, from Texas Tech. The country’s other Negro All-America tackle, 235-pound Bill Buford of Morgan State, was nailed on the 22nd round. To round out the tackle picnic, Blackbourn grabbed Jack Smalley, 225 pounds, of Alabama; Ralph Baierl, a 220-pound junior from Maryland; and darkhorse Jerry Dufek, the highly recommended 215-pounder from St. Norbert College. The Packers went high for their first guard – the No. 3 pick – to get George Timberlake, 220, from Southern California, who likely will replace Army-bound Dick Logan. On the No. 13 round, Mike Takacs of Ohio State, the best pro line prospect there, came to Green Bay…The Packers gambled on their third guard, highly publicized J.D. Roberts of Oklahoma, on the 17th round. Roberts obviously at 210 pounds is too light for the pros, but Blackbourn is hoping he’ll regain the extra weight that made him a 220-pounder as a junior. The fourth guard was Lowell Herbert, at 215, who impressed Blackbourn when his Marquetters played College of Pacific last fall. The 13th man in the tackle-to-tackle corps was the second Ken Hall the Packers drafted, a center from Springfield, Mass., College, who packs 220 pounds on a six-foot frame. He was the only center selected – in the 19th round. The other Ken Hall, by the way, is an end from North Texas State, who packs 200. The Bays picked up six ends – not counting halfback Max McGee of Tulane, who will be switched to offensive end. McGee is a long distance receiver and has a quick takeoff. Three of the ends specialize in defense – Hosea Sims, Blackbourn’s former grid pupil at MU, who was chosen in the 27th round; 24th choice Marv Tenefoss, a 210-pounder from Stanford; and big Gene Knutson, the 225-pounder from Michigan who hails from Beloit. To help fill the shoes of departed-to-coach Clive Rush and give Bob Mann and Bill Howton a run, besides McGee, are Dave Davis, a 210-pounder from Georgia Teach; Oregon’s Henry Barnes, who soars 6-5 and packs 215 pounds; and the Texas Hall…Besides a line, Blackbourn said before the draft, “We’ll go for that one top back and a fullback with some weight.” He was able to accomplish the backfield phase of that mission – to some extent at least – in the first four picks. The top back turned out to be Veryl Switzer, the 190-pound Negro flash from Kansas State. Like most of the other picks, Switzer is a strong two-way player. He was an All-American as a defensive back as a sophomore and junior and last year, because of the one-platoon system, developed easily into an all-Big Seven offensive back, too. He scored two TDs in the East-West game and outplayed all of the more publicized stars. The Giants picked Switzer – at the Packers’ request – in the first round to complete payment for Arnie Galiffa. For a fullback with some weight, the Packers latched onto Tom Allman of West Virginia, a 210-pounder highly recommended by Dave Stephenson. Allman is a powerful blocker for the passer, a strong runner and good pass receiver. For FB-weight variety, Michigan State’s barrel-legged Evan Slonac was chosen in the 28th round. He packs 175 pounds on a 5-8 frame and carries powerful legs. The Bays grabbed two good-sized halfbacks in Bill Oliver, 190, of Alabama on the 12th round, and Desmond Koch, the nation’s leading punter from Southern California. Koch, who packs 205 pounds, averaged 44.7 on 22 punts. The other halfback named was Art Liebscher of College of the Pacific, who carries 180 pounds on a lightning-fast pair of legs…The Packers came up with a good darkhorse in a quarterback – one Clint Sathrum of St. Olaf’s national small-college phenoms. Clint is a cross between at 6-1, 195. He’s a good passer and quick with the handoff. He led St. Olaf to an unbeaten season, most yards and most points in the nation. Sathrum, selected on the 23rd round, was recommended by Bernie Heselton, Lawrence college coach whose team played against St. Olaf’s. To round out the QB competition, the Packer pickers – Blackbourn, Jack Vainisi, Ray McLean and Tom Hearden – grabbed Terry Campbell of Washington State on the 30th round. Campbell is a lanky sort at 6-2, 172. The consensus around the draft room was that Green Bay had made an excellent draft for the simple reason that the Packers had been able to fill the positions where they needed strength – especially by doing so in the first eight rounds when the really top-notch boys were still available. Blackbourn said that each boy selected will be officially informed by telegram today. Contacting the athletes already has started in some cases. No time will be lost in going after Hunter, who is being haunted by Canadian representatives.
OTHER CLUBS THOUGHT LIZ HAD SLIP WITH 'X' ON BONUS PICK
JAN 29 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - For one fleeting fraction of a second, the delegations from the 12 precincts in the NFL thought Green Bay had won the bonus choice here Thursday. And the gentlemen from Packerland suffered a missed heartbeat. After picking numbers for drawing positions, Pittsburgh and Baltimore drew blank slips (the slip marked with an X is the winner) out of a hat suspended by Dennis Shea, league treasurer. Coach Liz Blackbourn, drawing ion the No. 3 slot for the Packers, was confronted with three slips in the hat, the others being for Cleveland and the Chicago Cardinals. Blackbourn pulled out a slip, turned to face Commissioner Bert Bell as he opened it, looked down at the slip and then hesitated for a fleeting moment. You got the impression that Blackbourn couldn’t believe his eyes at the sight of an X. He handed the slip to Bell, who coldly called forth Cleveland to draw. All of which meant that the Packers didn’t win. Harold Sauerbrei, new publicity director for the Browns, did the picking for the Browns. As expected and predicted in your favorite newspaper two weeks ago, the rich Browns got richer. Tim Mara, owner of the New York Giants, quipped a moment later, “That’s one time the Browns didn’t need Groza to win something.” The Packers’ draft room luck didn’t stay bad however because the Giants won the flipoff with Baltimore, which meant the Packers got two consecutive first round picks, second and third; otherwise they would have drawn second and fourth. Before the draft opened, Bell recited the draft rules, and then urged the clubs to cooperate with each other on eligibility. “Everybody will benefit if you speak up when a club picks an ineligible player,” he said. Five of the players drafted a year ago were ineligible, and thus thrown into this year’s draft. One was Baylor’s Bill Lucky, who was picked by Green Bay. Lucky was picked in the fifth round yesterday by the Browns. The press, admitted to the draft for the first time in history, sweated along with their respective clubs – in a separate section of the room. The early rounds “drug” on something fierce. Finally about 3:15 in the afternoon, after only eight rounds had been completed, Bell said, “Look, boys, we’ll be here until 4 or 5 o’clock Friday morning; let’s speed it up.” In the earlier rounds, some of the clubs deliberated as long as 20 minutes on a single pick…Packer Capt. Bob Forte watched the draft with the Miller Brewing Company delegation and said he was pleased with the Bay picks. Bob may play after all next fall. He had told friends earlier that he “might retire.”…Weeb Ewbank, new head coach of the Baltimore Colts, found himself in an unusual position during the draft – at the Cleveland Browns’ table. When Coach Paul Brown “permitted” the Colts to hire Ewbank, one of the contract stipulations was that Ewbank work with the Browns on the draft. Brown was afraid Ewbank would take some of his secrets to Baltimore. The Colts’ draft was handled by former Coach Keith Molesworth, who, of course, got his instructions from Ewbank…The first University of Wisconsin player chosen was halfback Roger Dornburg – in the 13th round by Washington. Badger Coach Ivy Williamson said in Green Bay last fall that “the pro crop was extremely thin last fall.” Several of the nation’s top All-America players went way down the line. Pittsburgh drafted Paul Cameron, the great UCLA runner-passer, in the eighth round. Paul Geil, the Minnesota whiz who told everybody he plans to play baseball, was nailed by the Bears in the ninth round. Washington got Menominee’s Billy Wells in the 15th round. The Packers drew a few “ohs” when they selected J.D. Roberts, the Oklahoma lad who made just about every All-America, in the 17th round. The Packers took him in hopes that he might gain some weight. J.D. played at 220 and 225 as a junior…There is plenty of trade talk here. The Browns, with Bobby Garrett, may barter George Ratterman – possibly to the Cardinals. Detroit wants Tank Younger in a bad way from Los Angeles. Washington owner George Marshall has been handing around the Detroit table, with trade in his eye. The Redskins have fullbacks to burn and the Lions could use any one of them…Writers here are assuming that Ray McLean will remain as a member of the Packer coaching staff. That’s a good assumption. Ray and Scout Jack Vainisi worked closely with Coach Blackbourn during the draft. The others, Blackbourn, Verne Lewellen, Russ Bogda and Tom Hearden, were in on their first draft. You can rest assured that the four “newcomers” became “veterans” in a hurry and conducted themselves in excellent fashion.
SELECTION BY PACKERS CHEERS DUFEK, UNDERGOING OPERATION
JAN 29 (Green Bay) - Dufek’s selection comes at a time when the 23-year old Milwaukee native would be facing an otherwise bleak day. He was admitted to St. Vincent Hospital at 7:45 last night and was to undergo an operation today. The 6 foot 2 1/2-inch tackle was sidelined with a knee injury in the 1953 Great Lakes-St. Norbert game. The minor operation is to correct a defect in the knee cartilage. Dufek’s prowess became known early to his past and future coach, Tom Hearden. Coming to St. Norbert from Milwaukee Boys’ Tech, he starred on two undefeated Knight teams, 1950 and ’52. He left college at the completion of the 1950 season for a hitch with the Marines, serving one year in Korea. The 220 pounds lineman at one time had participated in 16 consecutive winning games with the Knights.
NFL REWARDS BELL WITH 12-YEAR PACT
JAN 29 (Philadelphia) - The NFL rewarded commissioner Bert Bell with a new 12-year contract Friday. But Bell turned down a raise in pay. The commissioner receives the comfortable salary of $30,000 a year, plus a $10,000 annual payment into a pension fund for him. And he pointed to the unusual costs to the league in the last few years as the reason for turning down the increase. Bell said the league had spent $200,000 in the past two years to settle its affairs in connection with defunct Dallas club, payments on a lease on Yankee Stadium by the equally defunct New York Yankees, settling the Baltimore tangle, where one club was moved out and a new franchise later was issued, and on the costs so far of defending the government's anti-trust television suit. All that was done without an assessment against the clubs. With more still to be paid in connection with the TV suit, Bell figured that even the television-inspired prosperity of the clubs might not stand a further drain on the league's treasury. Eventually, the club owners voted down by a 7-5 margin a proposal designed to prevent piling up on a downed ball carrier and let a couple of other suggested changes die. The reading of the league's financial report showed attendance increased 45 percent from 1945 to 1953 and 35 percent between 1949 and 1953. In a night session, the club owners narrowly rejected a proposal to increase the player limit to 35 men for each club, instead of the present 33, and to abolish the "injured reserve" list.
PACKERS LAUNCH 'SIGNING DRIVE'
JAN 30 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers have been moving right along since the new regime stepped in. We got that impression last night in reviewing the Packer meat of the 1954 NFL convention at the Bellevue Stratford Hotel. Actually, Coach Lisle Blackbourn has been behind the Packer wheel only since Monday, Jan. 11 - the day he fought snow and wind in a drive up from Milwaukee to officially take over in place of Gene Ronzani. He was appointed head coach Jan. 7. Only 18 days have passed since he took active command, but in that short space he has (1) evaluated the needs of the Packers through a thorough study of the 1953 Packer films, (2) decided that the club's No. 1 need is a big, strong line, (3) drafted 29 players to help correct that deficiency, (4) rounded out his coaching staff with the appointment of Lou Rymkus as line coach and Ray McLean as assistant, and (5) already launched the huge task of contacting the draftees and free agents. Blackbourn, Backfield Coach Tom Hearden and Scout Jack Vainisi left here early today for Green Bay and a short breather Sunday before plunging into their player-signing hunt. McLean went east to contact a number of prospects. The 29 players the Packers drafted were officially informed by telegram today. The wire, sent to each player, follows: "Welcome to the Green Bay Packers and the NFL. Everyone is happy you are to be with us. We have been world champions six times. Having you with us is a step toward another championship era. Will contact you soon."...ARRANGE FOR TALKS: The No. 1 task is signing the No. 1 draft pick - tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame - one of 19 linemen whose main job is to bolster the Packers' front wall. Arrangements for contract talks with Hunter were started yesterday afternoon. Blackbourn and his aides went into a huddle yesterday noon and spent the entire afternoon and part of the evening in his room, calling players they had drafted as well as free agents. Meanwhile, President Russ Bogda and General Manager Verne Lewellen sat in on the league seasons. This procedure points up the Packers' new program - the coaches handling the coaching and player details and Lewellen and Packer officials working into the various business phases of the club. Thus, Liz can put all of his thoughts into the coaching and player phase without getting tangled into such things as television, radio, etc. Blackbourn wasn't revealing the progress made with talks with players yesterday but it can be reported that he was in a happy frame of mind, along with Hearden, Vainisi and McLean, last night. Blackbourn kept receiving glowing reports about Max McGee, the six-foot-three-inch, 203-pound halfback from Tulane, drafted No. 5. The Packers' coach said during the draft that he intended to make an offensive end out of McGee and "from what I've been hearing about him, he might be just the kind of big, offensive end we're looking for." The Bay coach talked with, among others, his No. 3 draft choice - guard George Timberlake, the 220-pounder from Southern California. Timberlake was told that he was needed at a certain position and "he told me, 'I can take care of that situation for you'," Blackbourn said...Plenty of work is being done on the Packer non-conference schedule by Lewellen and Bogda. Dates, opponents and places aren't ready to be announced yet, but it was indicated that the Packers will play six non-loop games next fall. All games will be played against Eastern Conference teams. Bell swears the league schedule won't come up for discussion in closing sessions today. Club representatives are quite happy to let their commissioner handle the entire card. The schedule setup won't change. Each club will play home and home with each club in its own division to furnish 10 contests. The other two games will be against two different opponents in the opposite division...Football is threatening to replace tennis as the sport of gentlemen. The NFL Friday joined its amateur brethren, the NCAA, in appealing to the better nature of its mayhem-minded behemoths. The appeal was in conjunction with players faking injuries in the late minutes of the first or second half in order to stop the clock and save valuable time for possible scoring maneuvers. Commissioner Bert Bell introduced a measure aimed at regulating such histrionics. Portly Mr. Bell would have his officials run off 15 seconds on the clock in the last two minutes of a half or of the game whenever a player injury or disqualification crops up. The officials would act only when the game is tied or the offensive team is behind. But despite their vote of confidence in the commissioner - a new 12 year contract - the owners disagreed with Bell. They voted to "remind coaches to remind their players of the gentlemen's agreement pertaining to no faking of injuries in the last two minutes of the half or of the game." The NCAA, in convention at Cincinnati recently, did the same thing. The NFL executives in the third day of their annual meeting also agreed to retain one of the pro league's bread and butter rules despite its contribution to the injury list. A few owners would eliminate the rule under which pro ball carriers can get up and run even after they are tackled. The reason, of course, is to limit piling on and resulting injury to highly paid chattels. The suggested revision would have made the ball dead after the defense makes contact with the runner and any part of the latter's body, except his hands or feet touch the ground. The crowd loves to see a man hit and then have him get up and run again, the owners agreed, adding that it's one of the features that distinguishes the pro game from the college game. Other rule changes which failed to see the light of day included elimination of the extra point and a sudden death period in the event of a tie.
RYMKUS, NEW PACK ASSISTANT, CARRIES NICKNAME OF 'BATTLER'
JAN 30 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Lou Rymkus, the Packers' new line coach, carries the nickname, "Battler". Notre Dame Coach Frank Leahy pinned it on him when Rymkus came out of a game back in '42. Lou had played 58 minutes and when Leahy grabbed his hand on the sidelines he said: "Lou, you're a battler." That's the way he was with the Browns, too, Cleveland newspapermen and club representatives said here yesterday. "Both of his knees were patched up; they looked like mummies, but he went full speed in every game and during practice," the Brownies said. This may sound like a recommendation for a player, but it represents the sort of spirit Coach Liz Blackbourn hopes Rymkus will instill in the Packer line. As a player, Rymkus has experienced just about the limit in success. He was a two-way regular as a rookie with Washington in 1943, and fought in the playoff against the Bears that year. In six seasons with the Browns, he never missed getting into the playoff. He averaged 50 minutes in his first three Brownie campaigns, 1946-47-48, and served as offensive captain in 1950-51. His experience at Calgary under Bob Snyder was tough. "We had Frankie Albert (former Frisco quarterback) early in the season, but he was hurt and we had nothing left," Rymkus said yesterday. But his experience in the Canadian League makes Rymkus sort of an official Packer campaigner against the Canadian setup. He can give the Packers prospects the exact picture of playing in Canada and, judging by the way Lou talked, we can't see how a United Stater can prefer playing up there over a team in our land. Rymkus was sought by former Packer aide Hugh Devore at Dayton University and there was considerable speculation that Weeb Ewbank wanted him in Baltimore. Weeb was Rymkus' coach at Cleveland. Lou coached the tackles under Devore when the Bay line coach was stationed in the Navy at Notre Dame in 1945. Lou had called Cleveland his home, but "I'm going to sell my home and move up to Green Bay; it's a year-round job, you know." He's married and has twin 9-year old sons, Pat and Mike...Commissioner Bert Bell drew some laughs from the pressmen when he said, "The extra point was humiliated for no second and my sudden death period was humiliated for no motion." Bell, for years, has been trying to sell the clubs doing away with the extra point and installing a sudden death system of deciding tie games. "It might take ten years, but I'll keep bringing up that extra point and sudden death."...Two of the former head coaches, who resigned since the 1953 season, are in the market for work. Steve Owen, who left the New York post early in December, has cut himself loose from the NY front office. Gene Ronzani, the former Packer, could possibly get a backfield job with Pittsburgh or Chicago Cardinals. Baltimore is also looking for assistants. Keith Molesworth, former Colt head coach, now has a white collar job with the same club. Also here in a hunt for jobs are Paul Bixler, former backfield coach at Penn; Otis Douglas, the combination trainer-line coach from Baltimore; and Bob Snyder, one time head coach of the Los Angeles Rams and assistant with the Packers. Snyder, who had been on the payroll of the league as an anti-Canada agent, says he expects to "land something with a league team."
PLAYING THE GAME (WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL)
FEB 1 (Madison) - One of the mysteries of the NFL draft remains the case of Oklahoma's J.D. Roberts. Here was a guard who was practically a unanimous All-American choice, was named as "Lineman of the Year" by both Associated Press and United Press, was the outstanding lineman in the Orange Bowl game. The Green Bay Packers got him as their 17th choice. A total of 194 players had been drafted by league clubs before Green Bay picked up the 5-10, 210-pound Oklahoma star. The only explanation that makes sense is that Roberts let it be known that he might play professional football.
PACKERS EYE HUNTER: SO DOES CANADA! HARRAWOOD IN 'RAID?'
FEB 1 (Green Bay) - With one eye on Canada and the other on their draft lists, the Packers and the 11 other clubs in the NFL today jumped into the enormous task of signing 361 players - not to mention scores of free agents who eluded the draft in Philadelphia last week. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn was back at his desk today - but probably not for long. There's a player he wants to see in South Bend, Ind., by the name of Art Hunter, the Bays' No. 1 choice. The Packers already have been in telephone touch with Hunter. Canada is hot after Hunter, an agile, 240-pound tackle, and one of that country's clubs has offered him a sort of combined contract - for his services as a player and as an assistant coach of the pro team. To opine a bit, it can be pointed out that Hunter would be stepping into a ticklish situation. Merely this: He, as a rookie, would be asked to teach and coach pro veterans of many years - not to mention Canadian boys. That might not set so well. At any rate, the Packers' effort to sign Hunter and other members of their 29-player draft list brings the National League's war against the Canadian loop close to home. At the NFL convention, club representatives were informed by Bob Snyder, Calgary head coach in '53 and now a National League "agent" against the Canadians, that Canada has "at least 16 free agents who might be worthwhile to sign by American teams." That was in line with Commissioner Bert Bell's plan to "raid" Canadian clubs. One of the players not on the reserve list of U.S. clubs was Floyd Harrawood, the big tackle drafted by the Packers a year ago and then released after tryouts last fall. Harrawood, a 245-pounder from Tulsa University, played the last nine games for Snyder at Calgary. Owner Art Rooney of Pittsburgh expressed an interest in going after Harrawood so that "Floyd can join our other Tulsa boys," including quarterback Jim Finks. The Packers will get a good view of Harrawood's Canadian progress from their new assistant coach, Lou Rymkus, who was line coach at Calgary last year. Actually, the league took no specific action on the so-called Canadian war. Club representatives merely heard a report by Snyder on conditions there. Snyder's report had no bearing on the manner if which the various clubs drafted, although his words did serve to hammer home the fact that some of their stars would be given strong talking points by the Canadians. Wednesday night before the draft, Blackbourn decided definitely
that "threats by the Canadians to the boys we intend to draft must not interfere with our plans." But Liz admitted that the report, coming as it did the night before the draft, did "give me something to think about." The Packers' first six picks (at least) - each one designed to bolster a particular weakness - are wanted by these Canadians. After Hunter, Blackbourn nailed Veryl Switzer, the 190-pound halfback from Kansas; Bob Fleck, 260-pound tackle from Syracuse; George Timberlake, 220-pound guard and linebacker from Southern California; Tom Allman, 210-pound fullback from West Virginia; and Max McGee, 203-pound pass catching halfback from Tulane. Blackbourn plans to make an offensive end out of McGee. Probably the two most productive switch personalities in pro football are Elroy Hirsch, the great Los Angeles end, and Cloyce Box, the Detroit Lions wing. Both started pro ball as halfbacks, and were converted into dangerous ends.
THERE'S SOME WEIGHT IN PACKER 'D' ROSTER
FEB 2 (Green Bay) - Overlooked in the rush last week was all over the "heft" of the Packer draft list. The Packers received rights to 6,082 pound of football beef, which averages out to 209.7 for each of the 29 athletes. Two hundred and nine pounds isn't much for some pro positions, but a breakdown reveals that the backs average an even 190 pounds; the line from end to end averages 220; and the middle line from tackle to tackle averages 225. Still not convinced? Let's break it down by position: The tackles, a key spot to be strengthened, average out to 231 pounds - a good balance between the "lighter" offensive mover and the heavier defensive performer. Eight tackles were chosen. The four guards measure out to 215 pounds and the one center, Ken Hall of Springfield College, packs 220. The most unusual weight is concentrated at end. The six wings average 208.6 pounds as Coach Liz Blackbourn went after big offensive ends who carry enough weight to block and large defensive ends. The six halfbacks average 191 pounds. One of the heaviest, 203-pound Max McGee of Tulane, will be switched to offensive end. The heaviest halfback is Desmond Koch of Southern California, who led the nation in punting last year. Blackbourn selected a large and small fullback - 210-pound Tom Allman of West Virginia and 175-pound Evan Slonac of Michigan State. They average out to 192 pounds...The two quarterbacks, who will fight with Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote, carry enough weight, averaging 183. Clint Sathrum, the signal caller who pitched St,. Olaf's to all sorts of small college records, has an ideal build for a QB - 195 pounds, 6-1. The other QB, Terry Campbell of Washington State, is on the slender side, 6-2, 172. To further emphasize weight, the Packers selected only four players under 190 pounds and only eight under 200 pounds. The heaviest player in the entire lot is Bob Fleck, 260-pound tackle from Syracuse; the lightest is Campbell, 172. The tallest athlete is 6-5 Henry Barnes, the Negro end from Oregon; shortest is Slonac, who stands 5-3. The six ends average out to 6-3. Dave Davis of Georgia Tech and Gene Knutson of Michigan each soar 6-4, an inch under Barnes. Ken Hall, wing from North Texas State, goes 6-1. Marv Tennfoss of Stanford is 6-2 and Hosea Sims of Marquette is an even six feet...And speaking about weight, the Packers still have a "heavy" problem left - signing the players. No time is being lost in contacting the draftees - not to mention a number of free agents. The Packer office started to lose occupants today. Assistant Coach Tom Hearden is heading for the southwest; General Manager Verne Lewllen moved west, and coaching aide Ray McLean already is in the east. Blackbourn is expected to take off shortly for an unannounced destination. Coordinating the various movements back home is Scout Jack Vainisi, who contacts the various players and arranges meetings with them.
ASKS ALUMNI TO REVIVE 'OLD SPIRIT'
FEB 2 (Green Bay) - Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn asked members of the Packer Alumni association to "help revive the old Packer spirit" at their monthly meeting at the Beaumont hotel last night. Meeting with the unique group for the first time, Blackbourn said, "it would be a big help to all of us, and the fans, if you former players could get acquainted with the active Packers and imbue them with the spirit that has made Green Bay famous." Nearly 30 ex-Packers - one of the largest turnouts for a monthly session - applauded Blackbourn as he sought the cooperation of the onetime Bay stars. Alumni president John Biolo pledged "full assistant from our group", and Packer president Russ Bogda said that "the Packers will cooperate with your group in every way possible." Blackbourn ran down the Packer work that had been accomplished thus far. He told about the draft and his review of the pictures of the previous games. He explained that "our main problem is to strengthen our line." The association voted an honorary membership to Ed Crim, veteran Packer travel agent who handled Packer travel affairs for nearly 30 years. E.A. (Spike) Spachmann, former Packer ticket director, was voted a lifetime membership. The association also drafted a letter of congratulations for Frosty Ferzacca, former West High coach who was named last week as head football coach at Marquette, succeeding Blackbourn.
PACKERS INK ART HUNTER, ASSIST NFL LEAGUE IN 'WAR'
FEB 4 (Green Bay) - With a 240-pound assist from the Packers, the NFL held a resounding first-round victory over Canadian forces today in the two circuits' so-called player war. The Americans invaded the campus of Notre Dame, our country's top football power, and came off with contracts of three players selected in the first round of the draft just a week ago today. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn signed art Hunter, Notre Dame's All-American tackle. Pittsburgh Coach Joe Bach inked Johnny Lattner, the All-America halfback and Philadelphia Coach Jim Trimble signed Neil Worden, the Milwaukeean who fullbacked the Irish for three seasons. The Eagles also added Notre Dame guard Menil Mavraides, their fourth round selection. All three coaches saw their No. 1 choices in person yesterday afternoon. Blackbourn was accompanied by Lou Rymkus, the Packers' new line coach - himself a former Notre Dame tackle star. Blackbourn, to put it mildly, was delighted. It was his first hand-to-hand attempt to sign a Packer prospect and since it was the Packers' No. 1 choice he had particular reason to be happy. Liz, who left the South Bend, Ind., for Michigan today, said that Hunter "represents the first step in strengthening our line." Hunter likely will play offensive tackle - a position at which he starred last fall. Blackbourn aimed his draft at toughening the Bay wall, selecting eight tackles, four guards and one center. Hunter expressed great interest in joining the Packers. He already had several offers from Canadian clubs - one of which included an assistant coach's job. After the signing, Hunter said he was "glad to be with Green Bay." On the N.D. campus, presently buzzing with excitement resulting from the resignation of Coach Frank Leahy and the appointment of Terry Brennan as his successor, Hunter is known as "another George Connor - only better." The new Packer tackle - who will be 21 years of age in April - is considered a tremendous blocker. The native of Akron, Ohio, is gifted with amazing speed for his size - six-feet-four inches and 242 pounds. The sure-fire pro bet played tackle both ways, 60 minutes in tough games, under the one-platoon system last fall. In three seasons at ND, he has been shifted around to strengthen three spots. As a sophomore, Hunter worked at center; he was a defensive end as a junior. But last fall Notre Dame needed strength at tackle, so Hunter was switched again. Just a youngster, Hunter has played only five seasons of varsity ball. At St. Vincent High in Akron, the big athlete won his first letter as a junior,
repeating in his senior year. Also at St. Vincent, Hunter won two letter in baseball and three in basketball. Hunter is of English and Hungarian descent. Signing of Hunter gives Blackbourn and other Packers "signers" a good talking point in their conversation with the other draft picks - not to mention the scores of free agents. General Manager Verne Lewellen is presently on a player-signing trip out west; assistant coach Tom Hearden is in the southwest; and aide Ray McLean is in the east. Rymkus returned to his home in Cleveland after the signing and may come to Green Bay next week. No salary terms were announced on the four Notre Dame players, but all expressed happiness in continuing their football careers in the United States. The signings at Notre Dame yesterday represent the largest one-day harvest by the pros on the Irish campus in history. The league went to Notre Dame this year, so to speak. One dozen players - more than from any one school - were chosen in the draft.
GRANDPAPPY STATUS, 2 LINEMEN BRING LIZ JOY
FEB 5 (Green Bay) - Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn, somewhere on a player-hunting tour of the midwest, undoubtedly is chuckling today over his new status as a grandfather - not to mention the signing of two big boys. Blackbourn inked Art Hunter, the Packers' No. 1 draft choice, Wednesday afternoon. Yesterday, as he headed into Michigan territory, Liz learned (1) that guard Bob Kennedy of Wisconsin had announced his own signing and (2) that the Junior Lisle Blackbourns became parents of a daughter - their first child. Mrs. Blackbourn, Sr., broke the news to "grand-pappy" on the telephone last night. Mrs. Blackbourn and son, Charles, a student at East High were to leave late this afternoon for the Junior Blackbourn's farm near Lancaster, Wis., to see the new heir. The tot will be named later. What about Liz? He'll continue on his signing trip over the weekend and likely will get back to Green Bay Sunday or Monday. Kennedy, the 225-pound guard who skipped Packer camp along with center Jim Ringo last fall, revealed his signing among student friends in Madison yesterday and the news spread quickly. Kennedy, incidentally, returned to Wisconsin after his unannounced departure last fall for the purpose of continuing his schooling. He will receive his degree in chemical engineering next June. Ringo, as you'll recall, returned to camp a few days later and made the club, though injuries knocked him out of the last five games...PLAYED AT WAUSAU: Kennedy, an all-state guard at Rhinelander High, looked impressive at the Grand Rapids, Minn., training camp but left before getting a good test in the non-league opener against the New York Giants. The Wisconsin ace, who stands 5-11, had the inside track on the middle guard job on defense. Oddly enough, some of his most vicious battles were fought with Ringo - the boy he buddied up with on the "getaway". Kennedy was the entire middle of the Badger line and specialized in jamming up the center. Before he left, the Packers had high hopes that Kennedy would develop into another Ray Bray, the former Chicago Bear who played the middle guard slot for the Packers in 1952. Kennedy had shown some of Bray's meanness and aggressiveness. To remain in condition, Kennedy was given permission by the Packers to play with the semi-pro Wausau Muskies last fall. Kennedy was the Packers' sixth choice in the draft a year ago. Signing of Hunter and Kennedy gives Blackbourn a good start toward bolstering the Packers' line, which, he said, "had to be strengthened first."
SWITZER AND FLECK STILL PONDERING PACK OFFERS
FEB 9 (Green Bay) - Now that No. 1 draft choice Art Hunter is in the fold, how about the other No. 1 pick and maybe even No. 2? Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn was back in the friendly confines of his office yesterday along with Aides Ray McLean and Tom Hearden. And they had reason to smile over several other signatures, but Blackbourn said that Switzer and Fleck aren't on the line yet. Veryl Switzer is the great halfback from Kansas State and Bob Fleck is a star tackle from Syracuse. Hearden spoke with Switzer on his trip into the midwest and McLean hashed over the situation with Fleck in his tour of the east. Switzer, the Packers' second No. 1 selection which was final payment from the New York Giants in the Arnie Galiffa deal, has several offers from Canadian clubs. "But," Tom recalled, "he said he would much rather play in the United States - in Green Bay." Switzer, incidentally, is competing in track and likely wouldn't sign for pro football until after the season. A story got out yesterday afternoon that the 260-pound Fleck had already signed with Canada, but it never appeared on the Associated Press or United Press wires. The Packer coaches wouldn't believe it. McLean said, "Bob said he'd do nothing about Canada until he talked with us again." Blackbourn is anxiously awaiting word from General Manager Verne Lewellen who is out on the west coast contacting players. In the south is coaching aide Lou Rymkus, who is expected to make his first appearance in Green Bay over the weekend...AVERAGED 5.99 YARDS: Blackbourn met up with Rymkus when Liz signed Hunter on the Notre Dame campus last week after which Lou took off for the south. Liz continued his trip by car into Michigan and then down into Ohio, seeing other prospects. The Packer coaches found Switzer and Fleck in the pink of condition and discovered both definitely want to play professional football. Switzer, who packs a swift 190 pounds on a 5-11 frame, averaged 5.99 yards in 95 carries last fall, gaining 569 yards. He averaged an amazing 31 yards on seven punt returns, including a 70-yard scamper for a TD. Veryl is one of the more versatile stars on the Packer draft list. He was an All-America defensive back as a junior and last year, what with the one-platoon system, came into his own on an offensive back. Switzer, incidentally, was to be the Bears' No. 1 draft choice, and members of their party showed disappointment when the KS star was lost. The Bears thus were forced to grab Stan Wallace, Illinois defensive back. Switzer had been wined and dined by the Bears several weeks before the draft.
CANADA, LOSER IN TALENT WAR, BREAKS SILENCE
FEB 10 (Green Bay) - The Canadians finally broke their silence. After a NFL draft, it had been customary for the boys north of the border to come out and announce to the world the number of hot shot draft specials they had swiped from the NFL. A year ago, they grabbed off Billy Vessels, Tom Stolhhanske, Bernie Flowers, Bobby Marlow, Ed Crowder - to mention a few right quick. The shoe, thus far, is on the other foot. National league clubs signed half of the dozen first round draft choices, including Art Hunter of Notre Dame by the Packers. This wave of offense apparently stunned the Canadian forces and it wasn't until yesterday - two weeks after the '54 draft, that two Canadian coaches said about the same thing - that the NFL is threatening United States college players with permanent expulsion if they sign with Canadian teams. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn, asked for his reaction today, stated: "We're not threatening anybody - just telling them the facts in the case." Blackbourn thus reflected the feeling of the other clubs in the league which, incidentally, has not asked its clubs to threaten expulsion. The league has a rule, installed at the 1953 meeting, which prohibits a league club from signing a player in the same season he plays or signs with a Canadian team. The league club, however, can sign the "erring" player the following season - as Baltimore has in the case of Flowers. Packer coaches presently are giving their draft choices the "facts" about play in the Canadian circuit. They were briefed on the style of play, conditions there, etc., at the recent league meeting by Bob Snyder, former head coach at Calgary. Blackbourn has in his midst one who also is well acquainted with the Canadian setup - one Lou Rymkus, recently signed as line coach, who was line coach under Snyder at Calgary last fall...HERE'S WHAT THEY SAID: Anyhow, in the interests of good journalism, here is what Toronto coach Frank Clair and Hamilton coach Carl Voyles said. Clair: "It wouldn't surprise me a bit (threat of expulsion). I know they're really putting pressure on the kids and most of them are scared to death of Canada." Voyles: "I don't know whether they threaten to bar the boys now, but I know they have threatened them like that in the past."
KNUTSON, TWO FREE AGENTS JOIN PACK
FEB 11 (Green Bay) - Gene Knutson and Jim Balog, two University of Michigan stars who found the one-platoon system no mystery last fall, went back to the two-platoon plan today - as professionals with the Packers. And to round out a big day for Coach Liz Blackbourn, word came from Bloomington, Ill., that Milt Kadlec of Illinois Normal signed a Packer contract mailed to him recently. Signing of the three players boosts to the total of announced signed customers to five. End Knutson was the Packers' 10th draft selection, while tackle Balog and halfback Kadlec are free agents. Knutson and Balog played side by side in the right section of Michigan's strong front line for the last two years. The lanky Beloit wing, who packs 215 pounds on a six-four frame, made his name at Michigan as a defensive end in the double platoon program in 1951-52. Good speed plus a sure pair of huge hands enabled him to make the switch to offense with no trouble. He'll get a shot at both phases in the early weeks of Packer training. Knutson, one of Beloit High's all-time football stars and an all-state selection, caught 11 passes for 201 yards in his debut as a two-way wing - an average of nearly 20 yards per. He scored two touchdowns - one on a pass. Knutson was ranked as one of the most gifted freshman to report at Michigan in 1950. He won the Meyer Morton trophy in 1952 for showing the most hustle and drive in spring practice. He suffered a broken leg in spring practice in '51 but played enough the following fall to earn a letter as a sophomore. Sleeper Balog was Michigan's No. 1 tackle last fall. The 220-pound specimen from Wheaton, Ill., plays right tackle on offense and right tackles on defense. Balog is best known for his speed - a big asset in pro ball. He stands 6-3. Kadlec returned to Illinois Normal last fall after playing two seasons with the San Diego Marines. A good blocker with speed, Kadlec, 26, stands six feet tall and carries 185 pounds. He was named the most valuable player at school last fall. Kadlec gained valuable experience with the Marine eleven, playing against a number of pro stars...Veryl Switzer, the Packers' second No. 1 draft choice, which represents the final payment from the New York Giants in the Arnie Galiffa deal, stopped in Green Bay today en route from his home school, Kansas State, to Michigan State where he'll compete in a track meet Saturday. The all-around, 190-pound halfback conferred with Coach Blackbourn concerning his professional football future before going on to the meet. Assistant Coach Tom Hearden talked with Switzer on his recent tour of the southwest. Also coming in today was general manager Verne Lewellen, who had been contacting players in the west...Knutson was one of six ends drafted by Blackbourn at the recent selection party. Blackbourn is determined to find a suitable defensive end mate for big John Martinkovic and an offensive wing or two to push the veteran pass catchers. The Bay mentor also is planning to switch halfback Max McGee, the 6-2, 203-pounder from Tulane, to offensive end. McGee has a good pass catching reputation. Other ends drafted were Dave Davis of Georgia Tech, Ken Hall of North Texas State, Henry Barnes of Oregon, Marv Tenfoss of Stanford, and Hosea Sims of Marquette.
SWITZER, TOP PACK PICK, 'IMAGE' OF BUDDY YOUNG
FEB 12 (Green Bay) - Veryl (Joe) Switzer should have a lot of hot afternoons in City stadium - if likenesses mean anything. The Kansas State Jet, visiting here while en route to a track meet at Michigan State, is almost a dead ringer for Buddy Young, the New York, Dallas and Baltimore Scat Kid who every fall gives the Packers a hit in our snug stadium. There are some very important differences in the skilled Negro backs. Switzer towers a half foot taller than Young and, better yet, he plays defense - something Buddy never played in college or pro - as well as offense. Switzer packs 5-11 and stands 190 pounds. Young carries 180 on a 5-5 frame. Judging by advance notices and Switzer's confident outlook on professional football, the native Kansan should have some interesting afternoons all around the powerful National league next fall. Switzer came out of the 1953 season with a ball carrying of average of 5.99 from scrimmage and a 31-yard average on punt returns - a good 15 yards above the normal mark for punt returns. Veryl actually made his reputation at Kansas State as a defensive back - a position at which he starred as a sophomore and junior. He was named an All-America defensive back in 1952. When the colleges went into the single platoon last fall, Switzer became equally effective. Veryl, who came in yesterday and left late this afternoon by plane for East Lansing, said he "sure likes this town" after trips around the area yesterday afternoon. He has been in conference with Packer coach Liz Blackbourn. Switzer said he plans to finish out his track career this spring. Switzer said he has been contacted by Canadian teams. The young speed demon was the Packers' second No. 1 draft choice. The other No. 1 pick, tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame, already has signed by the N.D. athlete is not in track. Switzer represents the New York Giants' final payment to the Packers in the deal that sent quarterback Arnie Galiffa to the Giants for their No. 1 draft pick and defensive halfback Val Joe Walker. A likeable, easy-talking boy, Switzer made a lot of friends here in his brief look at Green Bay. He said that "I was impressed by the kindness shown by everyone I met." The bowlers out at the North Side alleys last night sort of "ate him up" - a good example of how Green Bay fans treat their Packer players.
RONZANI GOING TO CARDINALS?
FEB 12 (Green Bay) - Gene Ronzani, former coach of the Packers, was rumored today as a possible successor to J. Neil (Skippy) Stahley, backfield coach for the Chicago Cardinals, who was picked Thursday as head football coach at the University of Idaho. Ronzani, who resigned as Packer mentor last Nov. 27, may go to the Cardinals in a "good turn" move by head coach Joe Stydahar. Ronzani hired Stydahar when Jumbo Joe was out of work late in the 1952 season. Stydahar, an administrative assistant here, helped with the draft due to the illness of Scout Jack Vainisi. At the recent National League meeting, Stydahar refused to talk about the possibility of hiring Ronzani, onetime backfield coach of the Chicago Bears. Other backfield coaching jobs open in the league are at Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Ronzani, who is living in Green Bay, presently is visiting in Iron Mountain, and could not be reached for comment.
PACKER COACHING STAFF TOGETHER - FOR SHORT TIME
FEB 13 (Green Bay) - The Packer coaching staff was intact for the first time for a few hours yesterday afternoon, with the arrival of line coach Lou Rymkus. Rymkus flew in from his home in Cleveland after spending the past week with Packer prospects in the south. The new coach, former Notre Dame and Cleveland Brown tackle, arrived in hand to meet Veryl Switzer, the Kansas State halfback who was here for a look at the town en route to a track meet in Michigan State. Rymkus was a little shaky when he arrived; he had just recovered from a bout with the flu. Lou plans to make his home here. His family is composed of his wife and two sons, Pat and Mike. The coaching foursome, including head coach Liz Blackbourn and aides Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Rymkus, was not together long yesterday afternoon. McLean left for an unannounced destination - undoubtedly to see some players. Switzer flew out of Green Bay yesterday afternoon - in time to meet his trackmates in East Lansing last night.
PACK PROBLEM? FLECK PLAYS 2 POSITIONS WELL
FEB 15 (Green Bay) - Packer coach Liz Blackbourn dismissed a pleasant problem today until next August. "Until we can see what the boy does best," Blackbourn pointed out in referring to big Bob Fleck, the 260-pound lineman from Syracuse who was signed by Assistant Coach Ray McLean over the weekend. Actually, Blackbourn isn't confronted with a problem at all. But the happy fact is that Fleck plays two positions - middle guard on defense and tackle on offense - with almost equal ability. Thus, Fleck can be considered a candidate for both. Blackbourn must decide next fall the position to which he is best suited, "although we have him tentatively set as a tackle." Blackbourn has two excellent, pleasantly-conflicting reports on the Syracuse giant. Phil Handler, line coach of the Chicago Bears, coached one of the teams in the North-South game. "Fleck was playing offensive tackle and pushed my 280-pound defensive tackle all over the lot," Liz quoted Handler as saying. Bert Ingwersen, line coach at Illinois, saw Fleck play middle guard against the Illini last fall and saw the new Packer do a damaging job against the middle of the Illinois offensive wall. Co-captain at Syracuse and a teammate of the Packers' Jim Ringo there in 1951-52. Fleck made the Tribune All-Players' All-America in 1952-53. He was also on the Collier's and INS All-Americas. Fleck will carry about 256 pounds on his 6-2 frame into battle. He is considered fast for a big man - a must for offensive linemen. Just a youngster at 22, Fleck was a star basketball and football player in hometown Coatesville, Pa., and later at Manlius Military Academy in Manlius, N.Y. The Syracuse ace is "well mended" from head injuries suffered in an auto accident the day after the National League draft last month. Signing of Fleck gives the Packers two of the most highly regarded tackles in the draft, the other being No. 1 pick Art Hunter of Notre Dame. And the precious contracts give Blackbourn a wonderful start on his announced program to rebuild the Packer line. Three other linemen have already been signed. Next big line objectives in the draft are guard George Timberlake of Southern California, the third draft pick; 240-tackle Sam Marshall of Florida A. and M., No. 7; and 220-pound Jim Williams of Texas Tech, No. 8, an experienced kickoff and extra point and field goal kicker. Fleck, incidentally, was one of two tackles selected in the second round. The other was Buddy Gillioz of Houston, chosen by Los Angeles. Hunter was one of two chosen in the first round, the other being Dick Chapman, the atomic expert from Rice, chosen by Detroit.
LT. KAPRAL WANTS ANOTHER TRY; GAY SALVUCCI WAITING
FEB 16 (Green Bay) - The mail is always heavy at the Packer office. Coach Liz Blackbourn sets a special period aside every morning to go over correspondence from well-wishing fans, athletes, other coaches and scores of people in the football trade. Scout Jack Vainisi, starting his fifth year in the Packer office, is tangled up in the letter business a good part of the day. A couple of years ago, Vainisi started a "correspondence" course with athletes all over the country. The result is what Jack calls a "running file" of information on athletes - as well as information on the Packers for the athletes. Vainisi got three interesting notes today - from Gayton Salvucci, Bob Kennedy and Frank Kapral, to mention a few. Salvucci was signed as a free agent a year ago and then went into the Army. The former American International college star halfback, who runs, punts and throws from the single wing, writes "almost every week," Vainisi said. Salvucci, who receives copies of the "Packer News", wrote that he is anxious to try out for the team in 1955. "I'll be out of the Army July 25, 1955," he penned. Salvucci, a six-foot, 185-pounder, presently is stationed at Fort Dix, N.J., but will move to Fort Monmouth, N.J., shortly. Kennedy, the former Wisconsin guard who signed a contract for '54 recently, wrote that he is "grateful to the club after the stuff I pulled last year - this time I'll be with you all the way." Kennedy was referring to last fall when he and center Jim Ringo of Syracuse jumped camp without advance words. Kennedy went back to school and next June will receive his degree in engineering; Ringo returned a week later. Kapral, the Michigan State guard who was the Packers' 22nd draft choice two years ago, is now a second lieutenant in the Army at Fort Sam Houston, Tex. Frank said he'd like to try out for the club next fall. Kapral, who will be separated from service in spring, signed a contract and took part in a brief training in Grand Rapids, Minn., in 1952. He was called him when his wife was injured in an accident and never returned. Vainisi's letter service has been invaluable to Blackbourn in building up the Packer reserve list. One of the chief results likely will be the return of many familiar names to Packer training, such as Kapral and Salvucci...Verne Lewellen, Packer general manager, and public relations chief Jug Earp are in Milwaukee for a few days. Lewellen was one of the speakers at the Santa Monica school sports night program last night. Among the other speakers were Frosty Ferzacca, Marquette coach, and Fred Miller, the sports-minded brewery king...Blackbourn and members of his staff, Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus, have plunged once again into the "cellar" under the Packer office for more views of Packer pictures. It's the first step for Blackbourn in arranging the Packers' 1954 attack!
PACKERS 'BUILD' SCOUT REPORTS; MARSHALL LOST
FEB 18 (Green Bay) - The Packer coaches were red-eyed and sober today. The glimmers were starting to get on the bloodshot side as Head Coach Liz Blackbourn and aides Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus continued a long and eye-smarting movie job - making scout reports on every Packer game played last fall, 17, including five non-league and 12 league. Why sober on this 18th day of February, 1954? It developed that Sam Marshall, the 240-pound Negro tackle from Florida A. and M., had signed a contract to play with Toronto of the Canadian Big Four Football Union. Marshall, whose signed was announced by Toronto last night, was the Packers' seventh draft choice and one of eight tackles selected by the Bays in the draft last month. Big Sam was the first member of the Bay pick list to step out of the NFL - at least for '54. Blackbourn said today that "we'll get in touch with the boy to verify the report of his signing there." The Negro All-American had been contacted immediately after the draft...FIVE NEGROES CHOSEN: Marshall was the No. 3 tackle chosen by the Bays. The top two - No. 1 choice Art Hunter of Notre Dame and No. 2 pick Bob Fleck of Syracuse - already have been signed by the Packers but both had been wooed by the Canadians. Marshall was one of five Negro players chosen in the draft. The others are halfback Veryl (Joe) Switzer of Kansas State, the second No. 1 pick; end Henry Barnes of Oregon, No. 18; tackle Bill Buford of Morgan State, No. 22; and end Hosea Sims of Marquette. Getting back to the red-eye department, the huge task of composing complete scouting reports will take nearly 35 days - more than a month of work days for the four coaches. Two motion picture projectors are being used to complete the job. One is in the coaches' room in the basement of the club offices at 349 S. Washington and the other is in a long, dimly-lit hall in the same building. "It takes us about two days to make a complete report on each game. The plays of each opponent are charted on both offense and defense. This takes about a day and a half. The other half day is used in compiling the information," Blackbourn pointed out. The finished scouting reports will show which plays gained the most yards for the various Green Bay opponents, their defensive strong points, etc., and form a basis for the Packers' strategy against the different clubs next fall. The fact that the Packers played some of the clubs twice last fall makes no difference. Pictures of both games are viewed, and, incidentally, afford the coaches a double look. The Bays played "doubleheaders" with the Western conference clubs - Bear, Lions, Rams, Forty Niners and Colts. In addition, the Bays played double bills (non-league and league) with the Eastern conference Steelers and Browns.
PACKER STOCKHOLDER PARLEY MARKS START OF NEW REGIME
FEB 19 (Green Bay) - The annual stockholders' meeting of Green Bay Packers, Inc., at the courthouse March 1 will mark the "official opening" of the Packers' new regime. Making reports for the first time will be Verne Lewellen, new general manager of the corporation, and Lisle Blackbourn, the club's new head coach. Appointment of Lewellen and Blackbourn in January launched the Packers on a new era which ended with the resignation of Gene Ronzani as head coach late last November. Lewellen will reveal the progress made thus far for the 1954 season. Blackbourn will outline his rebuilding program, the draft and plans for the '54 playing campaign. The stockholders will elect 12 directors, each for three year terms. The nominating committee has placed the names of Richard Falk of Milwaukee up for election to succeed Milwaukee's Joe Krueger. President of Falk Corporation, Falk has been active in backing sports affairs for years. He is considered the No. 2 sports backer in Milwaukee behind Fred Miller, also a member of the Packer board. Holdover directors nominated by a committee composed of John Torinus, chairman, Arthur Mongin and Charles P. Mathys are Ervin Bushman of Sturgeon Bay; Don Hutson of Racine; and H.J. Bero, R.W. Bogda, L.J. Levitas, Dominic Olejniczak, August Reimer, C.J. Renard, Walter Scherf, Edward Schuster and W.J. Servotte of Green Bay. Nominations for new directors also likely will be made from the floor. A highlight of the meeting will be the annual financial report by Secretary-Treasurer Servotte. The corporation made nearly $12,000 and the profit is expected to exceed that amount for the 1953 campaign. Immediately after the stockholders' meeting, the directors will meet to name officers and an executive committee. Officers are R.W. Bogda, president; L.H. Joannes, vice president; W.J. Servotte, secretary-treasurer; and Emil R. Fischer, chairman of the board. The executive committee has 10 members. It was reduced by two following the resignations of Lewellen to become general manager and Ronzani. Remaining members are Bogda, Joannes, Servotte, Max D. Murphy, Fred Leicht, Fischer, Olejniczak, F.N. Trowbridge, Bero and Torinus. The meeting will also act on a change in Article I of the bylaws to provide for holding the annual meeting on the first Monday in March of each year. instead of the first Monday in February as presently provided. The current session was postponed from Feb. 1 because of the late National League meeting which might have prevented the appearance of the new coaches and general manager. Also to be introduced will be assistant coaches Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus.
PACKERS SIGN HB VERYL SWITZER; 'BIG THREE' SET FOR '54
FEB 24 (Green Bay) - Veryl Swtitzer, the "middleman" in the Packers' Big Three, is in the fold. Signing of Kansas State's great two-way halfback was announced today by Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn after Switzer decided to end his track career due to a bruised heel. Blackbourn now has his top three draft choices set for 1954. Signed first was the No. 1 pick - tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame and next to fall in line was No. 2 selection, tackle Bob Fleck of Syracuse, both All-Americans. Switzer, 21, actually was the Packers' second No. 1 grab. The New York Giants owed the Packers their first draft choice in the deal that sent quarterback Arnie Gailiffa to NY and also included defensive halfback Val Joe Walker, who broke in with the Pack last fall. Switzer, 190 pounds of speed on a 5-11 frame, is a right halfback on offense and a safety on defense. Where'll he play in pro football's two-platoon system won't be known until late in September but you can bet Blackbourn will give him a thorough test on both offense and defense. Switzer turned out to be what Blackbourn predicted before the draft. "We've got to strengthen the line but we'll go early, too, for that one good back," he said before the selection. Switzer was eyed by at least eight other clubs and especially the Bears who feted him during a trip to Chicago before the draft. All three of the Packers' ace draftees were oogled by Canadian teams. Switzer in particular had a tough decision to make because, reportedly, his college coach was headed for Canada. But Switzer was invited to Green Bay three weeks ago and the Negro took a liking to the city as well as the people he met. Switzer leaves a raft of accomplishments at Kansas State. He gained midwest recognition as a passer, runner and punter for his six-man Bogue, Kan., High school team in the late 1940s. His tryout as a freshman at KS in 1950 was his first brush with the standard 11-man football. In three varsity seasons, Switzer always represented a "problem" to his coaches because he was equally adept at both offense and defense. His tremendous coordination - not to mention his weight and speed - made him invaluable on defense. He specialized in defense in 1951 as a sophomore and was named to the All-America defensive team selected by the Associated Press. He added some offensive work in '52 but he regained his A-A honors for defense. The switch to the one-platoon system was made to order for Switzer last fall. He led the team in scoring with eight touchdowns and rolled up 618 yards in 95 carries for a six-plus average. In addition, he returned seven punts for 217 yards - an average of 31, and brought back 11 kickoffs for 245 yards - an average of over 20. Almost overlooked in earlier publicity but not by Packer scouts is the fact that Switzer ranks as one of the finest pass catchers in the midwest. The glue-fingered back snagged only eight passes but his speed helped build up a total of 211 yards - an average of over 26 per catch. Switzer made Big Seven years on offense and defense in '53 and won defensive honors in that loop in the previous two seasons. Powerful Oklahoma tabbed him as the strongest defensive back it had encountered in the last two years. And here's an award that Blackbourn is especially happy to hear about: Switzer was named the most inspirational player at KS in '53. Switzer, who bears a striking resemblance to Buddy Young, has been nicknamed Joe by his teammates because of his easy-going and friendly nature.
TRADESMEN URGE DEDUCTIONS FOR PACK TICKETS
FEB 24 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Federated Trades Council Tuesday night unanimously adopted a resolution requesting local labor unions and employers to urge volunteer payroll deductions for the purpose of purchasing season tickets to 1954 Packer games. Designed to reduce the financial burden that many might feel through buying the tickets at one time, the resolution was introduced by Jack O'Malley of the Trades Council. It asks that representatives of all union locals contact employees to make arrangements to put the plan into operation. The resolution: "BE IT RESOLVED, That the Green Bay Federated Trades Council requests all of the labor unions in the city of Green Bay, together with industry and business in the City of Green Bay, that voluntary deductions be authorized by the individual employees, as well as the employer, for the purpose of purchasing season tickets for the Green Bay Packer football games in 1954, and that this be on a purely volunteer basis. That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to all of the trade unions in the City of Green Bay and also to the Green Bay Packers, and also to the Green Bay Association of Commerce."
PACKERS 'EYE' ELIGIBILITY OF COLLEGE STARS
FEB 25 (Green Bay) - The Packers are making every effort to preserve the eligibility of college players they sign to professional football contracts. At the same time, the Packers are being careful not to incur the wrath of the colleges. Packer head coach Liz Blackbourn – himself less than two months out of the college picture – pointed out the above “facts” today in reviewing the signings of Veryl (Joe) Switzer, the Kansas State football and track star. Blackbourn said that Switzer was signed after it was established that the 21-year old Negro was “definitely through with track.” Switzer decided to quit track after he injured his heel in the recent Michigan State indoor meet, in which he placed fourth in the broad jump. Joe is defending Big Seven broad jump champion. Despite the injury, Switzer may have quit track anyway because of a heavy load of school work. “I did not feel that I could devote the necessary time to track since I am carrying a heavy schedule,” Switzer said in Manhattan, Kan., yesterday. “After learning that Joe had decided to quit track,” Blackbourn said, “we wrote school officials to verify the boy’s move. Later, we talked with Lawrence (Moon) Mullins, the athletic director, by telephone to make doubly sure and to sound out the school’s reaction.” Thus, the Packers – through careful checking – maintained a healthy relationship with Kansas State University. More important, the manner in which the “problem” was handled automatically removed some of the fear colleges have towards the pros – the Packers in particular – for future dealings. Switzer undoubtedly made up his mind about playing pro football in Green Bay, rather than in Canada, after a visit here recently. The young athletes was impressed by the treatment he received from Packer coaches and officials and the large number of fans he met. While the Packer-Switzer-Kansas State “transactions” radiated sweetness and light, all was not peaches and cream between some of the other schools and pro clubs. The tennis coach at Northwestern University is unhappy at the Washington Redskins; the Southern California football people will have nothing to do with the Detroit Lions; the basketball coach at College of the Pacific undoubtedly would like to “hang” the New York Giants – to mention a few cases. Green Bay’s own Don Rondou, the West High quarterback immortal, is in the middle of the Northwestern-Washington dispute. At the moment, Redskin assistant coach Herman Ball is attempting to regain Rondou’s tennis eligibility. Don is the defending Big Ten net champion. When he signed the Redskin contract, Rondou was under the impression that the pact wouldn’t take effect until after the tennis season. The matter will have to be straightened out with Tug Williams, Big Ten commissioner, and the other Big Ten schools. The irony of Don’s case is that the former Wildcat turned down a bid to play in the North-South game over the holidays in order to preserve his eligibility for tennis. Announcement of Rondou’s signing was made out of Washington. The New York Giants pulled an “unfortunate” with their No. 2 draft choice, Ken Buck, the pass catching end and basketball star from COP. The story of Buck’s signing somehow leaked out – just before the start of a big basketball game. Which ended Buck’s basketball career right then and there! Southern Cal is still burned up about the Detroit Lions signing Charles Ane, center-tackle, a year ago. Ane was drafted in January of 1953 as a junior which meant that he had a year of eligibility left. His status as a draft subject was clear because his class was graduated in ’53. Ane was within his rights to turn pro, stating that he needed money to support his family, but Southern California didn’t like it.
FEB 26 (Green Bay) - Bob Kennedy, former Wisconsin football star, is sorry about leaving the Green Bay Packers' training camp last fall without advance warning. Art Daley of the Press-Gazette reports that Kennedy, who has signed a 1954 Packer contract, wrote recently to scour Jack Vainisi that he is "grateful to the club after the stuff I pulled last year - this time I'll be with you all the way."
S.O.L.B.A.F.! CLUB BACKING PACKER COACH
FEB 26 (Green Bay) - The popularity of Packers head coach Liz Blackbourn reached the card-carrying stage today. Green Bay’s newest citizen is smack in the “middle” of an organization which has been initialed S.O.L.B.A.F. Broken down, those letters stand for the following: “Society of Liz Blackbourn Admirers Forever.” The six words were composed by Wally Cruice, one time football star under Blackbourn at Milwaukee Washington, who announced in Milwaukee yesterday that “the club was organized by a group of Liz Blackbourn admirers.” Membership cards have been printed and nearly 2,000 of them have been sold in Milwaukee alone at $1 each. Cruice reported fifty cards have been sent to the Packer office and publicist Jug Earp said “they’re going fast.” Cruice is chairman of the club and project and Hap Leiser of Milwaukee is co-chairman. The nucleus of the club is made up of hundreds of Blackbourn “alumni” – boys he coached at Milwaukee Washington, the University of Wisconsin and Marquette university in the last 26 years…PAY TRIBUTE TO COACH: The purpose of the club hasn’t been put down in black and white yet. But, as Earp puts it, “the club helps support the Packers, our head coach, and keeps up interest in professional football.” Some of the money will be used for the purchase of a gift card for Blackbourn. And Cruice suggested, “the membership might be able to finance a Packer newsletter – or some other worthwhile program the Packers might like to accomplish.” The new group will play tribute to Blackbourn at the Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s big luncheon for Liz, Frosty Ferzacca and Terry Brennan in Milwaukee March 4. Anyone in Green Bay or area interested in joining S.O.L.B.A.F. can call or write Earp at the Packer office or write to the new organization at 110 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee…On the more serious side of the ledger, Blackbourn learned the other day that Bob Orders, the 220-pound center from West Virginia, expects to go into the service in June. Orders was drafted in ’53 for possible use in ’54. The All-American pivot may serve a three-year hitch. He left West Point following the cribbing scandal three years ago. One center was selected in the draft last month – Ken Hall, a six-foot, 220-pounder from Springfield college. Orders is the third loss to the armed forces. Due to go before the grid season is halfback Don Barton, the Texas whiz who did well late in 1953 after suffering an ankle fracture in the non-league opener. Already in service is Dick Logan, veteran offensive guard…The Packers have announced the signing of seven player thus far, including their first three draft choices…Birth of their fifth son has been announced by Irv and Bernadette Comp of Milwaukee. Irv, backfield star of the Packers in the 40s, says it gives him “the first five-man backfield among Packer alumni.” The new Comp, named Tommy, was preceded by brothers Jimmy, Billy, Mike and Gary.
PACKER OFFICIALS "IMPRESSED" BY STEVENS POINT
FEB 27 (Stevens Point) - Coach Lisle Blackbourn and general manager Vern Lewellen of the Green Bay Packers left Stevens Point Friday afternoon "impressed with what the city has to offer" in connection with the invitation to have the professional team train here this summer. The important figures in the organization of the NFL's member from Wisconsin looked over facilities at Central State college and P.J. Jacobs High School in the morning. They discussed aspects of the possible move during a noon luncheon at Hotel Whiting with a local committee which has been working toward bringing the pro gridders here for their summer practice. It was expected that the Packers will make an announcement within 30 to 60 days and in the meantime will be investigating other invitations from Eagle River, Ripon and Two Rivers. Green Bay worked out at Grand Rapids, MN last year but desires to make its training site in the future a little closer to the home city. If the club picked Stevens Point as its preseason headquarters, the team would be here beginning probably July 25 and continuing for from three to five weeks. The highlight of the summer preparation session is an intra-squad game, which is open to the public.
PACKER YARDS OR $$, FIGURES ARE 'THING'
MAR 1 (Green Bay) - Bert Bell’s annual March gift to the sporting writers – NFL statistics – has arrived in a special package from Philadelphia, the commissioner’s headquarters. During the next two weeks, the public – thanks to Bell and his aide, Joseph Labrum – will be flooded with final figures on the various phases of individual and team competition as compiled in 72 league games last fall. You might get the idea that there was a slight delay in the mail since this is March and the last NFL game was played three months ago. Well, it takes time to figure out the yards, get ‘em printed, etc. Besides, there’s usually a lull in pro football news about this time of the year. So why let baseball and basketball hog the whole show? While player and team yardage figures make for interesting reading, the figure fans in Packerland are wondering about has a dollar sign in front of it. That famous figure – more specifically, the Packers’ profit or loss – will be revealed tonight at the annual stockholders’ meeting in the courthouse. It will be announced by Bill Servotte, the Packers’ secretary-treasurer, who will make his annual report at the call of President Russ Bogda. Servotte will give a rundown on the 1953 season. A year ago, the Packers announced a profit of nearly $12,000 on the 1952 season, a campaign that produced a 6-6 record on the field. By comparison to the 2-9-1 record of 1953, a financial loss would be in order. However, good crowds in key games and a share of the league’s television profits are expected to produce a few smiles tonight. Other shades of optimism will be presented to talks by Verne Lewellen, the Packers’ new general manager, and Liz Blackbourn, the team’s new head coach. Blackbourn’s aides, Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus, will be introduced. Twelve directors will be elected by the stockholders. Immediately after the meeting, the meeting of the board of directors will elect officers….Final figures on interceptions are set to be released Tuesday. The barrage started with the announcement of ball carrying statistics Sunday. The BC figures showed that the Packers finished sixth in the league with 1,665 yards in 424 attempts for an average of 3.9. San Francisco won it with 2,230 yards in 443 attempts for 5.03. Individually, Frisco Joe Perry won the title with 1,018 yards in 192 trips for an average of 5.3. The Packers’ Floyd Reid had his greatest year and finished seventh with 492 yards in 95 rides for 5.2. Fullback Fred Cone was 25th with 301, and Al Carmichael was 34th with 199.
THE PACK! THE PACK!
MAR 1 (Green Bay) – The resolution of the Federated Trades Council urging locals, as well as business and other elements, to get in the swing with the Packer management on season ticket sales, is another of those warm evidences of good fellowship to which the public has responded with enthusiasm in the past. The Pack has a lot of things to do. And the FTC pointed its finger at one of the very important items on the list. There are few things more encouraging to any organization than to find early support “clear across the board.” And the methods suggested by the Council are practical and helpful ones. The Packer management will certainly reconsider any plans it has in order to work in conjunction with the suggestion.
PACKERS 3RD IN PASS THEFTS, ANNOUNCE EXHIBITION SLATE
MAR 2 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers placed third in team standings in the official NFL statistics on pass interceptions released today. The Detroit Lions headed the list with 38 interceptions for a total of 663 yards returned, or an average return of 17.4 yards. Green Bay had 28 interceptions for 351 yards and an average return of 12.5 yards. Baltimore was second. In individual ratings only two Packers placed in the first 25 on the list. Bobby Dillon placed sixth with nine interceptions with a total of 112 yards returned and an average of 12.4 yards. Ben Aldridge of the Bays was 19th with 5 interceptions for a total return of 85 yards and a 17.0 average return. Meanwhile in Green Bay, at a stockholders' meeting Monday night the Packers announced a tentative six-game exhibition schedule and a profit of $29,267 for last season. Officials said receipts for 1953 were $786,841, among the highest in the Packers' history. But expenses totaled $757,574, also an increase over 1952. General Manager Vern Lewellen announced this schedule: Chicago Cardinals at Minneapolis, August 14; Cleveland Browns at Green Bay, August 21; Pittsburgh Steelers at Pittsburgh, August 27; Philadelphia at Atlantic City, September 5; Washington at Raleigh, NC, September 11, and New York at Milwaukee, September 18. Russell Bodga of Green Bay was re-elected president of the Packers at the meeting.
PACKERS POST GAIN OF $29,267 IN '53
MAR 2 (Green Bay) - A profit of $29,267.48 on 1953 Packer operations. A tentative six-game non-league schedule. Election of officers, including a new vice-president and one new director. A request for new blood on the board. These were some of the developments at a lively meeting of stockholders of Green Bay Packers, Inc., at the courthouse last night – a kickoff session introducing the new regime or, more specifically, General Manager Verne Lewellen and Head Coach Liz Blackbourn and members of his staff. Bill Servotte, secretary-treasurer, revealed that the profit was the largest since 1946 – just before the dollar war against the defunct All-America conference started – and that receipts of $786,841 in 1953 were among the largest in Packer history. Emphasizing that the figures are still subject to audit, Servotte said that ‘expenses of the club went up last year – just like everything else, but fortunately the revenue also was up.” The profit of $29,267 was due entirely to the club’s share of the National league’s television revenue. The Packers realized $12,000 from the Thanksgiving Day TV of the Packer-Detroit game and $20,000 as their share of the league’s TV contract. Thus, the Packers’ gain from TV amounted to approximately $32,000. Without it, the club might have lost close to $3,000. Against receipts of $786,841.67, the Packers had expenses of $757.574.19 in 1953. The 1953 profit represented an increase of approximately $18,000 over 1952 when the club realized $11,967.54. A glance at revenue and expenses for the two seasons quickly explains some of the increase, Bill said. Revenue in 1952 was $673,489.20 – or around $111,000 under the 1953 figure. Expenses in ’52 totaled $661,521.66 – or over $90,000 under the ’53 expenses. The big increase in revenue in 1953 over ’52, Servotte pointed out, came in advertising, broadcasting, television, etc. This figure was $100,574.99 in ’53 against $60,228.55 in ’52. On the expenses side, salaries, wages and player expenses leaped from $302,066 to $349,949.71; travel jumped from $59.197 to $72,648.85; field expenses leaped from $32,632 to $44,357.39; and legal expense went up from $3,848 to $6,011. Servotte said that the reason for the unusual legal increase was that the Packers (along with 11 other clubs) had to share in expense of the league’s recent anti-trust suit…Lewellen, in telling of the progress made thus far, announced that the Packers are making arrangements to play six non-conference games. The tentative schedule calls for a game between the Cleveland Browns and Packers at City stadium Saturday night, Aug. 21. It would be the Bays’ second test under the new coaches. The opener is tentatively set against the Chicago Cardinals in Minneapolis Saturday night, Aug. 14. Other tentative dates send the Packers to Pittsburgh Aug. 27, to Atlantic City to meet Philadelphia Sept. 5, to Raleigh, N.C., to meet Washington Sept. 11 and to Milwaukee to meet the New York Giants Sept. 18. In working out the details for the Minneapolis game, Lewelllen said that “we are under no obligation to train in Minnesota in return for the game.” He said that a number of Wisconsin communities have inquired about the Packers’ training plans. “Liz and I checked the facilities in Stevens Point last week and next week we plan to look over Two Rivers,” Lew reported, “the question of training in the city has not been determined yet.” Lewellen cited the need for a downtown ticket office in Milwaukee and possibly one at County stadium for the summer months. He pointed out, in reviewing Milwaukee, that the Beer City has a potential of 67,851 more seats (in County stadium) at Packer games. In three league games there last year, a total of 43,851 tickets were not sold. “With the increased seating capacity in the stadium, the potential can be increased to 67,851,” Lewellen explained. A total of 9,333 tickets were unsold for the three league games in City stadium last fall. Lewellen praised the work of Blackbourn and members of his staff and expressed optimism for the coming season…Blackbourn introduced assistant coaches Ray McLean and Tom Hearden and scout Jack Vainisi. Coach Lou Rymkus, due to return from the meeting from Cleveland where he’s selling his home prior to moving his family here, was delayed by a 15-inch snowfall that all but paralyzed the city. Blackbourn said that “every move the staff makes is based on the question ‘will that move help the Packers or win a game next fall.’” He also pointed out that “at no time will there be any fooling around with the rules and regulation as set up in the NFL. We all want to win but not at the expense of breaking league rules and bylaws.” The new Packer coach, starting his third month here, said that “we’ll soon
move up to new offices on the second floor of the Packer office building where we’ll have plenty of good light and room, thus getting out of that musty old basement.” There will be room for squad meetings as well as offices for the coaches. In closing, Blackbourn reviewed the draft list and added that “we feel we are on the right track.”…The stockholders named 12 directors for three-year terms, including Richard Falk, Milwaukee industrialist who replaces Milwaukee City Treasurer Joe Krueger. The other directors elected, all holdovers, are Erv Bushman of Sturgeon Bay, Don Hutson of Racine; and H.J. Bero, R.W. Bogda, L.J. Levitas, Dominic Olejniczak, August Reimer, C.J. Renard, Walter Scherf, Edward Schuster and W.J. Servotte of Green Bay. After the stockholders’ meeting, directors elected an executive committee and officers. Russ Bogda was reelected president, Olejniczak was named vice president to replace Gene Ronzani, L.H. Joannes was renamed vice president; Servotte was reelected secretary-treasurer; and Emil R. Fischer was named chairman of the board. The reelected executive committee is composed of Max D. Murphy, Fred Leicht, F.N. Trowbridge, John B. Torinus and Bogda, Joannes, Servotte, Fischer and Olejniczak. The discussion on “new blood” developed after Torinus, chairman of the nominating committee, recommended that the 12 directors be reelected and that some thought be given to a rotating plan for directorships. Torinus asked that the 12 directors be renamed “because this is a year of transition,” indicating that the committee favored changes later, rather than now, when the new regime has just started. Savvy Canadeo, a year-around Packer booster, told stockholders that “more consideration should be given to the new blood” and urged that “changes should be made on the board of directors.” Following a discussion in which several stockholders voiced their opinions, the group adopted a resolution, introduced by Abe Alk, that the general manager and the board of directors review the matter of a rotating board of directors and then, at the president’s call, before the next annual stockholders’ meeting, hold a special meeting to discuss the matter. Director Buckets Goldenberg, who drove up from Milwaukee, entered the discussion and stated “this should be our motto: What can I do for the Packers – Not what can the Packers do for me.” Goldenberg’s frank statements brought a round of applause from the stockholders. During the business meeting, a communication from the Sullivan-Wallen post, American Legion, was read. The post recommended that some thought be given to construction of a new stadium and suggested the rental fees deducted from each game be placed in a trust fund and used later to build.
PARROTT REPORTED SIGNED BY PACKERS
MAR 3 (Neenah) - According to reports, Lee Parrott, Neenah police officer, has been signed to play professional football with the Green Bay Packers. When questioned today, Parrott said he had no comment on reports that he has signed a contract. Coach Blackbourn of the Green Bay Packers was away from Green Bay and could not be reached this morning. Parrott played football at Neenah High school for four years, playing tackle and fullback. He weighs over 200 pounds. Following his graduation from Neenah High school in 1948, he served in the Army, joining the police force in May 1953.
PACKERS SIGN FOUR PLAYERS; FULL ELEVEN SET
MAR 4 (Green Bay) - The Packers had a full football team today, with the signing of four players – a free agent who toiled with the San Francisco Forty Niners, a 1953 draft choice and two 1954 draft selections. The newcomers are: Ken Bahnsen, 205-pound fullback who was cut adrift late last season by the Forty Niners following the return from service of Jim Monachino; Joe Johnson, speedy Boston college halfback who was picked two years ago for delivery in ’54; Bill Oliver, outstanding Alabama halfback who was chosen in the 12th slot in the January draft, and Jack Smalley, a 225-pound tackle who was ranked as the best blocker at Alabama last fall. The four signings, announced today by Coach Liz Blackbourn, boosted the total of athletes to make the Packers’ contract pile to 11. The group includes four tackles, one guard, one end, four halfbacks and one fullback. Bahnsen was probably the most “unfortunate” back in pro football last fall. He was faced with cracking the circuit’s best ground gaining backfield composed of Joe Perry, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Arenas, Pate Schabarum and Billy Mixon. When veteran Jim Monachino returned from service, Forty Niner coach Buck Shaw had to let Bahnsen go. With the Packers, Bahnsen will fight for the fullback job against veterans Fred Cone and Howie Ferguson – not to mention several other FBs who are expected to sign before the season opens. One of these is Tom Allman, the 210-pound piledriver and blocker from West Virginia, the club’s fourth draft choice. Bahnsen, 24, had a successful career at North Texas State, posting a 5.1 yard ground gaining average on 658 yards in 128 carries in his senior year. He was selected on the all-conference team four straight years and was made All-Texas in ’52. He also captained NTS in ’52. Bahnsen is a native of Vinson, La…RECOMMENDED BY HOLOVAK: Johnson, drafted as a junior in ’53, was the strong man of Boston college’s offense the last three years, averaging well over four yards per rushing try. He also rated as a top-flight pass catcher, nabbing eight for 192 yards in ’52 and six for 98 in ’51. He gained 683 yards rushing in 162 attempts for 4.2 in ’52 and 542 in 123 for 4.1 in ’51. Johnson, 24, stands 6-1 and carries 180 pounds. Captain of BC in ’53, Johnson was recommended by Mike Holovak, head coach at BC and former Chicago Bear back. Oliver, who stands 6-1 and packs 185 pounds, improved in every game last fall and topped the season off with a sparkling performance in Alabama’s loss to Rice in the Cotton Bowl. Against Rice, he gained 56 yards to lead Alabama ball carriers and made six tackles on defense. Oliver started the season behind Corky Tharp but soon became the No. 1 starter at right half. Rated an excellent defensive back with good speed, Oliver might have caught Dick Moegle from behind in that famous from-the-bench-tackle by Tommy Lewis in the Cotton Bowl. Oliver at times shows his speed as a pass catcher; he nailed six for 133 yards against Maryland last fall for a 20-plus average…”ANXIOUS” TO PLAY PRO BALL: The new Packers played prep ball at Aliceville High in Panola, Ala. He’ll turn 27 next March 21. Smalley, who stands 6-3, was Alabama’s regular offensive tackle last fall, winning the job with plenty of rocking and socking in practice. In addition, he won offensive tackle honors in his conference. The Bays’ 25th draft choice, Smalley hails from Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he played prep football. He became 22 years of age last Jan. 31. Both Oliver and Smalley said they were “anxious” to play pro football. Two other Alabama players became pros today – the aforementioned Lewis and center Ralph Carrigan, both signed by the Chicago Cardinals…Official NFL statistics released today list two Packers in the first 30 individual pass receiving standings in 1953. End Bill Howton placed 26th with 25 passes received for a total gain of 463 yards or an average of 18.5 yards per gain. His longest was an 80-yard touchdown run. In 29th place, Bob Mann has a record of 23 pass receptions for 327 yards or an average of 14.2 yards per gain.
PACKERS TOOK WOODS OUT OF MIDWEST FOR NEW YORK CROWD
MAR 5 (Milwaukee) - The Packers drew a plug or two or four at the Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s luncheon honoring Liz Blackbourn, Frosty Ferzacca and Terry Brennan in the Pfister hotel here Thursday noon. One speaker in particular – Jack Lavelle, the big man from the big city – hauled out something rather interesting. The New York Giant, Army and Notre Dame scout, track referee and starter, public speaker, humorist and just plain nice guy, figured the Packers had a lot to do with taking the woods out of the midwest – that is, convincing New Yorkers and others on the eastern seaboard that we in the MW don’t have bears playing in our backyards, we have modern conveniences, and the fighting against the Indians is over. To put this thought on a little more sensitive level, Lavelle did say that “us folks out there always used to look with skepticism on athletics in the midwest – we with our Yales and Harvards.” The thing that really opened us up was “the miracle of Green Bay; the Packers came out there and beat us (Giants) a few times and gradually the Packer games in New York became one of the big games in the East. The fans and press quickly changed their minds about the midwest.” Lavelle said that Notre Dame’s first invasion out there to play Army in the old days also convinced a lot of New Yorkers about the MW. The advent of baseball in Milwaukee has ‘amazed us out there,” Lavelle pointed out, adding “we’re really believers now.” The rotund man, touching on New York people’s view of the outside world, said, “the subway is a helluva hole; it holds millions of people every day but nobody gets to know anybody else – they just get in there with their Daily News and sit.” Lavelle dazzled the audience of close to 400 fans with his running streams of jokes…Fred Miller, the Packers’ No. 1 backer in Milwaukee and chairman of the AC’s sports committee who served as toastmaster, introduced Packer General Manager Verne Lewellen “as a man who deserves every bit of your support.” He presented Blackbourn “as the man who can put Green Bay back on the winning road.” And speaking of introductions, Miller presented Milwaukee Sentinel Sports Editor Lloyd Larson as “Mr. Lee Larson.” Larson retorted, “Thank you, Mr. Schultz!”.,,Blackbourn, feeling at home before “my friends in Milwaukee” (Liz coaches Washington High there for 22 years, before going to Wisconsin and Marquette) said he was “extremely thankful for the chance of fate that permitted me the opportunity to do all of my coaching in our state – it has given me a great loyalty to the state.” Liz added: “I realize coaching the Packers is quite a challenge but I am proud of the opportunity.” On the humor side, Blackbourn twinkled, “Somebody said that now that I don’t have to worry about the alumni (Wisconsin and Marquette) anymore, maybe I could tell about the prospects. No alumni in Green Bay? As I recall there are about 4,000 stockholders.” Ferzacca, the former Green Bay West grid mentor, now at Marquette, said “we have a feeling that Marquette is on the way up” and expressed the hope that “Milwaukee should realize that Marquette university is Marquette university of Milwaukee.” Frosty, referring to Brennan and Notre Dame, said that “maybe someday we can bring Notre Dame to Milwaukee for a game in the stadium.” Brennan said he hoped to interject “some humor in our practice at Notre Dame.” The young Milwaukeean, who succeeded Frank Leahy, said that “our nerves were pretty ragged at times last season.”
NO. 3 FOR ROTES
MAR 5 (Green Bay) – Packer quarterback Tobin Rote had another cheerleader today – a daughter who has been named Toni Adair. Born recently in Houston, the newcomer weighed eight pounds. The Rotes have two other children – Tobin, Jr., and Robin Beth.
GIB DAWSON, BARTON SHOW THEY HAVEN'T LOST TOUCH IN SPRING GAME, LIZ TO B UW GUEST
MAR 6 (Green Bay) - Badly hampered by injuries last year, the Packers’ Gib Dawson and Don Barton served notice the other day that they have lost none of the sparkle they showed at times with the Packers. Dawson scored all 14 points as the University of Texas Old Timers downed the UT Varsity, 14-12, in their annual spring game, and Barton reeled off a 30-yard run to set up a touchdown. Dawson, bothered with pulled leg muscles as a Packer rookie, went up the middle for 13 yards and the first TD and raced around end 12 yards for the other. He booted both extra points. Also starring for the Oldtimers was Harley Sewell, Detroit Lion guard. Barton, who suffered an ankle fracture in the Packers’ non-league opener last fall and then didn’t play until the last three league games, may have to go into the Army shortly…Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn will be one of the guests of honor at the annual gridiron dinner at the University of Wisconsin April 7. Liz will sit at the head table with Thomas L. Stokes, Washington columnist, who will be the main speaker. The fete is sponsored by Sigma Delta Chi, a professional journalism fraternity…While Dawson and Barton were taking their bumps in Texas, a group of Los Angeles Rams defeated the San Pedro Dolphins, 26 to 13, in a touch football game in LA before 500 fans. Quarterback Norm Van Brocklin showed his understudies, Rudy Bukich and Bill Wade, how it’s done by hurling three touchdown passes to Skeets Quinlan, Tom Fears and Bob Boyd. Wade, the Rams’ bonus choice two years ago who spent the last two season in the Army, gave indication that his knee, injured last year, is as good as new by streaking through the Dolphins on a 40-yard run. Paul Cameron, UCLA’s All-American who will play with Pittsburgh, passed for Dolphin touchdowns to Bob Schroeder and Bill Stits…Packer General Manager Verne Lewellen is anxiously awaiting word on the Bays’ league schedule so that arrangements can be made for splitting the six homes tests between Milwaukee and Green Bay and printing of tickets. Ten of the 12 games will be home and home sets with the other five clubs in the Western division and the other two will be against two foes in the Eastern loop. The Packers are due to draw Philadelphia and possibly Washington for their eastern foes. Top business ahead will be the schedule, selection of a training site and signing of players.
PARILLI TO AID FORMER COACH IN TEXAS A-M DRILLS
MAR 6 (College Station, TX) - Vito “Babe” Parilli, former star Kentucky quarterback, will help coach the backs during Texas A&M’s spring football training period opening Monday. Paul Bryant, director of athletics and head coach, announced that Parilli, who played with the Green Bay Packers the past two seasons, will work the first two weeks of A&M’s spring grid practice. Parilli, vacationing in Lexington, Ky., was not available for comment today on a report by United Press that he will be called into the U.S. Air Force in the near future. A Packer spokesman said, however, that the club has had no word of a change in Parilli’s service station.
PACKERS FACE PITTSBURGH, BEARS, LIONS AT STADIUM
MAR 9 (Green Bay) - The Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears and world champion Detroit Lions will meet the Packers in NFL games at City stadium next fall. San Francisco, Los Angeles and Baltimore will be the Packers’ league opponents in Milwaukee County stadium. Verne Lewellen, Packer general manager who announced the home schedule today, revealed that the Packers’ first two league games will be played in Green Bay on successive Sundays – Pittsburgh on Sept. 26 and the Chicago Bears Oct. 3. The next two will follow on consecutive Sunday in Milwaukee – San Francisco Oct. 10 and Los Angeles Oct. 17. There will be a lull of home activity for nearly a month before the Packers take on Baltimore in Milwaukee Saturday night, Nov. 13 in a nationally-televised game. The home card closes out Nov. 21 when the Packers engage Detroit in Green Bay.
Though “twin” games in both Milwaukee and Green Bay were not considered desirable. Lewellen pointed out that “we were left with no alternative because of Milwaukee Braves baseball.” The first two games could not be alternated between the two cities because the Braves close their season at home on Sept. 26 (the date of the opener) and the Braves have an option on County stadium for Oct. 3 – just in case they get into the World Series. Since the Packer-Baltimore date (Nov. 13) had been selected by NFL Commissioner Bert Bell and TV people as the game of that week, the game had to be left in Milwaukee because Green Bay has no facilities to televise out of the city. The TV game will be the first nationally-televised Packer home game. It will be blacked out in Milwaukee and Green Bay. Several years ago, Packer games in Milwaukee were televised to that city and the immediate area. The Packers’ home opponents and dates are fixed by Bell but the Packer executive committee decides the games to be played in the two communities. The remainder of the Packers’ league schedule will be announced gradually – that is, as the other clubs reveal their schedules. Each team is permitted to announce only its own home schedule. To conform with league rules, the Packers will play home and home sets with each team in the Western conference and the remaining two games will be against two clubs in the Eastern conference. The opener against Pittsburgh takes care of one EC fore. The other likely will be Philadelphia. Though Detroit hasn’t come out with its home schedule yet, the Packers will probably draw the champs in the annual Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit Nov. 25. If this develops, the Packers and Lions will play back-to-back since the Detroits visit GB the previous Sunday, Nov. 21. Including a tentative non-league game against the Cleveland Browns, Green Bay will be host to one Packer game in each of four months starting in August – the Browns Aug. 21, Pittsburgh Sept. 26, Bears Oct. 3 and Detroit Nov. 21. The Packers also have a tentative non-looper in Milwaukee – the New York Giants in the annual Shrine game in Marquette stadium Sept. 18. Thus, each city will have four games….PRO BRIEFS: Pittsburgh will be playing its first league game in Green Bay since 1946 when the Packers downed Bill Dudley and Company, coached by the late Doc Sutherland, 17-7. Sutherland got revenge a year later when the Steels beat Green Bay 18-17 in Milwaukee – one of the four games the Packers lost in ’47 by a total of nine points…Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn had no particular comment on the Packer schedule today other than “it looks mighty tough.” This is the second straight year the Packers don’t open against the Bears. A year ago, the Pack opened against the Browns in Milwaukee and then played the Bears in GB…Besides the schedule, Blackbourn had something else on his mind – a punter to lift the Bays out of 12th place in the NFL’s punting statistics. The Bays punted 80 times for an average distance of 37.6 yards compared to top-ranked Pittsburgh’s 70 for 46.9. Clive Rush, who recently signed as an assistant coach at Dayton under Hugh Devore, was the only Packer to place in the first 15 of the individual list with 60 punts for an average of 37.7. Babe Parilli booted 19 times for an average of 36.1 while Tobin Rote punted once – for 57 yards.
AC GROUP BACKS PACKER TICKET PLAN
MAR 10 (Green Bay) - Discussion of the Federate Trades Council resolution calling for a plan for time payments for Packer season tickets, and also plans for semi-pro baseball in Green Bay this season occupied a breakfast meeting of the Association of Commerce’s Sports Committee this morning in the Terrace Room at Prange’s. The Committee was enthusiastic over the plan put forward by the Trades Council calling for labor unions, industry and business to set up voluntary deduction plans for purchasing Packer season tickets. It was decided that a meeting would be arranged with Trades Council representatives to discuss the plan further, and that Association of Commerce members would be contacted later in an attempt to work out mechanics of such a plan. It was pointed out that some firms have a policy against payroll deductions for such purposes, but that other systems might be employed in such cases, such as working through the credit union in the plant, or through the labor union concerns.
BAYS RETURN MOST KICKOFFS
MAR 10 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers were high team with 56 returns, NFL 1953 statistics on kickoff returns showed today, but stood eighth in team standings for average distance returns. The New York Giants finished in first place with an average return of 26.3 yards in 41 returns for a total 1,077 yards. Green Bay's returns netted a total of 1,197 yards but an average of only 21.4 yards. In individual players standings, Al Carmichael of the Bays ranked eighth with 26 returns for a total of 641 yards or a 24.7 average. His longest return was 43 yards.
WHAT ABOUT NEW PACKER STADIUM?
MAR 10 (Green Bay) - The words "new stadium" are being used with increased frequency these days. Joe Phan, highly pleased with the rapid-fire progress made by the Packers under the new regime, is, generally speaking, so optimistic about the team's future that the magic aforementioned words just automatically creep into a coffee conversation. A new stadium isn't exactly a new thought, however. Packer officials have been kicking around the idea of a new layout for several years but consecutive bad seasons, starting in 1948, with a brief breather in '52, forced them to worry about keeping alive - much less building a new home. With a profit of $30,000 on the books on 1953 operations, Packer officials once again have uncrossed their fingers in hopes that the bright-looking future will produce along the way a new, larger and permanent ball yard. Packer fathers feel that three things must happen before Green Bay can get a new stadium: (1) Winning seasons or the right kind of team. (2) Sellout crowds at game in City stadium. (3) Milwaukee outdrawing Green Bay to the extent that other teams will put pressure on the Packers to play in Milwaukee rather than in Green Bay. Thing No. 1 is an absolute must because if the Packers have a winner they will draw tremendously on the road - due to their natural, small-town appeal and their power on the field. Drawing on the road would skyrocket the club's finances since it would wipe out the tremendous expense of traveling. Large crowds at home, drawn by that must - a good team, would thicken the stadium-building gravy. Thing No. 2 represents the above-mentioned Joe Phan. He must demonstrate the need for a larger stadium in Green Bay. With few exceptions, the fans annually leave a number of empty seats during league games. Last fall, for instance, only one game in City stadium was a sellout - 24,835 at the Bear go. The Detroit test drew 20,834 and Baltimore pulled 18,713. These figures do not show a need for a new and larger stadium. Thing No.3 is the key. Every year on the month (usually January) for the last six years, owner-coach George Halas of the Bears puts pressure on the Packers to move his game to Milwaukee. Halas figures the Packers owe him something for the large checks they've been hauling out of Chicago's Wrigley field every fall. He wants to get a few of those checks back out of the spacious Milwaukee stadium. Halas isn't the only one putting pressure on the Bays to switch their game to Milwaukee. Detroit, with its championship muscles bulging, has requested a shift. Los Angeles yipped late in the 1940s and how has played four straight years in Milwaukee - not counting '54. It can be pointed out there that the Packers came dangerously close to losing the Bear game to Milwaukee this year. The luck of the schedule was in Green Bay's favor. The Braves will be in County stadium Sept. 26 and have optioned it for the next Sunday, Oct. 3, just in case they're in the World Series. This meant that the first two games, Pittsburgh Sept. 26 and Bears Oct. 3, had to be played in Green Bay and the next two, San Francisco Oct. 10 and Los Angeles Oct. 17, had to be played in Milwaukee. Now, just suppose the first four games out of the home schedule came out of Commissioner Bert Bell's office with the Bears listed for their third or Oct. 10 date. The Packers would have had to take their choice of playing three games in Green Bay on consecutive Sundays (to keep the Bears here) or shift the Bear game to Milwaukee. It can be repeated that the commissioner fixes the opponents and dates, and the Packers decide which teams will play in Green Bay and Milwaukee. The task was simple this year because of the Braves' use of the stadium - plus the fact that previous television commitments called for the Packers to play Baltimore in Milwaukee Saturday, Nov. 13. The remaining game, Detroit, automatically went to Green Bay. In hashing over a new stadium, it must be pointed out that the condition (or age) of the present stadium is not the question at all. The question, it seems, is having a larger capacity here for the purpose of competing with Milwaukee for better opponents. In other words, making Green Bay just as profitable as Milwaukee to visiting clubs! Along this line, it is interesting to note that the three league games in Green Bay drew 64,382 fans while the three in Milwaukee pulled 62,334 - an
"advantage" of 2,048 for Green Bay. However, in the money department for the three games in Milwaukee outdid Green Bay, $213,444.15 to $206,527.81. That money represents ticket sales only!
FALKENSTEIN, CENTER OF ILLINI, JOIN PACKERS
MAR 11 (Green Bay) - The quarterback who throttled Illinois' greatest attack last fall and the center who snapped the ball back to said QB have signed Packer contracts for 1954, Coach Liz Blackbourn announced today. The Illinois stars are quarterback Elry (Slingshot) Falkenstein and center Herb (Squeak) Borman. Singing of the free agents brings to 13 the number of athletes announced as inked thus far. The newcomers both are firsts to sign for their particular positions. Falkenstein is generally credited with performing a job of magic last year, accomplishing the changeover from passing to running with such efficiency that the Illini found themselves tied for the Big Ten championship when the firing had ceased. Illinois, with Tommy O'Connell as chief throwing quarterback and Falkenstein as an assistant, was the aerial scourge of the Big Ten and the country in '52...SELECTED FOR EIGHTH: With the departure of O'Connell (to the Bears, incidentally) in 1953 and the arrival of the sophomore running stars - J.C. Caroline and Mickey Bates, Illinois coach selected Falkenstein as quarterback-feeder for C and B. If there's any doubt about the type of work, Falkenstein performed, it can be mentioned that Illinois had been selected for an eighth place finish last fall. Illinois went on to a title tie despite a lopsided loss to Wisconsin....The league office made official today the Packers' punt returning championship for '53. The Bays led the circuit with an 8.9-yard average on 60 returns after finishing in seventh in 1952. Al (Hoagy) Carmichael, the Packers' rookie halfback from Southern California, led the Bays and ranked second in the league behind Charley Trippi of the Chicago Cardinals. Carmichael lugged back 20 punts for 239 yards and an average of 10. His longest return was 52 yards. Gib Dawson returned seven for 72 yards and an average of 10.3. Trippi, oddly enough, didn't return a single punt in '52 but lugged back 21 for 239 yards and an average of 11.4 last fall.
SIMPLICITY THEME OF PACK OFFENSE!
MAR 12 (Green Bay) - “We’ll try to make Packer football as simple as possible next year,” Packer Head Coach Liz Blackbourn told more than 400 football fans at the Packer Alumni association’s spring quarterback club meeting at Washington Junior High school Thursday night. Indicating that he didn’t intend to go in particular for razzle dazzle, Blackbourn pointed out that the offense will be streamlined “so that it covers the necessary cycle of plays.” He explained that offensive emphasis will be on blocking “but the blocking will be limited (in intricacy) so as to reduce the possibility of making mistakes. The same simplicity theory will be practiced on defense.” Thus, Blackbourn, who has been in active command of Packer field fortunes for two months, revealed more of his plans for 1954. Earlier, he said he will use the straight-T formation with some split-T plays. Blackbourn said he could not make predictions for next fall “but if you go after the job with the best possible organization and with the most possible energy – which we are doing and intend to continue doing – things should work out pretty well.” The Packer mentor said that he was “surprised at the football knowledge per capita of fans here, and so it would be dangerous to give you any malarkey as to what we intend to do next fall.” Speaking straight forward in crisp tones, Blackbourn offered no wild optimism – “On the basis of collegiate play of the boys we drafted and others we will sign, we have strengthened our line. However, it remains to be seen whether we have improved ourselves on the basis of these same boys’ professional play.” He reminded fans that he was intent on improving the Packers’ line. Blackbourn said “we are determined to give you a good, honest football team – one that has perfect organization on the field of play and on the practice field. There will be no changing on the practice field; a plan will be set up before each workout and any changing will be done at staff meetings. We’ll expect from each player his absolute best; he’ll be told that he is competing in the nation’s toughest football league and that is one of the idols of the community – particularly of our youth.” With a chuckle, Blackbourn said “there are many pitfalls to this business.” He told about his efforts to sign some Oklahoma stars, many of whom annually find their way into the Canadian league. “I had been talking by telephone with Coach Pop Ivy down there on these various Oklahoma prospects and today I picked up the paper and found that Pop, himself had gone to Canada.” Blackbourn introduced each member of his coaching staff – Tom Hearden, Lou Rymkus and Ray McLean, and they responded with brief talks. Hearden said he “was tickled to death to be a part of the organization,” while McLean, the lone holdover of the old regime, touched on “what a wonderful organization we have and what a pleasure it is to be a party to it.” Rymkus bought the house down with his description of Paul Brown giving a between-halves talk and then told the fans that he was “pleased to be in Green Bay.”…Verne Lewellen, the Packers’ new general manager, reviewed the work already done by the coaching staff, adding “when July 25 comes around these men will be in a position to run the team.” Lewellen said that “one thing we are aiming to do it to bring back the old-time enthusiasm over the Packers – We want the people to go to Packer games to see ‘THEIR’ team; not a game is being played today but OUR team is playing today.” Regarding a new stadium in Green Bay, Lewellen said that “fans here must prove that we need a new stadium; last year’s attendance did not prove it. There were 3,500 empty seats at the Detroit game, 6,500 at the Baltimore game and even a few at the Bear game.”
PACKERS SIGN MU PAIR, SET LOOP CARD
MAR 15 (Green Bay) - The Packers signed two players, rounded out their 1954 league schedule and received a note of recognition from the NFL office over the weekend. Added to the Packer roster were the only two Marquette seniors Coach Liz Blackbourn figured has a chance to make pro ball – end Hosea Sims and tackle Ed Frank. The two free agents, who played three seasons under Blackbourn at Marquette, boosts to 15 the number of athletes signed to 1954 Packer contracts. Both likely will be battling for a defensive end job here next fall. Light for a pro tackle at 210 pounds, Frank is fast and big enough to cut it at defensive end. Sims, at 193, played defensive end his first two years at MU and last year also played offensive wing in the single platoon system. Blackbourn, naturally, is well aware of the fact that both prospects have the necessary heart and desire for pro ball…The complete Packer league card was pieced together as the other clubs announced their home schedules. The Packers earlier announced only their home league program. After four straight games (Pittsburgh and Chicago Bears in Green Bay Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, respectively, and San Francisco and Los Angeles Oct. 10 and 17), the Packers play three in a row on the road – at Baltimore Sunday, Oct. 24, at Philadelphia in a television game Saturday night, Oct. 30, and at the Bears Sunday, Nov. 7. The Bays return home to meet Baltimore in Milwaukee Saturday night, Nov. 13 in a television spectacle and Detroit in Green Bay Sunday, Nov. 21. After the Thanksgiving date in Detroit, the Packers close out on the west coast, facing San Francisco Dec. 5 and Los Angeles Dec. 12…Green Bay was recognized Sunday as one of the six league clubs which has succeeded in keeping its No. 1 draft choices out of Canada. The Packers already have signed top pick Art Hunter of Notre Dame – not to mention their second No. 1 choice, halfback Veryl Switzer of Kansas State, and their No. 2 selection – tackle Bob Fleck of Syracuse. Other first draws already under contract are fullback Neil Worden of Notre Dame by Philadelphia; end-back Steve Meilinger of Kentucky by Washington; back Johnny Lattner of Notre Dame by Pittsburgh; end Ken Buck of College of Pacific by New York; and quarterback Cotton Davidson of Baylor by Baltimore. The league office informed the world that the circuit is conducting such an effective “stay at home” campaign this year that the threatened war with Canadian teams over players has become a mere skirmish. A year ago this time, National League clubs had signed only eight of their 1953 draft choices. This year they have 55 signatures from rookies. In March of 1953, Canadian teams has lured three No. 1 draft picks away from the NFL – Oklahoma halfback Billy Vessels from Baltimore, Texas end Tom Stolhandske from San Francisco and Alabama halfback Bobby Marlow from New York. The Canadians aren’t quitting, however. They’ve grabbed one Packer draft pick, tackle Sam Marshall of Florida who probably wouldn’t have played here anyway, and are interested in guard J.D. Roberts of Oklahoma. Montreal has already signed Larry Grigg of Oklahoma, Baltimore’s No. 2 pick. Others who went north are Illinois end John Ryan, No. 2 pick of Philly; South Carolina end Clyde Bennett, No. 3, New York; Baylor halfback Jerry Coody, No. 17, Washington; South Carolina QB Johnny Gramling, No. 24, Cleveland…Sims, who stands six feet tall, ranks as one of his five best ends in Marquette history. A native of Fremont, O., where he was an all-conference prep wing for three years, Sims gained All-America honorable mention in ’52. Sims, who turned 22 last Jan. 18, makes a specialty of producing a good rush on the passer. And he’s valuable protecting outside running plays. Frank, who played football, basketball and baseball at Cedarburg High, actually started his MU career as a defensive end but later was switched to offensive tackle. A zoology major, Frank works hard to perfect himself, and as a senior made a number of all-opponent teams. He also won honorable mention on three All-America teams last fall. Frank, who stands 6-3, co-captained the Hilltoppers in ’53.
KOCH LOST; PACK EYES DAVIS AS PUNTER
MAR 16 (Green Bay) - Liz Blackbourn’s punting fortunes can go only one way…Up! The Packer coach, after his “progress report” before the Kiwanis luncheon at the Hotel Northland Monday noon, was asked this question: “Will we have a good punter this fall?” Liz sort of chuckled: “Down at Marquette we had the poorest punting in all college football last fall, so when I came up here I figured I’d like to have somebody who could really boot the ball. We drafted Des Koch, a halfback from Southern California, who was the nation’s leading punter. But,” Blackbourn warmed up, “we found that Des has a year of eligibility left in 1955. So he won’t be able to join us until the fall of 1955.” Oddly enough, Blackbourn came from the school with the worst punting to the pro club with the worst punting. The Packers finished last in that department in the National League last year with an average of 37.6; Pittsburgh was tops with 46.9 – quite a difference! Blackbourn explained later that Koch won’t be lost entirely. He was eligible to be drafted (his class had graduated) “but some unusual arrangement makes him eligible for two more seasons of track – this spring and next.” He’s a discus thrower. Koch, the 16th choice, wasn’t the only punter drafted. The Packers picked a top-flight end by the name of Dave Davis of Georgia Tech, who ranked among the country’s better punters last year. In fact, Coach Wally Butts said Davis’ punting was instrumental in Tech’s victory over Georgia last fall. Davis, who stands 6-4 and packs 210 pounds, averaged nearly 41 yards during the season…Blackbourn said he expected Babe Parilli to regain his 1952 form this year. The young quarterback averaged 40.7 (10th in the league) on 65 punts in ’53 but dropped to 36.1 (unranked) on 19 boots in ’53. Clive Rush handled most of the punting last fall, averaging 37.7 on 60 punts, but he recently signed as an assistant coach at Dayton University under Hugh Devore…Another question popped at Liz concerned the use of veteran Tobin Rote as a halfback. “Naturally, we’d like to have a good passer such as Tobin at halfback – if he has all of the other qualifications – but whether we shift him will depend on the halfback material in camp. If the halfback situation looks good, Tobin will remain at quarterback. If not, we might want to shift him to halfback,” Blackbourn pointed out. Another Kiwanian wanted to know if linebacker Deral Teteak could be used at fullback. “I saw plenty of him at Wisconsin and I do not believe he’s an offensive halfback. He’s an excellent linebacker and undoubtedly will be kept on defense,” Liz said. In answer to other questions, Blackbourn revealed: “Bobby Dillon’s knee (he underwent an operation on it) is coming along fine and he’ll return next fall in good shape. Ab Wimberly (veteran defensive end who spent last fall coaching at LSU) has been contacted as to the possibility of returning and we are awaiting word from him. Clint Sathurn (St. Olaf quarterback) and Terry Campbell (Washington State QB) may be unable to play next fall. We hope we can sign Gil Reich (Kansas quarterback drafted in ’53) for the ’54 season. He would be valuable both as a quarterback and on defense. Tom Johnson (tackle veteran) is still in the Army and won’t be out for ’54 and Steve Dowden (tackle who played here in ’52 and then sat out last fall) isn’t planning to return to pro football.”…In his progress report, Blackbourn expressed optimism over the steps taken thus far. Referring to the draft choices signed, Liz said: “If we lose the boys who are playing hard to get, we still will have done a successful job in signing up the athletes.” He revealed the value of each of his assistants – Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus – and paid special tribute to General Manager Verne Lewellen and Scout Jack Vainisi. John Torinus, a Kiwanian and member of the Packer executive committee, introduced the assistant coaches who each gave a brief talks and Blackbourn. Opening the speaking was Packer President Russ Bogda, who remarked, “I know you’ll be in for a complete surprise next fall.” Art Schaars, Kiwanis president, presided.
RITES FRIDAY FOR FORTE'S FATHER
MAR 18 (Lake Village, AR) - Funeral services for S.R. Forte, father of Packer captain Bob Forte, will be held here at 10 o’clock Friday morning. The elder Forte, a native of Waterproof, La., died Monday following an extendd illness. He had undergone surgery in New Orleans last December.
PACKERS TO MEET ALL NFL FOES DURING 1954 SEASON
MAR 20 (Green Bay) - The Packers will meet all 11 opponents during the course of the 1954 non-conference and league season for the second time in 22 years. Back in 1932, when the National League was composed of only eight clubs – Green Bay, Bears, Portsmouth, Boston, New York, Brooklyn, Stapleton and Chicago Cardinals, the Packers played every foe and battled the Bears three times, finishing with an 11-3-1 record. It wasn’t until 1952 that the Packers battled all 11 in non-league and league competition. In the other years, the Packers battled some of the league clubs only every other year or every third year. Last season, for instance, the Packers didn’t meet Philadelphia and in ’51 the Packers didn’t play Cleveland. The Packers will meet all of the six Eastern division clubs along the non-league route next fall and they’ll battle the five opposing Western division teams in “doubleheaders” during the league campaign. In addition, they’ll meet Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in league games. The Bays’ 13-game program will keep the new coaching regime, headed by Coach Liz Blackbourn and assisted by Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus, game-busy every week starting with the opener against Chicago’s Cardinals in Minneapolis Aug.14 and ending against the Rams in Los Angeles Dec. 12 – four months of competition. The Packers will play “pairs” with seven of their opponents – the home and home sets with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago Bears, Detroit and Baltimore in the Western sector and Philly and Pitt in the Eastern.
PITTSBURGH SIGNS RONZANI AS BACKFIELD COACH FOR '54
MAR 22 (Pittsburgh) - Gene Ronzani was back in professional football today. The former head coach of the Green Bay Packers was signed Saturday by the Pittsburgh Steelers as backfield coach for the 1954 season. Ronzani resigned under pressure with two games left in the 1953 Packers season. In his three complete seasons with the Bays, the 44-year old coach won 12 and lost 24. A native of Iron Mountain, MI, Ronzani payed college ball at Marquette and then joined the Chicago Bears as a player in 1933 and played on three championship teams. He became an assistant coach in 1947 and later moved to the Packer organization.
MAR 24 (Green Bay) - The condition of Jack Vainisi, Packer scout who is a patient at Bellin Memorial hospital, is reported by his physician today as “considerably improved.” Vainisi, who was taken to the hospital Tuesday morning, may not have visitors.
PARILLI TO ASSIST
MAR 25 (Blacksburg, VA) - Babe Parilli, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, was named an assistant coach for Virginia Tech's spring football drills. Frank Moseley, Tech's head coachm, said Parilli probably
would begin spring workouts sometime next week. The Packer player formerly was a star at Kentucky at the time Moseley and a Tech assistant, Buck Chapman, were assistant coaches for the Wildcats. During spring drills, Parilli will work with the QBs.
PACKERS SIGN ROFFLER; ED NEAL 'CASE' CLOSED
MAR 26 (Green Bay) - The case of the first – and probably the last – draft choice the Chicago Bears ever traded to the Packers was closed today with the signing of William (Bud) Roffler, halfback from Washington State and Fort Ord, Calif. George Halas, owner-coach of the Bears, always had a soft spot in his heart for big Ed Neal, the 275-pound Packer middle guard, and succeeded in working a trade for the giant Texan midway during the 1951 season. In return for Neal, who never returned to pro football after the ’51 campaign, the Packers received the Bears’ No. 10 draft choice in January of 1952 – the only time the traditional rivals had ever worked out such a transaction. That No. 10 draft was the aforementioned Mr. Roffler – a 200-pound halfback with good speed, a fine toe for punting and offensive and defensive ability. Bud didn’t get a chance to show his stuff in ’52 because he was drafted into the Army. At Fort Ord, however, Roffler held his own with a number of pro stars, including Ollie Matson of the Chicago Cardinals, Ed Henke of the San Francisco Forty Niners, and Pat Cannamella of Baltimore and pro draft picks Dave Mann of the Chicago Cardinals, Don Heinrich and Earl Putnam of the New York Giants. With two seasons of Army ball behind him, Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn figures that Roffler should be ripe to step into the National league, and maybe Roffler can haunt the Bears – much like his larger shadow, Neal. The 23-year old Swiss star scored 80 points in his senior year at Washington State, rolling up nine touchdowns and kicking 26 points after. He averaged 14.1 yards on 14 punt returns and averaged 22.6 yards on nine kickoff returns. In rushing, Roffler averaged nearly five yards a crack. He played in the East-West Shrine game in ’52. At Fort Ord last fall, Roffler powered 58 times for 304 yards and an average of 5.1 per. In Fort Ord’s single setup, Roffler also played safety on defense. Fort Ord was unbeaten in ’53. Roffler was born Sept. 16, 1930 in Pine City, Wash., and played prep football at Lewis and Clark High in Spokane. The newcomer is well acquainted with Green Bay Packerland. Line coach at Fort Ord during Roffler’s stay there was Lt. Ralph J. Peterson, former West High gridder who enlisted in the Army in 1943. Roffler is the 16th player announced as signed thus far by Blackbourn.
HOW TO SAVE ROTE, PARILLI LIVES? PASS PROTECTION...!
MAR 30 (Green Bay) - We’re confused today, having been exposed to four individual sports and one team sport at the Association of Commerce’s stag smoker for new members at Riverside ballroom Monday night. It is unfortunate that toastmaster Merle Hadley didn’t have some sort of applause meter. We’d like to know which team won – the hunters, the fishermen, the archers, the golfers or the football. The experts claim that individual sports like hunting and fishing (and bowling) will back such great things as baseball and football off the map when it comes to licenses (tickets) sold and actual participation. But, being a bit of a grid nut, a fishing, archery, golf or hunting match between the Bears and Packers or East and West wouldn’t draw much more than a corporal’s guard here. You might consider this a back-handed way of launching today’s gospel on the pigskin theme, even though we’ve got to admit that Jimmy Milward’s skill with the golf club, Rod bow and arrow, Bill Johnson’s knack of handling firearms and Frank Von Drasek’s work with the fish pole are some shakes. We’re more interested in saving lives – especially those of Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote, the Packer quarterbacks, who were all but massacred so many time last fall. When the Packer contingent, Verne Lewellen, Liz Blackbourn, Ray McLean, Tom Hearden, Lou Rymkus and Jug Earp, rumbled onto the stage and when Hadley selected Tony Flynn of WJPG and this writer to ask them questions, we were given the chance of a lifetime. We didn’t come right out and ask, “Do you plan to let Parilli and Rote and their understudies live next fall?” We asked, “What is the secret of protection for the passer?” Rymkus, who specialized in protection for the passer at Notre Dame and with the Cleveland Browns and who was chosen as assistant coach by Liz because “he is so familiar with that important phase of the game,” provided the answer…CONTINUOUS PRACTICE: “Good personnel, of course, is the best requisite toward perfect pass protection,” Rymkus said, apparently referring to the almost flawless protection given Otto Graham, the Browns’ ace passer. “But regardless of personnel and the types of plays designed to protect the passer, there must be continuous practice among the men involved in putting up that wall around the passer. There must be no letup in this practice and every detail must be watched carefully. You can be sure there will be constant drilling in this phase of the game,” Rymkus declared. Thus, Rymkus revealed Blackbourn’s basic philosophy – simplicity, constant practice, and attention to details, and, of course, the desire to win. Hearden boiled down the game to a matter of “good blocking and tackling” in answer to a question from Flynn. Blackbourn pointed out “our line needs more improvement than any other department of the team.” He expressed the opinion that “we have attempted to strengthen the line through the draft.” Also answering questions were McLean, Lewellen and Earp, Lewellen said, “We’re all here but Jack Vainisi, our scout, who is recuperating from illness.” As a windup, the Packers passed and kicked small footballs into the audience.
PACKERS SIGN QB; J.R. BOONE RETIRES
APR 1 (Green Bay) - The Packers signed a rookie quarterback and lost a veteran halfback today. Joining the Green Bay forces was Robert Dale (Bob) Burkhart, a signal caller, passer and all-around back from Washington State. Leaving was J.R. Boone, the tiny scatback who played with the Chicago Bears and San Francisco Forty Niners before battling for the Packers last fall. Coach Liz Blackbourn has announced the signing of 17 players thus far, including one other quarterback – Elry Falkenstein of Illinois. The Packers now have scored a “clean sweep” of Washington State quarterbacks. Drafted earlier was Terry Campbell, who shared the QB position with Burkhart the last two seasons. Campbell expects to go into the service shortly and won’t be available next fall. Signing of Burkhart and Falkenstein gives the Packers two free agent quarterbacks to replace the two “departed” drafted QBs – Clint Sathurn of St. Olaf’s and Campbell, and back up veterans Tobin Rote and Babe Parilli. Sathurn doesn’t plan to play pro ball and expects to go into service. Campbell expects to join the Packers when he gets out of the armed forces. Both of the Washington State throwers were recommended by Roger Grove, former Packer halfback now coaching the WS backfield. The two QBs are opposites. Burkhart is a big, rugged bruising runner at 5-11, 195, while Campbell is the skilled ball handler and lighter type at 6-2, 172. Grove called Campbell "as good a ball handler as Babe Parilli." Burkhart did just about everything in his three-year career, serving as a blocking quarterback in the single wing, a tailback in the single wing, and a split-T and straight-T QB. Injured most of last season, Burkhart didn't get to play too much but in 1951 and 1952 he threw 23 touchdown passes, including 15 for a Pacific Coast conference record in '51. He hurled 145 times that season and completed 70. In 1952 he threw 93 passes and completed 42, eight going for TDs. Burkhart also handled the Cougars' punting, averaging nearly 40 yards, kicked off and booted field goals and points after touchdown. He was named all-Pacific Coast conference quarterback in '52. Bobby Garrett of Stanford won the honor in '53. Burkhart played prep ball at Kellogg, Idaho, High. He is married and has one child. The QB star was born Jan. 1, 1932 in Oranogo, Mo...Boone announced his retirement in a letter to Blackbourn. The 5-9, 167-pound speed merchant, who is 28 years of age, played four years with the Bears and one with San Francisco - mostly as a spot runner and pass catcher. J.R.'s letter to the coach follows, in part: "I am sorry I have not written you sooner and compliment you on your new assignment. I know you will do a good job for a wonderful bunch of fans. Coach, I don't intend to play any more football. I have taken a job with the Kelling Nut Company here in San Francisco. I have almost all of Northern California. I feel good about the possibilities it offers. The only reason I feel bad about quitting is that I feel bad about not having a good last year for all the wonderful people I met in Green Bay, but it was just one of those things that is bound to happen to anyone if they stay with the game too long. I would appreciate it if you would extend my feelings toward Green Bay and the Packers."
1,000 ASK PACKERS TO TRAIN AT RIPON; MESSAGE AWAITED
APR 2 (Green Bay) - Verne Lewellen, general manager of the Packers, was awaiting a brief telegram message from Ripon. The wire, according to word from Ripon, will be signed by "1,000 Green Bay Packer fans" asking the club to train at Ripon. The Ripon College campus is one of three sites under consideration by the Packers. The others are Central State Teachers college at Stevens Point and Two Rivers. The Packers had been training at Grand Rapids, Minn., the last three years. Lewellen said today that an announcement on the Packers' 1954 training site will be made shortly.
VISIONS OF HIRSCH! PACKERS PUT MAX AT END
APR 6 (Green Bay) - The Packers hoped today they had what every club in the NFL is looking for - another Elroy Hirsch! Green Bay's version of the German from Wausau and the Los Angeles Rams is a Texas Irishman named Max McGee - one of five football playing brothers. Coach Liz Blackbourn had visions of Elroy The Blocker, Pass Catcher and Runner when he drafted the Tulane university halfback last January and then announced that Max would be a candidate for offensive end when the Packers launch training July 25. McGee was the pass-catchingest halfback in college football last fall, nailing 34 throws for 437 yards and four touchdowns. With the Packers as an end, McGee will get many more opportunities to use his speed, ability to block and knack of catching passes. McGee and Hirsch are built along the same lines. Max stands 6-3 and carries 197 pounds - one inch and about five pounds bigger than Elroy. Changing to a new position won't be strange for the big Texan. He played left halfback as a sophomore in 1951, moved to fullback in 1952, and ran from right half in '53. The implication is that McGee has plenty of power to go with his pass catching savvy. Blackbourn is interested in returning the "block" to Packer ends. The Bay coach was disappointed with the flagging down shown in some of the game films of 1953 games and several times pointed to Hirsch as "the kind of player who not only catches passes but blocks as well." With Clive Rush already signed as an assistant coach under Hugh Devore at Dayton university, the Packers are down to three veteran offensive ends - Bill Howton, Bob Mann and Stretch Elliott. McGee, plus several drafted ends, will be out to get the No. 4 job or break up the veteran threesome. McGee, 21, was the Packers' fifth draft choice. He was signed yesterday - the 18th player announced as inked thus far. A fast, shifty runner, McGee averaged 5.2 yards per carry last fall for a total of 420 yards in 82 attempts. He snagged 13 passes for 166 yards, and had a punting average of 38.2 on 25 kicks. He led the nation in kickoff returns with 17 for 371 yards - a 21.8 average. A top runner for the Green Wave, he also led the rushers as a sophomore with 543 yards, and as a junior with 428 yards. He participated in track in 1952 as a high jumper. McGee was born in Sexton City, Texas, July 16, 1932. The baby of a five-son family of footballers, his brother, Coy, became well known in these parts as one of Notre Dame's great halfbacks in the 1940s. The other brothers, Randall, Beryn and Kenneth, played at North Texas State. Max played high school football at White Oak, Texas, and made the All-Texas high school squad. McGee participated in the Blue-Gray game at Montgomery, and captained the South team in the Senior Bow game at Mobile, Ala., where Packer assistant Ray McLean saw him in action.
GREEN BAY PACKERS SELECT STEVENS POINT FOR TRAINING
APR 6 (Stevens Point) - Stevens Point is the new training home of the Green Bay Packers. The agreement that brings the state's only professional football team to the city for five weeks this summer was signed her Tuesday afternoon. Verne Lewellen, general manager of the Packers, and Carl Wallace, manager of the Stevens Point Chamber of Commerce, placed their signatures on the papers after a luncheon meeting of local businessmen and industry executives at Hotel St. George. The Packers - 60 strong in the playing ranks and about 10 other personnel included Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn and his trio of assistants - will arrive here Sunday July 25, and begin their practice sessions the following day. They will remain her until late in the week of August 22-28 and possible return for a few days during the week of August 29-September 4. Delzell and Nelson Halls on the Central State college campus will be the headquarters for the Packers during their training period. Definite plans have not been established but it is expected the players will live at Delzell for the first week while the college's summer session concludes. Then a decision will be made as to whether to remain at Delzell or move to Nelson where they will be eating their meal during the entire stay. Practice facilities have been made available at the college on Schmeeckle field and on the practice areas of Goerke Park. The playing field at Goerke Park will be the scene of the intra-squad game on Saturday August 7, the highlight of the month-long training period so far as Stevens Point and area fans are concerned. Following the third week of drills on Saturday night August 14, Green Bay will go to Minneapolis to play its first exhibition game with the Chicago Cardinals. The Packers have another non-league affair the following Saturday evening August 21 in their hometown of Green Bay against the Cleveland Browns. Green Bay is scheduled to east hear the end of their fifth and final full week of drills here and will play in Pittsburgh against the Steelers on August 27, 28 or 29, the definite date to be established later. The team will remain in the east or return to Stevens Point after the Pittsburgh contest. If the Packers decide to come back here, they will leave again - and break camp permanently in Stevens Point for this summer - late in the week of August 29-September 4. They are scheduled to play in Atlantic City on September 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles and in Raleigh, NC against Washington on September 12. Green Bay heads back to its home state after the battle with the Redskins and play the annual Shrine charity game in Milwaukee on Saturday night September 18 against the New York Giants. Then the Packers go to Green Bay and prepare for their 1954 NFL opened on Sunday afternoon September 26 with Pittsburgh. Stevens Point was selected as the new training headquarters of the Packers after they announced they were abandoning their station in Grand Rapids, MN, because they wanted to practice at a location nearer their home city. In the running for acquiring the team for its pre-season drill sessions were Green Bay (St. Norbert College, De Pere), Ripon and Two Rivers in addition to Stevens Point. The official release from the office of F.L. "Jug" Earp, director of public relations of the Packers, said in part: "Splendid dormitory accomodations and dining room facilities are provided (at Stevens Point), as well as two practice fields. This will enable Blackbourn to select proper menus for the boys and the opportunity to house the squad together during the important training weeks." The release implied in another section that St. Norbert ranked high in consideration as a training site. "St. Norbert College, which would return the Packers home for their training, was not available this year because of summer school and other college activities requiring facilities of the dormitory and dining room until the middle of August," said Earp in his announcement. Lewellen stated that he and Blackbourn, who will be starting his first year as head coach of the club, were impressed from the start not only with the facilities available in Stevens Point but also with the enthusiasm shown here." The Packers' general manager, who also is in his first year in that capacity with the club, added that one of the points that tipped the scales in favor of Stevens Point was the fine facilities for staging the intrasquad game. He mentioned that Ripon had excellent practice and housing facilities and that Two Rivers also had more than adequate area for staging drills. However, neither city has the stadium setup such as is at Goerke Park. Seating arrangements for at least 5,500 persons will be made for the intra-squad game here and many more "standing room" customers can be accommodated. Lewellen had praise for the enthusiastic element in the city concerning the possibility of the Packers training here. He singled out the willingness of the large Chamber of Commerce Packer committee to take care of the various aspects of bringing the team here. "The enthusiasm from all angles shown in Stevens Point went far in our decision to come here for our training period," said Lewellen, adding: "The Packer organization feels this type of response will help our team this year and in seasons to come."
PACK TO TRAIN AT STEVENS POINT
APR 7 (Green Bay) - The Packers will train at Stevens Point State College for the 1954 season, General Manager Verne Lewellen announced today. The Wisconsin site was selected after considering several locations, including Ripon College, Two Rivers and St. Norbert College. Use of St. Norbert College, which would have returned the Packers home for their training for the first time since 1950, was not available this year because of summer school and other college activities requiring the facilities of the dormitory and dining room until the middle of August. The Packers trained at Grand Rapids, Minn., the last three years. The Stevens Point site, located in the heart of Packerland, offers the Packers "every advantage to carry out a modern, successful training program," Lewellen pointed out. "The purpose of training at a site of this kind is to give Coach Blackbourn an opportunity to have his boys close together during those important early weeks of training," the general manager said. The Packers will train there for about five weeks. An intra-squad game will be played at the Stevens Point High field after two weeks of training, providing fans in the Wisconsin River Valley area with the first look at the new-regime Packers. The field has a seating capacity of over 6,000. A week after the squad game, the Packers open their non-championship schedule against the Chicago Cardinals at Minneapolis - Saturday night, Aug. 14. Both Lewellen and Blackbourn were impressed by the excellent dormitory and dining room facilities, as well as two practice fields. Most of the drilling will be done on the college field, which adjoins the players' dormitory, Delzell Hall, and if necessary other practicing can be done on the Stevens Point High School field a short distance away. Blackbourn is making arrangements for a standard menu for the players' meals. They will eat in Nelson Hall - about one block from Delzell Hall. Trainer Bud Jorgenson will set up his shop in a building just off the college practice field. Lewellen said today that he was impressed by the "enthusiasm of the businessmen in Stevens Point - they are very anxious to have us and one of them told me that 'this is the biggest thing that has happened in Stevens Point in 25 years.'" Businessmen there contributed toward a fund to help cut expenses and make the offer to the Packers even more attractive. Formal contracts were signed yesterday at a luncheon of businessmen and Lewellen.
BLACKBOURN CITES PRO GRID CHANGES, ONE-PLATOON PLAN
APR 9 (Green Bay) - Rotarian Liz Blackbourn spoke to his weekly luncheon teammates on “changes” Thursday noon at the Beaumont hotel. The Packer head coach, who will close out his tour of Green Bay service clubs with an address at the Optimist club session next Wednesday noon, pointed out changes that have benefited professional football in general and the Packers in particular. Blackbourn, a recent transfer from the Milwaukee Rotary club to the Bay group, said that “the old days, the pioneer days of pro football are over – the early days, and this goes for baseball, too, were not as highly organized as the present day brand of professional sports.” The Packers and other pro athletes “have a direct responsibility to the public by their very conduct. The publicity these players receive makes them idols in the eyes of the fans and they must, and will, keep that trust.” The National league has set down a high standard of rules for the players to follow, Blackbourn said, “and the conduct they must follow is even laid down on the backs of the contacts they sign – something unheard of it in the early days.” The change that may help the Packers on the field was college football’s switch to the one-platoon game. “Everyone we draft now has played both defense and offense and as a result the candidate will be capable of trying out and possibly playing two positions,” the coach said…POINTS TO ART HUNTER: He pointed to Art Hunter, the 240-pound tackle from Notre Dame – the Packers’ No. 1 draft choice. “Art played offensive tackle and defensive end last year; the year before he worked as an offensive end and tackle and as a sophomore saw action as an offensive center,” Liz said. Veryl Switzer, the club’s other No. 1 draft pick, was an All-America halfback as a defensive halfback in 1952. “When the one-platoon system came in last year, Veryl became a star as an offensive halfback – as you saw in the East-West (televised) game. He was the one good back we were able to land in the first five rounds of the draft,” the coach explained. Blackbourn was able to go right down the draft list and point out the two-way possibilities of his selections. Bob Fleck, 260-pound tackle from Syracuse – the No. 3 pick, plays offensive tackle and defensive middle guard. He indicated that a number of the veterans are unable to play both offense and defense. Another change Blackbourn explained was the selection of Stevens Point State College as the team’s 1954 training site. The Bays trained at far-away Grand Rapids, Minn., the last three years. The coach told of the “excellent facilities” in Stevens Point and added that “the people in Stevens Point are out to do a good job for the Packers.” “The Packers are unique – they belong first to Green Bay and second to the state and the Upper peninsula; actually Stevens Point is in the heart of the Packer area,” he added. Also speaking briefly was Rotarian Verne Lewellen, Packer general manager. Introduced were Ticket Chief Carl Mraz and assistant Earl Falk, scout Jack Vainisi, publicity director Jug Earp and assistant coaches Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus.
PACKER COACHES, FANS ANXIOUS TO GET SHOW ON ROAD; DRILLS 104 DAYS AWAY
APR 10 (Green Bay) - Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn, in his address before the Rotary club Thursday, said “we are all anxious to get the show on the road.” Fans around our town might consider that understatement because most of them, including this writer, were getting anxious shortly after Blackbourn came into Green Bay on a cold and snowy day last January. Actually, Liz and his staffmen – Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus – won’t have long to wait. The Packers start training in Stevens Point three months and two weeks from next Monday – about 104 days away. Much has happened – and all in orderly fashion – since Verne Lewellen took over as general manager and Blackbourn as head coach. With particular help from Scout Jack Vainisi, the Pack accomplished one of the most successful drafts in the club’s history before January disappeared. Blackbourn met the veterans via telephone and since has corresponded with most of them. Every draftee was contacted personally by a member of the coaching staff or Lewellen. Ditto most of the free agents. The top three draft choices – Art Hunter, Veryl Switzer and Bob Fleck – were signed quickly. Complete scouting reports were constructed in 34 days of viewing movies of last year’s entire 17-game schedule. The coaches moved into roomier quarters on the second floor of the club headquarters at 349 S. Washington. Stevens Point was selected as a training site, starting July 25. Score of talks were made throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan by all of the coaches and Lewellen. Player contracts, most of them signed, have been coming for weeks but announcements must be withheld because the athletes are participating in spring sports. The signing of 18 players has been announced thus far. With this rapid cleanup of business, what’s left? Lewellen is working out plans for separate season ticket campaigns in Milwaukee and Green Bay. The coaches have just about completed a course in what could be entitled – “Packer Strategy and How to Speak It.” Since all four coaches used slightly different terminology in their previous positions, it was necessary to “straighten out and learn the nomenclature we intend to use here,” Liz explained the other day. All of the coaches are T-formation men – the Packers’ standard offense for next fall. They are all familiar with the various changes in the T, such as the “split”, the “wing” and the flankers. Their attack and their defenses are being placed, changed and re-arranged every day on the blackboard to fit the personal coming back from ’53 and the newcomers. It’s all going down on paper and you and you and you won’t see the results next fall. Actually, this is a dull time for Joe Phan, but frequent talks by the coaches and player signings have helped to keep Joe and his Missus in a football frame of mind.
PACKERS TO USE OPEN HUDDLE IN 1954: LIZ
APR 15 (Green Bay) - The Packers will use the open huddle next fall. They won’t employ the messenger system “although we’ll be equipped to use it.” Jack Vainisi will serve as one of the Packers’ game scouts during the season. Those were some of the news thoughts Packer Head Coach Liz Blackbourn left at the weekly luncheon meeting of the Optimist club at the Beaumont hotel Wednesday noon. Delivering his ninth address in Green Bay in two and a half months, Blackbourn set aside his stock “progress report” and delved into the mechanics of Packer football and a certain amount of strategy during the course of his talk and question period. Purpose of the open huddle, Liz pointed out, “is to eliminate all the arguing or talking between the quarterback and his teammates,” thus indicating that the 1954 Packer quarterbacks will be in complete charge. The open huddle has the quarterback, with his back to the defense, facing two rows of players. In the front row will be the tackles, guards and center and the back row will be composed of the two ends and three backs. At the break signal, the QB will step behind the center and the entire group steps forward – in position. Blackbourn said that the system is nothing new, although Notre Dame popularized it in the last few years. The Packers used it for the last two games last fall, following the resignation of Gene Ronzani. The club was in charge of co-coaches Hugh Devore and Ray McLean. Blackbourn said that he hadn’t used it himself at Marquette “but Tom (Hearden, assistant coach) had and found it successful.”…”TOO MUCH TIME”: In previous years, the Packers used the “circular” or standard huddle, with the quarterback surrounded by his teammates. This led the way to considerable “discussion” and often a penalty for “too much time”. Blackbourn said that “we don’t anticipate running in signals on every play but we will have our personnel set up to do so if necessary.” He revealed that one of the quarterbacks would likely be on the phone connected to our observer above.” The Cleveland Browns have been noted for their “messenger” system, in which signals are run in for every play. No other club in the National league has used the identical system – as yet, although a number of teams run in plays from time to time. Blackbourn stated that “our offense is set – but not completely; we’ll use the T, the winged-T and some split T but some of the offense will have to wait until we get a look at the boys." As an example, Liz said that "if we find that our ends can't block too well we may use more flankers than we have have planned; if the ends can block it's likely that we'll play 'em close in to give them an opportunity to block." "For me," Blackbourn said, "the defense has been the biggest change in the jump from college to pro ball; it was the same in the step from high school to college. Offenses are fairly standard; they don't change much - but defenses are constantly being switched and becoming more complicated." At the moment, the coach said, "we're working on scouting assignments for next fall - we'd like to cover each opponent three times during the training season in preparation for the league season." He announced that Vainisi, the club's chief talent scout, will be one of the game scouts during the campaign. "We expect Jack to do an excellent job in this new phase - just as he has done on talent," the coach said. Also present were Assistant Coaches Lou Rymkus, Hearden and McLean. Yesterday's talk completed his cycle before the service clubs on Green Bay. Earlier he addressed the Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary groups.
PACKERS CUT PRICES FOR SINGLE, SEASON TICKETS
APR 20 (Green Bay) - A reduction in prices on single game and season tickets for the Packers' 1954 NFL season - in line with the federal tax cut from 20 to 10 percent on admission tickets, was announced today by General Manager Verne Lewellen. Single game tickets for the three league games in Green Bay and three in Milwaukee were scaled at $4.75, $3.50 and $2.40, compared to the 1953 prices of $5.00, $3.80 and $2.50. On a season ticket basis (three in Green Bay and three in Milwaukee), the prices were cut from $15.00 to $14.25, $11.40 to $10.50 and $7.50 to $7.20. Prices also were adjusted for the Packers' two non-conference games - the Cleveland Browns in
Green Bay Aug. 21 and New York Giants in Milwaukee Sept. 18. New prices for the Brown game are $3.30, $2.20 and $1.10. Prices for the non-looper here last year were $3.60, $2.40 and $1.20. Prices for the Shrine-sponsored Milwaukee non-leaguer were cut from $4.00 to $3.75, $3.00 to $2.75 and $1.50 to $1.30. League competition set for the Packers next fall will open with the Pittsburgh Steelers invading Green Bay's City Stadium Sept. 26. The Chicago Bears will invade the same lot Oct. 3 and the GB card will be closed out Nov. 21 with a visit by the Detroit Lions. The Packers' three payoff battles in Milwaukee open with the San Francisco Forty Niners Oct. 10, follow with Los Angeles Oct. 17 and close with Baltimore Nov. 13...With the new prices set, the Packer ticket office at 349 S. Washington street has started to boom. Ticket Chief Carl Mraz announced that renewal cards are presently being mailed to all of last year's season ticket holders for the three league games in Green Bay, giving holders the privilege of obtaining the same seats they held last year, or to request any changes, or to increase orders for seats. Last year's Milwaukee season ticket holders will be mailed their renewal cards at a later date.
PELFREY SIGNS WITH WINNIPEG
APR 21 (Winnipeg) - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers Wednesday signed Ray Pelfrey, 24-year old end and halfback who played last season for the New York Giants. He is the 12th "import" from the United States signed by the Bombers for the 1954 season. Pelfrey played for the Green Bay Packers in 1951 and 1952.
PACKERS FOLLOWING TREND TOWARD BIG DEFENSIVE LINE; SIGN HEAVY PLAYERS
APR 24 (Green Bay) - The Packers hope to follow the trend in the NFL toward big, beefy defensive lines next fall. The Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns - finalists in the world's professional football championship last December - are setting the weight pattern up front on defense. The Browns, for instance, have 280-pound Fran Helluin at middle guard, 260-pound Don Colo and 250-pound John Sandusky at tackles, 250-pound Doug Atkins and 245-pound Len Ford at ends. Detroit has 300-pound Les (Crazy Legs) Bingaman at middle guard, 245-pound Thurman McGraw and 250-pound John Prchlik at tackles and Jim Cain and George Summersall, 225 each, at ends. The closest the 1953 Packers came to matching this type of defensive wall last year was John Martinkovic, 245, at end and 245-pound Dave Hanner at one of the tackle. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn has a few names on the roster that is bringing joy to Line Coach Lou Rymkus, himself a 240-pound ex-Brown tackle. The Packers already signed the heaviest middle guard since 275-pound Ed Neal - one Bob Fleck of Syracuse, a 260-pounder from Syracuse who also plays tackle. Possibly joining big-enough Hanner on defense is Notre Dame's Art Hunter, who is still growing at 240. Big Martinkovic likely will be back, but the next heaviest end possibility is "only" a 225-pounder, Gene Knutson, the rookie from Beloit High and the University of Michigan. Another hot prospect for defensive end is Emory Barnes, a 6-5, 220-pound crusher from Oregon. Blackbourn also has a number of light-for-pro-ball tackles who might give end a whirl. Among them are Bill Buford, 235, Oregon State; Ralph Baierl, 225, Maryland; Jim Balog, 225, Michigan, and Jack Smalley, 225, Alabama. The Packers are about average heft in the offensive line positions, with the exception of center. Using the Lions and Browns as "standards" - due to their success, the Bays' heaviest offensive pivot regular is Dave Stephenson, a 225-pounder who is backed up by Jim Ringo, 220. By comparison, the Browns' No. 1 center, Frank Gatski, goes 240 and the Lions' top snapper-backs are Chuck Ane, 250, and Vince Banonis, 240. Heaviest of the offensive guards are Dick Logan and Steve Ruzich, both 230. The "blocking" tackles are big enough - Dick Afflis, 250, and Gus Cifelli, 245. While weight is important, the Packers won't be overlooking the "little" man. Blackbourn and aides Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Rymkus, in viewing the movies of 1953 games almost daily, have noted that some spectacular line performances were turned in by the Packers' lightest tackle - Dick Wildung, who carries not much more than 220. Speaking about weight, Rymkus weighed more as a high schooler than he did as a Cleveland Brown. Lou packed over 240 in prep ball "but they got me down to 235 when I joined the Browns - and I felt better, too."
PACKER DRAFTEE JOINS WINNIPEG
APR 24 (Winnipeg) - Halfback Evan Slonac, a former star with Michigan State, selected by the Green Bay Packers in the NFL draft, signed today with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The 23-year old, 170-pound Slonac becomes the 15th U.S. import to sign with the Western Interprovincial Football Union club. Slonac, who played in the 1954 Rose Bowl game, was a member of the Spartans famed "pony backfield", consisting of quarterback Tom Yewcic and halfbacks Leroy Bolden and Billy Wells.
JOHN BIOLO IS NAMED FERZACCA'S SUCCESSOR
APR 28 (Green Bay) - John Biolo, an assistant football coach at Green Bay West High School for three years, was appointed head coach today. He succeeds F.L. (Frosty) Ferzacca, who resigned to become head coach at Marquette University. Biolo, a native of Iron Mountain, MI, played football at Lake Forest College and pro ball with the Green Bay Packers in 1939. He coached a semi-pro team at Kenosha in 1940-41 and after military service became line coach at St. Norbert College.
PACKERS LOSE JOHNSON
APR 28 (Toronto) - David (Kosse) Johnson, Rice's All-America fullback of 1953 and a draft choice of the Green Bay Packers, signed to play with the Toronto Argonauts Tuesday. His play helped Rice defeat Alabama in the Cotton Bowl on January 1.
NO TEARS OVER JOHNSON'S JUMP?
APR 28 (Green Bay) - Somewhere along his speech trail two or three weeks ago, Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn made the statement that "if we didn't sign another player from our draft list we'd still be in good shape." Those few words offered some consolation and indicated today that no tears were shed when the Packer family at 349 S. Washington street read this morning that David (Kosse) Johnson, Rice's All-America halfback, had signed a contract to play with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football Union. Johnson was the Packers' 14th draft choice. While Blackbourn couldn't be reached today before deadline time, the implication from his earlier words is that Johnson was one of those "another player from our draft list." Johnson, the nation's No. 2 ground gainer, was a fullback in Rice's system. Blackbourn had planned to make a halfback out of him since his weight (178 pounds) is obviously too low for major league fullback. The Packers now have lost three draft choices to Canadian football, including a 240-pound tackle and two 170-plus fullbacks. The other FB was 28th choice Evan Slonac, the battering Ram in Michigan State's pony backfield. The tackle was seventh-pick Sam Marshall of Florida A and M. On the "height" of selection in the draft - plus the fact that the Packers needed tackles, the Florida Negro could be considered the most serious loss. However, Marshall was intent on playing under a former coach and with some of his former teammates in Canada and signed with Toronto. Slonac will play at Winnipeg. Both Blackbourn and General Manager Verne Lewellen have announced that most of the draft selections are signed and sealed - not to mention a flock of free agents. The next business will be the signing of the veterans. A speeded up program of announcing the signed athletes is expected shortly. Opening of the training season is less than 100 days away - and less than 20 players have been announced as signed.
ONLY 2 PACKER GAMES ON '54 TV SCHEDULE?
APR 29 (Green Bay) - Packer fans in Green Bay and are who saw 10 of the Packers' NFL games by traveling short to fairly-short distance may not be so fortunate in 1954. Half of the dozen were played in Green Bay and Milwaukee - requiring little effort to be at the scene of the battle. An additional four were televised back to Green Bay, which required only a trip to the TV set - the Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Detroit (Thanksgiving Day) and Los Angeles games. Pitt and Baltimore were Saturday night tests and LA a Saturday afternooner. The odd two games were the Forty Niner test in San Francisco and the Bear go in Chicago. Since a number of fans from Packerland follow the club to Wrigley Field, only the Forty Niner game was a complete sight loss. As of now, the Packers are listed for only two Saturday night coast-to-coast games - plus the annual Turkey Day game in Detroit Nov. 25. However, one of the club's Saturday night TV games - Green Bay vs. Baltimore in Milwaukee Nov. 13 - won't be piped back here since Green Bay and Milwaukee are considered home territory. The other Saturday night Packer go, likely to be shown here, will be at Philadelphia Oct. 30. Arrangements for television of pro football were announced last night by Commissioner Bert Bell of the NFL and Thomas J. McMahon, director of sports of the Dumont television network...SUNDAY GAME OF WEEK: The league and Dumont agreed to telecast nine Saturday night games and two on Saturday afternoon - Baltimore at Los Angeles Dec. 4 and Baltimore at San Francisco Dec. 11. In all cases, the games will be "blacked" out in the city and immediate area in which they are played. In addition to the Saturday night showings, more than 50 additional Sunday games will be carried either nationally or regionally from Sept. 25 through Dec. 11. One "game of the week", to be chosen as the season progresses, will be carried each Sunday on a national network of from 50 to 100 stations. In addition, road games of the teams will be televised - in some cases - in their home territory over regional station lineups. Whether any other Packer games will be telecast back home in addition to the Philly and Detroit tests and an appearance in the "game of the week" will depend on what arrangements can be worked out with networks , sponsors, etc., between now and next season.
CONE SIGNS FOR '54, LIFE IN 'DOUBLE CONTRACT' CEREMONY
MAY 3 (Green Bay) - Packer fullback and Mrs. Fred Cone were honeymooning in the south today following a "double contract" ceremony in Green Bay over the weekend. Hard-hittin' Freddie became the first veteran to sign for the 1954 season under the new regime. This procedure - the fourth for the former Clemson star - was followed by the signing of a lifetime contract with Green Bay's Miss Judy Anderson, the document becoming official in Grace Lutheran Church Saturday afternoon. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn had a rather unique experience in signing the first of the veteran players. The signature rite was attended by then-Miss Anderson after which Liz wished them the "best of luck and an enjoyable honeymoon." The Cones, incidentally, will combine business with pleasure on their honeymoon. A public relations man for Miller Brewing Co., Cone will tour the south, giving talks and showing pictures of Packer games and the Cleveland-Detroit championship game. They'll stop in Pineapple, Ala., where Fred will introduce his new wife to his parents. Blackbourn, impressed by Cone's work in pictures of the 1953 season, said that "as of now Fred is our No. 1 fullback and kicker." Cone handled the bulk of the extra point, field goal and kickoff booting in his first three Packer seasons. Cone will join in some keen competition for the main fullbacking job when the club opens drills in Stevens Point late in July. Expected to return is Howie Ferguson, who did so well as a newcomer in '53. Among the top rookie fullbacks is Tom Allman, the tough blocking pounder from West Virginia who was drafted No. 4. Allman is also a top-flight linebacker. In his three years with the Packers, Cone has been a good point producer and a steady rusher and pass catcher. Thanks to an accurate toe, Cone now ranks seventh among all-time Packer scorers, with 177 markers - just nine behind sixth place Tony Canadeo. He scored 10 touchdowns, 84 extra points and 11 field goals. His PAT total is the second highest in Packer history, placing second only to Don (1933-45) Huston's 174. Third high is 62 by Ted Fritsch, who didn't start to boot extra points until Huston retired after the '45 season. Cone, who likes to gallop once he gets into the open, has an all-time pro rushing average of 3.5 yards per attempt. He averaged 3.4 as a rookie in 1951, gaining 190 yards. He picked up 276 yards as a sophomore, for his best average, 3.9, in '52. He lugged 92 times last fall for 301 yards and a 3.3 mark. Cone caught 28 passes as a rookie, settled off to eight when Babe Parilli, Tobin Rote and Bill Howton went high in '52, and nailed 18 in '53. In 54 catches, he averaged 10.7 yards. Cone hopes to carry about 200 pounds next fall. He generally starts each league season with that weight but sometimes loses
as much as 15 pounds near the end of the campaign.
MAY COMPROMISES IN LIONS-ALL STAR HASSLE, LIZ FEELS
MAY 5 (Green Bay) - "There probably will be some sort of compromises." That was Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn's conjecture today in commenting on the current rhubarb that has developed between sponsors of the College All Star game and Coach Buddy Parker of the World Champion Detroit Lions over use of the single platoon system for the annual August classic. Parker stated yesterday that he "won't play the game under the single platoon rules." Chicago Tribune Charities, Inc., game sponsor, insists that the one-platoon plan, installed in the colleges in '53, be followed. Parker wants to use pro football's double platoon. Blackbourn, emphasizing that "this is pure conjecture," said he felt that the two parties concerned will reach a suitable agreement. How? "The could possibly let only ends and backs go in and out when the ball changes hands - or the ends and quarterbacks. Something might be worked along those lines," he pointed out...FAVORS PARKER'S POSITION: Blackbourn said that use of the one-platoon could be an important factor in the All Star game. "Other college rules such as not getting up and running after touching the grounds, etc., are really minor but use of the single platoon would change the entire game," Liz added. Blackbourn said he favors Parker's stand "in this dispute" adding, "I don't blame him for his actions; he is to be complimented for taking a good, firm stand." The Packer coach felt that Parker has a "definite problem - especially with that Bobby Layne, who I assume is a high priced player. He would be taking a chance with injury playing him on defense, and I'm sure he must be considered a top drawing card."...HOW ABOUT BOX, WALKER?: Under the one-platoon plan, Parker also would be faced with risking such players as Cloyce Box and Doak Walker - to mention a few. To better illustrate Parker's problem, Blackbourn pointed to the Packer roster. "We'd be taking a big chance if we had to play boys like Howton, Mann and Parilli on defense." No public statements on the dispute were forthcoming today from attorneys for the sponsors or Commissioner Bert Bell. Yesterday, Tribune authorities notified Parker as follows: "It is recognized that the College All-Star team is inevitably at a disadvantage in competing with a well integrated team such as the professional club always puts on the field. The pros should be able to adjust themselves more easily to the rules than can the amateur players who have been together only a few weeks."...HINGES ON CONTRACT: Bell said the issue hinged on the interpretation of section nine of the contract the National League signed with the Chicago Tribune Charities, Inc., Aug. 8, 1949. This section deals with exceptions to the the use of collegiate rules and provides that professional rules shall be used where they were in force prior to the signing of the contract. "Unlimited substitution in the pro game was in effect long before 1949," Bell said, "and has been used in every All-Star game since then." Bell asserted that collegiate rules of 1948 did not allow for unlimited substitution, yet the 1949 game was also played with unlimited substitution.
TONNEMAKER SOLD ON PACKERS' NEW REGIME
MAY 6 (Green Bay) - Clayton Tonnemaker is sold on Green Bay more than eve now! The big University of Minnesota and Packer linebacker always did think the world of our town - especially since the night of Aug. 16, 1950, when he played his first game in City Stadium. The near-sellout audience gave him a tremendous ovation. Tonnemaker had been in Milwaukee the last several weeks and came to Green Bay yesterday to address the Optimist Club luncheon Wednesday, "and it didn't take long to find out how everybody liked the new regime," he said. The husky Gopher, who will be in his third season with the Packers next fall (he missed 1951-52 to serve in the Army), said that "I'm highly impressed with the setup and I'm sure there will be a decided improvement next season." Tonnemaker met Coach Liz Blackbourn for the first time Wednesday afternoon. The native of Ogilvia, Minn., is expected to sign his 1954 contract shortly. At the Optimist gathering, Tonnemaker told his listeners that "we owe the people of Green Bay an awful lot - the way we've been playing the last few years." He added, "We hope we can do something to deserve their support next fall." Firing straight from the shoulder, Tonnemaker later said, in answer to a question, that "I expect to play improved football next year - maybe like in 1950. I wasn't right when I hurried out of service and hurried up to camp last fall. Then, I had picked up a lot of bad habits in service football. It took me half the season to get to normal again. I felt 'right' in the last half of the season."...OUT OF HIS TERRITORY: Here on behalf of the Miller Brewing Co., Tonnemaker was anxious to know about the new players - "are they signing? how about the veterans? who isn't coming back?" Actually, Tonnemaker is out of his territory. He travels Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa and Nebraska spreading the Miller gospel, talking football and showing movies of the Cleveland-Detroit championship game. "The people out in some of those states don't know too much about pro football, but they learn a lot from the movies. We talk quite a bit about Minnesota football," Tonnemaker said. Surprised to hear that Phil Seghi, former Bluejay manager, had been named pilot of Fargo-Moorhead, Tonnemaker said, "I'll look him up as soon as I get out there." Tonnemaker, incidentally, was one of 62 athletes listed today by Brig. Gen. Herbert P. Powell, who spent part of the Army service overseas. Tonnemaker was in Japan for more than a year with a medical unit. Powell told a House Armed Senate subcommittee, which is investigating so-called "coddling" of athletes in the Army that "the Army's baseball, basketball, football and other sport are 'morale builders' - even for the spectators." He produced documents showing that the Army had been issuing directives since 1919 against favored treatment for name athletes and entertainers, but acknowledged "in a few cases, field commanders may not have carried out department policy." Powell said the Army has put into effect a new monitoring system under which a check will be kept on all athletes on active duty to guard against any abuses of the Army policy.
PACKERS REUNITE AWOL CASES; ADD CENTER RINGO
MAY 11 (Green Bay) - The Packers' two AWOL cases of 1953 were officially reunited today, with the signing of two guys from Syracuse University - James S. (Jim) Ringo Jr., and Richard L. (Dick Mace) Jr. Ringo is a 220-pound center back for his sophomore season. Mace, a 283-pound tackle and center, is making his debut in these parts, having previously tried out with Pittsburgh and played in Canada. Coach Liz Blackbourn now has announced 21 athletes as signed for 1954 competition. The group includes six tackles, five halfbacks, three fullbacks, two ends, two centers, two quarterbacks and one guard. Ringo, the Packers' first string center until he was hurt midway in the '53 season, joins up with his run-away pal - guard Bob Kennedy of Wisconsin, who is one of the 20 other athletes signed. Ringo and Kennedy left Grand Rapids, Minn., training camp one Saturday earlier in the training camp without saying boo to anyone. Ringo was uncovered at his home in Easton, Pa., where he had gone to see his wife and new baby. He promptly returned to camp and turned into a promising player. Kennedy, it developed, wanted to return to school and close out his degree in engineering - which he did. In signing earlier this year, Kennedy said in effect that "there'll be no more of that" next fall. The burly 230-pounder had just about won the middle guard position when he took off. Ringo suffered a leg injury in the Baltimore game here Oct. 18 and finally had to go home for continued treatment later in the month. He reported that the injured member is "back to normal."...VITAL TACKLE POSITION: Addition of Mace will hep up competition for the vital tackle position. He joins such tackle standouts as Art Hunter of Notre Dame, Bob Fleck of Syracuse, Jim Balog of Michigan, Jack Smalley of Alabama and Ed Frank of Marquette - all rookies. Mace played offensive and defensive tackle. Both Ringo and Fleck played with him at Syracuse in 1950 - Mace's senior year. A co-captain in '50, Mace was ticketed for the old Baltimore Colts in 1951 but the team disbanded and Dick sought a berth with the Steelers. He had a job cinched when he tore a cartilage and the Steelers released him. After recuperating the remainder of the season, Mace moved on to Canada for the 1952-53 campaign. Mace, 25, played prep ball in Elmira, N.Y. At Syracuse, he earned three letters in football and two in rowing. He stands 6-3.
WARD SOLUTION TO PACKERS' PUNTING?
MAY 14 (Green Bay) - Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn had high hopes today that the club's punting problem of the last few years may be closer to a solution. Liz announced the signing of Tomie Ward of Midwestern University and veteran defensive halfback Bobby Dillon of the University of Texas and followed with this: "Tomie's punting average looks mighty encouraging." The Packers' 1954 punting plans received two sharp blows recently when Southern California's Des Koch, a Packer draft choice, and veteran Clive Rush announced that they will not wear Bay uniforms next fall. Koch was one of the nation's leading big school punters last fall and was drafted for his specialty in the 16th slot, but oddly enough, the 205-pound halfback still has a season of track eligibility left and won't be available for pro football until '55. Rush, who led the Bay punting last fall with a modest 37.7 yard average, has signed as an assistant coach under Hugh Devore at Dayton. Ward is strictly a darkhorse, though the Packers learned that several other National League clubs had been in contact with him. The big fullback, who packs 222 pounds on a 6-3 frame, averaged 44 and 46 yards in two college seasons and Blackbourn isn't fearful that the switch from college to pro ball will cut down his punting average. Protection for the punter is considerably better in pro ball than in college, Liz feels...OUT OF ARMY IN JUNE: After starring at Ball High in Galveston, Tex., Ward enrolled at the University of Texas and then moved on to Tyler Junior College for more "seasoning". He played at Midwestern the following year and then went into service. He's due to get out of the Army in June, presently being stationed at Camp Chaffee, Ark. He had a spectacular rushing season at Tyler, scoring five touchdowns and gaining 289 yards in a single game and finishing the season with 1,288 yards and 16 touchdowns. He averaged 44.8 at Tyler and 47.1 at Midwestern. Ward, 22 and single, is the largest fullback, at 222, signed thus far by the Packers. Others inked are Bud Roffler, 190, Ken Bahnsen, 210, and Fred Cone, 200. The return of Dillon takes a load off Blackbourn's mind. Liz said he was impressed by the Texan's work in films of 1953 games. Bobby ruled as one of the league's top pass interception artists last year, nailing nine enemy throws and returning them for 112 yards - one a 49-yard touchdown runback against the Bears in Chicago...REACHED PEAK IN DETROIT: Dillon reached his peak before a coast-to-coast television audience when the Packers played the Lions in Detroit Thanksgiving day, intercepting four passes before suffering a leg injury that knocked him out of the last two games. He underwent surgery last December and reported to Liz that "I'm stronger than ever now." The Packers' fastest back, Dillon is returning for his third season. As a rookie in 1952, Dillon intercepted four passes and returned 'em 35 yards. The Packers now have announced the signing of 23 players.
PACK TICKET OFFICE HERE HAS MILWAUKEE DUCATS
MAY 17 (Green Bay) - Nope, you don’t have to go to Milwaukee to buy Packer season tickets for games in County stadium! The Packer ticket office in Green Bay (349 S. Washington) will have plenty of ducats for the three NFL games in Beer Town. This is stated today merely as a local and area reminder to folks who might have read in Sunday’s prints that the Packers opened a ticket office in Milwaukee, located in the Eagles Club building, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave. Howard Kusserow, a Milwaukee resident, will manage the new ticket office, which was opened today. Verne Lewellen, Packer general manager, said that the Packer ticket office in Green Bay is straightened away for season ticket business for games in Green Bay and Milwaukee. Holders of season tickets in both cities already have been mailed renewal cards, giving the fans the privilege of reclaiming their seats for the 1954 season. The Green Bay office also is selling ducats for the two big non-championship games – the Cleveland Browns in Green Bay Aug. 21 and the New York Giants in the annual Shrine classic in Milwaukee Sept. 18…The Packers will pay less rent per ticket for use of Milwaukee’s County stadium for the three league games there. The county park commission Friday approved a one-year lease by which the Packers will pay the county 10 percent of its revenue from ticket sales. Last year, the country got 12 ½ percent. The Shrine game in Milwaukee, incidentally, will be played in Marquette stadium since the Braves will be operating in the County orchard at that time…Packer President Russ Bogda, commenting on tentative plans by the city to purchase 80 acres of land on the west side for an arena and a stadium, said today that “the Packers are interested in a new stadium and would welcome one.”…Most of the contract signing work being done by Coach Liz Blackbourn these days is with the veterans. Of the 23 players announced thus far, two of them are holdovers – fullback Fred Cone and halfback Bobby Dillon. At least two former Packers won’t return next fall – halfback J.R. Boone, who has announced his retirement, and guard Dick Logan, now in service. On the undecided side are tackle Dick Wildung and halfback Bob Forte. Wildung likely won’t return, however, since he has said many times last fall that “this is the last one for me.” Around 30 veterans likely will be at Stevens Point when the training season opens July 24. In addition, there will be 15 or 20 draft choices and probably five or six free agents. Nine draft picks have been announced as signed thus far – including the top three, tackle Art Hunter, halfback Veryl Switzer and tackle Bob Fleck.
CONFUSED? PACKERS SIGN END-PIVOT KENNETH HALLS
MAY 19 (Green Bay) - We’ve been dreading this day – when the Packers announced the signing of those two Ken Halls Coach Liz Blackbourn drafted last January. The two KH’s invite confusion but to prevent it, let’s get the record straight right quick – in the next two bold-face paragraphs: Kenneth S. Hall is an end from North Texas State. His nickname is Cotton and from now on he will be known as such! Kenneth H. Hall is a center from Springfield College. His nickname is Pop and from now on he will be known as such! Got it straight? But just be careful when discussing these two guys two or three weeks from now. Cotton, 22, is supposed to be the real goods – “he might be the one to give us a lift at offensive end,” Blackbourn commented today. He was drafted No. 11. Pop, 26, is along in years – as his name indicated, but his personal perseverance in reducing himself from 330 to 202 pounds in 18 months show a type of determination that Liz would like to see in a Packer uniform. Let’s start with some Cotton pickin’: Cotton was the leading pass receiver for North Texas for two seasons. He snagged eight passes for 158 yards – almost a 20-yard average – in ’52 and last fall picked off 18 for 288 yards. In each season he turned three catches into touchdowns…RUNS 100 IN :10 FLAT: Cotton is an exceptionally fast man for his 216 pounds and 6-2 frame. He runs the 100 in 10 seconds flat, which makes him dangerous on running back kickoffs or punts. Left end Cotton, co-captain of his team in ’53, was an all-conference and all-Texas selection as a senior. He hails from Borge, Texas, where he lettered two years in prep football. Pop won three football letters as an offensive center and defensive guard at Springfield. In addition, he won chevrons in wrestling track and hockey. He was goaltender and co-captain of the hockey team last winter and a co-captain of the grid team last fall. Known as Humphrey, Pop and Father, the Springfield grad ranks as the best defensive lineman in his college’s football history. When Pop reported to Coach Ossie Solem as a 330-pound sophomore three years ago, he was told “to get small if you want to play”. Pop dieted for 18 long months and actually dwindled down to a weak 202 pounds. He then gradually increased his weight to 225 to give him enough bulk to play the middle guard spot on defense…25 PLAYERS ANNOUNCED: Pop, a bit on the squat side at 5-11, will be out to develop speed when he competes for the Packer offensive center position. He runs the 100 in 13 seconds but, as indicated, the man has plenty of determination. Blackbourn now has announced the signing of 25 players, including veterans Fred Cone, Bobby Dillon and Bob Kennedy, 11 draft choices, and 11 free agents. The group includes six halfbacks and six tackles. The Packer coach expects to take close to 60 players to the Stevens Point training camp July 24.
ROBERTS FOURTH PACKER CHOICE TO JOIN CANADIAN PRO LEAGUE
MAY 20 (Green Bay) - The Packers now have lost their 7th, 14th, 17th and 28th draft choices to Canadian 12-man football. Latest to skip was J.D. Roberts, the All-American guard from the University of Oklahoma and, incidentally, the center of our oil country. Roberts was the Packers’ 17th selection in the NFL’s pickin’ party last January. Announcement of his name in the draft room brought a collective “Oh”, as we recall – as did other All-America players who were drafted down the line. A 205-pound offensive guard, who had to play defense last year because of the one-platoon plan, Robert signed yesterday with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for 1954. The other Packers-gone-north are tackle Sam Marshall, Florida A and M, 7th choice; fullback Kosse Johnson, Rice, 14th choice; and fullback Evan Slonac, Michigan State, 28th choice. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn has been extremely calm during the
skips. All four of the borderites were contacted in person by Packer coaches and their cases have been thoroughly investigated. Marshall was the first and undoubtedly most serious loss. The 245-pound tackle could have been used to good purpose in the Packer line but the big Negro decided to follow several of his teammates there. Johnson and Slonac moved about the same time. Kosse, also rated an All-America in some circles, demanded more money than his position in the draft would warrant. About 100 backs, few of them All-Americans, were chosen in front of the Rice back. Incidentally, Blackbourn had intended to make a halfback out of Johnson since his 175 pounds obviously was a bit light for pro fullback. Slonac, too, was considered too light for pro fullback – at 178 pounds and the stocky Michigan State back figured he could do better in Canada. Thus, there was no heated objection when he went north. Roberts may have been “moved” by the Canadian oil people, though Hamilton isn’t exactly in the heart of Canada’s oil country. However, most Oklahoma players, being raised in the shadows of oil derricks, find offers of oil jobs in Canada most intriguing – during and after their grid careers. Roberts originally was ticketed for Edmonton, which is smack in oil country, but the heavy-set guard somehow wound up in Hamilton. Blackbourn isn’t expecting any more Canadian trouble – at least nothing serious. He already has signed up his top three choices – tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame, halfback Veryl Switzer of Kansas State and tackle Bob Fleck of Syracuse. The other top picks are pretty well set, so to speak, among them being linebacker George Timberlake of Southern Cal and fullback Tom Allman of Maryland. Already signed is fifth pick Max McGee, the swift halfback from Tulane who will be made into an end. Blackbourn was a busy man today, making two speeches and several radio interviews. Accompanied by publicist Jug Earp, Liz stopped in Shawano for radio and newspaper talks and then hit Antigo for a noon luncheon. This evening he addresses a group at Rhinelander.
KNIGHT TACKLE STAR DUFEK EYES PACKER END JOB; TAKACS ADDED
MAY 21 (Green Bay) - The spectacular football career of Jerry Dufek at St. Norbert college will go on the Packer block next fall. The 23-yeard old Milwaukeean – an all-time defensive tackle at St. Norbert – signed a Packer contract today along with Mike Takacs, third in a series of Ohio State guards. Coach Liz Blackbourn now has announced the signing of 27 athletes for the 1954 campaign. Since he plans to take about 60 men to the Stevens Point training camp July 24, Blackbourn still had 30-odd signatures to reveal. The latest signees are draft choices – Takacs No. 13 and Dufek No. 29. Dufek undoubtedly won’t be a Packer tackle candidate since his weight, 215 pounds, is slightly under professional standards. However, the hard-hitting ex-Knight probably will try for a defensive end berth. Packer Assistant Coach Tom Hearden, who coached Dufek in two of his three college seasons, said “Jerry has good speed and besides he’s a fine tackler; he really knows how to tackle despite the fact that he’s pretty tall, 6-2.” Jerry, himself, is confident of making pro ball. He pointed to two of his former college opponents who are now in the play-for-pay ranks – tackle Howie Ruetz of the Packers and Loras and guard Art Michalik of San Francisco and St. Ambrose. Neither Ruetz nor Michalik played in a winning game against St. Norbert with Dufek in the line. Dufek entered St. Norbert in 1949 and, as a sophomore in 1950, anchored St. Norbert to an unbeaten season. After a year in the Marine Corps in Korea, Dufek again led the Knights to an unbeaten season, playing both offense and defense. Last fall, Dufek served as captain but suffered a damaging knee injury that kept him out most of the season. He underwent surgery last winter and Jerry feels that the knee is in the best shape it’s been in five years. Dufek twice was named an all-Midlands conference tackle and made many all-opponent tackle…FOLLOWS LOGAN, RUZICH: Dufek prepped at Boys Tech in Milwaukee, playing three years of varsity ball. He made all-Suburban conference and received honorable mention all-state. Takacs follows two other Ohio State guards here – Dick Logan and Steve Ruzich. Logan had planned to return for his third campaign but was called by Uncle Sam. Ruzich probably will return for No. 3. Takacs, a left guard on offense, gained all-Big Ten honors and received honorable mention on several All-America clubs. He played in the East-West game and Senior Bowl last winter. A native of Massilon, O., Takacs stands six feet tall and weighs 220. A three-letter winner at Massilon Washington High, Takacs runs the 100-yard dash in :10.8…BRIEFS: Three members of the Packer coaching staff will do some scouting over the weekend – at the Marquette squad game in Milwaukee tonight and the Wisconsin squad test in Madison Saturday. Making the trip are Blackbourn, Hearden and Lou Rymkus. Aide Ray McLean is presently on vacation. All of the coaches will take vacations, finishing up before the opening of practice.
BOB KENNEDY TO PLAY WITH PACKERS, BLACKBOURN SAYS
MAY 21 (Rhinelander) - Rhinelander's football star, Bob Kennedy of the University of Wisconsin, has signed to play with the Green Bay Packers and is expected to perform with that team this fall unless he is called for military service, Lisle Blackbourn, new head coach of the Packers, told members of the Lions Club and their guests Thursday night in a talk at Powell's Recreation. Blackbourn made that statement in response to a question at the close of his talk. Last year, it will be recalled, Kennedy started training with the Packers but then left the training camp prior to the start of the season and played with the Wausau Muskies while continuing his studies at Wisconsin. Blackbourn, former Marquette University football coach, told the Rhinelander fans that the Packers are doing everything possible to build a stronger organization this fall. The Packer story is one of the greatest in the sports world, Blackbourn said, and the present organization is determined to do the best possible job. Draft choices were selected last winter on their abilities to perform more than one job if necessary and most of the choices have been signed, he said. A few were lost to Canadian football teams. Players like Art Hunter of Notre Dame, Veryl Switzer of Kansas State, Bob Fleck of Syracuse and Bob Timberlake of Southern California, were picked because of their outstanding talent and their versatility, Blackbourn stated. Hunter played several line positions during his college career, Switzer is effective in the backfield both offensively and defensively, and the others can also fill in both ways. Professional athletes have more maturity nowadays, the Packer coach said, and stricter rules for conduct both on and off the field have elevated the level of competition. High standards of character are now desired in addition to high caliber of talent, he stated.
LIZ, PAUL TALK TRADE IN CHI ROSTER PARLEY
MAY 22 (Green Bay) - Two methodical and meticulous men – Lisle W. Blackbourn and Paul E. Brown – met in Chicago the other day to study the names of approximately 100 football players. The purpose of the meeting – something of a secret until the participants returned home – was to “examine our respective rosters with a view toward making an exchange of talent,” Packer Coach Blackbourn said today. No trade with the Cleveland Browns developed from the daylong session but, Liz pointed out, “we are now familiar with each other’s needs and could conceivably make a transaction during the training season – if the needs are not filled by new players.” Blackbourn had to chuckle when he spoke
of Coach Brown’s needs, in view of the Browns’ hip-deep pile of material - plus a perennial championship tradition. The Browns, Liz indicated, are looking for a linebacker to fill the shoes of five-year veteran Tommy Thompson who may not be able to snap back from a leg injury suffered last fall. Other than a linebacker, the Browns are interested in future draft choices, Liz revealed, adding emphatically, “we are extremely reluctant to trade off draft choices.” The Bay mentor felt that the draft is practically the only way a club like Green Bay can strengthen itself. Thus, the Packers would have to get an especially “good deal” for a draft pick – particularly a high selection. What do the Packers need? Blackbourn entered the National league’s draft last January looking for (a) linemen and (b) that one good back. He was able to satisfy the bulk of the needs by selecting and later signing tackles Art Hunter and Bob Fleck and halfback Veryl Switzer of Kansas State. Until the aforementioned three, other draft choices and highly-touted free agents pan out during the preseason campaign, the Packers’ needs will remain (a) linemen and (b) that one good back. While this trio – plus other highly-touted draft picks and free agents, would seem to fill the club’s needs, the prospects still must prove themselves as full-fledged pros. Thus, the Packers’ needs virtually will exist until the verdict is made on the new men. Blackbourn did indicate that he was interested in an offensive center – a move toward tightening the protection for passes Tobin Rote and Babe Parilli. The Packers were unable to spot a center high in the draft list, the first pivot coming on the 19th round – (Pop) Hall, a 220-pounder out of Springfield College. Centers signed thus far are free agent Herb Borman, 220, of Illinois, veteran Jim Ringo, 220, and Hall. Also expected to return is Dave Stephenson, who played center last year after two years at guard…The Packers’ non-conference game against the Philadelphia Eagles originally scheduled at Atlantic City Sept. 4, has been shifted to Hershey, Pa., and will be played Sunday, Sept. 5. The Atlantic City promoters were unable to get enough seats…Despite one of their "talkingest" days, Blackbourn and Packer Tub Thumper Jug Earp were able to relax with nine holes of golf yesterday afternoon. They were in Shawano for several radio interviews and newspaper chats in the morning and then went on to Antigo for more interviews and luncheon speeches. Before taking off for Rhinelander for a dinner address, the football pair found a golf course. Blackbourn, incidentally, plays golf at Sherwood every evening he gets the opportunity after work. "I'm not trying to be a professional," Liz laughed, "but it does help me get in condition for the football season."
JUG EARP RESIGNS AS PACKER PUBLICITY HEAD
MAY 25 (Green Bay) - Francis L. (Jug) Earp resigned today as director of public relations for the Packers. The giant all-time Packer center, effective about June 1, will become general manager and a stockholder of Packerland Distributors, Inc., distributors for Miller Brewing company in Green Bay and Brown County. These announcement were made simultaneously today by Russ Bogda, president to the Packers, and Clair Hall, president of the Packerland firm. Earp came to Green Bay back in 1922 after one year of professional football with the old Rock Island Independents and made his home here. He played with the Packers for 11 seasons – from 1922 through 1932. After retiring from the pro game, Earp went into the automobile business here with Brown County Motors. He went into government service with the OPA in 1942 and was director of the Green Bay regional OPA office for two years and for the state OPA office in Milwaukee for one year. He has been with the Hutson organization since 1947. Earp became publicity chief of his “alma mater” in February of 1950, and immediately plunged into organization of the stock and ticket drives. He has been active in all phases of Packer promotion.
PACKERS GET GOOD MILEAGE FROM ROTE; HB NEXT FALL?
MAY 26 (Green Bay) - The Packers got darned good mileage out of Tobin Rote. The staunch Texan averaged nearly a mile of yards with his throwing and running in each of his four Green Bay campaigns. Quarterback Tobin piled up a total of 6,218 yards – more than three and a half miles per drive, including 5,044 on 343 completed passes and 1,174 on 194 rushing attempts. Oddly enough, Rote – probably the top distance thrower in the NFL – is just as “long” a runner as he is a passer. He averaged 6.01 yards every time he lugged the ball from scrimmage and 6.2 every time he threw it. Rote – the Packers’ No. 2 choice behind Clayton Tonnemaker in 1950 – likely will play a key role in the Packers’ offense next autumn. The Packers’ new head coach, Liz Blackbourn, has been studying Rote’s every move in the films of the Packers’ 17 games last fall, and
receipt of Rote’s signed contract yesterday meant that plans could be completed for Tobin’s part in the '54 offense. What part will Rote play next fall? Due to Tobin’s success on one play from left halfback – plus Babe Parilli’s magic at quarterback, and Rote’s ability to run, the question of Rote shifting from halfback and/or even fullback has often been raised in the last two seasons. Blackbourn, asked the stock question during one of his umpteenth speeches last winter, explained it this way: “Tobin will play where he will best serve the needs of the team. But, as of now, he’s a quarterback.” This may mean that Rote could possibly run some as a halfback which, with Parili at QB, would give the Packers two “arms” in the backfield at the same time. Rote many times displayed his power running by taking off when he was unable to pass or by charging ahead from the spread – all from the quarterback position. However, it took two injuries to bring out his usefulness as a halfback. Against Washington in Milwaukee in 1952, Parilli started at quarterback and promptly gave the Redskins a fit with his ball handling and passing. During the second half both left halfbacks, Tony Canadeo and Breezy Reid, were injured. The only man who knew the LH plays – on paper, at least – was Rote. Tobin carried once into the line for nearly five yards and then, on an in-motion play to the right, went down for a pass. He caught the ball on the two-yard line behind a Redskin defender and stepped into the end zone, completing a 28-yard touchdown pass. That was the first and only time Rote played left half, but it was the start of the aforementioned question! Rote’s 1952 season was his best. He missed wining the league’s throwing championship by a hair, averaging 8.08 yards per throw. The big Texan has thrown an even 40 touchdowns passes in four seasons, including 15 in 1951 and 13 in 1952…PACKER BRIEFS: Publicity Chief Jug Earp, whose resignation from that position was announced yesterday, has started the long process of cleaning up his affairs at the Bay office at 349 S. Washington. Jug will continue to work until the weekend of June 4 and on June 7 will become general manager and stockholder of Packerland Distributors, Inc., distributors for Miller Brewing company in Green Bay and Brown county. The Packer executive committee accepted the resignation of Earp “with definite regrets,” Packer president Russ Bogda said today. “He has been a tremendous help to us and we are sorry to see him leave – yet happy that he can improve his own position,” Bogda said on behalf of the committee. Jug and line coach Lou Rymkus were in Kewaunee last night, addressing a high school group….General Manager Verne Lewellen went to Milwaukee today to check on the Packers’ new ticket office in the Eagles’ building. Lewellen will leave Milwaukee Thursday afternoon for a talk in Menominee, Mich. Scout Jack Vainisi is on vacation this week along with assistant coach Ray McLean.
PACKER DEFENSE FRONT-CENTER AS TONNEMAKER SIGNS
MAY 27 (Green Bay) - There hasn’t been much said about the Packers’ defense in these past few weeks. But the subject was front-center today. Coach Liz Blackbourn opined Wednesday afternoon that “we’ll have to do something about that defense” and today announced the signing of Clayton Tonnemaker, the giant linebacker from Minnesota. The Packers’ defensive troubles of the past four seasons have been no secret. The “opponents’ points” totals tell just about all of the story. In the period from 1950 through 1953, the Packers permitted 1,431 points – or an average of 29.4 in the 48 NFL games. The Packers scored 993 points – or an average of 20.7. Thus, the Packers were outscored nearly five touchdowns (not counting extra points) to a shade over three – on the average, of course, since 1950. The Bays allowed 406 points in 1950, 375 in ’51, 312 in ’52, and 338 in ’53. They scored 244 in ’50, 254 in ’51, 295 in ’52 and 200 in ’53. Blackborn feels that the most improvement is needed on defense – “The pictures (of 1953 games) show it,” Liz pointed out, adding that “the offense hasn’t been too bad.”…SECOND BIG LINK: Tonnemaker is the second big veteran link forged in Blackbourn’s defensive plans. The other is Bobby Dillon, the fleet defensive back coming back for his third pro season. In addition, a number of promising rookies have been inked, including defensive end Gene Knutson, the 225-pounder out of Beloit and the University of Michigan. Tonnemaker, Blackbourn and all Packer fans are looking forwards to seeing a new Tonnemaker next fall. Tonnemaker confided that he’ll have a “different approach next fall.” The Minnesota smasher, who carried 235 pounds on a 6-3 frame, broke into professional football with the Packers in 1950 after making every All-America team in 1949. He was the Packers’ No. 1 pick in January of ’50…MARK OF REAL PRO: Tonnemaker, who will turn 26 next June 28, was a unanimous all-pro selection in his first Packer season. He opened his play-for-pay career in a non-league game against the Chicago Cardinals, then coached by Curly Lambeau, in City stadium and promptly dazzled the house with his jarring tackles – especially of fullback Pat Harder. He earned his mark of a real pro in the Bear game in Chicago. Two Bears ganged up on him and knocked him out, the payoff being a blow to his neck. One of the Bears was ejected by the officials, but Tonnmaker was back ready for more two plays later. The average player would have been finished for the day. Tonnemaker was most devastating on filling holes in the line and at times tackling the ball carrier before he even got to the line of scrimmage. Exceptionally fast for a big man, Tonnemaker also has been valuable as a pass defender. Tonnemaker is the 29th player announced as signed thus far…Friday night, Blackbourn will become the first Packer coach in history to make a commencement address. Liz will deliver the principal address at the Tigerton High School graduation exercise. Blackbourn often is requested for other-than-football talks throughout the state. Recently, he addressed a banquet commemorating the 50th anniversary of the YMCA in Fond du Lac. There’ll be more tackles tonight when General Manager Verne Lewellen, publicity chief Jug Earp and Blackbourn spread the Packer gospel in a Twi-Cee Club affair at Menominee, Mich.
MAY 27 (Manitowoc) - Ray Di Pierro, Ohio State guard who performed with the Packers in 1950 and '51, keeps his eye on Green Bay. In a note to friends here, Ray expressed the hope that the Packers would have a winner this year. The former center flanker is in the wholesale produce business at Toledo, OH...Mike Takacs, three-year starting guard at Ohio State, has joined the Packers. The Buckeye recruit is 23 years old, stands six feet and weighs 220 pounds. Mike saw considerable service in his senior year at Columbus as a linebacker...Jerry Dufek, tackle from St. Norbert, is now listed among the Packer recruits. Dufek was named for the All-Midland Conference teams in 1952 and '53. Jerry served overseas with the Marines. For a big fellow, he has plenty of speed and may be tried out as a defensive end...Bill Howton, pass catcher from Rice who has enjoyed two good years as an offensive end for the Packers, is listed among the better insurance salesmen down in Houston way. Billy is quite a football hero in the Lone State state and the pigskin angle is helpful to his business...Al Carmichael, Packer halfback, has been busy keeping busy out in California. The fancy stepping ball carrier returned to school and expected to get his degree at USC next month. Between study periods, Carmichael has been prancing around the movie lots and got in several pictures...New stadium talk crops out every now and then in this red-hot football community. However, Packer executives are taking everything in stride but marking time pending concrete developments for a gridiron lot with an enlarged seating capacity...Speaking of hiring Halls, Coach Lisle Blackbourn has signed a couple and they are both named Kenneth. One of the Halls is an offensive end from North Texas State, while the other is a center from Springfield College weighing 225 pounds. He captained the eleven in 1953...Lights are burning several nights a week at Packer headquarters while the ticket office crew files away the reservation requests for the season ducats. Carl Mraz, the ticket boss, thinks business this year will be above par as the early response has exceeded expectations...There is nothing like operating a derrick to get in shape for a football season. That is the opinion of Howie Ferguson who earned his spurs as a recruit Packer fullback in 1953. Ferguson has been working out with a construction crew down south for the past four months...Ken Bahnsen, North Texas State fullback who signed with the Packers after playing with Frisco in '53, is serving as a dairy hand on his father's farm in Texas. The Bay coaching staff thinks Bahnsen may be one of the surprise newcomers on this year's squad...A change has been made in the Packers' pre-season schedule. The game booked with Philadelphia September 5 at Atlantic City has been shifted to Hershey, PA and will be played September 4. This Quaker State Candy Town is quite a football center. The Bays have been in Hershey before...Roger Zatkoff has turned teacher and is connected with the Detroit Public School system. The Michigan tackle played topnotch football for Green Bay during he 1953 pennant chase. It was Zatkoff's first year as a pro but it didn't take him long to get the hang of things...Wedding bells rang last month for Val Joe Walker, the SMU halfback who clicked for the Packers last fall in his pro football debut. Walker has himself a job with the Sun Oil Co. in Texas but it is expected that he will quit oiling for a few months and don the gridiron cleats again.
MAY 29 (Green Bay) - Clayton Tonnemaker, 235-pound center, has signed his 1954 contract with the Green Bay Packers, coach Blackbourn said today. The former Minnesota great started his career with the Packers in 1950 but spent 1951-52 in the Army. He was the 29th player to come to terms. The number is expected to reach 60 by the time pre-season practice starts at Stevens Point in late July.
HANNER NINTH PACKER TACKLE SET FOR 1954
JUN 2 (Green Bay) - Dave (Old Hog) Hanner has signed his Packer contract for 1954, Coach Liz Blackbourn beamed today. Hanner actually isn’t old, to change the subject for a moment – a mere 24. But his teammates and friends always like to hang an “old” in front of his umpteen nicknames – like “Old Carrot Top”, “Old Tobacco Puss,” Old Freckles,” etc. Dave turned two dozen years last May 20 and he’s look forwards to his third season in Green Bay. Blackbourn, too, is looking forward to the arrival and subsequent play of the ferocious farmer from Earle, Ark. Hanner is one of three Packers who already played a football game in 1954 – one that Blackbourn saw, on television. Dave played an important role for the Western conference team along with John Martinkovic and Clayton Tonnemaker in the all-pro game shortly after Liz became Packer head coach last January. In his attempt to strengthen the Packer line, Blackbourn now has announced the signing of nine tackles. The group is headed by the lone veteran – 250-pound Hanner. Following him are two highly prized rookies – Art Hunter, the No. 1 draft choice from Notre Dame, who scales close to 245, and Bob Fleck, the 260-pounder from Syracuse. Blackbourn feels that he has a good start toward rebuilding the Packer line with these three – plus Kim Balog, 220, Michigan; Jack Smalley, 225, Alabama; Dick Mace, 235, Syracuse; Jerry Dufek, 220, St. Norbert; and Ray Walsh, 230, West Virginia. The other tackle, 200-pound Ed Frank of Marquette, may try for defensive end. Hanner and Dick Wildung formed two of the top defensive tackle twosomes in the league last year but Dave probably will need a new mate next fall because Dick isn’t expected to return, although stranger things have happened. Wildung is getting along in years, but the Packer coaches were pleasantly surprised with his excellent play last fall. Among the veterans still outstanding are veterans Dick Afflis, Gus Cifelli and Len Szafaryn and draft picks Jim Williams, Bill Buford and Ralph Baierl. Buford goes 235 and Williams and Baierl 225 each…PLAYED MIDDLE GUARD: Hanner is a versatile lineman as shown during the ’53 season. He filled in occasionally at the middle guard spot and also did an offensive tackle chore. Wherever he played, Hanner was rough to handle. Hanner lettered three years in football at Arkansas and was named to the All-Southwest conference team two seasons. He was the Packers’ fifth draft choice in 1952 and was a defensive starter in every game in the last two years. The Packers now have announced the signing of 32 players.
PACKER PROBLEM? BULLS EYE SAME LB'ING SPOT
JUN 3 (Green Bay) - A year ago this time, the Packers boasted the top linebacking trio in professional football – Clayton (Big Bull) Tonnemaker, Deral (Little Bull) Teteak and Bob Forte. Tonnemaker was in the process of getting out of the Army and rarin’ to show the stuff that made him an all-pro rookie in ’52; Teteak was anxious to improve on his fine showing in ’52; and Forte was determined to captain the Packers to a highly-successful campaign. Then came the 1953 Season of Fall! Teteak sat out the first five games in civilian clothes, waiting his chance to get back on the active list and at the same time wondering about Philadelphia’s interest in him. He finally regained his uniform and played in spots in the last seven games. Tonnemaker went into the 1953 drive tense and handicapped by a few bad habits picked up in Army football. It was midseason before Tonnie reached his 1950 form. Forte had no bowl of cherries in his capacity as captain – and peacemaker, during the final hectic weeks of the Ronzani regime. What now? Teteak signed his ’54 contract yesterday and Tonnemaker was inked last week, reuniting the hard-hitting twosome. Forte, who will turn 32 in July, isn’t expected to play next fall. What Packer coach Liz Blackbourn does with Teteak and Tonnemaker – both middle linebackers by trade – will be one of the highlights of the training season. Both were tremendous at that particular position in their rookie years, but, oddly enough, both seemed to suffer when placed on the same team last fall. Both saw action at middle linebacker at different time and each moved occasionally to an outside linebacker spot. Teteak received stout competition from Roger Zatkoff, a hard-hitting linebacker from Michigan. Rog was shifted considerably, too, taking a chore as a defensive end at times. In addition, changes in defense last fall left the Packers with two linebackers and four defensive halfbacks occasionally to utilize the speed of newcomer Val Joe Walker and veteran Bobby Dillon. Final disposition of the linebacker problem, of course, will have to wait until Liz and his staffmen, Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus, get a look at the performances of the veterans and newcomers. The Packers will welcome two highly-prized linebackers – fullback Tom Allman of West Virginia and guard George Timberlake of Southern California. Allman signed this week, but Timberlake is still outstanding. Third and fourth draft choices, respectively, Allman packs 210 pounds and Timberlake 220. Another to be considered for linebacker is versatile Bill Forester, who played linebacker, every position in the line and even tried out for fullback as a rookie last year. Teteak is the 33rd player announced as signed thus far. A Wisconsin product all the way, Teteak was born in Oconto Dec. 11, 1929, and moved to Oshkosh where he won all-Fox Valley conference as a prep fullback. He earned three football letters at Wisconsin, starting in 1949, and was selected on several honorary teams, including all-Big Ten, all-Midwest and the Tribune All-Players All-America. He was drafted No. 9 by the Packers in ’52. One of the all-time linebackers at Wisconsin, Teteak was one of the top rookies in his rookie pro season because of his vicious tackling and alert defensive play. He was selected as a member of the National league All-Star team for the 1953 pro bowl game. Teteak stands 5-10, weighs 210 pounds.
DICK AFFLIS, 34TH PACKER SIGNED, RIPE FOR STARDOM
JUN 4 (Green Bay) - And now come Dick Afflis, the bouncer from Harold’s Club in Reno! Richard has signed his 1954 contract, thus setting up Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn for the surprise of his life. Blackbourn has never met the unusual-looking tackle-guard but he has heard plenty about the honey-haired hulk of a man from those who have seen him in person and talked with him – such as assistant coaches Ray McLean and Tom Hearden, scout Jack Vainisi, publicitor Jug Earp, general manager Verne Lewellen and a host of others. The “indescribable” Richard could pass for a German Baron lord from the neck up, a superman wrestler from neck to the hips and a dance from hips to the feet. The closest thing to a barrel-chester you’ll ever see, Afllis stands 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 250 pounds. His teammates wouldn’t believe Dick towered 5-11 (he’s so wide he looks short) until he convinced them to get out the tape measure. He lacked 5-11 by one-sixteenth of an inch in his stocking feet; his buddies conceded. All joking side, Afflis is getting in shape for his best season – a point that particularly interests Blackbourn. Afflis, who will turn 25 next June 25, had the misfortune of having to learn his advance football in the National League. He broke into the game shortly after turning 22 in 1951 without benefit of a senior year at the University of Nevada. Dick didn’t have much choice; Nevada quit football. Blackbourn figures Dick should be just about ripe for stardom come next fall and hopes to settle Afflis down to one specific chore. Afflis was considered a top-flight handyman in his first three years, though he seemed to have the most success as an offensive tackle – especially in ’52. He has also played offensive tackle, offensive guard and the middle guard slot on defense. Afflis, a native of Lafayette, Ind., has been working in the famous Harold’s Club as a bouncer for the last couple of years. He buddies up with former Packer Dan Orlich who represents the club as a skeet shooter in national matches and instructs patrons in skeet shooting. Afflis is the 34th player announced as signed thus far by Blackbourn. Ten of the athletes are tackles, including Afflis, although Dick may wind up as a guard…Today was the last full day work for public relations chief Jug Earp, who resigned recently to become general manager and stockholder of Packerland Distributors, Inc. Earp plans to drive to Monmouth College, his alma mater, over the weekend before starting his new work next week. The Jugger says he’ll stop in the Packer office from time to time to assist.
LIZ COUNTED IN COUNCIL RESOLUTION
JUN 5 (Green Bay) - Liz Blackbourn has received an “engrossed copy” of an official resolution by the Milwaukee City Council congratulating the Wisconsin-born coach on his appointment as head coach of the Packers. Handsomely bound in a brown leather jacket, the document recognizes the fact that Liz has done all of his football playing and coaching in the State of Wisconsin. The resolution, signed by Stanley J. Witkowski, city clerk, Virgil H. Hurless, city comptroller, Milton J. McGuire, president, common council, and Frank P. Ziedler, mayor, follows; Whereas, on January 7, 1954, Lisle (Liz) Blackbourn was appointed head coach of the Green Bay Packers football team for three years; and Whereas, Mr. Blackbourn has done all his football coaching in the State of Wisconsin, which consisted of twenty-two years at Milwaukee’s Washington High school, one year as line coach at Marquette university, one year as backfield coach at the University of Wisconsin, and four years as head coach at Marquette university; and Whereas, Mr. Blackbourn is a native Wisconsinite, being born in Lancaster; he attended Lancaster’s schools and starred on the gridiron at Lawrence college; and Whereras, the members of this honorable body wish to congratulate Mr. Blackbourn on his successful career and his appointment as head coach for the Green Bay Packers football team, therefore be it resolved, by the common council of the City of Milwaukee, that it hereby congratulates Lisle (Liz) Blackbourn on his appointment as head coach of the Green Bay Packers football team and hope his career in the future will be as successful as in the past, and be it Further Resolved, that this resolution be spread upon the permanent record of this council and a suitably engrossed copy be forwarded to Mr. Blackbourn.
VERSATILE ROOKIE OFFERS LIZ CHOICE
JUN 8 (Green Bay) - In one big mouthful, Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn today announced the signing of the 10th free agent, 27th rookie and 35th player to a 1954 contract. The man of such distinction is Henry (Hank) Lemire, end and captain of the 1953 Holy Cross football team. Lemire, who receives a bachelor of science degree in education this week, offers Blackbourn all sorts of possibilities. The Frenchman from Franklin, N.H., played both offensive and defensive end for Holy Cross even before the single platoon law went into effect last fall. He’s also skilled as a defensive halfback, which Blackbourn is happy to hear about, as well as a punter. He averaged 40 yards per kick throughout his three-year varsity career. Lemire stands 6-1 and weighs 205 pounds – ideal for a defensive halfback, heavy enough to do some blocking as an offensive end but a wee bit light for defensive wing in pro ball. Lemire was an all-New Hampshire fullback at Franklin High but was shifted to end as a sophomore at Holy Cross by Coach Eddie Anderson. Hank was an all-eastern end last fall and won several All-America honors. His biggest thrill in sports was playing in the East-West Shrine game last January. Captaining sports teams is nothing new for Lemire. At Franklin High and Admiral Billard Academy in his home state, he captained the football, baseball and basketball squads. Lemire comes highly recommended by Mike Holovak, the onetime Chicago Bears coaching at Boston college, Carl Schuette, assistant coach at Marquette, and Blackbourn himself. Liz saw Lemire in action when his Marquette eleven battled Holy Cross. The newcomer is 23 and single. He was born on Armistice Day, 1930. Lemire will be one of 10 free agents who will be out to unseat draft selections and veterans. Other athletes picked out of nowhere are tackles Dick Mace, Ed Frank and Ray Walsh; center Herb Borman; halfback Milt Kadlec; fullbacks Ken Bahnson and Tom Ward; quarterbacks Elry Falkenstein and Bob Burkhart. The Packers thus far have announced the inking of 10 tackles, six halfbacks, five fullbacks, four centers, four ends, three guards and three quarterbacks. Blackbourn expects to take close to 60 players to camp for the opening of training in Stevens Point Saturday, July 24 – just about six weeks away.
PACKERS KEEP TOE HOLD ON ALL STAR CLASSIC
JUN 9 (Green Bay) - The Packers have always had a pretty good toe hold on the College All Star game – even though they haven’t played in it as a team since August of 1945. Five or six Packer draft selections will compete for the All Stars against the Detroit Lions in Soldier’s Field Friday, Aug. 13. And Packer halfback Gib Dawson will be on hand to receive a giant trophy for being selected the most valuable player in the ’53 game. It will be pleasantly repetitious in that respect. Last August, Packer quarterback Babe Parilli was present to accept the giant trophy for being chosen most valuable in the 1952 game. Five Packer draftees have been invited – tackles Art Hunter of Notre Dame and Bob Fleck of Syracuse, halfback Veryl Switzer of Kansas State, fullback Tom Allman of West Virginia and guard J.D. Roberts of Oklahoma. Roberts probably won’t play because he has already signed to continue his oil studies in Canada. The other four have signed Packer pacts. There is a chance that two other Packers will get All Star bids – linebacker George Timberlake of Southern California, best in his position on the west coast, and Max McGee, the pass catching halfback from Tulane. McGee has signed his Packer contract and Timberlake is expected to ink soon. Five Packer stars won most valuable awards – three in the last six games. Cecil Isbell, the front end of the famed Isbell to Don Huston passing combo, won the award as a Purdue grad back in ’38. Halfback Bruce Smith of Minnesota took the award in the ’42 games. Jay Rhodemyre picked up the “gold” for his great linebacking in the ’48 contest and Parilli and Dawson followed. Will the Packers field a most valuable next August? Switzer, a great both on offense and defense, would seem to be the best possibility. He’ll probably start at right halfback and handle safety on defense. He was an All-American defensive back as a junior and won All-America on offense last when the colleges switched to the single platoon. If you’re superstitious, you might find some comfort for Hunter and Fleck. No tackle has ever won MVP honors; so the law of averages should favor tackles. Allman must be considered in the “honor” category. He’s the type of all-around fullback the All Star staff may be seeking since he can block, run and catch passes with exceptional ability. What’s more, he’s a topflight linebacker. When the Lions agreed the other day to go along with the single platoon system for the big tussle, the name of Jug Girard came to mind – especially when Coach Buddy Parker reported that he’ll use the single wing with Doak Walker in the tailback position. Parker may have mixed his names. Don’t be surprised if young Mr. Girard is in that tail position in place of the high-priced Doak. What’s more, Girard had plenty of pro experience with the Packers as a defensive back and Walker hasn’t had any with the Lions. In addition, the Jugger is a better pitcher than Walker. The whole thing is ironic for Girard – who was tabbed as “another Walker” when he played her. Jugger sat on the bench for the entire 60 minutes of action while
Walker heroed in the ’53 Star game!...SHORTS: The NFL’s television policy is being discussed at a meeting of representatives of the 12 clubs and Commissioner Bert Bell at league headquarters in Philadelphia this week. Representing the Packers is General Manager Verne Lewellen…Assistant Coach Tom Hearden is on vacation this week. Aide Ray McLean returned from his “vac” Monday and Coach Liz Blackbourn and Aide Lou Rymkus start their vacations next week.
DAVIS EXPECTED TO PUT KICK IN PACK WITH LOFTY KICKS
JUN 10 (Green Bay) - Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn announced the signing of a high punter today – one Dave (Ozone) Davis, an end from Georgia Tech. Davis, whose real middle name is Henry, was the Packers’ ninth draft choice in Philadelphia last January. Now, he is the 36th athlete to officially register for the 1954 season. Davis averaged a good 38.8 yards throughout the punting portion of his college career despite the fact that he has a widely known reputation for being a high booter. He booted 173 times in three seasons and had just one blocked. Two Packer observers got a good look at his towering boots in two different games last fall and winter. Scout Jack Vainisi saw him perform in a 26-20 losing cause against Notre Dame and Assistant Coach Ray McLean viewed his actions in the Senior Bowl classic. Davis, playing among strangers in the Senior classic, showed promise with his punting and pass catching. He rarely boots a “line drive”, which doesn’t permit his teammates to get a good shot at the receiver. Davis was one of two good punting prospects drafted by the Packers. The other, Des Koch of Southern California, oddly enough, has another year of track eligibility left and won’t play football next fall – college or otherwise. As is the case with rookies coming up, Davis played two ways last fall under the one-platoon program and did well as a defensive halfback. In his first season on defense, Davis intercepted three passes. As an offensive end, Davis caught eight passes for 91 yards. A highly-rated blocker, Davis carries 210 pounds on a long 6-4 frame. He offers the Packers possibilities as a defensive halfback, pass catching end and punter. The newcomer is 23, single and of Scotch-English descent. The handsome southerner considers playing on a team that didn’t lost but two games in four years his outstanding accomplishment in football. He capped off his career by playing a key role in Georgia Tech’s Sugar Bowl victory last Jan. 1…BITS: General Manager Verne Lewellen returned today from a television conference at league headquarters in Philadelphia…The Packer staff took part in the Pancake and Porkie Day festivities at Riverside this morning…Defensive halfback Val Joe Walker was married last month in Texas…Linebacker Roger Zatkoff is teaching in the Detroit public school system. End Bill Howton is selling insurance in Houston. Halfback Al Carmichael attended alma mater Southern California after the past season and was to receive his degree this week. For meal money, Al does bit parts in the movies.
PACKER FB POUNDAGE SOARS TO 1,057
JUN 11 (Green Bay) - Packer fullback poundage moved from 842 to 1,057 today with the signing of Donald (Mike) Riley, a battering ram and linebacker from the University of Iowa. Riley, a muscled 215-pounder, is the fifth fullback and 37th athlete announced as signed thus far by Coach Liz Blackbourn. The graceful Negro joins veteran FB Fred Cone, 200; newcomer Ken Bahnson, 210, who had some experience with the San Francisco Forty Niners last fall; and rookies Tom Allman, 210, West Virginia, and Tom Ward, 222, Texas. Fullbacks still unsigned are Howie Ferguson, who shared the line punching with Cone last year, and several rookie prospects. Riley is on his own, so to speak, for the first time in his advanced football career. At Iowa, Riley was unfortunate enough to be playing on the same team with Bill Reichardt, Packer veteran and all-Big Ten fullback. Riley signed a Packer pact upon graduating in 1952 but the Army was waiting. Reichardt played here in ’52 but was called into service after the season. With no Reichardt and no Uncle Sam staring him in the face, Riley is expected to blossom into a top-flight footballer. With Reichardt carrying most of the rushing load, Riley developed as one of the top linebackers in the Big Ten. When he moved occasionally at fullback, he displayed great power and drive. Riley served as a second lieutenant in the Army. He received his commission in the ROTC at Iowa and served two years in the Infantry. Riley, 25, earned letters in football, basketball, track and boxing at North High School in Minneapolis. He now makes his home in Chicago but plans to remain in Green Bay to work on the Highway 41 construction project near Sobieski Corners. Blackbourn got a look at two of his rookies this week – Riley and Art Hunter, the 240-pound tackle from Notre Dame. Riley stopped in earlier to line up a job and discuss the coming season. Hunter surprised everyone by popping up with his new wife yesterday afternoon. The No. 1 draft choice and his bride drove up from South Bend, Ind., and will honeymoon in Door County until the weekend. The hefty offensive tackle will report for training with the College All Stars early in July and won’t join the Packers until shortly after the game Friday Aug. 13. He’ll likely see his first public action in a Packer uniform against the Cleveland Browns here Saturday night, Aug. 21.
PACK DRAFT AIMS ACHIEVED - ON PAPER
JUN 12 (Green Bay) - The intent of the Packers' 1954 draft list has been accomplished - on paper. That was the opinion of Packer head coach Liz Blackbourn today as he pointed out that half of the 28 available draftees have been signed. Chief purposes of the draft were to strengthen the line, produce "that one good back", help the punting and sharpen the ends and backs offensively and defensively. The playing season will decide the real success of the draft. The meat of the draft is contained in the first six choices and five of these have been signed. The lone unsignee in the sixsome is George Timberlake, guard and linebacker from Southern California, who is expected to join up officially soon. The quintet of choices under contract are tackles Art Hunter of Notre Dame and Bob Fleck of Syracuse, halfback Veryl Switzer of Kansas State (that one good back), fullback Tom Allman of West Virginia and pass catching halfback Max McGee of Tulane who will be shifted to offensive end. McGee, Dave Davis of Georgia Tech, Gene Knutson of Michigan and Cotton Hall of North Texas State are expected to bolster the ends considerably. Blackbourn wants his ends to do some blocking and all four are big enough to furnish just that...AFFLIS, HANNER SET: Hunter and Fleck are the key additions in the line and they'll both probably start out on offense and then shift, if needed, to defense. Six other tackles have been signed, including draftee Jack Smalley of Alabama and veterans Dick Afflis and Dave Hanner. Blackbourn is enjoying an ironic twist in the punting department. He drafted Des Koch, who had the nation's best punting average at Southern Cal with 41 yards, to handle the punting, but Koch decided not to play in order to remain eligible for track next spring. However, Liz and his aides found that Davis may be the answer to the club's punting problem. Davis, it develops, compiled a 38.8-yard average on 176 punts in three college seasons. Despite the high average, Davis had a reputation for delivering extremely high punts. With some work in camp, Blackbourn figures David may add more distance without hurting his height. Of the 15 unsigned draftees, four have gone to Canadian football - tackle Sam Marshall of Florida A and M, the seventh choice; halfback Kosse Johnson of Rice, 14th; guard J.D. Roberts of Oklahoma, 17th; and fullback Evan Slonac of Michigan State, 28th...REDUCE SQUAD SHARPLY: The remaining 11 are Timberlake, 3rd; tackle Jim Williams, 8th; halfback Des Koch, 16th; end Henry Barnes, 18th; guard Lowell Herber, 20th; halfback Art Liebscher, 21st; tackle Bill Buford, 22nd; quarterback Clint Sathrum, 23rd; end Marv Tennfoss, 24th; tackle Ralph Baierl, 26th; and quarterback Terry Campbell, 30th. Sathrum has decided not to play football, Campbell has gone into service and Baierl is a junior. Most of the others likely will be signed before training opens July 24 at Stevens Point. Blackbourn plans to take about 60 athletes to camp. The squad probably will be reduced sharply during the first two weeks - a period which will include an intra-squad camp at Stevens Point Saturday night, Aug. 7...LIZ ON VACATION: The non-conference opener will be against the Chicago Cardinals in Minneapolis Saturday night, Aug. 14. A week later, the Packers will meet the Cleveland Browns at City stadium. Blackbourn left today on a three-week vacation for the purpose of "relaxing ang getting in shape for the season." Liz, who will be in touch with the officer here and the athletes by telephone, and his wife and son, Chuck, will spend part of the time at a cottage near Milwaukee and also will spend some time at Lisle Jr.'s farm near Lancaster. Mrs. Blackbourn, Sr., is recuperating from recent surgery. Also vacationing will be assistant coach Lou Rymkus. The other aides, Ray McLean and Tom Hearden, have completed their vacations.
COUNCIL TO DECIDE ON BUYING STADIUM SITE TONIGHT
JUN 15 (Green Bay) - The City Council will decide whether it wants to purchase a 40-acre tract on the west side as the future site for a new city stadium and arena-auditorium. The Council's finance committee unanimously approved a motion Monday night that $500 be paid for an option for eight months on property north of Boland road between Military avenue and Platten street on the far west side. Cost of the tract is $58,000, including buildings. Ald. Leonard Jahn and Al Dionne, a member of the park board, outlined the purchase plan. Jahn had made the original proposal that the city investigate stadium and auditorium sites now to be prepared for building them at some future time. He pointed out that large tracts of undeveloped land are virtually unobtainable anywhere in the city. Dionne, describing the property as the "only good site available on the west side," warned the committee than an immediate decision to purchase was necessary because the owner, Mrs. George Morrow, 1476 Boland Rd., has several other prospective purchasers and will not hold the property indefinitely for the city. Dionne said Mrs. Morrow was willing to accept a $30,000 down payment with the balance of $28,000 payable over a 25-year period at 4 or 4.5 percent interest. The property has 38 acres in one piece plus two additional acres spread over six lots on which there are two homes, a barn and a two-stall garage, Dionne said. Ald. Roman Denissen, moving that the city obtain an option to purchase, originally proposed that the city pay $2,000 down for a six-month option. After some discussion, this was amended to $500 and eight months. The latter period was fixed in case the state legislature, at its session beginning in January, passes legislation enabling Brown County to participate in the project...COUNTY MAY PARTICIPATE: The possibility that the county may participate was brought out by Jahn. Under a resolution adopted about eight years ago, the County Board agreed to help several districts in the county finance war memorial projects. Under this plan, the Green Bay district would receive about $105,000 as its share of $150,000. Several other districts already have obtained their shares, Jahn explained. Not only is the property large enough for an arena and stadium and parking but it also has the advantage of being adjacent to a main highway, permitting rapid dispersal of cars after any event, it was explained. After some discussion of what development would cost, the committee agreed with Jahn and Dionne that the first step to take is to purchase the site. Development of the stadium proper could be financed, in part, with the residue of the estate of the late Dr. Clarence Delmarcelle under terms of his will although there was general agreement that the city may not receive its share for some time. The will provides that the city is to receive the residue of Dr. Demarcelle's estate after all beneficiaries named are deceased and further that to qualify the city must start construction on a stadium on the west side within one year after the last beneficiary dies. City Attorney Clarence Nier reported to the committee that the residue of the estate is now $235,901.46 and that beneficiaries range in age from 55 to 76 years. Nier said it was probable that the city could recover from the estate whatever amounts it may spend now for land for the stadium. Jahn said that he had discussed the new stadium plan with Pres. Russ Bogda of the Packers. He quoted Bogda as saying that the Packers are in no position to tell the city what to do, but that the need for a new stadium must be faced sooner or later. Jahn said Bogda told him that most NFL teams want to play Green Bay in Milwaukee because of the larger seating capacity. Jahn said he felt the Packers' payment for use of a new stadium would "more than pay for the interest cost of the purchase." The finance committee's recommendation that an option be obtained on the property is virtually certain to be approved by the Council at its meeting tonight. The $500 payment for the option probably will come from funds of the park department. The need for a civic auditorium-arena has been discussed for some time. Several veterans' organizations plus a citizens' committee formed about eight years ago proposed a combination city hall-auditorium but this idea was dropped when the county sold Legion Park to the federal government. The topic has been revived recently and was given impetus by Ald. Jahn's proposal several months ago.
PACKERS CLOSE RAID ON HOLY CROSS
JUN 15 (Green Bay) - The Packers completed their raid today on Dr. Eddie Anderson's 1953 Holy Cross football team with the signing of 500 pounds of linemen. Broken down into two parts, the poundage represents tackle Jim Lavery, 260, and tackle-guard Jim Vogt, 240. Earlier, the Packers signed 205-pound Holy Cross end Hank Lemire. Signing of Lavery and Vogt boosted the total number of announces to 39, including 11 tackles, four guards, four centers, five ends, seven halfbacks, five fullbacks and three quarterbacks. Eighteen of the signees are members of the "inner" line corps - a section that Coach Liz Blackbourn is particularly anxious to strengthen. His first step in that direction was selecting two tackles in two of his first three picks in the January draft - Art Hunter and Bob Fleck. Since signing Hunter and Fleck, Blackbourn has added five veteran of the inner works - tackles Dave Hanner and Dick Afflis, guards Bob Kennedy and Deral Teteak and center Clayton Tonnemaker. The remaining 13 are rookies. Lavery and Vogt, though they escaped the player draft, come highly rated by Anderson and other coaches in the east. Vogt is particular outstanding at two positions - offensive tackle and middle guard on defense. One of the strongest men in college football, he is particularly hard to move. Fast afoot, Vogt has been valuable at filling gaps in the line. Vogt, who plans to study law during the offseason and become a lawyer after his football days are over, hails from Fairhaven, Mass., where he earned three football letters at Cranwell Prep. An economics major, the big German stands 6-2 and is 22 years of age. Lavery, who will be 22 in July, carries his 260 on a 6-4 frame. A big, rough customer, Lavery was a mainstay as a defensive tackle for the last two years. A political science major, the Irishman won his prep football honors at Fairfield High in Bridgeport, Conn.
DELAY ACTION ON PACKER REQUEST FOR GOERKE FIELD
JUN 15 (Stevens Point) - A decision on a request by the Green Bay Packers for use of the Goerke Park football field for practice was delayed until next month's meeting when the Board of Education met Monday night. The Packers will train in Stevens Point this summer, starting July 23. They have been granted use of the Central State college practice field and two practice areas at Bukolt Park and seek to use Goerke Field "anywhere from once or twice a week to once every two weeks," according to Superintendent of Schools P.M. Vincent. The Packers had previously been granted permission to use the field for an intra-squad practice game. Some objection was raised because of the possibility of damage to the field. If the grass is killed, said Vincent, "we won't have a very good football field for the high school and college in the fall." "The field is for the kids," said Leslie V. Courtney, Ninth ward, "and I can't see why we should change our agreement." "We should do all we can to cooperate," said Vincent, "but there is no reason why our kids should play in the mud." Francis Roman, Fifth ward, said, "The city has guaranteed to make the field as good as new. I don't know whether it can or not, but let's get more information and act at the next meeting."
COUNCIL TAKES FAVORABLE VIEW TOWARD PURCHASE OF STADIUM-ARENA PROPERTY
JUN 16 (Green Bay) - The City Council took a favorable view of a recommendation that the city obtain a 40-acre tract on the west side as the future location for a new city stadium or arena-auditorium or both. But several aldermen and the mayor pointed out that a number of details must be worked out before property becomes the possession of the city. By a unanimous vote, the Council authorized the park board to obtain an eight-month option for the sum of $500 on the site north of Boland Rd. and east of Military Ave. Total price of the track, said to be the last one of such size available at a reasonable price in the city, is $58,000. Purpose of the eight-month option to purchase is to permit the park board, with the Council, to work out details of financing the entire cost and to determine whether the state legislature will pass enabling legislation early in 1955 to permit Brown County to participate in development of the sports area if it so wishes. Ald. E.J. Perkins, park board president, told the Council that the property owner, Mrs. George Morrow, had been contacted Tuesday and expressed a desire for a land contract for purchase of the site. The finance committee, which made the option recommendation, had been told Monday night that the property could be acquired with a $30,000 down payment, the balance of $28,000 to paid over a 25-year period. Mayor Olejniczak said that a land contract would pledge the city irrevocably to purchase of the land whereas an option to buy would give the city an opportunity to work out financial details plus planning for development of the area. Chairman Robert Bittner of the finance committee said that the committee felt that "there are not enough plans now and the best way to handle the project is to get an eight-month option, study all the possibilities, and then decide if the purchase is to be made." Both Ald. Joseph Mulloy and A.B, Pinkerton described the proposed purchase as an excellent opportunity for the city. Mulloy said that "Green Bay has no such (arena) facilities now and it's a step in the right direction to buy the land now." Pinkerton called it a "good buy." Ald. Leonard Jahn, who had made the original request that land be purchased by the city for future use, pointed out that the "option does not compel the city to buy and I doubt very much if the owner will hold it for the city under such a plan. I'd like to see a definite agreement to buy the land next year." Negotiations for the option will be conducted by the park board, which was to hold its June meeting today. The board had made all the surveys of possible sites for the stadium-arena on request of the Council.
41 PACKERS INKED; DOLDOORIAN AL BARRY ADDED TO GUARD LIST
JUN 17 (Green Bay) - The Packers' 30th draft choice in '53 and a sleeper from American International College furnished potential guard strength today for the 1954 season. Latest to sign Packer contracts are Al Barry, a 230-pounder from Southern California - the last pick made by the old regime a year ago last January, and John (Doldo) Doldoorian, a 225-pound muscleman from AIC. Registration of the heavyweights boost to 41 the number of players announced as signed thus far. They are the fifth and sixth guards, joining veterans Deral Teteak and Bob Kennedy and rookies Jim Vogt of Holy Cross and Mike Takacs of Ohio State. Coach Liz Blackbourn is determined to strengthen the Packer line - chiefly from tackle to tackle. Besides the half dozen guards, he has signed 10 tackles and four centers. Barry and Doldoorian are both offensive guards with good speed. They are highly rated as blockers and Liz feels that their weight is ideal for pro ball. Barry actually was eligible for the 1953 Packers but decided to remain in school until he graduated this month and to preserve his track eligibility. He earned three letters in track as a shot putter on the nation's top cinder squad. Barry, a three-letter winner in football, opened holes for the Packers' Al Carmichael when they played together on the victorious Southern California Rose Bowl team (over Wisconsin). Barry, 23, stands 6-2. He played prep ball at Beverly Hills, Calif., High, winning six letters in track and football. Doldoorian, 6-1 and 23, was football co-captain of American International which is located in Springfield, Mass. He was considered AIC's best lineman in the past decade. Big John also was a star catcher on the school baseball team, hitting .400 and leading the squad to the NAIA championship in New England. An all-country tackle at Northbridge High in Whitinsville, Mass., Doldoorian has three times being named to the Armenian All-America team and twice received all-New England recognition as well as Little All-American. Last fall, he was on the small college all-New England team and on the second all-college New England...Official announcement was made today by the Chicago Tribune that the Packers' Veryl Switzer has been named a halfback on the College All Star team battling the Detroit Lions in Chicago Friday night, Aug. 18. Veryl was the second player announced for the game. Switzer was the Packers' second No. 1 draft choice, obtained in the Arnie Gallifa deal with the New York Giants. He signed shortly after being drafted. Three or four other Packers likely will be chosen for the game, including tackles Art Hunter and Bob Fleck, linebacker George Timberlake and fullback Tom Allman.
PACKERS TO CARRY MORE HEFT? FOUR SHIFTED ON ROSTER
JUN 18 (Green Bay) - The Packers may carry more weight than they did a year ago. The 41 players signed thus far stack up to more than four tones of meat - 9,015 pounds, to be exact. This makes for an average of 219 per athlete. Twenty-seven of the animals who play in the line average 224.3 and the remaining horses, known officially as backs, measure out to 197.1. The key to today's gospel is that the tackles, guards and centers average 231.4 pounds. That's the area Coach Liz Blackbourn is particularly interested in strengthening. The overall average last year was around 228. Here are the averages for each position: tackles, 241.4; guards, 225.2; centers, 223; ends, 207.4; halfbacks, 187.8; fullbacks, 211.4; and quarterbacks, 195. While the weights appear above normal, they will undergo considerable change as additional players are announced. The end averages should go down for instance when Bill Howton (185) and Bob Mann (170) are set. If you want to argue, it can be pointed out that the 240-pound John Martinkovic, the defensive end, is still unannounced. Four rookie players have been shifted to different positions on the roster, thus offering better balance. Two underweight tackles, for instance, have been placed in the running for defensive end chores - Jerry Dufek, the 220-pounder from St. Norbert, and Ed Frank, 200, of Marquette. Dufek, incidentally, is having some trouble with a knee injury that required surgery last winter. Dick Mace, a 235-pound specimen, was originally listed as a tackle but has been shifted to center - on paper, at least. The Syracuse star has plenty of centering experience. In the only other change, Max McGee, the pass catching halfback from Tulane, has been officially made into an end. McGee was drafted for end duty last January, but the official "switch" papers only recently were filled out.
HB TRAVELER CURRAN WINDS UP IN GREEN BAY
JUN 19 (Green Bay) - From West Virginia to Germany to Arizona. And finally to Green Bay, Wis! That bit of geography traces the football travels of one Richard Patrick Curran, a native of Youngstown, O., who today signed a Packer contract for 1954. Curran, a six-foot, 190-pound halfback, played his first two seasons of prep football in Parksburg, W.Va., and then went to Germany with his dad, Owen S. Curran, who works in the state department. At the T.A. Roberts High School in Berlin, Curran played football and competed in the Inter-Allied track meet in Olympic stadium in 1948, placing high in the decathlon. In addition, he took part in a diving exhibition with Olympic champion Sammy Lee. A brilliant student, Curran was president of his senior class in Berlin and then was elected president of his freshman class at Arizona State College at Tempe. As a junior, Curran was a starter on the Scholastic All-America grid squad - a unit composed of players with exceptionally high grades. He majored in business administration and speech. To top off his travels and successes, Curran married Jacque Mercer, "Miss America" of 1949. They have a six-month old son and then, to carry on the unusual theme, live at the X-Bar-X ranch in Litchfield Park, Ariz. Curran was drafted No. 12 as a junior in January of 1953 for delivery this season. The traveling Irishman turned in a spectacular performance in 1952 as a junior. He gained 870 yards in 114 trips for a fantastic 7.8 average - second in the nation only to Tulsa university's Howie Waugh. Curran was elected captain in '53 but played little due to his injuries. His hurts have been completely healed and he expects to report in peak condition. Curran, chiefly a runner, will be out to nudge out the club's three main halfback veterans - Breezy Reid, Al Carmichael and Gib Dawson, not to mention Veryl Switzer, the All-American rookie from Kansas State. Curran is the seventh halfback announced as signed thus far - all rookies except for defensive star Bobby Dillon. The new halfbacks are Milt Kadlec of Illinois Normal, Bill Oliver of Alabama, Joe Johnson of Boston College, Bud Roffler of Washington State and Switzer...PRO BRIEFS: Packer tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame was the third player officially announced today as a
member of the College All Star squad which will battle the Detroit Lions in Chicago Aug. 13. Announced earlier was Switzer. Both Packers were the first name in their positions, indicating that they will be in the starting lineup. Switzer, an all-around star, likely will play offense and defense most of the game. Other Packers expected to be chosen are fullback Tom Allman and linebacker George Timberlake.
EMPHASIS ON VETS AS PACK STEPS UP SIGNING PROGRAM
JUN 21 (Green Bay) - Emphasis in the Packers’ 1954 personnel program, which has been accelerated in recent days as the training season nears, today shifted from youth to experience. This came about with the signing by Head Coach Liz Blackbourn of a pair of veterans, end Carleton (Stretch) Elliott and fullback Howard Ferguson, one of only a few to make the major league grade without benefit of college experience. They are the ninth and tenth holdovers who have agreed to terms and bring to 44 the number thus far scheduled to leave Green Bay for the Packers’ training camp at Stevens Point July 24. For the record, Stretch is the first experienced wingman, and physically the largest, under contract for 1954. Elliott, who will begin his fourth season with Wisconsin’s NFL standard bearers, is listed at 6 feet, 5 inches and 230 pounds. To date eight rookies also are available to Blackbourn at this position. Among them are St. Norbert’s Jerry Dufek, who performed at tackle with the Knights, Gene Knutson of Michigan, punting specialist Dave Davis of Georgia Tech and a pair of Liz’s Marquette proteges, Hosea Sims and Ed Frank. He may not know it yet but Elliott figures prominently in Blackbourn’s plans. The stout-hearted Virginia alumnus may be called upon to play full time on defense and fill in on offense. This would be in the nature of a change for Stretch, who has been primarily an offensive performer since joining the Bays in 1951 after one season with Erie, Pa., in the American Football League…BIGGEST YEAR IN ’51: Elliott, who caught 13 passes for 150 yards last year, had his biggest year as a freshman in that ’51 season. He snared 35 tosses from Tobin Rote and Bobby Thomason for 317 yards and five touchdowns to tie Pittsburgh’s Hank Minarik for 10th place. His development that year enabled the Packers to place three representatives among the NFL’s top ten receivers. Stretch’s companions in this project were Bob Mann, who finished fourth, and Ray Pelfrey, who was seventh. Elliott, 26, is a native of Laurel, Del., but during the offseason is in the insurance business with a brother in El Paso, Tex. Ferguson, set for his second year here, acquired his football background during four years in the Navy, following graduation from high school at New Iberia. La. Howie clinched a berth with the Packers in ’53 off his performance in the Bays’ final non-league appearance against the Browns in Cleveland. On that occasion, he gained 56 yards in 14 attempts, caught three passes for 13 yards and scored one of the Pack’s two touchdowns in a 21-13 loss. In league competition, the powerfully built former sailor amassed 134 yards in 52 carries for a 2.7 average. He also caught 15 passes for an additional 86 yards. His greatest success came in the Packers’ two conquests of the Baltimore Colts. In his first appearance against them, Ferguson accumulated 53 in 12 attempts as the home talent triumphed 37-14 at City Stadium. In the return match, he rolled for 42 in eight tries in a 35-24 Packer nod. Ferguson, who will be 25 Aug. 5, stands 6-2 and scales 212 pounds. The Packers' 44-man roster now includes 16 backs, nine ends, eight tackles, six guards and five centers.
PACK GETS HELLUIN FROM BROWNS
JUN 23 (Green Bay) - The Packers today acquired a fellow who should qualify as the world's largest postman. He is 280-pound Jerry Helluin, who comes here in a trade with the Cleveland Browns for an undisclosed 1955 draft choice. Acquisition of the youthful giant - he will be 25 August 8 - is expected to provide the Packers with a much-needed defensive specialist. Though one of the biggest men in football, he is blessed with good speed and surprising agility. Helluin, a letter carrier in Houma, La., during the offseason, also is versatile. He can play either defensive guard or tackle or middle guard. Last year with the Browns, he alternated with both of the regular defensive tackles and split MG duties with Bill Willis, a member of Paul Brown's first Cleveland eleven in 1946, who recently retired. Jerry likewise was a jack-of-all-trades in his undergraduate days under Henry Frnka at Tulsa University, holding forth at guard, tackle, and end during the course of this three-year career. In this span, he was named on the NEA All-American defensive platoon, Collier's All-South and All-Southeast Conference in addition to captaining the team his senior year. In high school, Helluin operated at fullback for Donaldson, La., and this early experience bore unexpected fruit on one occasion last year when he scooped up a fumble and ran 42 yards for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jerry, who spreads those 280 pounds over a 6-foot, 2 1/2-inch chassis, missed half of the 1953 season because of a broken arm sustained in a game with the Redskins at Washington. He recovered, however, in time to rejoin the squad for the last two games on the regular NFL schedule and played in the championship game against the Lions at Detroit. The deal for Helluin apparently resulted from a conference between Brown and Packer Head Coach Liz Blackbourn, at which they compared rosters, in Chicago recently. The big fellow, known to his teammates as "Big G", is married and the father of twin daughters.
EX-PACKERS NOW WITH WASHINGTON REDSKINS
JUN 23 (Washington) - Washington Serini, a six-year veteran in the NFL, Tuesday signed with the Washington Redskins. The acquisition of Serini, a free agent, raised the number of players under contract with the Redskins to 45. A guard, who played college football at the University of Kentucky, Serini is 30 years old, weighs 235 pounds and stands 6 feet 1. He played two seasons with the Green Bay Packers and four with the Bears in his native Chicago.
LETTER FROM LIZ! 46 SIGNED, PRACTICE NEAR!
JUN 28 (Green Bay) - A letter from Liz. A roster of 46 players. And a glance at the calendar. These were indications today that the Packers' 1954 season is less than a month away - 26 days, to be exact. The missive from Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn went to all members in good standing of SOLBAF, which is short for Society of Liz Blackbourn Admirers Forever. The group is composed of around 2,000 Blackbourn backers. It was organized last winter by Wally Cruice and Hap Leister of Milwaukee who campaigned for card-carrying members (at $1 a year) in Milwaukee,
Green Bay and the immediate Packer area. The money will be used to promote the Packers and to give some sort of recognition to Blackbourn. Liz, presently on the last week of his "getting in shape for the season" vacation, has written his first letter to all SOLBAF members. It follows, in part: "Thirty years in coaching is a lifetime of thrills. The formation and existence of your organization, the SOLBAF, is one of the greatest. I sure hope I can justify your confidence. Enthusiasm is high but no touchdowns have been scored. It is then that the old standbys are really needed. It's comforting to know you are there. This Packer organization is one of the seven wonders of the sports world. Unique because of its origin in the toughest football league in a town of only 50,000 - unique because of its six world championships - unique because it belongs to no individual or group, but to the whole state. Of course, it has now outgrown one area and has become as typically Wisconsin as beer and cheese. Personally, I feel good about this because all of my coaching has been done in our state. The business setup here is right, too, for in Verne Lewellen, we have a manager whose background is Packer football and who is a lawyer and a businessman. I'm happy about the whole setup. Pro football is a big financial operation. We spend about $750,000 per year. It takes some doing to collect that much at the gate. Shortage of funds means curtailing of operation and resulting inability to compete. It has been touch-and-go and more emphasis must be placed on season tickets. This is particularly important in Milwaukee. Success there will depend on good men in the sales organization. Wally Cruice is your contact with the sales organization. I know you will help him and will be the added effort that puts Milwaukee over the top in season tickets. Fifteen thousand season tickets can be sold in Milwaukee. That's a lot of tickets and talk is cheap but I know you fellows and you will do it. Our office is in the Eagles Club. Tickets are there - you can select the location by calling. If you are selected as a committee man to solicit sales, give it a full go!"...The Packer roster grew to 46 over the weekend with the signing of two offensive ends - free agents Gene White of Georgia and Wayne Hopkins of Baylor. The Packers now have 11 ends under contract. Still outstanding among the regulars of 1953 are Bill Howton, Bob Mann and John Martinkovic. White, a native of Commerce, Ga., carries 203 pounds on his 6-3 frame. He was a regular left end as a sophomore in 1951, catching 18 passes for 226 yards. Injuries hampered Gene during the 1952 season, but he came back strong in 1953, catching 13 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown. A hurdler on the track team, White was considered the fastest linemen in the Southeastern conference. Hopkins was the leading receiver on Baylor University in 1953 and one of the top ends in the aerial-minded Southwest Conference. During the '53 season, he caught 21 passes for 351 yards and three TDs He played in the North-South Shrine game in Miami. Wayne is 22 years old, stands 6-3 and weighs 205 pounds. In addition to earning three letters in football, he also earned two letters in baseball. He makes his home in Houston...The Packers will open their training camp at Stevens Point State Teachers College Saturday noon, July 24. Physical examinations will occupy most of the afternoon. Tentatively, most of Sunday will be used for the taking of pictures. The first real workouts will begin on Monday, July 26 and continue on a two-a-day schedule throughout the week. The first public test is scheduled for Saturday night, Aug. 7, when the team will be split into two unites for an intra-squad game. The following Saturday night the Packers test their muscles for the first time against National League competition - the Chicago Cardinals in Minneapolis.
HOWTON SET; EYES RETURN TO '52 PLAY
JUN 30 (Green Bay) - The signed contract of one Bill Howton, an Englishman from Texas, was received at the Packer office today. This was an extremely happy occasions because it meant that Coach Liz Blackbourn could proceed at full speed with his offense. Signed earlier was Howton's passing partner from Rice Institute, quarterback Tobin Rote, but still outstanding is QB Babe Parilli. Registration of Howton, an insurance salesman in the offseason in Houston, is expected to perk up the signing of the other veterans. Howton is the 11th veteran to sign, joining Rote, Howie Ferguson, Fred Cone, Bobby Dillon, Stretch Elliott, Clayton Tonnemaker, Deral Teteak, Bob Kennedy, Dick Afflis and Dave Hanner. Around 20 veterans are still to be announced, although at least three are planning to hang up the moleskins - Bob Forte, Dick Wildung and J.R. Boone. Little J.R. earlier announced his retirement and both Forte and Wildung indicated that they intend to do the same. Howton is the 49th player announced as signed thus far. The inked group includes 12 ends, 10 tackles, seven halfbacks, six guards, six fullbacks, five centers and three quarterbacks. Howton is looking forward to a return to the form that stamped him as "another Hutson" as a rookie in 1952 when he nailed 53 passes for 1,231 yards and 13 touchdowns, his yardage total breaking Hutson's mark of 1,211 set in 1942. The Carrot Top suffered several injured ribs in the final non-league game last fall against the Cleveland Browns and missed the first four league contests, thus getting him off to a slow start. He finished the season well below his '52 pace - 25 catches for 463 yards and four touchdowns. It will be interesting to note Howton's performance under Blackbourn. The new Packer coach indicated that he wants his ends to do plenty of blocking, citing Elroy Hirsch in particular as the "type of end who gets his man before getting the pass." The success of Howton as a blocker may have some bearing on the type of offense the Packers employ this year. Liz plans to use the normal "T" with split-T and flankers on occasion. He may be forced to use more flankers if the ends find it difficult to handle the blocking. The fleet Howton, even after rejoining the active list after his injury, was watched by two men - one of a few ends in the league who command such respect. Returning for his third season, Howton has an opportunity to match or better Hutson's all-time record, although fewer passes were thrown when Don first broke in in 1935. Hutson also had to play defense in the one-platoon program. At any rate, Hutson caught 52 passes for 956 yards and 16 touchdowns in his first two seasons here. Howton, in '52-'53, caught 78 for 1,694 yards and 17 TDs. Hutson's average for that period was 18.4 yards per catch; Howton's 21.7. Bill, who stands 6-2 and packs 185 pounds, will turn 24 years of age next Monday. One of Howton's chief "opponents" for offensive and work next fall will be a fellow Texan - Max McGee of Tulane. McGee was a spectacular pass catcher as a halfback last year and will be switched to end as a Packer.
GUARDS BROWN AND HERBERT JOIN PACK
JUL 1 (Green Bay) - A former Washington Redskin guard who found new life in Green Bay and a College of Pacific guard-linebacker who made Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn's all-opponent team at Marquette are the latest additions to the rapidly-growing stack of signed Packer contracts. Officially registered today are William Brightie (Buddy) Brown, a regular offensive guard last fall, and Lowell Preston Herbert, the COP all-time lineman. Also added to the Packer list with the transfer of his contract from the Cleveland Browns was guard-tackle Jerry Helluin, who was obtained in a trade last week. The Packers now have announced the signing of 52 players. The work of Brown, obtained after being released by the Redskins early last season, was watched particularly close by Blackbourn and members of his staff, Lou Rymkus, Ray McLean and Tom Hearden, in movies of the 1953 games. Before the season was over, the former Arkansas star had beaten out Dick Logan, veteran guard from Ohio State. Presently teaching in his hometown, Wynne, Ark., the 225-pound Brown is the No. 1 candidate for the offensive right tackle position since Logan has gone into service. Brown started his pro career in 1951 and played in 36 consecutive games at right guard for the Washingtons. Brown, 27, is a four-year World War II veteran, serving as a staff sergeant in the infantry in India, Burma and China...WON LETTER IN RUGBY: Herbert was the Packers' 20th draft choice at the league picking party last January. He plays offensive right guard and, in the one-platoon plan last fall, also worked as a linebacker. Blackbourn got a good look at Herbert when he head coached MU against COP in the last three years and the Hilltoppers selected him on their all-foe eleven in 1953. Herbert captained the '53 team. A bit on the stocky side at 5-11 and 215 pounds, Herbert has good speed and a fine reputation as a blocker. In addition to four letters in football, Herbert won letters in track and rugby. He was a star on COP's winter rugby team in the California Rugby Union. A native of Elgin, Mo., Herbert played prep football at Calaveras Union High in San Andreas, Calif. He will turn 22 next Oct. 25. Of the eight guards signed thus far, Brown and Deral Teteak, a linebacker by trade, are the only veterans, although Bob Kennedy, a former Wisconsin star, signed last year and saw some action at training camp. Rookie guards set besides Herbert at Mike Takacs of Ohio State, Jim Vogt of Holy Cross, John Doldoorian of American International College and Al Barry of Southern California. Helluin is listed as a tackle though he plays middle guard on defense.
22 PACKER VETERANS UNSIGNED; 6 OUT
JUL 2 (Green Bay) - Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn took stock of his veterans today and discovered that 22 of a possible 34 holdovers from 1953 competition are still unsigned. Twelve veterans have inked their '54 pacts, including the aerial combination of quarterback Tobin Rote and end Bill Howton. Actually, Blackbourn is only concerned with 16 of the veterans since six '53 performers do not plan to report for different reasons. End Clive Rush has gone into coaching - as an assistant under former Packer Aide Hugh Devore at Dayton university. Two are in service - guard Dick Logan of the Air Corps and halfback Don Barton of the Army. One has definitely retired - halfback J.R. Boone, and the remaining two have indicated that they played their final football last fall, linebacker-captain Bob Forte and Dick Wildung. With opening of practice still 22 days away, Blackbourn expects to have them all in line at the "kickoff" Saturday, July 24 - or at least shortly thereafter. Eleven of the 16 outstanding players are backs. There are also four ends, three guard, three tackles and one center. The back contingent includes quarterback Babe Parilli, who shared the throwing and signal calling with Rote the last two years, and halfback Breezy Reid, who led the club in ground gaining last fall. The other available halfbacks are offensive workers Al Carmichael, the promising Southern California punt and kickoff return expert; Gib Dawson, who was saddled most of last fall with hurts; and Byron Bailey, former Detroit Lion; and defensive backs Bennie Aldridge, Val Joe Walker and Ace Loomis. Great things are expected of Dawson, who flashed his form in some of the Packers' late games. He was hampered by muscle pulls after winning the most valuable player award against the Detroit Lions in the All Star game last August. The missing ends besides Rush are pass catcher Bob Mann and defensers John Martinkovic and Roger Zatkoff. Both Mann and Martinkovic are generally late signers, while Zatkoff will be signing for the first time as a veteran. Zatkoff, a linebacker and tackle at Michigan, played linebacker and defensive end last year - two spots at which he'll probably work at again this season...PLAYED WITH BROKEN HAND: Len Szafaryn and Gus Cifelli, besides Wildung, are the "awaited" tackles. Szafaryn was bothered by injuries during training last fall after putting in two years of Army service and had a difficult time rounding into form. Cifelli, obtained from the Detroit Lions, was a regular at offensive tackle throughout despite a broken hand. Bill Forester, the club's top handyman, and Steve Ruzich are the missing guards, along with Logan. Forester could wind up as a defensive end while Ruzich was a regular left offensive guard last fall. Most of the 52 players announced as signed thus far are draft choices. Of the 30 selected at the league meeting last January, nearly 20 have signed. The remainder are free agents overlooked in the draft in addition to players who had pro experience with other clubs - tackle Jerry Helluin, obtained in a trade with Cleveland, and fullback Ken Bahnson, formerly with San Francisco. Four of the signers were draft choices made a year ago January for delivery in '54 - halfbacks Bud Roffler, Dick Curran and Joe Johnson and guard Al Barry.
AL CARMICHAEL NO. 1 PACKER BACK IN 1954?
JUL 3 (Green Bay) - Al Carmichael, the Packers' No. 1 draft choice in 1953, could be the club's No. 1 ground gaining back in 1954. The Southern California star, due for stardom next fall after undergoing joy and sorrow in his rookie year, will carry a 4.1-yard rushing average into his sophomore campaign and an overall movement mark of 10.9 per lug. The deceptive runner, who signed his 1954 contract yesterday, figures highly in Coach Liz Blackbourn's offensive plans - probably at right halfback, the same position he played last year. In addition, Al probably will be a top candidate for kickoff and punt returning. Carmichael, known as Hoagy by everyone in and out of show business, moved the ball 1,170 yards last year in four different phases - 199 on rushing in 49 trips, 131 on receiving 12 passes, 641 on 26 kickoff returns and 199 yards on 20 punt runbacks. The six-foot, 190-pound Marine veteran ranked second in the league in punt returns for an average of 10.0 yards. Charley Trippi of the Chicago Cardinals was first with 11.4. Al was eighth in the league in kickoff returns, posting an average of 24.7. Joe Arenas of San Francisco was first with 34.4. Carmichael was always a touchdown threat on kickoff and punt returns or on wide rushing plays. He runs deceptively, seemingly stopping and starting as he keeps running. Though he broke loose for a number of 40 and 50-yard punt and kickoff runbacks Al was unable to go all the way. He scored one touchdown all season - on a 40-yard jaunt off left tackle against Baltimore here. Carmichael experienced two tough blows that failed to dampen his amazing love for football. The first occurred when he fumbled four yards from a touchdown and a 22-7 lead over the Lions in Detroit last Thanksgiving day. The TD might have been the determining factor in a Packer upset win. The break brought the Lions "up" and they went on to win, a real source of sorrow for Al. The next blow took place in San Francisco when Al was bludgeoned by the Forty Niners' famed hatchet man, Hardy Brown. Carmichael had just take a pass and was knocked flat with a terrific shoulder-breaking block by Brown. But Al was up and ready again for more action. Brown had put a number of players out of action for weeks with his blocks. Carmichael, 25, married and the father of one child, recently received his degree from the school of education at USC. A native of Los Angeles, Carmichael works as an extra in the movie industry and has appeared in many top flight movies. Carmichael occasionally put his acting ability to use for the amusement of his teammates. At camp last August, he organized and promoted a camp show, with the players serving as actors. Signing of Carmichael was the fourth step in organizing the club's veteran backfield. Signed earlier were fullbacks Fred Cone and Howie Ferguson and quarterback Tobin Rote. Veteran backs still unsigned are left half Breezy Reid, the club's top ground gainer last year, Babe Parilli, Gib Dawson, Byron Bailey, Bennie Aldridge, Val Joe Walker and Ace Loomis. Carmichael is the 53rd player announced as signed thus far.
PACKERS TO PLAY EXHIBITION GAME IN MINNEAPOLIS
JUL 6 (Minneapolis) - The Catholic Welfare Association announced Saturday its seventh annual professional football charity game will match the Green Bay Packers against the Chicago Cardinals here August 14. Father Tom Meagher, director of the exhibition game, said he expects this year's gate to top last year's record-breaking turnout of 20,560 and set a new attendance record for the fourth year in a row.
PACKERS HOLD FIRST WORKOUT ON JULY 26
JUL 7 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers will hold their first summer practice session on July 26, head coach Lisle Blackbourn said today. The Packers will open their new training site at Stevens Point State College two days earlier, Blackbourn said, but will use the intervening time for physical examinations, squad meetings and issuance of equipment. Blackbourn said the players will assemble here July 23 and leave for Stevens Point, about 80 miles west, the following morning. The club will put in three weeks of drills before its opening exhibition game August 14 against the Chicago Cardinals in Minneapolis. The pre-season drills will give Blackbourn his first official look at the Packers.
STEPHENSON SIGNS; PACKER WELCOME, SENDOFF SET
JUL 8 (Green Bay) - Packer players come to Green Bay two weeks from tomorrow. And a lot of people started to get extremely itchy today as the opening of the Packers' 36th season approached. Coach Liz Blackbourn continued telephone negotiations with veterans and kept his fingers crossed at the same time, aiming everything at the opening of practice in Stevens Point July 24. Assistant Coaches Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus huddled over a rectangular table putting the final touches on the Packers' offense and defense. General Manager Verne Lewellen sweats along with Liz in the telephone tussle with players and the usual struggle with umpteen last-minute problems. Scout Jack Vainisi mailed out final reporting instructions to the athletes and checked on traveling details, public relations matter, etc. At Bertran's, trainer Bud Jorgenson tapped his fingers impatiently and took a long look at the stock of footballs, mentally preparing for July 15 when he'll start getting the ointment ready for shipment to Stevens Point. And at the Beaumont Hotel last night, the Packer Alumni Assn., voted to sponsor a buffet supper for the players and 250 fortunate fans at the Beaumont Hotel Friday evening July 23, a parade late that afternoon and the sendoff from Legion Park at 10 o'clock the next morning...Blackbourn's talk with the veterans brought the go-ahead today from Dave (Trapper) Stephenson, the vicious 235-pound guard and center. Acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams, Stephenson will be starting his fifth season in pro ball and his fourth in Green Bay. Used as an offensive guard in '51-52, Dave was switched to center last season to fill the gap caused by center Jim Ringo's injury early in the campaign. Noted for his team spirit, Stephenson responded nicely to the switch and made life safe for quarterbacks Tobin Rote and Babe Parilli. Stephenson had played some center at the University of West Virginia and in high school. Stephenson, 28, and single, worked in the offseason as a swimming instructor for the Recreation Dept., in Clendenin, W. Va. The 54th player announced as signed thus far, Stephenson is the sixth pivot set. Two of the other five are veterans - Ringo and Clayton Tonnemaker, chiefly a linebacker. The newcomers are Herb Borman of Illinois, Ken (Pop) Hall of Springfield and Dick Mace of Syracuse...Blackbourn also revealed that one of his Ken Halls - Cotton, the offensive end from North Texas State - has been selected to play in the College All Star game in Chicago Aug. 13. The darkhorse end, drafted 11th last January, is extremely fast and may play an important pass catching role against Detroit...The Alumni, at their monthly dinner meeting last night, were highly enthusiastic in making preparations for the "opening" weekend - not to mention plans for the 1954 Quarterback Club program. Bernard (Boob) Darling will be chairman of the supper arrangements, assisted by Alumni President John Biolo and Secretary-Treasurer Gus Rosenow. Jug Earp and Al Rose will handle the sendoff and Wuert Englemann and Nick Miketinac will work out plans for bargain bus service to and from the Packers' intra-squad game in Stevens Point Saturday night, Aug. 7. Only 250 tickets will be sold to the buffet supper for some 60 players. A brief program will be worked out and each Alumni member will "sponsor" a group of players for the evening. The parade, in which the players will leave in two buses, arriving in Stevens Point in time for lunch at noon...As to the Quarterback Club, the Alumni group said that 12 meetings will be held on Thursday nights at Washington Junior High, East High and possibly West High. Biolo announced that the programs will not interfere with television of the games during the week. As a real treat to loyal Quarterbackers, the Alumni group is negotiating with telescopic pictures which will bring the action practically into the laps of the fans. Due to the reduction in the federal taxes, the price of QB tickets has been reduced from $2.40 to $2.20. Fans can order theirs by writing to Quarterback Club, Box 255, Green Bay, or purchasing them at Bertrand's, Schweger's, Tom White's, North Side Sporting and Prange's.
LIZ WON'T DELAY IN TESTING MATERIAL POWERS OF PACKERS
JUL 9 (Green Bay) - Liz Blackbourn won't wait long to test the mental powers of the 1954 Packers. The new Packer coach will conduct a "thorough exam" at the first squad meeting at the Stevens Point training camp at 7:30 Saturday night, July 24. The exam will precede all field exercises. The Packers will leave Green Bay at 10 o'clock Saturday morning, eat lunch in Stevens Point and then spend the afternoon receiving equipment and undergoing physical examinations. The exam meeting will be Blackbourn's first opportunity to meet the Packers as a group behind closed doors. What can Blackbourn possibly "examine" his players on before any actual practice? It seems that Liz has been in constant letter touch with the athletes during the last few weeks. One of the notes contained information on football terminology, patterns, etc. - considerably different from previous years. The examination will give Blackbourn and his aides, Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus, an idea how much the athletes may have been able to retain - mentally. In his latest letter, Blackbourn wrote, in part: "In my first Bulletin, we sent out information concerning football terminology, pattern, etc. Better check on that again because we will have a thorough exam on that information at 7:30 p.m., Saturday evening. My next Bulletin to you concerned conditioning. I am sure by this time you are well along with that type of work. Bear down your last two weeks on this phase. Be sure your feet are toughened to your shoes. Be sure your legs are strong. Be sure you have corrected the offseason health habits which react against good wind and endurance. I want to assure all of you that all our operations will be thoroughly planned - nothing short of perfection in organization by staff and management will be tolerated. On the other hand, nothing short of complete cooperation on the part of the football personnel can be expected. Looking forward to meeting you personally in the very near future."...Jug Earp, former Packer publicist and now general manager of Packerland Distributors, will be surrounded by seven pro football players next week on behalf of the Miller Brewing Co. Coming into town will be Miller agents Bob Forte, Clayton Tonnemaker, Tobin Rote, Fred Cone, Y.A. Tittle, the San Francisco quarterback, Neil Worden, Notre Dame great now with Philadelphia, and Art Hunter, the Packers' No. 1 draft choice.
FORMER PLAYER SUES PACKERS
JUL 9 (Milwaukee) - Halfback Charles Schroll today filed suit in federal court here claiming the Green Bay Packers, claiming the NFL club owed him $4,810 on a contract he signed for the 1952 season. Schroll, a graduate of Louisiana State University, said in his complaint that he signed a 1952 contract for $6,250 but that an injury in practice a Grand Rapids, MN kept him from playing. He said the amount he sought was the balance due on his contract. The Packers dismissed him October 7, 1952, because of the injury, he said. A native of Baton Rouge, LA, Schroll was on the Packer roster in 1951 after a season each with the Detroit Lions and the now defunct Buffalo Bills.
DON HUTSON STILL HAS 14 OF ORIGINAL 19 RECORDS LEFT
JUL 10 (Green Bay) - It became known the other day that Lou Groza, a widely known kicker with the Cleveland Browns, broke a record owned by Don Hutson, the immortal Packer. Groza, by scoring in every league game last fall, increased to 45 the number of consecutive contests in which he scored one or more points. Hutson's record was 41 games. Don started his skein in the second last game in 1940 and followed with 12 in '41, 11 in '42, 10 in '43 and six in '44. Groza launched his string with nine games in '50 and continued with 12 each in '51-52-53. Despite the fact that nine years have elapsed since Hutson wore the moleskins, only five of his original record-breaking 19 records have been broken. Besides Groza's new mark, Hutson's standards of 174 extra points, 74 passes caught in one season, 1,211 yards on pass receptions in one season and four touchdown passes in one game, have been shattered. All of the breakees, it seems, had the advantage of starring in the souped-up scoring and passing era of the last few years, including Groza. Before retiring, Bob Waterfield snapped Hutson's lifetime extra point mark with 315; in this one, Huston didn't start to kick consistently until the last five years; Waterfield booted right from the start and went eight seasons. Tom Fears of Los Angeles broke Hutson's passes-caught-in-one-season mark with 84 in '50. Elroy Hirsch snapped Don's yardage mark with 1,495 in '51 and the old record was broken again in '52 by Packer Bill Howton with 1,231. Hutson shared the four-touchdowns mark with five players until the Chicago Cardinals' Bob Shaw snared five against Baltimore in '50...Twenty-six players caught three TD passes in a single game, with Hutson accomplishing the feat seven times...Hutson's remaining 14 marks likely will stand indefinitely. One of the most fascinating in our ledger is his 825 points - an average of nearly 80 in 11 campaigns. Groza has scored 605 in nine seasons but the total includes roughly 250 in the old All-America conference. The NFL is disregarding records produced in the defunct wheel. Other Hutson totals likely to enjoy a long, long life are most passes caught, 489, most TD passes caught, 101, most yards gained catching passes, 8,010, most points scored in one season, 138. He also holds several fantastic miscellaneous marks such as most years leading scorer (5), most years leading pass receiver (8), most consecutive years leading scorer and pass receiver (5 each) and most points in one quarter (29)...Incidentally, Groza likely will extend his consecutive game scoring record many, many games - unless, of course, somebody can shut the door on the Browns next fall. That's how Huston's scoring mark was fractured at 41 games. The Bears blanked the Packers in Wrigley Field Nov. 6, 1944, by a 21 to 0 score. The Packers were going for their seventh straight victory that day but never threatened, and Hutson settled for six receptions for 76 yards - one of his few offdays. Incidentally, that was the Packers' first shutout in 73 games - since the Bears blanked the Pack 2-0 in 1938. Since '44, the Packers were blanked three times - twice in 1949 by the Bears (17-0) and Washington (30-0) and once in '51 by Los Angeles (28-0).
BOB FLECK EYES CANADA; PACKER TAKE LEGAL ACTION
JUL 12 (Green Bay) - The Packers launched legal action today to prevent 260-pound tackle Bob Fleck from jumping his contract to play Canadian football. A summons was served on Fleck at his home at Coatsville, Pa., over the weekend, ordering him to be in court today at West Chester, Pa., the Chester County seat, to show cause why a temporary injunction should not be issued restraining him from playing in Canada. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn flew out to West Chester yesterday and appeared in court today along with Fleck and legal representatives. Fleck signed a Packer contract shortly after he was drafted No. 2 by the Packers in Philadelphia last January. The legal proceedings, advised by the NFL, served two purposes: (1) To get Fleck to carry out terms of his contract and thus play in Green Bay and (2) to serve as a warning to other athletes. This was the first time in Packer history that a potential Packer had attempted to jump a signed contract. In the past, several Packer veterans had gone to Canada by jumping their options the Bays held on them. Several unsigned Packer rookie prospects had gone to Canada in previous years after failing to agree to Packer offers, including tackle Bob Gain, the club's first draft choice in 1951. "But," as Blackbourn put it when the case started to pop last week, "Fleck's is a moral issue; he already has signed a Packer contract in good faith." Flecks plans to play in Ottawa in the Eastern division. Clem Crowe, former Baltimore Colt coach, is the Ottawa mentor. Difficulties with Fleck, though not serious at the time, first came up when Assistant Coach Ray McLean went to Syracuse to sign Fleck shortly after the draft. Unsuccessful on the first trip, McLean went back a few days later and signed the athlete. Several weeks later, Fleck wrote Blackbourn and told him that he intended to play in Canada. Blackbourn flew out to Syracuse and after conferences with Fleck and school officials, including the chancellor, the athlete agreed to carry out his Packer contract. Blackbourn and his aides, McLean, Tom Hearden and Lou Rymkus, went ahead with Fleck in their 1954 field plays as a good possibility as a starting offensive tackle. The latest straw, so to speak, came last week when Arch Ward, sports editor of the Chicago Tribune, which sponsors the College All Star game, called Blackbourn to clear the decks for use of Packer draft selections in the All Star game. Ward informed Liz that Fleck said he could not play in the All Star game because he intended to play Canadian football which starts practice early. The Packers made plans immediately to take legal steps. Fleck was one of two players drafted early to help bolster the club's front line. The other was tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame, the No. 1 choice...General Manager Verne Lewellen was in Milwaukee today to launch the annual season ticket campaign there. Chairman of the drive is Buckets Goldenberg, the all-time Packer guard who guided a successful ticket drive there last season. A goal of 12,000 season tickets have been set, with holders of seasons in 1953 getting first crack at their same seat locations...While tickets were being boomed in Milwaukee, Packer Ticket Chief Carl Mraz said that "season tickets are going very well" for the Packers' three league games at City stadium. Mraz advised fans not to wait until the last minute.
FLECK STAYS WITH PACK; LB'ER TIMBERKLAKE SIGNS
JUL 13 (Green Bay) - Bob Fleck agrees to play in Green Bay following court action and chat with Coach Liz Blackbourn. Packers sign linebacker George Timberlake, top-flight draftee from Southern Cal. Nine Packer draft choices named to College All Star team. Season ticket sales in Milwaukee off to enthusiastic start. Those capsule shots fairly well tell the Packer story today. Details: Fleck, the 260-pound Syracuse All-American tackle, told Blackbourn that "I'll play in Green Bay" after a Pennsylvania court injunction was granted in West Chester, Pa., yesterday to prevent him from jumping his contract to play with the Ottawa Rough Riders or with any team other than the Packers. Fleck sat down with Liz after hearing the decision of Chester County Judge Ernest Harvey who held that a pact signed by Fleck last February with Green Bay was legally binding. Blackbourn, due back in Green Bay this afternoon, said that Fleck was happy that "it was all over" and that he appeared "glad to come and join the Packers." Fleck had planned to leave for Ottawa today. He'll join the Packers a week from Saturday unless he decides to accept the invitation to compete in the College All Star game. Blackbourn testified that Fleck signed a $7,000 contract for 1954 and accepted a $750 bonus. He contended that finding a replacement "of his capacity and ability, for all practical purposes, is impossible." Fleck, the Packers' No. 2 draft choice, reportedly had been offered $8,000 for the 1954 season and a bonus of $1,000. Fleck did not testify today, nor offer any legal defense. A summons had been served on Fleck at his home at Coatesville, Pa., ordering the athlete to show cause why a temporary injunction should not be issued. Meanwhile, Commissioner Bert Bell said today he was "very pleased" with the court's decision that ordered a prospective Canadian league jumper to stay in the NFL. He refused to comment on what effect the temporary injunction would have on the NFL's running battle with the Canadian league. He pointed out that the Fleck case was a matter between the player and the club and the league actually had nothing to do in the case. "But," Bell stated, "I wonder what the kids are coming to? I always believe if you signed something, your signature and word was good." In Ottawa, a Rough Rider official, who asked not to be indentified, said that his team will use Fleck if he reports: "The court order won't affect us. The matter will have to be threshed out in the courts but we'll play Fleck in the Big Four league if he reports."...Timberlake, the Packers' No. 3 draft choice, became the 55th announced as signed thus far. The Packers now have signed their top six picks - tackle Art Hunter, halfback Veryl Switzer, Fleck, Timberlake, fullback Tom Allman and halfback-end Max McGee. The 220-pound TImberlake, who stands 6-2, twice was chosen on the Pacific Coast All-conference team. A fierce competitor, Timberlake was recommended by many coaches, including Wisconsin's Ivy Williamson who saw him in the 1953 Rose Bowl game. He was a regular linebacker for two seasons and last fall switched to offensive guard to permit him to play the single platoon. Timberlake has the unique distinction of having twice been chosen on the Junior College All American team. He played fullback at Long Beach, Calif., High School, then switched to Long Beach City College, where he spent two years backing up the line. He was a star of the Little Rose Bowl game when Long Beach beat Boise, 33 to 13, in 1950...The Packers will have their largest representation in history in the 1954 College All Star game in Chicago Aug. 13. And all but one of them is expected to play against the Detroit Lions - J.D. Roberts, the Packers' 17th choice who signed a Canadian contract. The other Packer draftees invited are Hunter, Switzer, Fleck, Timberlake, Allman, Cotton Hall, the end from North Texas State, guard Mike Takacs of Ohio State, and tackle-defensive end Hosea Sims of Marquette...An enthusiastic crowd of Milwaukee "Packer Backers" was on hand at the Schroeder Hotel Monday for the Kickoff Breakfast as the team opened its 1954 season ticket drive for games at County Stadium. General Manager Verne Lewellen carried the ball as the club officially began its drive to sell 12,000 season tickets. The former Packer great predicted the Packers would play more aggressive football this season. He pictured the campaign "as the turn around the corner in the club's comeback." Other speakers on the program also expressed optimism that the 12,000 ticket goal would be met. Charles (Buckets) Goldenberg and Joseph Ryan are co-chairmen of the drive. The kickoff breakfast was the first of four official meetings the Packer ticket drive workers will attend. Reports are scheduled Friday and July 22 at the Eagles Club. A "Victory Dinner" will be held July 26 at the Schroeder Hotel starting at 5 p.m.
ZATKOFF SUCCEEDS FORTE AS LINEBACKER
JUL 14 (Green Bay) - It is now certain that Bob Forte will not play football with the Packers in '54. Forte said so himself and Coach Liz Blackbourn has taken steps to fill Bob's outside linebacking shoes by signing shoes by signing Roger Zatkoff, the hard-hitting 215-pounder from the University of Michigan. Forte won't exactly be quiet this fall in a football way. Now affiliated with the Miller Brewing Co., Forte will serve as a player expert on Packer game broadcasts. Blackbourn figures Zatkoff as the logical successor to Forte except, of course, for the position of captaincy which Forte held since he returned from service in 1952. Appointment of a captain or captains will have to await developments at camp, Liz pointed out. Signed along with Zatkoff yesterday was Charles (Chuck) Frank, a well-thought-of guard from Michigan State's Rose Bowl champions. Nailed as a free agent, Frank will be used as an offensive guard. And his signing comes at an opportune time because the Packers have lost the services of Bob Kennedy, the former Wisconsin guard who looked so good in camp last fall before leaving to resume his studies. Kennedy was called into the armed services and is now stationed at Camp McClellan, Ala. Frank, 22, stands 6-1 and carried 225 pounds. He'll be fighting for the position vacated by veteran Dick Logan who is also in service. Zatkoff did exceptionally well for a rookie in '53. Listed as a tackle in Michigan, Rog won Big Ten honors as a linebacker. A carefree, hard-smacking sort, Zatkoff was known for his rough tackling last fall. A versatile athletes, Roger saw considerable action in '53 as a defensive end as efforts were made to fill the gap left open by the departed Ab Wimberly. As linebacker of defensive end, Zatkoff looms as an important cog in Blackbourn's plans. Zatkoff, 23 and 6-1, will carry about 215 pounds next fall. He is married and worked during the past offseason as a teacher in the public school system in Detroit...Forte, in town this week on behalf of Packerland Distributors, put in seven seasons with the Packers. The former University of Arkansas great had a fine flare for leadership and helped instill a lot of spirit through his talking and rough play. Now a resident of Milwaukee, Forte was capable of putting in a good game of quarterback if necessary. He shared the QB duties with Tobin Rote while Babe Parilli was in the All Star game in 1952...Signing of Zatfoff and Frank and loss of Kennedy left 56 names on the announced-as-signed Packer roster. Contracts of the veterans are coming in almost every day and Blackbourn is expected to have the squad fairly well set come Friday, July 23, when the squad reports here. The team will go to the Stevens Point camp July 24.
PACKER WELCOME, SENDOFF JULY 23-24; PARADE, BUFFET DINNER BEING PLAYED
JUL 14 (Green Bay) - Packer players gathering here next Friday, July 23, will be entertained at a series of welcoming and send-off activities before launching the 1954 Packer training season at the new base at Stevens Point. The Packer Alumni Association, the Association of Commerce Minute Men and the Packer corporation itself are combining efforts to show off Green Bay as the home of Packer players for the next five months and to send the boys off to training camp with the old Packer spirit. Head Coach Liz Blackbourn has notified players to meet at Hotel Northland by 3 o'clock next Friday, July 23, and they will be met there by the Packer staff and a committee from the Alumni Association. Identification cards in a football motif bearing the individual players' names will be given each player to wear during the ceremony, and players and coaches will board a lineup of convertibles at 4:15 p.,. for a parade through downtown Green Bay and De Pere starting at 4:30. The Packer cavalcade will wind up at the Beaumont Hotel, where the Alumni Association is staging a buffet dinner, reception and get-together Friday evening, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets for this buffet dinner are on sale to the general public at $3 a plate. They went on sale today at the Beaumont Hotel. The $3 price will enable the Alumni Association to pick up the dinner check for the players and coaches. The program will be entirely informal, but Toastmaster Bernard Darling will call on Packer officials, coaches, alumni and players for brief remarks. Saturday morning the Packer squad and coaches will be
guests, at breakfast at Hotel Northland, of the Packer corporation, with directors invited to attend and meet the new players and renew acquaintances with the veterans. Following breakfast, the group will move to Legion Park opposite City Hall where a public sendoff for the team will be staged by the Alumni Association. Jug Earp will act as master of ceremonies and will introduce all members of the 1954 squad and the coaching staff. The group will board their buses and take off for Stevens Point at 10 a.m.
BELL 'PLEASED' IN COURT'S INJUNCTION
JUL 14 (Philadelphia) - Bert Bell, NFL commissioner, said he is very pleased with a court decision ordering a star college player to stay in the NFL instead of jumping to the Canadian League. But Bell declined Tuesday to speculate on the effect the temporary injunction issued Tuesday against former Syracuse lineman Bob Fleck might have in the NFL's fight with the Canadian League for top players. After the injunction was issued in a county court at nearby Westchester, Fleck agreed to play with the Green Bay Packers. The Packers, in turn, consented to drop legal action against the 22-year old tackle from Coatesville, PA.
WILDUNG 2ND PACK CAPTAIN TO RETIRE
JUL 15 (Green Bay) - Dick Wildung has become the second Packer captain in two days to put away the moleskins for keeps. Bob Forte, field leader of the Packers in '52 and '53, made his retirement official yesterday. Coach Liz Blackbourn, after a telephone chat with Wildung today, said that "Dick is going to hang 'em up on a brand new nail in his hardware store." The Packer mentor said that "Dick certainly would have been welcome this season, and I'm sure he would have made the team, but he has decided to call it quits." Wildung, a hardware merchant in Redwood Falls, Minn., played seven seasons with the Packers and captained them for four campaigns starting in 1948. Dick had to lay off for the 1952 season when a death in the family left him in sole charge of the hardware business. He returned for the 1953 season. Wildung, an all-time Minnesota All-American in 1941-42, joined the Packers in 1946 after Navy service. An all-pro many times, including his rookie campaign, Wildung was considered one of the smartest linemen in the game. He was outstanding both on offense and defense. The play of Wildung amazed Packer coaches in their constant reviewing of 1953 films - especially in view of the fact that Dick was 32 years of age last season. He'll turn 33 Aug. 16. Retirement of Forte and Wildung signals the official end of the Curly Lambeau regime. They were the last veterans to play under the founder and coach of the club for 30 years, both breaking in in 1946 and each playing seven seasons...SERVICE SHORTERNED CAREERS: Both players, incidentally, were short-changed on their pro careers by service in the Armed Forces during World War II. Forte served in the Army and Wildung was in the Navy for four years. Forte also missed 1951 for duty in the Korean War. Forte, incidentally, turned 32 today. The departure of Wildung makes it necessary for Blackbourn and aides Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus to find a running mate for veteran Dave Hanner, who handled defensive right tackle. Wildung held forth on the left side. Blackbourn has signed 10 tackles, including Hanner. The other nine possibilities are veterans Dick Afflis, Bill Forester and former Cleveland Brown Jerry Helluin and rookies Bill Buford of Michigan State, Bob Fleck of Syrascuse, Art Hunter of Notre Dame, Al Robichaux of Louisiana State, Jack Smalley of Alabama and Ray Walsh of West Virginia. Still outstanding is Gus Cifelli, the former Detroit Lion who played offensive tackle last year. Wildung won't be hard to replace from a weight standpoint. Dick carried a light-for-a-tackle 220 pounds, but Blackbourn feels that some extra weight will be needed to make up for Dick's smart play and hard hitting. Dick was one of the lightest tackles in pro football. At 280, Helluin is the heaviest of the tackles, though Jerry also is a candidate for middle guard. Next is Fleck at 260. Afflis, Cifelli and Hanner lug 245, while Hunter packs 240 - but he's still growing. The others scale from 235 to 225...The Packers are in the market for a number of one, two and three-bedroom furnished apartments. Any tenants with places to rent are asked to get in touch with the Packer office, Hemlock 2-4873.
JUL 15 (Waukesha) - The Green Bay Packers are "not looking for a miracle but we'll be a better football team this year than in the past several seasons," says General Manager Verne Lewellen. Winning football is the club's No. 1 problem, he told an Oshkosh Optimist club meeting, with No. 2 "The need to keep the Packers financially sound."
PACKERS NAME PUBLICITY CHIEF
JUL 16 (Green Bay) - Francis (Bonnie) Ryan, 40, assistant athletic publicity director at the University of Wisconsin for the past eight years, today was named publicity director for the Green Bay Packers. Ryan succeeds F.L. (Jug) Earp, who resigned some weeks ago to enter private business. Ryan, married and the father of two sons, will report to the Packers next week. He will bring his family here later. Ryan, an alumnus of Wisconsin, joined the publicity staff in 1946 and developed the school's sports film library.
BABE PARILLI ENTERS AIR FORCE; LOST FOR TWO YEARS
JUL 16 (Green Bay) - The Packers lost Babe Parilli today for the 1954 and 1955 seasons. The Kentucky Babe is now 2nd Lt. Vito Parilli of the United States Air Force, awaiting assignment from the Sampson Air Force Base in New York to Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. Parilli will serve two years, fulfilling his ROTC obligation from Kentucky. He started his primary processing and indoctrination at Sampson yesterday and will be trained at Tyndall in the air controllers school. The All-American, a resident of Rochester, Pa., figured heavily in Coach Liz Blackbourn's plans for '54, though the young star was due to go into service. Loss of Parilli left Packer quarterbacking in sole charge of of Tobin Rote, who signed recently for his fifth season. It will be a new experience for Tobin - one that he particularly relishes. He worked under Paul Christman as a rookie in '50, with Bobby Thomason in '51 and Parilli in '52 and '53. Rote, aware that Parilli was a possibility for service sooner or later, said he'd "like the chance to handle it alone - if Babe has to go in." Rote was here this week on business and will return next Wednesday and Thursday. Blackbourn, shocked by the suddenness of the loss since Parilli had not notified the club of his plans, commented: "We think we have a good quarterback in Rote. Very often when a man is given full responsibility he becomes a better quarterback. We hope and believe it will be the case with Rote. Barring injuries, Rote will do us a good job." From Sampson, Parilli said that he he hoped to return to pro football in 1956. "I'll be 27 when I get back to Green Bay, but I hope to stay up in the big time as long as they want me and as long as I hold up," the Bambino said. The Packers had been in touch with Parilli up until about a week ago when he went to New York with no explanation. First news that Parilli was in service was relayed at 7 a.m. today on the Press-Gazette's AP wirephoto, announcing that a picture of Parilli checking out on bed-making was available from Sampson Air Force Base. Blackbourn was notified immediately. Originally, Parilli received a commission when he was graduated from Kentucky in '53. When he first reported to the Packers in 1952, he didn't have enough credits for graduation and hence had not received his reserve commission. He finished up those credits in the 1953 spring semester. Last summer, he was granted a six months' postponement of entering active duty and was able to play last fall. It had been expected that he would be inducted early this year, but when he wasn't the hope arose that his service might be again postponed until after this season. Parilli, the Packers' first draft choice in '52, broke into professional football in the College All Star game against the Los Angeles Rams. His spectacular performance earned him the "most valuable" trophy. As a Packer rookie, Parilli shared the quarterbacking with Rote. Tobin just missed the league's passing championship by a hair to Norm Van Brocklin of LA while Parilli finished third behind Rote. Van Brocklin averaged 8.47 yards, Rote 8.08 and Parilli 8.00. Last fall, Rote and Parilli skidded considerably along with the team's general play. Rote placed 13th among league passers and Parilli was 16th, averaged 5.43 and 5.00, respectively...Hosea Sims, Marquette end and rookie Packer, is one of the latest additions to the College All Stars who'll meet the Detroit Lions Aug. 13. The addition of Sims and Sam Morley of Stanford, another star end, was announced Thursday. Sims, a 6-foot, 193-pounder, is regarded as one of the nation's finer defensive ends. Morley sparkled on offense, catching 42 passes last season. The addition of Sims and Morley gave All Star coach Jim Tatum of Maryland a squad of 38, with about 12 more players to be chosen before the All Stars go into training at Purdue July 23.
SEVEN PACKER ROOKIES ENTER SERVICE
JUL 17 (Green Bay) - Uncle Sam continued to hack away at the Packer roster today. He removed the names of seven rookies from the signed list and made a few more uneasy. The man with the white bears performed a major operation yesterday, disconnecting Babe Parilli from inactive duty (at the moment, at least) as Packer quarterback and placing him on an active status with the Air Force. Coach Liz Blackbourn - a good friend of Uncle Sam through his years of practicing fine citizenship - surrendered such signed newcomers as guard Jim Vogt of Holy Cross, tackle Jim Lavery of Notre Dame, end Hank Lemire of Holy Cross, tackle Jim Balog of Michigan, end Wayne Hopkins of Baylor, end Jerry Dufek of St. Norbert and Henry Barnes of Oregon. In addition, Uncle Sam's agents have already taken Don Barton, a valuable scatback; guard Dick Logan; promising middle guard Bob Kennedy, who looked good in his few weeks in Packer camp last year; and, of course, the aforementioned Parilli. It isn't known whether or not any more athletes will be lost but just about all of the simon pure are around "that age". Blackbourn, to offset the personnel losses, came up today with a number of fresh names in revealing a tentative camp roster. The athletes, not previously announced as signed, are: guard Dale Haupt, Wyoming; ends Tom Linehan, River Falls State, Gene White, Georgia, Jim Williams, Texas; halfbacks Nick Aducci, Nebraska; Billy Bookout, Austin College; and fullbacks Roger Carlson, Gustavus Adolphus, Angelo DiVinere, Lewis College, Ed Patela, Boston College, Clyde Sanders, Bethune-Cookman. Of the new group, Williams and Petela are the only draft picks - Williams last January and Petela two years ago. At least six athletes will be missing because of service in the All Star game. Chosen for sure are Art Hunter, Veryl Switzer, George Timberlake, Tom Allman, Ken Hall and Hosea Sims. Bob Fleck and Mike Takacs, among the earlier Star selections, will report at the Packer training camp instead. The All Star players will join the
Packers Aug. 14 - a day after the Star game and the day of the Packers' non-league opener against the Cardinals in Minneapolis. Several veterans are missing from the T.C. roster - end Clive Rush, tackles Dick Wildung and Gus Cifelli, guard Logan and backs Bennie Aldridge, Byron Bailey, J.R. Boone, Bob Forte and Barton. Wildung, Forte, Aldridge and Boone have retired; Bailey probably will play in Canada; Cifelli is undecided on playing; and Logan and Barton are in service. Blackbourn is anxiously awaiting the opening practice so that he can check faces against the roster. Generally, two or three rookies will decide not to play at the last minute and just won't show up. Several veterans are still unsigned and Blackbourn explained that "we have made our final offers - it's up to them now." They'll likely be classed as holdouts if they don't report at camp on time without excuse. The first noise of the '54 season will be heard hereabouts next Friday when the athletes are scheduled to report. They'll be toasted at a public dinner sponsored by the Packer Alumni Assn., Friday night at the Beaumont Hotel after riding in a parade late in the afternoon. They'll leave for the training base in Stevens Point Saturday morning following a sendoff. Saturday afternoon will be spent on physical examinations and issuing of equipment. The remainder of the exams will be taken Sunday morning and that afternoon will be used for picture taking. The real stuff starts Monday morning, July 28. The Packer ticket office is "starting to boom these days," Packer Ticket Director Carl Mraz said today and advised fans not to wait until the last minute to purchase season tickets and to pick up ducats reserved earlier. In addition, the office at 349 S. Washington street has tickets for the non-league game against Cleveland here Aug. 21, the Shrine game against New York in Milwaukee Sept. 18 and the intra-squad game in Stevens Point Aug. 7.
BALM FOR PACKERS; MARTINKOVIC, BILL FORESTER SIGN PACTS
JUL 19 (Green Bay) - Packer football games will be heard next fall on a network of 50 radio stations in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Upper Michigan. It will be the largest Packer coverage in history, John Walter, president of the Wisconsin Network and manager of the Press-Gazette station WJPG, said today following a meeting of the Network at Maxwelton Braes in Baileys Harbor yesterday. The 43-station Packer blanket in 1953 was the previous top in coverage. A large percentage of the stations are newspaper operated, thus insuring wider promotion. The Green Bay outlet, as in the past, will be WJPG. The Wisconsin Network originates the broadcasts for the Miller Brewing Company. Tony Flynn, sports director of WJPG, will do the play by play of all Packer non-league games and former Packer captain Bob Forte will be his color man. For the National League games, Earl Gillespie, former WJPG sports director, will do the play by play with Flynn handling the commercial and color and Forte serving as player expert. Plans for the season were made at the annual meeting of stockholders and directors after a dinner meeting of station representatives, Miller High Life and Mathisson Advertising Agency representatives and members of the Packer coaching staff. Network officers were reelected as fellows: John M. Walter, president; Earl Huth, vice-president, WHBY, Appleton; and George T. Frechette, executive director, WFHR, Wisconsin Rapids. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn, one of the luncheon speakers, referred to the loss of quarterback Babe Parilli to the Air Force and added that quarterback Tobin Rote "quite likely will do a better job now that he has full responsibility." As to the season, Blackbourn stated that "we are going into the season thinking that we have helped the squad by adding several new linemen." Other members of the Packer staff introduced were assistant coaches Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus and scout Jack Vainisi. Also attending was Packer director Mickey McCormick of Menominee.
BALM FOR PACKERS; MARTINKOVIC, BILL FORESTER SIGNS PACTS
JUL 19 (Green Bay) - Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn today was afforded a measure of consolation for the recent loss of ace quarterback Vito (Babe) Parilli. It came in the form of signed contracts from two veteran linemen, giant defensive end John Martinkovic and jack-of-all-trades Bill Forester, a standout as a NFL freshman last autumn. Although neither, obviously, can step in to replace Babe as field general, Blackbourn could take comfort from the fact that the pair most certainly will considerably enhance the Bays' resistance to attack in the 1954 NFL campaign. Martinkoviv, who stands 6-3 and scales 245 pounds, will be starting his fourth year with the Pack. A member of the NFL's Western All-Stars last January, he came to Green Bay in 1951 in one of the most beneficial trades ever engineered by this community's big league representatives. Big Jawn, obtained in a swap for end Ted Cook, who long since has departed the major league scene, made an immediate hit by collecting eight tackles in a non-league game with the Philadelphia Eagles at Milwaukee - and he has been making Packer fans and coaches alike happy ever since. Forester, who was scheduled to become a fullback when he came here out of Southern Methodist University last year, played almost every position by that one, ironically enough, during the 1953 season. Bill, 6-3 and 235 pounds, held forth at middle guard, tackle, defensive end and linebacker on various occasions. And, to his credit, in each instance, his work was of high caliber. As a matter of fact, Blackbourn and his aides - Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus - were so impressed by his efforts in studying the films of last year's games that they are anxious to observe him under fire. This opportunity is only a few days' off for the Packers are scheduled to leave for their training base at Stevens Point Saturday. Before they leave, however, all of the athletes and their coaches will be feted at a public dinner, sponsored by the Packer Alumni Assn., at the Beaumont Hotel Friday night. The banquet will follow an afternoon parade. A sendoff also is scheduled for Saturday morning.
ALL PACK G-MEN SET FOR '54
JUL 20 (Green Bay) - The Packers' 1954 'G-men" were all signed, sealed and all but delivered today. This salutary development came to pass with the receipt of a signed contract from Steve Ruzich, an Ohio State alumnus and the 12th and last guard to enter the fold. Also in Head Coach Liz Blackbourn's mail this morning was a letter from California containing the pact of Marvin Johnson, veteran defensive back. Blackbourn, a rigid fundamentalist who likes nothing so much as to see one of his athletes throw a jarring block, is counting heavily on Ruzich, an impressively built 225-pounder, to add punch to the Packers' ground offensive come autumn. Ruzich, obtained in a 1952 trade with the Cleveland Browns, immediately earned a regular offensive berth upon joining the Pack and again was a starter last fall - playing opposite his college twin, Dick Logan, also an ex-Brown. Logan, however, will not be around when Steve entered the service since the 1953 campaign. Steve, an all-Big Ten choice as a senior, is one of five holdovers in the guard corps. The others are Deral Teteak, the stocky Oshkosh native; Len Szafaryn, Roger Zatkoff and Buddy Brown, who came to the Pack in a trade with the Washington Redskins last season. Johnson, whose services were missed when he was out part of the 1953 campaign with an injury, is expected to tighten the Bays' resistance to aerial attack. Last year, in his second season here after being obtained from the Los Angeles Rams, the good looking Swede waylaid four enemy passes and returned them a total of 89 yards for an average of 9.8. His longest return was for 36 yards. Johnson, a San Jose State product, was instrumental in bringing the 1951 NFL championship to Los Angeles. He intercepted an Otto Graham pass and returned it to the Cleveland one-yard line to set up a touchdown in the Rams' 24-17 victory. Marv, 5-11 and 195 pounds, makes his home in San Francisco...Two Packer veterans, end Carleton (Stretch) Elliott and fullback Howie Ferguson, were among the first arrivals Monday. Bonnie Ryan, the club's new publicity director, is expected to assume his new duties Friday...Carl Mraz, Packer ticket director, today again advised fans not to wait until the last minute to purchase season tickets and to pick up those reserved earlier. Tickets are also available for the non-league game against the Cleveland Browns here Aug. 21, the Shrine game against New York in Milwaukee Sept. 18 and the intra-squad game in Stevens Point Aug. 7, he reminded.
PACKERS WELCOME TICKET ON SALE
JUL 20 (Green Bay) - Packer fans today were reminded by Chairman Bernard Darling that tickets for Friday night's public dinner to welcome the 1954 squad are still on sale at the Beaumont Hotel. He urged all interested to get theirs as soon as possible. The price, $3, will enable the sponsoring Packer Alumni Assn., to pick up the dinner check for coaches and players. They will be seated throughout the Beaumont's Daniel Whitney Room, rather than in a group, so that fans will have an opportunity to become acquainted with the athletes who will represent them in the NFL this fall, Darling said.
FORTE GONE, PACKERS LOOK FOR NEW CAPTAIN
JUL 20 (Green Bay) - There'll be a different player - maybe two - out there with the officials for the coin tossing ceremonies this fall when the Green Bay Packers open play. That's another way of saying, of course, that old No. 8 Bob Forte, has decided he's had enough and will concentrate from here on in on the business of selling beer for the Miller Brewing Co. The post of Packer captain is wide open. Forte, a 205-pound outside linebacker, turned just 32 last Thursday. He captained the Packers the past two years after returning from a stint with the Marines but has decided that seven years of professional football is enough. That doesn't mean, though, that he's through with the game. "I'll be doing a little experting and a little color on the game broadcasts this fall," Forte said. "I couldn't just chuck the whole thing at once. It sort of gets into your blood." A rough competitor, Forte was one of the NFL's outstanding defensive operators in recent years. He did a little offensive halfbacking in his day, too, and filled in at quarterback once in awhile. Early in the 1952 season, while Babe Parilli was absent at the All-Star camp, he shared the quarterbacking with Tobin Rote. Forte's seven years with the Packers made him the veteran of the squad. His post at outside linebacker likely will be inherited by Roger Zatkoff, a 215-pounder from the University of Michigan who has one year of pro ball under his belt now. Last fall he operated frequently as a defensive end, but is expected to shift back to his normal position this season. Zatkoff, only a sophomore, almost certainly will not take over the team captaincy for obvious reasons. Coach Liz Blackbourn, himself a freshman in the league, has indicated he'll leave selection of a captain or co-captains until a later date, after he's had a chance to look over his squad in practice. He'll come up with a leader, certainly, but he'll go a long ways before finding one better than Forte, a natural holler guy who had the ability to back up with action what he said in words. Old No. 8 will be missed.
FOOTBALL FEVER BEGINS TO MOUNT
JUL 21 (Green Bay) - The first stages of this community's perennial midsummer malady, football fever, were developing today. They stemmed from the arrival of three more players - and the realization that only two more days remain before the Packers head for their training base at Stevens Point preparatory to inaugurating their 36th season in professional football. Latest to arrive were big Dave Hanner, king-sized defensive tackle, guard Buddy Brown and Jim Ringo, the former Syracuse center who was out of action the last half of the 1953 season with injuries. All appeared fit and ready for the rugged training grind, which will officially begin Monday although Coach Liz Blackbourn will lead his 60-man squad to the "Point" Saturday morning. Their advent brings to five the number of players who have reported to date. Another pair of holdovers, and Stretch Elliott and Howie Ferguson, blew into town Monday afternoon. The traffic is expected to increase this afternoon and Thursday and hits its peak Friday morning. All of them are expected to be present and accounted for by Friday afternoon when they will be introduced to the city through the medium of a parade and a subsequent public dinner to be held in the Daniel Whitney Room of the Beaumont Hotel. A sendoff also is scheduled at Legion Park Saturday morning just before the Packer party departs for Stevens Point. Among the 60 will be another Deral Teteak, the Packer staff hopes. He is Dale Haupt, 6-foot, 200-pound linebacker from Wyoming via Manitowoc. Signed as a free agent, the Manty native was a standout at Wyoming after sparkling for the Shipbuilders in the Fox River Valley conference during his high school days. If he should make the squad, when it is pared to a final 33 for NFL competition, Haupt could be of financial as well as artistic worth to the Pack since Manitowoc partisans are likely to follow him to Green Bay and Milwaukee. At least one former Packer great will be on hand for the public dinner in honor of the 1954 squad Friday night. There is also a possibility that Baby Ray, the huge tackle who toiled here for 11 years, will attend. Chairman Bernard Darling emphasized today that tickets for the event still are on sale at the Beaumont Hotel. The sale of $3 per plate will enable the Packer Alumni Assn., to pick up the dinner check for the players and coaches.
MACE FIRST PACKER CASUALTY
JUL 22 (Green Bay) - The Packers won’t officially assemble for the start of 1954 operations until Saturday, when they trek to their Stevens Point training base, but they already have their first casualty. Dick Mace, 6-foot, 3-inch, 240-pound center candidate from Syracuse via the Canadian route, sustained a gashed left leg in an impromptu workout, first of the year hereabouts, at the East High practice field Wednesday afternoon. The injury, which resulted from a collision with Stretch Elliott, strapping veteran end from Virginia, required four stitches. A police squad car, summoned by Assistant Trainer Toby Sylvester, whisked Mace to the office of Dr. Henry S. Atkinson, club physician, for the necessary repairs. Mace, who played with the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1953, will be handicapped for a few days, but Coach Liz Blackbourn expects him to be ready for full scale action in Monday's first official workout...FERGUSON'S PASSING SURPRISES: Mace was one of seven early arrivals, all of them holdovers, save Dick, who took advantage of a broiling sun and temperatures in the 80s to sweat off excess suet acquired during the offseason. Exercising with him, in addition to Elliott, were Marv Johnson, Al (Hoagy) Carmichael, Dave Hanner, Buddy Brown, Howie Ferguson and Jim Ringo. Ferguson, who might have a secret yearning to try out for the one quarterback post left vacant by Babe Parilli's loss to the Air Force, surprised onlookers by hurling passes up to 60 yards during the informal session. He and Johnson also demonstrated they are in fine fettle by sprinting the length of the field three times before the workout and four more times before heading into the dressing room for a welcome shower. Elliott, who volunteered "I feel really great," likewise indicated he should have little trouble reaching peak condition. The Stretcher hauled down almost every toss that came his way and once made a spectacular catch after a head-long dive turfward. It is suspected, however, that Hanner may have to take more than a few laps around the field to approach his playing weight. The imposing Arkansas alumnus, who blossomed into one of the NFL's foremost defensive tackles last year as a sophomore and then starred in January's pro bowl game, weighed in before "practice" at 276...Three more 1954 aspirants, two of them rookies, drifted into town today. The newcomers are Dave Davis, Georgia Tech end who is expected to make a strong big for the punting job left vacant by the loss of Clive Rush, halfback Clyde Saunders from Bethune-Cookman college and holdover center Dave (Trapper) Stephenson...Also making his first appearance on the Green Bay scene was Francis (Bonnie) Ryan, the Packers' new publicity director. Ryan, who succeeds genial Jug Earp, had been serving as assistant to Art Lentz at the University of Wisconsin...Before the Packers bid temporary farewell to Green Bay - they'll be back to meet the Cleveland Browns in a non-league game at City stadium Aug. 21 - they'll be accorded a sendoff at Legion Park, starting at 9 o'clock. Earp will serve as master of ceremonies and is expected to call upon a number of rookies and veterans alike for brief remarks.
STEVENS POINT TO GIVE PACKERS BIG WELCOME
JUL 22 (Stevens Point) - The Green Bay Packers are due for a tub-thumping welcome when they arrive to begin training here Saturday. The Green Bay footballers will get into shape for the 1954 campaign at Stevens Point State College, the first time in years the club has trained in Wisconsin. When they arrive Saturday, a police escort will lead the players through the city to the college campus, where scout Jack Vainisi will introduce them to the crowd.
LEAHY, FORMER MU QUARTERBACK, TURNS DOWN PACKER OFFER
JUL 23 (Omaha) - Don Leahy, former quarterback star at Marquette University, has turned down an offer to play professional football for the Green Bay Packers. Leahy, who had a brilliant career at Creighton Prep in Omaha before enrolling at Marquette, is now an assistant football and basketball coach at Prep and head baseball coach. Leahy said Packer coach Lisle Blackbourn phoned him Wednesday night to make the offer. Blackbourn coached Leahy at Marquette in 1950 and 1951. Leahy, who is 25, has been coaching at Prep since 1952.
FAMOUS FLECK CASE CLOSED - FOR NOW
JUL 23 (Green Bay) - The Packer file on the now famous Fleck Case today was closed - for at least two years. The principal, Syracuse tackle Bob Fleck, for weeks torn between Green Bay and Canada, no longer has a problem. The No. 2 Packer draft choice, Coach Liz Blackbourn learned, has again been drafted - this time by Uncle Sam - and will enter the service late in August. Fleck, selected directly behind Notre Dame's Art Hunter in last January's NFL draft, thus will not be available until 1956. This latest development climaxes a series of incidents that have made the 260-pound Pennsylvanian the most publicized Packer rookie this year. It all started, of course, when he was hailed (along with Hunter) as one of the two premier collegiate tackles in the land after being accorded All-America honors last fall. This fact was brought forcibly to Green Bay's attention when he was chosen in the draft. Later, there was an even greater joy in Packerland when he, to all intents and purposes, followed Hunter into the fold by returning his signed contract. This was not accomplished, however, without a second visit from a Packer representative. Then came the report 10 days ago that Fleck had changed his mind and decided to cast his lot with the Ottawa Rough Riders. This came to light when Arch Ward informed the Packers that Fleck had declined an invitation to join the College All Stars because he would be reporting early for practice in Canada. At this point, the Packers instituted legal proceedings and a temporary injunction restraining the big fellow from playing north of the border was obtained at West Chester, Pa. Chester County Judge Earnest Harvey ruled that the Packer contract Fleck had signed last February was legally binding. This decision, augmented by a friendly chat with Blackbourn, caused the young giant to reconsider and he agreed to fulfill the terms of his Packer pact and report here when the squad assembles Saturday. Then Uncle Sam intervened. Loss of Fleck leaves the tentative Packer roster with nine tackles, four of them experienced. The holdovers are Dave Hanner, Bill Forester, Dick Afflis and Jerry Helluin, the 280-pounder obtained from the Cleveland Browns in a recent trade for an undisclosed draft choice. Rookie candidates, in addition to Hunter, are Jack Smalley, Alabama; Bill Buford, Morgan State; Al Robichaux, Louisiana State product recommended by Ab Wimberly, and Ray Walsh of West Virginia. Fleck is the eighth Packer rookie lost to the armed forces thus far. Preceding him were guard Jim Vogt, tackle Jim Laverty, end Hank Lemire, all of Holy Cross; tackle Jim Balog of Michigan, end Wayne Hopkins of Baylor, end Jerry Dufek of St. Norbert and end Henry Barnes of Oregon. Blackbourn made no attempt to conceal his dismay at losing Fleck. "It's a great loss to us," he admitted. "One of our big plans was to get two offensive tackles in the draft and he was one of them. His speed and blocking ability was just what we wanted here."
PACKERS LEAVE FOR CAMP; 20 PLAYERS ARE MISSING
JUL 24 (Green Bay) - The birth of a new era was heralded this morning as the 1954 Packers, with aerial bombs, firecrackers and the good wishes of an estimated 500 fans ringing in their ears, left Legion Park bound for their Stevens Point training base. In charge of the 54 athletes who will vie for the honor of representing Green Bay in the NFL for the 34th consecutive year was Lisle (Liz) Blackbourn, only the third head coach in the team's colorful history. Six more players, all members of the All-Star squad, will be added Aug. 14. Though hearts were light as they embarked, Blackbourn and his aides, Ray (Scooter) McLean, Lou Rymkus and Tom Hearden - realists all - were fully aware of the task that lies ahead of them. If they were preoccupied, it may have been because they were evaluating the loss of 29 players as well as the talent already in hand. Beginning with the NFL draft in Philadelphia last January, they had made long and exhausting preparations for the demanding season ahead. Though they made no mention of it, factors beyond their control may have caused them to regard the immediate future less optimistically than they had originally. Military service has made the biggest dent in the club's roster. No less than 15 players, all but one a rookie, have been lost to the armed forces. Six others have retired, five more are not reporting for one reason or another, two have been officially classed as holdouts and one has bolted to Canada. Lost to Uncle Sam have been quarterbacks Babe Parilli, lone veteran among the inductees, and Gil Reich, Kansas; ends Henry Barnes, Oregon, Gene Knutson, Michigan, and Hank Lemire, Holy Cross; tackles Bob Fleck, Syracuse, Jim Balog, Michigan, and Jim Lavery, Holy Cross; guards Frank Kapral, Michigan State, Lowell Herbert, College of Pacific, Bob Kennedy, Wisconsin, Jim Vogt, Holy Cross, and Dick Logan, and halfbacks Bill Oliver, Alabama, Hank Liebscher, Boston College, and Don Barton...REID, CIFELLI HOLDOUTS: Not reporting, for various reasons, are end Wayne Hopkins, Baylor, Jerry Dufek, St. Norbert, and Jim Williams; halfbacks Marvin Tennefoss, Villanova; and fullback Ken Bahnsen, a free agent. In addition, there are six retired veterans: defensive halfbacks Val Joe Walker, Ben Aldridge and Ace Loomis; linebacker Bob Forte, team captain the last two years, tackle Dick Wildung and halfback J.R. Boone. The holdouts are Breezy Reid, veteran halfback, and Gus Cifelli, tackle obtained in a trade with the Detroit Lions last fall, while Byron Bailey, another ex-Lion, has decided to try his luck in Canada. In contrast, Blackbourn could muster a smile when he remembered that those six All-Stars will be answering roll call less than three weeks hence. Headed by All-American tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame, they include George Timberlake, USC linebacker; Ken (Cotton) Hall, swift North Texas State end; Hosea Sims, Marquette linebacker; Tom Allman, West Virginia fullback; and Veryl Switzer, All-American halfback from Kansas State. He also can derive a measure of comfort from the fact that two other potential regulars will be reporting later in the training season. They are Gib Dawson, sophomore halfback from Texas who was voted most valuable player in last year's Al-Star game, and tackle Jack Smalley of Alabama, a rookie...Before departing, Blackbourn said from the stand at Legion Park, "We've done a great deal of talking during the winter months. Now that we're actually about to start work, we don't have much to say. Looking ahead to 18 football games this fall is a sobering thing." Jug Earp served as master of ceremonies for the occasion and introduced Blackbourn's aides as well as General Manager Verne Lewellen, talent scout Jack Vainisi, new publicity director Francis (Bonnie) Ryan, as well as the players individually...An estimated 220 men, women and children were in attendance as the Packers were tendered their first public welcome in history at a dinner in the Daniel Whitney room of the Beaumont Hotel Friday night. "The destiny of the Green Bay Packers," they were told by General Manager Verne Lewellen, "rests with Lisle Blackbourn and his staff. And I'm very pleased that the destiny of the Packers is in the hands of Blackbourn and his staff. Uncle Sam has done us more damage than the Chicago Bears will in September," he admitted, "which will make Lisle's job that much tougher." Blackbourn, introduced by Lewellen, advised the 1954 Packers "to expect from us that the decisions given to you have been given consideration in staff meetings as a team." Emphasizing that working with his staff has been "a very, very fine team sort of operation," Liz declared, "We're ready to go to work." He invited "all of you to come over to see us work out at Stevens Point. We will not be practicing behind closed doors." Other speakers were John Biolo, president of the sponsoring Packer Alumni Association; Mike Michalske, former Packer guard; Mayor Dominic Olejniczak, who also is a Packer vice-president; Jug Earp, former Packer publicity director and one of the team's all-time centers; and Max Murphy, a member of the Packer executive board. Bernard Darling, dinner chairman, and also a former Packer, served as master of ceremonies.