Cleveland Browns (2-4) 24, Green Bay Packers (2-4) 7
Sunday November 4th 1956 (at Milwaukee)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(MILWAUKEE) - All three of the uniformed teams on the field seemed to have a bad day in County Stadium Sunday afternoon - the Browns, the Packers and the officials. The Browns scored three touchdowns - one by their defense, and a field goal; the Packers picked up one touchdown; and the gents in striped shirts scored 100 percent in the Department of Confusion for the two athletic unites and 28,590 paying customers. The final score was 24 to 7 and the Packers never led. It was 7-0 at the first quarter mark and the same count, 14-0 at the intermission and at the end of three frames. The Browns made it 17-0 early in the fourth quarter, the Packers barged right back to make it 17-7, and the Browns added another TD. It was Green Bay's fourth loss, and second in a row, against two wins. It dropped the Pack into fourth place in the Western division race behind idle Baltimore. The Packers now meet the Bears in Chicago - a team that licked our men 37-21 in Green Bay last Oct. 8. Sunday's show was a tragedy and a comedy all wrapped up in one package - tragic because the Packers didn't show much offense and lost, and funny because of the officials' minor league handling of a major league sport. The officials - an eastern crew, came equipped with four or five different kinds of whistles - slow, fast, quicker, quick and
none. The game was four plays old when Al Carmichael fumbled. There was a pileup. Most of the non-scrambling players of both teams stood still; so did the officials. The ball squirted out of the pile into Chuck Noll's hands and the Brown linebacker ran 39 yards for a touchdown. The Packers couldn't believe it, and the Browns seemed a bit stunned. That might have been a case of no whistle. Later, Freddie Cone caught a pass, was bumped off stride and kept going with a clear field ahead, but, yikes, the officials called it dead. On Jim Capuzzi's interception of a Babe Parilli pass, he was knocked down with no other Brown within five yards; yet the officials blew the ball dead when he started to run. The new dead rule allows advancement in the open. Then for a slow whistle, Joe Johnson caught a pass once and was wrestled by a couple of Browns for a good five seconds before the ball was whistled dead - only after Ken Konz punched Johnson in the stomach in full view of the officials. Johnson had to be revived on the sidelines; the Browns received no penalties. The payoff came a few minutes later when Don Colo picked up Johnson's fumble under a pile. Colo ran about six yards downfield with the ball when he stopped, apparently hearing the whistle. He wheeled and pitched the ball at one of the officials in disgust. The official had no taste for calling an unsportsmanlike penalty against a team whose coach, Paul Brown, only last week berated National league officials. Despite the rough character of the game, the final statistics showed only 10 yards in penalties - one five yarder against each team. The crazy whistle stopping and going didn't bother the Browns - probably because their attack was almost 100 percent on the ground; they threw only four passes all afternoon and rushed 54 times in an effort to keep possession. The officiating can't be used as an excuse for losing by the Packers, and you can bet it won't be, but it certainly had a tendency to keep the Packers jittery - especially after the slow whistle on the fumble and the fast one on Cone. By past standards, when they filled the air with passes, the Browns looked like they were having a bad afternoon - although any victory isn't exactly bad. Parilli fed off to Preston Carpenter, a hard-running rookie halfback, and fullback Ed Modzelewski for 181 yards, threw three passes in the first three quarters - the first for 31 yards to Skeets Quinlan, the next for 25 yards and a touchdown to Ray Renfro 25 seconds before the half ended for a 14-0 lead, and the third to Capuzzi. Tommy O'Connell threw the fourth, almost an interception to Bill Forester, shortly before the game ended. Cleveland made it 17-0 early in the fourth quarter when Lou Groza converted a 14-yard field goal, The Toe making amends for missing successive field goals from the 19 and 14-yard lines in the second canto. The Packer offense made its lone TD strike four plays after Groza's three-pointer. Al Carmichael lugged the kickoff back 57 yards to the Brown 46, Rote hurled to Billy Howton for 37 yards to the nine and three plays later, after a five yard gain and a six-yard loss by Cone, Rote hurled 10 yards to Howton in the end zone. The Browns then blasted 77 yards in 11 plays, with Fred Morrison leaping over the Packer line from a yard out for the final touchdown. The Packers managed to move fairly well until pay dirt came in view. One of the most disturbing failures came early in the third quarter when the Packers had second and five on Cleveland's 20. Rote threw three times to Gary Knafelc on plays that beat the Los Angeles Rams here 42-17. Knafelc dropped the first toss on the five, Rote's next shot was wide of Gary and his third was behind Knafelc and the long end had no chance to squeeze it. That was the type of afternoon the Packers were experiencing. Parilli was extremely fortunate on his touchdown throw in that he had "all afternoon" to throw, giving Renfro a chance to run into the stands and out again. The Babe was thrown for losses on three other pass attempts. Limited to 20 yards rushing by Baltimore last week, the Packers took care of that in a hurry, gaining an even 20 yards on the first four rushing plays. The last seven stripes hurt, though, 'cause fullback Howie Ferguson reinjured his ankle going up the middle and never returned. The Packers finished with 127 yards rushing and 168 in the air for a total of 295, or 16 more than the Browns, who had 222 on the ground and 57 in the air. Green Bay's air game wasn't up to snuff, with Knafelc being shut out until the last two minutes before catching one, and Howton settling for three for 56 yards. In fact, the Packers' leading pass catcher was Ol' Pineapple Cone, who nailed four for 71 yards and ran with the catches like he did in' 52. The Browns never got their hands on the ball for offensive purposes until the first quarter was half over - yet gained a 7-0 lead. The Packers received the opening kickoff, made 13 yards on three rushes, and then went to the Packer 38 on Ferguson's seven-yarder. Carmichael fumbled on the next play and Noll and the officials put on their "heroics." Bob Gain, the Browns' kickoffer, sort of characterized this screwy day by hitting the goal post with the kickoff, ruling out a runback. Rote hurled a beauty down the middle to Cone and big Fred bolted 15 yards to complete a 35-yard gain to the Browns' 40. Rote sneaked for a first down on the 27 but three passes went awry and Cone missed a field goal from the 31. After an exchange of punts, the Browns drove deep into Bayland on Parilli's 31-yard pass to Quinlan on the Bay eight. Good tackles by Nate Borden, John Martinkovic and Jerry Helluin forced Groza to field goal from the 19. The kick was wide, but the Packers were offside; so Groza tried from the 14 and missed again. The Packers again made two first downs, with Rote sneaking for the necessary yardage. The big quarterback was injured on his second try and Bart Starr was sent in, and Dick Deschaine had to punt. With three minutes left in the half, the Browns drove 71 yards for a touchdown. Carpenter and Modzelewski alternated on 11 plays to the Bay 28, from where Parilli got his "big wait" before hurling to Renfro for a 14-0 lead. Groza, of course, converted. The Packers were well steamed up at the start of the third quarter and held Modzelewski to four yards in three cracks, setting off a Packer drive from their own 46. Cone and Rote twice pounded to the Cleveland 42 and Rote hurled to Howton for nine and Johnson for 13 (that's where Joe was slugged) after a Packer offside penalty to the Brown 25. Rote went five on a right end keeper after which Rote and Knafelc combined for the aforementioned three straight incompletions.
STOPPED BY WHISTLE
After an exchange of punts, Capuzzi intercepted a Parilli pass and was stopped in his tracks by a slow whistle. The Browns got the ball right back when Johnson fumbled and Colo disgustedly recovered on the Packer 32, hurling the ball back at the official. The Browns inched the ball closer and on the second play of the fourth quarter Groza booted a field goal from the 14 for a 17-0 score. After the Packer touchdown, coming with only 3:13 gone in the last period, the Browns banged 77 yards in 13 plays (too many 13's around here) for a 24-7 lead. Longest gallops were 18 and 12 yards by Carpenter and 23 yards to the Packer 1 by Morrison. At the one, Parilli couldn't budge the Bay defense on trips and Bassett couldn't either on third down. On fourth down, Morrison leaped over both lines. Groza made it 24-7 with 7:41 gone. The Packers made some long gainers in the final minutes but couldn't get close enough to threaten. Rote hurled to Knafelc for 19 yards and then to Cone for 23 but on two first downs and the loss of the ball on downs, Rote was hurled back 23 yards on three pass attempts. In the final seconds, Carmichael found a hole at his own left tackle and sizzled upfield 35 yards to the Packer 48. Starr completed a nine-yard pass to Cone and one to Jack Losch for no gain as the game ended.
CLEVELAND - 7 7 0 10 - 24
GREEN BAY - 0 0 0 7 - 7
CLEVELAND GREEN BAY
First Downs 15 13
Rushing-Yards-TD 54-222-1 26-127-0
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 4-2-57-1-1 29-14-168-1-0
Net Passing Yards 50 145
Total Yards 272 272
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-2
Turnovers 1 2
Yards penalized 1-5 2-10
1st - CLE - Chuck Noll, 39-yard fumble return (Lou Groza kick) CLEVELAND 7-0
2nd - CLE - Ray Renfro, 26-yard pass from Babe Parilli (Groza kick) CLEVELAND 14-0
4th - CLE - Groza, 13-yard field goal CLEVELAND 17-0
4th - GB - Billy Howton, 10-yard pass from Tobin Rote (Fred Cone kick) CLEVELAND 17-7
4th - CLE - Curley Morrison, 1-yard run (Groza kick) CLEVELAND 24-7
GREEN BAY - Al Carmichael 6-66, Tobin Rote 7-28, Joe Johnson 6-22, Howie Ferguson 1-7, Breezy Reid 1-3, Fred Cone 5-1
CLEVELAND - Preston Carpenter 21-91, Ed Modzelewski 22-90, Fred Morrison 2-24 1 TD, Babe Parilli 6-14, Tommy O'Connell 2-3, Maurice Bassett 1-0
GREEN BAY - Tobin Rote 26-12-159 1 TD, Bart Starr 3-2-9
CLEVELAND - Babe Parilli 3-2-57 1 TD 1 INT, Tommy O'Connell 1-0-0
GREEN BAY - Fred Cone 4-71, Billy Howton 3-56 1 TD, Joe Johnson 3-19, Al Carmichael 2-3, Gary Knafelc 1-19, Jack Losch 1-0
CLEVELAND - Skeets Quinlan 1-31, Ray Renfro 1-26 1 TD
From the collection of Browns player, Kenny Konz
'POSSESSION' BEST PASS DEFENSE AGAINST PACKERS!
NOV 5 (Milwaukee) - Paul Brown, the Cleveland Browns' methodical mastermind, is more convinced than ever that "possession" is the best pass defense yet devised - particularly against the Packers. "This one was a lot like last year's game in Cleveland," he explained while holding court in the Brown dressing room. "We played for possession that time, too, and just kept working on internal phases of the game as we did today." He omitted mention of the fact that the strategy also had paid off on that occasion (41-10). His reasoning in this regard, he pointed out, was elementary. "When Green Bay's got the ball, they can throw the big one all the time. When we've got the ball, they can't do it. It's as simple as that." Expanding on this theme, Peerless Paul reiterated, "the Packers are a rather treacherous team to play, you know, because they can throw the big one at you at any second. He (Tobin Rote) can throw that long ball and you've got to keep clutching and clawing all the time." Brown, who dryly admitted "we weren't very fancy, all muscle and no sense," wanted it known that the Browns didn't intend to continue this pattern indefinitely. "Don't think we won't throw," he insisted. "We will when the situation warrants. He (Babe Parilli) can throw, you know." Returning to his original subject, Paul volunteered the information that the Packers' air game hadn't been his only concern. "Their kickoff returners hurt us. Of course, he's (Al Carmichael) a real good one. He's just about leading the league, isn't he?" The Browns' erudite headmaster was duly grateful for the Packer fumble that led directly to Cleveland's first touchdown and enabled the perennial world champions to play the possession game. "We could see the play very well from our side of the field. The ball kept moving all the time," the gridiron precisionist said. "I wasn't worrying about any of our boys picking it up and running with it. I was just wondering if anybody would fall on it." Brown professed surprise when, upon scanning the statistics, he discovered "we only threw four time. Funny statistics, aren't they? We only threw four times," he repeated in wonder. "I hadn't realized that."...NEVER THREW BALL ONCE: This development reminded him of a game against the Philadelphia Eagles in 1950, the Browns' first year in the NFL. "Greasy Neale said they (the Browns) won't do anything but throw. We never threw the ball once and beat 'em 10-0," Paul recalled with a mirthless grin. "You can't throw any less than that." Ex-Packer Parilli, encountered in the County Stadium lobby minutes later, must have been comparing notes with his boss because he voluntarily evaluated the Packers the same way. "They're dangerous," the erstwhile Kentucky Babe declared. "They can score on you at anytime - that Howton and Knafelc are great." Parilli denied a pregame rumor that Brown had threatened the Browns, who had lost three in a row, with fines and other dire consequences if they failed to win. "There's no truth to it," Babe insisted. "He never puts you under pressure like that."...There was a deep depression in the Packer dressing room, a mood occasioned not only by defeat but by the fact that two hours earlier Liz Blackbourn's athletes had been convinced that this was their day. Blackbourn didn't permit the gloom to liner, however. Clapping his hands together, he strode to the center of the room and proclaimed, "That finishes this half of the season. We'll just have to turn over a new page. We have six games to go, you know." A few feet away, Fred Cone allowed, "It sure seemed good to be running again." Ol' Pineapple, who had filled in admirably for the injured Howie Ferguson, added with a shy smile, "That swing sharp pass, down and in, worked pretty good." (Cone caught four of them for 71 yards.) "But we always seem to hit a team at the wrong time," he signed. "We hit Pittsburgh like that almost every year and they'd beat us good." Down the line, Dave (Hawg) Hanner, wearily tugging a sock, conceded that the Browns had been "high. They sure played like it," he grunted. "They were really fired up in there." Tobin Rote, ripping a strip of tape off his leg in the training room, was supremely disgusted. "We just couldn't click on those third down situations," the veteran quarterback muttered. "They were ready to be beat out there, I know it, because we could move the ball on the ground on them. They were ready to get beat - until they got that 14-point lead. That fired them up." What about that damaging first quarter fumble? "Funny thing. The ball was rolling around and Al (Carmichael) dove for it. He fell on it and I thought I heard a whistle. The next thing I knew I saw the ball squirting up into Noll's (Chuck, Brown linebacker) hands."...Blackbourn, in a later analysis of what had transpired, felt that the fumble had been critical. "That was a real killer," Liz said. "We were so bunged up anyway, we didn't need much more discouragement." He took some satisfaction in the fact that "the statistics showed the defense did pretty well overall. They were almost even or we had a little edge, I guess." Though the Packers came out of the game with five casualties - Joe Johnson, Joe Skibinski, Billy Bookout and Hank Gremminger in addition to Ferguson - Liz was partially consoled by the knowledge that "we don't have as many as last week."...'GROUNDED': For one of the few times in his seven-year Packer career, Rote asked to be relieved in the second quarter. A little groggy after "bootlegging" for a first own, Tobin came over to the sidelines and informed Blackbourn, "Let Bart Starr take it a minute. I hit my head on the ground." Starr was dispatched into action and directed the next series...'WHAT IS SO RARE?': If he ever did, Lou Groza probably cant' remember the last time he missed two consecutive field goal attempts - before it happened in the second quarter Sunday afternoon, that is. The Browns' placement specialist extraordinary was off target on the first effort largely because of a bad pass form center forced him to hurry the kick. The Packers were offside, however, and he got a second chance but this one also sailed to the right of the posts...UNPOPULAR CALL: The 28,000-plus fans booed loud and long when the officials ruled that Fred cone, who has subsequently broken into the clear, had touched the ground with his left knee when his progress was fleetingly arrested after taking a pass from Rote in the second quarter...PASS-LESS QUARTER: It may be that the Packer faithful saw the first pass-less quarter a pro eleven has had in many a moon when the Browns went through the first period without a single attempt. Parilli threw Cleveland's first pass on the opening play of the second quarter...CONTACT?: Blackbourn, possibly remembering that Bob Skoronski was lost early in the Baltimore game here on an alleged "double foul" ruling, was concerned when he glimpsed an illegal "exchange" in the line just before the end of the first quarter. "We can't have that in there," he yelled...'SHORT YARDAGE': The Browns drew what must rank as the shortest five-yard penalty in history shortly before the intermission. Referee John Glascott, carrying out an offside assessment, stepped off three yards. The ball had been on the Packer 44, and after Glascott had performed, it rested on the 47...NO HURRY: Horace Gillom, the Browns' punting specialist, had "all day" on his final kick of the game with two minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Packers, preparing to reform for interference purposes, didn't rush and Gillom stood, ball in hand, for a full 15 seconds - by which time the rest of his Brown teammates were camped in front of potential receivers Al Carmichael and Jack Losch. At this point Tom Bettis came up to put a rush on Gillom, finally forcing him to kick…NIGHT GAME: The only difference between this one and a night game, electrically, was the fact that the lights were turned on at the start of the game instead of at the beginning of pregame practice. Murky skies, which threatened rain but never delivered, made this move necessary…OTTO’S ON TV: Otto Graham, the Browns’ brilliant quarterback who retired at the end of the 1955 season, turned up at the Packer bench before the game – in civvies. Otto conducted a pregame TV show from the field, interviewing the Packers’ veteran halfback, Breezy Reid, the Browns’ Ray Renfro and Headlinesman Charley Berry over a CBS network…CHAMPS WIN AGAIN: St. Aloysius, defending West Allis Parochial League champion, defeated St. Matthias, also of West Allis, in an abbreviated grade school game played between halves.
BOOKOUT PLACED ON INJURED LIST; KING ON WAIVERS
NOV 5 (Green Bay) - Packer defensive back Billy Bookout has been placed on the injured reserve list for 30 days and tackle Don King has been placed on waivers, Packer coach Liz Blackbourn announced today. Bookout suffered a fractured cheek bone and other facial injuries when he tackled Preston Carpenter in the fourth quarter. He was taken to St. Vincent Hospital after returning with the squad to Green Bay last night. Billy will be available for the Packers' last three games. Blackbourn's action reduced the squad to 31 -- two under the limit of 33, but two players were to be added later today.
PACKERS START SECOND HALF AGAINST BEARS SUNDAY
NOV 6 (Green Bay) - And now the Bears in Chicago! That’s what faces the Packers next as they prepare today for the start of the second half of the 1956 NFL season. The Packers seem to do their best work in the second half – the second halves of their games, at least, and Coach Liz Blackbourn sees no reason why the Bays can’t apply it to the current campaign. This week is the “intermission” between the 1956 game, time for a look at what went on during the first half, time for strategy and personnel changes, if necessary, and time for a pep talke. The Packers’ first half showed two victories and four defeats – good for fourth place in the Western division. The Bays won or lost in bunches, dropping the first two to Detroit and the Bears, winning the next two from Baltimore and Los Angeles, and losing the next two to Baltimore and Cleveland. The matter of strategy is a closed book and won’t be opened until Sunday. Blackbourn has made two personnel changes, placing defensive halfback Billy Bookout on the injured reserve list for 30 days and tackle Don King on waivers. Bookout suffered a fractured cheek bone and lacerated face in the Brown game and will be confined at St. Vincent Hospital for three more days. Two players will be added to the active list to fill the holes left by Bookout and King, and Blackbourn has until Saturday to make his choices. Both departees (although Bookout will be ready for the last three games) are defensive players. Jim Capuzzi replaced Bookout after he was hurt Sunday. King played behind Jerry Helluin and Dave Hanner, when necessary, and usually worked on the “goal line” defensive team. Time for a pep talk? That will come from Blackbourn and our town’s Packer fans. Needless to say, the Packers will have to come out for the start of the second half with a trigger finger and both barrel loads – for bear, so to speak. The Bears are sitting in second place in the western wheel with a fancy 5-1 record, including five straight wins, and they’re only one game behind the unbeaten Detroit Lions. The top Western division teams might be fearful of Sunday’s games in view of the fact that both opponents are down the list, the Packers with 2-4 and the 2-3 Redskins who tackle the Lions in Washington. The Packer-Bear game is a traditional battle and, as the saying goes, anything can happen when traditional rivals collide. Washington has a good, tough defense – the type of team that could hurt Detroit…The Packers came out of the Brown game with one serious injury – Bookout; and non-serious hurts for halfback Joe Johnson and fullback Howie Ferguson. Johnson suffered a shoulder injury and Ferguson reinjured his ankle. Both will be in top shape for next Sunday. The Packers return to work today – a meeting this morning and a light workout this afternoon…There was other waiver activity today. The Browns put out a 10-year veteran – punting specialist and end Horace Gillom, to make room for Jim Ray Smith, a defensive end. Gillom started his football career at Massillon (Ohio) High School under Coach Paul Brown, who now coaches the Browns, and played college football at Nevada. Smith, recently discharged from the Army, was graduated in 1955 from Baylor University, where he played tackle. He was with the Browns for three weeks during the preseason training period, while on leave from Fort Bragg, N.C. His home is at Fayetteville, Ark. He is 24, stands 6-3 and weighs 225 pounds.
FUMBLE KEPT PACKERS FROM PLAYING OWN RUSHING GAME
NOV 6 (Green Bay) - If the Packers never see the
Baltimore Colts and Cleveland Browns again, it will be too soon. The Bays battled Baltimore and Cleveland a total of six times in 1955 and during the first half of ’56 and came out with one victory – a 38-33 decision over the Colts in ’56. A year ago, the Colts tripped the Packers 24-20 and 14-10 and the Browns dumped our gents 41-10. That represented half of the Packers’ six losses in their 6-6 campaign. The 1956 Packers have lost four battles, and, you guessed it, the Colts and Browns administered two of ‘em. The Colts seem to be some sort of jinx, since the Bays play good against them. The ’55 Browns, with Otto Graham at the helm, scored and bottled up Tobin Rote, the only touchdown coming on Al Carmichael’s 100-yard kickoff return. Actually this 41-10 game wasn’t as bad as the final score indicates since the Browns scored two TDs in the last two minutes. The ’56 Browns are an average team, with a good defense and a poor offense, and the Packers figured to beat ‘em Sunday. The Browns expected to whip Green Bay by keeping possession of the ball for two reasons: (1) To cut down on the number of chances for the Packers to use their long ball and (2) to cut down on interceptions of Babe Parilli’s passes. The interception thing wasn’t advanced yesterday, but the Babe had three stolen the previous Sunday vs. Pittsburgh. And one of the three he threw Sunday was intercepted. Paul was taking no chances with fleet Val Joe Walker and Bobby Dillon. Parilli was fortunate on his two completions – one for a touchdown, in that he had, from the Packer viewpoint, just too much time to throw. He had the kind of “time” Rote had against the Los Angeles Rams, enabling Billy Howton and Gary Knafelc to outrun the Rams’ 9.9 defenders. Chuck Noll’s return of a fumble in the first quarter not only gave the Browns a 7-0 lead, it upset the Packers’ strategy. Coach Liz Blackbourn figured all week this would be a difficult task in view of the fact that the Packers’ strength (passing) would be against the Browns’ strength (pass defense). Liz said he planned to do plenty of running, keep the ball and pass only when a good opportunity presented itself. Winning the toss was just what the doctor ordered for the Packers since they could get the first chance to “keep” the ball by rushing. They ran four times, Al Carmichael getting four, Carmichael four, Johnson five and Howie Ferguson seven. It was obvious that the Browns could be moved on the ground. But on the fifth play, Carmichael fumbled and, before the officials could vote on whether or not the ball was dead, Noll took off. That 7-0 lead forced the Packers to lean toward the pass. The next series the Packers had the ball for 11 plays and seven were passes, one to Fred Cone for 35 yards; three were running plays’ and one was Cone’s unsuccessful field goal attempt. If you figured we were a bit upset with the officiating Sunday, you are absolutely right. That hasn’t changed today; neither has our explanation that the officiating did not lose the game for Green Bay. Incidentally, that’s the first time we’ve yapped (in print) at National league officiating in 10 years. The last time was in 1946 when the Rams scored the winning touchdown from the Packer two-yard line. There was a big pileup at center on fourth down, the ball seemed to be dead, but it trickled out of the pile in front of Bob Waterfield who picked it up and ran into the end zone. The dazed officials waited before signaling a touchdown and Curly Lambeau ran out on on the field to argue, but it stands in the books as a 21-17 Ram win.
PRO RACES NOW 2 TEAM AFFAIRS
NOV 6 (Chicago Tribune) - The men who own and coach the teams apparently are no more reliable as prognosticators of National league football than your favorite barber or brush salesman. For weeks owners and coaches, led by Commissioner Bert Bell, have been proclaiming loudly that the championship race was a 12 team fight, with any one of the 12 teams capable of rising to the top. It sounded fine for the first three weeks when the Chicago Cardinals and the Detroit Lions popped up from among last year's also-rans to lead their respective divisions, and Baltimore knocked off the Chicago Bears, a preseason favorite. But as of today, the race in each division is strictly a two team affair with the Cardinals and New York tied for the Eastern division lead and the Bears relentlessly pursuing the undefeated Lions in the Western. Forecasts that an eight and four record would qualify for the playoff appear less accurate with the passing of each week. Detroit skimmed by luckily on Sunday (17 to 13) against a San Francisco team that has been a definite disappointment, but the Lions still loom as the most difficult team on which to score. San Francisco did make it against them on a long march in the final two minutes only to have the touchdown called back because of an offside penalty. The Bears unquestionably are the most dangerous offensive club in the league. After the lapse in Baltimore in the opening game of the year, Paddy Driscoll's aggregation has been able to get points whenever needed. Bear and Lion chances apparently depend almost entirely on what these two do against each other in two games next month. The Bears go to Detroit on December 2 and the Lions close the season in Wrigley field on December 16. The Lions' other opponents include Washington, Baltimore, Green Bay and Pittsburgh, all of which they figure to beat if quarterback Bobby Layne retains his present buoyant state of health. Before the Lion series, the Bears must meet Green Bay in Wrigley field on Sunday, Los Angeles the following week and then New York. Between the two Lion games, they face the Cardinals in Wrigley field on December 9, a much more difficult schedule, obviously, than the Lions'. Los Angeles gave the Bears some trouble Sunday, principally because Driscoll elected to keep back some of his offense, apparently not wishing to show the Rams all of his attack in view of the return engagement here a week from Sunday. This put the burden on the defense, which came through magnificently with five interceptions.
FIGURES PINPOINT CHI-BEARS' PUNCH, PACK TARGETS SUNDAY
NOV 7 (Green Bay) - The Packers and their faithful don’t have to be told much about the Bears. Chicago’s northsiders demonstrated their wares before 24,668 customers in the process of whipping the Bays 37 to 21 in City Stadium Oct. 8. That was the Bears’ first victory of the 1956 campaign, coming as it did on the heels of the Bruins’ first and only loss (thus far) in the league opener at Baltimore 28-21. Since Black October Eight, the Bears piled up four more triumphs and will be going for a 6-1 record when they tackled the Packers in Chicago’s Wrigley Field Sunday afternoon. In the business of dusting off the Packers, San Francisco (31-7), Baltimore (58-27), San Francisco (38-21) and Los Angeles (35-24), the Bears compiled some gorgeous individual statistics. The weekly figures from the league office sort of pinpoint the big guns in the Bears’ attack, and, of course, give the Packers several choice targets. Bear representatives lead the league in rushing, passing and scoring. What more do you need to win games? Rick Casares leads two of the departments – rushing with 590 stripes in 119 trips for an average of 5.0, and scoring with 60 points on 10 touchdowns. Quarterback Ed Brown is the other leader – with his 10.31 yards per pass attempted. Casares’ right handed man, little Perry Jeter, ranks 10th in rushing with 316 yards, while George Blanda, the Bears’ “other” QB, is fourth in scoring with 46 points, including 28 on extra points and 18 on six field goals…HOWTON LEADS LEAGUE: Only in pass receiving can the Packers outmatch the Bears. Green Bay’s Billy Howton tops the league in this department with his 28 catches for 654 yards and eight touchdowns. But the Bears’ Harlon Hill is close behind with 25 catches for 551 yards and five touchdowns. Gary Knafelc, with only one catch last Sunday, remained in the first 10 with 16 catches for 209 yards and five TDs. Howton is third in scoring with 48 points and two of Sunday’s combatants are virtually tied in punting – the Packers’ Dick Deschaine being third on 43.8 on 30 punts and Brown ranking fourth on 43.76 on 21 punts. The Packers’ Tobin Rote moved from eighth to seventh place in passing, with his 7.01 yards per pass attempt. Rote leads, however, in attempts (161), completion (77), yards (1,129), and touchdown passes (12). Rote’s percentage of completions is 47.8 compared to Brown’s 61.3. Brown attempted only 80 but completed 49 for 825 yards and seven touchdowns…DILLON TIED FOR LEAD: The Bears don’t have a leader in kickoff returns where the Bays’ Al Carmichael places third with an average of 28.9 and interceptions where the Packers’ Bobby Dillon ranks in a first place tie with two others with five steals apiece. Jeter is fifth in punt returns, with his 11-yard average, while Carmichael is seventh on 9.7…The Packers had a couple of visitors from Canada yesterday at practice – tackle Bill Lucky and defensive halfback Al Romine, who played together at Toronto after leaving the Bays early this season. Toronto has finished its ’56 schedule. The two athletes admitted that “it’s tough on you up there – two games a week and 60 minutes in each game; you’ve got to play offense and defense.” Lucky and Romine, who probably will return to Green Bay next year, aren’t permitted to play in the National league anymore this season due to a rule which prohibits an athlete from playing in two leagues in the same season…The Bays worked some on plans for the Bear game Sunday and then really loosened up with two lively touch football games, the backs and ends opposing each other and the linemen having their own game. In a scoring highlight, defensive end John Martinkovic pitched three 50-yard touchdown passes to Bill Forester, Deral Teteak and assistant coach Earl Klapstein. When it came quitting time, Coach Liz Blackbourn sounded the whistle and said, “Now, let’s get out and vote.” Trainer Bud Jorgenson is having a busy week mending a number of injured athletes – most of them leftovers from the Baltimore game, and a few new ones from the Cleveland battle.
COUNCIL TO GET LOWER STADIUM PROJECT FIGURES
NOV 7 (Green Bay) - The City Council tonight will consider a recommendation of the special citizen-council stadium committee that architect John Sommerville be authorized to prepare construction plans for bidding on a new Packer stadium for Green Bay. Green Bay’s effort for a new municipal stadium was back on an optimistic track last week with an estimate that the job can be done for $939,200 or $20,800 under the bonding limit. Somerville last Thursday night submitted this estimate the special stadium committee…EARLIER ESTIMATE HIGH: At an earlier session, the committee had received plans and estimates which totaled $35,000 more than the $960,000 bond issue authorized in a referendum last
April. Somerville told the committee the lower estimate was made possible by cutting back the number of permanent seats to 20,734, making changes in the press box and auxiliary buildings under the stands, and eliminating a storm sewer at the top of the earth portion of the stadium bowl for a single drainage system at the bottom of the stands on the playing field.
WE'RE IN POOR SHAPE FOR BEARS, SAYS LIZ
NOV 7 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - After a week long bout with the flu, this observer took a look at his Sunday heroes and found they had fared no better. Getting back to reality Tuesday, we asked Coach Liz Blackbourn what happened to his once ambitious Packers, the club which soundly believed at the start of the season it was a title contender. "We're in a heck of a shape," was the immediate reaction by the Packer coach, who pointed to an injury list "a mile long". Blackbourn then looked ahead to things to come and shuddered. A Wrigley Field date with the "Monsters" got this response: "We'll be coming in now on a wing and a prayer," Blackbourn chuckled. "I hope it snows," added the coach, who remembered what the Cardinals did to the Bears last season in a Chicago blizzard. The '55 Cardinals, no resemblance to the high-flying birds of this season, walloped the Bruins, 53-14, in the Comiskey Park "skating rink" and cost old Halas U. title money. Now Blackbourn doesn't believe snow is the only equalizer. Any team in pro football can be had, he believes, although in this case all odds favor the Chicago North Siders. "There are only four other clubs in both leagues with a record better than ours," Blackbourn said. He did not include Baltimore and Washington, which were idle last week and have 2-3 marks compared with the Bays' 2-4. Two team races? "At the moment, yes," replied Liz, "but this thing is only at the halfway point." The Packers strategist might have some brand new faces in the lineup Sunday, but he wouldn't disclose their identity Tuesday. "Fifteen of them are banged up," Liz said. "We might add some new personnel later this week, it all depends how fast the injured can get in shape." The Packers are two men below the 33-player limit with Billy Bookout on the injured reserve list and Don King released. By contract, Blackbourn looked at the Bears, saying, "they'll be in terrific shape. They'll have everyone ready - boys like Bobby Watkins and (John) Helwig, who have been banged up the last couple of weeks. But I sure hope not now," emphasized Blackbourn again as he left his office to greet his cripples on the practice field.
BROWN BRAIN, PLUS PASSES, SPARKS BEARS
NOV 7 (Chicago Tribune) - Ed Brown of the Chicago Bears is widely known as one of football's finest passers. He is, in fact, the NFL's current leader in this department, with a 10.31 average. But if the throwing of the former San Francisco university quarterback has been a big factor in the Bears' success this season, his ball handling and play calling have played at least as important a role. A great defensive performance, in which the Bears intercepted five passes, keyed their 35 to 24 victory over the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. But also deserving of praise was the Bear offense, directed most of the time by Brown. With Brown and George Blanda calling the signals, the Bears came from behind four times. The last and decisive rally, in the third quarter, saw Brown outwit the Rams with shrewd selectivity of plays. The Bears, trailing by three points, has driven to the Ram 9 yard line, where Perry Jeter was smothered in an attempt to run wide around end. On the next play, Brown faked an outside handoff to Rick Casares. The Rams, expecting a plunge by the big Bear fullback, pulled in to meet him. In particular, Les Richter, Ram defensive tackle, left his position unguarded and went after Casares. With the Rams' seven man line split perfectly, Brown then handed inside to Jeter, who sped through the gaping hole into the end zone for the touchdown which put the Bears ahead for keeps, 28 to 24. The play was identical to that on which John Hoffman scored from 35 yards out in the second period except that Jeter ran to the right, Hoffman to the left. Brown occupies a position that is becoming progressively more unique in pro football - he calls almost all of the plays. "We're very satisfied with Ed's judgment," says Coach Paddy Driscoll. "Only occasionally do we feel it necessary to send in signals from the bench." Brown will have to be at his best next Sunday, when the Bears meet the Green Bay Packers in Wrigley field. It's another "must" game in a season of crises for the title conscious Bears.
QB CLUB, FANS OUT TO FIRE UP PACK FOR BEAR GO
NOV 8 (Green Bay) - Nearly 400 members of the Packer Quarterback club set off a fire at their meeting Wednesday night. And it’s all designed to fire up the Packers for their battle against the hated Bears in Chicago Sunday afternoon. Bernard Darling, president of the Packer Alumni Assn., and Chief Quarterback, furnished the kindling wood and the match. The Quarterbacker took it up from there and agreed, via rousing cheers and handclaps, to form a Nucleus of Noise for a sendoff at the North Western depot at 10:25 Saturday morning when the Packers leave for Chicago. Quarterbackers promised to talk it up among their Packer Backer fans and invited Mr. and Mrs. Joe Packer to make an appearance at the depot. “They (the Packers) need our help to beat the Bears,” Darling teed off, “and the best way you can let them know that you’re behind them is to be present when they leave Saturday morning.” Sendoffs, of course, aren’t anything new in this Packer-minded community, but a sendoff has never failed to help lift the spirits of the team. One of the best examples was in ’48 when the Bears murdered the Packers 45-7 and Bay fortunes skidded quite low. Quaterbackers and fans got behind the team the week of the second Bear game, sent the Packers to Chicago with a lot of noise, and the Bays responded with a tremendous effort. It turned out to be a 7 to 6 loss for Green Bay, but there was nothing but pride for the team back home. A rousing welcome home proved it…HURT ON TOP OF IT: The task in Chicago Sunday will be extremely difficult, coach Liz Blackbourn told quarterbackers in the WBAY-TV studio and “we’re hurt on top of it.” Blackbourn told the QB fans that “it’s a combination of a lot of injuries that started in our game in Baltimore.” He mentioned the loss of Billy Bookout, the defensive back who suffered a broken cheekbone in the Cleveland game. “He’s a great little player and we'll miss him in Chicago," Liz pointed out. Among other injured players are fullback Howie Ferguson, end Billy Howton and defensive back Hank Gremminger. Hank hasn't been moving too well in practice, Liz pointed out, meaning that half of the Packers' four outfielders will be new, so to speak. Jim Capuzzi would have to step into Bookout's spot and Jack Losch, who has had previous experience on defense, would take over Gremminger...DECISION SATURDAY: Blackbourn also mentioned that newcomers Glenn Young or Bill Roberts will be selected to fill the vacancy left when Bookout was placed on the injured list for 30 days. Liz may wait until Saturday to make his decision on the defender and a tackle to fill the hole left by the departure of Don King, who was placed on waivers. Deral Teteak, the Bays' veteran linebacker, was named as the player of the Brown game and received a wrist watch from the Fairmont Foods Co. Blackbourn said that Teteak has played "a series of good games for us." The quarterbackers
flooded Blackbourn with a lot of questions, including one on the draft. Liz promised to have scout Jack Vainisi at next week's meeting to reveal the names of new prospects and to go through the draft lists of other clubs to show how "they, too, have draft troubles." Blackbourn said that "we have been fortunate this year in getting two exceptional linemen in our draft - Bob Skoronski and Forrest Gregg. They are among the best first year linemen in the league." Bart Starr, the Packers' rookie quarterback, turned out to be a pleasant surprise though he was a 17th choice. Blackbourn said he talked with Cleveland coach Paul Brown in Milwaukee Sunday and Brown said he was extremely disappointed with his team's draft for the last two or three years. The Browns salvaged only two players from the January draft...The Packer squad will be guests of the Packer board of directors at a dinner at the Northland Hotel this evening. The Bays were scheduled to work on offense today. A sharp defensive practice was held yesterday with particular concentration on plays designed to stop Rick Casares, the Bears' pile-driving fullback, and Perry Jeter, the pint-sized halfback. The Bears likely will do a lot of running against the Pack, judging by the success the Bears and other clubs have had against the Bays in this phase of offense thus far this season. The Bears also have the stuff, though, to wage an air attack - such receivers as Harlon Hill, Bill McColl and Gene Schroeder and pitcher Ed Brown.
CIRCUS DUE IN TOWN - AIR STYLE: BEARS PLAY PACKERS
NOV 8 (Chicago Tribune) - If past performances are a criterion, Wrigley field football fans will see an aerial circus next Sunday the likes of which would do justice to Barnum and Bailey. Chicago's Bears will be making their first home appearance in three weeks. Their foes will be the Green Bay Packers, and the latest NFL statistics indicate the sky will be full of footballs. Green Bay, the league's second most productive team through the air lanes, has the circuit's top receiver in Bill Howton. The Bears, fourth in team passing, have the number one thrower in Ed Brown. In their six games to date, the Packers have struck through the air for 1,147 yards, second only to the Los Angeles Rams' output of 1,294 yards. The Bears' fourth place total is 1,020. Howton, with 28 receptions, is being closely pushed by the Bears' Harlon Hill, who has caught 25. Brown retained his supremacy in the weekly tables with a passing average of 10.31. Tobin Rote, the Packers' star thrower, has a 7.01 mark. The Bears continue to set the pace in total yards among league teams with 2,434. The Bears also lead in rushing, with 1,414 yards, and in scoring (220 points). The Chicago Cardinals, who meet the Giants Sunday in New York in a game which will go a long way in determining the eastern division champion, are second in the rushing statistics. Preeminence of the two Chicago teams in the ground gaining department is borne out in the individual statistics which show the Bears' Rick Casares and the Cards' Ollie Matson right up there at the top. Casares, the Bears' bruising fullback, leads the league in rushing with a 590 total.
LIZ SCHEMES TO CHILL BEARS
NOV 8 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Can the Packers be convinced they have a chance by hook or crook against the Bears in Wrigley Field Sunday? That is the selling job Schemer Liz Blackbourn must do, realizing this is the "murder" game of the season. The Bears are the "monsters" of old - the Packers are battered warriors. Tradition of an old fashioned grudge match will mean much to the Bay cause. The Bruins have and always will be the Packers' favorite meat. But winning at Wrigley Field for the Packers is like fighting City Hall. Green Bay has won only with a convincing show, like the 41-28 victory in 1952. The Packers haven't won close ones on Chicago's North Side. George Halas seeing that didn't happen. What makes the Bears the overwhelming favorite Sunday is the blunt fact they're setting the pace offensively in the NFL. With one half of the season completed, Paddy Driscoll's bruiser have gained 2,424 yards - a pace, if continued, would eclipse their record production of last year. The Bears have 1,414 yards rushing and 1,020 passing. The Packers are fifth ranked among league powers with 1,835 total yards. With Rick Casares rolling up 590 yards, the Bruins' most devastating weapon is their running attack. The Packers, with Tobin Rote pitching, will counter with the league's second ranked passing team. Green Bay has gained 1,147 yards through the air. The Bears, with Ed Brown first fiddle, are fourth ranked passing with 1,020 yards. Chicago showed last November what happens when its murderous offense clicks with perfection. It buried the Bays, 52-31. In the previous engagement this season, the Bears whipped the Packers, 37-21, in Green Bay. The Bears also top the loop in scoring. They are averaging 36.7 points a game compared to the Packers' 24.2. While the Bears have the league's best passer and runner in Brown and Casares, the Packers have the best receiver in Bill Howton, who has caught 28 passes for 654 yards and eight touchdowns. Harlon Hill of the enemy is second in pass receiving. The Packers' Dick Deschaine has a slight punting edge over Brown. The only other Green Bay advantages are Al Carmichael's kickoff returns and Bobby Dillon's intercepting ability. Dillon is in a three-way tie for loop honors with five steals.
COUNCIL ORDERS STADIUM BUILDING PLANS PREPARED
NOV 8 (Green Bay) - The City Council Wednesday night ordered construction plans drawn for the new municipal stadium and confirmed a Park Board easement to provide a site in W.D. Cooke Park for the proposed national railroad museum. Ordering of the stadium construction plans was by voice vote on a report of the Board of Public Works. The board made its recommendation on the basis of a Nov. 1 report to the special Council-citizens stadium planning committee by John Somerville, architect for the project. Somerville presented preliminary plans and an estimate of $939,200 for construction of the stadium, $20,800 less than the bond issue approved in the referendum last April...BOWL BEING SHAPED: Somerville's target date for completion of plans is Dec. 1, with the opening of construction bids planned for about Jan. 1. Shaping of the bowl at the stadium site, on which the lower one-third of sideline stands will rest, is nearing completion. The city is doing this work itself at an estimated cost of $70,000, which will be repaid when the bond issue is authorized by the Council. Bids will be taken on both a stadium of poured concrete and steel construction and one of pre-stressed concrete. The plans call for 20,734 sideline seats, but alternated will be included to raise permanent seating to 24,000 if the budget allows. Other bids will be for 11,260 end zone bleacher seats, or less, to bring the stadium to the 32,000-seat capacity called for in the stadium referendum. The Packer Corp. will pay half the bond issue and interest on this half over a 20-year span...ESTIMATES ARE GIVEN: Estimates presented to the committee session included: Permanent seating, $490,000; bleachers, $129,000; auxiliary buildings under stands of concrete block construction, $103,000; two-level press box with 64 feet of frontage on each level, $40,000; and team rooms behind south end zone bleachers, $47,500. The press box will be designed for possible expansion to one more level and outward by 24 feet on each side, and the auxiliary toilet, office and TV control buildings, with about 3,024 square feet of floor space under each stand, also will be designed for expansion.
35 WILL BE MAGIC NUMBER FOR PACKERS AGAINST BEARS
NOV 9 (Green Bay) - Thirty-five (35) is the magic number for the Packers in Chicago Sunday. They want 35 points and they want to stop, in particular, No. 35, the Bears' crunching fullback who carries the name of Rick Casares and the title, Leading Ground Gainer in the NFL. Thirty-five points might do the trick for the Packers although they'll settle for more or less if the Bears get more or less. But the Bays don't have to think back too far for a point warning - one year ago in Chicago when they counted 31 against the Bears' 52. Scoring can be confusing in Chicago because the Packers generally come up with their best game against the Bears in Wrigley Field. The long rivalry shows everything from scoreless ties, 3-0 games and a few 7-6'ers to last year's 83 pointer. The Packers haven't had much luck in the No. 35 fullback department and, as the old saying goes, they're due to start messing up a jersey showing that number. The Packers faced three No. 35's in four games during the first half of the season and the three - Casares, Tank Younger of the Rams and Alan Ameche of the Colts - reeled off 402 yards in 63 carries for an average of 6.4 per trip. To say that
fullbacks have given the Packers' rushing defense fits is putting it mildly. Casares rolled up 139 yards in 24 trips in the first Packer-Bear event here Oct. 8. Ameche picked up 81 in 14 tries in the first Packer-Colt game and 76 in 14 in the second. Younger blasted for 106 stripes in 11 carries. Ed Modzelewski of the Cleveland Browns carried on the fullback success theme against the Pack last Sunday, ripping off 90 yards in 22 trips, even though he was wearing No. 36. The Packers had fullback success in the opener against Detroit. They knocked the Lions out of fullbacks, including giant Leon Hart, and rookie Don McIlhenny had to shift over from halfback to finish the game. But after the game, the Packers met Casares, Ameche, Younger, Ameche and Modzelewski on successive Sundays. Now it's Casares again. The Bears, of course, have many other tools, among them frisky Perry Jeter who ran for two touchdowns against the Rams last Sunday. Then there's the Bear passing game which nickeled and dimed the Packers successfully in the 37-21 match in Green Bay. They can also go for the seven-dollar bill what with Harlon Hill being healthy, but Bobby Dillon and Val Joe Walker have been able to keep him in check. It would seem that the Bears' offense poses more of a problem for the Packers than their defense. At least the Bruin defenders have given up an average of 21 marks per start. The offense has scored an average of 31 points. The Bears, like the Colts, waited until late in the week to reveal the return of defensive back Stan Wallace from Army service. Wallace is reportedly in good condition after service football. The Colts, you'll recall, waited until Saturday to announce that George Shaw would be placed on the injured list. On the same theme, Packer coach Liz Blackbourn kept the Bears guessing on replacements for departed Billy Bookout (for 30 days) and Don King until today when he installed defensive back Glenn Young, a hard tackling rookie out of Purdue, and veteran tackle Gene Knutson on the active list. With 52 points in the last two games against the Bear, the Packers proved they can dent Bear defenses. Packer fullback Howie Ferguson, the league's No. 2 ground eater a year ago, had his best day this season in the first Bear game - 72 stripes in 12 attempts, and a year ago he nudged the Bears for 273 yards in 32 carries in the two games, 153 in Green Bay and 120 in Chicago. Billy Howton caught six passes for 97 yards in the '56 opening Bear game despite a close-guarding job by J.C. Caroline. Howton will be out to give the Bear secondary fits Sunday and long Gary Knafelc was in the same mood after dropping a few in the last two games. Gary was limited to one catch vs. the Bears here Oct. 8 but snared 12 for 189 yards in the two Bear games last year. In the same two games, Howton caught 6 for 108 - 3 for 54 in each...The Packers pushed offense in Thursday's drill with both Tobin Rote and Bart Starr doing a lot of passing. Ferguson was running well, indicating an end to his ankle misery, but a number of the other players were aching, including Hank Gremminger. Young worked some in the defensive backfield, which will have two new faces if Gremminger is kept out. Young, Jack Losch and Jim Capuzzi are possibilities for the corner jobs in front of Dillon and Walker.
BEARS DUE AGAINST PACKERS? - TO FUMBLE THE BALL, THAT IS!
NOV 9 (Green Bay) - The Bears haven't fumbled in the last two Packer-Bear games in Chicago. In the same two games, the Packers fumbled seven times and lost all seven of them. If there is such a thing as the law of averages, and most people swear that is, the Bears should start having a bit of bad luck - such a fumbles, against the Pack. A fumble by Veryl Switzer set up the Bears' winning touchdown in the Packers' heart-breaking 28-23 loss in '54. The Packers handed the Bears impetus by fumbling three kickoff returns in that 52-31 hassle last year. The fumble totals show what a complete lack of luck the Packers had in the two games. Generally, a team will grab half of its own fumbles, but the Bears grabbed all three Pack fumbles in '54 and all four a year ago. The Bears are due to fumble Sunday - and the Packers can help that along by murderous tackling. The Bears don't fumble easy, judging by statistics for the first half of this season. They fumbled only five times in the first five games, including one boot in the Oct. 8 tussle here. Detroit joins the Bears as the least-fumblingest teams, each with five, which is another reason why the two are running one-two in the league standings. That may be true in the Western division, but in the Eastern the two top teams - New York and the Chicago Cardinals - have fumbled 32 times or 22 more than Detroit or the Bears. How do you figure that? Do they hit harder in the Eastern conference? Don't they hit hard in the Western? The Packers had a rough experience with an Eastern foe last Sunday, Cleveland, and fumbled twice, setting up 10 of the Browns' 24 points. The Packers are among the leaders in fumbles, with 15, thus far. The one-loss Giants fumbled 17 times, Los Angeles 16 and the Cardinals 15. The Packers led the league with 37 fumbles last year and still finished with 6-6. They had one of the lowest totals, 21, in 1954 and finished with 4-8. How you going to figure that? You can't - lest you wish to get goofy! But let's not fret about water over the dam. The league fumble average in 1955 was 27.3; it was 28.3 in 1954.
'SKINS FORCED TO TURN DOWN 'FANTASTIC' LOUISVILLE BID
NOV 9 (Washington) - The Washington Redskins today were forced to turn down "the most fantastic offer ever made by a community to acquire a professional sports team." The city that made the offer to the Redskins to transfer their NFL franchise was Louisville, Ky., which made a similar offer to the Washington baseball club recently. "If the offer is still laying around four years from now, from when our lease on Griffith Stadium expires, we definitely will consider it," said Redskin owner George Preston Marshall. "Frankly, though, I don't think it will be laying around that long and that will be our hard luck because there's nothing that can be done about it right now." Louisville offered Marshall the following inducements, he said: 1. Expansion of the 22,000 seat fairgrounds to 44,000 seats, all under cover, and with no seats in the end zone. 2. A guaranteed season ticket sale of 25,000 annually for the first three years. 3. Stadium rental of six percent of the gross (The Redskins pay the Washington baseball club 15 percent). 4. All concession income except parking, of which the Redskins would get 20 percent.
FERGUSON, ROTE READY FOR BEARS
NOVEMBER 9 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - How does it feel to pester a hungry Bear in its own den? "It doesn't pay to think about those things," said the brave victim. "All we can do is be prepared and hope for the best." That was Liz Blackbourn's capsule quote regarding the Packers and Bears at Wrigley Field. He did emphasize, though, that his Packers would show up. The Bear management announced Thursday the traditional battle is a complete sellout (50,000) and that standing room tickets are being gobbled up fast. And with happy pride, "athletic director" George Halas also added that Wrigley Field is sold out for the remainder of the Bruins' schedule. The home gang apparently likes the way the Bears are treating their Western Division pals. The Packers, who love to flex their muscles before a packed house, may be in better physical shape than expected. Fullback Howie Ferguson and end Billy Howton, hobbled with ankle injuries, were prancing around like old in Thursday's drills at Green Bay. Blackbourn said both ran well. Ferguson could go the distance if a Bruin doesn't irritate his old ailment with some extracurricular activity. The Packer coach, however, still talked about the injuries of guard Joe Skibinski, halfback Joe Johnson, guard Len Szafaryn and defensive halfback Hank Gremminger. All are bothered with painful ailments, the result of Colt and Brown ruffians. The man most feared by the Bears, Tobin Rite, is in perfect condition. And if Tob can find the range like he did against the Rams, the Packers would have a fighting chance. The Bears can be scored against, the record shows. And to score must be done to keep up with the league's most devastating offense. Coach Paddy Driscoll reported his squad would be fit as a fiddle. End Doug Atkins, who broke his collarbone against the Packers in Green Bay, is the only Bear who won't see action. Atkins is still on the hospital list. Halfback Bobby Watkins, who pulled a knee muscle in the Colt game, is ready to roll. And Harland Carl out with an infection in his toe last week at Los Angeles, is itching to gallop. Driscoll wanted to emphasize the toughness of the Bears' schedule from here on in and pointed out that a win over Green Bay was imperative if a title is to be won. After the Packers' tussle the Bears meet the Rams at home, the Giants at New York, the Lions at Detroit, the Cardinals home and finish up with the Lions at home.
STAN WALLACE RETURNS TO BEARS
NOV 9 (Chicago Tribune) - The Chicago Bears got a welcome gift from Uncle Sam yesterday, just in time for their meeting with the Green Bay Packers in Wrigley field Sunday afternoon: Stan Wallace, former University of Illinois fullback, who showed great promise as a defensive halfback in his brief fling as a Bear at the end of the 1954 season. Wallace's return from Army service is doubly welcome to Coach Paddy Driscoll since Wallace has been playing football for two seasons at Ft. Eustis, Va., and is in top shape at 207 pounds. Wallace, who suffered a fractured wrist during preparation for the 1954 College All-Star game and was unable to make his debut with the Bears until November 1, will add both speed and tackling power to the Bears' defensive alignment. Despite his limited experience in the National league (he played only five games), Wallace was considered a standout as a rookie. He intercepted a pass and ran it back 60 yards against the Cardinals, and also had an important 40 yard interception runback against the Detroit Lions. At Illinois he played both ways, and was a fullback in the same backfield with J.C. Caroline, who will be a defensive colleague of Wallace's again Sunday. The Bears released J.D. Smith, a rookie fullback, to make room for Wallace. The Bears, who have won five in a row since dropping the season opener to Baltimore, still trail the unbeaten Detroit Lions in their quest for a western division title. This makes the meeting with the Packers a highly important one, since a loss by the Bears and a victory by the Lions over the Redskins would increase the gap to unpleasant proportions. Driscoll, mindful of the long and bitter rivalry between the clubs, has warned that the Packers' record of two victories and four defeats is "a booby trap designed to explode right in our faces if we don't play our best game of the year." News from the Green Bay camp is that Billy Bookout, a defensive star, has been placed on the injured reserve list for 30 days because of a fractured cheekbone, but that both Rote, who has been troubled with an ailing knee, and Bill Howton, the league's leading receiver, seem well on the road to recovery. Howton has been plagued with a bad ankle but caught several passes against the Browns.
BAY SCOUT WARNS OF BEARS' VERSATILITY
NOV 9 (Milwaukee Journal) - How good are the Chicago Bears, whom the Green Bay Packers will
Joe Johnson gains 10 yards and a first down on the Browns 38 before being dumped by Tommy James. Coming up to help on the pass completion from Bart Starr is (70) captain Don Colo.
meet at Chicago Sunday afternoon? "They're a great offensive team," Packer scout Wally Cruice of Milwaukee said Friday. "They're at least as good offensively as the great Bear teams of the early forties." Green Bay Coach Liz Blackbourn agreed, and went one step further. "All the teams nowadays are 40 or 50 percent better than they were in the forties," Blackbourn said. "The Bears are as good in the age we're playing in now as the Bears of the forties were in theirs." Cruice evaluated the Bears' talent thusly, after he returned from Los Angeles, where he watched them beat the Rams last Sunday: "They're adding ramifications to their offense. They still execute the bread and butter plays well, but they also have the extra frills to go along with it. It doesn't seem to make much difference who runs with the ball - Casares, Watkins (who has been hurt), Jeter, John Hoffman. They all make the plays go. Ed Brown, the quarterback, is throwing exceptionally well. The Bears do an outstanding job of finding the other team's weakness. When you adjust your defense to meet one thing, they outguess you and hit you in another place. Their offensive line is great - Strickland at center, Clark and Jones at guard, Wightkin and Gilbert at tackle, they all do the job. And they've got some pretty fair country ends in Hill and Schroeder and the best slot man in the league in McColl. That Hill is quite an end. He lopes out there with those long strides, and he doesn't look like he's going anywhere in a hurry. He looks like he's going out for a drink of water. Then he turns it on and is all by himself when the pass gets there. Blanda does a good job at quarterback when they want to control the ball a certain way. And their defensive backfield has improved. Their defensive line always was good enough. J.C. Caroline has developed into a fine defensive back and their other fellows are doing the job back there." Both the Packers and Bears made additions to their squads Friday. The Packers reactivated defensive halfback Glenn Young, rookie from Purdue, and defensive end Gene Knutson, two year veteran from Beloit and Michigan. They replace the injured Billy Bookout and the released Don King, respectively. "Young will probably start Sunday," Blackbourn said. "Knutson is very versatile. He will do his job on the goal line stands and help us out at defensive end as relief man and be available to go in at offensive tackle if needed there." The Bears picked up defensive back Stan Wallace of Illinois, who returned from the Army. They released linebacker J.D. Smith to make room for him.
PACKERS EYE 'BEST GAMES' AGAINST BEARS IN CHICAGO
NOV 9 (Chicago) - The Packers will have to play two of their "best games" if they expect to beat the Bears in Wrigley Field Sunday afternoon. They'll have to play their best game on offense and their best on defense. In short, the Packers must explode if the powerhouse Midway Monsters are to be saddled with their second defeat. The Packers exploded just once this season, and the victims were the Los Angeles Rams; the final score was 42 to 17. Some 50,000 fans will witness the battle which has been sold out for weeks, although standing room tickets will be available. Kickoff is set for 1:05 and the action will be televised back to Green Bay for the first time in the short history of TV. Ninety-eight percent of the spectators in Cubs park will be looking for an explosion, but not on the part of the Packers. They expect the Bears - winners of their last five games - to demolish the Pack much on the same order they did here a year ago; that score was 52-31. And the Bears beat the Packers in Green Bay earlier, 37-21. The experts are looking for something similar because the Bears are favored by a couple of touchdowns in this 77th game between pro football's bitterest rivals. If the Packers are to perform a miracle, they'll have to do it on offense; they'll have to outscore the 31-point Bruins because the Bays' defense is badly battered by injuries. The two key cornerbackers just aren't; Billy Bookout is on the injured list and Hank Gremminger has a wobbly knee...PERFECT PROTECTION: If the Packers offense is to match the 42-point blast against the Rams, and that might be necessary, it will have to be at its best. Quarterback Tobin Rote will have to get perfect protection - not to mention exceptional accuracy. Billy Howton will have to produce one of his best days and Gary Knafelc must start to squeeze the ball. Fullback Howie Ferguson, the backbone of the Packers' rushing when he's healthy, will have to go the offensive distance - and gain. On this score, Coach Liz Blackbourn announced that he'll use both Ferguson and Freddie Cone, Ferguson's fullbacking understudy, in the backfield at the same time. Both are good pass catchers and both give the Bays rushing more weight. Blackbourn is in hopes Cone and Ferguson can help give the Packers some first down punch. Al Carmichael likely will be the third back. Ferguson has been working with Jack Losch at left half but Losch may have to see considerable action on defense since Gremminger may be unable to play. The Packer defense has its work cut out because the Bears' total offense tops the league. The Bruins can rush, what with such firecrackers as Rick Casares, the league's top ground gainer, Bobby Watkins and Perry Jeter. And they can pitch, with quarterback Ed Brown at the controls and Harlon Hill, Bill McColl, Gene Schroeder and offensive whirlwind backs doing the catching...BIGGEST HEADACHE: The Packer defense may not be up to standing much short stuff since Jim Capuzzi, Losch and Glenn Young are rather new in that phase of defense. Veterans Bobby Dillon and Val Joe Walker could, and hand, handled the Bears' deep stuff - especially to Hill. The biggest headache to the Packers' defense, and we say this with fingers crossed, could be the Bears' rushing, which is tops in the league. The Bays haven't had much success stopping anybody's ground game - much less the Bears. The Packer defense has been nicked for an average of nearly five and a half yards per enemy crack. Given an even break on breaks such as fumbles, interceptions, etc., the Packers' chances of winning will depend on (1) their ability to play 60 minutes of rock-'em-sock-'em football and (2) ball control. Blackbourn sees no reason why the Packers shouldn't be sky-high for their traditional enemy. And it's up to such heavy rushers as Cone and Ferguson to freeze the ball, waiting for an opening for Rote's pitches! The Packers are staying at the Knickerbocker Hotel here tonight. They were scheduled to practice in Wrigley Field this afternoon. After supper tonight, they'll all go to a movie. The squad will leave here at 6:25 Sunday night and arrive in Green Bay on the North Western at 10:05.
STEELERS STUDY OFFER TO MOVE TO LOUISVILLE
NOV 10 (Philadelphia) - Louisville, apparently bent on obtaining a NFL franchise, has found the Pittsburgh Steelers "happy to talk" and the Philadelphia Eagles willing to listen. "I'm vitally interested and I've already had my office in Pittsburgh wire these people that we'll be happy to talk with them," Art Rooney, Steelers president, said Friday. The enthusiasm was not matched by the Philadelphia club, which said it would listen to more details of the proposition. "We're quite happy in Philadelphia," said treasurer Joseph A. Donanue of the Eagles. Rooney said his overhead at Forbes field was the highest in the league. "Our expenses these days are so great that even when we sell out the 34,000 seats at Forbes field we have a hard time making ends meet," he declared. Rooney's contract with the Forbes field management has run out, so he has no ties to prevent his making a favorable move. Owner George Preston Marshall of the Washington Redskins earlier had declined an offer from the Louisville group because of his present lease at Griffith stadium. Marshall said he had been guaranteed season ticket sales of 25,000 a year for the first three years, 6% of the gross receipts for rental, all revenue from concessions and 20% of parking revenue. A telegram to both teams from Bill Henry, sports director of the Kentucky state fair, said in part: Out stadium will be enlarged to seat around 47,000. Our parking facilities are the best in the world with a capacity of 27,000 automobiles. The citizens of Louisville are eager to have a franchise. We have over two and one-half million people in a 100 mile radius. We will appreciate your consideration and we are ready to meet with you at your convenience.
PACKERS ADD 2 PLAYERS FOR BEAR GAME
NOV 10 (Chicago Tribune) - The Green Bay Packers announced two changes in player personnel yesterday, aimed at bolstering the defense for tomorrow's game against the Chicago Bears in Wrigley field. Halfback Dick Young, a rookie from Purdue, was released at the start of the season, was re-signed to take the place of the injured Billy Bookout, and end Gene Knudson was recalled to replace tackle Don King, released last week. Knudson, too, had been released earlier. Young, said Coach Lisle Blackbourn, probably will start against the Bears.
PACKERS BAR BEAR' PATH TO NO. 6
NOV 11 (Chicago Tribune) - Chicago's Bears swing around the far turn in the NFL race today, starting the second half of their schedule against a time honored, though treacherous foe, the Green Bay Packers, in Wrigley field. The kickoff is scheduled for 1:05 o'clock. By most rational reckoning, the Bears should find little difficulty in disposing of the Packers, who are hurting all over physically and spiritually. Lisle Blackbourn and his troupe had high hopes at the start of the season. But they ran out of championship ingredients, especially luck, early in the race, and are now saddled with four defeats against only two victories. But it has been the history of this ancient and sometimes bitter series that the best team loses more often than it wins and, despite the gloomy reports from up north, the Bears can expect trouble. For one thing, no one has yet flatly stated that Tobin Rote positively will not play and there is plenty of evidence that Rote's most talented accomplice, end Bill Howton, is nearer perfect shape for today's game than he has been since the start of training. It would be a shame, of course, if the Bears did not continue on their victorious way. But it would be a greater shame if they ventured forth this afternoon indifferent to the contest's heartbreaking possibilities. Green Bay has never been a quiet, orderly guest in Wrigley field, and its season would be complete if it could prevent the Bears from chalking up their sixth consecutive victory. Except for Bob Watkins, the explosive enigma who usually is assigned to left halfback, the Bears are in excellent shape physically. Watkins has been on the verge of coming back two weeks in a row now, but each game the task of shilling for Rick Casares in the backfield has fallen to rookie Perry Jeter. Jeter has accepted the challenge with aplomb and accomplished the job with ease. So far the Bears have been running to victory, only occasionally resorting to the air. On the coast last week, however, they began to throw to Harlon Hill with more regularity and it is not likely that quarterbacks Ed Brown and George Blanda will overlook the big end today, especially if Casares and Jeter find the going a little crowded. The Bears' secondary defensive alignment will be altered somewhat today to team up those two old Illini, J.C. Caroline and Stan Wallace. Wallace, just out of the Army, will be at one outside halfback position and Caroline at the other. Wallace adds size and tackling strength to the secondary. But the Bears' chief hopes will lie up front, where the defensive line will be asked to keep the pressure on Rote and the offensive line will be asked to operated with the same deadly efficiency that has brought five straight triumphs after that big disappointment at Baltimore in the opening game of the season.