Detroit Lions (4-5-1) 24, Green Bay Packers (1-8-1) 14
Thursday November 27th 1958 (at Detroit)
GAME RECAP (APPLETON POST-CRESCENT)
(DETROIT) - The Packers found two new ways to lose a football game here Thursday - a fumble on a no-contact play and long-shot gambles on punting situations. Other than those two head-scratchers, the Packers had every right to expect a victory over the Detroit Lions in the 1958 Thanksgiving day classic before 50,971 in Briggs stadium and a national television audience of an estimated 35 million. The final score was 24 to 14. It easily could have, and probably should have, finished in a 7-7 tie since the teams earned only one touchdown apiece in 28-degree weather, sunshine, and, finally, snow.
GAIN 1ST CHOICE
While the Packers fought tooth and nail to win, the loss produced something beneficial - sole right to the first choice in the preliminary draft Monday. The Bays relax this weekend and then leave for a 2-game West Coast windup - San Francisco Dec. 7 and Los Angeles Dec. 14. This was a game of breaks. Like so: A fumble set up the Packers' first touchdown, although they had to move 29 yards to get it; a fumble five yards from the goal line gave Detroit its first touchdown; two ill-fated runs by Max McGee on punting situations set up the Lions' field goal and last-minute touchdown.
MOVE 74 YARDS
The Packers moved 74 yards for their "good" touchdown; the Lions 87 - both in the third quarter. The Packers held two leads, 7-0 and 14-10, and lost both of them. Quarterback Bart Starr - making his first start since the Bear game - and McGee worked a 29-yard pass play, with Max running beautifully for 24 yards, for the Packers' 7-0 edge.
The Packers lost that in two minutes when Al
Carmichael caught a pass and then fumbled before anybody put a hand on him on the Packer 5. Ken Webb tied it two plays later. In another five minutes, still in the first quarter, McGee, on fourth down, fielded a rare low pass from center Jim Ringo (the first for Jim in five seasons) on the first bounce and had time to boot. He decided to run and just missed a first down by a yard. Jim Martin booted a field goal to put the Lions ahead, 10-7. Don McIlhenny and Tobin Rote exchanged touchdown plunges in the third quarter, climaxing long drives, for a 17-14 score. With 3:55 left in the game, McGee tried another fourth down punt run - this with only four yards to go. He ran up the "populated" side, couldn't gain and then passed incomplete. The Lions turned the break into a touchdown plunge by Gene Gedman. That was it! The Packer defense was tough all the way, actually submitting to only one sustained drive, and a roughing-the-kicker penalty helped that along. The Lions were limited to only 42 yards rushing and passing in the first half and moved into Packer territory under their own power only twice all day - both in the third period.
The only other times Detroit got into Packerland were by recovering two fumbles, intercepting a pass and getting McGee twice. But one of the fumbles and both McGee incidents added up to 17 Detroit points. The Packers defensed Detroit down to 198 yards - a far cry from the 49er's 500-plus last Sunday. Rote, with only 14 yards passing in the first half, completed seven out of 22 for 104 yards while the Lions rushed for 94 yards. The Packers won the statistics, 232 yards to 198, getting 128 (net) passing and 104 rushing. Starr, despite three or four "drops", completed 14 out of 29 for 159 yards and managed to keep the Packers virtually even in plays. The Lions ran 56 plays; the Packers 55. McGee played many roles. The second guessers will have a field day on his punt-run decisions, but he made a miracle run for the Packers' first touchdown. And he set up the second TD on a 25-yard pass catch to Detroit's 1-yard line. He finished with four receptions for 54 yards and averaged 42 yards on five punts. And he missed a chance to become a hero on the first play of the game. Starr pitched to Paul Hornung, who passed back to Starr, who, in turn, hurled a long shot to McGee at midfield. McGee couldn't quite squeeze the high archer close behind Terry Barr. The Packer offense seemed extremely active for the first three quarters but the Bays were unable to move in the last quarter, getting no first downs in four cracks at the ball. But that wasn't the way the Packer started out, taking the opening kickoff and running off 12 plays before McGee punted on the thirteenth. Yale Lary called for a fair catch but fumbled and Jim Salsbury recovered on the Detroit 25. On third and 14, Starr and McGee worked their TD pass, McGee taking the ball on a slant-in on the Lion 20 and then dodging half a dozen Lions on the TD journey. Paul Hornung's kick made it 7-0.
ZIPS UP MIDDLE
With Dan Currie throwing Rote for a 6-yard loss, the Packers forced Lary to punt in a hurry. Carmichael then fumbled and Joe Schmidt recovered on the five, setting up Webb's TD, Martin's extra point and a tie score at 10:56 of the first period. Martin followed with his field goal to make it 10-7 at 13:32. After McIlhenny zipped up the middle for 21 yards and Starr pitched five yards to Hornung - the Packers' top gainer with 50 yards - the two clubs went into a weird exchange of fumbles and interceptions. On four of the next six plays, McIlhenny fumbled and Schmidt recovered; Dan Lewis fumbled and John Symank recovered; Dave Whitsell intercepted Starr's pass; and Hank Gremminger intercepted Rote's pass. The Bays took over on their 26 early in the third quarter and scored in nine plays. Hornung led off with an 11-yard run. After two runs and a Packer in-motion penalty, McIlhenny took Starr's perfect pitch for 25 yards with Bill Howton pulling away a defender to the Detroit 34. McIlhenny ran two and then McGee caught two passes - for six yards and then 25 to the one. McIlhenny crashed over left guard for the score and Hornung's kick made it 14-10. The Lions then scored in 14 plays. The Lions had a first down on the four and Rote scored on second down. Martin's kick made it 17-14. In the fourth quarter McGee tried his punt-run and the Lions scored in six plays. Rote's 13-yard pass to Richards, Cassady's 6-yard run and Gedman's 4-yard TD blast did the damage. In the last minute, Karras was thrown out for beating Starr on the back with his fist while making no effort to tackle him.
GREEN BAY - 7 0 7 0 - 14
DETROIT - 10 0 7 7 - 24
GREEN BAY DETROIT
First Downs 14 15
Rushing-Yards-TD 25-104-1 34-94-3
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 30-15-159-1-1 22-7-114-0-1
Sack Yards Lost 21 10
Total Yards 242 198
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-2
Turnovers 3 3
Yards penalized 5-23 6-51
1st - GB - Max McGee, 28-yard pass from Bart Starr (Paul Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
1st - DET - Ken Webb, 1-yard run (Jim Martin kick) TIED 7-7
1st - DET- Martin, 32-yard field goal DETROIT 10-7
3rd - GB - Don McIlhenny, 1-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 14-10
3rd - DET - Tobin Rote, 1-yard run (Martin kick) DETROIT 17-14
4th - DET - Gene Gedman, 4-yard run (Martin kick) DETROIT 24-14
GREEN BAY - Paul Hornung 8-50, Don McIlhenny 11-32 1 TD, Bart Starr 4-16, Max McGee 1-9, Al Carmichael 1-(-3)
DETROIT - Gene Gedman 11-28 1 TD, Howard Cassady 7-28, Tobin Rote 9-27 1 TD, Ken Webb 5-14 1 TD, John Henry Johnson 1-0, Dan Lewis 1-(-3)
GREEN BAY - Bart Starr 29-15-159 1 TD 1 INT, Max McGee 1-0-0
DETROIT - Tobin Rote 21-7-114 1 INT, Gene Gedman 1-0-0
GREEN BAY - Max McGee 4-54 1 TD, Don McIlhenny 3-22, Paul Hornung 3-20, Billy Howton 1-25, Jim Taylor 1-25, Steve Meilinger 1-10, Joe Johnson 1-4, Al Carmichael 1-(-1)
DETROIT - Perry Richards 4-71, Tom Rychlec 1-23, Jim Gibbons 1-20, Howard Cassady 1-0
2 MISTAKES HURT MOST
NOV 27 (Detroit) - "Mistakes, that's what hurt us most. We make them and we don't have the finesse to come back." So said Coach Scooter McLean after his Packers dropped a 24-14 Thanksgiving Day decision to the Lions. He pinpointed two mistakes which he thought probably spelled defeat, a fumbled pass by Al Carmichael and Max McGee's decision to run with the ball on a fourth down situation in the fourth period. "Those two situations led to a total of 14 Lion points," said McLean. "We had enough opportunities to win the game. We had the momentum, but we didn't follow through. Instead, in the first period we gave them a tremendous lift with the fourth down mess (McGee's failure to make a first down) - and they took the lead away." With the Packers leading, 7-0, Carmichael fumbled a Bart Starr pass on his own 12 and Alex Karras recovered for the Lions and ran the ball back to the five. From there the Lions scored to knot the count. McLean, in recalling Carmichael's fumble said, "he could have run quite a way, he was open. But then we dropped a lot of key passes." McGee's attempt to run the ball in the fourth quarter gave the Lions possession on the Packer 24 from where they tallied. Asked he had censured McGee, Scooter said he had no comment. He did, however, indicate that he had informed McGee of his displeasure. He then went on to remark, "I think Max didn't realize the score of the game at the time," adding, "deep in his heart he was playing to win. He obviously didn't realize the position of the field and ran to the closed side." McGee's fourth down run in the first period gave the ball to the Lions on the Packer 28 and several plays later Jim Martin booted a 32-yard field goal. "I thought the boys really tried," McLean said. "The defense did a heckuva job." The Packers' lone casualty was Hank Gremminger. He injured his ankle when he tackled Tobin Rote in the third quarter. It is believed he sustained a torn ligament. "A Lion was standing on my foot," said Gremminger, "when Charlie Ane blocked me as I tackled Rote. I think I heard something snap." Rote, who was having a bruised kidney taken care of in the Lions' dressing room, had high praise for the Packers. "They were hitting as hard as any club we played this season," he said. George Wilson, Lions' coach, echoed Rote's sentiments. "They went all out to win for Scooter," he said. Wilson reported that tackles Gil Mains and Bob Miller both sustained knee injuries which could keep them out of the rest of the season.
BAYS HAVE CONTACTED DUNCAN, MCLEAN SAYS
NOV 28 (Appleton Post-Crescent) - The Green Bay Packers, unable to escape last place in the NFL, are entitled to the first choice in the NFL early draft at Philadelphia Monday, and Coach Ray McLean has that fact in mind. "We need a quarterback, and we need offensive backs first," he said Friday. "I can't tell you which one we'll draft first. We've been on the phone all day talking to prospects and we'll be in contact with them until we decide which ones to choose. First a kid will tell us he wants to play and then he'll decide he doesn't. We've got to be sure. We'll be on that phone up the last minute."...DUNCAN INCLUDED: Quarterbacks named by McLean as among those he has contacted included Randy Duncan of Iowa. McLean said he didn't care about size so long as the prospect can pass. He said Duncan, whom he rated as a good passer and all around player, wants to play for Green Bay. Other quarterbacks he's talked to, he said, were Billy Stacy of Mississippi State, Joe Kapp of California, Tom Greene of Holy Cross, Lee Grosscup of Utah and Buddy Humphrey of Baylor. He listed Don Clark of Ohio State as the first offensive back in a long list of eligibles. Only the first four rounds will be held Monday, with the rest slated for January. The Packers have surrendered their third choice to Cleveland as the price for getting end Len Ford...9 AND 7 CHOICES: Los Angeles and Detroit, by reason of previous agreements, will have nine and seven choices, respectively, Monday. McLean will travel to Philadelphia with General Manager Vern Lewellen and Talent Scout Jack Vainisi. Assistant Coach Nick Skorich will take the Packers to San Francisco Monday to prepare for the game with the 49ers Dec. 7. The team will headquarter at Palo Alto. McLean said Hank Gremminger hurt an ankle in the 24-14 loss to Detroit Thursday but may be ready for the next game. The Packers have a record of one victory, one tie and eight losses and cannot finish out of the NFL cellar.
PACKER DEFENSE DRAWS PRAISE; OFFENSE NO HELP, SCOOTER SAYS
NOV 28 (Milwaukee Journal) - In both dressing rooms after the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers here Thursday, 24-14, the talk was of Green Bay's defense. "Our defense played good ball," Ray (Scooter) McLean, Green Bay coach, said. "But we've got to score some points for them. They can't do it alone. We've got to score. We've got to get some easier ones." George Wilson, Detroit coach, said: "The Packers played real well on defense. Of course, we ourselves were all crippled up so we didn't have much offense. But I'd rather win a bad game than lose a good one." Tobin Rote, the former Packer who was less than sensational at quarterback for Detroit, also praised Green Bay's defense. "They were real tough out there," the Texan said. "I didn't have much of a day but we've had so many receivers injured that it's tough to get the timing of the new men. I wasn't throwing that ball very good, either." Back in the Packer dressing room, McLean was saying, "It's disgusting. When you have the momentum we had, the opportunities we had, then throw the game away." Bart Starr, Green Bay quarterback, said: "It was good to play again." He sat out the entire San Francisco game last Sunday. This time Babe Parilli and Joe Francis did not play. "On that interception," Starr said, "I just threw to the wrong man. Steve Meilinger was 10 yards behind the defense. I heard him holler at me after I threw the ball." The Packers' only serious casualty was defensive back Hank Gremminger. He was helped off the field in the third quarter with a bum ankle. He was walking with a limp after the game. The Lions, already crippled, lost tackles Bob Miller and Gil Mains with back and knee injuries, respectively.
SCOOTER WANTS PASSER, BACK
NOV 29 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Well, now that the Packers have earned the first pick in Monday's early draft at Philadelphia, who will it be? That's like asking Coach Scooter McLean who are the "bad eggs" on his football team. He wouldn't say. "Right now we're looking at college films," McLean said Friday in the wake of the club's eighth loss, which entitles it to the No. 1 pick. "We've been on the telephone all day, talking to prospects," McLean said. "And we'll be in contact with these prospects until we decide which ones to pick. First a kid will tell us he wants to play and then he decides he doesn't. We've got to be sure. We'll be on that phone up to the last minute." McLean doesn't have to be acquainted with what he needs. Against the Lions Thanksgiving Day, the Packers again demonstrated that their offense can't produce enough points to win. "We need a quarterback and we need offensive backs first," McLean pointed out. "Honest, I can't tell you which one we'll draft first." McLean named some quarterbacks he's been in contact with. There is Iowa's Randy Duncan, Billy Stacy of Mississippi State, Tom Greene of Holy Cross, Lee Grosscup of Utah and Buddy Humphrey of Baylor. Scooter said he didn't care about the prospect's size, just as long as he can pass. Probably the best qualified prospect is Richie Petitbon of Tulane. He is available for the draft, but has a year of college eligibility left. However, McLean needs help immediately and can't wait until Petitbon is available. The Rams, with nine picks coming in the first four rounds, are in an excellent position to grab eligible juniors. When asked about Duncan, he said the six foot, 180 pound Hawkeye wants to play with the Packers. Scooter called him a good passer and rated him all-around in football faculties. As far as an offensive back is concerned, Don Clark of Ohio State was the first name mentioned by McLean as he went down a list of eligibles. This will be McLean's first crack at the top collegians. He must replace deadwood with the best rookies he can find, or the Packers will never get out of the wilderness. While the Rams and Lions will clean up on 16 picks in the 48 player draw, the Bays will get only three. They owe their fourth choice to the Browns for Lenny Ford. Making the trip to Philadelphia with McLean will be General Manager Verne Lewellen and talent scout Jack Vainisi. Assistant coach Nick Skorich will take the club to San Francisco Monday in preparation for its game December 7 against the 49ers. They'll headquarter at Rickey's Studio Inn, Palo Alto. The Packers previously stayed at Sonoma, about 50 miles north of Frisco. McLean said that Hank Gremminger was the only casualty in the Detroit game. He injured an ankle but should be ready for the 49ers. "Maybe a little California sunshine will do us good," was McLean's parting shot. But it appears they'll need more than sunshine to escape the worst record in 40 years.
'PACKERS MISS RON KRAMER' BEAR SCOUT CALLS HIM IDEAL SLOT BACK; STARR STUDIES FOR JOB
NOV 30 (Milwaukee Journal) - "I'll tell you the guy the Packers miss the most this year," said Pete Halas, scout for the Chicago Bears, "and that's Ron Kramer. Now there is my idea of the ideal slotback." Pete is the nephew of George Halas, owner-coach of the Bears. He was in Detroit to scout the NFL game between Green Bay and the Lions. The Bears also use the slot T offense. The ends are split out and one of the halfbacks takes his position a yard back between the end and the tackle - in the slot. He is called the slotback but really is a third end. "In order to make the slot T offense work," Pete Halas said, "you've got to have someone who can block and is big and can catch the ball no matter if he is hit or has somebody hanging all over him. Kramer could do that. He was a natural for the job. He was mean. He liked to knock people down. He liked contact. That's what you've got to have a slotback." Halas was asked how he would compare Kramer and Bill McColl, the pianist-surgeon who plays the position for the Bears. "McColl is a good man," the Bear scout said, "but he's not as mean as Kramer." Kramer is now in the Air Force. His status for the future, as far as the Packers are concerned, is in doubt. Meanwhile, the Packers have been hurting for a replacement. Steve Meilinger was obtained in a trade with Washington but he didn't fill the bill. Gary Knafelc, before he went out for the season with a knee operation, could catch the ball but couldn't block a lick. Now Joe Johnson, a willing worker but too small, is the regular...'A GOOD PLACE': Three former pro football stars, now in the broadcasting end of the game - George Connor, Leon Hart and Paul Christman - were exchanging stories before the Thanksgiving Day game. Someone told Connor, who does the comment for the Packer telecasts, "You ought to suit up with the Packers today. They're a man short with Bullough out with a knee." Connor, an old Chicago Bear, laughed and Hart, a fellow Notre Dame man who played for the Lions and now helps broadcast their games, said, "Yeh, when you're all done, you can always play at Green Bay." Christman, a quarterback on the Chicago Cardinals when they were champions, said, "Don't you guys laugh. I put in a year at Green Bay and it was all right. When someone gets drafted by the Packers or traded to them, he usually says, 'Green Bay, I don't want to go there.' Then he goes there and find it's quite a place. The people treat you real fine. They really make things nice for you." Christman, who now telecasts with the Cardinals, was asked if he thought that close contract with the fans in a town like Green Bay was good for the players. "Sure, it is," he said. "Green Bay is a good place for a pro football player." "Sure," Hart said. "I believe you. But it's still the salt mine of the league"...HE STUDIED: The night before the Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit, Ray (Scooter) McLean was asked who would start at quarterback against the Lions. "Bart Starr," the Packer coach said. "Why?" he was asked. Starr had not played quarterback at all against San Francisco in Milwaukee the Sunday before. "Well," McLean said. "Bart took the movies of our game and a Detroit game home with him and studied them all week. He showed a lot of eagerness. Anybody that wants to play that bad, he's just got to start."
IS NFL'S 'EQUAL' DRAFT REALLY EQUAL? RAMS GET NINE CHOICES, STEELERS GET NONE
NOV 30 (Philadelphia) - The NFL's player draft will come up here Monday and the system Commissioner Bert Bell credits with equalizing team strength will allow the Los Angeles rams to draft nine players in just four rounds and the Pittsburgh Steelers none? Is there something wrong? Walter Wolfner, managing director of the Chicago Cardinals, and George Preston Marshall, volatile owner of the Washington Redskins, say definitely yes. George Halas, long a power in pro football policy, declines comment. Other owners and general managers vary in opinion from "no" to no comment. Commissioner Bell, recognized as the father of the draft, sees nothing wrong in the situation. How do the Rams get nine and the Steelers none when each should pick four? The situation is brought about by the league policy which allows clubs to use future draft choices as part of player trades. "It's like borrowing money from a loan shark to pay somebody else," says Wolfner. He has proposed to equalize strength in the league. "By trading draft choices strong teams can afford to draft 'redshirts'. The strong get stronger and weak gets weaker." (Redshirts are collegians eligible for the pro draft because their class has graduated but with college eligibility remaining. The pros "ice" them for future delivery when they actually graduate.) Marshall, the flip talking Redskins' owner, is equally vehement in his opposition to trading away draft choices. He would prohibit any team from dealing off or releasing its first and second round choices until the player selected has been signed and participated in at least three games. Marshall emphasized that the teams which need the choices worst are the ones that trade. Those clubs in favor of trading draft choices point to the fact that it gives a team a chance to strengthen ranks immediately with a proven performer. Coach Buddy Parker of Pittsburgh, in complete command of the club, has traded so many draft choices that some Pittsburgh fans have been questioning his tactics. Parker, however, says he would rather have "proven players" then take a chance in the draft. He claims he is building for the present, not the future. Paul Brown, coach of the Cleveland Browns, feels the same way and so do George Wilson of the Detroit Lions and Pete Rozelle of the Los Angeles Rams. A check of the rosters, however, shows conclusively that the clubs in contention are led by players selected in the draft and not by those secured in trades with the use of draft choices. Cleveland, leading the eastern conference, has Jimmy Brown, Milt Plum, Jim Ninowski and Bobby Mitchell, all selected in the draft; Baltimore, in front in the western conference, is led by Alan Ameche, Lenny Moore, George Shaw, etc., all draftees, too. When the clubs convene Monday, Los Angeles will select nine players. Detroit is entitled to seven and Cleveland five. Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Green Bay, the Bears and Giants each will have three. San Francisco and the Cardinals retain their four choices. Pittsburgh has none. Thus three teams will share 21 of the 48 players to be selected. Bell says he thinks the trading of draft choices is fine. He harkens back to the days when he coached the Philadelphia Eagles. "I traded almost all my draft choices. I'd rather have a tried pro than a draft choice who may never make my squad." He forgot to mention, however, that the Bell-coached, owned, trained Eagles almost always finished last.
MUNN IS MUM ON PACKER OFFER
DEC 1 (Detroit) - Biggie Munn, athletic director and former football coach of Michigan State, said here Sunday night that he would have no comment on a report that he had been offered "complete charge" of the Green Bay Packers in the front office and on the field. Munn's name as mentioned for the coaching job several years ago. He refused comment then, too. Lisle Blackbourn was subsequently hired. It is understood that a Packer stockholder held exploratory talks with Munn in Detroit last week. In Philadelphia where the Packers are attending the NFL player draft meeting, General Manager Verne Lewellen said of the report: "We know nothing about the matter at all."
GREMMINGER HAD A HAIRLINE FRACTURE
DEC 1 (Green Bay) - X-rays Monday morning showed that Hank Gremminger, Green Bay's defensive halfback, had suffered a hairline fracture just below his knee in Thursday's game with Detroit at Detroit. He will go with the club to San Francisco, however, and will probably play in next Sunday's game.
TIME OUT FOR A TALK - QUEER IDEAS
DEC 1 (Milwaukee Journal - Oliver Kuechle) - The Packer have queer ideas about where they fit into the scheme of things. They think they have but to nod to a good college coach, if and when they decided to make a change, and he will come running. They have another guess coming. An Associated Press story out of Detroit Monday morning said that a member of the Packers' front office had approached Biggie Munn, Michigan State's athletic director, ostensibly about the Packer job. General Manager Verne Lewellen, in Philadelphia for the draft meeting, denied it. Munn himself politely said "no comment" - and later laughed. The Packers have about as much chance to get Munn as they have of winning this year's championship. In the first place, he's set at Michigan State, in the second, if he does move he will go to Minnesota, his alma mater, and in the third, most good college coaches want nothing to do with pro ball. Their names are bandied around, but how many of them go? The Packers don't seem to understand this. There are things besides money...DUNCAN: Whether the Packers made a wise choice in passer Randy Duncan in Monday morning's draft remains to be seen. There's no question about Duncan's passing skill. He is a good one. As a runner, however, he leaves a lot to be desired. He is not, for instance, a Hackbart of a Thornton, when trapped, comparing him with Big Ten quarterbacks. He is not a ball carrier. The choice clearly indicated, however, that the Packers have just about given up on Bart Starr and Babe Parilli. Duncan next fall, if he plays, will certainly have every chance to be the No. 1 quarterback. If he plays? At season's start, he said he was not interested in pro ball. He must have changed his mind.
END BICKERING OR I QUIT, BELL DECLARES
DEC 1 (Philadelphia) - Bert Bell told NFL owners Monday that he would like to continue to run the league "by persuasion" but that unless they end internal squabbling he is ready to give up his contract. Bell conferred with the owners after the annual player draft. "As far as I'm concerned," the 65-year old Bell said, "I don't want to be a Czar. I have always tried to do things by persuasion. But the individual bickering and the squawking of coaches has got to stop. If it doesn't I'll have to run strictly by the book. And unless I can run the league the way the books says, I will give up my contract." The owners retorted by giving the commissioner a vote of confidence and telling him run things by the book. The $50,000-a-year commissioner, now in his 13th year as head of the NFL, said he was annoyed by accusations of owners against each other; he was annoyed by the squawking of coaches about officials; he was tired of arguments. He told the owners that unless things were stopped they could have his job. Bell went on to say that he had warned the owners they must do something to cut down on scouting, training camp, travel and office expense. He said they must find a way to share the rich television money with the lower clubs. "Unless we do," Bell asserted, "we're going to be in trouble in the future." Worried about the increased costs of operation, Bell said the situation could become desperate for four or five clubs. He refused to name the teams, but it was obvious he was talking about the Eagles, Steelers, Packers and Cardinals.
PACKERS GET DUNCAN, IOWA QB, AS FIRST CHOICE
DEC 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers made Iowa quarterback Randy Duncan the No. 1 choice in the annual NFL's preliminary draft in Philadelphia today. Packer Coach Scooter McLean claimed the pinpoint passing Duncan, prize quarterback of the mighty Big Ten, immediately after NFL Commissioner Bert Bell opened the draft meeting. The Packers, badly in need of a good passing quarterback, felt they got him in the 21-year old Duncan, a former Des Moines High School star who in the past three years has passed Big Ten opposition dizzy. The 6-foot, 180-pounder, key man on the Rose Bowl-bound Iowa team, led the Big Ten in total offense with 1,706 yards in nine games. He completed 101 of 172 passes for 1,347 yards, 11 touchdowns and an excellent 58.7 completion percentage. McLean selected Alex Hawkins of North Carolina on the second round and Boyd Dowler, quarterback and offensive end from Colorado, in the third round. Green Bay's fourth choice went to Cleveland in exchange for Len Ford. Hawkins, a power runner, stands 6-1 and packs 195 pounds. Dowler, also a punter, stands 6-5 and weighs 215. Duncan has good speed and proved to be a pretty good runner on the option and bootleg plays. His running helped Iowa beat Notre Dame a few weeks ago. The Iowa lad's best day in the past season came against Ohio State when he completed 22 off 33 passes for 239 yards and one touchdown, tying the Big Ten record for completions in a single game. Illinois' Tommy O'Connell held the one mark of 22. Second choice was made by the Los Angeles Rams who took the nation's total offense leader, halfback Dick Bass of the College of the Pacific. Bass gained 1,440 yards on 217 plays and scored 116 points this past season. The Rams get Bass with a choice obtained from the Philadelphia Eagles in last winter's deal which sent quarterback Norm Van Brocklin to Philadelphia...BEARS GRAB CLARK: The Chicago Cardinals, third in line, grabbed Bill Stacy, Mississippi State's split-T star and one of the outstanding backs in the Southeast conference. Washington selected Don Allard, Boston College's highly touted passing quarterback; San Francisco selected Dave Baker, Oklahoma back, and the Detroit Lions took Notre Dame's slashing fullback, Nick Pietrosante. The rest of the first round: The Chicago Bears took Don Clark, Ohio State back; San Francisco, using a choice obtained from Pittsburgh, selected Don James, Ohio State center; Los Angeles picked Paul Dickson, Baylor tackle; New York named Lee Grosscup, Utah quarterback; Cleveland grabbed Rick Kreitling, Illinois end, and Baltimore selected Jackie Burkett, Auburn center...The Packers almost lost a passenger today - Hank Gremminger, the defensive back who was hurt in the Thanksgiving Day game at Detroit. X-rays revealed this morning that Hank has a hairline fracture in his ankle, but it was expected that he could still see some action in the two coast game - San Francisco Sunday and Los Angeles Dec. 14. So Gremminger was on the United Airlines plane when it left Austin Straubel Field at 9:30 this morning. The team was in charge of Nick Skorich, assistant coach, while Scooter McLean attended the draft. Also with Scooter at the draft are Scout Jack Vainisi, general manager Verne Lewellen and Packer President Dominic Olejniczak...There was a rumor out of Detroit today that Biggie Munn of Michigan State has been offered "complete charge" of the Packers. The same story bobbed up a year ago after the Packers played in Detroit. Lewellen said in Philly today: "We know nothing about the matter at all."
GREEN BAY TAKES DUNCAN OF IOWA AS FIRST DRAFT PICK
DEC 1 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers chose Randy Duncan, Iowa quarterback, as the first selection in the annual NFL draft of college players here Monday. On the second and third rounds, Green Bay took Alex Hawkins, South Carolina halfback, and Boyd Dowler, Colorado quarterback-end. Packer coach Ray McLean claimed Duncan, prize quarterback of the Big Ten, immediately after Commissioner Bert Bell opened the draft meeting. The 12 teams met to select the first four rounds of their annual 30 player draft. In all, 48 college players were to be selected. The rest of the draft will be held at the league's winter meeting in January. Green Bay
had first pick under the draft rules which provide that the teams select from last to first as shown in the standings the day before the meeting. Green Bay's 1-8-1 record currently is the worst in the league. The Packers got only three choices Monday. They had traded their fourth round choice to Cleveland for defensive end Len Ford. Hawkins is a 190 pound, 6 foot 1 inch halfback. Dowler is a 6-5, 215 pound end and quarterback who no doubt will be tried at slot back. He was blocking back in the single wing and also was used at end for his pass catching. He also is a punter. The Packers, badly in need of a good passing quarterback, felt they got him in the 21 year old Duncan, a former Des Moines high school start who in the last two years has passed Big Ten opposition dizzy. The 6 foot, 180 pounder, key man of the Rose Bowl bound Iowa team, led the Big Ten in total offense with 1,706 yards in nine games. He completed 101 of 172 passes for 1,347 yards, 11 touchdowns and an excellent 58.7 completion percentage.
DUNCAN, NO. 1 PACKER PICK, LOOKS AT PROS AS CHALLENGE
DEC 2 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Randy Duncan looks at pro football "as a challenge". The Packers' No. 1 draft choice and All-American quarterback from the University of Iowa said via long distance telephone today that "I'd like to give it a crack and I'd like nothing better than to play quarterback in that league." Duncan, a quick-speaking individual, admitted he was excited about being drafted "first yesterday" but quickly added that "I'd like to put everything in the background now until after the Rose Bowl game." Duncan, who wants to become a lawyer, disregarded talk that he was disappointed because he was drafted by Green Bay and also that Green Bay doesn't have a law school. "I've got to think the whole thing through. My mind is open on the subject," he said, explaining that he had no preconceived opinions as to what club he hoped he might play with. The Iowa star, who is the first Packer signal caller to come out of Iowa since the talented Joe Laws, said his father is a corporation lawyer in Des Moines. "That doesn't mean I'll necessarily be a lawyer but a law degree forms a good background for other jobs," Duncan said. Duncan's major selling points for the Packers are (1) a good passing arm and (2) leadership ability. His record of 101 completions in 172 attempts for 58 percent, 1,347 yards and 11 touchdowns speaks for his arm. He has been rated by opponents as the "fireball" of the Iowa team. his noise and generalship pulled out the Wisconsin game, sports folks in Madison said, after his team was behind 9-0 at the half. He calls all of Iowa's plays and he's considered there as a cocky leader. Packerland got a good look at Duncan in the nationally-televised Iowa-Notre Dame two weeks ago. He ran four times for over 40 yards - in addition to passing. Asked about his running, of which he has done little this season, Duncan laughed: "The slowest man alive could have gained on those plays, the way they (Notre Dame) had their defense set." Duncan, a 6-foot, 180-pounder, made his gains on rollouts. Packer Coach Scooter McLean, who left the draft meeting in Philadelphia Monday afternoon and then flew out to San Francisco to join the Bays, said that "we selected Duncan on the first round because we feel we need a quarterback to work into our plans." This thinking was based on the Packers' four victories in the last 22 games with Babe Parilli and Bart Starr at the helm. McLean followed Duncan by selecting Alex Hawkins, a back from South Carolina, on the second round and Colorado's Boyd Dowler, a combination QB-offensive end, on the third. The Bays' fourth round choice went to Cleveland as payment for Len Ford. Jack Vainisi, Packer scout who assisted McLean, is in South Carolina interviewing Hawkins, after which he'll go on to chat with Dowler. Since he still had a game left plus plenty of practice, contract talks with Duncan will have to wait until after the Rose Bowl game Jan. 1. Hawkins is a bullish type player and can do both ways. A former quarterback, Hawkins, can also pass. He packs 191 now but will go up to 197. He plays cornerbacker on defense and is a pro prospect for that job. Dowler is a rare bird since he led Colorado on both passing and pass receiving. This was made possible by playing QB under the center when the T-formation was used and at blocking QB or offensive end when the single wing was employed. Colorado used a multiple offense. Well coordinated despite his size (6-5, 215), Dowler is the Big Eight high hurdles champion. He runs the 100 in 9.9. in track.
NFL LOOKING LIKE OLD SELF AS BUBBLE BURSTS
DEC 2 (Philadelphia) - The NFL is beginning to look more like itself again. Recent league meetings have been so peaceful and full of brotherly love they appeared more like Quaker seminars. But Monday the bubble burst. The NFL owners were acting like NFL owners. Commissioner Bert Bell confirmed it in a backhanded sort of way. The commissioner presided over the annual early draft session during which the clubs drafted 48 of the nation's top college football players. Iowa's Randy Duncan, a fine passing quarterback from Iowa, was the No. 1 pick. Green Bay selected the 21-year old Big Ten star...HEART-TO-HEART: Then Bell and the owners secluded themselves in executive session. Apparently there were fireworks. Bell told the press: "I told them (the owners) to stop squabbling or they could have my job." Bell attempted to smooth over the disclosure by describing it as a heart-to-heart confab with his bosses. He said he wasn't angry, didn't threaten anyone. "I told them that I didn't want to be a czar. I have always tried to run this league by persuasion," he said. "I told them the individual bickering among owners, the squawking by coaches has got to stop. If it doesn't I'll have to run the league by the book instead of persuasion. If I can't run the league the way the book says, I will give up my contract." The owners retorted, so Bell reported, by giving the commissioner a unanimous vote of confidence and told him to operate by the book come what may. The $50,000-a year commissioner said he was annoyed by accusations made by owners against each other and against him. He intimated someone called him a stooge. He said he was annoyed with coaches squawking about officials. "If they don't stop, you can have my job," he said. "Football has been my life. If you won't let me run it according to the book, I'll step down. You run it." Then, after he had said his piece, Bell tried to minimize it. "Don't make a big thing of it, boys," he said to the press. It's not small when you offer to quit, he was told. Bell went on to other things. He said the league faced a difficult future despite record-setting attendance each year. "This is the best year in our history," he said, "yet four or five clubs are n danger of losing money." He declined to name the teams, but further questions indicated he referred to the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Cardinals and Green Bay Packers...'MIGHT NOT SURVIVE': He said some plan must be designed to help the clubs who might at some time get in trouble financially. "Some of these teams don't have the big season ticket sales of the richer clubs. Several Sundays of bad weather and they can lose $100,000 to $150,000 for a season. They might not survive. We have to take into consideration that the lower teams are battling for life," he said. The commissioner suggested one way to help was a more equal share of television money. As things are now, the more successful teams share in the major portion of the TD dough. The lower clubs, the ones least desired by TV sponsors, get less. Bell also suggested to the owners they get together and discuss ways to cut costs of scouting, training camps, travel, hotel bills and office routine. They're getting out of hand, he said. he concluded by declaring, "We're a 12 team league and we have to remain at least that. We can't play with six or seven. We need each other. The rich must help the poor or we'll have nothing eventually." All these problems and more are on the docket for the league's annual meeting here starting Jan. 20. Peace was wonderful while it lasted.
SO PROS STILL DEAL IN FUTURES AND GO BY 'ORIGINAL CLASS'
DEC 2 (Milwaukee Sentinel-Lloyd Larson) - Walter Wolfner, managing director of the Chicago Cardinals, last week put the blast on two things that are damaging to and therefore weaken the professional football structure: 1 - Drafting players still eligible for college competition even though their original class has graduated or is graduating. 2 - Trading future draft choices, a rather old and now standard practice. The reasoning behind his demand for a change: "Unless the present draft setup is altered, the strong clubs will remain strong and the weak clubs will remain weak." The inference was that he would fight hard to assure more balanced competition. How hard he fought when the league's easly draft meeting was called to order is a matter of conjecture. If he did give it the old pro try, it's apparent he did not score, as witness what happened at Monday's draft session in Philadelphia. Three players still eligible for college play went in the first round: Dick Bass, College of Pacific halfback; Rick Kreitling, Illinois end, and Jackie Burkett, Auburn center. Los Angeles wound up with nine players and Detroit seven in the first four rounds. In each case, the extras were obtained by swapping players during the past year for draft rights to 1959 eligibles. By contrast, Pittsburgh, having traded off its first four choices, added no new talent...THE 'ORIGINAL CLASS' PROCEDURE: In case someone wonders how the pros can put the draft finger on a man still eligible for at least another college season, here's the way it works. The pro rule says a player is eligible for their league four years after he starts college. In the meantime, his progress towards graduation may be delayed by military service, change of schools, illness or withdrawal for any other reason. The players also may have been delayed in using up his allotted years of eligibility by being held out of official competition for a year, while a more or less officials member of a varsity squad. That's called "redshirting" by the colleges. Fortunately, the practice is going by the boards in leading conferences. Because of this four-years-after-matriculation policy, the pros can draft juniors like Bass, Kreitling and Burkett. Kreitling, for instance, enrolled originally at Auburn. The next year he transferred to Illinois, where he is now listed as a junior and has had only two seasons of varsity football. The starting year at Auburn (1955) is the one that counts, however. On that basis, his original class graduates next June and he is free, by pro rules, to switch to the Sunday League...CASE OF SAM WILLIAMS: The outstanding example of working the "original class" angle to the hilt was Los Angeles' selection of Sam Williams before he had played a minute for Michigan State. The giant Spartan end, now 27, was a freshman for a brief period in 1949. Then he quit school and worked for awhile before enlisting for a four year service hitch. Actually, he was eligible to join the pros, according to their rule, any time after June of 1953. Williams isn't the only current senior already wrapped up for 1959 delivery. Among others drafted previously is Gene Selawski, big Purdue tackle. The Rams undoubtedly are the most successful future dealers. Last year they drafted something like 15 players slated to graduate next June. Add the current draft extras and they are guaranteed a bulging stockpile of new talent, and presumably enough surplus to trade off for more future draft choices. In other words, the advantage should be self-perpetuating. That's what Wolfner surely had in mind. Even though a club, like Pittsburgh this year, can point to occasional immediate benefit from giving up draft choices, I still agree with Wolfner that the pros' draft policies are due for an overhauling. Specifically, they should keep hands off collegians until they have completed their eligibility span, and they should outlaw the growing practice of trading future draft choices in order to guarantee each club an equal shot at the new talent available each year.
PACKERS' THIRD DOWN HISTORY IN DETROIT:
DEC 2 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Tuesday Quarterback No. 10: Unless our team is a powerhouse, third downs can be awfully critical. That's what third downs are to the Packers, obviously. Quarterback Bart Starr was confronted with 12 third down situations in Detroit Thanksgiving Day. He passed or attempted to pass on each third down - chiefly because of mostly "long" yardage needs - from 18 yards on down to 4. Here's the Packers' third down history for Thanksgiving Day, 1958:
Third and 10 yards to go, Starr completes pass to Paul Hornung for 9 yards. (Starr sneaked for first down).
Third and 12, Starr can't pass, runs 11. (Starr sneaks for first down).
Third and 18. Starr passes to Don McIlhenny loss of 6. Punt.
Third and 10, Joe Schmidt tripped Starr's pass to Bill Howton, Max McGee ran off punt.
Third and 15, Starr passes to Howton for 25 yards.
Third and 8, Starr to Steve Meilinger incomplete. Pass tipped by Alex Karras.
Third and 10, Starr's pass in ground, rushed.
Third and 16, Starr passes to McIlhenny for 35 yards.
Third and 4, Starr passes to McGee for 25 yards. (McIlhenny plunged 1 yard for touchdown on next play.)
Third and 4, Starr can't pass, lost 6 running.
Third and 9, Starr can't pass, lost 4 running.
Third and 4, Starr to Mcgee, incomplete.
Thus, for the 12 third down plays, Starr completed five for 88 yards, ran three times for a minus 1 yard, and had four passes incomplete. The key to the Packers' troubles seemed to take place in the fourth quarter. Note those three third down plays in that period and remember the score was only 17-14. The Packers couldn't protect Starr, who was thrown for 10 yards of losses in the first two third downers and then barely got off a pass to McGee...LEFTOVERS FROM DETROIT: Jack Lavelle, the noted scout for the New York Giants, asked: "How are all the directors in Green Bay?" We informed Jack that "they're okay now but they weren't after the beating in Baltimore," to which he answered: "They (the Colts) were going to bear you and beat you good that day and there wasn't anything you could do about it. The Colts can do it to any team." The Giants beat the Colts the following Sunday. How did they do it, Jack? Answer: "We just wanted to beat them and we did it by giving them a good physical beating. We used that Brown system; played it hard and rough. They're human."..."What's wrong with the Packers?" Paul Christman, quarterback of the great Chicago Cardinal teams of the late 1940s, thought over the question a moment the night before the Turkey Day game and explained: "I guess maybe you'd have to say they need a take-charge guy at quarterback. That's about all." You can't help but think what a take-charger, Bobby Layne, did at Pittsburgh!...Jim Ringo doesn't get his name in the papers very often, but the veteran center made the prints twice in four plays in the first quarter. He recovered Don McIlhenny's fumble for a six-yard gain and three plays later passed the ball low to Max McGee on a punt. That low pass-back was ironic because Jim hadn't had a serious one since his first year, 1953. When the offense went off the field, Ringo practiced snapping the long ball behind the bench.
PACKERS PLAN TWO CHANGES, AP REPORTS
DEC 2 (Milwaukee-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - There is mounting pressure among members of the Green Bay Packers' executive committee for a new general manager, as well as a new head coach, the Associated Press learned today. One committee member predicted that both General Manager Verne Lewellen and Coach Ray (Scooter) McLean would be released by the NFL club. But another informed source, who also declined to be identified, said McLean has a better chance of retaining his post than Lewellen. McLean is winding up his first season as field boss. Lewellen, a former Packer great, is in his fifth year as the club's first general manager. (Dominic Olejniczak, Packer president, vigorously denied today that any changes are being contemplated by the Packer executive committee.) Time-for-a-change sentiment has grown steadily since mid-season when it became obvious that the Packers were headed for their worst campaign in 40 years. The Packers own the sorriest record in the NFL, 1-8-1. Only two other Packers teams, the 1949 and 1953 clubs, have finished with poorer records. Curly Lambeau's 1949 club posted a 2-10-0 record while Gene Ronzani was at the helm of the 1953 edition, which wound up with a 2-9-1 standard. Lambeau quit after the 1949 campaign to become coach of the Chicago Cardinals. Ronzani resigned with two games left to play in 1953...TWO GAMES LEFT: "It's obvious we need a change," the committee member said. "I feel there is a good chance both Lewellen and McLean will be released. A number of members feel the same way. I doubt very much whether one man will be hired to handle both jobs. There's just too much work for one man." There is no indication when an announcement will be made regarding the 1959 season, but it is unlikely anything will be done until after the season is over. The Packers still have two more games to play. McLean's predecessor, Lisle (Liz) Blackbourn, was given a pink slip last January while he was scouting the Senior Bowl game.
PACKERS PROBLEM: WILL DUNCAN PLAY?
DEC 2 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packers want Iowa quarterback Randy Duncan to play with them next season, but does Duncan want to play for the Packers? That was the big question Monday after Green Bay pried off the NFL player draft by picking the pinpoint passer and field brain of the Rose Bowl bound Big 10 champion. Duncan was gratified to learn he was the No. 1 pick in the pro football draft, but he was surprised he was picked by the Packers and not by the Rams. "I thought the Rams were going to draft me," he said. "But I think Green Bay is a real fine team. I don't know, though, whether I'm going to play pro ball." Duncan said his basic desire is to become an attorney and he intends to go after a law degree whether he plays pro ball or not. "I might play if I get the right offer, but I'm still thinking about going to law school," Duncan added. "I don't know whether I could play and go to school at the same time, but it might be especially hard at Green Bay because there's no school there." Duncan, returning to the Iowa campus after a trip to New York to receive All-American awards, said both the Rams and Packers had talked to him about playing pro ball, "the Rams quite a lot," he said. "I didn't get any offers but I suppose I'll hear from them now," Duncan said. "But right now I'm just thinking of the Rose Bowl game and I don't think I'll talk to them until after that." Duncan said that although he indicated his interest in going to law school to the Packers, he believed they might have drafted him with the idea that their offer could be made attractive enough to change his mind. Iowa coach Forest Evashevski said: "I think it's nice that he's thought of so highly by the pros, but they don't think any more of him than I do. We've still got the Rose Bowl game to play and I'm sure Randy will be thinking about that and not dwell too much on the pro aspects until after the game." Duncan is a 6-foot, 180-pounder, Green Bay hopes he will solve its passing quarterback problems. Duncan led the Big 10 in total offense this season with 1,706 yards in nine games. He completed 101 of 172 passes for 1,346 yards, 11 touchdowns and an excellent 58.7 pass completion percentage. The Packers also snared Alex Hawkins, a 6-1, 190-pound halfback from South Carolina, in the second round and Colorado quarterback Boyd Dowler in the third. Their fourth pick went to Cleveland in payment for acquiring Len Ford. Dowler, 6-5, 214 pounds, is a sprinter capable of breaking 10 seconds in a track suit. He can kick, run or pass and could be labeled for halfback duty with Green Bay. The Rams reaped the biggest harvest as the pros opened the 1958 grab bag and dipped in for future stars. Los Angeles came up with nine players, their regular quota of four plus five secured in trades with other teams in past years. Detroit bagged seven and Cleveland and San Francisco five each during the four-hour session. Welding the loss acquired from Philadelphia in a deal which sent quarterback Norm Van Brocklin to the Eagles, the Rams picked Dick Bass, the nation's collegiate total offense leader. Los Angeles took Bass even though he has another year of eligibility at the College of the Pacific. In an oddity, no one was selected from Louisiana State, ranked No. 1 in the nation. No one was picked from Wisconsin or Marquette either.
DUNCAN PLEASED BY SELECTION BY MAY NOT PLAY PRO FOOTBALL
DEC 2 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Green Bay Packers have quarterback problems - both present and future. Randy Duncan of Iowa, their first choice in the NFL draft of college players at Philadelphia Monday, said Tuesday, "I don't know whether I'm going to play pro ball." Duncan arrived in Iowa City after a trip to New York for a television appearance with an all-American team and said, "I thought the Los Angeles Rams were going to draft me." "I think Green Bay is a real fine team," he said. "I might play if I get the right offer, but I'm still thinking about going to law school. I don't know whether I could play and go to school at the same time. It might be especially hard at Green Bay, because there's no school there." Duncan said that he would talk the situation over with his father and Coach Forest Evashevski. "They both gave pretty good advice." Eveshevski said, "I think it's nice that he's thought of so highly by the pros, but they don't think any more of him that I do. We've still got the Rose Bowl game to play and I'm sure Randy will be thinking about that and not dwell too much on the pro aspects until after the game."
PACKER DRAFTEE HAWKINS EYES CANADIAN BID
DEC 2 (Columbia, SC) - South Carolina halfback Alex Hawkins says he is "very pleased" that he was a high choice in the NFL draft, but there was a good chance he may play his pro football in Canada. Hawkins was the No. 2 draft choice of the Green Bay Packers Monday. Hawkins said his selection by Green Bay was "fine with me." But he also has been interviewed by Coach Peahead Walker of the Montreal Alouettes and may play in the Canadian league "if there's enough money in it." Hawkins is majoring in psychology at South Carolina and hopes to eventually work as a college coach.
PACKER STORY: 'DON'T USE MY NAME BUT..."
DEC 3 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Famous First Word: "Don't use my name but the trouble with..." And so it goes during this Packer year of 1958. There were two glaring examples of don't-use-my-name-buts this season and each individual that there is a dangerous infection in the two major branches of the Packers - the team and the executive committee. On Nov. 15, which was the day before the Bear game in Chicago, a Packer player permitted himself to be quoted anonymously at length in the public prints (not this paper) on just what's wrong with the Packers on the field; and he even went into individual player names. The spiller of such was called an unidentified player in the story. The Packers, some of them reading it for the first time en route to Chicago, were a suspicious lot, wondering who the hair-brain was. Most of them had their ideas and it probably wouldn't have taken much to set off a riot. The guilty goof not only displayed a complete lack of respect for authority, he uncovered a lack of guts by not using his name. Neither quality is conducive to winning pro football. That public-print incident could be passed off with a "humpf" in view of the fact that the participants are quite young, but you haven't heard anything yet. Hark over to Tuesday, Dec. 1, and you have an example of a similar delinquency; only this one might be termed adult delinquency. We are referring to the member of the executive committee who told the Associated Press that "I feel there is a good chance both Lewellen and McLean will be released!" The committee has 13 members; it had 12 1/2 after Dec. 1 when one member made like a big shot and violated the trust of the other members. Quite a group! Packer President Dominic Olejniczak was real unhappy yesterday when he discovered that a member had "spilled". One of the Packers' major problems now is to keep any of the Packer officials from sitting on the panic button, which already is getting a good pushing from some of the alarmists downtown. The Packers have a problem, a losing team, but leave us not go beserk. We still have a football team and it's trying to get ready for two more games. How about everybody shutting their traps until the season's over! And if anybody's got a piece to speak then - Packer committeemen or not, please identify yourself!
HAWKINS MAKES CONTACT PITCH; TONIC TO PACK
DEC 3 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Alex Hawkins, the Packers' No. 2 draft choice, is making a pitch for a far contract early. The South Carolina back said at Columbia, S.C. Tuesday that he is interested in playing pro football "if there is enough money in it." Hawkins says he's also talking with Montreal of the Canadian League. The All-Atlantic Coast Conference back who also stars on defense said, "It would be fine with me to play defense for the pros but right now with no definite post-college plans I'm very interested in playing where I can make the most money." Packer Scout Jack Vainisi was to have talked with Hawkins yesterday. Hawkins has accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl in Mobile next month...The Packers are finding the weather and surroundings at Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.) quite a tonic in getting ready for a shot at victory No. 2 at the expense of the 49ers Sunday. Coach Scooter McLean sent the team through a tough workout today...It sounds strange Dept.: Boyd Dowler, the Packers' third draft pick, was listed as "a fine passer and receiver" when he was named recently on the AP's All-Big Eight team. The 6-5 handyman plays quarterback and/or end, depending on the offensive formation.
THE HUNT FOR A SCAPEGOAT BEGINS
DEC 3 (Milwaukee Journal-Oliver Kuechle) - Now comes the hunt for a scapegoat for what has happened to the Green Bay Packers this unhappy football season. It was always thus: A scapegoat. An Associated Press story out of Green Bay Tuesday, quoting one of those familiar spokesmen with concealed identity, said that both Coach Scooter McLean and General Manager Verne Lewellen would be fired at season's end. The Packers have won one game, lost eight, tied one and at the moment are on the west coast awaiting what will probably be further hacking from the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. The "unidentified spokesman" unquestionably must be a member of the bulky executive committee of 13. Who else dare talk with such authority? The thought then comes, if changes must be made, why doesn't the executive committee of 13, including the spokesman, look right at itself? Why doesn't it get to the very bottom of the club's troubles?...'CONTRIBUTIONS': There is no need to dig again into the executive committee's "contributions" to the club's failures since life was made intolerable for Curly Lambeau 10 years ago and he fled the scene - the petty personal jealousies, the fender bending to get into the front row of the official parking areas around the stadium, the king making role a few insist they play, the archaic methods of administration by subcommittees, the weekly Monday meetings with the coach to explain what happened on Sunday, friendly but pointed little questions like "Why isn't so and so in there more? He's a pretty good man," the refusal to let a general manager direct things with a strong and an unfettered hand. There is no need to expound on them and other things of executive committee origin that have made for a completely unhealthy coaching or playing situation for so long. They exist - period. They lie at the bottom of the club's troubles....OVERHAULING: Hugh Strange of Neenah, a member of the 45 member board of directors, suggested a few weeks ago that a complete overhauling be made. He was right. Cut the 45 to half or less. Why an unwieldy 45? They're mostly there for window dressing. Get rid of the 13 man executive committee. Why 13 except to let a few fellows throw out their chests around town? A small hard core of old-timers (contract committee) runs the executive committee anyway. Create a general manager's job of real authority. Let him run the show from the rising of the curtain to the falling. Let him be responsible to a compact executive committee (which doesn't meet every week) but let him have no interference. Get a top notch coach, pay him well, give him security. The Packers cannot be revived in a year or two. It took Weeb Ewbank five years to bring the Baltimore Colts to the top. The firing of coaches has solved nothing - and since Lambeau's last year, 1949, the Packers have had Ronzani, Blackbourn, McLean, and, if the Associated Press story of Tuesday is correct, will shortly have Mr. X. The Packers must be saved. Hunting for a scapegoat for what has happened this year won't save them. The real trouble lies deep and the sooner the executive committee realizes this, the sooner the Packers will beat back. Why not reorganize the executive committee and start off fresh?
PACKERS HIT DEFENSE FOR 'FRISCO REMATCH
DEC 4 (Palo Alto, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The 49ers, like the Packers, haven't done much this year. The Prospectors, among other things, (1) almost beat the champion Baltimore Colts and (2) rolled up 539 yards against the Packers. San Francisco had a 27-7 club over the head of the Hosses and then developed weak knees, finally losing 35 to 27 in the last quarter. The yardy liberties taken with the Packers are of more interest in Packerland. The 49ers won the game (Milwaukee Nov. 23) by a score of 33 to 12. The count was tied 12-up with 8:52 left in the game. Then - in quick order, the 49ers took advantage of a defensive lapse and two Packer fumbles for three touchdowns. Until then, the 49ers had marched and passed up and down the field like wildmen but the Packers always got tough enough to keep the show from getting out of hand. Gordy Soltau tried five field goals, made two, had two blocked and missed one. Thus, the Packers, training here at Stanford University, are giving special attention to their defense. Coach Scooter McLean's object is to keep the 49ers from keeping the ball too long and too often - at least not for 500 yards. The 49ers produced 256 yards rushing and 283 passing. The big guns were U.A. Tittle with 20 completions in 35 attempts for 283 yards and three touchdowns; Billy Wilson, with eight pass catches for 128 yards; and Hugh McElhenny, with 159 yards in 22 rushes. The 49ers leaped from eighth to third place in the National League in total offense - thanks to the Packers and the Colts (at least in the first half) on the last two Sundays. San Francisco's big weapon is the forward pass. Tittle ranks only 11th in passing but he has three receivers among the league's top 10 - Clyde Connor, R.C. Owens and Wilson. Connor is fifth with 40 catches for 416 yards and three touchdowns; Wilson seventh on 36, 370 and 3; and Owens eight on 35, 553 and 1. That one TD was scored against the Packers on a spectacular catch of a ball tipped up by Hank Gremminger. Old Joe Perry heads the 49ers ground game with 680 yards for an average of 5.9 - third in the league.
ISBELL HOPES UNITAS LETS ONE RECORD
DEC 4 (Baltimore) - Cecil Isbell, whose memory still is green among Green Bay Packer fans, is rooting for John Unitas to break one of his records, but he hopes the Baltimore Colts' quarterback leaves another record alone. He said Wednesday it's fine if Unitas throws a touchdown pass Saturday at Los Angeles to beat his 1941-42 record of scoring throws in 23 straight games. But Isbell wants to keep his other record. That's for the shortest touchdown pass on record - four inches. Now a businessman in Milwaukee, Isbell set that unique record in October of 1942 by putting the ball to Don Hutson against the Cleveland Rams, since transferred to Los Angeles. Unitas tied Isbell's consecutive record Sunday. "After all," Isbell bantered, "Unitas has to show some respect for an old guy. When he gets four inches from the goal line, he can always give the ball to Alan Ameche and let him crack it over." Turning serious, he added, "I hope he goes out Saturday and breaks the record for most consecutive games throwing touchdown passes. A lot of fine passers have tried it and never got there but if it had to be broken, I'm glad that a kid like Unitas was the one to come along and do it. And something else which makes me happy is that he's playing for the Baltimore Colts, a team which I had a part in helping to get started." Isbell coached the Colts when they joined the All-America Conference in 1947-48. In his second year, the Colts lost a playoff to Buffalo for the eastern division title, 28-17.
PACKERS WON'T BE CINCH - ALBERT
DEC 4 (San Francisco) - Coach Frankie Albert of the 49ers said Thursday that he wasn't expecting any walkover next Sunday with the bedraggled Packers. "I think they're a solid team and the result could go either way," Albert said. "Don't forget that they gave us quite a battle in the early stages of our game with them November 23." The score of that tile was 9-9 going into the last period then San Francisco broke loose for three touchdowns. Albert characterized Thursday's practice as "just a normal workout" and said that both Y.A. Tittle and John Brodie, his ace quarterbacks were throwing well. He plans to go with the same lineups that faced Baltimore last Sunday with the exception of guard Lou Palatella who is replacing Bruce Bosley. Bosley is suffering from a bruised neck, Albert said, and may not be able to play. The Packers are training in nearby Palo Alto.
GREMMINGER LOST TO PACKERS FOR SEASON
DEC 5 (Palo Alto-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Hank Gremminger is lost for the season. The veteran defensive back, who suffered a hairline fracture of the left leg just below the knee in the Thanksgiving Day game, had hoped to play against the 49ers in San Francisco Sunday. "But it would be dangerous to use him," Coach Scooter McLean said, adding: "He'll stay with us and get daily treatments. He won't suit up for the game." The Packers, and Trainer Bud Jorgensen in particular, have one other defensive case - Capt. Bill Forester, who injured his leg in the 49er game in Milwaukee a week ago last Sunday. Forester was held out of the Turkey Day game in Detroit. Bill has been moving good in practice at Stanford University but "I don't know if he'll be ready to go full steam," Scooter said. McLean isn't
Lions T Lou Creekmur (76) returns a kickoff during play against the Packers
anxious to lose any defensive personnel. The 49ers, he recalls, rolled up nearly 540 yards in rushing and passing in whipping the Bays 33 to 12 in Milwaukee. The game was tied 12-up until the last eight minutes. McLean said "we'll switch around with Nitschke, Matuszak, Bettis and Currie at the linebackers. Bettis can play outside at times with Matuszak in the middle." Billy Kinard will work into Gremminger's sport and Jesse Whittenton will go at the other cornerbacker. Bobby Dillon and John Symank, who intercepted 18 passes between 'em last year, will handle the deep positions...Gremminger is the fifth veteran to come up with an injury serious enough to kayo him for the season. The others are Jerry Helluin, shoulder separation during the training season; Gary Knafelc, knee; Hank Bullough, knee; Howie Ferguson, shoulder separation. The Packers also had two serious injuries during the training season - rookie Norm Jarock and Earl Miller, both broken legs...The 49ers got quite a "kick" out of their recent Packer game in Milwaukee. And, as the story goes, the Packers have an especially high-spirited backer. Somebody (this H-S backer) emptied a bottle (or at least half) of whiskey in the 49ers' drinking pail early in the second half. This gent came down out of the stands and sat on the players' bench. He was quickly dispatched but unbeknown to the 49ers he somehow emptied his bottle in the pail of water. Bob St. Clair was the first to find it necessary to need a "drink". He wasn't quite sure that his taster was deceiving him, so he called over Billy Wilson. "Not bad," said Billy, who caught eight passes during the afternoon. The coaches put a quick end to the oversized cocktail. As 49ers Publicist Dan McGuire put it: "But imagine what St. Clair must have thought when he took a swig of water and it has a bourbon flavor."...49er Coach Frankie Albert was quoted Thursday as saying that he wasn't expecting any walkover next Sunday with the Packers. "I think they're a solid team and the result could go either way," Albert said. "Don't forget that they gave us quite a battle in the early stages of our game with them on Nov. 23." The score of the one was 9-9 going into the last period then San Francisco broke loose for three touchdowns. Albert characterized Thursday's practice as "just a normal workout" and said that both Y.A. Tittle and John Brodie, his ace quarterbacks, were throwing well. He said he plans to go with the same lineups that faced Baltimore last Sunday with the exception of left guard Lou Palatella who is replacing Bruce Bosley as offensive left guard. Bosley is suffering from a bruised neck, Albert said, and may not be able to play.
DUNCAN IS INTERESTED
DEC 5 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Iowa's All-American quarterback Randy Duncan told WEMP's Earl Gillespie Thursday that if he decides to play pro football it probably will be with the Packers. Duncan told Gillespie in a telephone call from New York that he informed Packers' Talent Scout Jack Vainisi, "I'm interested in playing pro football and also in getting my law degree. If I can manage to work those two things together, then I will play pro football. Right now I'm undecided," Duncan told Gillespie. The Packers picked Duncan in the first round of the pro draft Monday. He denied he said he would never play pro football. "If I decide to play, I probably will play with the Packers if everything come out all right contractwise and law school, too," Duncan said.
JACK LAVELLE, GRID'S FINEST SCOUT, DIES
DEC 5 (Hempstead, NY) - Jack Lavelle, who was converted into a football scout by Knute Rockne 30 years ago and went on to become the game's greatest "spy", suffered a fatal heart attack Thursday night at his home. Lavelle, 52, had served as chief scout for the New York Giants for 27 years. In fact, he was planning to scout the Cleveland Browns-Philadelphia Eagles game at Philadelphia Sunday for the Giants, who are battling the Browns for first place in the NFL's Eastern Division. Lavelle started his scouting career at Notre Dame in 1928. He had been a guard on the Irish football team but was sidelined by a shoulder injury in his junior year. That's when Rockne suggested he scout the Army team in a game against Southern Methodist. Although Lavelle
protested he knew nothing about scouting, Rockne advised him to "just look at them and come back and tell me what you saw." Lavelle did such an outstanding job for Rockne that he was hired as a scout by the Green Bay Packers following his graduation from Notre Dame. He later switched to the Giants when Steve Owen took over as head coach.
NEEDLED PACKERS CLASH WITH 49ERS
DEC 6 (San Francisco-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packer offense has been given the needle. You'll never guess who "done" it. We hear, after a few hours in the Packer camp Friday night, the defensers applied the sharp point almost every day in practice at Stanford University this week. Coach Scooter McLean hopes the jabbing helps. It could produce the second victory of the Bays' dismal season - at the expense of the 49ers in Kezar Stadium Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 3:35 Green Bay time. You can hear it on WJPG. Packer defensive players are just plain unhappy with the Bays' scoring - five touchdowns in the last five games, all losses. The major gripe seems to the pass receiving corps and Billy Howton and Max McGee in particular. The defensers feel that the receivers' complaints on the quarterbacks' passing have been unjustified. There were two glaring examples in the last two games. Howton dropped a touchdown pass against the 49ers in Milwaukee; it would have put the Packers ahead in the second half and might have given them a valuable lift. Against Detroit, Al Carmichael caught a pass, ran a few steps, and fumbled it away without being touched to give the Lions a touchdown. It should be interesting. Bart Starr is scheduled to start at quarterback. And mild-mannered Bart, getting too much yakking in the huddle and not enough effort up front, has been cracking the whip. The Packer defense, nicked for over 500 yards in the 33-12 loss to the 49ers Nov. 23, will be hurting Sunday without Hank Gremminger who suffered a hairline leg fracture in the Detroit game. And Bill Forester won't be up to par. Gremminger was sent home Friday. The 49er offense is just beginning to roll. They scored three touchdowns, two on fumbles in the last eight minutes of the Packer game in Milwaukee and then scored 27 in losing at Baltimore last Sunday. Y.A. Tittle will lead the attack for Hugh McElhenny, Bill Wilson, Joe Perry, Clyde Connor, and R.C. Owens. Billy Kinard will work in Gremminger's spot - a particularly tough job because it requires watching Wilson and Alley Oop Owens. Those two plus Connor are among the top 10 pass catchers in the league. The key Sunday for Green Bay is scoring. If the Packers can keep the ball for a spell and maybe count some touchdowns, they stand a good chance to produce their first win of the season over a Western Division opponent. Paul Hornung, who was battered up some in Detroit, is raring to go - along with Don McIlhenny. Successful rushing out of these two could help the Bays' passing...Trainer Bud Jorgensen was called him Friday night by the illness of his wife. Coach McLean hopes to hire a trainer from one of the nearby colleges for the weekend...The Packer camp was shocked by word that Jack Lavelle, the famed New York scout and "good guy", died Thursday night. He had talked with most of the Packer coaches in Detroit Thanksgiving Day...The Packers are staying at Rickeys Studio Inn Motel in Palo Alto. They'll fly to Burbank after the 49er game Sunday night and set up headquarters in the Green Hotel in Pasadena next week in preparation for the windup against the Rams...The Packers will scout the Rams in the televised Ram-Colt game today from L.A.
HAWKINS, PACK CHOICE, NAMED MOST VALUABLE
DEC 6 (Washington) - Alex Hawkins, the Green Bay Packers' No. 2 choice in this week's early NFL draft, today was named the most valuable player in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The fast, power-running South Carolina University halfback from South Charleston, W. Va., was voted "football player of the year" by ACC sportswriters. Hawkins, who led balloting for the all-conference team, won handily although he had competition from Wray Carlton of Duke and Jack Cummings of North Carolina. He polled 146 points in voting by 66 press, radio and television representatives, including 22 first place votes. Cummings received 121 points, Carlton 112. Alex succeeds Dick Christy, a Packer draftee a year ago, as the conference's most valuable. Hawkins was singled out for his al-around play in leading the Gamecocks to a 7-3 record. His coach, Warren Giese, calls him "a coach's football player who can be called on to do anything and do it to perfection." The blond halfback left his name prominently inscribed in South Carolina's record book but perhaps his most unusual feat is the fact that he started all 30 games the Gamecocks played in his three varsity years. The 6-1, 187-pound West Virginia native carried the ball 100 times and gained 474 yards, a 4.7 average. He scored five touchdowns and six 2-point conversions to finish with 42 points. Alex also tied a conference record by throwing three touchdown passes in his last collegiate game, a 24-7 victory over Wake Forest. Giese says, "He can do anything a good football player should do. He can run, catch passes, block, tackle and pass. His tremendous defensive ability was an important part of our success this year." The statistics indicate his versatility. He completed 8 of 13 passes for 120 yards, caught 10 for 140 yards, averaged 12.1 on punt returns, averaged 22.8 on five kickoff returns intercepted three passes. In all, he handled the ball on 142 plays and gained 1,089 yards, an average of 7.6 yards per play.
NO PRESSURE ON PACKERS, 49ERS TODAY
DEC 6 (San Francisco) - There will be no pressure when the 49ers and the Packers, two of the NFL's have-nots, meet on Kezar Stadium's turf Sunday at 3:30 Milwaukee time. The 49ers are 10 points and more favorites to repeat over the luckless midwesterners they thumped, 33-12, two weeks ago in Milwaukee's frigid temperatures by virtue of a 21-point fourth period explosion. There's no reason to believe that Scooter McLean's decimated Packers, one-time winners and low on the NFL totem pole in both scoring and scored against, will be any stronger than they were before, especially in front of a home crowd of some 47,000 49er faithful. But it could be a spirited contest if the boys happen to be reminded of what occurred during and after the Milwaukee session. Five players were banished in that one for
extra-curricular activity and the 49ers and Packers went at it hot and heavy on what the officials said was the final play of the game, although the scoreboard showed 36 seconds of play remaining. San Francisco enjoyed its most productive day against Green Bay, although touchdowns were hard to come by until the final period. Everything clicked, including "Alley-Opp", as the Y.A. Tittle conducted attack rolled for 539 yards with "Yard Arm" completing 20 of 35 attempts and throwing three TD passes. Despite that impressive attack the score was deadlocked 12-12 until Hugh McElhenny piled into the end zone from two yards out to set off the 49ers' spree. That has been the history of the Packers forces this season. Their sputtering offense has managed only 18 touchdowns in 10 games. Invariably, the defense has been overloaded with work and has come part in the late stages. The Packer defense will also be hurting with the absence of halfback Hank Gremminger. The pass defense specialist suffered a hairline fracture of the leg leg just below the knee Thanksgiving Day at Detroit. "It would be dangerous to use him," said McLean. "He'll stay with us and get daily treatments. But he won't suit up for the game." This will be the 16th meeting between the teams with the 49ers holding a 12-3 bulge. The only time the Packers ever whipped the San Franciscans at Kezar was in 1955 when Liz Blackbourn was coaching.