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San Francisco 49ers (7-5-1) 22, Green Bay Packers (10-3) 21

Sunday December 10th 1961 (at San Francisco)



(SAN FRANCISCO) - The Packers ran into their annual safety hex, and a field goal kicker who finally obtained revenge for missing the field goal of his rookie life in Kezar Stadium Sunday afternoon. The 49ers won this 13th game for both teams by a heart-stopping score of 22 to 21. And the Packers lost no face in dropping their first game as Western Division champions. Green Bay has lost only 12 league games since Vince Lombardi took over in '59 and one-fourth of them when shrouded in a safety - that 45-6 game with the Rams in '59 and the 23-10 loss to the Lions in '60 and now Sunday's test. Fortunately, this wasn't a matter of football life and death as the other safetists were. The Packers tucked away their second straight title in beating the Giants a week ago. But the Packers weren't taking it easy - as some folks might have feared. They got off to a slow start, falling behind 14-0, but smashed back for three touchdowns to take a 21-19 lead with 2 minutes and 12 seconds left in the game. Then came the turning point. Abe Woodson took the ensuing kickoff back 50 yards to the Packer 45. John Brodie, hot all afternoon with his passing, completed two passes for 32 yards, let the clock run down with three runs and finally held the ball while Tommy Davis booted a 14-yard field goal to win it with just 11 seconds. And for Davis, this was a big moment. He had never forgotten his near miss of a 37-yard field goal that would have robbed the Packers of a 21-20 win in Green Bay in '59. Tommy was a freshman and scared that day. He appeared cool and collected this time. The Packers still have a good-looking 10-3 record today and they hope to roll an "11" in the regulation windup in Los Angeles next Sunday. They'll battle the Eastern champs for sure on Dec. 31 in Green Bay since events Sunday in that division eliminated the possibility 


of a delayed playoff. Somehow the Packers' loss of personnel to Uncle Sam's Army and injuries, resulting also in a weakness in the platoons, caught up with the Pack Sunday. Paul Hornung appeared to have lost more, besides missing a 34-yard field goal that might have made the difference. Abe Woodson's long runback reflected the Pack's runback problem. In addition, the Packers ran into a blazing hot Brodie, who dented Packer defenses for 328 yards passing, including two touchdowns. He completed 19 out of 29 throws and set a 49er record with 11.31 yards per pass attempts. Brodie, passing out of the four-end offense with one ace behind him. hurled TD passes of 51 yards to Bernie Casey and 10 yards to R.C. Owens for a 14-0 lead in the second quarter and set up a nine-yard field goal by Davis with a series of short throws for 19-14 lead in the fourth quarter. And his pitching provided closeness for Davis' second and game-winning FG. Owens, the Alley-Oop guy who is supposedly playing out his option, was like a wild man. He caught seven passes for 127 yards,


The Packers, successful no end with the forward pass this season, died by the pass in the end, though they were within a  minute of winning via the air. The safety came unexpectedly off a pass attempt on the third play of the second half. Bart Starr had a third and 23 situation on his own 11. He moved slightly to the left and a few yards into the end zone. Big Don Colchicco and Charlie Krueger shot in from his blind side and nailed Bart in his tracks. The game could  have been costly since wiry Max McGee suffered a rib injury while catching his second TD pass. He injured his ribs as he caught the ball on the one and then was thrown against the goal posts while being tackled by Dave Baker, making the posts wobble. He was to be x-rayed today.


The Packers were explosive. After it was 14-0, Starr drove the club 82 yards in four plays, with Tom Moore throwing to McGee for the TD. They moved 37 yards in six plays for the second TD, with Starr throwing to McGee. Then, for the "winning" TD, the Packers ripped 73 yards in 10 plays with Jim Taylor slamming over from four yards out. Green Bay quieted the 49ers down to 68 yards rushing, an average of 2.52 per try, but their aerial figure was almost unbelievable. The Packers piled up 330 yards, including 153 by rushing. Taylor was a terror all afternoon, rolling up 122 yards in 22 trips. Willie Wood gave the Bays one TD and set up Hornung's missed FG by recovering two fumbles. The 49ers were on the Pack 2-yard line just before the half when Ray Nitschke and Willie Davis shook the ball from Bill Kilmer. The 49ers threatened right after the opening kickoff thanks to Brodie's 48-yard pass to Casey, but the Packers took the ball away on downs on the 8-yard line. The first of two interceptions of Starr passes and a punt exchange kept the action down to a minimum for the rest of the first period. Brodie started hitting Owens early in the second period, twice for 35 yards, to set up the first TD. On his third try, Brodie was chased out of the pocket and then spotted Casey moving away from John Symank on the 14. His rifle throw found the mark and the 49ers were in front 7-0 after the point. The longest run of the day set up the next TD. Jim Johnson stole Starr's pass aimed at McGee and returned 58 yards to the Packer 12 where Starr tackled him. Brodie hurled to Owens for a 14-0 lead.

Now it was the Pack's turn. Taylor started with a three-yard run and followed with a 23-yard romp outside right tackle to the Packer 44. Starr fired up the middle to McGee for 43 and Max then took Moore's pass, off the option, all alone in the end zone for the score. Hornung's kick made it 14-7. After the safety, the Bays put on a drive on Taylor's and Hornung's running; a 14-yard Starr to McGee pass; plus an end-around gain by Ron Kramer, but the attack stalled after Starr was nailed for a 10-yard loss. Hornung's field goal try from the 34 was wide. A nine-yard punt by Davis set up the Pack's second TD, starting from the 49er 37. Taylor ran twice for seven yards and then took Starr's pass for nine. Starr passed to Kramer for five yards and then hit McGee up the middle. That made it a fine 16-14. The 49ers used up half the fourth quarter, running off 16 plays to produce a 60-yard advance and set up Davis' first field goal. On the sixth play, Davis tried a fourth down field goal from the 47, but Brodie ran instead to make a first down. The Packers snapped back beautifully, with Taylor's running to reach midfield. Then came the big play. Kramer made a leaping catch of a Starr pass up the middle for 32 yards to the 20. Lew Carpenter, playing for the injured McGee, made a stretching catch of a Starr pass on the four and Taylor slammed it in. Hornung's kick was good and it seemed that the Packers were in. Then came Woodson's long return, Brodie's key passes, two runs by Don McIlhenny and the awful field goal. In a final gesture, Starr hurled a 10-yard pass to Taylor, who ran out of bounds as the game ended.

GREEN BAY     -  0  7  7  7 - 21

SAN FRANCISCO -  0 14  2  6 - 22

                       GREEN BAY SAN FRANCISCO

First Downs                   20            17

Rushing-Yards-TD        33-153-1       27-68-0

Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 20-15-207-2-2 29-19-328-2-0

Sack Yards Lost             3-30           0-0

Total Yards                  330           396

Fumbles-lost                 1-0           3-2

Turnovers                      2             2

Yards penalized              1-5          1-15


2nd - SF - Bernie Casey, 51-yard pass from John Brodie (Tommy Davis kick) SAN FRANCISCO 7-0

2nd - SF - R.C. Owens, 10-yard pass from Brodie (Davis kick) SAN FRANCISCO 14-0

2nd - GB - Max McGee, 22-yard pass from Tom Moore (Paul Hornung kick) SAN FRANCISCO 14-7

3rd - SF - Safety, Charlie Krueger sacked Bart Starr in the end zone SAN FRANCISCO 16-7

3rd - GB - McGee, 13-yard pass from Bart Starr (Hornung kick) SAN FRANCISCO 16-14

4th - SF - Davis, 40-yard field goal SAN FRANCISCO 19-14

4th - GB - Jim Taylor, 40-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 20-19

4th - SF - Davis, 14-yard field goal SAN FRANCISCO 22-21


GREEN BAY - Jim Taylor 22-122 1 TD, Paul Hornung 8-25, Ron Kramer 1-5, Tom Moore 2-1

SAN FRANCISCO - C.R. Roberts 12-34, John Brodie 5-10, Billy Kilmer 3-9, J.D. Smith 4-8, Don McIlhenny 3-7


GREEN BAY - Bart Starr 18-14-185 1 TD 2 INT, Tom Moore 1-1-22 1 TD, Paul Hornung 1-0-0

SAN FRANCISCO - John Brodie 29-19-328 2 TD


GREEN BAY - Max McGee 5-88 2 TD, Boyd Dowler 3-36, Jim Taylor 2-18, Paul Hornung 2-10, Ron Kramer 1-32, Lew Carpenter 1-16, Tom Moore 1-7

SAN FRANCISCO - R.C. Owens 7-127 1 TD, Bernie Casey 5-118 1 TD, C.R. Roberts 4-27, Aaron Thomas 1-36, J.D Smith 1-10, Monty Stickles 1-10



DEC 11 (San Francisco-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers aren't out here on a vacation. They showed it by their hard-nosed performance against the 49ers Sunday and Coach Vince Lombardi emphasized it for the benefit of scribes in a tiny corner of the visiting team's tiny dressing room: "We played hard and nobody was loafing," he stated in answer to a question concerning the Packers' manner of play. And from the nearby home dressing quarters, 49er coach Red Hickey threw up his hands and whistled, "They're the same Packers. When they had to go out and take a lead, they just came down the field. We couldn't do anything about it. I'm thankful they didn't have time after the field goal," Red beamed. Lombardi complimented the 49ers for "playing a stubborn determined game against us. We might have pulled it out except that Woodson's kickoff return put them in a position for the field goal." Noting the 49ers' 328 yards passing, the Packer coach pointed out that San Francisco's four-end offense wasn't especially new. "We saw it against Detroit, Los Angeles and New York," and he added: "Did you notice those fantastic catches; you can't ascribe those to the formation. That's individual


genius." Hickey pointed out that one of his team's long suits helped win the game. "We've always been good on runbacks and I believe we either lead the league or are right up there every year. We had a good chance with Woodson's return and got it turned into the winning points. When we got down there, we decided to gamble on the clock and Davis making the kick. He almost missed it and if it would have been 30 yards he would have missed it," the happy 49er coach said. Davis was a most happy individual. Reminded of his miss in 1959 in Green Bay when he was a rookie and the two teams were unbeaten, Davis allowed that "maybe things for even themselves. That (miss) bothered me for a long time." The Pack was in front 21-20 when he missed a 37-yarder. Davis admitted that he was a bit lucky Sunday. "It was in there by only this much," indicating about two feet. "I was trying to get under it and kicked it to the right. That big guy was standing in the middle and it had to be high." He referred to Big Ben Davidson of the Packers. Bart Starr, who completed 14 out of 18 passes, felt miserable about the safety. He shook his head. "Can you imagine losing by a safety? I never saw them coming." Starr had curled out to his left when two 49ers barreled in from the right and nailed him in the end zone. Max McGee, who injured his ribs catching his second TD pass, said he didn't hurt himself when he rolled against the goal post as he was tackled. "I pulled something when I caught the ball and turned into the end zone," he recalled. It looked like a terrible crash as the goal posts shook. Lombardi said he did not know if McGee could play in the season closer next Sunday in Los Angeles, but added the end would be ready for the championship game in Green Bay Dec. 31. Army Pvts. Paul Hornung, Ray Nitschke and Boyd Dowler left immediately after the game for their bases. Lombardi said he thought Hornung had lost "some of his fine edge."


DEC 11 (San Francisco-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers have announced the signing of their No. 2 draft choice, tackle Ed Blaine of the University of Missouri. Blaine, who stands 6-2 and weighs 230 pounds, is expected to be used as an offensive guard. He was named to the Associated Press' second All-American team. Blaine's signing brings to five the number of draftees inked by the Packers, including three of the top four selections. Still to be signed is the No. 1 choice, fullback Earl Gros of Louisiana State.



DEC 12 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers today announced the formula for distribution of tickets to season ticket holders for the Dec. 31 NFL playoff here. In letters to season ticket holders here and in Milwaukee, the Packers said they had given their ticket "problem a great deal of thought" and hoped they had come up with an "equitable allocation formula." Persons holding from one to four season tickets will get a like number of tickets for the playoff here Dec. 31 against the Eastern Division champion. For those with four or more season tickets, the allocation will be (playoff tickets listed first, season tickets second): 4 for 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9; 5 for 10 and 11; 6 for 12 and 13; 7 for 14 and 15; 8 for 16 and 17; 9 for 18 and 19; and 10 for 20 or more. Season ticket holders will be allotted tickets on the basis of where they hold the greater number of seats - Milwaukee or Green Bay; and they may not get tickets for the same seats they held during the season, but they'll be in the "same general location." Applications for the $10 playoff tickets must be made before midnight Dec. 15, and any tickets remaining


after that will be reallocated to season ticket purchasers. There will be no children's tickets. The Packers apologized for not being able to allow season ticket holders "as many tickets as you desire." The only other persons getting tickets will be the opposing teams, the NFL office, and radio and press representatives. There will be no public sale. The Packers' ticket problem is a sticky one. City Stadium here had a permanent seating capacity of 38,669 which will be enlarged by 2,500 temporary seats. But the club sold 54,000 season tickets here and in Milwaukee, so a dilution was necessary to provide some tickets for the season ticket buyers, as well as satisfy commitments for the Eastern Division club, the league, and press and radio covering the game. The Packers' playoff opponent remains to be determined. It will be either the New York Giants, who lead the Eastern Division with a 10-3 record with one game to go, or the runner-up Philadelphia Eagles (9-4). The Giants face the Cleveland Browns and the Eagles play the Detroit Lions in their season finales Sunday. Should the Giants lose and the Eagles win, there will be a playoff on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 24. The winner will face the Packers in the first million-dollar playoff in history, made possible by a $600,000 television fee. Although this will be the ninth title playoff for the Packers, who have won six world championships, it will be the first ever to be staged in Green Bay. The only other playoff held in Wisconsin was held at Milwaukee in 1939, when the Packers defeated the New York Giants, at State Fair Park, 27-0.


DEC 12 (Philadelphia) - All-American fullback Bob Ferguson of Ohio State and back Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers will be honored Feb.5 by the Maxwell Football Club as the outstanding college and professional football players of the year. The selections were announced Monday. Ferguson will receive the Maxwell Memorial Award which goes annually to the outstanding college football player. Navy's Joe Bellino was last year's winner. Hornung was named to receive the Bert Bell Memorial Award, which is for outstanding play in the NFL. Quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, now head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, was the recipient a year ago. Hornung, former Notre Dame star and now an Army private, is shooting for his third straight NFL scoring title. His hard running helped Green Bay to the NFL Western Conference title this year.



DEC 12 (Palo Alto, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Tom Moore is in and Max McGee is out for the Packers' regulation windup against the Rams in Los Angeles next Sunday. "We'll go with Moore in there now," Coach Vince Lombardi said. "We'll make sure McGee is ready for the championship game." Moore's use as a starter just about marks the end of the fabulous Paul Hornung saga for the 1961 season. The flamboyant halfback has gone downhill steadily since he entered Army service six weeks ago. It was noticeable in the 22-21 loss to the 49ers in San Francisco Sunday. He has lost some of his drive, which affected his running, blocking, and even field goal kicking. "He's down to 202 and that's not Hornung," Lombardi said. He also noted that one of the other servicemen, Boyd Dowler, has lost about 10 pounds. Dowler and Ray Nitschke came down from Fort Lewis, Wash., for Sunday's game and Hornung had to battle delayed airplane flights due to heavy snow to make 'Frisco. All three are likely to be present for the Ram game. There is some hope that the three contributions to Uncle Sam will be able to join the club for at least a week to prepare for the championship game. They would have to out on holiday leaves. Moore runs best as a fullback - but who can dislodge Jimmy Taylor? But the Vanderbilt sophomore displayed his passing prowess again Sunday, throwing 22 yards to McGee for a TD. Oddly enough, Moore's only other start this year was against the Rams in Green Bay. He was hurt on his third carry and Elijah Pitts replaced him. Pvt. Hornung started the next three games and still had enough left to provide great help in winning two of them, the Lions and Giants - just enough to win the title. McGee might be ready for the Rams but Lombardi is taking no chances on losing his leading pass catcher for the big title game. He damaged his ribs on both sides, as it were...CRUSHED TO GOAL POST: "It was sort of a doubleheader. I saw No. 25 (Dave Baker) coming and he drove his helmet about a foot deep into my side. That drive crushed me into the goal post, which took care of the other side," Max said. Examination in the hospital Monday showed several cracked ribs and a kidney injury. McGee finished with five catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns. McGee's injury might have been even more serious. Earlier this season, Linden Crow of the Rams smashed head on into the identical post and was knocked out for a few minutes. After that collision, extra padding was wrapped around all four posts. Lew Carpenter, the handiest handyman in camp, replaced McGee the first time the Packers got the ball after the injury and figured in the touchdown that put the Bays ahead 21-19 with 1 1/2 minutes left in the game...CARPENTER TO START: Carpenter made a stretching catch of a Bart Starr pass for a 16-yard gain to the 49er four-yard line. Lew made the catch with Baker on his back. Carpenter will get the starting call against the Rams. Incidentally, both Moore and Hornung figured in the "winning" TD drive. Moore was in at the start with Taylor but lost one yard in one try. Hornung re-entered and handled the ball twice. The first time he gained one yard on a crucial fourth down play to continue the drive. With a first and 10 on the 49er 20, Hornung took a handoff from Starr on an option jaunt off to the right. Paul stumbled and fell but got up quickly and passed to Dowler. The throw was almost intercepted. Other than McGee, the Packers came out in good physical condition. Hank Gremminger was kayoed in a collision with R.C. Owens just before the half and Herb Adderley replaced him...THREW A SHOELACE: Fuzzy Thurston missed his first two plays of the season when he "threw" a shoelace in the third period. "I missed two plays by a shoestring," he's telling friends. Ken Iman replaced him for the two plays just before Hornung missed his 34-yard field goal. Gremminger never did get back to normal until after the game. "I read about it in the papers Sunday night," Hank said. He played the second in an "unknown" state. This was the first time Hank was knocked out since he ran into Bill Forester's knee when he tackled Willie Gallimore a couple of years ago in Green Bay.


DEC 12 (Palo Alto, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Give thanks, my friends, that the Packers sewed up the championship when they did. Those "thanks" actually started Thanksgiving Day when the Packers downed the Lions in that amazing 16-9 struggle and ended with the title-winning victory over the Giants. "We'd have trouble doing it now - if we had lost to New York," Coach Vince Lombardi remarked the other night, referring to the amazing losses the club suffered via the Army and injuries. "We can be thankful the way things turned out," he pointed out. Actually, the 22-21 loss to the 49ers didn't hurt but it did show up what could have happened if the Packers had lost to NY. Since Detroit has kept on winning after Thanksgiving Day, the Packers would now have to win it in Los Angeles next Sunday. The Packers have been a rugged defensive team in these last three games, allowing just five touchdowns - one to Detroit and two each to New York and San Francisco. And against the 49ers the Bays actually out-touchdowned their foes 3 to 2 on the one-point loss. When a club tires or relaxes, the first place it's quickly noticeable is the defense. If the 49ers had rolled four or five TDs, the Packers could have been accused of vacationing out here. But they were murder all the way and as defense Coach Phil Bengtson pointed out, "John Brodie just had the hottest day he's ever had." Can you imagine a team passing for 328 yards and scoring only two touchdowns? While the Packers seem to be getting hurt with the loss of three to the Army - not to mention Jerry Kramer, they maintained that explosive character in Kezar Stadium Sunday. Bart Starr cracked the Packer offense on touchdown drives of 82, 37 and 73 yards. The first cut the 49ers' lead to 14-7 and the next to 16-14. The final drive put the Packers ahead 21-19. The Pack's offense personnel on that last TD was a good deal different from the unit that wiped out Cleveland and paced the Pack to the title. Lew Carpenter was at left end in place of Max McGee, Forrest Gregg had moved to right guard to replace Kramer. Norm Masters had gone to right tackle, and Tom Moore had replaced Paul Hornung. Thus, there were four changed but the Bays were still scoring. Speaking about Kramer, the big guard who injured his ankle in mid-season and then had it placed in a cast delivered a few punts and kickoffs in practice the other day. "He's an amazing kid," said Jerry's line coach, Bill Austin. "Jerry's a great story, all his troubles and quick recovery." Austin was telling about his other guard, Gregg, who just happens to be an all-pro tackle. "On the last kickoff against New York, Forrest volunteered to replace Willie Davis on the kickoff team. He felt that Davis could save his strength running down the field because he had to go right in on defense. You just can't say enough about Forrest," Austin said. And it's interesting to note that Davis recovered the fumble that saved the game.



DEC 13 (Anaheim, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Gary Knafelc would like to play some football for the Packers. And he may get his chance against the Rams in the regulation windup in the Coliseum Sunday. "I'll play linebacker if necessary, or any place - just to get in. I thought I had a chance to stay in some Sunday, but it only lasted one play," Knafelc moaned after practice Tuesday. Knafelc was the Pack's starting and finishing tight end for two straight years until Ron Kramer took over the job this season. The eight-year veteran thought he'd finish out the Pack's thriller against the 49ers in San Francisco Sunday, but the joy lasted only one play. Kramer made a leaping catch of a Bart Starr pass and then slammed backwards to close out a 32-yard gain. Ron came up with a limp and moved off the field. Knafelc was in for the next play, Paul Hornung's incompleted pass to Boyd Dowler, and Kramer came back in. With Max McGee not dressing for Tuesday's drill, some changes among the "three ends" were made by Coach Vince Lombardi. Lew Carpenter took over McGee's left end spot, Kramer stayed at his tight end slot and Knafelc went into a new job - flanker. "That's where Boyd plays and he'll probably be here Sunday, but I'll be ready," Knafelc exclaimed. Downer is expected down from Fort Lewis, Wash., along with Ray Nitschke for the league finale. The Pack's other end, rookie Lee Folkins who has yet to see game action other than platoon work, is leading the tight end duties. Herb Adderley, who had backed up Dowler at flanker, is now working chiefly as a defensive back - a position at which he helped win the Detroit game with a key interception. "I don't mind playing defense," Herb said, adding with a smile: "Defensive backs last a lot longer than offensive backs in this league." Herb played briefly Sunday when Hank Gremminger was injured just before the half. You'll never guess who will do the punting Sunday if both McGee is sidelined and Dowler can't make it. "Roach," said Coach Vince Lombardi, with a good deal of assurance. John Roach, who backs up QB Starr, has been getting off some boomers in practice. McGee doesn't figure to play Sunday. He suffered rib and kidney injuries when he crashed into two 49er defensive backs and the goal posts on a touchdown catch. His main objective is to be ready for the championship game Dec. 31 in Green Bay...COACH'S BACK AILING: The Bays have two other injuries - Bill Quinlan, who has a pulled muscle in his leg, and Lombardi, whose back is aching. Quinlan stayed out of sprinting, and Vince did some special exercising after practice. He did some pushups - "about 40," he chuckled - on the soft, green turf and then worked the kinks out of his back. Somebody had a newspaper on the sidelines during Tuesday's practice and the headlines told of the possible coaching changes - Weeb Ewbank, Bob Waterfield, Hamp Pool, Sammy Baugh and others. All of which prompted philosopher Dad Braisher to point a finger at the busy Packers: "Isn't it wonderful to have a championship football team and the best coach in football." Everybody smiled. The Packers finished practice at Stanford University this morning and then headed by United Airlines charter to Los Angeles. The team is headquartering at the Disneyland Motel here in Anaheim, which is about 30 miles from Los Angeles.


DEC 13 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Sunday's clash with the Los Angeles Rams won't affect the Packers' league standing but it could have a large effect on Jim Taylor's standing in several departments. Taylor will be 


bidding to dethrone Cleveland's Jimmy Brown as the league rushing champion and to tie or set both the Packer and league records for most touchdowns in a single season. Having already set a Packer season rushing record of 1,229 yards, Taylor trails Brown by just 71 yards. He has scored 16 touchdowns, just one short of Don Hutson's team record of 17 set in 1942, and two short of the league record of 18 set by Steve Van Buren of Philadelphia in 1945 and tied by Brown in 1958. Taylor's touchdowns have given him 96 points to date, good for second place behind teammate Paul Hornung in the individual scoring race. Hornung, who has turned into a part-time football player and full-time Army man, has virtually wrapped up his third successive NFL scoring championship. But, barring a sensational performance next Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, he's not likely to break his single season record of 176 points, set last year in 12 games. The versatile Packer star, who is available on weekends only, has scored 146. Willie Wood of the Packers has wrapped up the league's punt return title with 212 yards on 13 carries for a 16.3 average. Only a brilliant effort by Abe Woodson of the 49ers, who has a 11.5 average, could keep Wood from the crown. Quarterback Bart Starr moved up to third among the passers, showing 156 completions in 268 attempt for a 58.2 completion percentage, second best in the league behind Milt Plum's 61.4 percent. Starr' passes have accounted for 2,257 yards and 15 touchdowns. End Max McGee, injured in the 49ers game, was fifth among the pass catchers with 51 grabs for 863 yards and 7 touchdowns, halfback Tom Moore was eighth in kickoff returns with 15 efforts for 409 yards, or 27.3 yards per return, and Boyd Dowler was fifth in punting with a 44.0 average on 32 punts.



DEC 14 (Anaheim, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Rams have been murder on Jim Taylor the last three games. The Packers' powerful fullback averaged just 2.7 yards in 45 trips against Los Angeles in the two 1960 battles and the earlier match this season. How come? "Isn't that awful," Taylor asked and agreed, explaining: "I guess the Rams just key up on me or something. They're big but so are some of the other clubs. And we've been playing a little difference against them - not the quick hitters like we usually do. Maybe we'll do a little more of that Sunday." Does big Les Richter, the Rams' strong linebackers, bother Jimmy? "He's good and they have some others like Jobko and Meador, but I can do it against them, too." Taylor carried only nine times for 35 yards in that 33-31 loss to the Rams in Milwaukee a year ago but he was hurt that day and Tom Moore finished up for him. In the title-clinching game in LA last December, the giant Ram defensive linemen held Jim to 42 yards in 17 carries. Then in Green Bay last Nov. 19 Jim was held to 47 stripes in 19 trips. You can bet Taylor will be rolling in the Coliseum Sunday, since the league's rushing championship will be at stake. "It would be nice to win it. We should know before our game starts how many yards Brown gets against the Giants," Taylor laughed. The Brown-Giant game in New York will be over before the Packers' kickoff. Taylor has fallen another six yards behind Cleveland's Jim Brown in the race for the NFL rushing title. Brown gained the six yards in midweek when a recheck of official scoring records showed he picked up 62 yards rather than 56 against the Chicago Bears last Sunday. The six yards increased Brown's total to 1,306 in 281 carries. Taylor is second with 1,229 yards and must make up a 77-yard deficit in the final game of 


the year to grab the title Brown has won the last four years. And speaking of linebackers, Taylor figures he could play that position "in this league. I'd have put on a little weight - maybe 10 pounds. I'm weighing about 214 now." Taylor played both ways at LSU. ""I was defensive captain in my senior year and had three good games as a linebacker. Then I started concentrating on offense." And that's where the Packers came in...The Packers arrived in the southland Wednesday afternoon vis United Airlines charter and headed for the Disneyland Hotel, which is across the road from the famed Disneyland Park. The temperature here was 55, which is cold for the country. Extending the official welcome here was Mickey McCormick, former Packer director from Menominee, Mich., who is now in business out here. The Bays will train here at LaPalma Stadium here...Max McGee didn't suit up for Wednesday's drill and it now appears that he may not play versus the Rams. However, Coach Vince Lombardi said, "Max will be mad at me if he doesn't play. He's a great competitor and he wants to play." Thus, the Taxi may get in for a few plays. What's more, McGee would like to keep up his own personal string. "I've never missed a game in high school, college or pro," he drawled. McGee has a cracked rib or two and he was "sore" Wednesday...Willie Davis thinks the Browns will meet the Giants Sunday. "The Browns will be loose and there are a couple of other things. Paul Brown doesn't like to lose to anybody especially New York, and the Browns will be playing for next year." Davis isn't sure whether the Eagles will beat the Giants in case there is a division playoff. He's not really worried but he pointed out: "The Eagles got just as good a passing attack as the Giants - maybe better." Anyhow, that's food for Dec. 31 thought...A crowd of around 55,000 is expected here Sunday and, as Ram publicist Jack Teele says, "All the fussing over Bob Waterfield is on the pan, here along with Hamp Pool, his backfield coach. Teele told about a Ram Fan Club luncheon Wednesday noon, when Waterfield referred to a headline in a local paper which read, "Ram Problems Not Serious." Waterfield moaned, "Things are so serious that my wife has decided to keep on working." Waterfield's wife is Jane Russell...BRIEFS: Gene Brito, the former Redskin and Ram great, is seriously ill...Former Packer quarterback Val Keckin has hooked on with the Colts' cab squad.


DEC 14 (Palo Alto, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Veteran defensive back Em Tunnell, patriarch of the Packers, has served mostly as sort of an unofficial pastor for Green Bay's NFL club this season. Tunnell, in his 14th season in the explosive world of pro football, has done most of his work on the sidelines and in the dressing room this year. His efforts obviously have been as successful as the labors of the rest of the Packers. Green Bay has owned the Western Division title for nearly two weeks and will play out its regular season with the Rams in Los Angeles Sunday. "Let's just say I'm not playing as much as I'd like," Tunnell said Wednesday. "I'm not really 41, as everyone says," he insisted, and then added with a wink. "I'm closer to 42." The Packer record nook says that Tunnell was born March 29, 1922, making him 39 - the same age as Jack Benny. Tunnell then said thoughtfully, "Before I quit, I'd like one more good season. Why, I could make tackles until I'm 50. It's all in your heart." That last declaration may be one of the extra reasons why Tunnell continues to wear a Packer uniform. Still a deadly tackler, Tunnell has seen most of his action this year when the Packer defense was dug in against its own goal line. A favorite of the rest of the Packers, Tunnell is asked to talk to them before the game in the dressing room. "I'm old enough to preside over them," he said, "and young enough to be one of them." Before last Sunday's clash with the 49ers in San Francisco, linebacker Ray Nitschke, on a pass from Army duty at Ft. Lewis, Wash., climbed on the bus looking for Tunnell. When Nitschke found him, he asked another player to move over so he could sit down. Nitschke wanted assurance on a couple of points. He got it. "Best guys I've ever been with," said Tunnell. "They play their hearts out. They're good. I wish I was in a position to help them more. I feel kind of bad after the game, when I shake hands with them, realizing I've added very little to the game." "You know," he went on softly, "if I had had a real good season this year I would have quit. But I've still got to have that year."


DEC 14 (Los Angeles) - The Los Angeles Rams, who have personnel problems of a current nature, can face the 1962 season with few more matters to iron out. Today, for instance, they have four quarterbacks on deck. Ostensibly, each is set for the NFL scramble, and each supposedly is ready to guide a flock of halfbacks and fullbacks already too numerous to rate fulltime employment. The latest quarterback is Roman Gabriel, a massive 6-foot-3 1/2 inch, 225-pounder from North Carolina State, who was signed Wednesday over the bleats of the Oakland Raiders of the AFL. All Gabriel has to do to make the team is beat out another widely heralded rookie signed just three days ago - Ron Miller of Wisconsin - and two veterans of the pro wars, Zeke Bratkowski and Frank Ryan. It might be noted that either of the four could well lift the Rams from their present embarrassment (4 wins, 9 losses) if they could get adequate help from an offensive line - a line yet either to mature or to evolve from 1961's draftees. Gabriel comes to the Rams in a four-club deal that even the late Professor Albert Einstein might pause to analyze. But mixed up in the picturesque transaction are such well known football names as Del Shofner and Erich Barns, now the chattel of the New York Giants; ex-Giant George Shaw, now of Minnesota; and a mysterious assortment of draft choices. Also included might be the last will and testament of Minnesota's freshman coach Norm Van Brocklin, who gave his all in the future just to field a team this season. Ram coach Bob Waterfield has been well scouted on his new rookie quarterback. And Gabriel joins the troupe with no prejudices against him. But he might be warned. Ron Miller starred for Wisconsin and has received personal attention from the Rams' general manager, Elroy Hirsch. And Hirsch, Old Crazylegs himself, is an all-time hero from Wisconsin...The Rams are just about over their laundry session of early this week - in which they aired some dirty linen in public - and according to Ram Captain Les Richter are ready to play. Richter said at a luncheon Wednesday: "If we don't get to Bart Starr (Packer quarterback), it will be a long afternoon. We've stopped Green Bay's running game in the past, but we've given Starr all day to pass. He's very underrated - a great leader with lots of poise."



DEC 15 (Palo Alto, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Ben Agajanian, the businessman from Long Beach, is anxious to sell the Packers some field goals - at wholesale. The 42-year-old foot phenom, who operates a chain of sporting goods stores up the road a couple of orange groves, said, "I'll be ready right down to the last second of the championship game. And until I'm 50 years old at least." Agajanian has been with the Packer for four games now and has exercised his famous toe just eight times in competition. He booted five extra points against the Rams in Green Bay; tried a field goal, which was blocked, in that same game; and kicked off twice - once versus the Rams and the other time at the end of the Lion game Thanksgiving Day. Agajanian comes wholesale, as it were, since he just reports for the weekends and thus doesn't sit at the Packer dinner table earlier in the week. But he practices every day. "I get a flock of kids to shag balls for me behind one of my stores. I set the ball up on a tee for field goals, got no center and ball holder." He worked out with the Packers in their first drill at LaPalma Stadium here Thursday, kicking field goals before the drill and then kicking off on his own while the rest of the squad worked in another corner of the field. After the regular drill, Ben said, "I've got to get over here and teach these kids," but a steady rain plus a biting cold, ended the extra workout. He's been teaching anybody interested on kicking off and field goals. Dubbed "The Merchant of Long Beach" by some of the boys, Agajanian is quite a favorite among the "kids" and getting stuff wholesale for the Giants when Ben kicked for them. "Yeah, Robustelli, everybody, got something," Agajanian roared. "And you just check, it's still good today." Obviously, Agajanian is anxious to try his toe but he understands his position. "Paul (Hornung) is the kicker and he has his record at stake- plus he's such a great guy and so well liked. That's his job and he's been good. I've got to be accepted by this bunch but I'm sure the players like me. I'm ready." Agajanian very likely could have meant the championship for Green Bay if anything had happened to Hornung - inability to get away from service, for instance. Paul's boots won the title-winning Giant game, 20-17. Ben undoubtedly would have done the same...COULD BE DIFFERENCE: Now with the title game looming and Hornung gradually downhill due to lack of practice, Agajanian might be the difference in the winner and loser shares in the title game Dec. 31. And here's also the matter of winning the windup against the Rams in Los Angeles Sunday. Ben doesn't intend to hang up his square toe protecting his toeless right foot. He explained: "I play handball a couple of times a week with a guy who's 57 years old, and he beats the daylights out of me. And he's getting better at his age. If he can go on playing handball like that, I sure can keep kicking until I'm 50."...MCGEE FEELS BETTER: Meanwhile, back at the Disneyland Hotel, Max McGee perked up Thursday afternoon and pointed out to one and all that, "I feel better." McGee didn't dress for practice again Thursday and Lombardi said he's pretty well set on starting Lew Carpenter at left end. But don't sell the Taxi short. His cracked ribs aren't quite as sore and the elusive pass catcher just doesn't figure on missing this game - at least part of it. Max would like to get 1,000 yards this season and a few more catches. McGee, who has never missed a game in 16 years of high school, college, pro and service football, has his best year going with 51 catches for 883 yards. There might be two other new offensive starters - Tom Moore at left halfback in place of Hornung and Gary Knafelc or Herb Adderley in place of Boyd Dowler. Ray Nitschke and Dowler will come down from Fort Lewis, Wash., but 


nobody's quite sure about Hornung...The weather has become quite a topic out here - between the rain in "sunny California" and word from back home. It was so miserable here Thursday that Disneyland was closed early in the afternoon. And the players are calling their families back in Green Bay and getting the temperature and snow depth. Lombardi, keeping in constant touch with the Packer office, beamed Thursday, "The ticket orders for the championship game are coming in by the boxful."


DEC 15 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - With porchlights winking and fireworks blasting, the Western Division Champion Packers will be welcomed home Monday night. The Packer plane is due to arrive at Austin Straubel Field late in the afternoon or early evening. Beginning at noon on Monday, the weather conditions at the Weather Bureau will provide estimated times of arrival and weather conditions at the airfield to the radio and TV stations. At 15 minutes before arrival, Ted Fritsch and an assistant will begin broadcasting from Austin Straubel over the radio and TV outlets weather line and the people of the city will be asked to turn their porch lights on and off while the plane circles the city. At an appropriate point, a salvo of fireworks will be shot off. Fritsch will handle the official greetings from the city and the fans as the Packers step off the plane.



DEC 15 (Anaheim, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers could fit into this fantasyland since they are still somewhat of a fantasy themselves. People around the country still ask the inevitable, "How can they support a team in a little town like that?" Disney, himself, couldn't have created anything better. But let's get out of the jungle and face reality...Coach Vince Lombardi wasn't sure today yet whether Paul Hornung would be available on Sunday. The feeling is that the general at Fort Riley, Kan., isn't a football fan. Or better yet, maybe he's a died-in-the-wool Chicago Bear fan. Every weekend Hornung goes through a ringer at Riley and he's never sure. The Fort Lewis-Packer Contingent, Boyd Dowler and Ray Nitschke, were to report today...How good are the Rams? The consensus of the Ram coaching staff, is that just three members of the Packer squad would make the Rams a champ. Those three would be guards Jerry Kramer and Fred Thurston and tackle Hank Jordan. That points up again the importance of the once lowly-regarded guard. And also the value of Forrest Gregg, the tackle who is filling in for Kramer like the all-pro he is. Anyhow, the Rams can't have the three players...Remember how everybody followed Paul Brown's theories and what not? That big trade this week indicated that Mr. brown might be taking a note from Lombardi's thought book on power football. Brown dickered for and obtained rights to 220-pound Ernie Davis, the great Syracuse fullback, from Washington and, in turn, traded off swift but light Bobby Mitchell. Thus, Brown, assuming he signs Davis (and he will), will have two 220-plus backs powering next year, the other being Jimmy Brown. Remember at the draft? Lombardi said you can always stop speed but you can't stop up power entirely which is why Vince picked heavy Earl Gross of LSU as his first choice. Incidentally, Jim Taylor thinks Gros is a "good back" and "we'll have three big ones now." The third is Hornung, normally a 215-pounder who now has shrunk down to 205 on that Army diet...Max McGee doesn't figure to play at all Sunday and it's a shame because he hasn't missed a game in all his football life. He had hoped to get in a point or two. Lombardi wants to make sure Max is ready for Dec. 31...Two "subs" will be in the starting lineup for sure. Lew Carpenter will start for McGee and Tom Moore will get the call over Hornung...The Rams have ended their grumbling over Hamp Pool's big spanking stick and have proclaimed themselves as a fighting unit for the Packers. The Rams can be expected to be mighty mean. Remember how they "fought" the Packers in Green Bay last Nov. 19? There was a fight a minute. Lombardi has warned the Packers about fighting Sunday. "If anybody does any fighting, I'll do it myself," Lombardi chuckled...Among the visitors in camp Friday was Fred Miller, the former Green Bay brewer. Miller left Green Bay several months ago with his family and they are now living in Tustin. "We like it very much here but we certainly miss the Packers," Fred said.


DEC 16 (Los Angeles-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - McGee and Hornung. Those two names go together like bread and butter in Packerland. They have been key cogs in the Packers' success story under Vince Lombardi - Paul Hornung as Mr. Everything and Max McGee as Mr. Catch. When the Packers close their regulation NFL season against the Rams in the Coliseum this afternoon, McGee and Hornung won't be in the starting lineup. McGee may not even suit up and Hornung won't even play a minor role - he couldn't get a pass from Fort Riley, Kan. "If I suit up, I might sneak in," McGee warned while watching - in civvies from the sidelines - the Bays practice Saturday. Lombardi doesn't want to take any chances on losing the Taxi for the championship game and thus may consign him to the press box. Lombardi was informed Saturday night that Hornung would not be available for today's game because he couldn't get a weekend pass. Tom Moore has been given the starting nod at Hornung's "option" position. Moore has been groomed all week for the job and it will be interesting to see what the Vanderbilt sophomore does in his second full go at the position. Oddly enough, Moore's other shot at left half was in the first Ram game in Green Bay Nov. 19 when Hornung was jeeped at Fort Riley. But that wasn't a pleasant experience for Moore. On his third carry, a seven-yard advance that led to the Pack's first TD, but he fell on the 


ball and injured his ribs. He missed two games. Moore is now feared around the league as a passer. He attempted just two and completed both - a 15-yard pitch to Ron Kramer in the first Viking game and a 23-yard touchdown throw to McGee in San Francisco last Sunday. Hornung's kicking chores will be filled by old reliable, Ben Agajanian, the 42-year old who has been like a kid at practice all week. Agajanian's first work as a Packer, strangely, was in that last Ram game. He kicked five extra points and tried a field goal, which was blocked. McGee's shoes will be filled by another "old" reliable, Lew Carpenter, a 29-year old do-everything who made a leaping catch of a pass to set up what seemed to be the winning touchdown against the 49ers. Carpenter had a confession to make on that play. "I slipped when I cut and I just made it look hard. Actually, Bart's pass was right in there," Lew explained. Bart Starr has thrown four touchdown passes in the last two games against the Rams, starting with the title-clincher here last year but two of them were to McGee. What's more, he called Hornung's TD pass to McGee in the Coliseum game. The Packers have had considerable success passing versus the Rams and, ironically, they've had trouble rushing in the two games. With McGee not driving Ram defenders nuts, the Packers may try grinding it out on the ground today. One Packer back would like to have a field day on the ground. That would be Jim Taylor, who still has hopes of winning the ground-gaining championship. He's 77 yards behind Jimmy Brown at the moment. Brown runs against the Giants in New York and it's possible Taylor will know how Brown did with Sam Huff before the game here begins. The Packers came out of practice with considerable enthusiasm Saturday. Lombardi reiterated what he said before the San Francisco game, "We're out here to win." He said today's game would have no bearing on the title game. "That's too far away," he added. The Rams are expected to come out with a lot of fire. They've been panned something fierce from the press all week for squawking about treatment by Hamp Pool and there's bound to be a violent reaction. But that's nothing new. The Packers face a violent reaction every Sunday, which is the penalty you pay for being a champion. Everybody wanted to clean your clock. A crowd of around 55,000 is expected. Kickoff is set for 3:35, Titletown (Green Bay) time. The Packers will stay at the Ambassador Hotel tonight. They are scheduled to fly out of here at noon (Green Bay time) Monday and arrive home around 7 Monday night.


DEC 16 (Los Angeles-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Today at 3:30 p.m., in the Coliseum, the Los Angeles Rams will play the final game of the 1961 season. The opposition will be the U.S. Army. Of course, not all the Green Bay Packers are soldiers on leave from the cold war for the day. Just the good ones. They've got so many GIs in the lineup it looks like a stag line at the USO. In order to spring them from week to week, the games are officially designated by the NATO high command as bivouacs. And they don't make first downs, they take prisoners. Pfc. Paul Hornung comes from Ft. Riley, Kan., while Pfcs. Ray Nitschke and Boyd Dowler come from Ft. Lewis, Wash. If they were officers, of course, they would come from Ft. Beverly-Hilton. To all questions at the base, their commanding officers answer "Private Nitschke, Dowler and Hornung are off on maneuvers." No one under pain of court martial is permitted to add that the "maneuvers" involve a "flanker wide right with a remaining back and two split ends." "Red Dogs" are referred to for the day as "Crimson K-9's" and anyone who drops a pass gets immediately busted to private. The soldiers in the lineup get to wear steel helmets and full field packs and they can string barbed wire around their position for goal line stands. If any of them makes lieutenant, he gets to spend the day in the end zone or the seats where he can concentrate on the problems of winning without running the risk of getting hit with anything more serious than an occasional overthrown pass from whichever Ram quarterback is playing "Washing Machine Charlie." They won't use a whistle for the day. A bugle. Reveille for kickoff, retreat for the defensive unit and taps for whoever bumps into Roy Hord on end sweeps. Broken jaws get the purple heart - unless, of course, they would rather have aspirin. They won't have pep talks between the halves, but mail call, "Dear John" letters will be saved til after the game. The game ball will be awarded to Sgt. York or to Audie Murphy. If somebody bumps into Roy Hord and Art Hunter simultaneously, however, the game ball will be awarded to him. Posthumously. Press box credentials have been requested for its scouts by Russia. Gromyko will man the field phones. Player rebellions, of course, will not be tolerated - unless staged by the Rams. Any Packer rebelling will be turned over to the MPs or shot by the halftime gun. The Green Bay Packers may be the first team to win the cold war and the NFL championship in the same year and if so they will get a unit citation from the White House and a check from Pete Rozelle at the same time. If they get run over by Lamar Lundy or scalded to death by Hamp Pool, they will get a full 21-gun burial in Arlington National Cemetery. There will be a camp show between the halves starring Bob Hope, Jayne Mansfield and the Andrews Sisters. If Bratkowski is on target, the Packers have permission to run up barrage balloons. The card stunts will spell out "Uncle Sam Needs You." Of course,


The Packer huddle at San Francisco


Jim Taylor (31) and Forrest Gregg (75) in action vs San Francisco 49ers Matt Hazeltine (55) at Kezar Stadium (Photo by Marvin E. Newman /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images/Getty Images)


the Packers run the risk of losing good soldier Hornung. If there's an alert, he'll have to get back to that jeep in Kansas and turn the radio off. Or at least off the Make Believe Ballroom and into Conelrad. The Packers will probably be the first team in history to win the title by furlough. Actually, the Rams will also be out on a weekend pass - from the playpen. The game will be beamed to our Armed Forces (on the Packer bench) via short-wave radio. The name of the game is the Old Army Game. Don't buy tickets. Buy bonds. And, remember, somewhere out in the wilds of Ft. Riley, Kan., is a boy doing double duty for the absent-with-leave Hornung. That is, he's taking two girls out on one week's pay. Let's have a moment of silence in honor of THAT unknown soldier. And, remember, Loose Lips Sink Ships. They also drool. Whatever anyone whispers to you about the game, tell it to the FBI. Or the Marines. Or Sweeney. The point spread and casualty lists are military secrets. If you see anyone going around talking about them with an accent like a male Zsa Zsa Gabor, contact your nearest poolroom and ask for General Intelligence. They'll take your bet there.

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