Green Bay Packers (8-1) 28, Minnesota Vikings (3-6) 7
Sunday November 10th 1963 (at Green Bay)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(MILWAUKEE) - The Vikings had upset in their mind and in their muscles. But the Packers bounced back from a 7-0 deficit with four touchdown passes to defeat the Minnesotans 28 to 7 at City Stadium Sunday afternoon. This could have been one of those "given Sundays" (when the underdog knocks off the topdog) as the Vikings out-yarded the Bays 209 to 60 in the first half - 200 in the air - to win their eighth in a row going away and relieve a worried audience of 42,327. The stage is now set for next Sunday's crucial between the Bears and Packers in Chicago. Pro football's traditional rivals are locked in first place in the Western Division with 8-1 records. The Bears blanked the Rams 6-0 Sunday. The winner Sunday will have an inside track to the Division championship. The Packers could have been behind 21-7 at the half since the feverish Vikings dropped two touchdown passes in the end zone. But these kinds of mistakes are fatal against the Packers, who took a 14-7 lead in the third quarter and then scored two TDs in the fourth. John Roach, working his third straight win since taking over for the injured Bart Starr, hurled three TD passes and Zeke Bratkowski, the QB insurance policy, threw the other. The Packers finished with 166 yards rushing, but they weren't making much headway. So Roach switched to the air for the big plays. Jim Taylor, watched closely by the Viking, settled for 37 yards in 18 trips, while his rushing sidekick was able to cut loose with 82 yards in 15 trips. Moore fumbled the ball away twice and Taylor once. All five of the TDs came on passes. Fran Tarkenton hit Paul Flatley with an 18-yarder in the end zone for a 7-0 Viking lead in the first quarter. This was the first time Minnesota had taken a lead on Green Bay in the new club's young history. Roach threw a 12-yard pass to Marv Fleming to tie the score in the second quarter. He hurled a 20-yarder to Boyd Dowler to put the Pack ahead 14-7 in the third period. Moore scored the last two TDs, working a 45-yard pass play with Roach and then taking a five-yarder from Bratkowski in the last minute. Moore was a one-man gang. He ran 15 times for 82 yards, caught three passes for 60 yards and two TDs, and passed 49 yards on the option play to Dowler to set up the Pack's lead TD in the third period. The comeback of the day was the long-geared Dowler, who caught eight passes for 134 yards. His catches figured in the first three touchdown drives, and Bob Jeter replaced him for the short fourth. Thus, after some rough going in the last few games, Boyd is back on the beam. Tarkenton made considerable use of the flare pass to both sides, and Tommy Mason, the Vikes' busy left half, caught 10 for 76 yards. The Bays' active defense gave up 302 yards and intercepted two passes - by Hank Gremminger (his second in two games) and Ray Nitschke. Gremminger's steal was just what the doctor ordered. The Bays had produced but one first down until they took the cue from Gremminger and went on to the tying TD midway in the second quarter. The game got off to an odd start. Dave Robinson's only kickoff of the day barely went 10 yards, and Ken Iman recovered on the Viking 44. The Packers lost six yards in three tries so Jerry Norton punted the ball away. The fiery Vikings rolled up three first downs but key tackles by Willie Davis, Hank Jordan and Lionel Aldridge forced the Vikings to punt. The Bays gave it right back when Moore fumbled and Winston recovered on the Packer 26. Minnesota couldn't budge so Fred Cox missed the first of three field goals - this from the 36. The Bays finally made a first down, with Moore going 20 yards, but Norton had to punt again and the Vikings then preceded to score on an 80-yard drive...ANKLE TACKLE: The big move was a 62-yard pass play between Tarkenton and Paul Flatley to the Packer 25. After Mason gained seven in two trips, the scrambling Tarkenton hit Flatley in the end zone. Cox's point try was good at 14:59 and that ended the Vikes' scoring for the day. Norton punted twice, once a 61-yard beauty, and Cox once as the game moved into the second quarter. Mason zipped 23 yards around end and almost got away for a TD but for an ankle tackle by Willie Wood. Three plays later Gremminger made his interception and the Bays scored. From the 40, Moore ran 4 and Roach threw 12 yards to Dowler to the 24. Taylor hit three times for inches short of a first down and then Moore gained a foot to make it a first down. Three plays later, Roach hit Fleming for 12 yards up the middle for the TD, with Lamson and Dillon missing the big end. Jerry Kramer converted for a tie score at 11:09. Just before the half, the Vikings put on a sustained march of three first downs and then missed a TD when Jerry Reichow dropped Tarkenton's throw in the end zone. Apparently forgetting they didn't have any timeouts left, the Vikings blew a chance for a field goal when the gun went off while the Vikings were getting set to kick. The Bays took the second half kickoff and covered 83 yards in six plays for the lead TD. After Moore ran one, Roach threw to Max McGee for one yard and then Dowler for a 49 yard gain to the Viking 23. Three plays later, Dowler took Roach's throw and broke away from Calland on the 10 for the TD. J.K. hit at 3:18 for a 14-7 edge. In short order, Cox missed a field goal from the 50, Taylor's fumble was recovered by Dickson, Cox missed a field goal from the 47 and J. Kramer's field goal try from the 12 was blocked by Calland. J.K.'s field goal try was set up on a fine pass of 31 yards from Roach to McGee and a 22-yard gallop by Roach. As the game moved into the fourth quarter, Cox and Norton exchanged punts and Nitschke intercepted Tarkenton's pass on one play and Moore's fumble was recovered by Calland on the next.
The Vikings added up a couple of first downs with 10:28 left in the game before Cox punted to the Packer 19. From there, the Packers rolled 81 yards in seven plays for their third TD. Taylor led off with an 11-yard run, his longest of the day, on the first play. On Play 4, Roach hurled 20 yards to Dowler and on Play 7, Roach threw a "sleeper" to Moore on the west sidelines and the fleet back, getting behind Calland, scored easily. It was a 45-yard maneuver and made the score 21-7 as J.K. kicked. Minnesota lost the ball on downs on the Packer 21 when Aldridge, Davis and Jordan hurled Fran Tarkenton back
seven plays for their third TD. Taylor led off with an 11-yard run, his longest of the day, on the first play. On Play 4, Roach hurled 20 yards to Dowler and on Play 7, Roach threw a "sleeper" to Moore on the west sidelines and the fleet back, getting behind Calland, scored easily. It was a 45-yard maneuver and made the score 21-7 as J.K. kicked. Minnesota lost the ball on downs on the Packer 21 when Aldridge, Davis and Jordan hurled Fran Tarkenton back 14 yards. And the Pack scored from the 20 in five plays. Moore ran 11 to the 10 and Bratkowski replaced Roach. Elijah Pitts and Earl Gros gained five, but the Pack lost five on a too-much-time penalty. Bratkowski then hurled a 10-yard pass to Moore off the left. J.K. converted his 75th point of the season and he was leading the league in scoring. The Browns' Jim Brown failed to score vs. Pittsburgh and he now has 72.
MINNESOTA - 7 0 0 0 - 7
GREEN BAY - 0 7 7 14 - 28
MINNESOTA GREEN BAY
First Downs 13 17
Rushing-Yards-TD 29-117-0 36-146-0
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 35-17-200-1-2 22-14-247-4-0
Sack Yards Lost 25 19
Net Passing Yards 175 228
Total Yards 290 374
Fumbles-lost 2-0 4-3
Turnovers 2 3
Yards penalized 1-8 1-5
1st - MIN - Paul Flatley, 18-yard pass from Fran Tarkenton (Fred Cox kick) MINNESOTA 7-0
2nd - GB - Marv Fleming, 12-yard pass from Roach (Jerry Kramer kick) TIED 7-7
3rd - GB - Boyd Dowler, 20-yard pass from Roach (J. Kramer kick) GREEN BAY 14-7
4th - GB - Tom Moore, 45-yard pass from Roach (J. Kramer kick) GREEN BAY 21-7
4th - GB - Moore, 10-yard pass from Bratkowski (J. Kramer kick) GREEN BAY 28-7
GREEN BAY - Tom Moore 15-82, Jim Taylor 18-37, John Roach 1-22, Earl Gros 1-5, Elijah Pitts 1-0
MINNESOTA - Tommy Mason 15-78, Bill Brown 12-40, Fran Tarkenton 2-(-1)
GREEN BAY - John Roach 20-12-188 3 TD, Tom Moore 1-1-49, Zeke Bratkowski 1-1-10 1 TD
MINNESOTA - Fran Tarkenton 35-17-200 1 TD 2 INT
GREEN BAY - Boyd Dowler 8-134 1 TD, Tom Moore 3-60 2 TD, Max McGee 2-41, Marv Fleming 1-12 1 TD
MINNESOTA - Tommy Mason 10-76, Paul Flatley 2-80 1 TD, Jerry Reichow 2-36, Bill Brown 2-5, Jim Boylan 1-3
'NO DIFFERENCE HOW YOU SCORE' - VINCE
NOV 11 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Ball control, as represented by a crunching ground attack, has been the Packers' secret of success since the advent of Vince Lombardi in 1959. Be that as it may, Signor Lombardi was making no apologies for varying the script in Sunday's 28-7 triumph over the Minnesota Vikings, in which all four Packer touchdowns materialized through the air. "It makes no difference how you get 'em," he chuckled, "as long as you get 'em up there (on the scoreboard)." The defending world champions' transfer to the airlanes, triggered by the Vikings' preoccupation with the Packers' ground gain, might have been even more effective, Lombardi admitted. "We probably should have thrown a lot more than we did," Vince confessed. "When you get so much hanging on a ball game, you get a little conservative, which is the wrong way to be. It's only human, I guess." Had the Vikings been doing anything special to frustrate the Pack's running attack? "Nothing in particular," Lombardi responded. "They were keying on Taylor a little bit. But Moore had a little better day as a result. They played us for the run all the way." This last reminded him that "Roach (quarterback John, operating in the absence of the injured Bart Starr for the third straight week) hit some real crucial third down passes today. How many did he have, by the way?" Returning to the subject at hand, the Vikings' defense, Lombardi explained, "They had the safety man up there a lot of the time - they played what amounted to an 8-man line." In this connection, he heartily agreed that the Minnesotans' defense was "much better than in our first game, no doubt about it." This was a big game for them as well as us," he added. "They think of it as a rivalry game - it would make their season to beat us." "But" he added wryly, "we've got a couple of other rivalry games - with Detroit and the bears, too. But I do think it is going to be a great rivalry in the future. After all, the Vikings are a young team." The visitors' itinerant Fran Tarkenton was mentioned and was tendered a Lombardi accolade. "He's amazing," Vince asserted. "If he stays whole, he's going to be a great one. He's an amazing kid. He's the Viking team - he's the one who makes 'em go." "It's amazing," the Packer strategist appended with a shake of the head, "how he can get chased all over and still hit those receivers. He seems to have a sixth sense." What about the condition of his own quarterback, Bart Starr? Beaming, Vince reported with obvious pleasure, "The splint's off and he's throwing so there's a real good chance he'll play against the Bears next Sunday." "It depends, of course, on how he does in practice this week. I just hope we have good weather. If it's rainy or windy, of course, it will cut down on his opportunities to throw. However, he's never really stopped throwing, except for the first few days after he broke his hand. He's been throwing with the flat of his hand, but he's been throwing. And yesterday, he started making handoffs, but not very many. We didn't want to give him too much." Continuing with his appraisal of the fluid quarterback situation, Lombardi noted, "I was glad to see Bratkowski (Zeke, obtained in a recent trade with the Rams to
backstop Roach and Starr) throw for a touchdown." Asked about Earl Gros, injured on his first ball carrying attempt in the fourth quarter, Lombardi said, "Gros is all right - he went back in there after he was hurt. Willie Davis? Mr. Feel Good? He's all right, too." Assessing the afternoon as a whole, the Packers' resident genius observed, "We tried hard to help them - we fumbled down in there a couple of times. It looked like the Wisconsin-Northwestern game yesterday," he chuckled. "That's what it looked like." When you don't play a good ball game, of course, you have to have a little fortune." Pondering this last briefly, he added, "I think, however, we played superb defensively." He also evinced pleasure over the resurgence of Boyd Dowler, observing, "Dowler had a good day - the best he's had. He's had an awful time - been dropping some passes, as you know." Next noting that "Ron Kramer will be ready next week," Lombardi agreed, "Fleming (rookie Marv, standing in for the injured all-pro tight end) has played real well." Inevitably, the subject of next Sunday's showdown with the Bears arose. Was he plotting anything special for the Bruins? "No sir, coach," Lombardi emphatically rejoined. "We're going to do what we do best. If they beat us, they'll beat us while we're doing what we do best. We're not going to put in anything silly."...Normally a high loquacious citizen, the Vikings' Norm Van Brocklin was somewhat taciturn. Informed that Lombardi has been impressed with his fledglings, Van Brocklin sardonically replied, "You mean he didn't accuse me of being dirty today?" (Lombardi had noted after the first Viking game in Minneapolis this year that this was the cleanest game they had played.) The Minnesotans had been successful in checking Jim Taylor, it was noted. "Yeah, we stopped him," he agreed, "but we didn't do anything offensively. That's the story of the ball game. We'd hoped we'd do more ourselves." They had had special maneuvers planned for this occasion. "Yes, we did," he said cryptically, "but that's our business." Summing up, he observed, "Defensively, we played well enough to win, but we didn't show much stuff on offense. If you want to win badly enough, you don't drop passes all over the place or foul up on third down like we did." "We just had to put together one drive to win," he concluded. "If you don't do that, you don't deserve to win."...QUICK OPENER?: When stirring fourth quarter developments prompted the Packers' non-participants to stand along the sidelines, thus blocking the view of first row spectators, one of them quipped, "Hey, Vince, how about some of that daylight you write about?" The Packer coach, for the benefit of the unitiated, is co-author (with W.C. Heinz) of a best-selling tome entitled, "Run to Daylight."...RED FACE DEPT.: An airborne commercial, wafted from a plane over City Stadium, was somewhat premature - on two counts. The sign read: "Lee Store...Will See You Here Nov. 29." The Packers, it goes without saying, are in a good position for a fourth straight playoff berth, but five games still remain and, of course, said playoff will be staged on Dec. 29, wherever it is held.
'HAD TO DO SOMETHING' SAYS DOWLER AFTER CATCHING EIGHT
NOV 11 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - "I was getting desperate. I had to do something." Although there was a tongue-in-cheek element to this statement, there could be no doubting the sincerity of its author, altitudinous Boyd Dowler, who obviously was relishing a long-sought return to NFL respectability. The 6-6 U. of Colorado alumnus, who speared eight passes for 134 yards (not to mention one highly important touchdown) readily confessed, "It feels a lot different than it has th4 last several weeks, I can tell you that." "It feels good to come in here (the dressing room)," he said with a slow smile," "feeling you did what you were supposed to do." Complimented for his "moves" (following a John Roach pass) in eluding Lee Calland for the Pack's go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, Dowler demurred. "I just turned around and there was nobody there. I've never been known for sensational moves," he added wryly, "after I've caught a pass." His collaborator in that successful project, lanky John Roach, reported, "I felt I needed a couple of games, after sitting on the bench so long, and I felt a whole lot better today." In addition to passing with telling effect, he had run like a jackrabbit on one memorable occasion, it was suggested. "That's what a quarterback is supposed to do," he grinned, "run like a jackrabbit." The rangy Texan does not, he hastened to add, consider himself a running quarterback. "I'm not the type," he said. "I had to do some with the Cardinals because they had a rollout system, a little more of offense than we have here, but," Roach concluded with a smile. "I prefer the Lombardi system." Jim Taylor, knotting a tie in another area, dryly conceded, "Yeah, they were after me a few times today - about 18 of 'em. Just when I had the ball. They were keying on the run so much, you had to hit with Tom (Moore) on the wide stuff. And, of course, when they stress anything that much, they've got to leave something else open." Despite the Vikings' obvious concern with his whereabouts, Taylor was not impressed with the enemy's vigor, "It wasn't a real rugged game," he said. His fellow fullback and fellow Louisianan, rugged Earl Gros, dismissed the fourth quarter injury he had acquired. "It wasn't much. I guess I just put all my weight on that one foot," he said. "I think it was more of a shock than anything." Quiet, scholarly Zeke Bratkowski, fresh from a perfect Packer debut (his only pass, completed to Tom Moore, had resulted in the Packers' final touchdown) smiled and confided, "That really felt good." "it's the same thing Tom ran and caught for a touchdown from John (Roach) earlier," he explained, "only this one was on the other side of the field." The "other" Packer quarterback (which seems a strange reference, considering he was presided at the acquisition of two consecutive world championships) also was the object of considerable attention in the wake of a favorable "infirmary" report from Coach Vince Lombardi. "The hand feels real good," Bart Starr was happy to reveal, "but I don't know anything yet about playing next Sunday. I haven't thrown to hard yet, so I just don't know." Lavish in his praise of Roach, Starr declared, "He did a beautiful job today. In fact, he's done a great job for us ever since he took over." Handsome Hank Gremminger, who had executed an impromptu "ballet" after picking off a Tarkenton pass to trigger the Packers' first touchdown, explained with a grin, "Every time I thought I saw a clear shot, I'd see a darned white shirt. I had some real good blocking on that one." All-pro tackle Henry Jordan was making capital of Gremminger's larceny, noting with a chuckle, "He finally got ahead of Hawg. Hank didn't get his first interception until last week at Milwaukee and Dave's been kidding Henry about being tied with him."..."GETTING US READY": Turning serious, Jordan commended Roach's performance, asserting, "The defense likes the way he stays in that pocket. The way that John has played, and the way that others have stepped in when starters have been hurt, proves one thing: we can do without one guy at any given time, but we can't do without the coaching staff. They seem to have the knack of getting us ready." Willie Davis, who had limped from the field in the fourth quarter, shrugged off the injury with, "I don't know whether it was a pulled muscle or it was a cramp, but I think it was a cramp. I feel all right, anyway," The Vikings had had considerable success running to the outside, it was ventured. Again the Grambling alumnus shrugged and replied, "They caught us a couple of times with a real good play for the defense we were in." Hanner, always a forthright citizen, assessed the Packers' early troubles with customary candor. "I was fighting it all week," he confessed, "but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't help looking ahead to the Bears next week. And judging by the scoreboard (which revealed the Chicagoans had shaded the hapless Los Angeles Rams 6-0)," he smiled, "the Bears were doing the same thing."
VANDY VIEWS BAY VISIT WITH MIXED EMOTION
NOV 11 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The most celebrated free agent in NFL history, as the Minnesota Viking press guide refers to him, was understandably a young man of mixed emotions following Sunday's 28-7 Packer conquest of the Vikes in City Stadium. Ron Vander Kelen had the familiar boyish grin coloring his dark, handsome features as he drank a coke in the Viking locker room. But it may have been just a bit less enthusiastic than the one which blossomed so naturally while he led Wisconsin's Badgers to the Big 10 title last fall. "It's a great feeling coming back to Green Bay, but I sure wish we could have won," came the words that explained the contradictory emotions that were part of Preble High School's No. 1 athletic alumnus on this day. "It was pretty exciting running out on the field today. It wasn't like any other game. It was the first time I've ever been on this field and with all the Green Bay people here. Well, it was quite thrilling," the former Wisconsin instant hero admitted. Acknowledging a pardonable bit of disappointment at not getting into the game, Vandy said, "Sure, I would have liked to been able to play, but that's the way it is." But for Vandy, his first year as a pro has been "pretty good so far. I've played quite a bit in three different games, but it's hard to tell how well you're doing because the games are already decided by then. And I've got lots to learn." The 1962 Most Valuable Player, who was bypassed by the pros until a fiery performance in the Rose Bowl flooded him with offers and made him a national idol, spent Saturday night visiting his mother and friends around town. He stayed with the team at the Hotel Northland, however, making the 11 o'clock curfew without difficulty, he confirmed with a twinkle in his eyes. Analyzing his adopted team's performance against his one-time heroes, Vandy declared, "We couldn't get over the goal. We went down the field but the most important thing in the game is scoring points and we couldn't do that today." And then he added once more, "I wish it would have been different."
PSYCHOLOGICAL EDGE WITH PACK - OR IS IT?
NOV 12 (Chicago) - Owner-Coach George Halas of the Chicago Bears is crying that the Green Bay Packers will have all of the psychological advantages when the two teams clash in their showdown battle Sunday. But an unexpected morale-building series of events has unfolded in the short time since the Bears edged the Los Angeles Rams 6-0 Sunday and this could give Chicago the necessary impetus needed against the Packers. "The Packers will be out to prove our 10-3 victory over them in the season opener was a mistake," says Halas. "They have been champions for two years. They have all the overall strength, and they've beaten us four times in our last five games." The Bears can more than match Green Bay on defense. But it's a different story on offense, and that's where the Bears might wind up getting their psychological lift. While they could only muster only two field goals by Roger LeClerc in defeating the Rams, the offensive players constantly were booed every time they left the field by the crowd of 48,312. And every time the defense team came off, cheers rocked the ball park. The Bear offense hasn't done much scoring but the players have ears. And as expected, Chicago newspapers Monday hailed the defense and such banner lines graced the sports pages as "Bears' offense is sick, confused...defense normal" and "Bears defense set for Green Bay."...'A LITTLE SHEEPISHLY': No, the Bear offense hasn't been great, but the players can read such items as "The proud defensive players joke and go home, knowing full well that the victory belongs to them. The offense sits and sighs a little sheepishly like a young boy who has just been bailed out of a scrape by his rich old man." If the Bear offense is at all capable, what more is needed to get the team into a psychological orbit? Referring to his offense after the Ram game, Halas said, "We can't play that way against Green Bay and expect to win. That much I know." But 24 hours later, the crafty NFL pioneer said, "Overall I think our offense is doing a good job. It is unrealistic to expect our offense to romp over other teams. After all, our opponents aren't doing much romping against our defense." And Bear backfield coach Chuck Mather summed it up this way: "How can anyone say our offense is fouled up when all we're doing is
winning."...Halas, who had launched his brain-washing campaign before a Chicago American Quarterback Club's session that overflowed with 900 persons, had to field this question sent to the rostrum by a fan: "I noticed in the Baltimore game two weeks ago that halfback Johnny Morris looked right at Wade on every running play. Study the films and you'll see it, too. Don't you think this is tipping off the opposition?" Halas stuffed the note into his pocket. "I think Johnny is too sharp to tip off anything like that, but we'll study the pictures and make sure. We aren't going to overlook anything." Mike Ditka, Richie Petitbon and quarterback Bill Wade were also introduced. All received applause, but the greatest came for Wade. Wade was roundly booed several times Sunday at Wrigley Field when the Bears' offense failed to click.
WINNING OR LOSING VS. BEARS WON'T DECIDE IT: VINCE
NOV 12 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - And now the Bears. The Packers' contest against the Bears in Chicago Sunday really needs no formal introduction. It has been common knowledge for some time now, and, besides, there's no use getting all het up this early in the week. It's only Tuesday. So who's excited (mumble, mumble)? One citizen reminded us today that "the Bear game is a long way off." That reminder came from the coach, Vince Lombardi. We had remarked that it's rather difficult to give much thought to the Pack's eighth straight victory - a 28-7 win over the Vikings Sunday. That triumph - and it was just as sweet as the previous seven - occupied Lombardi and his aides, Phil Bengtson, Norb Hecker, Bill Austin, Tom Fears and Red Cochran, for part of Monday and the players during their morning meeting today. The Viking game is relieved, so to speak, via the movies which are reviewed by the coaches Monday and the players Tuesday. Lombardi didn't perform any verbal handsprings over the victory but he felt that "it was adequate." The win served the purpose, which was keeping the Packers in a first-place tie with the Bears at the head of the Western Division standings. This brings up a point. Too many Packer fans seem to be disappointed if the Packers don't "crush" every opponent, but Lombardi asserted that "you've got to give the other teams some credit for playing good football, too." A sterling example was Minnesota, which displayed a certain amount of skill and unlimited determination. The combination added up to a tough time for the Packers. But also a hard-earned victory. It took the Pack's skill and its cussedness to win it. The Packers displayed their versatility in the past two games. They used their rushing game to whip the Steelers and then unloaded an aerial attack (four touchdown passes) to down the Vikings. Lombardi noted that "we are a balanced team" and then chuckled, "Sometimes it takes us a while to find out what to use." (pass or run) The Packers' balance will be a key factor Sunday against the Bears' balance defense. While the Bear game seems to take on life and death proportions on the street corner and in the coffee houses, Lombardi said that "winning this game wouldn't mean we would be in and losing it isn't going to lose the title - for either team." Vince admitted that "it would ease things" if the Packers can trim the Bears, but added: "We both have to play Detroit. They've got Pittsburgh and look what the Steelers did to the Browns. Then we've got San Francisco twice - they're coming to life. And Los Angeles? They've always been tough on us." The chances of injured Bart Starr and Ron Kramer playing Sunday will depend on who they do in practice this week, Vince said, explaining: "Both will work the entire week - just like normal." If the two injured players come through the practice periods with no ill effects, they would stand a good chance of playing in the crucial game. Starr has had the splint removed from his broken hand and he's on his own. Kramer was running pretty good near the end of last week, but he stayed out of the Viking cause. A spot of good weather this week would be beneficial to both players...Otherwise, the only noticeable injuree is Earl Gros, who has a slight limp. There are other bumps and bruises, but all are minor, including Dave Robinson, who had hurt his right ankle, requiring his removal as the Pack's kickoff man after one try. Robinson tried the game's opening kickoff and it turned out to be an unintentional onside kick (no, Virginia, that wasn't planned). Robbie merely switched places with Grimm on the kickoff team the rest of the day.
PACK USES THREE YARD LINE FOR CONVERSIONS
NOV 12 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers kick their extra points kick from their 10-yard line, most other teams from the nine. How come? Bart Starr, who holds the ball for Jerry Kramer's kicks, says that the rule allows a team to center the ball from the two or three-yard line. The ball is back on the passback from center Jim Ringo. "We tell the official to place it on the three before each kick. Otherwise, he'll put it on the two. That extra yard can be important. It's another yard for Jerry to get the ball higher. We started that near the end of the last season and just kept on doing it." In case you're wondering, the ball is marched off from the three-yard line on a penalty? Thus, it appears that the Packers' "spot" their opponents a yard on each conversion. And that's mighty nice of 'em. But enough of the technical side. Let's look over the notes from the playoff of the Pack's 28-7 victory over the Vikings in City Stadium Sunday: SLOW START - The Packers ran off the first four plays of the game and there were fumbles on three of them. Tom Moore ran right end, lost six yards, fumbled and recovered. John Roach's pass to Moore was incomplete on the second down. On third down, Roach fumbled and recovered. With fourth and 16, Jerry Norton punted and the receiver, Billy Butler, fumbled and recovered. FUNNY SIGHT - Fuzzy Thurston, Forrest Gregg and Jim Ringo found themselves stacked up on top of each other like three bags of concrete when Jim Taylor was thrown for a yard loss in the first quarter. On the next play, Thurston threw a key block in releasing Tom Moore on a 20-yard run. BY AN ANKLE - Willie Wood might have saved a touchdown when he caught Tommy Mason by an ankle to end a 23-yard run to the Viking 37. Only one Packer was left and that was Jess Whittenton, who was coming across the field and may not have caught him. SECOND DOWNERS - The Packers made 75 yards on three straight second down plays late in the third period. On the second downs, Moore ran left end for 22, Roach threw to Max McGee for 31 and then Roach ran 22 yards. On each of the preceding first down plays, Moore was held for no gain, Taylor was held for no gain, and Moore lost six attempting a pass. TEMPER, TEMPER - Bill Brown, the Viking fullback, was stopped for a one-yard gain just before the fourth period started and then broke away. The official's whistle had stopped the play and Brown slammed the ball into the ground. He must have been sizzling on the next play because he bumped into Fran Tarkenton on the handoff. FIRST PENALTY - The first penalty of the game wasn't paced off until early in the fourth quarter when the Vikings were clipped for clipping on Jerry Norton's punt to Billy Butler. The only penalty called on the Pack (and only the second of the game) was a too-much-time assessment in the last two minutes.
PACK TO NEED ALL 3 QBS?
NOV 12 (Los Angeles) - Los Angeles coach Harland Svare, whose Rams have lost games this season to Green Bay and Chicago, couldn't be pinned down Monday when asked to pick the winner of next Sunday's game between the Packers and the Bears. Svare told Southern California football writers that he thinks the Bears will have to show more offensive punch than they mustered in a 6-0 victory over the Rams at Wrigley Field Sunday. However, Svare added a trace of humor, "If the Bears' defense gets moving, Green Bay may need all three of its quarterbacks."
HANNER, ALDRIDGE SEE BEAR CLASH FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES
NOV 13 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Dave Hanner, 33, will be playing in his 24th Packer-Bear game Sunday. Lionel Aldridge, 22, will be in his second. These two starting defensive linemen - the veteran and the rookie - represent the traditions and the future of the Packers. They have separate and perhaps different thoughts today on Sunday's big game in Chicago but they all boil down to the Packer's desire to win. In facing the Bears, Hanner calls on the experience of his 12 seasons and some 150 games, including 23 bruisers with the Pack's traditional rival. Aldridge, in turn, has but nine games to brace on, including a losing effort against the Bears. In fact, both Hanner and Aldridge are underdogs, so to speak, in Bear games. Big Dave has been the winner in nine of his 23 games. Thirteen resulted in losses, and one was a tie. Lionel, the Big Train, suffered along with the rest of the Packers in that 10-3 affair here Sept. 15. "This is the biggest Packer-Bear game since I've been here," Hanner pointed out, adding: "This is the first time both teams had so much at stake this late in the season. And this is the first time in my time that both teams have had such fine ball clubs." Usually at this time, one team or the other is out of the championship running. The last season the two clubs were "up there" was in '47, when the two teams had 4-2 records and, horrors, the Bears won that big match in Chicago 20-17. The last really big one was in '41 when the Bears had a 7-0 record against the Pack's 6-1 (the only loss was to the Bears in GB). The Pack won the test in Chicago 16-14 and the two clubs finished with 10-1 records. The Bears then won the division playoff for the Western title. Hanner recalled that "we won on my first visit to Wrigley Field in '52. That was when Tony (Canadeo) had the big day. We gave him the game ball." Dave, like Aldridge, was a regular right from the start of his rookie season. "Seems like all of our games have been dog fights and this one promises to be another one," Dave said. Aldridge, a guest at the Mike and Pen Club Tuesday, said, "I'm very much aware of the rivalry between the Packers and Bears. It rubs off on you - mostly from the players in the dressing room." The clubs will be playing their 90th game since '21. Asked about the first Packer-Bear game this season, the 245-pound defensive right tackle said "that was my pro baptism, and I hope to do better in our second game. I will be playing against a real good man." He was referring to Herman Lee, the Bears' 250-pound offensive left tackle who is a seven-year pro veteran. "That was probably one of my worst games, and I just wasn't playing heads-up ball. I'm sure we'll all be better," Aldridge says. Lionel figured he got his first taste of a "big game" in Baltimore - at least based on the reaction of the Colts' hot fans. "Those fans really yell it up and I'm glad I don't have to play those people up there," he added. The newcomer said he's sold on playing defense. "I enjoy playing defense very much because you can really express yourself. Defense is largely a matter of playing and thinking together. You have to know where your help is." Lionel called Hank Jordan, the right
defensive tackle, and right linebacker Bill Forester his "help." "They'll help me in more ways than you think. 'If anybody gives you any lip we'll take care of you,' they'll say to me. They help me most every play, remind me of the defenses, and tell what to watch for. Not that you don't know yourself about playing more, but they're a big help," he said. The Packers went through their usually brisk Wednesday drill today. This is sort of an eye-opener for the upcoming game plans in actual operations. Today's practice was held inside City Stadium and no one was permitted to watch. Two policemen were on hand to discourage possible gate crashers. Similar security measures were ordered in Chicago today. The Bears work in Wrigley Field. Secrecy surrounding Packer-Bear preparations is somewhat of a tradition, though it's not as intense as it was in the past. Years ago, the story went that the Bears had Adams Street infested with spies since most of the players stayed at the old Astor Hotel. And they'd even show up in disguises around the practice area and dressing room. The Bays, they said, had their own espionage system. Time have changed - and coaches, except in Chicago where the old master sleuth, Papa George Halas, is still at work. Lombardi has kept his charges out in the open - except for an occasional Bear game. The Packers have another reason for seeking the shelter of the stadium "indoors." It is much less windy than the open field on Oneida Street, and this is important when the weather turns cold, as it has this week. In addition, the crowd usually is exceptionally large before the Bear game, thus removing the feeling of privacy that is desired for this game.
BEARS WANT PACK 'AT BEST,' HALAS
NOV 13 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Football sail through the air against Chicago's cold November sky. Players run through special formations in different areas of the field. And in the middle of it all is George Halas, owner-coach of the Chicago Bears. Halas, 68, the NFL pioneer, is preparing the Bears for their biggest game of the year Sunday - the Green Bay Packers - in an effect to break the deadlock for first place in the Western Division. Wearing dark glasses and a baseball cap, Halas is an impressive figure. A pair of gray, baggy pants are partially hidden by a knee-length coat carrying the familiar orange and blue colors of the Bears. "All right," he shouts to the photographers, "get all the pictures you want. This will be the last day for you guys." Up in the north stands, a security officer scans apartment windows nearby. "He is a sentinel," said Halas. "He's looking for the Indians who got Custer." Halas is ready to go to work. "Offense here, defense there. No, we're not hoping for snow or rain. We want them at their best. That's the way to beat a team - when it's at its best." He gives most of his attention to the offense at the start of the drill. "There's been a lot of talk about our offense, but I'm not worried. We'll be ready, Look, Ronnie Bull is running a lot better. Not at full speed but better." The offense finished and Halas calls the defense together. The defensive team starts working and Halas angrily calls for a few stragglers to hurry up. "Pay attention, hurry up, we're working on plays." The defense finished and the Bears line up for kickoff returns. Willie Galimore is fielding the kicks and the two teams move against each other. "No, don't take a step back," hollers Halas. "Forward, always forward, Ted. See what I mean, Roger. Move ahead, think ahead." After Bobby Green put on a brilliant exhibition of punting, the players dash into the dressing room. "Good workout," said Halas. "We got the stiffness out. No, it's not much different preparing for a big game. The players have about the same amount of work. It's just a lot more work for the coaches. No, I wouldn't say it's the biggest game of my career. But, it's the biggest game of the year, and we'll be ready."...Packer Coach Vince Lombardi "declined to comment on Monday's statement by Coach George Halas of the Bears that the Packers have a psychological edge," Cooper Rollow noted in today's edition of the Chicago Tribune. "I always agree with the master," Lombardi laughed. "I don't pay much attention to psychological talk." Rollow also reported, "Lombardi said his Packers will have to improve on their three-point performance in the 1963 season opener against the Bears if they expect to win the return match. The Bears won the inaugural, 10-3, in Green Bay." In this connection, he quoted Lombardi as observing, "Obviously, we've got to score more than three points. And just because the earlier Packer-Bear game was a low scoring affair doesn't necessarily mean this one will be."...Emlen Tunnell, the former Giant and Packer defensive back who scouts for the Giants, has seen both clubs and picks Green Bay to win. "It won't be a big score," said Tunnell. "This is always a big one, Packers and Bears, no matter whether anything is at stake. The Packers have so much pride and they haven't forgotten that first game. It will help them if they get Bart Starr back, but I don't think it really makes much difference. John Roach is a good quarterback, too, and a leader."
ROACH TO START AT QB; BEARS 'LIVE BY' DEFENSE
NOV 14 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - How good is the Bears' defense? This unit has allowed only 82 points in nine games. That's an amazing average of 9.1 - a touchdown and a field goal. Here's how the Bears allowed those 82 points since the season started - 3, 7, 21, 3, 14, 20, 7, 7 and zero. Thus, they allowed a touchdown or less in five of their nine games. The Packers have already felt the sting of that defense. That was in the league opener Sept. 15 when the Bays never got beyond the Bears' 30-yard line. Since losing to the 49ers in San Francisco 20-14, the Bears have allowed 14 points in three games - a four-point average, and they "warmed up" for Green Bay for shutting out the Rams last Sunday. The Bear defense has given up only 10 TDs and four field goals. The foe scored only 13 points in the first quarters and 14 in the fourth frames. The Bears have given up 55 points in the middle quarters - 28 in the second and 27 in the third. Taking note of the Bear defense, Coach Vince Lombardi said that the Chicago films studied by the Packers don't show the Bears in a goal line stand. "Nobody threatened them," he said. That nobody included the Pack in the opener here. The Bear defenses of the last few years were unpredictable and, as a result, they'd come up with a shutout one Sunday and allow 40 points the next. Now the Bears have scrapped the fancy stuff and are playing it straight - like the Packers, incidentally. "The Bears have more confidence in their defense," Packer Scout Wally Cruice said, adding: "It's been working for them and they live by
it." The Bears' front four actually will be bolstered for the crucial clash, with the healing of Stan Jones and the return of Ed O'Bradovich. Jones, converted from offensive guard where he won all-pro honors, had been injured the last couple of weeks, but he'll start Sunday. John Johnson, a 260-pound rookie, has been worked in Jones' spot vs. the Rams. He was on leave from the offense. O'Bradovich had been ill earlier in the season and has been on the inactive list. He was reactivated two weeks ago and is now ready to play. Earl Leggett shares the tackle spots with Jones, and the ends are big Doug Atkins and Bob Kilcullen. Atkins, incidentally, is having a great year. Behind them are what the Bears call the three best linebackers in the league - Bill George, in the middle, Joe Fortunato on the left and Larry Morris on the right. Those three average 230 pounds and stand 6-2. The Bears' secondary is composed of Dave Whitsell, a six-year veteran who has come into his own after subbing for two or three years in Detroit and Chicago; Richie Petitbon, a native Bear and four-year veteran; Roosevelt Taylor, three years a Bear; and Bennie McRae, a sophomore. Whitsell, a cornerman, and Petitbon, safety, play the strong side - or the side the Packers play their tight end and/or flanker, while McRae and Taylor play the weak side, with McRae at the corner. The Bears' defensive subs are few - O'Bradovich and Johnson in the line; Tom Bettis, the former Packer, and Roger LeClerc, the kicker, at linebacker; and J.C. Caroline and Larry Glueck at halfback. The Bear defensers lead the league in eight departments and the two key ones are in points (82), interceptions (23) and total yards allowed (1,984). The Bears gave up only 220 total yards per game. This whole business on the Bears' defense is like waving a red flag at the entire Packer team. It is a sort of double challenge. The Packers' offense is averaging 30 points per start, despite that "3" vs. the Bears, and the unit is anxious to test the Bears' super defense - and make a few amends for that opener. The Bays' defense, a real proud outfit, was spectacular in allowing 10 points a game over the 14-game haul last year, but the group is allowing 14 points per start this year, still excellent considering the fact that they're had everything throw at 'em every week. At any rate, the Packer defense right now is playing second fiddle to the Bears' defense and, man, that's a real challenge.
LOMBARDI HAS STADIUM GATES UNDER GUARD
NOV 14 (Green Bay) - Green Bay Packer Coach Vince Lombardi locked the gates of City Stadium Wednesday and excluded newsmen as the defending NFL champions continued workouts for Sunday's showdown with the Bears in Chicago. Two city policemen were stationed at the stadium gates to insure that only members of the Packer family were admitted. There were no reports on what the Packers did, but it was understood that all the players joined in the drill, including quarterback Bart Starr and offensive end Ron Kramer. Kramer is getting over knee and ankle injuries, and Starr is recovering from a fractured hand. Starr's status is uncertain for Sunday's game when the Packers and Bears will set about cracking the tie for first place in the Western Division. The clubs have 8-1 records. In a weekly television program (WBAY-TV) Wednesday night, Lombardi described the Bear defense as "superb," but didn't overlook the offense, saying it controls the ball. Lombardi also noted that films he has received to use in getting ready for the game fail to show the Bears in a goal line stand. "Nobody threatened them," Lombardi said.
'HIDDEN' CAMERAMAN HALTS BEAR PRACTICE
NOV 14 (Chicago) - Across the street to the north of Wrigley Field is a three-story apartment house. The top windows afford an excellent view of the playing area. From one of these windows Wednesday, a blue curtain could be seen moving. Then appeared the nose of a camera. It aimed directly down to the field where George Halas was exhorting his Chicago Bears through a series of pass patterns for use against the Green Bay Packers. Could this be one of sports' greatest moments of intrigue? Was there a Packer spy up there getting pictures to rush back to Green Bay Coach Vince Lombardi? There was a security guard roaming around the stands with binoculars. He took a look at the parted curtains. He said there was a guy with a camera. By this time, the keen eyes of the Bear players - sharpened to watch for those Green Bay passes and for those shooting-star runners here Sunday - caught the movement in the window. "Some guy's up there with a camera," said Bill George, pointing. Soon a group of his teammates knotted around him, looking up at the window. Halas started fuming. "What the hell's going on here!" he yelled. "You guys get back to work. We've got the big game coming up and here you stand around looking at a window like somebody is peeking at you in the showers. We haven't anything to hide. Lombardi knows that. I know who's up there in that window. I know just about everything that's going on around here. Just ask me - I'll tell you. It's a press photographer. That's who. He thinks he's taking pictures of a secret drill. We're getting him out there. I don't mind photographers, but I don't like it when they take you guys' mind off your work. We've got to concentrate. We've got to think all the time. Now see. The guy's left the window. There's nothing to look at me. And I know I look damn mad enough to scare you all back to work. We got a big one ahead of us!"...The betting gentry figure the Packers will top their lone field goal production against the inspired Bears on Sept. 15. The Packers are favored by three and a half points. Even the Bears expect this one to break open. "I figure we're going to need 20 points to win," said fleet flanker Johnny Morris. "If we can get ahead, we'll win. If they get ahead, I don't know." While Halas has guard scanning adjoining buildings, Bear quarterback Bill Wade probably accurately summed up the whole tense situation, observing: "We're familiar with their personnel and they know ours. They're not the kind of team that does a lot of changing around from week to week. It'll just be a matter of us going out there and getting the job done."
MANY P-B FANS TO SEE BIG ONE ON 'ROAD'
NOV 14 (Chicago) - There won't be any turnstile count, but a considerable number of Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers fans will be taking in their Sunday struggle without a ticket for a football game. Instead they'll be buying railroad tickets, toll road tickets, motel and hotel receipts and bar bills. The almost 50,000 tickets for the game, between the two teams leading the Western Division, were sold out in July, and even the scalpers, with prices approaching the astronomical, aren't overly supplied. Hence fans of all types are making their own plans to take in the spectacle via television, involving the problem of getting there, finding a video screen, and getting back. Two railroads, the Santa Fe and the Milwaukee, are running special trains to TV territory, and there's no way to count the people who'll ride a tollway to find a TV set. The Santa Fe will haul its passengers to Galesburg, Ill., where they will be able to get the game from a Peoria TV station in a hotel. The Milwaukee will run to Lake Geneva, Wis, there they can watch video from Milwaukee or Madison, Wis., in a hotel. The northwest tollway runs from Chicago to Rockford, Ill., where numerous hotels and motels offer video facilities, and a Rockford station to put the game on the TV screen. The Indiana toll road runs to South Bend, where one motel is offering 175 rooms, equipped with TV, on a first-come-first-serve basis to anyone who shows up. A South Bend TV station handles the game...One enterprising Chicagoan has invested in a huge aerial and for past Bear games has been selling basement sitting room for $2 to watch the games on television. His antenna pulls in the Rockford or Milwaukee station. Scalpers, though still hard pressed for tickets, were boosting the tariff today to encourage fans who might want to leave town for a television outlook at the contest. One offered end zone grandstand and box seats for $25.00. Another, apparently with a larger supply, was quoting $75 and $100 for seat on the ground on the west side of the field and $65 for box seats in the end zone. General admission or standing room tickets, sold Monday by the Bears for $2.50, were quoted at $8.80 and $10. Few scalpers had tickets. Most agencies said they had none and did not expect any.
AFL'S MIX WOULD 'LOVE TO PLAY' PACK, 'BEST' PRO 11
NOV 14 (Buffalo) - Ron Mix, an All-Star AFL offensive linemen for three years running, thinks the Green Bay Packers "are the best team in pro football today," and he would welcome a chance to play against them. Mix made his observation as he objected to a statement attributed to Pete Retzlaff, president of the NFL Players Assn., that the infant American League is three to five years from being on a par with the NFL. Retzlaff reportedly also said that if Mix's San Diego Chargers played the Packers, Chicago Bears or the New York Giants 'the AFL would be set back badly." "I don't agree with Retzlaff a bit," said Mix. "I could make the same comparison between the Los Angeles Rams (NFL) or eight or seven 13 other clubs and the Packers." "I'd love to play the Packers," he said.
PACK PRIDE AT STAKE IN BEAR SHOWDOWN
NOV 15 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers' fierce pride will be at stake in Chicago Sunday. It's no secret in these parts that the Packers looked unlike their championship selves in the 1963 league opener against the Bears in City Stadium two months ago this date. This 10-3 loss will be a factor when the Packers and Bears meet in the 90th renewal of pro football's oldest and bitterest rivalry in Wrigley Field. Since the Bear game, the Packers won eight in a row and demonstrated emphatically that they intend to repeat as champions. The major hurdle left is the team that made Green Bay look so bad last Sept. 15 - namely, Chicago. That opener was enough to make anybody cuss like Samson Fenwick. Look what happened (to the hot water): The Packers came out with one field goal (a 41-yarder by Jerry Kramer), nine first downs and 150 yards rushing (77) and passing (83). The score boys got beyond the Bear 34 all afternoon and finished with 43 plays for the day - 10 a quarter. In addition, the Bears intercepted four of Bart Starr's passes. While the Bears scored but 10 points, the defense gave up a lot of ground between the 20s. The Bears ripped off 59 plays, which is pretty good control, and piled up 231 yards including 129 by passing and 107 rushing and 15 first downs. Bill Wade, though he was throwing shorties most of the day, has his best record vs. G.B., 18 out of 24. And there you are. Next stop Chicago!...John Roach, named yesterday by Coach Vince Lombardi as the Pack's starting quarterback, says, "I feel better about this game than I did the Colts." That was Roach's first Packer start as he took over after Bart Starr sustained a broken hand. "The record shows that the Bears have a better team than the Colts, but I have a more relaxed attitude toward Sunday's game than that first Sunday in Baltimore. That was a pretty hectic week for me." Lombardi said that Starr has been "looking pretty good but we'll start John." Starr is going through his first full week of passing since having the splint removed from his hand last weekend. He has shown improvement each day. Also on the QB deck is Zeke Bratkowski, the former Bear, who got his feet wet to the tune of a TD pass in the Viking game last Sunday. The coach said that Ron Kramer has recovered from his leg injury and will start at right end after an absence of two and a half games. His spot was filled by Marv Fleming,
who caught six passes and scored two touchdowns...Roach's five-year-old sone, Doug, was due out of the hospital today. The youngster had developed a slight touch of pneumonia earlier in the week. This is the second case of pneumonia in the Packer family this year. Hank Jordan's boy, Butch, is now recuperating after a stay in the hospital three weeks ago...Lombardi and his defensive aides, Phil Bengtson and Norb Hecker, wouldn't think of using Roach on defense Sunday. But Roach once started at both defense and offense by the old Chicago Cardinals against the Bears in '59. "I started at safety and played the first half there and then started the second half at quarterback," John laughed, "but I didn't last long at quarterback - only half the quarter, and then I went back to defense." Roach was the Cards' regular QB in '60 and then was traded to Green Bay in '61...An audience of 16 million will watch the Packer-Bear smash via 116 television stations, according to word from CBS which is planning expanding coverage due to the great interest. The game will go to the Packer and Bear networks, except Chicago; the Viking network except Minneapolis; the Cowboy network except Dallas; the entire Redskin network which covers the South; and 15 of the 23 stations on the Pacific Coast. In addition, CBS will give the key plays of the game during its Sports Spectacular program which this Sunday features the Harlem Globetrotters. The game coverage is just short of a national showing such as the Thanksgiving Day game out of Detroit...Jerry Kramer is leading the league in scoring and the question now is whether the Pack's Mr. Lightfoot can become the first kicking-alone player to win the scoring title since 1957 when Lou Groza and Sam Baker shared the crown with 77 points each. J.K., leading Jimmy Brown by three points, has a little bit of leading-scorer tradition going. The point title has been in Green Bay the last four year, Paul Hornung winning it three times in a row starting in '59 and Jim Taylor copping it last year...The Bears' two top statistical leaders are Bill Wade and Mike Ditka, who rank fourth in the league in their specialties. Wade ranks behind Y.A. Tittle, Jim Ryan and Earl Morrall, while Ditka is behind Bobby Conrad, Buddy Dial and Del Shofner in receiving. Mike caught 40 for 473 yards - an average of nearly 12 yards per. Incidentally, Dial is averaging over 20 yards a catch, with 905 yards on 44 receptions...The Packers leave for Chicago via United Airlines charter plane from Austin Straubel Field at 1 o'clock Saturday afternoon, and to be sure it would be a fine idea to stop out and voice a good luck cheer. The Bays will drill here Saturday morning...The Packers received support from an unexpected quarter today for Sunday's struggle. It came in the form of a king size telegram from 300 supporters at American Motors' Kenosha plant. It read: "We at American Motors are all behind you and wish you success against the Bears in Chicago Sunday."
EXTRA ZIP, CRACKLE MARKS BEAR PRACTICE
NOV 15 (Chicago-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - With a quiet confidence in themselves and a healthy respect for the Packers, the Bears went through another frisky, high-spirited workout at Wrigley Field Thursday. There has been an extra zip to the Bear practices all week, an electric crackle that the pro teams seldom generate in the routine midweek drills. Coach George Halas, the liveliest 68-year-old man in town, is more active than usual as he strides briskly through the workouts, occasionally stopping the action to show a particular player just how he wants it done. Halas isn't saying much to the press this week. He made it clear on Tuesday that no visitors would be welcome at subsequent practices. Halas has doubled his security police forces at Wrigley Field from two to four men and the only entrance to the park is guarded. The security is so tight that Don Biebel, traveling secretary for the Cubs, had to argue his way back into the park after going out to lunch. The Cub offices are in Wrigley Field the year around. The Bear players seem loose and confident but none of them are popping off about how they're going to beat the Packers. "We don't think of ourselves as a championship team," says end Mike Ditka. "We're just trying to do the best we can every Sunday."...FINE SHAPE: Halas, who doesn't like to discuss injuries, says the Bears are in fine shape for Sunday. Halfback Ron Bull and defensive tackle Stan Jones both sat out the Ram game but will be ready for the Pack. Bull seems to be running well on the foot he had sprained, and Jones has recovered from a pulled muscle. The Bears aren't concerning themselves with the daily progress reports on the injuries to Bart Starr and Ron Kramer. "It doesn't matter to me who they use in those spots," says linebacker Bill George. "They have such a well organized, well oiled offensive unit that it doesn't make that much difference." "I think we'll have to score at least 20 points to win - and I think we'll do it," says one of the Bears' key men on offense, flanker Johnny Morris.
PACKERS, BEARS MAY EMPLOY BOMBS SUNDAY
NOV 15 (Chicago) - Experts disagree on what will happen when the Green Bay Packers collide in Chicago Sunday with the Bears to break their tie for the Western Division lead of the NFL. Some think it will be a chugging, defensive battle, following much the same pattern of the teams' earlier meeting in Green Bay. In handing the Packers their only league loss, 10-3, the Bears stole four passes and held Green Bay to a total of 150 yard running and passing. Other experts look for a load of scoring, even to the extent of both teams trying for those long touchdown bombs that they mainly have kept locked up in their arsenal so far. Lineups have been set by both teams, now that quarterback Bart Starr and end Ron Kramer have been certified healthy by the Packers. The Bears continue to list Ronnie Bull as starting left half, although he has done little hard running in drills because of a bruised foot...SPLINTS OFF: Although Starr has the splints off a broken hand that had sidelined him for three games, Coach Vince Lombardi says he will start John Roach. "Roach can throw the long one beautifully," says Lombardi, stirring speculation of unleashing the bomb-type pass. In eight victories and a starting upset loss to San Francisco, the Bears have scored only 24 touchdowns. They have permitted opponents but 10. With their defense getting the rave notices these days, the Bear offense may be ready to bust out of hiding. The longest Bear runs from scrimmage this season have been 30 yards by Rick Casares and 20 by Willie Galimore. Although Bear quarterback Bill Wade once was known as a long ball passer, he has been fitted into the club's new offensive strategy as a short throw man with emphasis in swing and screen passes. "I think we'll have to score at least 20 points to win - and I think we'll do it," says one of the Bears' key men on offense, flanker Johnny Morris.
IN OTHER DAYS, THERE WERE OTHER WORRIES
NOV 16 (Chicago Tribune) - No football stadium in the country is large enough to hold all the fans who have applied for tickets at $5 apiece to tomorrow's Packer-Bear game in Wrigley Field. Owner George Halas of the Bears estimates applications far exceed 100,000. Thousands of disappointed ticket applicants will move out of the blackout area around Chicago to watch the game on television in inns, hotels, motels and private homes. The Columbia Broadcasting System estimates as many as 50,000,000 fans may view the game off a coast to coast network expanded to 119 outlets. Gate receipts at Wrigley Field will be approximately $200,000. Counting ticket sales, television fees, sponsors costs, and the money fans will spend with railroads and on gasoline and food to make the trip to some TV vantage point, this clash between traditional rivals for undisputed possession of first place in the western division of the National league will undoubtedly exceed the highest amount ever spent on a regularly scheduled game. But it wasn't always thus. In December of 1932 when the Packers invaded Wrigley Field, only "approximately 5,000" fans turned up in a snowstorm and 24 degree temperature. No accurate estimates of the receipts is available, but the gat wasn't enough for Halas to meet the Packers' $2,500 guarantee. Halas gave Curly Lambeau, founder and coach of the Packers, $1,000 and a note for $1,500. The note was dated Dec. 12 and was payable in six months. It finally was paid in September of the following year. The interest amounted to $71.25. But Halas, the Bears, Lambeau and the Packers carried on. In a few seasons, Halas was advancing money to the late Bert Bell at Philadelphia to open training camp. Reminded of the note yesterday, Halas mused: "My goodness. We've come quite a piece in 31 years, haven't we?" Indeed!
LOMBARDI CONTINUES SECRECY, AVOIDS DRILLING IN CHICAGO
NOV 16 (Chicago-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers drilled in Green Bay today and then headed for Beartown. This is a departure from past practices, which were held in Wrigley Field or somewhere out on the lakefront. The Bays worked lightly in City Stadum this morning and then were to leave via United Airlines charter from Austin Straubel Field this afternoon. They're headquartering at the Drake Hotel. Practicing in Chicago in Wrigley Field before the Bear game has been a problem the past few years...MANY EXCUSES: The field is usually covered and the caretaker is reluctant to roll the tarpaulin back. The excuses range from "not enough help," "the union," or "or it might rain now." Coach Vince Lombardi would always say "okay" a few different ways and then herd his boys to the narrow strip of sidelines between the tarpaulin and the temporary stands in right field. It was usually a bit crowded, but the deed was accomplished, including the feel of the surroundings. Drilling at home today was in line with Lombardi's desire to maintain strict secrecy this week. The team worked starting Wednesday in the stadium and the gates were locked. Coach George Halas of the Bears can't help but wonder about the Pack's plans for Sunday...NEW WRINKLES?: The Packers play it pretty straight and Lombardi said earlier this week that he had nothing special planned. "We'll do what we do best," Vince said, repeating one of the theories that has helped the Bays win three straight Western championships, plus two world titles. Halas must be wondering, however, since he feels that if his team can stop the Packers as they did in Green Bay Sept. 15 the Packers may be forced to try something unusual. The question is what and the week of secrecy may have given Vince an opportunity to work up a new wrinkle or two. Weather could be a factor in the attacks of the two clubs. The early forecast calls for "cloudy skies, cooler and possible showers." The Bays have played some of their best games in bad weather, including the 1962 championship game and the key struggle in the mud of San Francisco two years ago. There is little doubt what each team does best, according to the statistics of the two clubs. The Packers' top two rushing dogs, Jim Taylor and Tom Moore, have piled up 1,205 yards. This is more than gained on the ground by the Bears' top three rushers, Joe Marconi, Rick Casares and Ron Bull. They picked up a total of 732, which is almost 500 yards less than the Packers' pair. The Packer pair ran 276 times, the Bear trio 195. The Bears specialize more in passing. Bill Wade and Rudy Bukich passes 269 times for 1,779 yards, 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Bart Starr and John Roach hurled 200 passes and completed 99 for 1,456 yards, 12 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Wade has a completion percentage of 55.9, Bukich 72.5. Starr and Roach together are averaging under 50 percent. The Bears have seven pass receivers in the double figures, topped by 76 for Mike Ditka and Johnny Morris. The Bays have four, topped by 49 for Boyd Dowler and Max McGee.
PACKERS BID FOR INSIDE TRACK TO WESTERN CROWN
NOV 17 (Chicago-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers and Bears bid for supremacy of the NFL and the inside track to the Western Division championship in Wrigley Field this afternoon. The winner will come out with a glossy nine-win-one-loss record, the best in the league, and undisputed possession of first place in the West. There are the stakes in the 90th renewal of pro football's oldest and bitterest rivalry. The Packers and Bears are locked in a first place tie, with 8-1 marks, and they have the Western race all to themselves. The third place Lions and Colts are four games behind, with five games left. More than 49,000 fans, including standees and the folks hanging on the rafters, will witness the league's Game of the Year in the flesh. Another 16 million will see it via greatly expanded television coverage. Today's game is rated the greatest Bear-Packer spectacle since the Pack (then 6-1) downed the Bears (then 7-0) in Wrigley Field back in 1941. In no year since have the two clubs held such lofty ratings this late in the season - until '63. Kickoff is set for 1:06 and the Packers are slight favorites, about three points. The weather will be cool and there could be showers. The Packers will be breathing fire. The proud champions were embarrassed and unhappy with their 10-3 loss to the Bears in the league opener Sept. 15. They've won eight straight since and are anxiously awaiting today's showdown. The Bears, on the other hand, feel they are definitely a championship team but must prove it by whipping Green Bay. The Packers whipped Chicago in five of the last six league starts. Green Bay has won three straight in Wrigley Field. There is a certain amount of mystery to today's game since both clubs drilled in secret all week and a few "statements" were made by either side. There is always the suspicion that Coaches Vince Lombardi and George Halas will spring something new, though this isn't likely...FACE BEST DEFENSE: The Packers will face the best defense in the league, a Bear unit that has allowed only 82 points in nine games. This puts it squarely up to the Pack's fine offensive line - Jim Ringo, Jerry Kramer, Fred Thurston, Bob Skoronski, Norm Masters and Forrest Gregg, whose biggest task will be keeping John Roach's uniform clean and opening holes for Jim Taylor and Tom Moore. Roach, named the starting quarterback Thursday by Lombardi, will undergo extreme pressure but that's where the offensive line comes in. Max McGee, Boyd Dowler and Ron Kramer will be marked people and if they're catching the passes, the Bays' ground game will be more effective. The Bears undoubtedly will try to stop Taylor and Moore first and then throttle the passing - if there is such a thing as "which comes first." Since it never got beyond the 30 in the first game, the Packer offense will be closely watched by the Bears and the fans. Bart Starr, whose broken hand is on the mend, could see some action if Roach has trouble. This was his first week at passing. Also ready will be Zeke Bratkowski, the former Bear who had some of his best days as a Ram against the Bears. The Packer defense, best in the league last year, doesn't like being in the Bears' shadow as they are now. The Bears for sure will be pressured something fierce by Bill Forester, Ray Nitschke, Dan Currie, Dave Hanner, Hank Jordan, Willie Davis, Lionel Aldridge, Herb Adderley, Jess Whittenton, Hank Gremminger and Willie Wood...DITKA 'BIG GUY': Bill Wade came out with only 10 points in the earlier match, but the Bear offense had 284 yards and Wade completed 18 of 24 passes, mostly short flare shots. The Bears' fullbacking has been divided between Rick Casares and Joe Marconi. Ron Bull, out last week with an injury is back in full force for today. The big guy in the Bear offense is Mike Ditka, who fights annually with Kramer for the "best tight end" title. R. Kramer, incidentally, is making his first start since Oct. 20 in Baltimore. He was hurt in the second quarter in that game and hasn't played since. He snapped back strong last week. Each team has four tough assignments after today - the Bears playing the Steelers, Vikings, 49ers and Lions, and the Packers meeting the 49ers, Lions, Rams and 49ers. But the "big one" is today.
NATION AWAITS BEARS-PACKERS TODAY
NOV 17 (Chicago Tribune) - Professional football reaches another spectacular milestone today when the haughty Green Bay Packers and the aspiring Chicago Bears clash head-on in Wrigley Field for first place in the western division of the National league. No contest in the
Eyeing a possible first down ball placement in this November 10, 1963 photo from Green Bay’s City Stadium are Minnesota quarterback Fran Tarkenton (#10) and Packers head coach Vince Lombardi. We don’t know if it was or was not indeed a first down, but Green Bay came out on top that Sunday afternoon by a score of 28-7. Also interesting to note is that John Roach started at quarterback for the Packers that day, subbing for an injured Bart Starr. 42,327 fans enjoyed the game in 50-degree temperatures on a sunny Wisconsin day. (CREDIT: Packerville USA Blogspot)
history of the sport ever generated more interest among football fans from coast to coast than this 90th engagement between the game's bitterest rivals. Millions will view it on a 119-station television network, and 49,600, including standees, will see it in Wrigley Field. The kickoff is set for 1:06, CST...ALL TICKETS GONE: Tickets have been held for as high as $100 apiece, and some may even have been scalped for that price. Box office racks have been bare for three months. Fans milled about the Bears' Loop office at 4:30 a.m. last Monday to snatch up standing room tickets at $2.50 apiece and thousands will quit the blackout area 75 miles around Chicago for television vantage points in Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. Only once before have the Bears and Packers hooked up in a contest comparable to that in which they will match 8 and 1 records today. Interest was almost as high on that bleak afternoon in Wrigley Field in 1941 when the Bears ' wonder machine of 73 to 0 fame went down to defeat, 16 to 14, and two spectators dropped dead of heart attacks...WIN 8 IN ROW: Green Bay, the defending world champions, comes up to today's important tussle on the momentum of eight consecutive triumphs after having been upset by the Bears, 10 to 3, in the second opener. Its last three victories came with a relief quarterback, John Roach, at the controls, filling in for the injured Bart Starr, and a rookie at tight end in place of the incomparable Ron Kramer. Roach, undoubtedly because of his superb relief performance, gets the call today, although Starr, Coach Vince Lombardi reports, is ready to play. Kramer is scheduled to start. Oddsmakers reshuffled the point margin repeatedly throughout the week, but always with Green Bay the favorite, principally because the Bear offense has not matched that of the Packers and because of the champions' great bench strength. But the Bears in all but one instance - an unmentionable afternoon in San Francisco - have managed to make the big play often enough through eight contests, beginning with the first one in Green Bay, to come out on top. And their defense is without a peer in football. In this department, too, the Bears have been able to make the big play in almost every crucial series. Bill Wade will direct the Bear attack against a Green Bay defense that gets it signals from Assistant Coach Phil Bengtson on the sideline. Bear strategy through the first nine games has been a cautious, conservative attack designed for ball control. Green Bay has stuck pretty much to the same system, relying on fullback Jim Taylor and halfback Tom Moore to get the necessary gains through holes torn open by the outstanding offensive blockers among National league linesmen...MAY TAKE TO THE AIR: Both clubs, however, in view of the importance of today's game and the efficiency of the opposing defenses, may revert to the long, wide open passing game - the "bombs," as they say in pro locker rooms. Both have the receivers for such an attack, the Bears with Johnny Morris, Mike Ditka, Angelo Coia and John Farrington, and Green Bay with Max McGee, Boyd Dowler and Moore. Green Bay has shown great second half striking power in recent starts, wearing down opponents to where the attack can function. None of its starts, however, have been against a defense as rugged, alert and as flexible as the Bears have proved to be, especially since leaving San Francisco. Most scouts, and rival coaches, rate the teams about even except in the all important departments of offensive line blocking and placekicking. Green Bay's line is regarded as one of the best blocking units in the history of football, and its big guard, Jerry Kramer. leads the league scorers on 15 field goals and 30 extra points. Kramer placekicked 44 yards for Green Bay's only points in the opener...EASY ROAD AHEAD: Green Bay, seeking to break precedent by winning its third consecutive world title, will have the easier way to the playoff if it triumphs today. The Packers must finish against Los Angeles, Detroit and San Francisco twice. The Bears have Minnesota, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Detroit left. While Lombardi not George Halas, the 68-year-old strategist for the Bears, are reluctant to agree, the consensus is that the winner today will be the western division representative in the title game. On such conjecture, projections, hopes and expectancies, the game-of-the-year goes into its hour of decision this afternoon. If they play a tie, a lot of people, including both teams, will be disappointed.