Western Division Playoff
Green Bay Packers (10-3-1) 13, Baltimore Colts (10-3-1) 10 (OT)
Sunday December 26th 1965 (at Green Bay)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(GREEN BAY) - Incredible. That describes the team and the game. The Packers of 1965 and the fantastic sudden death playoff in Lambeau Field Sunday afternoon. The big clock over the south scoreboard read 4:02 when Don Chandler kicked a 25-yard field goal to give the Packers a 13-10 victory over the Colts and the Western Division championship, their fourth since 1960.The end came 13 minutes and 39 seconds into a raging "fifth quarter". And this surely was the most amazing game ever played in Green Bay - a furious, nail chewer that left the audience of 50,484 limp and delirious. The triumph climaxed 15 weeks of tears, cheers and plenty of prayers as the Packers carved out 11 victories, 3 losses and 1 tie. They finished the regulation season in a 10-3-1 deadlock with the Colts and they were still tied at the official close of Game 15, 10 to 10. This forced the first sudden death in a Division playoff and the longest in league history. The only other sudden deather was in 1958, when these Colts beat the Giants in 8 minutes and 15 seconds of a fifth quarter for the world title. And now the big prize is at stake - the world championship against the Browns, the Eastern and world titlists, at Lambeau Field next Sunday. The Packers were favored Sunday, but the Colts were the country's sentimental favorites due to the loss of John Unitas and Gary Cuozzo, their two quarterbacks. But somehow fate took an early hand and evened things off. On the first play of the game, the Packers' Unitas, Bart Starr, went out for the day with a rib injury. And the Colts got a touchdown in the bargain, Don Shinnick picking up a fumble by Billy Anderson, who had caught Starr's only pass, and running it in for a TD. The Packers never went ahead until the 73rd minutes - on Chandler's boot - a piece of work that put each Packer in line for upwards of $8,000 next Sunday. The Packers drove 62 yards in 10 plays for the payoff. And there were four key figures, all obtained by Coach Vince Lombardi in trades - Zeke Bratkowski (ex-Ram and Bear), Carroll Dale (Rams), Anderson (Redskins) and Chandler (Giants). Bratkowski threw to Anderson for 18 yards on the second play of the drive and to Dale on the sixth play. Jim Taylor, the ferocious bull, and Elijah Pitts, the third halfback who replaced the injured Paul Hornung and Tom Moore, did the mopping up, with 26 yards in eight rushes. And a rookie even had a hand in the biggest play of the year, Snapping the ball back perfectly to holder Starr was center Bill Curry, who also was "right" on Chandler's previous field goal and six punts by Chandler who averaged 42.6 yards. The Packers ran off 18 plays in the sudden death overtime, the Colts 10. But Baltimore had the first chance to win. Lou Michaels tried a field goal from the Packer 48, but it was wide. Buzz Nutter's snap back to holder Bob Boyd was slightly low, but Boyd fielded it in time for Michaels to kick. That was the last time the Colts had the ball. The Packers started their winning drive from the 20. You had to salute the Colts Sunday. They went down like real champions - fighting all the way. With Tom Matte at quarterback, they had lost their air power but the make-shift QB (he was a halfback until three weeks ago) was a fearsome operator with his running and cussedness. The Packers were facing a juiced Colt defense that felt it had to play offense, too. Bratkowski moved the Packers for 23 first downs and 362 total yards, including 250 passing, but he had passes intercepted twice deep in Colt territory. Breaks produced one TD and set up the other. The Colts' TD came on Shinnick's return, and the Pack's came four plays after Nutter's pass back almost sailed over punter Tom Gilburg's head. The Bays took over on the Colts' 35, and, after Dale made a tremendous catch of a Bratkowski pass for 33 yards, Hornung slammed home to cut the score to 10-7 in the third period. Bratkowski moved the Bays 57 yards in 14 plays for the field goal that tied the game and for a moment it appeared that sophomore Dennis Claridge would become the Pack's QB. Zeke was badly shaken when Fred Miller smacked him by the face mask, but he was revived enough to stay in, while Claridge quickly warmed up. The Packers gathered in the statistical honors, except in rushing where the Colts had 143 yards, including 57 each by Matte and Jerry Hill. The Bays had the edge in the air, 250 yards to 32. Anderson, despite a bad back, caught eight passes for 78 yards, and Taylor bulldozed for 60 yards in 23 attempts. It was a real survival of the fittest affair, and the fierce head knocking took its toll. Hornung, with rib and knee hurts, and Boyd Dowler, who caught five passes for 50 yards, both missed the extra period. The Colts lost Ordell Braase, among others, and both teams made liberal use of smelling salts on the sidelines. The Packers ran off 81 plays for the day, the Colts 60. Each team averaged 3 yards a crack on the ground, but the Bays had an edge in the air, 4.5 yards to 3. The Packer offensive line, which saw Dan Grimm play for both Fred Thurston and Jerry Kramer while they went out for repairs, was strong all day and permitted Bratkowski to be touched for a loss just once. The Bay defenders, faced with an odd situation what with Matte running so much, limited the Colts to nine first downs - none until the second quarter. Perhaps it was the cold (28 degrees), but there were three fumbles in the first 10 minutes of the game, in which the Packers ran off 14 plays to the Colts' one, even though the visitors took a 7-0 lead. Starr passed to Anderson for about 11 yards to the left when Billy fumbled as he was hit by Lenny Lyles. Shinnick scooped up the loose ball and roared down the sidelines into the end zone. Starr was hurt when he was blocked, trying to get at Shinnick, by Jim Welch. Michaels converted to make it 7-0. The Bays picked up two first downs, but Hornung fumbled at midfield and Lyles recovered. Willie Davis and Herb Adderley cracked Lenny Moore on the Colts' first play, and Tom Brown recovered on the 50. Four plays later Chandler was wide on a field goal from the 47. Chandler and Gilburg each punted three times as the game moved midway into the second quarter when the Colts, with the help of a Packer roughing penalty, pieced together four first downs to the Packer 15. The drive was stalled at the 7 and Michaels' field goal from the 15 made it 10-0. The Packers hammered back and after two first downs, chiefly on Bratkowski passes to Dale and Hornung. Bob Long was ready to catch Zeke's bomb and go in for a TD when Welch grabbed him on the 9. It was interference and the
Packers seemed a cinch to go - especially when Anderson caught Zeke's pass just inside the flag on the 1. Taylor was held for no gain, but Hornung hit within inches of the goal line, Then on fourth down, Taylor hit off the right side but fumbled as he was hit by Michaels and Welch and recovered within a foot of the goal line. After the Colts made a first down in the third period, the Bays forced a punt but Nutter's pass back was too high and Gilburg had to leap to catch it. He had no chance to kick and was tackled by Lee Roy Caffey and Bob Jeter on the Colt 35. On second down Dale made a diving catch of a Bratkowski pass on the 4 and slid in. The officials put it down on the one, and two plays later Hornung slammed in. Chandler made it 10-7. After a Gilburg punt, the Packers started to move again with Bratkowski passing to Hornung for 19 and Anderson for 7 to midfield, but Bratkowski's pass aimed at Dale was intercepted by Boyd. Again Gilburg punted and again the Bays moved - with a break. With a fourth and one situation Chandler punted on the first play of the fourth quarter, but the Colts were offside and the Bays had a first down on the Colt 49. Bratkowski passed to Dowler for 7 and Hornung for 10 and Hornung and Taylor ripped off 11 yards to the 21. But the drive ended with Bratkowski's pass to Dowler was deflected into the arms of Logan, who returned from the 8 to the 30. Gilburg had to pint again and this time the Packers scored, moving from their 28 to the Colt 15 in 14 plays. Bratkowski hurled short passes to Dowler, Horning and Anderson along the way, the Colts added 15 for roughing Bratkowski, and Moore and Taylor grabbed off short yardage. Chandler it his field goal from the 22 with 13:02 left in the period. With time running out the Packers forced Gilburg to punt, and the Bays started from their 38 with 27 seconds left. Bratkowski lost four yards on a pass to Moore, but he thrown threw to Taylor for 20 to the Colt 46 as time ran out. The captains and the officials then participated in a coin flip to see which team would receive in the sudden death and the Packers won. There was a quick exchange of punts as Bratkowski and Matte each incompleted two passes. On the Packers' second try, Bratkowski was caught back eight yards to the 22 and the Colts got good field position on Chandler's punt - on the Colt 41. Matte ran twice for 14 yards - up the middle to the Packer 45, and things appeared sticky. Matte then ripped eight yards to the 37, but the defense stopped him twice for one-yard losses. Michaels then tried his first field goal, missed, and the Packers took it in from there. And now for Jim Brown & Co.
BALTIMORE - 7 3 0 0 0 - 10
GREEN BAY - 0 0 7 3 3 - 13
BALTIMORE GREEN BAY
First downs 9 23
Rush-yards-TDs 47-143-0 39-112-1
Comp-Att-Yd-TD-INT 5-12-40-0-0 23-41-258-0-2
Sacked-yards 1-8 1-8
Net pass yards 32 250
Total yards 175 362
Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-2
Turnovers 1 4
Penalties-yards 3-39 4-40
1st - BALT - Don Shinnick, 25-yard fumble recovery (Lou Michaels kick) BALTIMORE 7-0
2nd - BALT - Michaels, 15-yard field goal BALTIMORE 10-0
3rd - GB - Paul Hornung, 1-yard run (Don Chandler kick) BALTIMORE 10-7
4th - GB - Chandler, 22-yard field goal TIED 10-10
OT - GB - Chandler, 25-yard field goal GREEN BAY 13-10
GREEN BAY - Jim Taylor 23-60, Paul Hornung 10-33 1 TD, Elijah Pitts 3-14, Tom Moore 3-5
BALTIMORE - Tom Matte 17-57, Jerry Hill 16-57, Lenny Moore 12-33, Tony Lorick 1-1, Tom Gilburg 1-(-5)
GREEN BAY - Bart Starr 1-1-10, Zeke Bratkowski 39-22-248 2 INT, Paul Hornung 1-0-0
BALTIMORE - Tom Matte 12-5-40
GREEN BAY - Bill Anderson 8-78, Boyd Dowler 5-50, Paul Hornung 4-42, Carroll Dale 3-63, Jim Taylor 2-29, Tom Moore 1-(-4)
BALTIMORE - John Mackey 3-25, Lenny Moore 2-15
PACKERS SUPERB UNDER ADVERSITY, SAYS VINCE
DEC 27 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Although he is customarily a straight man, Vincent Thomas Lombardi couldn't resist a quip. Outwardly composed minutes after his Packers' historic 13-10 sudden death victory over the Colts in the first Western Division playoff ever staged on Green Bay soil Sunday afternoon, he smiled as newsmen clustered about him in his dressing room office and facetiously began, "Well, gentlemen, you can't say we don't give the world a thrill." He sobered slightly when asked what he had been thinking when the Colts' Lou Michaels was poised for a field goal attempt from the Packer 47-yard line with the score tied 10-all in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, but the reply came with alacrity. "I thought we had played a good enough ball game up to that point," Lombardi said, "that it would have been no disgrace to lose." Almost in the same breath, he volunteered, "I have a great deal of admiration for Shula (Don, Baltimore head coach) and all the Colts. I thought they were excellent without a regular quarterback. Of course, we lost our quarterback (Bart Starr, who did not return to action) on our first play, too." The squad cut ex-Block of Granite, assured of a fourth NFL championship playoff berth in seven years as the Packers' resident genius, also applauded his own athletes. "I thought our team was superb under adverse conditions," he said. "We gave 'em a touchdown quickly (Don Shinnick's 25-yard run with a Bill Anderson fumble that staked the Hosses to a 7-0 lead on the first play of the game), but we stayed right in there." Had he considered ordering a field goal attempt when the Packers were fourth-and-one on the Baltimore one-yard line (the play on which fullback Jim Taylor was held for no gain) shortly before the half? "No, I did not," Lombardi shot back. "I thought we stopped their running game pretty well, although I don't know what the figures were," he said in reply to another question, an observation which triggered a query seeking his assessment of the
Colts' stop-back quarterback, Tom Matte. "He's a fine athlete," the Packer major-domo declared. "That's the main thing." His own quarterback, Zeke Bratkowski, had been "very good" in relief of the injured Starr, Lombardi also opined. "Of course, Zeke has played quite a bit for us. I think this was the fourth game he has won for us. So I have a lot of confidence in Zeke, and there is no question he did a fine job." Noting "it's obvious that our defense did a fine job," Vince also observed, "Our special teams did a great job in containing what's his name, Haymond (Alvin, the Colts' punt and kickoff return ace)." Confirming that this had been his second death playoff (his first such experience had come as offense coach of the New York Giants in a 23-17 loss to Baltimore in the 1958 title game), Lombardi flashed a broad smile and added, "It's also the fifth championship (division)." And the fourth in six years with the Packers, a scribe interjected. "That's right," Lombardi said, "the fourth in six years." "Let me go see my team, will you," he appended, then stepped out into the boisterous dressing room to individually facilitate his champions...Although openly unhappy, a somber Shula had no fault to find with his Hosses. "I told them to hold their heads up, that I was proud of them," he said. "They're just a helluva bunch of guys. The y counted us out last week, and we stayed in there - and we did again today. We gave it our best shot. We gave it everything we had." At the same time, Shula dourly noted, "You don't belong in this league if you play a team three times and can't even beat them once." Attempting to analyze what had transpired, the Colts' young head man emphasized that no single Baltimore play had precipitated the defeat. "You can't go into a game like this without Johnny Unitas or Gary Cuozzo," he pointed out, "and expect to do the same things offensively that you've been doing all season long." In this connection, he had high praise for their replacement, asserting, "I can't say enough about Matte. He's had two weeks at quarterback and I don't think he had a fumbled exchange all day. We felt it we could control the ball a little, we would rely on our defense to avoid mistakes and contain the Packers, just as we did in Los Angeles last week. That's what we tried to do." "We had to take advantage of what Matte could do best," he pointed out, "and that was obvious. He ran rollouts so we could maintain control of the ball. If we had field position, we figured to score enough so our defense could hold them. And it turned out that way." Asked if the Colts' emphasis on the blitz might not have been costly, Shula bristled slightly before retorting, "Sure, we blitzed quite a bit, but we mixed it up a little. I thought it was very effective. They only had seven points up on the board aside from those two field goals, didn't they?" Shula admitted a poor pass from center in the third quarter, which forced punter Tom Gilburg into a five-yard loss and triggered the Packers' touchdown from the Baltimore 35, "sure didn't help any," but added, "I would never punt the fact that we lost on one play." "Some things are outstanding in a ball game and some aren't," he added, "but they mean just as much. There were some plays we could have made and we didn't make them. You look at it the other way, and they had the same situation earlier." Although relatively calm, Shula flared up at one point - when a reporter asked him, "What program are you planning for the Playoff Bowl game with Dallas Jan. 9 in Miami?" He shot back, "I was thinking about that all afternoon during the game." When the reporter persisted, Shula growled, "Forget it, will you?"
EXPECTED PACK TO WIN - COLLIER; GREAT GAME - ROZELLE
DEC 27 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Blanton Collier, bespectacled, chubby-cheeked, grim but content for several weeks in the knowledge that his Browns were NFL Eastern Division champions, admitt4ed in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's tingling 13-10 Packer victory in Lambeau Field that he and his staff had been "going along with the odds." The NFL"s current resident genius as mastermind of the defending league kingpins observed from the Packers' sudden death spoils from a private booth on the second floor of the press box in the company of his entire staff. "We came to Green Bay expecting the Packers to win. We have been figuring with the odds all along," he said by way of skirting the question of which team he would have preferred to play had he had his "druthers." Would the relatively long layoff and apparent letdown since clinching the Eastern title Nov. 28 affect his team against the Pack in Lambeau Field next week? "We've been playing good football. I don't think you could call it a layoff or letdown," he replied. "We were hurt in LA, but we've been playing pretty good football."...NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle agreed with the hard to debate consensus that it was a "great game" and appended, with perhaps a dollar sign or two blinking in the back of his mind, "particularly since it was on national television. It must have had a tremendous impact across the country." The youthful and debonair commissioner, who watch the proceedings from a cramped corner of the crowded first level of the press box, noted, "On that last drive, the Packers deserved to win. That drive was just great."...Hovering anxiously just outside the steel fence blocking the fans from the immediate area of the dressing room after the game was Mrs. Bart Starr, waiting with commendable patience for word of the extent of her wounded husband's injury. "I have to admit I had mixed emotions today," Cherry smiled after being informed that Bart, although his ribs were heavily bandaged, appeared to be well in the dressing room. "I'm just awfully happy that we won, but I worried about Bart and I wish he had been able to contribute more," she said. "You know, just yesterday, he was saying that it seemed like the Lord was giving him a second chance. He still feels back about that interception that let the Colts beat us last year." Baltimore beat the Packers, 21-20, here last year when Don Shinnick intercepted a Starr pass in the final minute to preserve a 21-20 decision. "But Zeke did just a great job today," the beauteous Cherry Starr continued, "and I'm happy for him. We're very good friends with the Bratkowskis, you know." As a matter of fact, the Bratkowskis were the Starr's guests Christmas Day...Green Bay Mayor Don Tilleman, a hatless spectator in the freezing temperatures, refrained from calling the game the expected "great," preferring instead to call it "a beauty." The smiling first citizen of Titletown, in a merry mood after the victory, confessed, "I think I prayed harder and longer out here this afternoon than I did in church this morning."...Radio station WJPG wasted little time getting into a celebrating mood. As soon as the game was over, the station switched identification breaks saying, "This is WJPG in Green Bay. Titletown U.S.A."...TITLETOWN TIDBITS: It came as no surprise to see unrelenting campaigner Bill Proxmire hand shaking outside the stadium. Also among the spectators was Gov. Warren Knowles...The press box was jammed with 65 writers representing 15 cities, primarily Cleveland, New York, Chicago and Minneapolis in addition to the principals. Among the "press" observers was former Green Bay sportscaster Bill Howard, now of Salt Lake City. Utah, who detoured from a basketball trip with the University of Utah to take in the playoff. Another easily recognizable spectator was the legendary Johnny Blood...The most popular wearing apparel, outside of long underwear, must have been the green and gold "Packer" stocking caps seen all over the stadium. The stadium area temperature, 32 degrees at the kickoff, dropped to 28 by the time the second half started and was at 26 at the end of the game...The Packers received one of the biggest ovations of the season when they bowed from the tunnel. And Paul Hornung, taking a lonesome sprint down the sidelines to a final warmup effort just before the kickoff, was given a rousing hand. So was Bob Long when he entered the game for the first time. The crowd was about 400 under capacity, and it included about 7,500 Milwaukee-game season ticket holders. All Milwaukee fans who applied for tickets were accomodated.
CHANDLER SHAKING LIKE LEAF - AFTER GAME
DEC 27 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Balding, soft-spoken Don Chandler was "shaking like a leaf" Sunday afternoon - but not, curiously enough, until some time after his climatic field goal cemented the Packers' sudden death playoff victory. Pausing for a sip of soft drink during a brief respite from a whirlwind round of interviews and blistering TV lights in a bulging Packer dressing room, the amiable Oklahoman confessed with a rueful smile, "I'm shaking like a leaf., I still can't relax good." There had been, surprisingly, no attack of nerves when he lined up for that fateful kick in the 14th minute of overtime, he said. "I was just thinking about taking my straight steps, keeping my head down and following through," Chandler revealed. "I was just thinking about hitting it right. I figured the rest will take care of itself." The 31-year-old veteran exhibited a puckish grin and volunteered. "If I'd missed it, I think I would have had to go home." Paying heartfelt tribute to his teammates, he added, "We've got a courageous bunch of fellows, I'll tell you. They get behind 10-0 and come back like a bunch of tigers." Chandler also expressed compassion for his Baltimore opposite number, Lou Michaels. "Michaels is an excellent kicker," he said. "It looked to me like there was something wrong with the center (on the Colts' 47-yard field goal attempt late in the fourth quarter) and that might have thrown the kickoff." Teammate Zeke Bratkowski, hastily summoned to combat when quarterback Bart Starr was injured on the first play of the afternoon, explained, "I didn't know how bad Bart was hurt, but when I saw he couldn't go in the second series, I went to Coach Lombardi and said, 'What do you want me to do?' After that, we just followed the same game plan we had before." In the overtime, the coach told me to try to avoid mistakes and interceptions that would let
them get in for a short field goal, so we stuck to the basics and we tried to get the ball into position for a field goal or a touchdown, either one." Bratkowski complimented the Colts and his quarterback opponent, Colts' Tom Matte. "They should be given tremendous credit for the way the played," he said, "and Matte did a great job under tremendous pressure." The ex-University of Georgia star was hazy about the fourth quarter play on which the Colts' Billy Ray Smith drew a 15-year penalty for striking Bratkowski, a development which led to the Packers' tying field goal in the fourth quarter. "I don't know what happened on it," he said. "I couldn't tell you - I got knocked a little woozy. I don't know what happened - I just know I got hit." Smith, who termed it "the worst call I've seen in my 8 years in the league," insisted he had gone by Bratkowski and merely reached back in an attempt to make a tackle. Bratkowski was sure, however, about one thing. "This has to be my biggest game," the ex-Bear and ex-Ram informed, "because I've never been in a playoff before. I've been in the league 10 years and finished second five times." Offensive Capt. Bob Skoronski shook his head in admiration and interposed, "That's really something, coming off the bench cold like he did. You know how many that is for him?" Skoronski extended the fingers of his right hand and answered his own question, "Four - four ball games he's pulled out for us." Reporting on his early disaster, Starr explained, "I went over to try to make the tackle on Shinnick (touchdown-bound with a Bill Anderson fumble on that ill-fated opening play). But Shinnick had a couple of guys in front of him and I knew I wouldn't be able to make the tackle, so I tried to knock one of his blockers down, hoping somebody behind me could get him. While I was doing that, somebody caught me in the ribs. So I couldn't throw after that - it pulled along my rib cage." Starr and Bratkowski were not the only Packers damaged in the bone-jarring imbroglio. Tight end Bill Anderson, who led all receivers with eight catches (including a 19-yard grab on the drive to that winning field goal) groggily confessed. "I don't remember much about it, but I think I almost fouled it up." At this point, backfield coach John (Red) Cochran stopped by to congratulate him, asserting, "You did a great job today." "I slept through it.," Anderson replied with a grin, shaking his head as if to clear the cobwebs, and adding, "The bell rang somewhere. I got hit in the head somewhere and everything is kind of fuzzy. But I'm all right now, but I'll have to look at the films to see what happened." A spokesman for the defense, alternate captain Willie Davis, revealed he had effected an adjustment that may have swung the balance in the overtime. "I took the liberty myself of changing the defense," the all-pro end said. "What I did was play head on against the tackle and let Ray Nitschke (middle linebacker) take the outside." Davis said he made the change when Matte began to pile up yardage inside. "We were able to stack up those running plays after that," the bull-shouldered Grambling alumnus pointed out. Balding Henry Jordan, the Packers' premier comedian, drolly summer up with, "That's about the toughest I've ever been in. I lost the rest of my hair in that one. And the worst part of it was, you never could relax." He rose from his chair, stretched luxuriously and concluded, "Great, now I can pay all my Christmas bills."...In the funereal Baltimore quarters, Smith was vocally bitter over that fourth quarter unsportsmanlike conduct levy against him. "I said to the official, 'What are you calling?'" Smith reported. "And he said, 'You hit the man on the head with your fist.' Those were his exact words." Smith snorted and added, "I was running by the guy, and I just reached back to try to make the tackle - the only thing I could reach was his head. The official said, 'You can't close our hand' and I said, 'How can you close your hand when you've got all that tape on it?' You see that kind of thing called when a passer gets the ball off, but he (Bratkowski) had the ball. The official blew his call - it cost us the ball game. It's the worst call I've seen in my eight years in the league." Across the room, a scribe jested to Matte, "I suppose you'll be happy to get back to halfback." Matte replied, "That's for darned sure. I'd rather be on the receiving end rather than the throwing end of those passes." Asked if he hadn't been running "Woody Hayes stuff" (Matte is a former pupil of Hayes at Ohio State), Tom observed, "I don't' know if it's Woody Hayes stuff or not - it's football. We called what we thought would go. Maybe we should have passed more." Revealing that Don (Shula) had called "about 90 percent of the plays," Matte opined, "There were some hairy calls out there today, at least I thought they were. But maybe they (the Packers) think there were some hairy calls made, too." Hadn't it been a lonely feeling, facing this assignment with very little experience? "It's not lonely when you know the guys are behind you," he said, unhesitatingly. "And they were behind me 100 percent. And our coach has been behind us 1,000 percent. He's the greatest coach I've ever been with. He's done a great job keeping us in there the last couple of weeks." Had the Packers attempted to needle him? "No, not at all," Matte replied. "In fact, Robinson (Dave) came up and apologized after the game. He said he didn't mean to knee me when they got a 15-yard penalty on one play." "They're good sports and a great football team," he said. "I just hope they beat Cleveland and keep it in the Western Division."
LOMBARDI, STAFF TO COACH WEST STARS
DEC 27 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Packer Coach Vince Lombardi and his staff will have not just one more week of coaching but several. Pro Bowl Co-Directors David Brandman and Glenn Davis announced immediately after the Packer victory that Lombardi and his staff will handle the West team in the Jan. 16 game in Los Angeles. Packer quarterback Bart Starr didn't fare as well, however. According to an announcement last week, Starr was to be named to the West team with San Francisco's John Brodie if the Packers beat Baltimore. If the Packers lost, Minnesota's Fran Tarkenton was to join Brodie. Sunday, Brandman and Davis said that because Starr's playing status was now doubtful, Tarkenton was being named to the West team...Herb Adderley, Green Bay's All-Pro defensive back, said he couldn't even look when the Packers lined up for what proved to be Don Chandler's winning field goal. "I couldn't watch it. I kept my head down and listened to what was happening on radio," he claimed...Baltimore's Tom Matte was cheered, applauded and given a short ride on the shoulders of some 700 Colt fans who greeted the team on its arrival home Sunday night...Baltimore Colt owner Carroll Rosenbloom was emphatic after the game in his feeling. "I was never more proud of any team I've had," he said. "We didn't deserve to lose. There was no justice out there today."...In Cleveland, the Browns players watched the game on television and later offered these comments: Jim Brown - "The Packers, at least outwardly, seem to present more of a challenge (than the Colts). Chances of a first rate field conditions this time of year up in Green Bay certainly aren't good. Sweeps may become too dangerous. It may be well for us to work on some more straight stuff." Frank Ryan - "They both seemed to very strong defensively and kept mistakes at a minimum." Dick Modzelewski - "Every game is tough. We have confidence, even more than last year." Bernie Parish - "From a psychological viewpoint, I personally prefer to play in Green Bay. The Colts had to chance their offense a great deal and a team like that can cause a lot of trouble the first time you meet it." Paul Wiggin - "I thought Gregg (Forrest, who will play opposite him Sunday) did a fine job on Lou Michaels but late in the game I began to forget about the detail and started rooting for the Colts." Jim Kanicki - "Green Bay may have gained some momentum by playing and winning the extra game, but some of our fellows need the extra rest. I guess it all evens out."...The Browns' plan calls for them to fly to Green Bay after their Friday practice in Cleveland and loosen up on the Packers' field New Year's Day...The Packers had extra sideline support in the person of ex-teammate Jess Whittenton. The former all-pro defensive back, who retired at the end of the 1964 season, flew in from El Paso, Tex., where he is now a golf pro. It was 36 degrees in El Paso when he left, but Whittenton confided with a grin, "we were still playing golf."...Six portable space heaters, three stationed behind each bench, were employed to combat the raw, biting cold, which saw the temperature ranging from a sub-freezing 29 to 26 degrees throughout.
'HAD VISIONS OF FUMBLE,' VINCE; STARR DOUBTFUL
DEC 28 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - "I had visions of, not sugar plums, but of somebody fumbling." Vince Lombardi was reliving some of those final hectic sudden-death moments of Sunday's Packer-Colt smash hit at a press conference Monday. And he continued in response to questions from 20 writers: "We had established our goa line at around the 20-yard line. Which means that we would kick (Don Chandler field goal) as soon as we got down there. Pitts had just made four yards to the 22, and I yelled for the field goal team on third down. They had their capes off, but I held them off. We had decided to stop passing once we got down there. But when Taylor went on third down, I had those visions of a fumble. They (the Colts) were hitting hard. And imagine if he had fumbled, I'd be kicking myself all over Green Bay today." Somebody wanted to know "what do you do when you want the field goal team?" And Vince yelled at the top of his voice: "Field goal." The New York contingent recalled the sudden death championship game between the Colts and Giants in 1958 and noted that the Colts took a big gamble by going for the TD by Alan Ameche rather than kick a field goal. "If Taylor," Vince said, "had reached the 10-yard line on his last run, we still would have kicked the field goal right away." Vince ticked off the members of the field goal team - "Thurston, Starr, Chandler, Davis, Aldridge, Skoronski, Gregg, Robinson, Caffey, Grimm and the rookie, Curry." And noted that Bill Curry has "a good snap on punts, too, and he covers well and has good speed." The Packer coach, whose next chore is Cleveland in the world title game at Lambeau Field Sunday, expressed great pride in the 1965 Western Division champions, pointing out: "This may not be the best I've ever had, but it has a great deal of character. Which I think is most important. This season has been extra special for me (referring to the
tight race and games) and there is more satisfaction than when you win big. Our game Sunday was football as it should be played. It was as fine a hitting game I've ever seen. I don't remember one like it." Looking to the next assignment, Lombardi said "the only feat we have now is that we might be drained emotionally. I don't believe you get stale physically - in fact you can't overwork any young man whose in good condition physically, but we could be hurt emotionally." This, he explained, is the reason the Packers were given an extra day off. "It might help them to relax their emotions. I'm sure the practice (that was called off for Tuesday) wouldn't be of particular help. Days off are more important. Our big job is getting ready mentally - not physically." The Packers didn't come out of the Colt game in the pink of condition. Four players are hurt - Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Boyd Dowler and Ron Kostelnik. Lombard placed Starr in the "doubtful" category and added that 'the others will be all ready." Starr picked up rib injuries going for Don Shinnick on the first play of the game. "We'll know something about Starr on Friday," Vince said, and added hopefully, "he's a quick healer, you know." On the others, Lombardi said, "Hornung has bruises on the inside of his right leg, but I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be ready. Kostelnik played Sunday with a real bad foot, but he should be able to play again. Dowler has had trouble with both shoulders and an ankle all season, but he should be ready." Starr was x-rayed Sunday night and the coach reported that "they're negative. He has a real sore back, and it is difficult for him to raise his right arm." If Bart can't go, Lombardi will hand the ball to Zeke Bratkowski, the 34-year-old No. 2 man, who led the Packers to their crucial victory over the Colts. This is the fourth win Zeke has scored in his relief roles. The Packers' practice fields on Oneida Street have a light dusting of snow (from Sunday night), but they'll be swept off in time for Wednesday's light drill. The Lambeau Field turf is covered with hay and a tarpaulin. It will be in good shape for the game. "The hay worked out fine," Lombardi said, "but we had plan No. 2 ready to use - a number of electric blankets to soften the ground, but we didn't need them."
PACKERS RESEMBLE COWBOYS, CARDS, COLLIER CLAIMS
DEC 28 (Cleveland) - How do the Green Bay Packers look to Cleveland Browns' Coach Blanton Collier? "Their defense is something like that of the Dallas Cowboys," he said. "I'd say the offense resembles that of St. Louis, the one the Cardinals had before injuries hit the team." That means Collier thinks the Packers are tough both ways. Dallas had the stingiest defense (280 pounds) in the Eastern Conference of the NFL. St. Louis, before the injuries, beat the Browns 49-13, the worst defeat the defending NFL champions suffered in an 11-3 record. Collier, who takes the Browns to Green Bay Sunday for the NFL championship game, made some other observations about the Packers Monday in an interview: Q: Were you impressed with the Green Bay linebackers against the Baltimore Colts? A: I certainly was. I guess Ray Nitschke must be the top middle linebacker in the league. Their three regulars all have an unusual combination of height, weight and speed. Q: How about the defensive line? A: This is a different type of defensive line from overpowering ones like those of Detroit and Los Angeles. Fellows like Henry Jordan and Willie Davis use that quickness and mobility to get the job done. Lionel Aldridge and Ron Kostelnik are more the conventional, big, strong types. Q: How did Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor look (against Baltimore last Sunday)? A: Too good, Hornung seemed to be running as well as every. Taylor is the type of player who scratches and squirms for every yard. He works well in close quarters. If there's any running room, he usually finds it. Q: Will Cleveland game plans be changed if it's Zeke Bratkowski at quarterback rather than Bart Starr? A: We'll do just about the same things against either of them. I have a high regard for Starr. He has talent plus ability to follow a game plan. I believe he's been bothered by sore ribs much of this year. It may have hampered his throwing. As a result, Bratkowski has played quite a bit. The Browns, who played their last game Dec. 19, have held light workouts and were joined Monday by flanker Gary Collins and halfback Ernie Green. Both missed practice last week because of injuries.
CHAMPIONSHIP TILT SOLD OUT
DEC 28 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Sunday's Packer-Brown championship game is a sellout, Coach-GM Vince Lombardi announced today. The capacity is 50,582 and tickets are priced at $10 and $12. The game has been oversubscribed already, meaning that the orders have exceeded the number of seats. Last Sunday's division playoff missed being a sellout by 348. The attendance was 50,484. The attendance at the 1961 championship game here was 39,029, which was about 2,000 under the capacity of the stadium. Lambeau Field has since been enlarged to 50,852.
BROWNS TO HEADQUARTER AT APPLETON FOR TITLE GAME
DEC 28 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - In a departure from custom, the Cleveland Browns will not headquarter in Green Bay in advance of Sunday's NFL championship game against the Packers. The Browns, who are scheduled to arrive at Austin Straubel Field at 8 o'clock Friday night, will proceed immediately by bus to the Appleton Holiday Inn, according to the itinerary received by Manager Robert Shulman of Green Bay's Greyhound bus station from Browns Business Manager Harold Sauerbrie Monday. The reason, Shulman was informed, "is that they would just as soon not be in Green Bay on New Year's Eve." According to the itinerary, the Browns will leave Appleton by bus at 10:30 Saturday morning for a workout at the Packers' Oneida Street practice field, then return to their Appleton motel, where they will remain sequestered until 10 o'clock Sunday morning when they are scheduled to leave for Lambeau Field and the title showdown. They will fly out of Green Bay immediately after the game.
SUDDEN DEATH: TIME TO PRAY; CURRY DID
DEC 28 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Sudden death. It sounds like a time for prayer. The good Packer faithful undoubtedly did plenty of same when their favorites battled the Colts in that historical and hysterical fifth quarter in Lambeau Field Sunday. It seemed the Packers might need some Upstairs help, when the gallant Tom Matte ripped off 9, 5 and 8 yards to the Packer 37 at the 6-minute mark. And when Lou Michels went back to kick a field goal from the 47. A different kind of prayerful hope came forth a few minutes later - this time when the Packers decided to make their championship bid on the strength and accuracy of Don Chandler's good right toe. One of the 11 men on the field goal team did some praying. "That's what I had to do. I needed help," said Bill Curry, the rookie center, who snapped the ball back to holder Bart Starr. "I was praying when I went on the field - to help me do my job perfectly," Curry smiled after the game, adding: "I don't know what I would have done without my faith. I am certainly thankful to God that everything turned out well." While the deadly pressure and deeds brought prayer in our area, you know that many Colt fans watching on television out in Baltimore were doing the same on their team's behalf. The fifth quarter was the "longest" game in Packer history, though it consumed only 22 minutes in actual elapsed time and 13 minutes and 39 seconds of continuing play time. The death watch started at 3:40 and ended at 4:02. The two teams ran off 28 plays. The Packers had 18 plays - 8 rushes for 28 yards; 1 pass attempt for a loss of 8 yards; 6 pass attempts, including 3 completions for 28 yards; 2 punts; and 1 field goal. The Packers moved 62 yards in 9 plays to set the stage for Chandler's blessed three-pointer. The Colts, in their 10 plays, had six rushes for 16 yards, 2 incomplete passes, 1 punt and the 1 missed field goal.
EXCITED? LEO ANNOUNCES 8-HOUR, 15-MINUTE OVERTIME
DEC 28 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - So who's excited? As the fifth quarter ticked away, Joe Zeutzius of the team of official scorers intoned over the press box public address system, "In the sudden death game of 1958, the extra period lasted 8 hours and 15 minutes. This one is now sure to break that record." Red faced over the chorus of chuckles, Leo didn't even bother to correct himself. Presumably, however, he meant 8 minutes and 15 seconds...The playoff being when it was, the day after Christmas, it caused a few hardships on many individuals. Among this group were Ken Hartnett and Charley Kelly, the Associated Press writer-photographer team from Milwaukee which camped in Green Bay all last week. The two spent Christmas Eve in a hotel room, eating hamburgers ("That's all we could get downtown") and playing scrabble.
KNOWLES' BET ACCEPTED BY OHIO'S RHODES
DEC 28 (Columbus, OH) - Gov. James A. Rhodes accepted today an invitation from Wisconsin Gov. Warren P. Knowles to attend the NFL championship game and got in on the betting action with a case of Ohio tomato juice - Ohio's official state beverage. Knowles invited Rhodes to the game Monday and promised to present Rhodes with some Wisconsin cheese if the Cleveland Browns defeat the Green Bay Packers Sunday at Green Bay, Wis. In answering Knowles' invitation, the Ohio governor also asked that Knowles use his influence with
pro football friends to help Cincinnati land an NFL franchise. Rhodes' reply made no comment on the news that Knowles has issued a proclamation designating Green Bay "football capital of the world." Columbus, where Ohio State football teams have averaged over 80,000 for years, also goes by that nickname.
'GIANTS DID ME FAVOR,' CHANDLER
DEC 28 (Green Bay) - Among the wires that poured into Don Chandler's home after his field goal heroics in Sunday's sudden death football game was a message from Wel Mara, his old boss at New York. "It was real nice of Wel," said the Green Bay placekicker. "I appreciated it." Nobody paid much attention to Chandler in the year-end polls for comeback of the year, but the veteran deserved a high rank. His tying and winning kicks for a 13-10 victory against Baltimore Sunday made it 19 out of 29 field goal attempts and a total of 95 points. Last year, he made nine out of 20 for the Giants. Ironically, the Giants had troubles with field goals and made only 4 of 25 this season. "I guess the Giants did me a favor when they traded me to Green Bay," said Chandler. "It was a tremendous challenge to me and a most satisfying ending. Last summer I practiced kicking back home in Tulsa for about six weeks before I went to camp. I kicked 15 or 16 a day at the high school field. It helped me get ready for camp because I felt I had to make the ball club. Ordinarily it takes me 10 days to get ready, but this time I figured I should be ready to go from the start." Chandler tied Sunday's playoff with less than two minutes to go when he made good on a 22-yard boot. Informed that Lou Michaels, Baltimore kicker and defensive end, said the kick was not good, Chandler commented: "All I have to say is that there were two officials there, one on each side of the posts, and one official behind me. Maybe they (Colts) should have paid more attention to rushing." "That's got to be the big one for me," said Chandler. "We have had a lot of tough things to overcome this year. Now we've got to play another tough game against Cleveland. It has been real blood and guts football all season."
PACK'S TYING FG MISSED, 2 COLTS CLAIM
DEC 28 (Baltimore) - Two Baltimore Colts said Monday they believed that the field goal boot by Don Chandler of Green Bay, which tied their playoff game, missed by "three feet." The kick sent the NFL Western Conference title game into a sudden death overtime Sunday before another Chandler field goal gave the Packers a 13-10 victory. Lou Michaels of the Colts protested the boot by Chandler that tied the score 10-10 in the regulation game was wide. Michaels, who plays defensive end and does the placekicking, told a Baltimore reporter, "It missed by three feet and you can print that." Michaels said he was in a good position to see the kick after being stopped in an effort to block the ball. He said he turned to watch the flight and it was "three feet wide of the upright." Fred Miller, the Colts' other defensive end, said, "If that kick was good, then I'll eat the football. I was standing in nearby the same area as the ball was kicked from and I watched it go outside the post." Chandler was challenged by Michaels to say whether the kick was good. "If Chandler is a man and not a hypocrite, he'll answer correctly," said Michaels. Chandler was quoted in Baltimore as having said, "It wasn't a real good kick and I couldn't tell."
BLIZZARD, 22 BELOW?...NORMAL TEMPERATURES EXPECTED
DEC 29 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The championship game. Who, what, when, and where? You know the answers to who (Packers and Browns), when (Sunday), and where (Lambeau Field). But what about what? What happens if there's such a blizzard the 50,852 live fans and millions on television can't see it. Or if it's like say 20 below? What about player shares? What does Pete Rozelle do at the game? What, what, what. Jim Kensil, the NFL's publicity chief and assistant to Rozelle, was peppered with questions at the weekly luncheon of the Mike and Pen Club at The Stein Tuesday. "A championship game has never been postponed," said Jim in answer to the bit about extremely adverse weather conditions. But it could happen: "It would be possible if the game couldn't' actually be seen by the people in attendance - such as a blizzard. Also, if the commissioner felt the fans couldn't stand the cold." The figure "22 below" was pulled out of the atmosphere of the Rathskeller room. And as to a postponement date, Kensil said "whenever the commissioner sees fit." Before you get too excited, Kensil reported that he checked with the weatherman (Herb Bomalaski, of course) and "the forecast for the weekend is for normal temperatures, and I guess that would be about 25, which is fine." Jim recalled the last title game here in 1961 when the game started in 21-degree (above) weather and finished in 15. "On Thursday morning before the game, the hotel switchboard operator called and said, 'Good morning, the temperature is 22 below." By comparison, the game weather was like a heat wave. While our town takes a lot of unnecessary guff about the frigid north, the two coldest championship games were played in the largest city in New York State and a place called Cleveland, which is in Ohio. It was a brisk 15 in Yankee Stadium, when the Packers and Giants tangled in 1962 but the sharp 30-mile winds dropped it down to the equivalent of zero or lower. In Cleveland in 1945 when the old Rams played the Redskins the temperature was around 5 above. What about Rozelle? "He actually presides over the game and, of course, is the last word in any disputes," Jim said. He will be accompanied by the chief of the league's officials, Mark Duncan. Six officials and two alternates have been chosen to work the game and "they were selected on merit and are not one of the teams that worked during the season." They will be announced Friday, Kensil said. The visiting publicist, who was accompanied by his new assistant, Don Weiss, estimated that each winning player share will be slightly over $7,000 and each losing player will receive between $4,500 and $4,600. This is below the $8,052 and $5,571 for the 1964 title game in Cleveland last year. The difference is in the seating capacity of the two cities' stadiums - 79,544 in Cleveland and 50,852 here. TV, radio and film receipts are expected to be about the same as last year, $2,484,384. Kensil said that expenses in running the game will have a bearing on the shares "for instance, getting the park in shape, snow removal (if necessary), etc." And there is a number of shares. Jim said that "Green Bay is the only team in the league to go through the season without a roster change. The 40 players started and finishes. The Browns made only one change. This is typical of the winning teams." The Browns put Jamie Caleb on the roster when Paul Warfield was hurt and then took him off when Warfield returned to the active list. Kensil answered a raft of questions on television and expansion of the NFL. Jim said that "it's possible a blacked-out league city (Green Bay, for instance, if the Packers are home) would receive another league game on television next year. This is in deference to the fans who can't get into the park." As to expansion (Atlanta will start play in 1966), Kensil said the Stanford Research Institute is presently making a survey of Boston, Cincinnati, Houston, New Orleans, Phoenix, Seattle and Portland for possible expansion to 16 teams in 1967. "Obviously, the cities with stadiums have the best chance," Jim said, adding: "We're trying to find out the cities that will support a losing team."
DEC 29 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Special incentives hardly would seem necessary for a championship game. The thought of winning a world title (at least we are pleased to refer to it thusly in Packerland, where the AFL is not accorded official recognition), with all of the attendant benefits, both prestigious and financial, obviously is sufficient to spur any athlete to maximum effort. There will be added motivation, however, for Henry Jordan, the Packers' premier humorist and philosopher (and, undoubtedly, fellow ex-Brown Willie Davis) in Sunday's showdown in Lambeau Field. Jordan, acquired from Cleveland in one of Vince Lombardi's most profitable maneuvers, hasn't been with the Browns since 1959, but the desire to prove a point with his former teammates and ex-employers lingers in the breast of the voluble ex-Virginian. "I think that always stays with you," he explains. "I didn't play that much in Cleveland, but you still want to show your old friends you can do the job. I want to beat 'em to show it was better for me to be traded." Although seven seasons have elapsed since his departure from the Browns, ten of his ex-colleagues are still on the Eastern Conference champions' roster, the all-pro defensive tackle pointed out. "Jim Brown, Paul Wiggin, Gene Hickerson, Vince Costello, Bernie Parrish, Dick Schafrath, Galen Fiss, and Jim Ninowski were all there when I was there and John Wooten came in the year I left." Needless to say, Jordan is well aware the awesome Brown looms as one of his major problems Sunday afternoon. "He's one of the better runners we face - if not the best," he observed. "He's got the power of a fullback and yet the speed of a halfback. And with Ryan's (Frank) passing and Collins (Gary), and I understand Warfield (Paul) is well again, as receivers, that keeps us loose so that we can't tighten up for a run." What makes Brown so particularly difficult to handle? "It's everything," Jordan said. "His speed, his power...and he always looks alert when he's hit. He relaxes when he's hit and so do you involuntarily, and then he spurts away from you." "But I've got the secret," the droll Careful Drive resident cracked, "I'm going to sic Willie Wood on him. Willie hits him where he can't fake - around the ankles." The Browns' offensive line has been tabbed in some quarters as the best in the NFL, it was noted. "I would have to say it was pretty close to one of the best," Jordan, who last worked against that unit in an exhibition at Cleveland Sept. 5, agreed, "I know they've got the personnel to be the best. And they've got the backs behind 'em and the passing, which all helps to make 'em the best." "I'm hoping we can unleash Lee Roy Caffey, Willie Davis, Ray Nitschke and Willie Wood on them," he joked. "Once we unleash them, they won't want any more of it." How did he think Cleveland's early clinching of the Eastern title and two-week postseason layoff might affect the Browns? "I just hope they've got out of the habit of hitting," Jordan said. "You can do that, you know." Reflecting upon last Sunday's historic sudden death playoff squeaker over the Colts, Jordan turned serious for the moment. "It looked like the end of the world for a minute on that first play (Don Shinnick's 25-yard touchdown run with a Bill Anderson fumble and the simultaneous loss of quarterback Bart Starr, injured in attempting to derail Shinnick)." "It was so quick - and it gave them such a boost. It wasn't the score so much as the big lift it gave them. I figured they were going to be high enough to begin with." Even the 1962 title game, a bruising collision from which the Packers emerged with a 16-7 victory, paled somewhat by comparison to Sunday's epic struggle, he declared. "I can't remember any game like this one for nervousness and tension for the entire game," the balding charger said. "Every time we went out there we said, 'We can't have a letdown.'" How had Olive (his comely spouse) reacted? "She said, 'Hooray,'" Henry reported, adding, "You've got to understand the wives have put up with a lot lately. First we were gone for two weeks and then when we do come home, instead of being affectionate, we're still griping and tense and nervous because the thing isn't settled. But they understood - they put up with a lot."
NITSCHKE DRAWS SHORT STRAW AS GREETER OF JIM BROWN
DEC 29 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Ray Nitschke draws the short straw Sunday. As middle linebacker of the Green Bay Packers, it will be his job to greet Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns when he charges up the middle in the NFL title game. Vince Lombardi, the Packer coach, says Nitschke won't be keying on Brown all the way in the kind of defense Green Bay uses. All well and good, but it will still be Nitschke, the reformed wild man with old No. 66 on his back, who will be trying to block the middle. "We know we have to stop Jim Brown," said the 6-foot-3, 230-pound former Illinois fullback. "We all know it." "They have built their offense around him. If we can stop their running, maybe we can make them throw the ball up for grabs. They have excellent receivers, too, in Paul Warfield and Gary Collins," he said. "In most four-man line setups," Nitschke added, "the middle linebacker is in on most running backs. He keys off the fullback. I'll be going where Jim Brown goes. At least I hope I'll be there. That's my job. When he goes wide, I'll be in the pursuit." "We know they'll try to go up the middle right from the start," he said. "It's the safest thing to do, especially if the field should be slippery. It is my job to be in the right places. I hope I am big enough and strong enough to stop him." Nitschke looks big enough and strong enough to stop a Sherman tank. He had lost most of his hair by the time he entered college. A kickoff collision in the Illinois-Ohio State game cost him four front teeth. Two years ago he suffered a broken forearm in a game with Detroit, an injury that still forces him to wear a foam rubber pad. "This is a survival type game," he said. "This is a contact-type sport. If you are not willing to hit people, you don't belong on the field. That is my idea of football. We have always done pretty good against Cleveland in the few times we played them in my eight years in the league." Nitschke subscribes to the theory that a middle linebacker should be a special type. "He should have the proper temperament," he said. "He has to take a lot of bruises and abuses. It is different from any other type of defensive job. You have pride and you want them to respect you, make them aware you are out there." Nitschke admits he used to be somewhat of a problem. "Immature" is the word he uses. "It took me longer to grow up," he said. "Maybe it was because I lost my parents early and had only my older brother as a guardian. I was cocky when I first got there. I wanted to play. I think things have changed since I was married in 1963. We have adopted a little boy and plan to adopt another. Now I have responsibilities." If Nitschke has matured, he has not mellowed. He still is the rock and sock football play who came to Illinois off a construction job in the Elmwood Park area of suburban Chicago. He still likes to hit. He still has the pride of a winner. When J. Brown meets R. Nitschke Sunday, the sparks are bound to fly.
BROWN DEFENSIVE LINE SKIMPY BY NFL STANDARDS
DEC 29 (Cleveland) - The Cleveland Browns' defensive line, anchored at the ends by a minister and a teacher, is a bit on the skimpy side by NFL standards. "They are a little light," admits defensive line coach Nick Skorich, who is tutoring his front four this week for the NFL championship game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. Skorich has Paul Wiggin, a 6-foot-3, 245-pounder, at one end and Bill Glass, 6-5, 255 pounds, on the other side. Wiggin has right at college of San Mateo in California during the past two off-seasons, and Glass is a Baptist minister. In between the ends are tackles Dick Modzelewski, 245 pounds, and Jim Kanicki, heaviest of the four at 270 pounds. Skorich says most NFL defensive lines average 265 to 275 pounds. Skorich didn't have his present defense set until last year, while Modzelewski and Kanicki became regulars. Modzelewski came in a trade from the New York Giants and took over when Frank Parker was injured in the opener. Kanicki stepped in when Bob Gain broke his leg. It was this defense which shut out the Baltimore Colts, 27-0, for the NFL title last year. Now they have a year's experience together and Kanicki says "our front four is working better as a unit." The range of NFL experience goes from Modzelewski's 13 years to Kanicki's three. Wiggin is in his ninth year, and Glass is an eight year veteran. Browns' Coach Blanton Collier has given Modzelewski much of the credit for helping mold the defense. The former Giant was a steadying influence during Kanicki's sophomore year. After the championship game last season, Collier walked up to Modzelewski in the locker room and said dimly, "Thanks, Mo." Kanicki admits he was scared a year ago, but now "I know pretty much what to look for."
WARFIELD WELL AGAIN
DEC 29 (Cleveland) - Paul Warfield, who was passer Frank Ryan's favorite target in Cleveland's drive for the NFL championship last year, is healthy again and looking forward to Sunday's NFL title contest at Green Bay. If the Browns' fine young flanker goes all the way
against the Packers, it will be the first time this year he has finished a game. He started only twice. Warfield's collarbone was shattered Aug. 6 in the game against the College All Stars - the Browns' first exhibition game - and he didn't get back into action until the Dec. 12 game at Los Angeles. That was after the Browns already had wrapped up the Eastern Conference championship. In that game, Warfield suffered a bruise in the same area where surgery had been performed on his collarbone, and he was out for the final game at St. Louis Dec. 19. The 23-year-old receiver was a key figure in the Browns' offense last year - so much so that some observers predicted after his injury Aug. 6 that without him the Browns would fall on their faces this year. In his freshman year last season, Warfield caught 52 passes for 920 yards and nine touchdowns. No one else in the Cleveland receiving corps even approached Warfield's yardage record. The speedster from Ohio State was given double coverage by opponents around the league. This made it tougher for opponents to cover receiver Gary Collins, who caught three touchdown passes in the Browns' 27-0 victory over Baltimore in the 1964 title contest. Coach Blanton Collier said Warfield ran at the left end spot this week and looked fine. "It's been the bright spot of the week's work," said Collier. Warfield says he feels good and is in top shape for the title game "however they want to use me." The Browns went through a light workout Tuesday and looked at films of Green Bay games. They start heavy workouts today in final preparation for the title game.
'I'LL BE READY FOR SUNDAY,' STARR VOWS
DEC 30 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - "I'll be ready. You don't think I'd sit this one out, do you?" Bart Starr answered the obvious question from a knot of reporters surrounding him after practice Wednesday. And then turned reporter with a query of his won. The Packer quarterback, who hurled the Packers to two world championships in three tries (1960-61-62), had just finished his first workout since he sustained rib injuries on the first play of the Division playoff against the Colts Sunday. "I plan on playing. I am not planning on sitting down," he said with his typical soft-spoken authority adding: "I won't say I felt good today, but much better than I thought. It still hurts a little but I only hope I show as much improvement tomorrow. I could feel the improvement as the practice went along." Starr was cheered on during Wednesday's drill by his teammates, who broke out with cries of "Atta boy, Bart" and "way to throw it in there" every time he hit a receiver. Coach Vince Lombardi said "Starr didn't throw well but he threw and that's the important thing. He should throw better tomorrow (Thursday) and real well on Friday. But I still
don't know if he'll be able to start Sunday." Lombardi explained that Zeke Bratkowski is now the "lead quarterback and Starr is the secondary one in practice." Backing both up is Dennis Claridge, the sophomore, who warmed up last Sunday when Bratkowski was shaken up late in the game. Also cheered Wednesday was Paul Hornung, who missed the sudden death period Sunday with chest and leg injuries. He was running hard and Lombardi confirmed that "he'll be ready to go" against the Browns Sunday. Ron Kostelnik, who was handicapped last Sunday with an injured toe, "will be improved over a week ago. He's fine," Vince said. Lombardi wasn't pleased with Wednesday's practice - the first of the week since he gave the team Tuesday off. "It was kind of sloppy - as our Wednesday practices usually are. This time it was sloppier than usual. Usually we run out all the kinks and bruises on Tuesday. We didn't do that this week," Lombardi said. Newsmen wondered if the Packers planned anything new for the championship game and Vince smiled, "There just isn't enough time to work on anything new and the practice field is not in the greatest condition. We wouldn't be abele to get our timing down." The practice fields on Oneida Street are frozen solid and the players wear various kinds of rubber-soled shoes. In answer to another question, Lombardi said "the attitude of the team seems to be real good." Jim Taylor came up with a muscle pull Wednesday but he shrugged it off with, "It's nothing at all." The big fullback, whose rushing struggles against the Browns' great Jim Brown have been classic, said "Brown being on the other side might spur me on a little, but this game is more than just a couple of individuals. I'm just thinking of winning."...With Starr on the mend, the Packers' chances of beating the Browns are on the upswing. The pin-pointing passer will be facing a Cleveland defense that is vulnerable to the pass. The Browns have given up 43 touchdowns, 12 on running plays and 31 on passing. But contrast, Green Bay has been scored on 22 times, 11 on runs and 11 by passes...The Packers have undergone quite a chance since their last title game showing in 1962. Twenty-one of the 40 athletes were not present for that game, although one, Don Chandler, played for the Giants in that game. Incidentally, Chander has been in six title games but had the thrill of winning in only one - as a rookie in 1956 when the Giants belted the Bears, The Giants then lost two playoffs to the Colts, two to the Packers, and one to the Bears. Three Packer veterans obtained from other clubs are in their first title game - Billy Anderson, Carroll Dale and Zeke Bratkowski...One of the Eastern scribes likened the title game to the Army-Navy game Wednesday and Lombardi noted that at West Point "they have two seasons - the regular schedule and then the Army-Navy game. Only this season we're playing three seasons, the league schedule, the playoff, and now the championship game."
PRO BOWL STARR
DEC 30 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Do the Pro Bowl people know something we don't know? Why else was Bart Starr so quickly hacked from the roster of the Western Division team Monday morning on the excuse that his status was now doubtful? As far as we know, Bart had not yet been definitely ruled out of Sunday's championship game and the Pro Bowl is still more than two weeks away. Bart is too much of a gentleman to complain publicly about the knifing he took but the fact is that the entire selection procedure bordered on the ridiculous. When the Western team was announced, John Brodie of San Francisco was named as one of the quarterbacks with either Starr or Fran Tarkenton of Minnesota as the other. If the Packers beat Baltimore, Starr was to get the post. If the Packers lost, Tarkenton would get the job, according to the announcement. Now, either Starr is good enough to be on the team (we think he's second only to Unitas in stature) or he isn't. It shouldn't have taken a playoff game to determine the capabilities of the two after having already gone through 14 league games. And then the Packers did win. But Tarkenton was put on the team before any exact determination of Starr's availability was made. At least to the public knowledge. If there is something more to the whole situation, the information should be made available. Not concealed behind the flimsy "doubtful status" excuse...Did Chandler miss that field goal, as claimed by the Colts? There's a large group of Green Bay fans who were sitting in the end zone which concurs with the Baltimore view. But there were two officials in the best position of all and they had no doubt but what it was good. Thank goodness! We're happy that Miami won't have to worry about the Packers "lousing" up the Playoff Bowl (it should be called the Also-Ran Bowl) this year. Jimmy Burns, sports editor of the Miami Herald, penned recently "The only thing I'm suggesting (regarding the Playoff Bowl) is that both teams play football and not louse up the game as Green Bay did last year."...C'mon Packer front office - get with it. The name of our stadium is Lambeau Field, not "New City Stadium" as you have printed on the championship game tickets. If the league is responsible for ticket printing, it should still be your duty to get the stadium name straight. And the word "New" yet! The stadium was dedicated way back in 1957. Remember?
RYAN TURNS GREEN; SO DO HIS COACHES
DEC 30 (Cleveland) - Quarterback Frank Ryan turned green. The Cleveland browns' coach staff turned worried. Ryan developed stomach pains Wednesday while the Browns were in a morning film session in preparation for Sunday's NFL championship against the Green Bay Packers. "He feels pretty sick," said team physician Dr. Vic Ippolito, "but I think he'll be much better Thursday. It's an intestinal upset." Coach Blanton Collier had back-up quarterback Jim Ninowski run the team in the Browns' heavy workout, and he hits his targets well as the emphasis was on offense. "Frank did a lot of throwing Tuesday," said Collier. "He also worked last week on most of the things we did in practice Wednesday so far the fact that he was absent shouldn't bother him." Dr. Ippolito took x-rays after Ryan turned a shade of green during the movies. Ryan was in paint but returned to the practice field to watch the end of the workout. Collier also is keeping a close medical check on offensive tackle Dick Schafrath, who is limping with a pulled hamstring muscle. "Dick says he'll be ready for sure, and I'm counting on him," Collier said. Schafrath worked out briefly Wednesday with replacement John Brown, a 6-foot-3, 250-pounder, filling in. Brown has a regular off and on during his four years with the club. Collier also had Leroy Kelly and Bobby Franklin practicing punts. Flanker Gary Collins, the Browns regular punter, still has sore ribs suffered during the last game of the regular season against St. Louis. Collins, the NFL's leading punter, still has some tenderness in the rib area, but indications are that he'll be ready for punting and pass catching duties.
A TOAST: 'HAPPY NEW YEAR AND BEAT THE BROWNS'
DEC 31 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Somewhere along the line tonight you will drink a toast to the Packers. Make it simple. Don't get gushy. Two sentences will do: "Happy New Year" and "Beat the Browns." The order in which they are slurred maksh no difference. And you can do it before or after you give your best girl (or boy) a 1966 smack. But do it. This is the time of the year we normally look back, count the blessings and hope for a continuation of that traditional Packer fight the next year. There's similarity at the moment. But the distance is much shorter. Instead of season to season, it's from Sunday to Sunday. We all had our blessings last Sunday - that 13-10 sudden death victory over the Colts, which made the Packers Western Division champions. And now we all hope for ye olde Packer fight for the world championship game against the Browns - a smash that's only hours away (Lambeau Field, Sunday, 1:10). It seems kind of silly to suggest a hope for Packer fight Sunday - what with all the marbles on the line. But, like Vince Lombardi said the other day, "the only thing we have to fear is an emotional letdown after last Sunday." Other than a few injuries, the Packers will be snorting and pawing physically, but, after getting back to Vince, "your emotions control your muscles." The emotion fear could disappear like a snow flake in a glass of cherry wine once the Packers take the field, look at the Browns, and listen to the screeches of 50,852 fans (not counting the 50 or 60 Brown fans). Mechanically, the Packers showed in practice Thursday and today that they are ready. Ray Nitschke, for instance, and all his defensive cohorts are gunning for the Browns' big No. 32, Jim Brown. And Bart Starr, Jim Taylor and Co., are ready to probe the Brown defense. When you think of the Browns, you think of that No. 32 but they also have themselves a strong aerial attack led by Dr., Frank Ryan and a couple of guys named Paul Warfield and Gary Collins. This brings up the two men who must watch and/or chase Warfield and Collins - Doug Hart, the right cornerbacker, and Herb Adderley, the left CBer. Hart, in the last two leagues games against the Colts and 49ers, watched opponents Raymond Berry and Dave Parks catch a total
of 19 passes. To make it all the more sorrowful, he slipped and fell while Parks caught a key TD pass late in the 49er game. Hart, nicknamed Happy, was so mad he pounded the ground in disgust. "Warfield," Hart said after practice yesterday, "is a combination of Parks and Berry - with something extra. He's a real speed ball - the only one like him in the league. The closest to him speedwise is Hayes (the world's fastest human with the Cowboys) and Hayes didn't play against us." Happy continues, "I played against him in Milwaukee last year when Jesse (Whittenton) was hurt in the second quarter. I guess he caught about seven and got two touchdowns. He's a real problem. And the Browns never flop their ends so Herb won't have the pleasure of covering him." Adderley will work against Collins, which is job enough. "Collins," Herb reminded, "was the most valuable player in last year's championship game. He won the Corvette. But they (the Colts) had double coverage on Warfield and Collins was pretty free." Collins caught five passes from Ryan for 130 yards and three touchdowns as the Browns ripped the Colts, 27-0. Adderley also noted that "Collins doesn't have the great moves, yet he has a certain knack of getting open. He's one of the best in the league in running the post pattern." Adderley thus far has intercepted six passes and he turned three of them into direct TDs, which tied a league record. "I told Norb Hecker (Packer aide) at the beginning of the year that I would tray and go the whole season without a touchdown being scored on me - and so far there hasn't been. I think this has been the best year ever for me." Herb had a hope: "I hope we don't have to go to double coverage on Warfield. We have not had to do it yet and that's because we've done well as a unit." Adderley and Hart work closely with the two safeties, Willie Wood and Tom, and linebackers Lee Roy Caffey, Robinson and Nitschke. Like we said, don't forget that toast - "Happy New Year" and "Beat the Browns."
ANDERSON WILL SIGN WITH PACK, AP SAYS
DEC 31 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Donny Anderson, Texas Tech's two-time All-America backfield star, will sign a contract with the Green Bay Packers Friday for a reported $600,000, making him the highest paid rookie in professional football, the Associated Press learned Thursday night in Jacksonville, Fla. Anderson refused to make a commitment but a close friend and advisor said that the 215-pound halfback was leaning toward the NFL team over the rival Houston Oilers of the AFL, earlier reported ready to cough up $800,000. Anderson's attorney, H.J. (Doc) Blanchard of Lubbock, Tex., said the athlete would make a decision after today's Gator Bowl game against Georgia Tech. Formal signing will be held approximately two hours later at a Jacksonville hotel. At that time, Blanchard said, the bidding teams had been asked to have representatives and checkbooks ready. "I honestly do now know which team Donny will pick, myself," Blanchard said. "I am merely drawing up contracts and studying the various financial angles. It will be up to him to make the decision." He did say, however, that the overall financial package would be less than the $800,000 reportedly offered by Bud Adams, owner of the Oilers, but still would be enough to give Anderson the biggest football contract ever signed. It was learned unofficially that the terms would total around $600,000, with a three year no-cut clause, a fat bonus and various fringe benefits after he is through playing football. Previously, Joe Namath's $400,000 contract with the New York Jets of the AFL was the largest ever signed by a graduating collegian. A tip off on the way the decision may go was seen in the fact that the Oilers have not had a representative present here this week while Green Bay has had its director of personnel Pat Peppler on the scene. Peppler said, "We picked Anderson a year ago as our first draft choice. Vince Lombardi really wants him, but we have not talked with him out of deference to his bowl eligibility and he has made no commitment to us." Blanchard said he had been in contact with Adams most of the day by telephone. The Houston owner said he did not intend to come to Jacksonville but would send a lawyer, Ernie Hurst. One source said Adams had given up hope of landing the Texas Tech star, who led the nation with a total of 5,103 yards gained in all categories.
DEC 31 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The accent has been on such as Jim Brown, Frank Ryan, Gary Collins and Paul Warfield, et al, the past week when the nation's foremost typewriter jockeys have paused to inventory the Cleveland Browns' arsenal for Sunday's title game, which is understandable. But there has been no more than passing mention of a paunchy old party who, judging by recent events, well could overshadow this high-priced talent in the climatic Lambeau Field production. The durable ancient, of course, is Lou (The Toe) Groza, who has scored more points than any man in pro football history - without ever carrying the ball or catching a pass. At 41, the oldest player in the NFL, the portly placement artist is an inevitable target for the rib from his teammates, but there is no levity, needless to say, about his kicking - least of all from Coach Blanton Collier. "When there is discussion about how long he can keep going," Browns Publicity Director Nate Wallack reported Thursday. "Blanton says he's not interested in Lou's chronological age. He says he can play for us until he's 57 if he can kick the way he has been." "And he's done a great job for us," Wallack, a Green Bay visitor since Wednesday, is nothing loath to point out. Documenting his declaration, he noted, "Lou is 15 for 23 on field goals this season and last year he was 22 out of 33, which is real good field goal kicking." "From the 45-yard line in, he's deadly," Wallack added. "He's had a 49-yarder and a 47-yarder this year. And he hasn't missed an extra point since the first game of the 1964 season, when a fumbled pass from center was responsible." All of which cannot contribute greatly to the Packers' peace of mind, particularly since they are vividly aware of how large the field goal has loomed in their recent past. The massive Ohioan (he was the greatest athlete in the history of Martins Ferry High School, where he captained the football, basketball and baseball teams) has not lost his zest for combat, although he now is exclusively a kicker, Wallack also informed. "He's still kicking off into the end zone - and he goes down after the kickoff and not infrequently makes the tackle," Nate said. "Last year in a game with Washington, he had his nose broken on a kickoff. Then, with his nose all over his bloody face, he went back in about five minutes later and kicked a field goal, which was quite an inspiration to our younger players." Sunday's soiree will be the burly Berea (Ohio) resident's ninth NFL title game, an all-time record. As a matter of fact, Wallack points out, "Lou owns every playoff record there is for kicking and scoring." For pertinent example, Groza has amassed 49 points on eight field goals in his eight previous appearances, more than double the total of the runnerup, the Pack's Paul Hornung, who is a distant second with 19. It was, it might be added, Lou's boot in the final 28 seconds that cemented the Browns' first NFL title in 1950, the year Paul Brown's All-American Conference alumni shaded the Los Angeles Rams, 30-28. And, nearly 20 years later, he's still ramming them home from near midfield. How long can this sort of thing go on? "He says he'll play as long as it's fun," Wallack reported, "and as long as he can do the job." The Browns' amiable advance man admits Lou, only pro player ever to score more than 1,000 points (1,361), is no longer svelte. "He has a little gut on him - he's not as lean as any of our athletes," Nate concedes, "but he does the job. He takes a lot of kidding about the paunch. Everybody kids him because of his age and his money. But he's very popular with our players." "Some of the other players will say, 'That's not his gut, that's just his moneybag he carries around,'" Wallack confided with a chuckle...FIRST GRANDFATHER?: This last, it develops, is not too far from the truth. "They'll never have to hold a benefit for him," Nate appended. "Lou has done very well. He has a lucrative insurance business - he's a very fine insurance salesman, he's a member of the public relations staff of the Diebold Company, he's active in a promotion for General Tire, and he owns two drycleaning stores." Groza, who will turn 42 next month, has played pro football longer than any other man, past or present. Lou, who missed the 1960 season when he "retired" after suffering a severe back injury in preseason training, but was persuaded by President Art Modell to return in 1961, is now in his 19th season. Which has prompted Modell to needle The Toe on occasion. "Lou has four children and Jeff, the oldest, is 12," Wallack explained, "and Modell says Groza may be the first grandfather ever to play in the NFL."
NO PREDICTION FROM COLLIER
JAN 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - As might be expected, scholarly Blanton Collier was giving little comfort to the enemy Saturday - or anyone else. Asked if he foresaw a low-scoring game in today's world title struggle in Lambeau Field, the Cleveland Browns' bespectacled headmaster shook his head and declared, "I have no idea. I'm just a football coach trying to prepare my team to execute." "That comes under the head of predicting," Collier, discoursing for the fourth estate in the Hotel Northland's NFL press headquarters, added. "Green Bay has a very fine defensive team and not a bad offensive team. Things can happen fast in pro football. Men get open and one or two touchdowns can change the complexion quickly. I really, frankly, don't have an opinion on it." Would the discovery that Bart Starr, recuperating from rib injuries, had been named to start at quarterback for the Packers make a difference in the Browns' approach? "It makes a difference in the sense that Starr is a great quarterback," Collier replied. "I've always had great admiration for Starr. He contributes a lot of things. He's good mechanically, his execution under game conditions has been outstanding and he is excellent at following a game plan. However, I have a high regard for Bratkowski (Zeke, the Pack's backup quarterback)," the Browns' resident genius appended with admirable diplomacy. "He has a strong arm and has the experience gained over whatever it is, eight or ten years in this league. Either of them will make the Packers a strong football team. They play as a unit and they do a number of things well. But Starr, I think, is the outstanding one." "I'm not making any changes," the ex-Kentucky coach emphasized, pointing out, "It's a team we're playing. They're both fine quarterbacks - we have to stop them as a team." "I think they're going to carry out the game plan that has been established, whoever is at quarterback. They're a well-organized football team and I think they will go with a definite game plan." How did he compare the Packers with the Colts, the Browns' victims (27-0) in last year's championship g game? "There's no way you can compare them, really. They're entirely different teams. Green Bay is noted for its running game, but one thing I think people overlook is that Green Bay is a well-balanced team. They also have a tremendous defense and a fine passing attack. Green Bay has three of the finest receivers in the league and two fine quarterbacks."...WARFIELD READY: "The Colts, of course, depend on their two quarterbacks (John Unitas and Gary Cuozzo) to move them by throwing the ball. In Hornung, Green Bay has one of the great option runners of all time, while in the Colts' Lenny Moore, you have a speedster. They are two very different teams." Only one member of the Browns' cast, offensive tackle Dick Schafrath, is a questionable participant in today's showing, Collier revealed in answer to another query, "The only thing you can do with a pulled muscle," he explained, "is wait and see how it is just before game time. But I'm planning on trying to start him." The mercurial Paul Warfield, sidelines most of the season with a shoulder injury incurred in the Browns' inaugural against the All-Stars, will open at left end and veteran Bernie Parrish at left cornerback, although the latter was held out of Saturday's practice at the Packers' South Oneida Street practice field because he has been suffering from a heavy cold "and I didn't want to take any chances," the Browns' major domo disclosed...NATURAL ATTITUDES: Did he think the fact that the Browns had clinched the Eastern Conference championship early and have had a two-week layoff, occasioned by last week's sudden death playoff in the West, might affect his athletes? Collier again sidestepped deftly, declaring, "I have no way of knowing that. All I know is I'm trying to prepare the team. Attitudes develop naturally. You assume everybody will be going all out with everything they've got in a championship game. If we play well," he added dryly, "they will say the rest helped us. And if we play poorly, they will say it was too long a layoff. It all depends on the frame of mind when they get to the game. And," he concluded, "how they get into the frame of mind, I don't know."
BATTLE-SCARRED PACKERS FAVORED FOR WORLD TITLE
JAN 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The battle-scarred
Packers vs. the well-rested Browns! That's the billing for the 33rd world's professional football championship game in Lambeau Field this afternoon. The Packers will be shooting for a record ninth world title while the Browns go for No. 5. The Packers won their Western Conference crown just last Sunday - in a fantastic 13-10 sudden death overtime battle with the Colts. The Browns won their Eastern Division bunting just about a month ago - with a 42-21 victory over the Steelers Nov. 28. Cleveland hasn't played since Dec. 19 when it whipped the Cardinals 27-24 in a final tuneup. Green Bay has been established as a 2-point favorite by the same experts who picked the Colts to wallop the Browns in the 1964 championship game. The Browns won it in a upsetting landslide, 27-0, at Cleveland. Kickoff is set for 1:10 and fans are urged to get there early. The NFL's premier attraction will be witnessed live by a capacity crowd of 50,582 and a record corps of 345 press, radio and television reporters from every major city in the county. Millions will see it on TV, in color, in the 50 states. Green Bay will be blacked out, though the game will be available on radio (WJPG). The Packers' slight edge might result from the Western Division's dominance of the East in interleague competition. In 14 games, the East won only one. But the West also had a healthy edge in '64, and the Browns blasted that theory eight ways to Sunday in the title game. The Packers are pretty well beat up and compared to the Browns they're hospital cases. They went through a grueling Western Division race - not to mention the five-quarter playoff. The Bays' injury list features Bart Starr, Jim Taylor, Paul Hornung and Boyd Dowler - all big namers. Starr suffered damaging injuries on the first play of the playoff and Coach Vince Lombardi waited until Saturday to announce that Starr will start. Starr recovered gradually during the week. Taylor, who has a groin injury; Hornung, shoulders and leg; and Dowler, shoulders and ankle, will play but they could be below 100 percent. The Browns, by contrast, are in the best shape they've been in all season, which means that Paul Warfield will be flying at split end. The speed burner, who suffered a broken collarbone in the All-Star game last August, has recovered completely. With two weeks off, all of the Browns' minor hurts have been healed. The Browns, however, came up with a last minute injury. Tackle Dick Schafrath developed a muscle pull Friday and his status won't be known until just before game time. His replacement would be John Brown, a four year veteran. Defensive back Bernie Parrish didn't practice Saturday because of a cold, but he will definitely start. Ironically, the two quarterbacks who presided when their teams sewed up the championships won't start. Jim Ninowski worked for the then-injured Dr. Frank Ryan when the Browns won it all at Pittsburgh, and, of course, Zeke Bratkowski did the job last Sunday. Based on season records, the game shapes up as a duel between the Browns' high-powered offense and the Packers' tight defense. The Browns averaged a shade under 25 points per game, while the Packers allowed an even 16. The Packer offense averaged 22.5 points per start and the Brown defense allowed an average of 23.2...$$ MEAN POINTS: A computer could do wonders with those figures, but the major figures today are preceded by a dollar sign. Each winning player will get around $8,000 and each loser will receive $85,000. These figures have a funny way of determining the points scored by each team. The Browns have the most feared attack in football and it's led by the awesome Jim Brown, who won the league rushing championship eight of the last nine years. Brown has turned into an accomplished pass receiver, what with 34 receptions last year, and he also throws on occasion. Brown's running mate is Ernie Green, a onetime Packers, and the aerial portion of Cleveland's attack is wrapped up in Ryan, Warfield, flanker Gary Collins and Johnny Brewer. Collins caught three TD passes in the '64 title game and was named the most valuable player. Perhaps it is fitting that the Packer defense will receive this last major challenge in the championship game. Ray Nitschke is the Packers' anti-Brown ringleader, while the defensive backfield, sparked by Willie Wood, will guard the airways. It is noteworthy that the Packers' injuries are concentrated on offense. But the Bays will still have to gain on the on the ground if they expect to break out in the air. This means that Hornung and Taylor - plus Tom Moore and Elijah - will have to gain if Starr's shots to Dowler, Carroll Dale and Billy Anderson are to work. The Packers' chances, as is always the case, boils right down to the folks up front. It will be up to Willie Davis, Lionel Aldridge, Henry Jordan and Ron Kostelnik to keep pressure on Ryan and it will be up to Bob Skoronski, Forrest Gregg, Jerry Kramer, Fred Thurston and Ken Bowman to keep Starr's uniform clean...KICKERS KEY FIGURES: The teams' two kickers could be key figures - Don Chandler, whose field goal put the Packers into the title game last Sunday, and Lou Groza, the Browns' everlasting "Toe." Both are deadly anywhere inside the 40. The weather? It doesn't make much difference since both teams will experience it. Just for the record, it might snow, it might blow about 15 miles worth, and it might be as warm as 25 degrees, which isn't bad for Jan. 2 in Green Bay.
COMMISSIONER DELIGHTED OVER ANDERSON SIGNING
JAN 1 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle Saturday pronounced himself "absolutely delighted" over the Packers signing of Texas Tec's fabled Donny Anderson. Holding forth at a Northland press conference shortly after his arrival from New York for today's title game between the Packers and Browns, the commissioner appended, "Anderson and Grabowski (Jim, University of Illinois All-American fullback) are two great ones. We've also got Tommy Nobis (signed by the fledgling Atlanta Falcons), who won the Outland award," he was quick to point out. Never one to pass up a commercial, the youthful NFL czar announced, "Going into yesterday, we had signed 159 from this year's draft and lost 35. And it's not only quantity, but quality - like Anderson, Grabowski and Nobis." Although astronomical sums ($600,000 has been the most frequently mentioned) have been listed as the major inducement, Anderson indicated the Packers players had been the primary influence in his decision. "When I talked to Anderson on the phone yesterday," Coach Vince Lombardi reported, "he told me I can thank my players for the fact that he's joining the Packers." Anderson, he said, was impressed by the team's members when he was a guest of the Packers at their game in Baltimore Dec. 12. "I didn't think we had a prayer of getting him," Lombardi added, "but the players I think sold him that weekend in Baltimore." One of them, Paul Hornung, said, "I'm glad we got him." Anderson, 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, said when he was formally signed about two hours after the Gator Bowl game Friday that "I want to play the best and right now I think the best is in the National League. This may not be true in five years or 10, but I'm going to play right now and I want to play the best. Money wasn't the main factor." Lombardi, although refusing to discuss the contract, did say, "He must play to earn his money." Asked whether the fabulous figures tossed about in connection with this year's draftees might be inflated, Rozelle replied, "Many of them I've seen are exaggerated." (Under NFL rules, all contracts must be submitted to the commissioner for approval.) "I thought the Anderson signing was pretty indicative," he continued. "The Packers signed him for quite a bit less than Houston (the AFL's Oilers, who also drafted the Packers' latest acquisition last year as a future) offered him. Many NFL clubs can sign players for considerably less than the AFL can because of our pension plan, our prestige and the fact we have been in business for 46 years. As you may have heard, Bud Adams (Houston owner) was quoted as saying he had offered Anderson $887,000." How much is the NFL pension likely to be worth to a player? "All I know is Anderson's attorney told me Pat Peppler (Packer personnel director, who signed Tech's two-time All-America to a three-year Green Bay contract) valued it at several hundred thousand dollars." The figure is necessarily flexible, Rozelle added, "because we have 60 percent of our pension plan invested in the stock market and 40 percent in annuities.
Many insurance people tell me that if the stock market continues to go up like it has the last 30 or 40 years, the pension will eventually amount to $800 a month for a five-year man." Are the pension benefits included in the figures announced as reported NFL club offers to draftees? The commissioner smiles and said, "That's a strong fringe benefit, over and above his contract. He automatically inherits it." He admitted, however, that the anticipated pension benefit might be included in some of the figures being hurled about...EVERYBODY IN BLACK: What if a player doesn't live to age 65? Wouldn't this possibility make the feature less attractive than a comparable cash bonus in hand? "There is a death benefit in it anyway," Rozelle replied. "The 40 percent invested in annuities will go to the widow." How long did he think the NFL could continue the bidding war? "Our clubs all made a profit this year," he said. "And we are getting increased revenue from television the next two years, so theoretically we can continue to pay for quality." Rozelle quickly discounted any likelihood that the title game will be permanently moved to Florida, as has been urged in some quarters. "We've talked about it, but we've never taken a serious vote on it," he revealed. "You'd have to change the constitution to do it. There's never been a serious discussion of it." Questioned about the NFL's decision to televise games into league cities where games are being played, the commissioner observed, "It was not a casual decision. We've been working on it more than a year - we've spent a lot of dough on a study of the situation. It's a two-year experiment."...TV RATINGS UP: Did he not think this might adversely affect the "live" gate in the cities
Don Chandler's first field goal, a game-tying 22-yarder with 1:58 remaining in regulation, remains controversial to this day. Baltimore fans claimed it sailed wide right. The kick, which flew high above the upright, actually triggered the league to extend the goal posts' height for the following season. Chandler’s game-winning field goal (seen above), at 13:39 of sudden death, ended the Packers' first-ever overtime game, and their only such playoff contest until 2003. His 25-yard kick sent Green Bay to the N.F.L. championship. Below is the coverage of the game from Sports Illustrated. (Credit - Packerville, USA)
Green Bay Packers QB Bart Starr (15) being helped off field during game vs Baltimore Colts at Lambeau Field. CREDIT: Neil Leifer (Photo by Neil Leifer /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
involved? "We feel there is so much interest in our clubs in their home cities - such as the city we're in and the city I'm from - New York, that they want to see their own club live, rather than watch another game on television. If we see it is injuries the clubs at the gate, we'll stop it. The club, of course, will have some say about the time the game will come in. Of course," he added, "you have televised football (the AFL) coming in right now." This, inevitably led to a discussion of ratings. "Our Nielsen ratings for the season - forgetting postseason games - were maybe 15 or 16, which is a slight increase over what he had last year. Last year, we had 14.8 or 15. Last Sunday, they were tremendous for us. We had an ARB rating between 4:45 and 5 p.m. eastern time, when the AFL was, I guess, in the first quarter of its championship. I think it was 26 to 1. (Figures provided him by one of the scribes bore him out, revealing the NFL with a 26.5 to 1.75 edge.) "That's not really fair," one writer chided, "because that was the beginning of the sudden death period." Grinning, Rozelle nodded agreement. "That's right," he said. "I think we ended up with an average 22 or 23 rating and they finished up with something like 14 or 15 after our game was over."