IRV COMP SIGNS FOR 1944 PACKER SEASON
JUL 5 (Green Bay) - Irv Comp, who passed his way into pro football stardom during his freshman year as a member of the Green Bay Packers, has accepted Coach E.L. Lambeau's terms for his second season with the Bays, it was announced today. The Milwaukee gridder, who played his college football at St. Benedict in Kansas, was the second player picked by Coach Lambeau in the 1943 National league draft. Nearly every club in the league was after Comp, but the Packer pilot beat the other coaches to the "bid" and Irv has more than lived up to the advance notices. Aside from his passing ability, Comp is a good ball carrier and a better than average punter. The Milwaukeean was on the spot any number of times last season but he always came through with flying colors. Football coaches are of the opinion that Comp will develop into one of the best passers in pro football history...HIGH POWERED BACK: Irv is built just right for a high powered back. He stands an inch over six feet and his football weight is about 205 pounds. Comp can step the 100 in 10 seconds and when he gets loose in the open field, he has a hip movement that fools the would-be tacklers. The Packers passer is 25 years old. He is married. The official National league records for 1943 placed Comp as the third best passer in the league. He was topped only by Sammy Baugh of Washington and Sid Luckman, the Chicago Bears' overhead expert...PASSED FOR SEVEN "TOUCHES": Comp completed 50 percent of his 92 passes for seven touchdowns and 662 yards gained. Only four of his tosses were intercepted and, in this respect, he topped the circuit. Irv's longest completed pass sailed some 79 yards. The Packer backfielder was also in the first division as a ball carrier. He lugged the pigskin 182 yards in 77 offensive jaunts. This was an average of 2.3 yards on each attempt. He got away on one prance for 27 yards.
NEW PRO LOOP TO START PLAY IN '45
JUL 6 (Pittsburgh) - Organization of a new professional football league, which may begin operation in the season of 1945, is expected to be completed at a meeting of representatives of 12 embryo teams at the Philadelphia Athletic club July 23. Dick Payne, Pittsburgh sportsman and acting head of the proposed league, said nine groups holding "certificates of operation" in the circuit and three others seeking admittance will be present. Teams now holding certificates are New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Akron, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Chicago. Teams seeking admittance include Honolulu, San Francisco and Buffalo.
NEW PACKER COACH PLAYED IN PRO GAMES' ROUGH DAYS
JUL 7 (Green Bay) - For 13 years starting in 1920, George Trafton swaggered in the center of the Chicago Bears' line, a truculent, blustery competitor, to whom diplomacy was just a nine letter word meaning a punch in the nose. Every team he played against attempted to make a deal for him, some in self defense. Trafton returns to professional football this fall after 12 years of retirement. It is a good thing for the game. Three Finger George's return is strictly in step with the rest of his career. He not only joins his archenemies, the Green Bay Packers, for whom he becomes line coach, but he made himself a candidate for the job by criticizing them in a chance meeting with their coach, Curly Lambeau. "What's wrong with that club of yours?" he demanded. "They don't scrap back like that old Green Bay crowd. Why right now, in this dinner jacket, I could chase those mugs out of the park." "You've got the job," Lambeau replied. "Show up in Green Bay August 20." Trafton will find things a little different from the way they were back there, say in 1925, when he played 30 games in one season. "Imagine," he says in amazement, "thirty-three players on one squad. Why, when I started with the Bears we had 15. You were hired to play a football game and you played it - all 60 minutes of it, brother. That Halas used to come into the dressing room and say: 'Now boys, this half Trafton will replace Trafton, Hunk Anderson will replace Hunk Anderson and Healy, you'd better replace Healy." In Rock Island, Ill., in 1920 the gamblers did a landoffice business, not on the outcome of the Bears-Independents game, but on whether Trafton would last out the 60 minutes. By way of insurance some of the public spirited citizens had imported a huge center by the name of Gunderson. "That Gunderson," says Trafton, "was the biggest, toughest Swede I ever saw. He knocked me out four times in the first half. But I lasted the 60 minutes. Every time I got knocked out Hughie Blacclock and Jerry Jones, our guards, would pick me up and stand me on my feet. They had a bet on me." Among other things Trafton, who began his collegiate career at Notre Dame, has a fling at prize fighting. As in football, Trafton took on all comers in the ring until he ran up against an offer for a bout against Frank Nesser, one of the fabulous seven Nessers of early professional football fame. The fact that the Nesser offer came early in his career explains why Trafton did not profess beyond the first stages of what his manager commonly calls his "pursuit of the heavyweight championship". Trafton explains it this way: "Eleven of the Bears ganged on that Nesser in 1926. We used everything but ice picks. After 60 minutes of it he walked off the Polo Grounds into a hospital. It wasn't that I was afraid of him, but I begin to wonder what I could possibly accomplish against him in there along in five rounds if 11 of us couldn't get him down in an entire afternoon. So I retired to think it over." So George Trafton returns to football, not the game he left, but football nevertheless. And it will do the game good to have him back.
TOLLEFSON, FORMER IOWA GUARD, SIGNS CONTRACT WITH PACKERS
JUL 8 (Green Bay) - Coach E.L. Lambeau has added another link to what is beginning to size up as another winning football machine with the signing of Charlie Tollefson, a rugged guard, who was one of the famous "Iron Men" that put Iowa across in the 1939 Western conference gridiron race. Tollefson was a teammate of Ens. Nile Clark Kinnick. Jr., All-American halfback, who as a Navy pilot aboard a carrier, met his death while fighting the Japs in the South Pacific. The new Packer lineman was recently discharged from the service. While in the Army, he kept his "foot" in football by playing with several soldier aggregations. Tollefson made his "I" three years running at the Hawkeye institution. He was a first stringer all the way and was frequently named for the Big 10 all-star selections...PRAISED BY ANDERSON: Eddie Anderson, coach of Iowa in 1939, was great booster for Tollefson, who he claimed was one of the best center flankers he had run across in collegiate football. Anderson piloted the Chicago Tribune All Stars in the game against the Packers in 1940, and Charlie was among the gridders that he used against Curly Lambeau's 1939 National league champions. News stories of that contest gave the Iowa guard high tribute for his outstanding play agains the Bays. The Packers triumphed in this gridiron classic by a 45-28 score. The lineman from Iowa is 28 yaears old. He goes an inch over six feet and weighs 210 at football "ringside". Tollefson is married. Service records list his hometown as Hanford, Wash.
SORENSON, GUDIE SIGN FOR '44 PACKER TEAM
JUL 11 (Green Bay) - Coach E.L. (Curly) Lambeau of the Green Bay Packers boosted his roster of signed players to an even dozen today with the announcement of contracts from Glenn Sorenson, Utah State guard, a "freshman" with the Bays in 1943, and Walter Gudie, who saw some service at Wisconsin in the backfield several years ago. The Packer pilot is expecting great things from Sorenson this fall as he figures George Trafton, the line coach, will roughen up Glenn enough so that he will be a tough customer out there on the forward wall. The Utah State product weighs 210 pounds and stands an inch over six feet. He is fairly fast for a big fellow and can pull out nicely to lead interference. Sorenson is 28 years old and lives in Salt Lake City. Due to a hunting accident while in high school which nipped a couple of fingers, Sorenson was turned down for war service. Sorenson is a kickoff specialist and his sky scraping boots often land the pigskin in the opponents' end zone. Under the new rulings against out-of-bound kickoffs, Sorenson's trick of kicking 'em in a straight line will be doubly valuable this season...MADE TRIP WITH PACKERS: Gudie, the Badger backfielder, made the preseason eastern trip with the Packers in 1943 but did not see any action. His grocery business connections in La Crosse prevented him from reporting here for the early drill. However, this season he has arranged to arrive for practice Aug. 20, and there is every expectation that he will make the grade. Gudie is a husky individual. He is a 210-pounder built on a six-foot frame. The former Badger is 28 years old, and played several seasons of Army football after leaving Wisconsin.
PACKER ROSTER RAISED TO 14 BY CROFT, WEBB
JUL 15 (Green Bay) - Coach E.L. Lambeau of the Green Bay Packers announced today that he had received the signed contracts of Milburn (Tiny) Croft, the huge tackle from Ripon who has been with the Bays for two years, and Henry (Babe) Webb, the backfielder from Hawaii, where he gained fame as a triple threat artist. The addition of these two gridders increases the ranks of signees to 14. The Packer mentor, however, will have to reap quite a contract harvest in the next four weeks if he wants to have all of his football family on the dotted line when practice starts Aug. 20. Webb mailed his contract from Clebourne, Texas, where he has been employed since visiting her with his wife this spring. The backfielder said he was feeling in the pink and eagerly awaiting the bugle call for practice...BARE-FOOTED PUNTER: The Packer recruit played his college football at New Mexico A. & M., and then hit the trail for Honolulu, where he coached and performed with the Hawaiian Polar Bears, a crack professional club. He got a lot of ink on the island for his bare-foot punting. He is 25 years old, weighs 185 pounds and stands about six feet. Last March, Webb received an honorable discharge from the Army Air corps. Webb accepted terms with the Packers in 1942 and again in '43, but each year transportation difficulties kept him on the island and he was unable to report. Last October, Babe got his papers cleared and worked his way back to the U.S.A. aboard a Pacific merchant ship...CHEESE PLANT WORKER: Croft has been working at a cheese plant here since the first of the year and he has got rid of all excess poundage. He will probably weigh in for gridiron action at about 275, which will still give him the heavyweight crown in the National league. If Tiny gets on the beam, he will probably see considerable service at the right tackle position. Coach Lambeau intendes to shoft him over from the left side on the line in hopes that the change of scenery will provide the necessary spark for him to go places. Croft is only 23 years old. His height is 6:3, and for a "man mountain", he gets around fairly fast. Wedding bells rang for him since the last football season. Tiny played his high school football in Chicago and three years on the varsity at Ripon. He reported to Washington in 1942 and made the preseason trip to the west coast with the Redskins. Soon after the league schedule got underway, the Packers secured Croft from Washington via the waiver route.
PACKERS MAY SEE ALL STAR CONTEST
JUL 17 (Green Bay) - The All Star game will be played at Evanston on August 30 and this date is O.K. with the Green Bay Packers because they will probably get a chance to see the fracas between the All Stars and the Chicago Bears, 1943 pennant winners in the National league. The Packers tackle Washington in Baltimore September 4 and it is quite possible that Coach E.L. Lambeau will arrange his traveling schedule so that the All Star game will be the first stopoff of the eastern trip.