Wisconsin field since 1942. The occasion, of course, will be the Packer-Ram duel at the Bay. Seven years ago the Badgers had what many still claim was the greatest team in the history of the school. A key to the happy situation was Hirsch, then in his sophomore and, as things turned out, his last season. Putting it mildly, it was unfortunate that the Wausau wonder boy was unable to follow a normal pattern throughout his athletic career. The war, which changed many things for many people and even more seriously, was responsible. In the case of Hirsch, it probably prevented him from going down in history as one of the superstars, at least of his time if not all time...SOME LONG, TOUGH SEASONS: Hirsch still may scale the heights, with professional ball as the vehicle. And if he does, it will be strictly the hard way and merit, for there wasn't too much in the last six years to help him make up for the might-have-been seasons - the junior and senior campaign he didn't experience at Wisconsin. Crazy Legs moved over to Michigan as a marine trainee in 1943. But it was wartime football, which few people, looking back, take too seriously today. The situation was much the same when he was a big wheel with the El Toro Marines. It was service ball, you know. The Chicago All-Star game of 1946 gave Hirsch a brief chance to prove again that he was a big timer. He made the most of it by leading the collegians to a 16 to 0 victory over his present team, the Rams. Then came three dark years with the Chicago Rockets. If ever a situation was impossible, that was it. No one player had a chance. Hirsch was all but battered right out of football. Now he's off to a fresh start with the Rams, working harder than the most ambitious rookies and really clicking. Already his new coach, Clark Shaugnhessy, has labeled him "the best back in football". Wausau folks reached that conclusion a long time ago. Needless to say, they'll be out in force Sunday to see their judgment confirmed and help Elroy celebrate homecoming...PACKERS IN HIGH SPIRITS DESPITE DEFEAT: The Packers, naturally, are planning to give the returning native the roughest kind of homecoming reception. Through the winter months they wanted him on their side and did everything in their power to keep him close to home. But their efforts failed - a failure they hope Hirsch will have cause to regret. From all reports, Hirsch and his fellow Rams will be facing a spirited Packer club which snapped out of it quickly after last week's defeat by the Bears and went to work like so many college sophomores. The fact that a couple of veterans, Clyde Goodnight and Bob Flowers, got the pink slip treatment early in the week might have had something to do with it. But close observers at the Bay are inclined to give weight to these happier factors: 1 - The players' confidence in themselves as a result of giving the Bears a tough time; 2 - The fans' renewed faith and acceptance of the showing as a job well done; 3 - The players' belief in Jug Girard as a quarterback and his ability to make the passing attack a real thing. A capacity crowd for Sunday's game is in prospect but was not yet assured late Thursday, when it was announced that about 5,000 tickets (in all price brackets) were still available.
LAMBEAU QUITS AS COACH OF GREEN BAY PACKERS
SEPT 30 (Green Bay) - Earl L. (Curly) Lambeau stepped down as head coach of the Green Bay Packers Friday after 30 years in the job. He said that he would continue as vice president and general manager of the Packer Corporation, but would turn over all field work to his three assistants - line coach Tom Stidham, backfield coach Bob Snyder and defensive coach Charley Brock. The veteran coach, who established the Packers in 1919 and who has coached them continuously since, said he would devote all of his time to rebuilding and to the "manifold duties" connected with his position in the front office. "Under this arrangement," he said, "I feel I can do the ball club more good. My one aim is to have a solid, spirited organization from the waterboy on up and to build the Packers into a championship club again." Conceivable under this arrangement, he could return as head coach in the future if he wanted to. Announcement of the change in Packer policy after 30 years in which the club won six world championships under Lambeau and finished out of the first division for the first time last year, followed a special meeting of the club's executive committee Monday night. "It was a complete surprise to the executive committee," said Emil B. Fischer, club president. "Lambeau called the meeting himself. Curly feels he can be of greater service to the club under the new arrangement and we on the committee could not dissuade him. Curly, it must be remembered, has been coaching in the toughest football league in America for 30 years and I think all of us realized that someday, the way the business has grown, a time would come when he would have to delegate some of his duties. We feel he could not have picked three better men than Stidham, Snyder and Brock to put his plan into effect." The Packers last year had their most dismal season in the club's long history, winning only three out of 12 league games. They dropped their league opener this year to the Chicago Bears last Sunday after winning only two of their five exhibition games. They will play the Los Angeles Rams here Sunday.
RAMS ARE FAVORITES TO BEAT GREEN BAY
SEPT 30 (Green Bay) - Clark Shaugnnessy's Los Angeles Rams, with Elroy Hirsch in their cast, ruled 10 point favorites Friday to do the same thing to the Green Bay Packers at Green Bay Sunday that the Chicago Bears did a week ago. Whether the Rams are quite the team the Bears are, or at least were last week, remains to be seen, but they certainly are a team of much greater potential than Green Bay. The team bulges with material. Except for the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles probably has the best balanced layout in the National league - an active and tremendous line that averages 229 pounds from end to end and a starting backfield of Bob Waterfield, Hirsch, Paul (Tank) Younger and Dick Hoerner, that averages 207 pounds and that in all-around ability and youth perhaps yields only to the Cardinals. So the Packers must go uphill again Sunday. The Packers did one of their great jobs of recent years in the bruising battle with the Bears a week ago, waging an almost even fight despite the complete absence of an air arm. It was a remarkable effort for a team that had had only ordinary success in its exhibition games. There must be a question, though, whether they can come up with something like this week after week. And anything less than what they did against the Bears will not be enough Sunday, and even that may not be enough. Hirsch, whom the Packers tried so hard to get last summer, has been little less than terrific with the Rams. Shaughnessy himself calls him one of the great halfbacks of this era. "I had Jay Berwanger at the University of Chicago, and some corking good boys at Stanford (Gallarneau, Standlee, Alberts and Kmetevic) and some of them I though were in the class by themselves, Berwanger especially. But Hirsch belongs right up there with him, or them." Hirsch has been the wheel horse in every game the Rams have played so far, and they include a 24-24 tie with the Philadelphia Eagles in an exhibition and a 27-24 victory over the Detroit Lions in the league opener at Los Angeles last week. Against the revitalized Lions he accounted for 71 of Los Angeles' 161 yards on the ground and two of three touchdowns. Against the Eagles, he scored one touchdown and intercepted the pass in the closing minutes which halted Philadelphia's last bid to break the tie. At Green Bay, the work all week has been on passing - on passing and on pass defense, for with Waterfield, Norman Van Brocklin and Bob Thomason in the invading cast the ball will surely be thrown around freely. Green Bay last Sunday for the first time in its history failed to complete a single pass. Girard, who played an outstanding game at quarterback against the Bears, especially has received attention. The Rams, 32 strong, arrived in Chicago by air from Los Angeles Thursday night and will remain there until Saturday morning when they will continue to Green Bay. The makeup of the squad was unusual: Eight ends, four tackles, four guards, three centers and 13 backs.
LAMBEAU TURNS OVER REINS TO AIDES 'FOR TIME BEING'
OCT 1 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Curly Lambeau, founded of the Green Bay Packers and only head coach in the club's 30 year history, has stepped down, or taken a leave - which interpretation is correct still is a matter of conjecture. Arrangements for putting the three assistant coaches - Tom Stidham, Bob Snyder and Charlie Brock - in charge of field operations were made at a meeting of the executive committee Monday night. But announcement was withheld until Friday. At that time, it also was revealed that Lambeau had called the meeting and had insisted on the change in Packer policy. Speculation centers around conflicting points in the official announcement and Lambeau's own statement. According to word from the front office, "Lambeau is stepping down as head coach for the time being." That leaves the door open for Curly to take over again when he so chooses. George Strickler, assistant general manager, bore out that view when he stated emphatically: "Curly did not step down as head coach. He merely handed the field operations over to the three assistant coaches. That is nothing new. The Chicago Cardinals have a two-man staff and the Bears for many years have had a similar arrangement, with George Halas in charge of all operations." The thought that Lambeau is saying goodbye forever to coaching in order to devote full time to the duties of vice president and general manager stems from his own words, which follow: "Under this arrangement I feel I can do the ball club more good. The duties of major club officers, especially the head coach and general manager, have increased so much in recent seasons that it is impossible for one man to do justice to three positions. I have three of the outstanding assistants in football and I know they can carry on the field operations successfully, leaving me to do what must be done to get Green Bay back in the championship class. My one aim is to have a solid, spirited organization from the waterboy on up and to build the Packers into a championship club again. And that is exactly what we intend to do under this new arrangement."...CAN SERVE IN ADVISORY COACHING CAPACITY: As vice president and general manager, of course, Curly would have the right as well as duty to serve in an advisory coaching capacity. But there's a wide difference between an advisory coach and a hard driving head man. If he isn't to stay in the driver's seat, just what is the plan? Will it continue to be a coaching triumvirate? Will one of the three assistants ultimately be elevated? Or will a new head coach be brought into the picture? All are possibilities. It must be true that the overall job has become too big and too tough for Lambeau or any other man. It was bad enough when he scouted, hired, fired and handled all the details accompanying those operations in addition to assuming responsibility for coaching in a sport becoming more complicated and more technical every year. Then came Rockwood Lodge, which the Packers purchased as permanent training and living quarters more than two years ago. The purchase was Lambeau's idea and became his headache, for it was his to manage completely. Which meant housing, feeding, watching over and even entertaining a large group of players recruited from colleges and universities the nation over. There may or may not be any truth to the report that Lambeau's health, supposedly cracking under the strain, had something to do with his decision. It's an understandable angle...REBUILDING JOB APPARENT LAST FALL: The need for a rebuilding job to which Lambeau now plans to devote his time, became apparent last year when the Packers dipped far down into the second division for the first time. Some of the games were downright sour. After one game practically all the players were fined a half game salary. Whether or not those fines were remitted later never was revealed, by the way. Crowds fell off. Assistant coaches were fired at season's end. This season has been no better to date from the standpoint of total results. But the team did win new friends and influence old, even while losing the league opener to the ancient enemy, the Bears, last Sunday. So there was and is hope than an upswing is in progress. Lambeau, who brought six pro championships to Green Bay, has not been a riot in the popularity league. There are many, in Green Bay as well as other sections of the state, who long have been of the opinion that rebuilding should start with the head coach...OTHERS BLAME ROCKWOOD LODGE: Others insist the gradual decline can be traced to the aforementioned Rockwood Lodge. Among them are former Packer players who believe firmly that the old Green Bay spirit disappeared when the loge was acquired. "Give the players back to the citizens of Green Bay," is their theme song. Some point to the complex big business nature of pro football today - the competition for sure-fire stars, the financial problems and so on - as the real reason for the swing toward the rocks. Regardless, it's still a fact that the old order has changed, either "for the time being" or from now on. And that's the biggest news out of Green Bay since the Packers first hit the big time and brought national attention to that city and state.
BAYS, MINUS LAMBEAU, MEET RAMS
OCT 1 (Green Bay) - All the props have been set for the enactment of a strange scene here Sunday for the first time in professional football history the Green Bay Packers will take the field without their founder, Curly Lambeau, either in the lineup or on the sidelines. Lambeau, now 51 and fighting to lift the club back into the first division, will let three assistant coaches direct play. Los Angeles, with the outstanding personnel in the league, is in itself enough of an attraction to make the contest something out of the ordinary in Green Bay. It features Elroy Hirsch, a Wisconsin boy. But Lambeau's decision Friday to delegate the actual coaching of the team to Tom Stidham, Bob Snyder and Charlie Brock relegated the great Hirsch to a mere co-starring role. Green Bay expects its Packers to give a good account of themselves. The story, however, will all be wrapped up by sundown Sunday in the passing columns. Green Bay did not complete a pass last week. For the past five days every workout has been devoted to an aerial attack. Key men in the attack are Jug Girard, who will start at quarterback again, Jack Jacobs and Stan Heath.
COACHING THE PACKERS
OCT 1 (Green Bay) - Coach Curly Lambeau has turned over the on-the-field coaching and the actual game direction of the Packers to his coaching staff. As we understand the announcement he will devote most of his time to the business management of the corporation. No one, not even Mr. Lambeau, can say just what this will mean and we are not going to speculate upon it. From the public point of view, it seems that the nervous, colorful, driving figure that has trampled the grass in front of the Packer bench for so long will disappear. Such advice as he may have to offer will come largely through conference. That is a visible loss we can all see. The change, through, will go much deeper. Those who know the vibrant story of the Packers realize that there would have been no Packer team but for Lambeau. He created the Packers and he kept them a hard, striving, fighting power in the professional football world for 30 years. During these years as playing-coach, general manager and coach, he led his team to six national championships, and only once in the three decades did the Packers finish out of the first division. It is a record hard to beat. It should be remembered though, that in the early years, Lambeau had to operate with little money and therefore less talent than any other first division team. Lambeau has made a tremendous contribution to the life and the interests of the people of Green Bay and the state of Wisconsin. The change he is making came through his suggestion. He is still the coach, but has given himself a new assignment.