Detroit Lions (4-8) 21, Green Bay Packers (2-10) 7
Sunday December 11th 1949 (at Detroit)
marked the lowest spot in the history of the club. Tony Canadeo, in spite of the mud laced terrain and the Lion defense, which held the Packers to 97 yards rushing, raised his total for the season to 1,040 or five yards per try. His career book is 3,616, and leaves him 244 behind Clarke Hinkle, holder of the Packer record. Against the Lions, Canadeo, who was chief agent in the Packers defeating Detroit, 16-14, at Milwaukee Oct. 30, carried 17 times for 58, with his longest advance 10. Canadeo ran the ends, straight bucked, slashed off tackle and took a turn at pass receiving as his afternoon chores. If ever a Packer got a workout, Canadeo did. In spite of Canadeo's overland offerings, the sole Packer touchdown came in the second period after Detroit had counted in the first on a 64-yard pass-run touchdown play involving Frank Tripucka and Robert Mann. Tripucka decided to kick from his 24 with the Lions ahead, 7-0. Dan Orlich threw himself across the line of flight after coming in from the left end with a speed that deceived Tripucka, who thought he had all the leeway needed. The ball caromed off Orlich into the end zone. Tackle Glenn Johnson merely touched it down without a Detroit player in sight and Ted Fritsch's kick tied the score. Strangely enough, the Packers were never closer to a touchdown from scrimmage than the 24 in the third and Fritsch missed a placekick from the 33. Detroit festooned an 85-yard campaign in the fourth with Mann accepting a pass by an overhead catch and skipped into the end zone untouched after other passes to Mann and Bill Dudley were instrumental in ferrying Detroit to the Bays' 41. In spite of the fact fate played a trick on Earl Girard. His punting was a factor in containing Detroit to three touchdowns in every period but the fourth. Green Bay had reached it 42 in the fourth, a foot shy of first down after Detroit led, 14-7. Instead of rushing for the foot, Girard tried a pass and Lester Bingaman, Detroit guard, threw him back to the 30 for a 12-yard loss. When Girard punted, the ball was a trifle low and went to Bill Dudley, veteran Detroit halfback, on his 33. With the aid of a block or two, Dudley sped down the sideline evading a maze of Packer tacklers to score the decisive touchdown and followed up by a conversion that gave him 81 points for the season. Girard's choice was costly in this instance and his kicking likewise. Otherwise he had a 43 average and one covered 72 yards and out of bounds on the Detroit four in the second period. The Lions never recovered and it led indirectly to a series of plays that produced the Packer tally. Girard sent four kicks out of bounds, one on his 41, another on the Lion 13, another on the four and again on the 15. When Wallace Triplett brought back one boot 28 yards from the Lion 20 in the second, Girard kicked two others in the end zone. Such alertness, however, did not reach its full reward as he booted wrong to Dudley who turned it in the banner play of the contention. The Packers found one surprise waiting for them; they ran into a vastly improved pass defense that kept Girard to 11 completions in 30 for 80 yards. Over the years, the Packers have thrown more than one good Lion team into utter confusion by their overhead methods. One novelty was attendance, the other the lights. The Lions have been using Briggs Stadium since 1937. Yesterday's attendance of 12,576 was the smallest on record. The teams drew only 14,055 in 1947 and 15,045 in 1948. The lights were turned on at 2:40, Green Bay time. By that hour, it was so dark and the players so muddy that only the boys with the keenest vision were able to note what was going on. Even the players had difficulty as the day grew blacker and blacker. It was the first time in the history of local professional football that lights were called for at a day game. They came on at the 14-minute mark of the third period and brought a long cheer from the crowd and approval from the players.
GREEN BAY -   0   7   0   0  -   7
DETROIT   -   7   0   0  14  -  21
1st - DET - Bob Mann, 64-yard pass from Frank Tripucka (Bill Dudley kick) DETROIT 7-0
2nd - GB - Johnson recovered a blocked punt in the end zone (Fritsch kick) TIED 7-7
4th - DET - Mann, 41-yard pass from Tripucka (Dudley kick) DETROIT 14-7
4th - DET - Dudley, 67-yard punt return (Dudley kick) DETROIT 21-7
GREEN BAY 'COUNTY SEAT' OF GRID SECTOR
DEC 12 (Green Bay) - Green Bay is the "county seat" of the new National division of the National-American Football league. There won't be any courthouse, but there will be a judge, so to speak - Emil R. Fischer, the Green Bay man who was appointed president of the National division when the NFL and All-American conference officially merged at 2:30 Friday afternoon. Selection of Fischer by League Commissioner Bert Bell means that the headquarters of the National division will be in Green Bay. The headquarters of the American division will be in Cleveland - home of Daniel Sherby, an official of the Cleveland Browns. Fischer's new assignment will not interfere in any way with his duties as president of Green Bay Packers, Inc. - a post he has held since 1947. Fischer has been assured of that by Bell. What are Fischer's duties in his new capacity? The new prexy will call presidents of the National division together periodically to discuss matters within the division, Fischer said today. Any problems that cannot be worked out, of course, will be referred to the pro football czar in Philadelphia...MAKEUP OF DIVISIONS: What about disputes and touchy problems within the division? "We'll (the National division) try to iron them out first. If we can't, the dispute or what not will be taken directly to Mr. Bell," Fischer pointed out, adding that "the commissioner naturally is the last word in professional football matters." National division meetings, of course, will be held in Green Bay. "I don't see how I can make my headquarters anywhere else," Fischer smiled. Green Bay was still buzzing today with comments on the dramatic merger, which ended a four-year war of dollar bills between the two circuits. The "marriage" came about after only 48 hours of courting between Bell and a representative of the conference, J. Arthur Friedlund. The chief talk centered around the makeup of the two divisions. Though the commissioner must still work out the two sectors with club officials, the usual report or rumor had the two divisions made up as follows: National - Green Bay, Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Pittsburgh. American - Baltimore, Cleveland, Chicago Cardinals, Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York Bulldogs...STARTS SEPT. 17, 1950: The new league season will start Sunday, Sept. 17, 1950. Bell indicated today that each team in the new circuit will be idle at least once during the season when the merged loops begin functioning next fall. In each division, six teams will play home and home schedules, allowing for 10 games of the proposed 12-game card. One game will be played against a "natural rival" from the other division for the 11th game. Baltimore will play every other league team once to complete the 12th game for all. The next big step will be the league's draft meeting scheduled for Philadelphia in January. At that time, the 13 clubs will hold a complete new draft (NFL clubs had drafted three player each earlier) and players of the now defunct Buffalo Bills, Chicago Hornets and Los Angeles Dons will be "distributed"...WON'T PLAY FOR PEANUTS: The players are watching the new setup with particular interest. Though Bell feels that the new organization ends the ruinous price war for choice material, he believes that "it doesn't mean the men will play for peanuts." "Economic conditions will take care of everything," he said. "I have no idea what range the new player salaries will take, because that can now be decided by the owners in terms of only the player's drawing and earning power." He added, "The players won't be caught in any squeeze."
THE PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL MERGER
DEC 12 (Green Bay) - The merger of the two professional football leagues means a lot to Green Bay and to every other city where professional football is played. In fact, it is a great thing for all elements of professional football including the players. There is a tendency on the part of some to regard the merger as a life-saver for Green Bay and as a means of reducing player salaries. The truth is that every city in each league could see ruin ahead unless the cut-throat competition was ended. Many players had been able to boost their earnings because of the unlimited bidding for talent between the two leagues but that was not good for all players. A salary scale that threatened the existence of many teams was certainly not good for anyone. Green Bay will share in the general benefits which will come to all members of the new league. A great many players will become available through the elimination of some clubs and the consolidation of others. This should make it possible for the Packers to build a much stronger team next year. However, Green Bay was singled out for special honor and prestige when E.R. Fischer, president of the Packer corporation, was named president of the National division of the new league. No one knows yet what the division of the league will be or what the duties of the president of the divisions will entail. It may take a season or two of actual operation to determine such details. Nevertheless, it must be plain to all that Green Bay is rated as an important anchor post in the new structure, and that the leaders of professional football have put a high rating on the character and ability of Mr. Fischer. These are honors which Green Bay is happy to receive as it pushes forward with its own particular football problems which are still of major proportions.
CLEVELAND LUKEWARM TO PRO FOOTBALL PEACE
DEC 12 (Cleveland) - Professional football's peace is not a full fledged fact so far as Cleveland's Browns are concerned. Paul Brown, dapper coach and general manager of the club which Sunday won its fourth straight All-America conference title, said Monday the Browns might not field a team next fall. "Unless we get out of last week's merger of the American and National leagues what we need in personnel to fill our gaps," he said, "plus a place in the division with the better clubs, we'll not be interested in the new league and we'll be out of business." Brown said his contract with owner Arthur (Mickey) McBride - a personal contact - gave him complete control over football policy. He added that McBride would concur should he decide to fold the tent here. "We've earned the right to play the top clubs, the ones that will draw," Brown said. "Cleveland is entitled to see the best. Our fans want to see us against Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago Bears, New York Giants and the Detroit Lions - and that's the division we want in if the league is split up that way." Brown also indicated the peace agreement was not a merger, but a capitulation by some of the All-America clubs and he feared that in future matters the three All-America survivors might be on the sort end of a 10-3 vote.
BERT BELL QUOTED AS FAVORING 16 TEAMS
DEC 12 (Buffalo) - Bert Bell, commissioner of the new National-American Football league, was quoted by the Buffalo Courier-Express Sunday as saying that he would like to find enough "sound franchises" to
expand the league to 16 teams. This would mean an organization similar to big league baseball, Bell said, with the champions of two divisions meeting for the national title and the eight members of each division sticking to their own backyards through the regular season. Bell's comment came when he was asked by telephone about Buffalo's chances of getting a franchise, provided the necessary funds were raised. Earlier, owner Jim Breuil of the Buffalo Bills, merged with the Cleveland Browns under Friday's pro football peace, said in a radio interview here that he would "please the case" of any financially responsible group seeking a Buffalo franchise. Breuil declared that such a group would need $250,000 "on the line" before the league's meeting January 19. Bell was quoted as saying that the present 13 team league will present enough schedule problems, and that 14 clubs could be worse. He did not elaborate. "If, however, we could get enough sound franchises to expand the league to 16 teams, Buffalo would be an ideal applicant."
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(DETROIT) - For Green Bay, a new era of professional football begins today as a note is made of another that died here Sunday in the gathering blackness and bleakness of a rain periled brief December afternoon. When the Packers take the field in 1950, they will be playing in the new National-American Football league - a welding of the NFL and All-America last Friday after both circuits decided that football was becoming a financial luxury to which both were becoming unaccustomed. Their closing formal appearance in the old league, after membership since 1921, was a defeat at the hands of Detroit, 21-7, the seventh time the Lions managed to win in a 16-year relationship against 26 victories for Green Bay. While it was strictly involuntary on the Packer side, their setback was a grand lift for the Lions, who had been in the Western division cellar for three season. The victory placed the Lions fourth and the Packers fifth. For Green Bay, it