LAW OF AVERAGE ON PACKERS' SIDE
DEC 5 (Los Angeles-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Green Bay Packers feel that they have the law of averages on their side for Sunday's crucial football battle against the Los Angeles Rams in the Coliseum. The Rams will enter the game with eight straight victories over the Packers under their belts - a string that started in the second game in 1948. The Packers blanked the Rams, 16-0, in the opener that year in Green Bay but the Rams took the nightcap in Los Angeles, 24-10. The Rams roared to lopsided victories the next three years, 48-7 and 35-7 in '49, 45-14 and 51-14 in '50 and 28-0 and 42-14 in 1951. The two clubs didn't play a close one until last Oct. 12, when the Packers lost one of those "once in a lifetime" games, 30 to 28. The Bays held a 28-6 lead with three minutes gone in the fourth quarter when the Rams went on a 24-point rampage. The Packers proceeded to win five of their next seven games and place themselves in a contending position - one game behind the Rams. The Rams lost only one game since the narrow victory over the Packers - a 24-16 decision to Detroit. The Rams, currently deadlocked with Detroit atop the conference standings with 7-3 records, are favored by about 10 points to defeat the Packers. The Packers and San Francisco are tied with 6-4 marks. Detroit plays the Chicago Bears in Detroit Sunday. The Packers will be without the services of fullback Fred Cone, place kicking specialist who was injured Thanksgiving day against Detroit and did not make the trip west. Cone will be replaced by Lindell Pearson, a former Detroiter who can play both offense and defense. With Cone hone, the Packer fullback chores will be handled by two rookies, Bill Riechardt of Iowa and Bobby Jack Floyd of TCU. The Packers worked on defense this afternoon in Gilmore stadium. Their biggest task will be holding down the Rams' powerful passing attack - and especially Elroy Hirsch, who is coming back strong after early season injuries. Norm Van Brocklin has been handing most of the passing, although Bob Waterfield likely will see plenty of action. The Packers, headquartering at the Hollywood-Roosevelt here, will remain in Los Angeles next week to prepare for the San Francisco game.
PACKER DEATH EXAGGERATED: 'TEX' TWAIN
DEC 5 (Green Bay) - Tex Reynolds, the nationally-known humorist and columnist from the Racine Journal Times, liked the Packers' escape from death to Mark Twain's famous quote - "The Story of My Death has been greatly exaggerated" - at the weekly meeting of the Men's Quarterback club at East High school auditorium last night. The public speaking expert recalled "that period when just about everybody in Wisconsin had the Packers dead and buried," but added, "I'm sure the story of the Packers' death has been greatly exaggerated." Reynolds was referring to the 1948-49 period when the Bays were losing games and money hand over fist and in danger of collapsing. Introduced by chief quarterback Ted Fritsch, Reynolds brought forth the story about the golf match between SS Peter and Paul on the Heavenly course - "They each got a hole in one on the first hole and followed with the same kind of shooting on the next few holes. Finally, St. Paul said, 'Look, Pete, let's cut out the miracle.'" Tex, of course, was referring to the Packers' present upsurge in the NFL, saying, "The Packers are as close to a miracle as they could ever come in view of their immediate past seasons." Reynolds, who generally watches the Packers play in Milwaukee and rarely misses a broadcast, said he thought the new boys like Parilli, Howton, Johnson, Logan and otehrs were "doing a great job." He touched on the Bear castoffs, too. "I hear that all over the state, about the Packer picking up former Bears, but can you imagine where the Packers would be bow without Bray, Serini, Keane and some of the others." Reynolds, who has struck up a fine friendship with Don Hutson, the Packer immortal who is now in business in Racine, brought some interesting quotes from Hutson. "And I supposed you'd be interested in what Don thinks of your Bill Howton (the Packers' pass-catching end, who has been likened to Hutson.) Don says he sees no limit to what Howton can do in the pro league. 'He's got good timing, he can get out in the open and he's got sticky fingers,' Huston said." Reynolds quoted Hutson as saying that "Parilli is the best T-formation quarterback I've ever seen, but you won't see the real Parilli until the Packers are able to get more halfbacks." Speaking of Tony Canadeo, the Packers' great halfback who is playing his last season, Reynolds quoted Don as saying this: "Of all the players I've known, Canadeo was unique in that he gave everything he had on every play; that can't be said about any other players, including myself." Charley Brock, president of the Packer Alumni association which sponsors the QB clubs, thanked members of the Alumni and the quarterbackers for their cooperation in making the current season a success. Since the Packer-Lion game pictures were not back from California yet, the Packer-Texan game was shown. Fritsch said that it is hoped to show the Packer-Lion and Packer-Ram game pictures next Thursday night.
POOL FEARS COMPLACENCY ON RAM TEAM
DEC 5 (Los Angeles) - Hampton Pool, the old spoilsport, keeps hammering away at his Rams that the NFL's western division race still is a four-horse contest, that anything can yet happen...and (sob!) probably will. The kill-joy coach is scared half to death that complacency, a highly contagious disease which has proved practically fatal to a few ball clubs this year, will prove the undoing of his troops on the eve of their finest hour...STATISTICAL INJECTION: Dr. Pool has inoculated the Rams with Green Bay statistics having do with the aerial antics of Bill Howton, Babe Parilli, Tobin Rote and Bob Mann. He figures maybe the shock treatment will help some. He has left them with the sobering thought that if the Dallas Texans can beat the Chicago Bears (who beat Detroit, the 49ers and Green Bay), the only sure way to avoid defeat is to draw a bye. But the Rams don't have a bye Sunday; they gotta play the Packers. Gene Ronzani's Green Bays, along with the 49ers, are only a game behind the Lions and Rams (7-3-0), and with two rounds of play remaining any one of the four teams could win the pennant outright...SAME SITUATION: The same situation held on the very last round last year, with the Rams, Bears, 49ers and Lions in contention. With all the precincts heard from, Los Angeles was nominated; the 49ers and Lions tied for second, half a game behind, and the Bears wound up in fourth place, merely one game in arrears. The possible win-lose-tie combinations involving the four current contenders are too numerous to mention; suffice to say that it could happen here. Sunday will be your last look at Tony Canadeo in moleskins. After 11 years of sterling service, the Packer halfback is hanging 'em up. Like Bob Waterfield, he means it this time. Tony said the biggest thrill of his career came when Green Bay beat the Bears at Wrigley field this season for the first time since 1941 - the year he broke in as a rookie...BEST OPPOSITION: The ex-Gonzaga flash, who has more skin than hair on his dome, was asked to name the greatest players he faced. Here they are: Baugh, Luckman, Stydahar, Standlee, Dudley, Benton, Filchock, Matheson, Waterfield, McAfee, Hewitt, Van Buren and Bray. Canadeo and Ray Bray, the old Bear middle guard, now are roomies when the Packers travel. Bray, who can do 50 pushups with his right arm, said he'd put in with Tony on that all-time list, but added the name of Wilkin, Hein, Goldenberg, Letlow, Barbour and Kinard, and allowed as how the hardest runner he ever tackled was Green Bay's immortal Clarke Hinkle. Bray is an 11-season vet himself.
PACKERS EYE 'MUST' WIN
DEC 5 (Los Angeles) - The Los Angeles Rams will tote a string of eight straight victories over Green Bay into their Sunday clash with the Packers as the two teams battle to stay in contention for the National Conference lead. The Rams, currently deadlocked with Detroit atop the conference standings with 7-3 records, are favored to clip the Wisconsin club which last beat the Coast team in 1948. A win is a must for the Packers, however, if they are to remain in the standings' upper bracket. The Packers will be without the services of fullback Fred Cone, place-kicking specialist, who was injured Thanksgiving Day against Detroit and did not even make the trip west. He will be replaced on the 33-man roster by Lindell Pearson, a defensive halfback picked up from Detroit, with rookies Bobby Jack Floyd and Bill Reichardt handling the offensive chores. The Packers, drilling here daily for the past week, will have a revenge motive in the clash. In their first meeting of the year, at Milwaukee, Green Bay held a 28-6 lead with three minutes gone of the fourth quarter, but the Rams wiped it out with a terrific rally to win, 30-28. Green Bay will remain on the coast to wind up the season next week at San Francisco.
PACKERS TACKLE CHAMPION RAMS IN 'MUST' CONTEST
DEC 6 (Los Angeles) - The Green Bay Packers, bolstered by the telegraphed good wishes of hundreds of fans back home, face the world champion Los Angeles Rams in a crucial National conference football game in the giant Coliseum here Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 4 o'clock, Green Bay time, and a crowd of 60,000 or more - with good weather - is expected. The two teams - each with a chance for the National conference championship - will enter the contest knowing the result of the important Chicago Bear-Detroit Lion game in Detroit. This game starts at 1 o'clock, Green Bay time...TIED FOR FIRST PLACE: The Rams and Detroit are tied in first place with 7-3 records while the Packers and San Francisco Forty Niners are knotted in second place with 6-4 marks. The Forty Niners will be meeting Pittsburgh in Frisco Sunday. A four-way tie is possible if all goes as the Packers hope. This would result if the Packers beat the Rams, the Bears downed the Lions and the Forty Niners beat Pittsburgh. The experts don't figure the Packers to win, however. They rate the Rams a 10-point choice. The Packers are the big surprise out here. Green Bay wasn't figured to have a smell of this year's championship. Yet, the Packers are still much in the running. Los Angeles, with seven victories in its last eight starts, is expecting the Packers to come out with blood in their eyes Sunday. The Bays are still steaming about their 30-28 loss to the Rams in Milwaukee Oct. 12. The Packers lost one of those "once in a lifetime" games that day. They held a 28-6 lead until the Rams went hot and scored 24 points in the last 24 minutes. That one game, it developed, prevented the Packers from holding a first place tie with Detroit today. Packer head coach Gene Ronzani is expected to bank heavily on his pitching attack, with quarterback Tobin Rote and Babe Parilli doing the hurling and such ends as Bill Howton, Bob Mann and Jim Keane catching. Howton is the current rage, what with 11 TD receptions to his credit...WENT 132 YARDS: The Packers' big hope will be their line - especially the two defensive ends, John Martinkovic and Ab Wimberly, who have the best chance of containing the Rams' vaunted air game. Ram head coach Hamp Pool plans to thrown Deacon Dan Towler and Tank Younger, a pair of 225-pounders, against the Packers. Whether the Packers can handle this sort of beef may determine the outcome. Towler went for 132 yards against San Francisco last week, much of it with Younger clearing the way with his powerful blocks. Tank gained 30 yards on his own and had a 97-yard run called back by a penalty. Norm Van Brocklin likely will carry the passing load for the Rams, although the Packers' No. 1 jinx is Bob Waterfield, LA's captain and quarterback who has been injured. Waterfield engineered the winning drive against the Bays in the hectic opener. The Packers, headquartering at the Hollywood-Roosevelt hotel here, are being flooded with good luck messages from Green Bay fans. Captain Bob Forte will read a number of them at dinner tonight and at the usual Saturday night squad meeting. The Bays will remain here next week to prepare for the Forty Niner game in San Francisco Dec. 14.
SLOW TRACK CONFRONTS RAMS AND PACKERS
DEC 6 (Los Angeles) - With the threat of a slow track just one more thing to worry about, the Rams and Green Bay Packers yesterday ended their training chores for tomorrow's important NFL contest at the Coliseum. While the field will be protected by a tarp until game time, a hard or prolonged rain would flood the turf, just as it did prior to the Ram-49er game here two weeks ago...TIE COULD RUIN RAMS: The drainage system at the Coliseum is anything but good. Water cascading down the slopes of the big bowl washes onto the field and seeps under the tarp. Stadium Manager Bill Nicholas has plans to improve the system before the '53 season. By using mud cleats, the Rams were able to run for 149 yards against the 49ers here. They found the center of the field fairly firm, but the sidelines were mushy and squishy...SET CLUB RECORD: A "Mud Bowl" battle on the morrow very likely could result in a scoreless tie. And a tie at this point would be nearly as bad for the Rams as a loss, considering that they're neck and neck with a Detroit team which figures to subdue the Chicago Bears and Dallas as its closing games. Muddy going also would reduce Deacon Dan Towler's chances of becoming the first Ram in history to rush for 1,000 yards. The pious pigskinner, who believes that it is more blessed to give than to receive, has given the opposition its lumps to the tune of 792 yards. He needs 208 strides in two games to hit the jackpot. Last year, he broke Dick Hoerner's club record by galloping 854 yards and he looks like a cinch to exceed that. However, he would have to average 177.5 yards against Green Bay and Pittsburgh (next week) to break Steve Van Buren's NFL rushing record. The great Philadelphia halfback piled up 1,146 yards in 1949. If past performances mean anything, the Deacon won't be the only galloper tomorrow. Green Bay's quarterbacks like to lope a little, too...ROTE LED RUSHERS: Babe Parilli tore off the game's longest run and nearly beat the Rams in last August's College All-Star game. Tobin Rote sported the best rushing average in the league last year, a singular achievement for a quarterback. He averaged 6.9 yards to Towler's 6.8. The Texas sharpshooter also ran 91 yards in 13 tries in the Ram-Packer game at Green Bay last October. Gene Ronzani's team, in training here since Monday, is in good shape. Fullback Fred Cone and tackle Howie Ruetz didn't make the trip, but the others are rarin' to go. The crack Ram ends, Bob Carey and Crazy Legs Hirsch, were wounded up north last Sunday. Carey's neck got jammed, but he hopes to play. All Hirsch wants for Christmas is a new front tooth. Bud McFadin's foot arch is giving him trouble, so the big rookie guard from Texas probably won't even suit up tomorrow.