JAN 4 (Green Bay) - Verne Lewellen, new general manager of the Packers, and Jack Vainisi, Packer scout and office assistant, will fly to Cincinnati Tuesday to attend the 48th annual convention of the NCAA. The Packer representatives will get first-hand information from the various coaches on players the Packers intend to select in the annual college player draft, Jan. 28...Vainisi reported today that Bobby Dillon, the Packers' defensive back who injured both knees in the Thanksgiving Day game against Detroit, is recuperating from an operation on one of his knees in Temple, Tex. The cast will be removed Tuesday. 
JAN 5 (Green Bay) - Contents of today's Pro Football Book: 1 - Lent is Almost Over, 2 - Lewellen Leaves Oil, 3 - Alumni Get Set, 4 - Iron Mike...CHAPTER I: Come tomorrow, the Packers will have been without a head coach for 40 days and 40 nights - a pretty long "fast". During the period of no sweets, etc., Packer fans have been busy imagining the big day - when they (the Packers) announce the new head coach. If you'll pardon some shop talk, we've had the big type polished off for some time now. As the big day approaches (it should be soon), nobody seems to have anything concrete on which to chew - or rather discuss. Names are a dime a dozen. During the bowl period over the holidays, naturally the names of the bowl coaches were being kicked around. Closest to home among this group is Biggie Munn, coach of the Michigan State Rose Bowl champions. Munn, so the press wires say, will become athletic director at MSC and his line coach will become head coach. People want to know, "Why?" Could be that Biggie can earn more money as athletic director. He can get
1954 PACKERS DRAFT (January 28, 1954)
RND-PICK NAME                  POS COLLEGE
1a -   3 Art Hunter              T Notre Dame
1b -   4 Veryl Switzer (A)      HB Kansas State
2  -  15 Bob Fleck               T Syracuse
3  -  27 George Timberlake       G USC
4a -  39 to Washington Redskins for Johnny Papit
4b -  40 Tom Allman (B)         FB West Virginia
5  -  51 Max McGee               E Tulane
6  -  63 to Detroit Lions for Gus Cifelli
7  -  75 Sam Marshall            T Florida A&M
8  -  87 Jimmie Williams         T Texas Tech
9  -  99 Dave Davis              E Georgia Tech
10 - 111 Gene Knutson            E Michigan
11 - 123 Ken Hall                E North Texas State
12 - 135 Bill Oliver            HB Alabama
13 - 147 Mike Takacs             G Ohio State
14 - 159 Dave Johnson           HB Rice               
15 - 171 to San Francisco 49ers for Ben Aldridge      
16 - 183 Desmond Koch           HB USC
17 - 195 J.D. Roberts            G Oklahoma 
18 - 207 Emery Barnes            E Oregon 
19 - 219 Ken Hall                C Springfield 
20 - 231 Herbert Lowell          G Pacific 
21 - 243 Art Liebscher          HB Pacific 
22 - 255 Bill Buford             T Morgan State 
23 - 267 Clint Sathrum          QB St. Olaf 
24 - 279 Marvin Tennefoss        E Stanford 
25 - 291 Jack Smalley            T Alabama 
26 - 303 *-Ralph Baierl          T Maryland
27 - 315 Hosea Sims              E Marquette 
28 - 327 Evan Slonac            FB Michigan State
29 - 339 Jerry Dufek             T St. Norbert 
30 - 351 Terry Campbell         QB Washington St
A - from New York Giants (1953) B - from Baltimore Colts * - Juniors
Bold - Played for the Green Bay Packers
Dick Afflis         75    G 6- 0 250 Nevada           4  4 25 12 1951 Draft-16th round
Al Barry            63    G 6- 2 225 USC              1  1 23 12 1953 Draft-30th round
Buddy Brown         62    G 6- 1 225 Arkansas         2  4 27 12 1953 1952 FA-Redskins
Al Carmichael       42   HB 6- 1 190 USC              2  2 25 10 1953 Draft-1st round
Fred Cone           31   FB 5-11 200 Clemson          4  4 28 12 1951 Draft-3rd round
Bobby Dillon        44   DB 6- 1 180 Texas            3  3 24 12 1952 Draft-3rd round
Carlton Elliott     80    E 6- 4 230 Virginia         4  4 26 12 1950 Draft-13th round
Howie Ferguson      37   FB 6- 2 210 No College       2  2 24 12 1953 FA
Bill Forrester      69   DT 6- 3 235 SMU              2  2 22 12 1953 Draft-3rd round
Bob Garrett         15   QB 6- 1 198 Stanford         1  1 22  9 1954 Trade-Cleveland
Dave Hanner         77   DT 6- 2 260 Arkansas         3  3 24 12 1952 Draft-5th round
Jerry Helluin       72   DT 6- 2 280 Tulane           1  3 25 12 1954 Trade-Cleveland
Billy Howton        86    E 6- 2 190 Rice             3  3 24 12 1952 Draft-2nd round
Art Hunter          70    T 6- 4 240 Notre Dame       1  1 21 12 1954 Draft-1st round
Joe Johnson         40   HB 6- 0 185 Boston College   1  1 24 12 1953 Draft-11th round
Gary Knafelc        84    E 6- 4 205 Colorado         1  1 22  8 1954 FA-Cardinals
Gene Knutson        81    E 6- 2 205 Michigan         1  1 21 12 1954 Draft-10th round
Bob Mann            87    E 5-11 175 Michigan         5  7 30  3 1950 FA-Detroit
John Martinkovic    83   DE 6- 3 245 Xavier           4  4 27 12 1951 Trade-Washington
Max McGee           88    E 6- 3 203 Tulane           1  1 22 12 1954 draft-5th round
Lou Mihajlovich     41    E 5-11 175 Indiana          1  1 29  3 1954 FA-Detroit
Don Miller          20   DB 6- 2 195 SMU              1  1 22  1 1954 FA
Jim Psaltis         48   HB 6- 1 190 USC              1  2 26 11 1954 FA-Cards (1953)
Floyd (Breezy) Reid 24   HB 5-10 190 Georgia          5  5 27 12 1950 FA-Bears
Jim Ringo           51    C 6- 1 230 Syracuse         2  2 24 12 1953 Draft-7th round
Tobin Rote          18   QB 6- 3 205 Rice             5  5 26 12 1950 Draft-2nd round
Steve Ruzich        61    G 6- 2 230 Ohio State       3  3 25 12 1952 FA
Clarence Self       28   DB 5- 9 185 Wisconsin        2  5 28 12 1954 FA-GB (1952)
Dave Stephenson     53    G 6- 2 225 West Virginia    4  5 28 12 1951 FA-Rams (1950)
Veryl Switzer       27   HB 5-11 190 Kansas State     1  1 22 12 1954 Draft-1st round
Len Szafaryn        68    G 6- 2 225 North Carolina   3  4 26 12 1950 Trade-Redskins
Deral Teteak        66   LB 5-10 210 Wisconsin        3  3 24  6 1952 Draft-9th round
Clayton Tonnemaker  58   LB 6- 2 240 Minnesota        3  3 26 12 1950 Draft-1st round
Val Joe Walker      47   DB 6- 1 179 SMU              2  2 24 10 1953 Trade- Giants
Gene White          88   DB 6- 2 205 Georgia          1  1 24  8 1954 FA
Roger Zatkoff       74    T 6- 2 215 Michigan         2  2 23 12 1953 Draft-5th round
NO - Jersey Number POS - Position HGT - Height WGT - Weight YR - Years with Packers PR - Years of Professional Football AGE - Age at Start of Season G - Games Played FA - Free Agent
New coach Lisle Blackbourn hardly endeared himselves to the faithful as the Packers lost their first three games, but the team suddenly came around, beating the Rams, Eagles and Colts (twice) for four wins in their next five games. Blackbourn hardly had time to enjoy the renaissance, though, as the Lions (twice), 49ers and Rams handed Green Bay four painful losses to end the season.
For the first three decades of the Packer franchise, the general manager could be easily identified. He was the head coach - Curly Lambeau and, then, Gene Ronzani. In 1954, the Executive Committee decided it was time to make a change in the management structure. As the NFL became more complex, it was apparent that one person would be hard pressed to put together a team, coach that team, keep on top of the free
agent talent, prepare for a college draft, and handle the administrative details. As a result, former Packer legend Verne Lewellen was handed the reins as the first "true" general manager in
team history. In 1928, while still playing for Green Bay, he ran successfully for Brown County district attorney, as a Republican, against teammate Lavie Dilweg. Re-elected in 1930, he
was swept out of office in the Roosevelt-Democratic landslide of 1932. In 1950, he rejoined the Packers as a member of the executive committee. He was general manager from 1954-58,
and remained with the franchise as the business manager from 1961-67. Lewellen's claim to fame may have been moving the Packer training camp to St. Norbert College in 1958. The
Packers had practiced in Grand Rapids, Minnesota (1951-53) and at Stevens Point State College (1954-57) prior to the decision to relocate closer to home. Vince Lombardi came to
Green Bay in 1959 as head coach and general manager, ending Lewellen's tenure.
VINCE LOMBARDI (1959-68) - In all but his final year, Lombardi served as both head coach and general manager. After one uncomfortable year in the front officer, the Hall-of-Famer
moved on to Washington, where cancer cut his life short.
PHIL BENGSTON (1969-70) - Bengston picked up the reins as GM from Lombardi, but his draft record during his two-year dual reign was questionable at best.
DAN DEVINE (1971-74) - Devine may have won a division title in 1972, and had a number of productive draft choices, his overall report card as general manager could be summed up in
one word: John Hadl, a trade which backfired.
BART STARR (1975-80) - After five years as head coach and GM, Starr had a record of 31-57-2. The Executive Committee stripped him of the GM role following a 5-11 record in 1980, and
the position remained open for seven years.
TOM BRAATZ (1987-91) - Other than a productive draft in 1990, Braatz, whose official title was Executive Vice President of football operations , accomplished little in his tenure, and was
fired in the middle of a 4-12 season.
RON WOLF (1991-2001) - Wolf acted quickly as the new GM, firing Lindy Infante, hiring Mike Holmgren, and acquiring Brett Favre in his first six months. For most, his tenure was the most successful as a GM in Green Bay.
MIKE SHERMAN (2001-05) - By the end of Sherman's dual tenure, the debate over having one person in both roles was raging again. Team CEO Bob Harlan restructured the team's football operations, and removed Sherman as GM after the 2004 season.
TED THOMPSON (2005-now) - Thompson has definitely left his fingerprints on the franchise - firing Sherman one year after taking over as GM, ushering in the end of the Brett Favre era, and trying to restore the Packers to Super Bowl contention. While not always popular with the fans, he has become best known as being allegedly adverse to free agency and trades, preferring to build the team through the draft. Thompson has already brought home one Super Bowl trophy, and has the team in position to contend for even more hardware for the trophy case.
JUNE 23 - Traded 1955 4th round pick to CLEVELAND for DL Jerry Helluin
JUNE 27 - Signed E Gene White and E Wayne Hopkins.
AUG 5 - Traded QB  Babe Parilli and OT Bob Fleck to CLEVELAND for QB Bob Garrett, OT John Bauer, DB Don Miller and OT Chester Gierula. Signed E Lou Mihajlovic off waivers from DETROIT.
SEPT 20 - Traded OT John Bauer to NEW YORK for 1955 20th round pick. Released QB Elroy Falkenstein, FB Clyde Sanders, HB Bub Roffler, HB Evan Slonac, HB Tom Pagna, LB Nick Adduci, LB Lou Mihajlovich, LB Mike Maccloli, G Dick Doleman, G Mike Takacs, C Charles Grant and E Hosea Sims.
OCT 4 - Released DB Don Miller. Signed E Gary Knafelc off waivers from CHICAGO CARDINALS.
NOV 10 - Placed DB Gene White on injured reserve. Signed LB Lou Mihajlovich.
AUGUST (1-2)                            RESULT      RECORD    ATT STARTING QB              LEADING RUSHER              LEADING PASSER              LEADING RECEIVER
14 Chicago Cardinals at Minneapolis    L 10-27      0- 1-0 21,000
21 G-CLEVELAND BROWNS                  L 13-14      0- 2-0 15,747
28 at Pittsburgh Steelers              W 36-14      1- 2-0 14,012
4  Philadelphia Eagles at Hershey, PA  L 13-24      1- 3-0  6,134
11 Washington Redskins at Raleigh, NC  W 31- 3      2- 3-0 16,000
18 M-NEW YORK GIANTS                   L 27-38      2- 4-0 17,000
SEPTEMBER (0-1)                         RESULT      RECORD    ATT STARTING QB              LEADING RUSHER              LEADING PASSER              LEADING RECEIVER
26 G-PITTSBURGH STEELERS (0-0)         L 20-21      0- 1-0 20,675 Tobin Rote               Breezy Reid (95)            Tobin Rote (101)            Billy Howton (3-69)
3  G-CHICAGO BEARS (0-1)               L  3-10      0- 2-0 24,414 Tobin Rote               Breezy Reid (71)            Tobin Rote (192)            Billy Howton (4-100)
10 M-SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-0-1)       L 17-23      0- 3-0 15,571 Tobin Rote               Howie Ferguson (41)         Tobin Rote (126)            Two tie with three each
17 M-LOS ANGELES RAMS (1-1-1)          W 35-17      1- 3-0 17,455 Tobin Rote               Tobin Rote (75)             Tobin Rote (284)            Howie Ferguson (7-49)
24 at Baltimore Colts (1-3)            W  7- 6      2- 3-0 28,680 Tobin Rote               Breezy Reid (77)            Tobin Rote (214)            Billy Howton (11-147)
30 at Philadelphia Eagles (4-1)        W 37-14      3- 3-0 25,378 Tobin Rote               Tobin Rote (46)             Tobin Rote (148)            Billy Howton (4-31)
7  at Chicago Bears (3-3)              L 23-28      3- 4-0 47,038 Tobin Rote               Veryl Switzer (56)          Tobin Rote (204)            Max McGee (5-77)
13 M-BALTIMORE COLTS (1-6)             W 24-13      4- 4-0 19,786 Tobin Rote               Howie Ferguson (112)        Tobin Rote (164)            Howie Ferguson (5-44)
21 G-DETROIT LIONS (6-1)               L 17-21      4- 5-0 20,767 Tobin Rote               Al Carmichael (35)          Tobin Rote (294)            Billy Howton (7-101)
25 at Detroit Lions (7-1)              L 24-28      4- 6-0 55,532 Tobin Rote               Breezy Reid (61)            Tobin Rote (254)            Two tied with four each
5  at San Francisco 49ers (5-4-1)      L  0-35      4- 7-0 32,012 Tobin Rote               Breezy Reid (27)            Tobin Rote (152)            Howie Ferguson (7-53)
12 at Los Angeles Rams (5-5-1)         L 27-35      4- 8-0 38,839 Tobin Rote               Howie Ferguson (15)         Tobin Rote (178)            Max McGee (9-105)
G - Green Bay M - Milwaukee
The 1954 Green Bay Packers - 4-8 (5th-Western Division)
Head Coach: Lisle Blackbourn
JAN 8 (Green Bay) - "There is no time to waste..." "I will be up there Monday and start looking at pictures of all of the Packers' games last fall to ascertain the club's needs..." It was Lisle W. (Liz) Blackbourn, the Packers' new head coach, speaking via telephone from Cincinnati where he's attending the NCAA convention with Packer general manager Verne Lewellen and Packer scout Jack Vainisi. Packer officials figured Blackbourn would need at least a week to clean up affairs at Marquette but Liz said. "I am leaving here Friday afternoon (Cincinnati) and can finish up detail at Marquette Saturday and Sunday. I'll drive up to Green Bay and be ready to go early Monday morning," Blackbourn said. Liz said he wanted to make his observations as to the player needs of the Packers and planned to do it by making a "minute study of the films. After that I can discuss player problems with others who were close to the team last year," he added. Blackbourn expects to have a good line on the material needs when he goes to the NFL draft meeting in Philadelphia Jan. 28. Preliminary arrangements for the draft have been made by Vainisi and discussions between Vainisi, Lewellen and Blackbourn were started shortly after the announcement of Blackbourn's appointment yesterday. Liz said he could not comment on the club's playing personnel "because I'm not familiar with the players." The new mentor said he saw a number of the Packers' games on television last fall and the first halves of the club's games in Milwaukee. "The first halves?" we asked. "Our pictures (Marquette games) always came in about 3:30 on Sunday afternoons and we always started preparing for next week's games as soon as those films arrived." Thus, Blackbourn indicated that he wastes no time whatsoever in preparing for future games. And this comment yesterday from Ted Carpenter, Marquette publicist, can be added: "Liz is a farm boy to start with and 
JAN 9 (Green Bay) - Green Bay's own Tom Hearden stepped into the Packer picture today. The one-time East High, Notre Dame and Packer halfback, who compiled a fantastic .840 won-lost record in 20 years of high school and college coaching, became the first assistant signed by head coach Lisle W. Blackbourn at the NCAA convention in Cincinnati yesterday. Hearden, 49, thus returns officially to the Packers after an absence of 26 years, though he had been vitally interested in his pro "alma mater" since he finished two Packer playing seasons in 1928. Both Blackbourn and Hearden are heading toward their home base. Blackbourn was to arrive in Milwaukee today, close out his affairs at Marquette Sunday and start to work here Monday morning. Hearden visited his brother, Peter, in Indianapolis Friday night and is expected here tonight. Returning last night from the Cincinnati parley were Verne Lewellen, the Packers' general manager who signed Blackbourn Thursday, and Packer scout Jack Vainisi. The only Packer representative "outstanding" is Ray McLean, the club's backfield coach for the last three seasons who will scout the North-South game in Mobile, Ala., this afternoon and then return here Sunday. McLean scouted two other bowl games during the holidays. McLean will make a complete report on the game in preparation for the club's draft and likely will review the past season with Blackbourn. McLean, who along with Hugh Devore co-coached the Packers in their last two games after the resignation of Gene Ronzani, agreed to assist the Packers in scouting the bowl contests and preparing for the draft. McLean's status with the Packers as to the future is unknown at the moment. Blackbourn has been given full authority to select members of his staff. McLean, onetime Chicago Bear halfback, came to the Packers in 1951, after serving as head coach for three seasons at Lewis college. Blackbourn and Hearden - once rivals as coaches at Milwaukee Washington and Racine St. Catherine, respectively - now combine two of the top coaching records in the country. Blackbourn's all-time head coaching mark is 158 victories, 47 losses and 10 ties in 26 years, while Hearden has compiled 126 wins, 24 losses and ties in 20 seasons. Between then, Blackbourn and Hearden have 284 victories, 71 losses and 18 ties - a percentage of exactly .800. Addition of Hearden adds to the college theme being introduced to the Packers who, especially in the earlier years, were known as "the pro team with the college spirit." Hearden was born in Appleton in 1904, but came to Green Bay as a youngster and attended St. Patrick and SS. Peter and Paul grade schools. He played three seasons of football at East High and captained the team in his senior year, 1922. Hearden enrolled at Notre Dame in 1923 and played with the varsity in 1924-25-26, co-captaining the Irish under Knute Rockne in his senior year. He graduated from Notre Dame in June of 1927 and, oddly enough, decided against coaching after Rockne recommended him as an assistant at Ohio State. Hearden joined the Packers in the fall of 1927 and played in six games, alternating with then head coach Curly Lambeau at right halfback. Incidentally, G.M. Lewellen was at left half that season. Hearden suffered injuries that kept him out of the other games. He returned to the club in 1928 but injuries again plagued him and he played in only two games. In 1929, Tom worked for the Chicago Surface Lines in Chicago and saw some action with the Chicago Bears at the same time. Hearden decided on a coaching career early in 1930 and took the job at Racine St. Catherine High. He remained there six years, compiling 34 victories, eight losses and six ties. Hearden "came home" in 1936 to take over the East High grid fortunes. He led off with three straight unbeaten seasons and had a state-record string of 36 victories going before losing to West 13-0 in the final game of 1939. In seven years at East, Hearden lost only three games - two in his final season (1942), and rolled up 51 wins and two losses. Tom became a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II and was named backfield coach under Don Faurot at Iowa Pre-Flight. After two seasons under Faurot, Hearden was named head coach of Iowa P-F but the war ended and the team was disbanded. Hearden signed as head coach at St. Norbert college in 1946 and posted 41 victories, 13 defeats and no ties. His Knight elevens had three unbeaten seasons, 8-0 in 1946, 7-0 in '50 and 6-0 in '52. Hearden resigned at St. Norbert a year ago and enrolled at the University of Wisconsin to complete work on his master's degree. Last fall, he worked as Wisconsin freshman coach. Tom married the former Miss Marion Moore of Green Bay in January of 1933 and they have three children, Sarah, 20, Tommy, 11, and Jimmy, 10. The Heardens reside at 1008 Doty Street.
JAN 11 (Green Bay) - Lisle Blackbourn came to Green Bay today for the first time in his new capacity as head coach of the Packers. The former Marquette university mentor, signed last Thursday to a three-year Packer contract, had expected to start "bright and early" this morning but last-minute details in Milwaukee plus tough driving conditions delayed his arrival until 11:55. The Packer office was buzzin' this morning as Blackbourn was awaited. Making his first appearance was Tom Hearden, the former East High and St. Norbert college coach, who was named backfield coach Saturday. Back from the NCAA convention in Cincinnati and launching the "new week" in Packer affairs were Verne Lewellen, the club's new general manager, and scout Jack Vainisi. Rounding out the office staff is the biggest of the lot - hefty Jug Earp, public relations chief. Also on hand to put out the welcome mat were Russ Bogda, club president, and John Torinus, a member of the Packer executive committee. Blackbourn was to be officially introduced at a luncheon meeting of the committee this noon. Also due in today was Ray McLean, the Packers' field goal since 1951 who scouted the North-South game for the Packers in Mobile, Ala., Saturday. McLean will make a report on prospects he observed in the game and likely will discuss the 1953 Packer season with Blackbourn. Interviewed in Milwaukee over the weekend by the press services, Blackbourn said he would probably name soon a new line coach who would help him select an end coach. "I think I'd like to discuss the selection of an end coach with the line coach," he said. Blackbourn said he was looking for a line coach who knew a lot about pass protection - "a man who could give us good instruction on protecting passers as we could get." The new coach revealed that he had interviewed seven or eight candidates for the line position at Cincinnati last week, but "we're going to be a bit slower in the selection for that position." Other immediate problems facing Blackbourn are going over game movies "for the purpose of observing our needs in the player draft" in Philadelphia Jan. 28 and talking over available players with Vainisi. Blackbourn said he would view the movies of Packer games in an effort to see "first hand where the thing broke down." He was referring to the Packers' 2-9-1 record last season...McLean planned to talk with Blackbourn this afternoon. The former Chicago Bear halfback and Lewis College coach said he had a "rough" time flying into Chicago from Mobile yesterday. "The warm front hit the cold front somewhere near Birmingham and it took us about an hour to finally land there; there were a lot of the North players in the same plane," McLean said. McLean arrived by train from Chicago at 9 o'clock this morning.
JAN 12 (Green Bay) - The choice of Lisle Blackbourn to coach the Green Bay Packers, and Mr. Blackbourn's acceptance of the challenge offered by the professional football field, puts Green Bay in position to prepare adequately for the coming season. Mr. Blackbourn's record indicates that he has many of the qualifications needed for the leadership of the Packers. While Mr. Ronzani's departure appeared to have been dictated by many important considerations, it should be noted that he left the Packers in sound condition both physically and financially. The team had a good year at the box office and the finances are probably as good as they have ever been. The players, in spit of many reverses on the field, kept their spirit and there is certainly a sound foundation for future success. There are many Packer fans who, while agreeing that Mr. Ronzani's departure was necessary, will nevertheless declare that he came close, perhaps very close, to making a real success of his work here. The reports on Blackbourn are that he is a strong disciplinarian and a stickler for sound, fundamental football practices. There is indication that he gets the most out of the material he has available. Those are qualifications desirable everywhere and are winning qualifications when accomplished by the spirit of competition and the ability to lead.
JAN 12 (Green Bay) - One of the five big, thick, ledger-type, loose leaf notebooks was opening on a table at the Packer office. Scout Jack Vainisi flipped it in the middle as Coach Lisle Blackbourn prepared to have his picture snapped. "Say, I know that young man," Blackbourn pulled back as a vicious-looking back looked up from a picture in the book. "He used to play with the kids around our house in Milwaukee; no, he never went to Washington (where Blackbourn coached for 22 years). He was quite a star at Pulaski High," Liz added. Blackbourn was looking down at a picture of Neil J. (Bull) Worden, the Milwaukee boy who plays fullback at Notre Dame. This coincidence, of course, made it easier for Blackborun to smile for the picture taking. Liz, Tom Hearden and Ray McLean had just spent a couple of hours looking at Packer game pictures of 1953 in the dark room below and the sudden exposure to daylight made it hard to produce smiles. Blackbourn isn't leaping at any draft ideas until he gets a good look at the Packer movies for the purpose of finding out for himself "what our needs are." He'll spend the next three or four days and possibly a week viewing the performance of each player in each game - most of the time in slow motion. It isn't any secret that Worden's picture and history appear in Vainisi's "ledger". The 185-pound piledriver is considered among the pros as the best pro prospect in the Notre Dame backfield, which also included the illustrious Johnny Lattner. Worden's picture and history likely are in every camp in the National league. Worden is 5-11 and appears on the stocky side, since he possesses powerfully-built legs. He was Notre Dame's leading fullback for the last three years. Worden participated in track, football and baseball at Pulaski. He was an all-city and all-state back in his senior year. Vainisi says he is looking forward to the draft and "we'll have all of the names of prospects at our fingertips at all times during the draft." The five big ledgers, classified according to position, contain the "meat" of the country's prospects - approximately 4,000 players. For the draft, the names of the players will be listed on large working cards in the order they are rated by coaches and scouts. Players drafted by other clubs will be scratched immediately from the cards, giving the Packers a quick look at "who's on first." Blackbourn made his first official appearance before the press' radio and television at a luncheon meeting at the Beaumont Hotel this noon. As a result, the new coach's first observations and impressions will emerge from that session. The former Marquette coach hasn't had much time to get his thoughts together for public presentation. He's bent on seeing the Packer films to better familiarize himself with the club and to draw some conclusion as to why the club skidded from a 6-6 record in 1952 to 2-9-1 in 1953...PRO PACKINS': Travis Tidwell, former Auburn star and ex-New York Giants, said at his home in Birmingham, Ala., that he plans to play in Canada next year. He has signed a contract with Carl Voyles, coach of the Hamilton, Ont., team. He played under Voyles at Auburn. Tidwell never did quite cut the buck in the NFL. He was badly treated by the Packers when they downed the Giants in a non-leaguer in Boston in 1950...Among the first to come in to see the new coach yesterday was Jim Coffeen, the Packers' "voice" at all home games. Coffeen, onetime Packer player himself, is feeling fine after a siege of illness that put him in the hospital for a short spell.
JAN 13 (Green Bay) - Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote, the Packers' two air arms - not to mention all of Packer fandom, will be happy to know that protection for the passer is high in the mind of Coach Lisle Blackbourn. Parill and Rote were tossed for losses totaling 280 yards - almost three times the length of the field - in 12 NFL games last year. Only the Chicago Cardinals and Baltimore Colts had their pitchers jarred back more yards. "I'm speaking from a spectator standpoint," Blackbourn reminded, "but I believe was a weakness in that department last fall." Blackbourn, addressing press, radio and television people at a luncheon at the Beaumont Hotel yesterday said, "you can't be too good in pass protection and at times there always seemed to be a weakness in it." And Verne Lewellen, Packer general manager, chimed in "even the Browns had trouble with their pass protection." He was referring to the manner in which the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions rushed Otto Graham in the Browns' last two games. Blackbourn, revealing that he is looking for a line coach, explained that "if he (the line coach) excels in anything I hope it will be the ability to teach protection for the passer." Thus, Blackbourn indicated that he expects to make full use of the Packers' air machine - a unit that won the National League passing championship in 1952 and skidded badly in 1953. In discussing formations, Blackbourn again indicated that he intended to keep the forward pass as his main weapon. "We'll use the T as our basic formation, with some features of the split Y. The splut T, which I used at Marquette last fall, won't be used exclusively because it is hard to develop and effective passing attack off that formation. We'll also use split ends, set flankers, etc.," he pointed out...Blackbourn said he plans to install a player grading system next fall. "We'll use those films and go over each player and find out the reason why this play or that play didn't work; each player will be graded accordingly, and we'll know exactly why some plays don't work," he explained. The coach visualized loss of a day as "a problem that will have to be worked out." He said, "at Marquette, we got films of Saturday's game on Sunday afternoon and we could go to work immediately. I understand that we can't get some of our Packer films until Tuesdays. We'd lost all of Monday and a good chance to have the boys graded for the start of practice Tuesday." Blackbourn and Backfield Coach Tom Hearden are getting a chance to "grade" the Packers in films of their 1953 games. "We're going backwards," Lisle laughed, "and gradually working toward the start of the season; then maybe we can compare some of the boys to their performance in 1952. We're halfway through the first quarter of the Los Angeles game and it's quite a job running that film back and forth and looking over each player on each play." In addition, Blackbourn said, "we've got to find out the club's overall plan for each game from the movies - plus the spirit and morale of the team." He said he was aware of the fact that there were some changes in the last two games which were co-coached by Hugh Devore and Ray McLean following the resignation of Gene Ronzani Nov. 27...On the matter of coaching, Blackbourn announced that he will operate with a fur-man staff - a backfield coach, a line coach, an end coach and himself. Tom Hearden already has been selected as backfield coach. Several prospects have been contacted for the job of line coach, Lisle revealed, adding, "I want the line coach to have a hand in picking an end coach because their work is so closely coordinated." Hearden couldn't be at the luncheon. He is attending classes two days a week at the University of Wisconsin, Tuesdays and Thursday, working on his master's degree. Tom will finish his course at the end of the first semester late this month, after which he will devote full rime to his new work. "I got Tom as backfield coach as soon I possibly could. He's closely connected in this area, I've always admired him, he has one of the finest coaching records in the country, and he's a good, sound coach," Blackbourn told the group. Reviewing his brief period at the Packer office since reporting Monday, Blackbourn said that "Jack (Vainisi, Packer scout) has done on outstanding job and I'll be leaning on him plenty for information on all of the college prospects." Referring to GM Verne Lewellen, Blackbourn said, "I can't tell you how good it feels to work with Verne. Without him, it would have been a super human task - cold as I am - to come in here at this time."...The matter of a training site was discussed by members of the group and Lewellen said that "we're considering the matter carefully - training at home or away." The Packers trained at Grand Rapids, Minn., the last three seasons. Lewellen said he would be "happy if a training season at home could be worked out." However, he added quickly, "there are advantages and disadvantages to both training at home and away; we've had preliminary letters from schools and communities asking us about having the Packers train at their places next fall." Lewellen said that the Rockwood Lodge property, formerly owned and operated as a training site by the Packers, had been sold. The main building on the site burned down in January of 1950 and never was rebuilt.
JAN 14 (Green Bay) - If these first few paragraphs sound like a plug for Bud Jorgenson, it is! Several weeks ago, the Packers' Jug Earp - in the process of pounding the drums for the Packer-Ram game in Los Angeles, suggested this to Paul Schissler, promoter of the All-Pro Bowl game Sunday: "We have in Green Bay, Wisconsin a gentleman named Carl W. (Bud) Jorgenson, who happens to be the trainer for the Packers. Mr. Jorgenson also is dean of trainers in the NFL. He had been connected with the Packers for 30 years - practically since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. In the early years, he was assistant to trainer Dave Woodward, and when Dave passed on Jorgenson became the trainer. Now, Mr. Schissler, I think it would be a fitting idea for Bud to be a member of the Western division team." To make a long story short, Bud won't be in Los Angeles Sunday. The muscle work on the athletes, including Packers Dave Hanner, John Martinkovic and Clayton Tonnemaker, will be done by the trainers at the schools the teams are using as training headquarters. Schissler thought highly of bringing out Jorgenson but the promotor, working through the National League, has a limited budget which already had been set up the time Bud's name was suggested. It might be opined that Bowl officials also missed a bet by not selecting the Packers' find pass catching end, Bill Howton. As a rookie, Howton had a terrific season and he was a sure bet for last January's pro bowler. He thrilled the audicence by catching an 87-yard touchdown pass, playing as a right halfback flanker. Howton
came nowhere near matching his '52 play in '53, although an injury knocked him out of the first four games and put him at a handicap once he returned. However, we'll bet the presence of Howton Sunday would boost the ticket sales.
The Eastern division, coached by Cleveland's Paul Brown, has 30 players and the Western division, in charge of Buddy Parker of Detroit, will have 31. The West was allowed an extra player when Commissioner Bert Bell decreed it would be an injustice if the Rams' Norm Van Brocklin or Y.A. Tittle  of the 49ers was left off the team. All pros are compelled to show for the game unless disqualified for injuries. Kyle Rote of the New York Giants has been dropped because of hurts and Brown selected his young star halfback, Ray Renfro, to take Kyle's place. Each member of the winning team will receive $700 and each loser $500 - both plus expenses. The inaugural game in January of 1951 was won by the East 28-27 but West took the next two games, 30-13 and 27-7. West is favored to win its third straight Sunday. The game will be telecast over WBAY-TV, starting at 3 o'clock.
JAN 15 (Green Bay) - The program was completed today for the Public Packer Welcome at the Hotel Northland Saturday night. And prospects are good for a sellout crowd, according to Jerry Atkinson, chairman of the event. Only 65 of the 500 tickets, at $2.25 each, available were left this morning. The Association of Commerce, handling the sale, said that any remaining tickets will be placed on sale at the door Saturday night. At present, they may be purchased at the A-C. The big night has been planned as an official welcome for three new faces in the Packer picture - Head Coach Lisle W. (Liz) Blackbourn, General Manager Verne Lewellen and Backfield Coach Tom Hearden. For Blackbourn, it will be his first official introduction to Green Bay. A native of Lancaster, Wis., Blackbourn spent the past 26 years coaching in Milwaukee - 22 at Washington High and four at Marquette. He will be accompanied by Mrs. Blackbourn and one of his two sons, Charles, a senior at Washington High. Many distinguished guests will be present. Among them are the Rev. Max G. Barnett, vice president of Marquette university, Mayor Frank Ziedler of Milwaukee and the Rt. Rev. S.M. Killeen, Abbot, Premonatratensian Order. There is a possibility that Gene Autry, the nationally-famous radio, television and movie cowboy, will be present. Autry will be in town for a personal appearance at the Columbus club Saturday. He has been invited to attend the Packer welcome. The evening will open with a reception for press, radio and television people and other invited guests in the main dining room at 5:30. The main program will open with serving of dinner at 6:30 in the Crystal ballroom. From 7:30 to 8, there will be entertainment by Norm Dygon on the piano. The program, starting at 8, will be opened with remarks by Reynolds Challoner, president of the Association of Commerce. Atkinson, chairman of the AC's sports committee, then will take over as master of ceremonies. After community singing led by Hal O'Halloran, the following guests will be introduced: Father Barnett, Abbott Killeen, John Biolo, president of the Packer Alumni Assn,;
JAN 22 (Green Bay) - Packer coach Lisle Blackbourn has come to the conclusion that "our No. 1 need our of the draft is linemen." Starting his 15th day in the Packer chair today, Blackbourn pointed out: "Maybe that isn't news to you people who have followed your team so closely, but from the pictures we've looked over, I'd say that we've got to bolster that line. Of course, we'll take that top-notch back if we get the chance early - we can use some of those, too, but a stronger line would help us considerably. Just recall some of the contending clubs in the league; they've got, No. 1, good, big lines." Blackbourn has completed a preliminary look at Packer game pictures of 1953 - "enough to size up the situation as to our needs." Presently, he's going over names of prospective draft choices with Scout Jack Vainisi, talking via long distance telephone with Packer players, and working out draft strategy. Blackbourn isn't announcing his draft intention - as to names, for the simple reason that it would be giving comfort to the enemy. Since the Packers 
JAN 18 (Green Bay) - Packer spirit continued to boil today as the "hard corps" of Packer fandom spread the word about Saturday night's heart-gripping welcome for the new regime. And it seemed quite coincidental, in response, that the Packers' hottest preseason pep party was held on the coldest night of the year. Packer spirit had been very cold last season, but there was every indication today that things were warming up. The mercury was plunging to 19 degrees below zero outside the Northland Hotel when 500 fans, who paid $2.25 per plate for the opportunity to be present in the Crystal ballroom, unleashed a standing three-minute ovation as the new head coach of the Packers, Lisle W. (Liz) Blackbourn, was presented. It appeared evident that this nucleus of Packer Backers was certain that the Packers were on the right track - on the way back. Verne Lewellen, the cub's new general manager, had just given a stirring address, tracing the start of the real Green Bay spirit, professional football, the needs of the club and plans for the future, when he suddenly introduced Blackbourn. The new head coach, a veteran of literally thousands of speeches, tributes, tense moments and games, seemed to stand in shocked, choked pleasure as the big gathering applauded him. Blackbourn immediately expressed his thanks, saying, in a clear, sharp voice, "It was tremendous to have been so warmly greeted." He added, "You are a fine, bolstering influence on me - and certainly the hard corps of Packer fans." Since Lewellen already had outlined the aims of the club, Blackbourn cited the "tremendous thing this Packer football is to Green Bay." For instance, he said, "we have a group (the Packers) of football players who represent the highest standards in the game; one of the greatest things resulting from this association is the example that these players set for the youth of the city." The mentor said that "the conduct of the Packers is the responsibility of the coaches in our community." Blackbourn told the audience that "I am going to have some good men to lean on, and I'm happy that Verne is on my side." He added, "I am certainly glad that Tom Hearden is on our staff." Mention of Hearden's name brought an immediate handclap from the fans. And Blackbourn added, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." He was referring to their rivalry as high school coaches. Hearden said he had known Liz for 20 years, "I know his methods and I know they are sound. He deserves the cooperation of all of the coaches, the players and the fans. You will hear little from me; I believe the head coach should do the talking." Touching on his high school rivalry with Blackbourn, Hearden recalled his first game (as coach at Racine St. Catherine) against Blackbourn (as coach at Milwaukee Washington), "I don't recall the score but I still remember Wally Cruice (who was in the audience) going for his sixth touchdown." Lewellen asked the fans: "Can we revive the old Packer spirit? What happened to this spirit from the standpoint of the loyalty of the fans and the player, himself?" The Bay GM answered his questions this way: "No one can tell me that the Packer spirit is dead. I believe it is merely lying dormant, waiting for someone to revive it. It can be revived to proportions we had never known in the past. We have gone beyond the horse and buggy stage. Today, pro football is big business. Spirit is not enough. There must be other things to keep us alive, such as keeping the Packer corporation in good financial condition, operating every department with efficiency which means letting the left hand knowing what the right hand is doing, and having a better team." Lewellen said he thought a better team could be obtained through "purchase and trade of players, the draft and increasing the abilities of the players." He pointed out that the present personnel of the Packers is being studies by the coaches as to the weaknesses and strength of the players. "Possibly some of the latent abilities of some of the players can be developed through proper instruction," he said. Lewellen declared that "we intend to get back to the teaching of fundamentals - blocking and tackling, condition and strict enforcement of training rules." In closing, Lewellen urged the fans "to revive that never-say-die spirit and let's have positive thinking - not negative." Other talks were made by Rev. Max G. Barnett, vice-president of Marquette university, Mayor Dominic Olejniczak, Packer publicity director Jug Earp, Alderman Charles Quirk of Milwaukee, Reynolds Challoner, president of the Association of Commerce; and Packer president Russ Bogda. Jerry Atkinson served as master of ceremonies. Many other people were introduced, including members of the press, television and radio, former Packers, Packer officials and Backers. Father Barnett spoke highly of Blackbourn and pointed out that "this is an occasion for rejoicing; we have come to know Liz as a man of honest intelligence and we at Marquette highly respect him in his dealings with the students, the faculty and the public." Olejniczak asked the fans to "get behind the new coach 100 percent; he deserves our every support." Challoner outlines the Packer changes that "were necessary" and pledged the support of the Association of Commerce. Packer officials received a score of congratulating messages. Abbott S.M. Killeen, unable to be present, wrote in part, "With these two men (Blackbourn and Hearden) I am sure that the highest hopes of the community will be attained." Other messages came from Ivy Williamson, head football coach at the University of Wisconsin; Con Jennings, Marquette athletic director; Charley Johnson, sports editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune; Tex Reynolds, Racine columnist; Russ Winnie, manager of Milwaukee radio station WTMJ who handled the early Packer broadcasts, and many others. Stopping in early for few words was Gene Autry, the famous radio, movie and TV cowboy who was in town for two shows.
JAN 20 (Green Bay) - The Cleveland Browns will win the bonus choice at the annual meeting of the NFL in Philadelphia next week. Without revealing our mystic powers, let's just explain that Paragraph 2 resulted from a combination of two theories: (1) That the rich get richer and (2) The Trend. Both reasons got hand in hand, so to speak, since it has been the trend for the rich to get richer, and, we might add, luckier. A year ago, for instance, the well-heeled San Francisco Forty Niners needed the bonus kick like they needed a hole in the head. But they won it from Green Bay, Chicago Cardinals, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and (ahem) Cleveland. The Forty Niners picked end Harry Babcock, umpteenth in a long line guys "just like Hutson." Harry wound up on defense. The year before, the Los Angeles Rams had just won the championship, and, you guessed it, they also won the bonus choice. They picked quarterback Bill Wade despite the fact that they already had Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterfield. Ditto hole in the head! In 1951, the New York Giants won the great Kyle Rote when their strongest suit was just fine. The year before, Detroit grabbed Leon Hart when the Lion muscles were starting to bulge. In 1949, the Philadelphia Eagles were still fingering their playoff pennants when Santa dropped in with Chuck Bednarik. Washington had the greatest, Sammy Baugh, in 1948 when Harry Gilmer came up as a bonus. Away back in 1947 when Commissioner Bert Bell thought up this pre-draft thrill, you'll never guess who won the first bonus choice. None other than the lucky Bears! George Halas' Monsters had just won the flag. But George's luck must have run out because the guy he picked, back Bob Fennimore, never did live up to expectations. All of the picks, except Fennimore and Wade, who likely will make his debut next fall after two years in service, turned out to be stars. Now, friends, you can see why rich Cleveland is a lead pipe cinch to win the bonus choice from Green Bay, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and the Cardinals. Unfortunately, we are unable to reveal - for sure, that is - the Browns' bonus pick. Offhand, we don't see any glaring weaknesses on that outfit. Best guess, though, is Bobby Garrett, the great Stanford quarterback who has been rated as "everybody's bonus pick". The Browns don't need a quarterback, what with Otto Graham and George Ratterman, but Bobby Boy would assure the Browns of "half a team" via the trade route. What are the Packers' chances of winning the bonus pick? That, to put it mildly, is most unpredictable - unless the trend changes or unless our luck changes. Maybe the Packers' new head, Liz Blackbourn, can change that luck. Liz is keeping his fingers crossed, too. Who would the Packers pick as a bonus if they won? There's no official word on that, but Blackbourn said the other day that he expected most clubs to pick Garrett. Bobby would be excellent insurance if Babe Parilli was called into service. If The Babe stays around, Garrett could mean half of somebody's line. Anyhow, keep the knuckles crossed!
JAN 21 (Neenah) - The folks out in the hinterlands apparently are pleased with the new Packer regime - too! There was no doubt how the Green Bayites felt about the selection of Lisle W. (Liz) Blackbourn as head coach of the Packers at the big welcome banquet in Green Bay Saturday night. The reaction was the same at the Neenah Quarterback Club's seventh annual pork and beef festival for the Neenah High School football team. This was a big event. More than 500 people crowded the basement of St. Patrick's school and, as a climax, the great Red Grange delivered an address. The magic six-letter word - Packer - spiced the talks throughout the program. And to make it official, Packer publicist Jug Earp introduced "the new head coach of the Packers, a fella I'm positive will do a terrific job - Liz Blackbourn." The new Packer mentor paid tribute to the "greatest All-American present tonight - Mark Catlin, Sr," who was Lisle's coach at Lawrence college. "Somebody was saying something about desire here tonight," Blackbourn said, "and when that Catlin looked at you under those bushy eyebrows and those cold, gray eyes, you had desire." The other All-American present was Allan Ameche, Wisconsin's great fullback - not to mention Jimmy Miller, the sophomore who did such a fine job of directing the Badgers from quarterback last fall. "If you can't beat 'em, we'll join 'em," Blackbourn said, referring to Marquette's loss to Wisconsin last fall, "and I hope to see Allan in one year and Miller in two - in Green Bay." Tribute to Blackbourn and "best wishes" to him were made throughout the evening. Grange, undoubtedly reflecting the feeling in Chicago, where he's affiliated with the Bears in spirit, said, "I', sure you're going to have a fine team up there with Mr. Blackbourn as coach. We all wish him all the luck in the world." Mentioned Ameche, Grange said, "I hope that when Allan finishes his career at Wisconsin, he goes right up there - at Green Bay." Ameche said earlier in the evening that he planned to play professional football in 1955. "Ole No. 77" talked briefly about the intense rivalry between George Halas, coach of the Bears, and Curly Lambeau, founder and head coach of the Packers for 30 years. "Those two fellows never shook hands after a game. They just didn't believe in it, because they wanted to beat each other so badly." He spoke highly of the famous Packer-Bear feud and added that "Coach Blackbourn will certainly add fuel to the rivalry." Larry Clark, former Packer game sportscaster, served as master of ceremonies and introduced a number of guests. Among them was Jug Girard, the former Packer who moved to Detroit in time to get in on two world's championships. The Jugger wished the Packers and Blackbourn "the best of luck except on two Sundays every year." Asked by Clark what he did with his championship playoff check, Girard said that he bought a new car in Detroit, drove it home to Kaukauna and then "my wife smashed it up." Just to put a happy ending to the Girard story, the Jugger reported after the banquet that "we're starting to build a house in Kaukauna tomorrow; yeh, starting the basement." The Packers were well represented. Besides Blackbourn and Earp, there were scout Jack Vainisi and directors Max Murphy and Mickey McCormick. Blackbourn, incidentally, put in a rather trying day yesterday. He delivered an address in Stevens Point Tuesday night and developed motor trouble going home late in the evening. He was forced to stay in Appleton that night and remained there while his car was being repaired on Wednesday.
JAN 28 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Strengthening themselves where they were weakest in 1953, the Green Bay Packers today grabbed off last season’s two most prized college tackles and a swift halfback in the first two round of the NFL’s annual draft meeting in the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel here. After the talent-laden Cleveland Browns had won the bonus choice and snapped up quarterback Bob Garrett of Stanford, the Packers selected Art Hunter, Notre Dame giant rated as the No. 1 collegian tackle in the nation, as their first pick. Then, collecting a fat dividend on a trade with the New York Giants last fall, they acquired the Giants’ first choice, halfback Veryl Switzer of Kansas State. New York earlier had dealt defensive halfback Val Joe Walker to the Packers under terms of the Galiffa deal. In the second round, head coach Lisle (Liz) Blackbourn made off with an unexpected prize, Bob Fleck, huge Syracuse tackle. He and Hunter were rated the finest in the country at their positions and Blackbourn hadn’t expected Fleck to last out the first round. Continuing their search for talent to bolster the line, the Packers picked George Timberlake, University of South California guard, in the third round. Green Bay’s fourth selection was fullback Tom Allman of West Virginia’s 1954 Sugar Bowl eleven and the fifth was Max McGee, Tulane’s halfback. Allman, 6 feet and 210 pounds, reportedly is an excellent blocker and good pass receiver. McGee, a rangy 6-3, 200-pounder, is considered an outstanding pass receiver and Blackbourn says he will be converted to offensive end to fill the hole left by the departure of Clive Rush, who today signed as an assistant coach at Dayton university. The Packers acquired Allman for the Baltimore Colts in payment for quarterback Dick Flowers, traded to the Colts last fall. The Packers’ own fourth pick went to Washington for halfback Johnny Papit. They also will lose their sixth choice to the Detroit Lions in exchange for tackle Gus Cifelli, who came to Green Bay during the 1953 season…Hunter, only the third player in Notre Dame history to play three positions in three years, and the mountainous Fleck are figured to give the Packers help where they need it most – at offensive tackle. Another prime requisite, in Blackbourn’s estimation, was a speedy halfback and he feels that he had him in Switzer, tabbed a 190-pound “Buddy Young”. The 5-11 Kansas State Negro was far and away the outstanding running back in the East-West Shrine game at San Francisco New Year’s Day. Timberlake, a 6-1, 220-pound specimen, starred for Southern California against Wisconsin in the 1953 Rose Bowl game. He is a veteran of three seasons on the Trojan varsity. In Hunter and Fleck, Blackbourn acquired 500 pounds of tackle. Hunter, who was once employed at end by Notre Dame coach Frank Leahy because of his speed, stands 6-2 and scales 240 pounds. Fleck, who plays middle guard on defense and will be the biggest the Packers have had at that position since Ed Neal, also is 6-2 but carries 260 pounds. Explaining why he had passed over Kentucky’s highly regarded Steve Meilinger, Blackbourn said, “I feel that Switzer will do us more good. Judging by the films of last year’s games, the Packers were hurt because they lacked a really fast back, Meilinger is a fine football player, but he couldn’t help us in that respect.” The Packers were able to land both Hunter and Fleck because only one other tackle was chosen in the first two rounds. He was Dick Chapman of Rice Institute, drafted by the World Champion Detroit Lions. The Packers bypassed Chapman after they learned he is independently wealthy and an atomic physicist – and thus probably would not be interested in playing pro football…Cleveland’s success in the bonus draw came as no surprise here. It merely followed the pattern of previous years in which the “halves” invariably have come up with the plum, much to the dismay of the “have nots”. A year ago, the San Francisco Forty Niners hit the jackpot and took Harry Babcock, Georgia end. In 1952, the then champion Los Angeles Rams came up with Bill Wade. The year before, the New York Giants, at that time battling the Browns for the Eastern Conference championship annually, landed Kyle Rote, and in 1950, the Lions picked Leon Hart. The already-quarterback rich Cleveland team took Garrett apparently either as insurance for the aging Otto Graham or as trade bait to strengthen other positions. Speculation already is ripe here that Coach Paul Brown will deal away either Graham’s understudy, George Ratterman, or Garrett before the start of the 1954 season. Oddly enough, three of the other four teams (Pittsburgh, Chicago Cardinals and Baltimore) engaging in the bonus grab needed quarterbacks to strengthen their clubs. All were on record as seeking a passer and all were far below Cleveland in the standings last season…Working with Blackbourn at the Packer tackle were Scout Jack Vainisi, Assistant Coaches Tom Hearden and Ray McLean, General Manager Verne Lewellen and President Russ Bogda. Press, radio and TV representatives also sat in on the session for the first time in NFL history.
JAN 28 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – Packer Coach Lisle Blackbourn received an unexpected blow last night when the news broke that end Clive Rush had been signed as an assistant coach under Hugh Devore at Dayton University. “We had planned on him to play plenty of end next fall, and maybe some defensive halfbacking,” Liz said, adding “looks like we’ll have to go for an end now fairly early in the draft – that’s one position we weren’t worrying about.” As if the news from Dayton wasn’t bad enough, Blackbourn had just heard a talk by Bob Snyder, the National league’s Man-Against-Canada, at Wednesday night’s meeting. Snyder told the delegates that Canadian clubs had contacted and made offers to just about every top football player in the country. This pointed up to Blackbourn that the Packers might possibly have to bid against Canadian teams for the players they want, which reminds of the war against the All-American conference. This Canadian thing is on a minor scale, of course, but there’s no question but what the northerners could possibly hurt the Packers. In the last four years of Canadian war, the Packers have lost only one top-drawer draft choice – Bob Gain, the Kentucky tackle who was the Bays’ No. 1 pick in 1950. Gain never should have been allowed to get away. Reportedly, the difference between Green Bay and the Canadian club was only $500. Blackbourn, in giving considerable thought to the problem of signing these players, “Once we draft ‘em.”…The winner of the bonus choice is another story but it is interesting to note how the Browns felt about Bobby Garrett, the great Stanford quarterback, last night – 12 hours before the draft started. Coach Paul Brown had arranged specific meetings with the other four bonus-eligible clubs (Green Bay, Baltimore, Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh) for the purpose of talking trade. That would indicate what Mr. Brown thinks of Mr. Garrett…The Packers have seven representatives at the 1954 parley. Besides Packer Coach Blackbourn, there are President Russ Bogda, General Manager Verne Lewellen, Assistant Coaches Tom Hearden and Ray McLean, Scout Jack Vainisi and Attorney F.N. Trowbridge. Gene Ronzani, former Packer head coach, is here, presumably looking for a job. Commissioner Bert Bell gave out some lovable attendance figures last night. In 72 league games last fall, the league drew a record 2,164,585 fans – an increase of 112,489 over 1952. The increase boiled down to 5.2 percent or 1,500 per game. The ’53 mark represents an increase of 45 percent since 1945. Pro football is here to stay!
JAN 29 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Green Bay Packers’ coaching staff today was complete with the announcement by Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn that Lou Rymkus, former Notre Dame and Cleveland Brown tackle, has been named line coach and Ray (Scooter) McLean as his third aide. Tom Hearden, former St. Norbert college strategist, had been appointed backfield coach Jan. 9. Indicating his pleasure over securing the services of Rymkus and McLean, Blackbourn said, “This arrangement will give us a more flexible staff since McLean will be able to perform more duties than an end coach.” He originally had planned to complete the staff with line and end coaches. Like Hearden, Rymkus and McLean will be employed the year-around in Green Bay and Rymkus will take up permanent residence in the home of the Packers. McLean has been a Green Bay resident since joining the Packer staff. Rymkus, who comes to the Packers with glowing recommendations, played seven years of professional football, six with Cleveland and one with the Washington Redskins, and enjoys the distinction of having played in the championship game each of those seven seasons. A graduate of Chicago’s Tilden Tech High School, where he was a member of the varsity for three seasons, Rymkus later starred at Notre Dame for three years, 1940-41-42, and was named the team’s most valuable player as a senior. After spending the 1943 season with Washington and playing against the Chicago Bears in that year’s title game, Rymkus entered the Navy in 1944 and played for Bainbridge, Md. In 1945, he was transferred to Pearl Harbor and in the fall of that tear was stationed at Notre Dame, where he was tackle coach under Hugh Devore, a Packer aide in 1953. Rymkus joined the Browns in 1946 and played six seasons in Cleveland, retiring after the 1951 season. In the spring of 1952, he was an assistant to Bernie Crimmins at Indiana University, but remained out of football in the fall of that year. Last season, he served as line coach under Bob Snyder with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian league. Born Nov. 6, 1919, Rymkus presently makes his home in Cleveland, but he said he will sell his home there and move to Green Bay. He is married and the father of nine-year-old sons, Pat and Mike. McLean, who came to Green Bay in 1951, will be returning for his fourth season. Backfield coach the last three years, it is expected he will be assigned other duties for 1954. Scooter, who scouted the North-South, Orange and Senior Bowl games for the Packers, played college football at St. Anselm’s in Manchester, N.H., where he was a standout. He also competed in track, hockey and baseball there. One of football’s fastest halfbacks, he later played eight years with the Chicago Bears, during which time he was a member of four championship teams. Upon retiring from the gridiron, McLean became head coach at Lewis College in Lockport, Ill., serving from 1948 to 1950, before joining the Packer staff in ’51. McLean, born in Lowell, Mass., on December 6, 1915, is married and the father of a year-old son.
JAN 29 ((Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – The Packers had the makings of powerful line today – one that Coach Lisle Blackbourn hopes will restore Green Bay as a passing power in the NFL. “We came here looking for a strong line and we believe we have made a step toward that end,” Blackbourn commented early this morning after the league completed its 19th annual college player draft in the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. Out of a possible 29, the Packers selected 19 linemen – or two-thirds of the entire list – in an effort to give Babe Parilli, Tobin Rote and company the protection they need to make the club’s passing and running game click. Actually, the bulk of the protection is concentrated from tackle to tackles – the men who keep the inner sanctum clear. The Bays landed eight tackles, four guards and one center – 13 men who average better than 230 pounds…The tackle crop is headed by Art Hunter, the club’s No. 1 choice from Notre dame. Hunter, a 240-pounder with speed, specializes in offense and he can go at center or guard. In the No. 3 slot, Bob Fleck, the 260-pound offenser from Syracuse and also an experienced middle guard. Those two add up to 500 pounds alone. The seventh and eighth choices contained 460 pounds of tackle – Sam Marshall, the Negro All-American from Florida A. and M. and 220-pound Jim Williams, also a kickoff man, from Texas Tech. The country’s other Negro All-America tackle, 235-pound Bill Buford of Morgan State, was nailed on the 22nd round. To round out the tackle picnic, Blackbourn grabbed Jack Smalley, 225 pounds, of Alabama; Ralph Baierl, a 220-pound junior from Maryland; and darkhorse Jerry Dufek, the highly recommended 215-pounder from St. Norbert College. The Packers went high for their first guard – the No. 3 pick – to get George Timberlake, 220, from Southern California, who likely will replace Army-bound Dick Logan. On the No. 13 round, Mike Takacs of Ohio State, the best pro line prospect there, came to Green Bay…The Packers gambled on their third guard, highly publicized J.D. Roberts of Oklahoma, on the 17th round. Roberts obviously at 210 pounds is too light for the pros, but Blackbourn is hoping he’ll regain the extra weight that made him a 220-pounder as a junior. The fourth guard was Lowell Herbert, at 215, who impressed Blackbourn when his Marquetters played College of Pacific last fall. The 13th man in the tackle-to-tackle corps was the second Ken Hall the Packers drafted, a center from Springfield, Mass., College, who packs 220 pounds on a six-foot frame. He was the only center selected – in the 19th round. The other Ken Hall, by the way, is an end from North Texas State, who packs 200. The Bays picked up six ends – not counting halfback Max McGee of Tulane, who will be switched to offensive end. McGee is a long distance receiver and has a quick takeoff. Three of the ends specialize in defense – Hosea Sims, Blackbourn’s former grid pupil at MU, who was chosen in the 27th round; 24th choice Marv Tenefoss, a 210-pounder from Stanford; and big Gene Knutson, the 225-pounder from Michigan who hails from Beloit. To help fill the shoes of departed-to-coach Clive Rush and give Bob Mann and Bill Howton a run, besides McGee, are Dave Davis, a 210-pounder from Georgia Teach; Oregon’s Henry Barnes, who soars 6-5 and packs 215 pounds; and the Texas Hall…Besides a line, Blackbourn said before the draft, “We’ll go for that one top back and a fullback with some weight.” He was able to accomplish the backfield phase of that mission – to some extent at least – in the first four picks. The top back turned out to be Veryl Switzer, the 190-pound Negro flash from Kansas State. Like most of the other picks, Switzer is a strong two-way player. He was an All-American as a defensive back as a sophomore and junior and last year, because of the one-platoon system, developed easily into an all-Big Seven offensive back, too. He scored two TDs in the East-West game and outplayed all of the more publicized stars. The Giants picked Switzer – at the Packers’ request – in the first round to complete payment for Arnie Galiffa. For a fullback with some weight, the Packers latched onto Tom Allman of West Virginia, a 210-pounder highly recommended by Dave Stephenson. Allman is a powerful blocker for the passer, a strong runner and good pass receiver. For FB-weight variety, Michigan State’s barrel-legged Evan Slonac was chosen in the 28th round. He packs 175 pounds on a 5-8 frame and carries powerful legs. The Bays grabbed two good-sized halfbacks in Bill Oliver, 190, of Alabama on the 12th round, and Desmond Koch, the nation’s leading punter from Southern California. Koch, who packs 205 pounds, averaged 44.7 on 22 punts. The other halfback named was Art Liebscher of College of the Pacific, who carries 180 pounds on a lightning-fast pair of legs…The Packers came up with a good darkhorse in a quarterback – one Clint Sathrum of St. Olaf’s national small-college phenoms. Clint is a cross between at 6-1, 195. He’s a good passer and quick with the handoff. He led St. Olaf to an unbeaten season, most yards and most points in the nation. Sathrum, selected on the 23rd round, was recommended by Bernie Heselton, Lawrence college coach whose team played against St. Olaf’s. To round out the QB competition, the Packer pickers – Blackbourn, Jack Vainisi, Ray McLean and Tom Hearden – grabbed Terry Campbell of Washington State on the 30th round. Campbell is a lanky sort at 6-2, 172. The consensus around the draft room was that Green Bay had made an excellent draft for the simple reason that the Packers had been able to fill the positions where they needed strength – especially by doing so in the first eight rounds when the really top-notch boys were still available. Blackbourn said that each boy selected will be officially informed by telegram today. Contacting the athletes already has started in some cases. No time will be lost in going after Hunter, who is being haunted by Canadian representatives.
JAN 29 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - For one fleeting fraction of a second, the delegations from the 12 precincts in the NFL thought Green Bay had won the bonus choice here Thursday. And the gentlemen from Packerland suffered a missed heartbeat. After picking numbers for drawing positions, Pittsburgh and Baltimore drew blank slips (the slip marked with an X is the winner) out of a hat suspended by Dennis Shea, league treasurer. Coach Liz Blackbourn, drawing ion the No. 3 slot for the Packers, was confronted with three slips in the hat, the others being for Cleveland and the Chicago Cardinals. Blackbourn pulled out a slip, turned to face Commissioner Bert Bell as he opened it, looked down at the slip and then hesitated for a fleeting moment. You got the impression that Blackbourn couldn’t believe his eyes at the sight of an X. He handed the slip to Bell, who coldly called forth Cleveland to draw. All of which meant that the Packers didn’t win. Harold Sauerbrei, new publicity director for the Browns, did the picking for the Browns. As expected and predicted in your favorite newspaper two weeks ago, the rich Browns got richer. Tim Mara, owner of the New York Giants, quipped a moment later, “That’s one time the Browns didn’t need Groza to win something.” The Packers’ draft room luck didn’t stay bad however because the Giants won the flipoff with Baltimore, which meant the Packers got two consecutive first round picks, second and third; otherwise they would have drawn second and fourth. Before the draft opened, Bell recited the draft rules, and then urged the clubs to cooperate with each other on eligibility. “Everybody will benefit if you speak up when a club picks an ineligible player,” he said. Five of the players drafted a year ago were ineligible, and thus thrown into this year’s draft. One was Baylor’s Bill Lucky, who was picked by Green Bay. Lucky was picked in the fifth round yesterday by the Browns. The press, admitted to the draft for the first time in history, sweated along with their respective clubs – in a separate section of the room. The early rounds “drug” on something fierce. Finally about 3:15 in the afternoon, after only eight rounds had been completed, Bell said, “Look, boys, we’ll be here until 4 or 5 o’clock Friday morning; let’s speed it up.” In the earlier rounds, some of the clubs deliberated as long as 20 minutes on a single pick…Packer Capt. Bob Forte watched the draft with the Miller Brewing Company delegation and said he was pleased with the Bay picks. Bob may play after all next fall. He had told friends earlier that he “might retire.”…Weeb Ewbank, new head coach of the Baltimore Colts, found himself in an unusual position during the draft – at the Cleveland Browns’ table. When Coach Paul Brown “permitted” the Colts to hire Ewbank, one of the contract stipulations was that Ewbank work with the Browns on the draft. Brown was afraid Ewbank would take some of his secrets to Baltimore. The Colts’ draft was handled by former Coach Keith Molesworth, who, of course, got his instructions from Ewbank…The first University of Wisconsin player chosen was halfback Roger Dornburg – in the 13th round by Washington. Badger Coach Ivy Williamson said in Green Bay last fall that “the pro crop was extremely thin last fall.” Several of the nation’s top All-America players went way down the line. Pittsburgh drafted Paul Cameron, the great UCLA runner-passer, in the eighth round. Paul Geil, the Minnesota whiz who told everybody he plans to play baseball, was nailed by the Bears in the ninth round. Washington got Menominee’s Billy Wells in the 15th round. The Packers drew a few “ohs” when they selected J.D. Roberts, the Oklahoma lad who made just about every All-America, in the 17th round. The Packers took him in hopes that he might gain some weight. J.D. played at 220 and 225 as a junior…There is plenty of trade talk here. The Browns, with Bobby Garrett, may barter George Ratterman – possibly to the Cardinals. Detroit wants Tank Younger in a bad way from Los Angeles. Washington owner George Marshall has been handing around the Detroit table, with trade in his eye. The Redskins have fullbacks to burn and the Lions could use any one of them…Writers here are assuming that Ray McLean will remain as a member of the Packer coaching staff. That’s a good assumption. Ray and Scout Jack Vainisi worked closely with Coach Blackbourn during the draft. The others, Blackbourn, Verne Lewellen, Russ Bogda and Tom Hearden, were in on their first draft. You can rest assured that the four “newcomers” became “veterans” in a hurry and conducted themselves in excellent fashion.
JAN 29 (Green Bay) - Dufek’s selection comes at a time when the 23-year old Milwaukee native would be facing an otherwise bleak day. He was admitted to St. Vincent Hospital at 7:45 last night and was to undergo an operation today. The 6 foot 2 1/2-inch tackle was sidelined with a knee injury in the 1953 Great Lakes-St. Norbert game. The minor operation is to correct a defect in the knee cartilage. Dufek’s prowess became known early to his past and future coach, Tom Hearden. Coming to St. Norbert from Milwaukee Boys’ Tech, he starred on two undefeated Knight teams, 1950 and ’52. He left college at the completion of the 1950 season for a hitch with the Marines, serving one year in Korea. The 220 pounds lineman at one time had participated in 16 consecutive winning games with the Knights.
JAN 29 (Philadelphia) - The NFL rewarded commissioner Bert Bell with a new 12-year contract Friday. But Bell turned down a raise in pay. The commissioner receives the comfortable salary of $30,000 a year, plus a $10,000 annual payment into a pension fund for him. And he pointed to the unusual costs to the league in the last few years as the reason for turning down the increase. Bell said the league had spent $200,000 in the past two years to settle its affairs in connection with defunct Dallas club, payments on a lease on Yankee Stadium by the equally defunct New York Yankees, settling the Baltimore tangle, where one club was moved out and a new franchise later was issued, and on the costs so far of defending the government's anti-trust television suit. All that was done without an assessment against the clubs. With more still to be paid in connection with the TV suit, Bell figured that even the television-inspired prosperity of the clubs might not stand a further drain on the league's treasury. Eventually, the club owners voted down by a 7-5 margin a proposal designed to prevent piling up on a downed ball carrier and let a couple of other suggested changes die. The reading of the league's financial report showed attendance increased 45 percent from 1945 to 1953 and 35 percent between 1949 and 1953. In a night session, the club owners narrowly rejected a proposal to increase the player limit to 35 men for each club, instead of the present 33, and to abolish the "injured reserve" list.
JAN 30 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers have been moving right along since the new regime stepped in. We got that impression last night in reviewing the Packer meat of the 1954 NFL convention at the Bellevue Stratford Hotel. Actually, Coach Lisle Blackbourn has been behind the Packer wheel only since Monday, Jan. 11 - the day he fought snow and wind in a drive up from Milwaukee to officially take over in place of Gene Ronzani. He was appointed head coach Jan. 7. Only 18 days have passed since he took active command, but in that short space he has (1) evaluated the needs of the Packers through a thorough study of the 1953 Packer films, (2) decided that the club's No. 1 need is a big, strong line, (3) drafted 29 players to help correct that deficiency, (4) rounded out his coaching staff with the appointment of Lou Rymkus as line coach and Ray McLean as assistant, and (5) already launched the huge task of contacting the draftees and free agents. Blackbourn, Backfield Coach Tom Hearden and Scout Jack Vainisi left here early today for Green Bay and a short breather Sunday before plunging into their player-signing hunt. McLean went east to contact a number of prospects. The 29 players the Packers drafted were officially informed by telegram today. The wire, sent to each player, follows: "Welcome to the Green Bay Packers and the NFL. Everyone is happy you are to be with us. We have been world champions six times. Having you with us is a step toward another championship era. Will contact you soon."...ARRANGE FOR TALKS: The No. 1 task is signing the No. 1 draft pick - tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame - one of 19 linemen whose main job is to bolster the Packers' front wall. Arrangements for contract talks with Hunter were started yesterday afternoon. Blackbourn and his aides went into a huddle yesterday noon and spent the entire afternoon and part of the evening in his room, calling players they had drafted as well as free agents. Meanwhile, President Russ Bogda and General Manager Verne Lewellen sat in on the league seasons. This procedure points up the Packers' new program - the coaches handling the coaching and player details and Lewellen and Packer officials working into the various business phases of the club. Thus, Liz can put all of his thoughts into the coaching and player phase without getting tangled into such things as television, radio, etc. Blackbourn wasn't revealing the progress made with talks with players yesterday but it can be reported that he was in a happy frame of mind, along with Hearden, Vainisi and McLean, last night. Blackbourn kept receiving glowing reports about Max McGee, the six-foot-three-inch, 203-pound halfback from Tulane, drafted No. 5. The Packers' coach said during the draft that he intended to make an offensive end out of McGee and "from what I've been hearing about him, he might be just the kind of big, offensive end we're looking for." The Bay coach talked with, among others, his No. 3 draft choice - guard George Timberlake, the 220-pounder from Southern California. Timberlake was told that he was needed at a certain position and "he told me, 'I can take care of that situation for you'," Blackbourn said...Plenty of work is being done on the Packer non-conference schedule by Lewellen and Bogda. Dates, opponents and places aren't ready to be announced yet, but it was indicated that the Packers will play six non-loop games next fall. All games will be played against Eastern Conference teams. Bell swears the league schedule won't come up for discussion in closing sessions today. Club representatives are quite happy to let their commissioner handle the entire card. The schedule setup won't change. Each club will play home and home with each club in its own division to furnish 10 contests. The other two games will be against two different opponents in the opposite division...Football is threatening to replace tennis as the sport of gentlemen. The NFL Friday joined its amateur brethren, the NCAA, in appealing to the better nature of its mayhem-minded behemoths. The appeal was in conjunction with players faking injuries in the late minutes of the first or second half in order to stop the clock and save valuable time for possible scoring maneuvers. Commissioner Bert Bell introduced a measure aimed at regulating such histrionics. Portly Mr. Bell would have his officials run off 15 seconds on the clock in the last two minutes of a half or of the game whenever a player injury or disqualification crops up. The officials would act only when the game is tied or the offensive team is behind. But despite their vote of confidence in the commissioner - a new 12 year contract - the owners disagreed with Bell. They voted to "remind coaches to remind their players of the gentlemen's agreement pertaining to no faking of injuries in the last two minutes of the half or of the game." The NCAA, in convention at Cincinnati recently, did the same thing. The NFL executives in the third day of their annual meeting also agreed to retain one of the pro league's bread and butter rules despite its contribution to the injury list. A few owners would eliminate the rule under which pro ball carriers can get up and run even after they are tackled. The reason, of course, is to limit piling on and resulting injury to highly paid chattels. The suggested revision would have made the ball dead after the defense makes contact with the runner and any part of the latter's body, except his hands or feet touch the ground. The crowd loves to see a man hit and then have him get up and run again, the owners agreed, adding that it's one of the features that distinguishes the pro game from the college game. Other rule changes which failed to see the light of day included elimination of the extra point and a sudden death period in the event of a tie.
JAN 30 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Lou Rymkus, the Packers' new line coach, carries the nickname, "Battler". Notre Dame Coach Frank Leahy pinned it on him when Rymkus came out of a game back in '42. Lou had played 58 minutes and when Leahy grabbed his hand on the sidelines he said: "Lou, you're a battler." That's the way he was with the Browns, too, Cleveland newspapermen and club representatives said here yesterday. "Both of his knees were patched up; they looked like mummies, but he went full speed in every game and during practice," the Brownies said. This may sound like a recommendation for a player, but it represents the sort of spirit Coach Liz Blackbourn hopes Rymkus will instill in the Packer line. As a player, Rymkus has experienced just about the limit in success. He was a two-way regular as a rookie with Washington in 1943, and fought in the playoff against the Bears that year. In six seasons with the Browns, he never missed getting into the playoff. He averaged 50 minutes in his first three Brownie campaigns, 1946-47-48, and served as offensive captain in 1950-51. His experience at Calgary under Bob Snyder was tough. "We had Frankie Albert (former Frisco quarterback) early in the season, but he was hurt and we had nothing left," Rymkus said yesterday. But his experience in the Canadian League makes Rymkus sort of an official Packer campaigner against the Canadian setup. He can give the Packers prospects the exact picture of playing in Canada and, judging by the way Lou talked, we can't see  how a United Stater can prefer playing up there over a team in our land. Rymkus was sought by former Packer aide Hugh Devore at Dayton University and there was considerable speculation that Weeb Ewbank wanted him in Baltimore. Weeb was Rymkus' coach at Cleveland. Lou coached the tackles under Devore when the Bay line coach was stationed in the Navy at Notre Dame in 1945. Lou had called Cleveland his home, but "I'm going to sell my home and move up to Green Bay; it's a year-round job, you know." He's married and has twin 9-year old sons, Pat and Mike...Commissioner Bert Bell drew some laughs from the pressmen when he said, "The extra point was humiliated for no second and my sudden death period was humiliated for no motion." Bell, for years, has been trying to sell the clubs doing away with the extra point and installing a sudden death system of deciding tie games. "It might take ten years, but I'll keep bringing up that extra point and sudden death."...Two of the former head coaches, who resigned since the 1953 season, are in the market for work. Steve Owen, who left the New York post early in December, has cut himself loose from the NY front office. Gene Ronzani, the former Packer, could possibly get a backfield job with Pittsburgh or Chicago Cardinals. Baltimore is also looking for assistants. Keith Molesworth, former Colt head coach, now has a white collar job with the same club. Also here in a hunt for jobs are Paul Bixler, former backfield coach at Penn; Otis Douglas, the combination trainer-line coach from Baltimore; and Bob Snyder, one time head coach of the Los Angeles Rams and assistant with the Packers. Snyder, who had been on the payroll of the league as an anti-Canada agent, says he expects to "land something with a league team."
FEB 1 (Madison) - One of the mysteries of the NFL draft remains the case of Oklahoma's J.D. Roberts. Here was a guard who was practically a unanimous All-American choice, was named as "Lineman of the Year" by both Associated Press and United Press, was the outstanding lineman in the Orange Bowl game. The Green Bay Packers got him as their 17th choice. A total of 194 players had been drafted by league clubs before Green Bay picked up the 5-10, 210-pound Oklahoma star. The only explanation that makes sense is that Roberts let it be known that he might play professional football.
FEB 1 (Green Bay) - With one eye on Canada and the other on their draft lists, the Packers and the 11 other clubs in the NFL today jumped into the enormous task of signing 361 players - not to mention scores of free agents who eluded the draft in Philadelphia last week. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn was back at his desk today - but probably not for long. There's a player he wants to see in South Bend, Ind., by the name of Art Hunter, the Bays' No. 1 choice. The Packers already have been in telephone touch with Hunter. Canada is hot after Hunter, an agile, 240-pound tackle, and one of that country's clubs has offered him a sort of combined contract - for his services as a player and as an assistant coach of the pro team. To opine a bit, it can be pointed out that Hunter would be stepping into a ticklish situation. Merely this: He, as a rookie, would be asked to teach and coach pro veterans of many years - not to mention Canadian boys. That might not set so well. At any rate, the Packers' effort to sign Hunter and other members of their 29-player draft list brings the National League's war against the Canadian loop close to home. At the NFL convention, club representatives were informed by Bob Snyder, Calgary head coach in '53 and now a National League "agent" against the Canadians, that Canada has "at least 16 free agents who might be worthwhile to sign by American teams." That was in line with Commissioner Bert Bell's plan to "raid" Canadian clubs. One of the players not on the reserve list of U.S. clubs was Floyd Harrawood, the big tackle drafted by the Packers a year ago and then released after tryouts last fall. Harrawood, a 245-pounder from Tulsa University, played the last nine games for Snyder at Calgary. Owner Art Rooney of Pittsburgh expressed an interest in going after Harrawood so that "Floyd can join our other Tulsa boys," including quarterback Jim Finks. The Packers will get a good view of Harrawood's Canadian progress from their new assistant coach, Lou Rymkus, who was line coach at Calgary last year. Actually, the league took no specific action on the so-called Canadian war. Club representatives merely heard a report by Snyder on conditions there. Snyder's report had no bearing on the manner if which the various clubs drafted, although his words did serve to hammer home the fact that some of their stars would be given strong talking points by the Canadians. Wednesday night before the draft, Blackbourn decided definitely that "threats by the Canadians to the boys we intend to draft must not interfere with our plans." But Liz admitted that the report, coming as it did the night before the draft, did "give me something to think about." The Packers' first six picks (at least) - each one designed to bolster a particular weakness - are wanted 
FEB 4 (Green Bay) - With a 240-pound assist from the Packers, the NFL held a resounding first-round victory over
Canadian forces today in the two circuits' so-called player war. The Americans invaded the campus of Notre Dame, our country's top football power, and came off with contracts of three players selected in the first round of the draft just a week ago today. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn signed art Hunter, Notre Dame's All-American tackle. Pittsburgh Coach Joe Bach inked Johnny Lattner, the All-America halfback and Philadelphia Coach Jim Trimble signed Neil Worden, the Milwaukeean who fullbacked the Irish for three seasons. The Eagles also added Notre Dame guard Menil Mavraides, their fourth round selection. All three coaches saw their No. 1 choices in person yesterday afternoon. Blackbourn was accompanied by Lou Rymkus, the Packers' new line coach - himself a former Notre Dame tackle star. Blackbourn, to put it mildly, was delighted. It was his first hand-to-hand attempt to sign a Packer prospect and since it was the Packers' No. 1 choice he had particular reason to be happy. Liz, who left the South Bend, Ind., for Michigan today, said that Hunter "represents the first step in strengthening our line." Hunter likely will play offensive tackle - a position at which he starred last fall. Blackbourn aimed his draft at toughening the Bay wall, selecting eight tackles, four guards and one center. Hunter expressed great interest in joining the Packers. He already had several offers from Canadian clubs - one of which included an assistant coach's job. After the signing, Hunter said he was "glad to be with Green Bay." On the N.D. campus, presently buzzing with excitement resulting from the resignation of Coach Frank Leahy and the appointment of Terry Brennan as his successor, Hunter is known as "another George Connor - only better." The new Packer tackle - who will be 21 years of age in April - is considered a tremendous blocker. The native of Akron, Ohio, is gifted with amazing speed for his size - six-feet-four inches and 242 pounds. The sure-fire pro bet played tackle both ways, 60 minutes in tough games, under the one-platoon system last fall. In three seasons at ND, he has been shifted around to strengthen three spots. As a sophomore, Hunter worked at center; he was a defensive end as a junior. But last fall Notre Dame needed strength at tackle, so Hunter was switched again. Just a youngster, Hunter has played only five seasons of varsity ball. At St. Vincent High in Akron, the big athlete won his first letter as a junior, repeating in his senior year. Also at St. Vincent, Hunter won two letter in baseball and three in basketball. Hunter is of English and Hungarian descent. Signing of Hunter gives Blackbourn and other Packers "signers" a good talking point in their conversation with the other draft picks - not to mention the
FEB 24 (Green Bay) - Veryl Swtitzer, the "middleman" in the Packers' Big Three, is in the fold. Signing of Kansas State's great two-way halfback was announced today by Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn after Switzer decided to end his track career due to a bruised heel. Blackbourn now has his top three draft choices set for 1954. Signed first was the No. 1 pick - tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame and next to fall in line was No. 2 selection, tackle Bob Fleck of Syracuse, both All-Americans. Switzer, 21, actually was the Packers' second No. 1 grab. The New York Giants owed the Packers their first draft choice in the deal that sent quarterback Arnie Gailiffa to NY and also included defensive halfback Val Joe Walker, who broke in with the Pack last fall. Switzer, 190 pounds of speed on a 5-11 frame, is a right halfback on offense and a safety on defense. Where'll he play in pro football's two-platoon system won't be known until late in September but you can bet Blackbourn will give him a thorough test on both offense and defense. Switzer turned out to be what Blackbourn predicted before the draft. "We've got to strengthen the line but we'll go early, too, for that one good back," he said before the selection. Switzer was eyed by at least eight other clubs and especially the Bears who feted him during a trip to Chicago before the draft. All three of the Packers' ace draftees were oogled by Canadian teams. Switzer in particular had a tough decision to make because, reportedly, his college coach was headed for Canada. But Switzer was invited to Green Bay three weeks ago and the Negro took a liking to the city as well as the people he met. Switzer leaves a raft of accomplishments at Kansas State. He gained midwest recognition as a passer, runner and punter for his six-man Bogue, Kan., High school team in the late 1940s. His tryout as a freshman at KS in 1950 was his first brush with the standard 11-man football. In three varsity seasons, Switzer always represented a "problem" to his coaches because he was equally adept at both offense and defense. His tremendous coordination - not to mention his weight and speed - made him invaluable on defense. He specialized in defense in 1951 as a sophomore and was named to the All-America defensive team selected by the Associated Press. He added some offensive work in '52 but he regained his A-A honors for defense. The switch to the one-platoon system was made to order for Switzer last fall. He led the team in scoring with eight touchdowns and rolled up 618 yards in 95 carries for a six-plus average. In addition, he returned seven punts for 217 yards - an average of 31, and brought back 11 kickoffs for 245 yards - an average of over 20. Almost overlooked in earlier publicity but not by Packer scouts is the fact that Switzer ranks as one of the finest pass catchers in the midwest. The glue-fingered back snagged only eight passes but his speed helped build up a total of 211 yards - an average of over 26 per catch. Switzer made Big Seven years on offense and defense in '53 and won defensive honors in that loop in the previous two seasons. Powerful Oklahoma tabbed him as the strongest defensive back it had encountered in the last two years. And here's an award that Blackbourn is especially happy to hear about: Switzer was named the most inspirational player at KS in '53. Switzer, who bears a striking resemblance to Buddy Young, has been nicknamed Joe by his teammates because of his easy-going and friendly nature.
FEB 24 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Federated Trades Council Tuesday night unanimously adopted a resolution requesting local labor unions and employers to urge volunteer payroll deductions for the purpose of purchasing season tickets to 1954 Packer games. Designed to reduce the financial burden that many might feel through buying the tickets at one time, the resolution was introduced by Jack O'Malley of the Trades Council. It asks that representatives of all union locals contact employees to make arrangements to put the plan into operation. The resolution: "BE IT RESOLVED, That the Green Bay Federated Trades Council requests all of the labor unions in the city of Green Bay, together with industry and business in the City of Green Bay, that voluntary deductions be authorized by the individual employees, as well as the employer, for the purpose of purchasing season tickets for the Green Bay Packer football games in 1954, and that this be on a purely volunteer basis. That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to all of the trade unions in the City of Green Bay and also to the Green Bay Packers, and also to the Green Bay Association of Commerce."
FEB 25 (Green Bay) - The Packers are making every effort to preserve the eligibility of college players they sign to professional football contracts. At the same time, the Packers are being careful not to incur the wrath of the colleges. Packer head coach Liz Blackbourn – himself less than two months out of the college picture – pointed out the above “facts” today in reviewing the signings of Veryl (Joe) Switzer, the Kansas State football and track star. Blackbourn said that Switzer was signed after it was established that the 21-year old Negro was “definitely through with track.” Switzer decided to quit track after he injured his heel in the recent Michigan State indoor meet, in which he placed fourth in the broad jump. Joe is defending Big Seven broad jump champion. Despite the injury, Switzer may have quit track anyway because of a heavy load of school work. “I did not feel that I could devote the necessary time to track since I am carrying a heavy schedule,” Switzer said in Manhattan, Kan., yesterday. “After learning that Joe had decided to quit track,” Blackbourn said, “we wrote school officials to verify the boy’s move. Later, we talked with Lawrence (Moon) Mullins, the athletic director, by telephone to make doubly sure and to sound out the school’s reaction.” Thus, the Packers – through careful checking – maintained a healthy relationship with Kansas State University. More important, the manner in which the “problem” was handled automatically removed some of the fear colleges have towards the pros – the Packers in particular – for future dealings. Switzer undoubtedly made up his mind about playing pro football in Green Bay, rather than in Canada, after a visit here recently. The young athletes was impressed by the treatment he received from Packer coaches and officials and the large number of fans he met. While the Packer-Switzer-Kansas State “transactions” radiated sweetness and light, all was not peaches and cream between some of the other schools and pro clubs. The tennis coach at Northwestern University is unhappy at the Washington Redskins; the Southern California football people will have nothing to do with the Detroit Lions; the basketball coach at College of the Pacific undoubtedly would like to “hang” the New York Giants – to mention a few cases. Green Bay’s own Don Rondou, the West High quarterback immortal, is in the middle of the Northwestern-Washington dispute. At the moment, Redskin assistant coach Herman Ball is attempting to regain Rondou’s tennis eligibility. Don is the defending Big Ten net champion. When he signed the Redskin contract, Rondou was under the impression that the pact wouldn’t take effect until after the tennis season. The matter will have to be straightened out with Tug Williams, Big Ten commissioner, and the other Big Ten schools. The irony of Don’s case is that the former Wildcat turned down a bid to play in the North-South game over the holidays in order to preserve his eligibility for tennis. Announcement of Rondou’s signing was made out of Washington. The New York Giants pulled an “unfortunate” with their No. 2 draft choice, Ken Buck, the pass catching end and basketball star from COP. The story of Buck’s signing somehow leaked out – just before the start of a big basketball game. Which ended Buck’s basketball career right then and there! Southern Cal is still burned up about the Detroit Lions signing Charles Ane, center-tackle, a year ago. Ane was drafted in January of 1953 as a junior which meant that he had a year of eligibility left. His status as a draft subject was clear because his class was graduated in ’53. Ane was within his rights to turn pro, stating that he needed money to support his family, but Southern California didn’t like it.
FEB 26 (Green Bay) - Bob Kennedy, former Wisconsin football star, is sorry about leaving the Green Bay Packers' training camp last fall without advance warning. Art Daley of the Press-Gazette reports that Kennedy, who has signed a 1954 Packer contract, wrote recently to scour Jack Vainisi that he is "grateful to the club after the stuff I pulled last year - this time I'll be with you all the way."
FEB 27 (Stevens Point) - Coach Lisle Blackbourn and general manager Vern Lewellen of the Green Bay Packers left Stevens Point Friday afternoon "impressed with what the city has to offer" in connection with the invitation to have the professional team train here this summer. The important figures in the organization of the NFL's member from Wisconsin looked over facilities at Central State college and P.J. Jacobs High School in the morning. They discussed aspects of the possible move during a noon luncheon at Hotel Whiting with a local committee which has been working toward bringing the pro gridders here for their summer practice. It was expected that the Packers will make an announcement within 30 to 60 days and in the meantime will be investigating other invitations from Eagle River, Ripon and Two Rivers. Green Bay worked out at Grand Rapids, MN last year but desires to make its training site in the future a little closer to the home city. If the club picked Stevens Point as its preseason headquarters, the team would be here beginning probably July 25 and continuing for from three to five weeks. The highlight of the summer preparation session is an intra-squad game, which is open to the public.
MAR 1 (Green Bay) - Bert Bell’s annual March gift to the sporting writers – NFL statistics – has arrived in a special package from Philadelphia, the commissioner’s headquarters. During the next two weeks, the public – thanks to Bell and his aide, Joseph Labrum – will be flooded with final figures on the various phases of individual and team competition as compiled in 72 league games last fall. You might get the idea that there was a slight delay in the mail since this is March and the last NFL game was played three months ago. Well, it takes time to figure out the yards, get ‘em printed, etc. Besides, there’s usually a lull in pro football news about this time of the year. So why let baseball and basketball hog the whole show? While player and team yardage figures make for interesting reading, the figure fans in Packerland are wondering about has a dollar sign in front of it. That famous figure – more specifically, the Packers’ profit or loss – will be revealed tonight at the annual stockholders’ meeting in the courthouse. It will be announced by Bill Servotte, the Packers’ secretary-treasurer, who will make his annual report at the call of President Russ Bogda. Servotte will give a rundown on the 1953 season. A year ago, the Packers announced a profit of nearly $12,000 on the 1952 season, a campaign that produced a 6-6 record on the field. By comparison to the 2-9-1 record of 1953, a financial loss would be in order. However, good crowds in key games and a share of the league’s television profits are expected to produce a few smiles tonight. Other shades of optimism will be presented to talks by Verne Lewellen, the Packers’ new general manager, and Liz Blackbourn, the team’s new head coach. Blackbourn’s aides, Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus, will be introduced. Twelve directors will be elected by the stockholders. Immediately after the meeting, the meeting of the board of directors will elect officers….Final figures on interceptions are set to be released Tuesday. The barrage started with the announcement of ball carrying statistics Sunday. The BC figures showed that the Packers finished sixth in the league with 1,665 yards in 424 attempts for an average of 3.9. San Francisco won it with 2,230 yards in 443 attempts for 5.03. Individually, Frisco Joe Perry won the title with 1,018 yards in 192 trips for an average of 5.3. The Packers’ Floyd Reid had his greatest year and finished seventh with 492 yards in 95 rides for 5.2. Fullback Fred Cone was 25th with 301, and Al Carmichael was 34th with 199.
MAR 1 (Green Bay) – The resolution of the Federated Trades Council urging locals, as well as business and other elements, to get in the swing with the Packer management on season ticket sales, is another of those warm evidences of good fellowship to which the public has responded with enthusiasm in the past. The Pack has a lot of things to do. And the FTC pointed its finger at one of the very important items on the list. There are few things more encouraging to any organization than to find early support “clear across the board.” And the methods suggested by the Council are practical and helpful ones. The Packer management will certainly reconsider any plans it has in order to work in conjunction with the suggestion.
MAR 2 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers placed third in team standings in the official NFL statistics on pass interceptions released today. The Detroit Lions headed the list with 38 interceptions for a total of 663 yards returned, or an average return of 17.4 yards. Green Bay had 28 interceptions for 351 yards and an average return of 12.5 yards. Baltimore was second. In individual ratings only two Packers placed in the first 25 on the list. Bobby Dillon placed sixth with nine interceptions with a total of 112 yards returned and an average of 12.4 yards. Ben Aldridge of the Bays was 19th with 5 interceptions for a total return of 85 yards and a 17.0 average return. Meanwhile in Green Bay, at a stockholders' meeting Monday night the Packers announced a tentative six-game exhibition schedule and a profit of $29,267 for last season. Officials said receipts for 1953 were $786,841, among the highest in the Packers' history. But expenses totalled $757,574, also an increase over 1952. General Manager Vern Lewellen announced this schedule: Chicago Cardinals at Minneapolis, August 14; Cleveland Browns at Green Bay, August 21; Pittsburgh Steelers at Pittsburgh, August 27; Philadelphia at Atlantic City, September 5; Washington at Raleigh, NC, September 11, and New York at Milwaukee, September 18. Russell Bodga of Green Bay was re-elected president of the Packers at the meeting.
MAR 2 (Green Bay) - A profit of $29,267.48 on 1953 Packer operations. A tentative six-game non-league schedule. Election of officers, including a new vice-president and one new director. A request for new blood on the board. These were some of the developments at a lively meeting of stockholders of Green Bay Packers, Inc., at the courthouse last night – a kickoff session introducing the new regime or, more specifically, General Manager Verne Lewellen and Head Coach Liz Blackbourn and members of his staff. Bill Servotte, secretary-treasurer, revealed that the profit was the largest since 1946 – just before the dollar war against the defunct All-America conference started – and that receipts of $786,841 in 1953 were among the largest in Packer history. Emphasizing that the figures are still subject to audit, Servotte said that ‘expenses of the club went up last year – just like everything else, but fortunately the revenue also was up.” The profit of $29,267 was due entirely to the club’s share of the National league’s television revenue. The Packers realized $12,000 from the Thanksgiving Day TV of the Packer-Detroit game and $20,000 as their share of the league’s TV contract. Thus, the Packers’ gain from TV amounted to approximately $32,000. Without it, the club might have lost close to $3,000. Against receipts of $786,841.67, the Packers had expenses of $757.574.19 in 1953. The 1953 profit represented an increase of approximately $18,000 over 1952 when the club realized $11,967.54. A glance at revenue and expenses for the two seasons quickly explains some of the increase, Bill said. Revenue in 1952 was $673,489.20 – or around $111,000 under the 1953 figure. Expenses in ’52 totaled $661,521.66 – or over $90,000 under the ’53 expenses. The big increase in revenue in 1953 over ’52, Servotte pointed out, came in advertising, broadcasting, television, etc. This figure was $100,574.99 in ’53 against $60,228.55 in ’52. On the expenses side, salaries, wages and player expenses leaped from $302,066 to $349,949.71; travel jumped from $59.197 to $72,648.85; field expenses leaped from $32,632 to $44,357.39; and legal expense went up from $3,848 to $6,011. Servotte said that the reason for the unusual legal increase was that the Packers (along with 11 other clubs) had to share in expense of the league’s recent anti-trust suit…Lewellen, in telling of the progress made thus far, announced that the Packers are making arrangements to play six non-conference games. The tentative schedule calls for a game between the Cleveland Browns and Packers at City stadium Saturday night, Aug. 21. It would be the Bays’ second test under the new coaches. The opener is tentatively set against the Chicago Cardinals in Minneapolis Saturday night, Aug. 14. Other tentative dates send the Packers to Pittsburgh Aug. 27, to Atlantic City to meet Philadelphia Sept. 5, to Raleigh, N.C., to meet Washington Sept. 11 and to Milwaukee to meet the New York Giants Sept. 18. In working out the details for the Minneapolis game, Lewelllen said that “we are under no obligation to train in Minnesota in return for the game.” He said that a number of Wisconsin communities have inquired about the Packers’ training plans. “Liz and I checked the facilities in Stevens Point last week and next week we plan to look over Two Rivers,” Lew reported, “the question of training in the city has not been determined yet.” Lewellen cited the need for a downtown ticket office in Milwaukee and possibly one at County stadium for the summer months. He pointed out, in reviewing Milwaukee, that the Beer City has a potential of 67,851 more seats (in County stadium) at Packer games. In three league games there last year, a total of 43,851 tickets were not sold. “With the increased seating capacity in the stadium, the potential can be increased to 67,851,” Lewellen explained. A total of 9,333 tickets were unsold for the three league games in City stadium last fall. Lewellen praised the work of Blackbourn and members of his staff and expressed optimism for the coming season…Blackbourn introduced assistant coaches Ray McLean and Tom Hearden and scout Jack Vainisi. Coach Lou Rymkus, due to return from the meeting from Cleveland where he’s selling his home prior to moving his family here, was delayed by a 15-inch snowfall that all but paralyzed the city. Blackbourn said that “every move the staff makes is based on the question ‘will that move help the Packers or win a game next fall.’” He also pointed out that “at no time will there be any fooling around with the rules and regulation as set up in the NFL. We all want to win but not at the expense of breaking league rules and bylaws.” The new Packer coach, starting his third month here, said that “we’ll soon move up to new offices on the second floor of the Packer office building where we’ll have plenty of good light and room, thus getting out of that musty old basement.” There will be room for squad meetings as well as offices for the coaches. In closing, Blackbourn reviewed the draft list and added that “we feel we are on the right track.”…The stockholders named 12 directors for three-year terms, including Richard Falk, Milwaukee industrialist who replaces Milwaukee City Treasurer Joe Krueger. The other directors elected, all holdovers, are Erv Bushman of Sturgeon Bay, Don Hutson of Racine; and H.J. Bero, R.W. Bogda, L.J. 
​Lewellen pointed out that “we were left with no alternative because of Milwaukee Braves baseball.” The first two games could not be alternated between the two cities because the Braves close their season at home on Sept. 26 (the date of the opener) and the Braves have an option on County stadium for Oct. 3 – just in case they get into the World Series. Since the Packer-Baltimore date (Nov. 13) had been selected by NFL Commissioner Bert Bell and TV people as the game of that week, the game had to be left in Milwaukee because Green Bay has no facilities to televise out of the city. The TV game will be the first nationally-televised Packer home game. It will be blacked out in Milwaukee and Green Bay. Several years ago, Packer games in Milwaukee were televised to that city and the immediate area. The Packers’ home opponents and dates are fixed by Bell but the Packer executive committee decides the games to be played in the two communities. The remainder of the Packers’ league schedule will be announced gradually – that is, as the other clubs reveal their schedules. Each team is permitted to announce only its own home schedule. To conform with league rules, the Packers will play home and home sets with each team in the Western conference and the remaining two games will be against two clubs in the Eastern conference. The opener against Pittsburgh takes care of one EC fore. The other likely will be Philadelphia. Though Detroit hasn’t come out with its home schedule yet, the Packers will probably draw the champs in the annual Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit Nov. 25. If this develops, the Packers and Lions will play back-to-back since the Detroits visit GB the previous Sunday, Nov. 21. Including a tentative non-league game against the Cleveland Browns, Green Bay will be host to one Packer game in each of four months starting in August – the Browns Aug. 21, Pittsburgh Sept. 26, Bears Oct. 3 and Detroit Nov. 21. The Packers also have a tentative non-looper in Milwaukee – the New York Giants in the annual Shrine game in Marquette stadium Sept. 18. Thus, each city will have four games….PRO BRIEFS: Pittsburgh will be playing its first league game in Green Bay since 1946 when the Packers downed Bill Dudley and Company, coached by the late Doc Sutherland, 17-7. Sutherland got revenge a year later when the Steels beat Green Bay 18-17 in Milwaukee – one of the four games the Packers lost in ’47 by a total of nine points…Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn had no particular comment on the Packer schedule today other than “it looks mighty tough.” This is the second straight year the Packers don’t open against the Bears. A year ago, the Pack opened against the Browns in Milwaukee and then played the Bears in GB…Besides the schedule, Blackbourn had something else on his mind – a punter to lift the Bays out of 12th place in the NFL’s punting statistics. The Bays punted 80 times for an average distance of 37.6 yards compared to top-ranked Pittsburgh’s 70 for 46.9. Clive Rush, who recently signed as an assistant coach at Dayton under Hugh Devore, was the only Packer to place in the first 15 of the individual list with 60 punts for an average of 37.7. Babe Parilli booted 19 times for an average of 36.1 while Tobin Rote punted once – for 57 yards.
MAR 10 (Green Bay) - Discussion of the Federate Trades Council resolution calling for a plan for time payments for Packer season tickets, and also plans for semi-pro baseball in Green Bay this season occupied a breakfast meeting of the Association of Commerce’s Sports Committee this morning in the Terrace Room at Prange’s. The Committee was enthusiastic over the plan put forward by the Trades Council calling for labor unions, industry and business to set up voluntary deduction plans for purchasing Packer season tickets. It was decided that a meeting would be arranged with Trades Council representatives to discuss the plan further, and that Association of Commerce members would be contacted later in an attempt to work out mechanics of such a plan. It was pointed out that some firms have a policy against payroll deductions for such purposes, but that other systems might be employed in such cases, such as working through the credit union in the plant, or through the labor union concerns.
MAR 10 (Philadelphia) - The Green Bay Packers were high team with 56 returns, NFL 1953 statistics on kickoff returns showed today, but stood eighth in team standings for average distance returns. The New York Giants finished in first place with an average return of 26.3 yards in 41 returns for a total 1,077 yards. Green Bay's returns netted a total of 1,197 yards but an average of only 21.4 yards. In individual players standings, Al Carmichael of the Bays ranked eighth with 26 returns for a total of 641 yards or a 24.7 average. His longest return was 43 yards.
MAR 10 (Green Bay) - The words "new stadium" are being used with increased frequency these days. Joe Phan, highly pleased with the rapid-fire progress made by the Packers under the new regime, is, generally speaking, so optimistic about the team's future that the magic aforementioned words just automatically creep into a coffee conversation. A new stadium isn't exactly a new thought, however. Packer officials have been kicking around the idea of a new layout for several years but consecutive bad seasons, starting in 1948, with a brief breather in '52, forced them to worry about keeping alive - much less building a new home. With a profit of $30,000 on the books on 1953 operations, Packer officials once again have uncrossed their fingers in hopes that the bright-looking future will produce along the way a new, larger and permanent ball yard. Packer fathers feel that three things must happen before Green Bay can get a new stadium: (1) Winning seasons or the right kind of team. (2) Sellout crowds at game in City stadium. (3) Milwaukee outdrawing Green Bay to the extent that other teams will put pressure on the Packers to play in Milwaukee rather than in Green Bay. Thing No. 1 is an absolute must because if the Packers have a winner they will draw tremendously on the road - due to their natural, small-town appeal and their power on the field. Drawing on the road would skyrocket the club's finances since it would wipe out the tremendous expense of traveling. Large crowds at home, drawn by that must - a good team, would thicken the stadium-building gravy. Thing No. 2 represents the above-mentioned Joe Phan. He must demonstrate the need for a larger stadium in Green Bay. With few exceptions, the fans annually leave a number of empty seats during league games. Last fall, for instance, only one game in City stadium was a sellout - 24,835 at the Bear go. The Detroit test drew 20,834 and Baltimore pulled 18,713. These figures do not show a need for a new and larger stadium. Thing No.3 is the key. Every year on the month (usually January) for the last six years, owner-coach George Halas of the Bears puts pressure on the Packers to move his game to Milwaukee. Halas figures the Packers owe him something for the large checks they've been hauling out of Chicago's Wrigley field every fall. He wants to get a few of those checks back out of the spacious Milwaukee stadium. Halas isn't the only one putting pressure on the Bays to switch their game to Milwaukee. Detroit, with its championship muscles bulging, has requested a shift. Los Angeles yipped late in the 1940s and how has played four straight years in Milwaukee - not counting '54. It can be pointed out there that the Packers came dangerously close to losing the Bear game to Milwaukee this year. The luck of the schedule was in Green Bay's favor. The Braves will be in County stadium Sept. 26 and have optioned it for the next Sunday, Oct. 3, just in case they're in the World Series. This meant that the first two games, Pittsburgh Sept. 26 and Bears Oct. 3, had to be played in Green Bay and the next two, San Francisco Oct. 10 and Los Angeles Oct. 17, had to be played in Milwaukee. Now, just suppose the first four games out of the home schedule came out of Commissioner Bert Bell's office with the Bears listed for their third or Oct. 10 date. The Packers would have had to take their choice of playing three games in Green Bay on consecutive Sundays (to keep the Bears here) or shift the Bear game to Milwaukee. It can be repeated that the commissioner fixes the opponents and dates, and the Packers decide which teams will play in Green Bay and Milwaukee. The task was simple this year because of the Braves' use of the stadium - plus the fact that previous television commitments called for the Packers to play Baltimore in Milwaukee Saturday, Nov. 13. The remaining game, Detroit, automatically went to Green Bay. In hashing over a new stadium, it must be pointed out that the condition (or age) of the present stadium is not the question at all. The question, it seems, is having a larger capacity here for the purpose of competing with Milwaukee for better opponents. In other words, making Green Bay just as profitable as Milwaukee to visiting clubs! Along this line, it is interesting to note that the three league games in Green Bay drew 64,382 fans while the three in Milwaukee pulled 62,334 - an "advantage" of 2,048 for Green Bay. However, in the money department for the three games in Milwaukee outdid Green Bay, $213,444.15 to $206,527.81. That money represents ticket sales only!
MAR 11 (Green Bay) - The quarterback who throttled Illinois' greatest attack last fall and the center who snapped the ball back to said QB have signed Packer contracts for 1954, Coach Liz Blackbourn announced today. The Illinois stars are  quarterback Elry (Slingshot) Falkenstein and center
away from pressure!! Yet, Munn is at the height of his career! He could reach a new pinnacle as a pro coach! Stuff like that there is what's making the rounds. Then there's Bud Wilkinson. He's set for 10 years at Oklahoma. Yet, we see by the papers that he talked with the Minnesota people. Don't make sense. Why does he even talk with somebody else if he's not interested. Jim Tatum, the big man from Maryland, gets his name mentioned in some of our better joints. So do Ivy Williamson of Wisconsin and Liz Blackbourn of Marquette. There are literally "hundreds" of other guys. Fellers without a big national name, but, who a lot of people think, might have the goods to produce in pro ball. Tom Hearden, the ex-St. Norbert and East High member now freshman coach at Wisconsin, is in this group. Tom has never coached a loser. Some people point to Hugh Devore, the former Notre Damer who worked as an assistant last year, and Ray McLean, a Packer assistant for three seasons. The argument for Devore especially is merely this: "We know what we go, let's give him a try instead of bringing in somebody new." On the other hand, you get this: "Let's start fresh. Get a whole new bunch." At any rate, the entire business is making this a rather hot and interesting offseason...CHAPTER II: Verne Lewellen officially started his duties as Packer general manager today - up in the air. Lewellen and Jack Vainisi, Packer scout and office aide, left by plane this morning for Cincinnati where they'll attend the 48th annual national collegiate convention. Lewellen was given the royal good wish by his former employer, Standard Oil, at a banquet at the Hotel Northland yesterday noon. Nearly 30 officials of the Green Bay branch officer, where Verne worked since 1942, attended and roundly toasted the onetime Packer star. Brief talks were given by Russ Bogda, Packer president, and Standard Oil officials J.J. Hoffmeister, who acted as toastmaster, H.J. Hilliard, S.F. Armstrong, E.I. Boldon and John McCabe. The meeting was highlighted by reading by Boldon of a poem written especially for the occasion by W.W. (Bob) Griese of Green Bay. Lewellen said that his main job will be to "change the thinking of the players and the thinking of the fans; the danger last fall was that fans had become complacent and the players many times did not have the oldtime Green Bay spirit."...CHAPTER III: John Biolo, former Packer guard and presently assistant West High football coach, was named president of the packer Alumni association at its monthly meeting at the Beaumont Hotel last night. He succeeds Al Rose. Other new officers are Bernard Darling, vice president; J.A. (Gus) Rosenow, secretary-treasurer;  and Al Petcka, sergeant at arms. The board of directors is composed of Charley Brock, Jug Earp, Biolo, Darling, Rosenow and Rose. The association voted to extend its congratulations to the Packers in their selection of a general manager and decided to study the Quarterback club position...CHAPTER IV: A famed former Packer, Iron Mike Michalske, was mentioned today as a possible successor to Ray George, head football coach at Texas A&M. Mike presently is line coach at that school. He joined George last fall after serving under former Packer George Sauer at Baylor. Another coach mentioned for George's job is Jules V. Sikes, former Kansas coach.
JAN 6 (Green Bay) - Up to noon today, there was no official word - not even a good rumor - on the $64 question: Who will be the new head coach of the Packers? Speculation heightened as college coaches from all over the country met in Cincinnati today in the 48th annual convention. There was no pro news out of that center, but most of the clubs in the NFL, including the Packers, had their agents present. Whether the Packers are searching for a coach in Cincinnati, of course, is unknown, but Packer general manager Verne Lewellen and Packer scout Jack Vainisi are in attendance there. The meetings afford them with an opportunity to discuss with the college coaches the talents of players they intend to draft at the pro parley Jan. 28.
JAN 6 (Cincinnati) - Hugh Devore, assistant football coach of the Green Bay Packers the past season, Wednesday night was named head coach at the University of Dayton, succeeding Joe Gavin, who has resigned. Devore, 43, who will begin his 20th year in the coaching field, was appointed by Dayton Athletic Director Harry Raujan here for the NCAA's annual convention. The soft-spoken Devore was co-coach with Ray McLean for the Packers' last two games of the 1953 season following the resignation of Gene Ronzani. It was understood he was among those being considered for the head coaching job with the Packers. Devore, who taught Green Bay ends last year, played at Notre Dame, where he was graduated in 1934. From 1935 to 1937, he was an assistant to Frank Leahy at Fordham. In 1943, Devore returned to Notre Dame was an aide to Leahy and assumed head coaching duties in 1944, when the Irish coach entered military service. His team won seven, lost two and tied one. In 1946, he was named coach at St. Bonaventure College, where his teams won 25, lost nine and tied once in four season. He switched to New York University in 1950 and remained until the Violets abandoned big time football. Devore also coached at Fordham, Providence and Holy Cross.
JAN 6 (Green Bay) - Gene Ronzani, deposed coach of the Green Bay Packers, is weighing an offer to join the staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
JAN 6 (Chicago) - An exclusive story in the Chicago American stated Thursday that Gene Ronzani, deposed coach of the Green Bay Packers, is in line for a job as assistant to Joe Stydahar of the Chicago Cardinals. Stydahar is expected to drop all three of his present aids and will sign Ray Richards and Bob Snyder along with Ronzani, the story added.
JAN 7 (Green Bay) - Lisle W. (Liz) Blackbourn is the head coach of the Packers! The 54-year old head football coach at Marquette university agreed to terms today at the NCAA meeting in Cincinnati, where he conferred with Verne Lewellen, the Packers' general manager. Blackbourn signed a three year contract. Thus, the fortunes of the Packers were placed in the hands of a "college man" - a new twist in the 35-year history of one of the oldest clubs in the NFL. Blackbourn is the third coach in the organization's colorful life. Curly Lambeau founded the team and head coached it for 30 years, leaving in February of 1950. Gene Ronzani took over that year and missed four complete seasons by
two games, resigning last Nov. 27. Appointment of the new coach was made by the executive committee of Green Bay Packers, Inc., Wednesday night and final arrangements were made in Cincinnati this morning. Blackbourn's selection ends more than 40 days of work by a Packer screening committee, which interviewed coaching prospects all over the nation. Among the highly-considered candidates was Hugh Devore, assistant coach of the Packers last year who along with Ray McLean co-coaches the Packers in their last two game last fall. Devore, however, signed a contract last night to coach Dayton university. Blackbourn comes to the Packers highly recommended by contemporaries in the coaching profession as a rigid fundamentalist, a strict disciplinarian and a leader who has the ability to get the most out of his players. His teams have always been noted for their crisp blocking and tackling. The new coach is entirely a native Wisconsin product, as he was born in Lancaster 54 years ago, attended public school there and then starred in football for four years at Lawrence college in Appleton, captaining the team in his senior year. After he graduated from Lawrence in 1925, he became head football coach and athletic director at Washington High in Milwaukee. In 22 years there, his teams won 140, lost 30 and tied six. His squads won 10 championships and tied for another. He retired at Washington in 1946 and became a full time scout and instructor for the University of Wisconsin. In 1948, he was named backfield coach at Wisconsin by Harry Stuhldreher. He was one of the leading candidates for the Wisconsin head coaching position when Stuhldreher left after the 1948 season, but lost out to Ivy Williamson. Blackbourn then became line coach under Frank Murray at Marquette in 1949, and advanced to the head coaching position in 1950, signing a five-year contract. In four seasons at MU, Blackbourn's teams won 18, lost 17 and tied four. Blackbourn gave Marquette a winning team his first year, snaring five, losing three and tying one. The school was in the midst of a drive for material during the next two seasons. The Hilltoppers compiled a 4-6-1 record in 1951, one of the losses being a 20-14 game with Michigan State. The Spartans had to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to win it. Material was still thin in 1952 as the freshman squad grew strong. The varsity made off with a 3-5-1 record, the highlight being a 21 to 0 upset victory over Boston College and Harry Agganis. The drive for material started to pay off in 1953, when Marquette won six, lost three against Wisconsin, Michigan State and Indiana by a total of nine points, and tied one. One of the stars of the club was Green Bay’s Dave Donarski, MU’s No. 1 fullback as a sophomore. Blackbourn gave up what might have been one of the best Marquette teams in history. Most of the 1953 players will return next fall – plus a host of promising newcomers, including Green Bay’s Lee Hermsen, who already has been rated as a prospective Marquette all-timer. Blackbourn used the straight T-formation at Marquette in his first three years there and then shifted to the split T last fall. His Marquette teams have always made considerable use of the pass. Blackbourn, a stocky, gray-haired man, is considered a versatile coach, usually installing the system that best first his material. He was one of the few coaches of major schools who applauded the decision to abandon two-platoon football last year. Blackbourn countered the one-platoon play by training two full teams and substituting a full squad instead of one or two players. Blackbourn was active throughout Milwaukee and Wisconsin in his efforts to “outdo” his friendly rival at the University of Wisconsin, Ivy Williamson. And off the performances of 1953, Blackbourn was approaching the period he might battle Wisconsin on even terms. In his drive to build up Marquette football, Blackbourn developed the Marquette Minute Men, an organization of some 200 leading businessmen who backed Marquette's athletics, and also the Marquette Quarterback club. He is well known throughout the state because of the numerous personal appearances he had made since going to Marquette, and as head coach of the state high school coaches association for a number of years he was at Washington High. Blackbourn is married and has two sons. He and his wide, Maryland, and son Charles currently live in Milwaukee. His son, Lisle, Jr., operates the family farm at Beetown. He is expected to move his home to Green Bay in near future.
JAN 7 (Milwaukee) - Marquette campus was stunned with the word that the popular football coach Liz Blackbourn was leaving to become head coach of the Packers. "We're terribly sorry to lose 'Liz'," said the Rev. Clarence J. Ryan, S.J., chairman of the Marquette Athletic Board, "but we're glad to see him get the opportunity with the Packers. He is an outstanding coach and we at Marquette wish him the very best in his new venture."
he's used to getting up early and working late. With Liz as head coach, we had the hardest working staff in college football." Blackbourn is overwhelmed by the opportunity to coach professional football. He led off his conversation yesterday, "I've always been tremendously interested in the Packers and I'm flattered to have the opportunity." Blackbourn said he is preparing himself to recognize the different problems encountered in professional football - selection of material, the draft, the style of ball, etc. "But I believer the game is still the same. There must be good blocking and tackling," he pointed, adding with a laugh "and the size of the ball and the field is the same as it is in college ball." One of Blackbourn's first tasks in Cincinnati was the hiring of assistants. "I can't name anyone in particular yet," he explained, "but I've made a few contacts with the prospects at the meetings here." The new head coach has been given a free hand in the selection of assistants." Speculation continued, however, today that one of Blackbourn's top choices as an assistant coach would be Tom Hearden, former East High and St. Norbert college coach and onetime Packer back. Hearden served as freshman coach at the University of Wisconsin last fall and will finish work on his master's degree there in February. It is known that Blackbourn and Hearden has had a number of conferences at the Cincinnati convention. The Packers still have a holdover from the 1952 regime - backfield coach Liz McLean, who is presently scouting the North-South camps at Mobile, Ala., for the Packers. McLean earlier scouted two other bowl games. McLean is due back here over the weekend. Before leaving, Ray agreed to be of assistance to the Packers until the coaching affairs were straightened out. Hugh Devore, who co-coached the Packers along with McLean in their final two games on the west coast, has signed as head coach at Dayton university...Blackbourn said he plans to move his family to Green Bay in June "after my boy graduates." His son, Charles, is an outstanding halfback at Washington High in Milwaukee where Liz coached for 22 years. "That boy is having quite a time trying to decide what college to attend," Liz laughed. The Blackbourn's oldest son, Lisle Jr., is running the family farm in Beetown. Incidentally, Blackbourn said he is undecided what to do about his weekly television show in Milwaukee, "The Coaches Room", over WCAN-TV. "I was supposed to start a series on basketball next Tuesday night," he said...Lewellen, reached in Cincinnati yesterday, said that "Liz will grow on our community and he's the type of man that will bring the Packers out of their present predicament." The new general manager said that the new mentor is "a really hard worker, a good organizer, a disciplinarian and a top public relations man."...Attorney Victor McCormick of Green Bay, long active in Marquette affairs, called the selection of Blackbourn as "an outstanding appointment". McCormick, a member of the Marquette University athletic board when Liz was hired as line coach in 1949 and a year later when he was named head coach, said, "I know the qualifications of Mr. Blackbourn very well and I'm sure he is an excellent choice as Packer coach." McCormick no longer is a member of the athletic board, but is now a member of the Marquette board of governors...Packer public relations chief Jug Earp expressed enthusiasm yesterday following the appointment of Blackbourn. "I used to bang heads against him in some scrimmages in Milwaukee years ago and I've known him ever since. He's just the man we need up here."
JAN 8 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson) - Selection of Lisle (Liz) Blackbourn as the new head coach of the Packers is the second and conclusive bit of proof of the new approach in Green Bay to the problem of competing on a basis of equality with the rest of the NFL. The choice, incidentally, was not as unexpected as the sudden announcement Thursday would indicate. Despite the pledge of secrecy on the part of the screening committee appointed to survey the field of possible successors to Gene Ronzani, it was known that Blackbourn was among those approached and seriously considered. First step in the reshuffle was the decision to hire a general manager for the first time in the club's long history. Verne Lewellen, himself a former Packer star and long vitally interested in the Packers' welfare, accepted the assignment to coordinate all activities and take over many of the duties handled previously by the unwieldy executive committee. Lewellen also had headed the screening committee. So he was well equipped to tackle his first big job when he became general manager - that of picking the coach. He had interviewed and checked on the qualifications of Blackbourn, among others, before becoming a full-time employee of the Packer corporation. The second phase of what can be called the modernizing program had to do with the type of background and experience to be considered most desirable. Would the Packer chiefs go for one with professional experience? Or would they move into the university field? Lewellen undoubtedly had a lot to do with it. But whatever the main influence, it soon became apparent that most of the big wheels leaned toward a coach who had been identified successfully only with college football. The history of Paul Brown at Cleveland and Buck Shaw at San Francisco - than whom there are no more respected coaches in pro bowl - surely played an important part in the thinking. Ivy Williamson, Bud Wilkinson, Jim Tatum and Bernie Bierman were among those high on the prospect list along with Blackbourn. In fact, it was significant that the name of coach long connected with pro football never did pop up. Hugh Devore, who was in the running from the state, had his first whirl at the play for pay business last year when he left the college ranks to become Ronzani's assistant. Surely that was a fresh approach for one of the charter members of the pro league - a club which has had only two coaches, Ronzani and Curly Lambeau. With the exception of one springtime assignment at Notre Dame, all of Ronzani's coaching apprenticeship was served in the Chicago Bears' organization. Lambeau, who founded the Packers, has spent his entire coaching life with the pros. Blackbourn, who did an outstanding job for Marquette in his four years on the Hilltop, will do the same for the Packers or break his neck in the attempt. He's that type - the Paul Brown type. Aggressive, thorough, painstaking, great capacity for and willingness to work and work some more. He plays strictly to win and makes no bones about it. All his staff members and players better plan on doing the same or else. Liz's background, in fact, follows the Brown pattern to a considerable degree - a dazzling record in high school, successful in the university field. The main difference is that fate decreed it should take him longer to get into rugged postgraduate competition. Although the actual job is brand new, the Packers and what they mean to this state aren't new to Blackbourn. He is a native of Wisconsin, gained his higher education in this state (Lawrence College), has spent his entire coaching life in this state, and, obviously, has been intensely interested in everything having to do with football in this state. So he moved into his new assignment, his greatest challenge, knowing what it's all about and what it will take to get the Packers' house in order. It's noteworthy that Liz tackles the big one at an age when few men are looking for new worlds to conquer. That denotes a fighting spirit which, in turn, means he and the Packers can go far together. Here's to them!
JAN 8 (Honolulu) - Stanford's Bobby Garrett passed the College All-Stars to an 18-14 victory over the Hawaii All-Stars Friday night before 20,000 spectators in balmy Hawaiian weather. Garrett's pitching plus yeoman work from UCLA's Paul Cameron punched over three touchdowns in the first half. But the Hawaiians - although aided by six professionals - couldn't catch up. Outstanding player of the game, however, was halfback Skippy Dyer, a former Los Angeles junior college back, now with the Marines in Hawaii. His tricky open field running gave the crowd most of its thrills. The Hawaiian All-Stars made the only touchdown of the second half when Elroy (Crazylegs) Hirsch of the Los Angeles Rams took a sideline pass from Babe Parilli of the Green Bay Packers, shook off Cameron and went 25 yards for a touchdown in the third period.
Mrs. Mary McMillin Jacobs, president of the Womens's Quarterback club; Mayor Ziedler; Autry; newspaper, radio and TV people; and Mayor Dominic Olejniczak. As a climax, Packer president Russ Bogda will present Blackbourn, Lewellen and Hearden. A smoker in the main dining room will follow.
JAN 16 (Green Bay) - Nearly 500 fans will herald the start of the new Packer regime at a dinner meeting at the Northland Hotel at 6:30 this evening. A few tickets likely will be available at the door. It will be an official welcome for Lisle W. (Liz) Blackbourn, the Packers' new head coach, Verne Lewellen, new general manager of the club, and Tom Hearden, new backfield coach. Since Lewellen and Hearden are familiar faces in these parts, the program also will serve as the official introduction of Blackbourn, the former Milwaukee Washington High and Marquette university mentor who was named Jan. 7 to succeed Gene Ronzani. Also to be presented to the community will be Mrs. Blackbourn and one of their two sons, Charles - senior at Washington High. Their other, Lisle, Jr., is at the family farm in Beetown, Wis., and will be unable to attend. Talks by the three men will climax the after-dinner program. They will be introduced by Packer President Russell W. Bogda. A number of distinguished guests will be on the program. Among them are the Rev. Max G. Barnett, vice-president of Marquette, and the Rt. Rev. S.M. Killeen, Abbott, Premonstratensian Order, and Mayor Frank Ziedler of Milwaukee. There's an outside chance that Gene Autry, the famous movie, radio and television cowboy, may make an appearance. He's in town today for a performance at the Columbus Club, and has been invited. Among others to be presented by Master of Ceremonies Jerry Atkinson, will be John Biolo, president of the Packer Alumni Assn., Mrs. Mary McMillin Jacobs, president of the Women's Quarterback Club, and newspaper, radio and television people. The opening remarks will be made by Reynolds Challoner, president of the Association of Commerce. There will be community singing led by Hal O'Halloran and entertainment by Norm Dygon at the piano.
JAN 16 (Los Angeles) - The 1953 football wars, lopping over just a bit into 1954, finally come to an end Sunday when the finest professionals of the NFL engage in the fourth annual Pro Bowl game in Memorial Coliseum. The contest, expected to attract upward of 35,000 fans, pits 31 selected players of the Western conference against a like squad of the Eastern conference. It will be televised nationally over the Dumont system. The kickoff is slated for 3 p.m., Green Bay time. The game will be carried over WBAY-TV. The Westerners, with a three-decker passing staff of Bobby Layne, Norm Van Brocklin and Y.A. Tittle, and a brilliant array of receivers, plus a seemingly superior ground attack, is favored to win by at least a touchdown. Hoping to upset such calculations, however, are such equally excellent stars of the Eastern team as passers Otto Graham and Bobby Thomason, and such receivers as Pete Pihos, Dante Lavelli and Elbie Nickel. Leading ground gainers for the West include Joe Perry, Dan Towler, Tank Younger, Hugh McElhenny and Doak Walker. The East can field such runners as Ray Renfro, Harry Jagade, Lynn Chandnois, Johnny Olszewski and Frank Gifford. The West, handled by Buddy Parker, coach of the champion Detroit Lions, will be seeking its third straight victories. Packers with the West team are Clayton Tonnemaker, tackle Dave Hanner and end John Martinkovic.
are sitting in a good position in the first round, several of the opposing clubs would be anxious to know what Blackbourn has in mind...FIRST PICK FROM GIANTS: The Packers, for instance, could possibly win three players in the first round - two for sure. They're in the running for the bonus pick with Cleveland, Chicago Cardinals, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Their own first round pick will be made after the Cardinals lead off (after the bonus ceremony). Since the New York Giants owe Green Bay their first round pick in the Arnie Galiffa deal, the Packers will get another shot in the third or fourth slot. Whether it's No. 3 or No. 4 will depend on the flip of a coin between the Giants and Baltimore, who finished in a deadlock last fall. Thus, if the Packers win the bonus and New York wins the flip, they can claim three of the first four picks in the country. That's the best they can do! In his preparation for the draft, Blackbourn came across several more problems. "That fast boy, Barton, won't be back; he's in the Army," Lisle said, recalling his speed in the Los Angeles game. Don Barton, an unheralded back from Texas, broke his ankle in the first non-league game last year and was forced to sit out until the last three league games. Blackbourn said that Steve Dowden, the offensive tackle from Baylor, has decided to give up professional football. Dowden came to the Packers in 1952 in the trade with Detroit for Jug Girard. He did exceptionally well in his first year, but remained home in '53 following a death in his family. On the brighter side, an effort is being made to return Ab Wimberly, the clever defensive end, to Packerland. Wimberly, who worked beautifully with giant John Martinkovic in 1952, coached at his alma mater, Louisiana State, last fall. During the course of a conversation at lunch yesterday, Blackbourn said that the name of the Packers' line coach would be announced sometime after the draft meeting. As he said earlier, "I'm still interested in getting someone who is familiar with the pro style of line play and someone who knows pass protection." The gentlemanly coach, asked about training sites, said he liked the idea of training at home. The Packers trained at Grand Rapids, Minn. in 1951-52-53. As to training itself, Blackbourn pointed out that "I'm not a great believer in secret practices all the time; they (the other teams) know what you've got. It's different, though, when you want to sew up defenses."
JAN 25 (Green Bay) - The Packers will get 29 instead of the standard 30 players out of the 1954 college player draft in Philadelphia Thursday. Unless they win the bonus choice! As a result of five deals during the past two seasons, the Packers will gain two choices – a first and a fourth – and lose three, a fourth, sixth and 15th. In other words, the Packers will give three for two. The only way they can come out even is by snaring the bonus in the pre-draft competition with Cleveland, Chicago Cardinals, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. While the Packers will come off with one less players (unless, of course) Coach Lisle Blackbourn has the advantage of an extra selection in the first round – well worth the loss of the 15th pick, the sixth or even both. That extra No. 1 pick resulted from deal with the New York Giants for quarterback Arnie Galiffa. With the first choice, the Packers also obtained defensive halfback Val Joe Walker. The Packers “gained” the fourth pick will be at the expense of Baltimore on the switch that sent rookie quarterback Bob Flowers to the Colts. Ironically, Flowers played under Fred Enke and was injured in the Packer-Colt game in Green Bay, going out for the rest of the season. The four lost choices are: No. 4 to Washington for halfback Johnny Papit, No. 6 to Detroit for tackle Gus Cifelli, and No. 15 to San Francisco for defensive halfback Bennie Aldridge. Papit stayed around long enough to score a touchdown against Los Angeles before being released. Oddly enough, Papit went back to Washington as a free agent when injuries wrecked the Redskin backfield. Cifelli, a regular at offensive right tackle on Detroit’s championship team of 1952, was obtained to fill the hole left by the retirement of right tackle Steve Dowden. Incidentally, Steve also came from Detroit – the previous year – in a trade for halfback Jug Girard. Aldridge went to camp with the Packers last fall and remained following the release of defensive halfback Clarence Self and Dan Sandifer after the fourth non-conference game. There will be considerable switching of draft choices Thursday as the “details” of various players deals are revealed – some for the first time. In one of the major trades, the Redskins obtained Don Doll from Detroit for second round draft choices this year and in 1955. One of the better defensive halfbacks in the league, Doll led the Lions’ defensive platoon in ’52 and with Washington last fall was named to the Eastern All-Star team for the Pro Bowl. What’s more, as a member of the Western All Stars in the 1953 Pro Bowl game, Doll was named the most valuable player…The Packer contingent is busy today with last minute details prior to leaving for the annual convention. Representing the Packers will be President Russ Bogda, General Manager Verne Lewellen, Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn, Assistant Coach Ray McLean, Scout Jack Vainisi and Attorney F.N. Trowbridge, a member of the executive committee. The group will fly out of Green Bay Tuesday morning and leave Chicago by plane at 1:30 in the afternoon. The parley will open Wednesday with preliminary meetings, including a rules session for the coaches and a discussion among club executives on television and radio. Trowbridge will represent the Packers in legal matters. The draft is scheduled to start at 9 o’clock Thursday morning, Green Bay time, although there is generally a delay of about a half hour. It will continue throughout the day and likely finish up about 2 or 3 o’clock Friday morning. For the first time in the history of the league, the draft meeting will be open to the press, radio and television. The scribes and ‘casters will be seated in a special section in the draft room.
JAN 26 (Green Bay) - The Draft…Rules Changes…Television…College Worries…Player Limits…Franchise Changes…Canadian War…High uprights. Those items of official and unofficial business – to mention a few – will highlight the “finest” annual meeting of the NFL in Philadelphia, starting Wednesday and closing Saturday or Sunday. Commissioner Bert Bell feels this way about the offseason firing in the Bellevue Stratford Hotel: “We ought to have our finest meeting in several years. No one is mad at anyone else, everyone is happy – and the league’s attendance has increased 30 percent since 1949.” All of the opening day will be spent mulling over television before rewriting the league’s bylaws to conform with the federal court’s recent decision on TV and radio policies. Sitting in on this conference from Green Bay will be Packer President Russ Bogda, Attorney F.N. Trowbridge, a member of the Packer executive committee, and General Manager Verne Lewellen. During this interlude, the remaining three members of the Packer delegation, Head Coach Liz Blackbourn, Scout Jack Vainisi and Assistant Coach Ray McLean, will be making last-minute preparations for the college player draft, opening first thing Thursday morning. Television actually isn’t a problem anymore for the pros. In fact, it’s a pleasure what with the success the league had in ’53 with its Westinghouse contract providing benefits to every club in the league. The league’s lawyers will explain to the clubs the fine print in the federal court’s decision on TV and radio. The league feels that it won the suit, although the ruling sets forth that the league can no longer control radio broadcasts, nor can it control television in a club’s home territory while that team is on the road. Similar to the league’s policy, the ruling allows the league to blackout areas where a game is being played…The pros may get a complaint from college representatives, who are worried about the impact of pro television of Saturday night games – some of the just a few hours after college games. The colleges have learned that many out-of-town fans in some sections of the country will pass up a 75-mile day trip to see a college play in the afternoon when they can remain at home and watch a pro game over TV at night. The colleges are claiming that the pros are violating their unwritten rights by playing Saturday nights. This gripe likely will get little consideration from the NFL…Another item of resulting-from-television business, mostly unofficial, is the transfer of the Chicago Cardinals franchise to Buffalo, which held a berth in the old All-America conference. Since it take a unanimous vote to shift a franchise and since the Cardinals definitely aren’t interested in moving, this item of business likely will be relegated to the hotel corridors. Walter Wolfner, business manager of the Cards, said the other day, “We think Chicago is big enough, sportsminded enough, and its fans like pro football enough to support two teams. We are never going to move.” Television, of course, helped to increase the sentiment for moving the Cardinals. Road games of the Cardinals or Bears can’t be televised back to Chicago when one team is on the road and the other is home on the same day. Paul Brown of Cleveland and George Marshall of Washington already expressed themselves in favor of one-team cities. Buffalo officials, headed by attorney Abe Saperston, already have approached Bell on the possibility of receiving the Cards. But they won’t attend the meeting…The annual player limit fight – between the rich and the poor – probably will come up for discussion. There is considerable sentiment for increasing the limit from its present 33 plus the injured reserve list to a flat 35 and no injured reserve list. Under the present plan, clubs carried a couple of players as injured – some of them not serious, and managed to hide two or three others. Under the new program, players hurt would remain as part of the 35. If a new player was to be added to replace the injured one, the injuree would have to be placed on waivers and thus undoubtedly be lost to some other club. The well-heeled clubs all are in favor of a higher limit…The league probably won’t get too excited – at least not openly – about the Canadian league’s love for United States college stars. Bell stated that the league’s position recently when he pointed out: “All I have to say is that if Canada wants a war, they’ll get it. Canadian football is okay as long as the owners respect each other’s contracts and our contracts.” Canadian clubs have singed a number of American college and pro hot shots in the last few years, many of them already have returned. Bell is ready to announce several “requests” by stars to return to American football…At least four rule changes will up before the coaches in their meetings Wednesday. The changes, if favored, could come up for a vote later in the meeting. Bell’s pet – abolition of the extra point and use of a sudden death period to decide tie games – will be brought forth. Blackbourn is against the plan because he feels that it gives the clubs with great field goal kickers an advantage – the Browns, with Lou (The Toe) Groza, for one. Other changes would (1) partially return the pros to the college rule which makes the ball dead when any part of the carrier’s body touches the ground and (2) order an automatic loss of 15 seconds in the last two minutes of either half if an offensive man is hurt with the offensive man behind or the score tied. On Point 1, the proposed pro rule – unlike the college rule – would permit a ball carrier who slips in the open to get up and resume his advance. Only if actually knocked down by a tackler, although no longer in his grasp, would be a ball carrier henceforth be kept from advancing the ball. The purpose is to reduce injuries which piling so often produces. The Packers lost both of their offensive ends – Bill Howton and Bob Mann – for a total of six league games as the result of injuries receiving in piling after the advance had been stopped. No penalties were called in either case. Point 2 is proposed to do away with faking in order to prolong the playing time as Notre Dame did against Iowa last fall. The fake injury is a common practice among the pros but no games were decided by a false hurt last fall...The goal post change will be suggested by Ronald Gibbs, veteran National League referee, who feels that higher uprights will take the heat off officials on placekicks and tries for extra points that sailed high over goal. Occasionally a kick passing over an upright is too high to make an accurate call, he pointed out recently. In addition, observed from the angle of a grandstand seat, such kicks frequently look different than they do from the referee’s vantage point behind the kicker. Gibbs suggested raining the uprights “several feet”…A total of 361 players will be selected in the annual player draft. The odd “one” is the bonus choice, which will be fought for by Green Bay, Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Chicago Cardinals. These five clubs will draw numbers out of a hat until the lucky one pops up. The winner will get his choice of any player in the country. Incidentally, the league likely will vote later on an amendment to kill the bonus choice after each team has won once. Drafting will start Thursday morning about 9:30, Green Bay time, and will continue far into the night until each club has made 30 selections. And to give fans a better picture of the draft, press, radio and television representatives have been invited to sit on the picking – first time in history!
JAN 27 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Like Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn said the other day: “Our main concern is linemen, but we won’t pass up a chance to grab a good back.” That, in part, reveals some of the Packer strategy to be used in the NFL’s annual draft opening in the Bellevue-Stratford hotel Thursday morning. Blackbourn also had stated earlier that everybody’s bonus choice would be Bobby Garrett, Stanford’s great quarterback. Thus, if the Packers win the BC in the kickoff against Cleveland, Baltimore, Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh, it can be assumed that Garrett would become a Packer. If the bonus choice (Garrett) goes elsewhere, it’s just about anybody’s guess as to the Packers’ next choice in the first round. The Packers will draw in the No. 2 slot behind the Cardinals and will receive the New York Giants’ No. 1 pick (made at the request of the Packers) to complete the Arnie Galiffa deal. The Giants will draft third or fourth, depending on the flip of a coin, with Baltimore. Since winning the bonus is strictly luck, Blackbourn isn’t making any great plans for Garrett. However, it’s a good bet the Packers will go for a top lineman and a top back in that first round – or possibly two forwards, if they don’t snare the bonus. This brings to mind several names – tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame, end-back Steve Meilinger of Kentucky, tackle Bob Fleck of Syracuse, back Veryl Swtizer of Kansas State, back Johnny Lattner of Notre Dame, tackle Dick Chapman of Rice, guard J.D. Roberts of Oklahoma, end Tom Nickeloff of Southern Cal, tackle Ed Meadows of Duke, back Paul Cameron of UCLA, to mention a few. In working out their strategy, the Packer representatives are busy evaluating the needs of other clubs in the league – particularly the Cardinals. For instance, if the quarterback-lacking Cardinals don’t win the bonus, they’ll likely go for a QB as their No. 1 pick – possibly Bernie Faloney of Maryland. Which could leave Meilinger or Hunter or Switzer to the Packers. However, should the Cardinals win the bonus, they would pick Garrett and then follow with maybe Hunter or Meilinger. Meilinger, Hunter and Switzer, it might be guessed, are rated high by the Packer contingent. Meilinger, a six-foot-three, 220-pound specimen, is something of a horse. He already has played every position but guard and center. The onetime teammate of the Packers’ Babe Parilli was a junior offensive end when the Babe played as a rookie for the Pack – in 1952. After two games and two losses, Coach Bear Bryant switched him to quarterback and the Kentuckians won five of their next six games. Meilinger, in the single platoon last fall, played defensive end, offensive end and halfback and defensive halfback – not to mention linebacker in a pinch. He never stayed at one position long enough to gain All-America but ranks high in professional football notebooks. Hunter is a 5-4, 240-pounder with speed, who specializes in a position where the Packers need help – offensive tackle. This giant is only the third player in Notre Dame history to play three positions in three years; he performed at an offensive center as a sophomore, offensive end as a junior, and offensive tackle as a senior. Bernie Crimmis, the former Packers, played right half, fullback and guard, in that order, from 1939-41, and Marty Wendell was a fullback in ’44, center in ’46 and guard in ’47-48. Switzer stands 5-11 and packs 190 pounds and is considered one of the top two-way prospects in the country. ND’s Lattner isn’t rated exactly as the best pro prospect – especially on offense. The clutch runner, however, is being boomed as a great defensive halfback for the pros. Another Notre Dame player, fullback Neil Worden of Milwaukee, probably won’t last through the first round. Worden, who played with the kids around Blackbourn’s house as a youngster, is believed to be the best in a thin fullback crop. Worden, despite his light 192 pounds, has plenty of heart, power and savvy. Cameron, who packs about 200 pounds, also probably will go early. Besides being a strong runner, Cameron can throw the ‘skin – short and long. He runs a lot like the Packers’ Cecil Isbell – especially inside the tackles, reminded Packer publicist Jug Earp. While some of these names sound juicy, observers here figure that pickings will be slim this year because of the return of the one-platoon system in college football. Some of the boys who would have been defensive standouts couldn’t make the grade because they were lacking in offensive ability. And the same was true for good offensive prospects who were too weak on defense. Packer scout Jack Vainisi said that preparation for the 1954 draft has been more difficult “because a number of boys who were double platoon stars in 1952 were lost in the one-platoon shift and harder for the pros to find.” In the draft a year ago, the 12 clubs picked 78 juniors and sophomores who became eligible for pro ball because their classes would have graduated in 1953. “In other words,” Vainisi pointed out, “78 good boys are already lost for the draft tomorrow.” Most of the clubs are likely to grab off juniors in the later rounds Thursday for delivery in 1955. The Packers drafted six juniors a year ago, but one of them, tackle Bill Lucky of Baylor, had to be forfeited when the Packers were unable to prove his eligibility. Lucky will be eligible, however, for the draft tomorrow and the Packers may re-pick him. The other five are halfback Joe Johnson of Boston College, halfback Dick Curran of Arizona State, center Bob Orders of West Virginia, tackle Charles Wrenn of Texas Christian and blocking quarterback George Bozanic of Southern California. Wrenn, a 250-pounder, already is in service and won’t be around next fall. Johnson and Curran each stand six feet tall and pack 185 pounds, and are noted for their speed. Orders, former West Point star dropped from the Army in the cribbing scandal, weighs 220 pounds. Bozanic stands 6-2 and goes 210 pounds. Working out final details on the draft are Blackbourn, Vainisi and assistant coaches Tom Hearden and Ray McLean. Hearden was a last minute passenger yesterday after he was able to get away from his studies at the University of Wisconsin. Tom will receive his master’s degree next month. Participating in the discussions on television today were Packer president Russ Bogda, general manager Verne Lewellen and attorney F.N. Trowbridge, a member of the Packer executive committee.
JAN 27 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – How important is the college player draft? Maybe this story, something of a second guess by still amusing, can answer the question: Back in January of 1952, at the draft meeting in New York, the New York Yanks, who a few days later became the Dallas Texans, drew first in the draft due to its last place finish in 1951. Despite the fact that the Texans were desperately in need of a quarterback, they selected Les Richter, the linebacker from Southern California. In the second round, they picked up Gino Marchetti, a tackle-linebacker from San Francisco. In selecting Richter, the Yanks passed up the heralded Vito (Babe) Parilli of Kentucky, who was promptly chosen by the Packers. Then, in the second round, the Yanks overlooked Bill Howton of Rice, who was just as promptly nailed by the Packers. This passing combination, known as “Nip and Tuck” by the Packers, certainly would have given the Texans power they never were able to generate all season. And, come to think of it, had the Texans selected Parilli and Howton, it isn’t too far-fetched to believe the NFL still might have pro ball in Dallas. While the failure of pro ball in Texas was attributed to more than playing personnel, it’s for sure Parilli and Howton might have helped the Texans to a few more victories – possibly enough to heighten interest and keep the pay sport there. But, me well. The Packers got Parilli and Howton and defeated the Texans twice in ’52 and the Baltimore Colts (their successors) twice last fall, with Howton scoring six touchdowns in the four games. The draft is important!...Realizing the importance of the draft for the first time as head coaches will be Liz Blackbourn of the Packers, Weeb Ewbank of Baltimore and Jim Lee Howell of the New York Giants. Blackbourn, as explained in today’s draft story, has a definite plan based on reports on the 1953 club and close observation of the 1953 Packer film. Ewbank’s No. 1 need is a quarterback, while Howell must find some breakaway backs and offensive ends. And speaking of coaches, eight of the dozen head coaches in the NFL are “college men”, having had experience as head coaches or assistants at college and universities. The C-men are Hamp Pool of the Rams, Paul Brown of the Browns, Jim Trimble of the Eagles, Joe Bach of the Steelers, Buck Shaw of the Forty Niners and Blackbourn, Ewbank and Howell. The remaining four who came up through the pro ranks are headed by the veteran pro football fathers – Curly Lambeau and George Halas, and followed by Joe Stydahar and Buddy Parker…All this talk about drafting juniors has made a lot of people to wonder why some club doesn’t draft Al Ameche, the University of Wisconsin’s famed fullback. Ameche isn’t eligible for the draft tomorrow because his class doesn’t graduate until June of 1955. Al will play as a senior next fall. Juniors who are eligible to be picked in the draft stayed out of school for a year or two – in most cases for Uncle Sam’s service. Bob (Toughy) Young, the former East High star at Wisconsin, furnishes an example. Bob came to Wisconsin the same year Ameche enrolled; thus Young’s class will be graduated in ’55. However, Young will play as a junior in ’55 if he competes next fall. Bob remained out of school for a year due to illness. Incidentally, Ameche is interested in playing pro ball. 
JAN 28 (Stevens Point) - Stevens Point remains a possibility as training site for the Green Bay Packers this summer. An informal committee will meet Friday and from that number representatives may be chosen to go to Green Bay and confer with the professional football team's officials. The city can offer the Packers an attractive setup at Central State college which has convenient facilities for living quarters and eating as well as practicing. An intrasquad game such as concludes the August drills could be viewed by more than 5,000 fans with the addition of bleachers in the end zones of Goerke Park. Wausau, Eagle River and Ripon have all taken steps to lure the Packers to their communities. Green Bay, itself, where for many years the Bays did their pre-season work at Rockwood Lodge, could turn out to be training headquarters again. And, though Grand Rapids seemed out of the question, it is possible the Packers may even choose that Minnesota camp once more. Right now the main concern of the Packers is this week's draft taking place in Philadelphia. Vern Lewellen, the new business manager, says no camp will be picked until after the meeting. Both he and Blackbourn are reportedly leaning toward Green Bay but naturally could be swayed by tempting offers such as one that could originate out of Stevens Point.
​by these Canadians. After Hunter, Blackbourn nailed Veryl Switzer, the 190-pound halfback from Kansas; Bob Fleck, 260-pound tackle from Syracuse; George Timberlake, 220-pound guard and linebacker from Southern California; Tom Allman, 210-pound fullback from West Virginia; and Max McGee, 203-pound pass catching halfback from Tulane. Blackbourn plans to make an offensive end out of McGee. Probably the two most productive switch personalities in pro football are Elroy Hirsch, the great Los Angeles end, and Cloyce Box, the Detroit Lions wing. Both started pro ball as halfbacks, and were converted into dangerous ends.
FEB 2 (Green Bay) - Overlooked in the rush last week was all over the "heft" of the Packer draft list. The Packers received rights to 6,082 pound of football beef, which averages out to 209.7 for each of the 29 athletes. Two hundred and nine pounds isn't much for some pro positions, but a breakdown reveals that the backs average an even 190 pounds; the line from end to end averages 220; and the middle line from tackle to tackle averages 225. Still not convinced? Let's break it down by position: The tackles, a key spot to be strengthened, average out to 231 pounds - a good balance between the "lighter" offensive mover and the heavier defensive performer. Eight tackles were chosen. The four guards measure out to 215 pounds and the one center, Ken Hall of Springfield College, packs 220. The most unusual weight is concentrated at end. The six wings average 208.6 pounds as Coach Liz Blackbourn went after big offensive ends who carry enough weight to block and large defensive ends. The six halfbacks average 191 pounds. One of the heaviest, 203-pound Max McGee of Tulane, will be switched to offensive end. The heaviest halfback is Desmond Koch of Southern California, who led the nation in punting last year. Blackbourn selected a large and small fullback - 210-pound Tom Allman of West Virginia and 175-pound Evan Slonac of Michigan State. They average out to 192 pounds...The two quarterbacks, who will fight with Babe Parilli and Tobin Rote, carry enough weight, averaging 183. Clint Sathrum, the signal caller who pitched St,. Olaf's to all sorts of small college records, has an ideal build for a QB - 195 pounds, 6-1. The other QB, Terry Campbell of Washington State, is on the slender side, 6-2, 172. To further emphasize weight, the Packers selected only four players under 190 pounds and only eight under 200 pounds. The heaviest player in the entire lot is Bob Fleck, 260-pound tackle from Syracuse; the lightest is Campbell, 172. The tallest athlete is 6-5 Henry Barnes, the Negro end from Oregon; shortest is Slonac, who stands 5-3. The six ends average out to 6-3. Dave Davis of Georgia Tech and Gene Knutson of Michigan each soar 6-4, an inch under Barnes. Ken Hall, wing from North Texas State, goes 6-1. Marv Tennfoss of Stanford is 6-2 and Hosea Sims of Marquette is an even six feet...And speaking about weight, the Packers still have a "heavy" problem left - signing the players. No time is being lost in contacting the draftees - not to mention a number of free agents. The Packer office started to lose occupants today. Assistant Coach Tom Hearden is heading for the southwest; General Manager Verne Lewllen moved west, and coaching aide Ray McLean already is in the east. Blackbourn is expected to take off shortly for an unannounced destination. Coordinating the various movements back home is Scout Jack Vainisi, who contacts the various players and arranges meetings with them. 
FEB 2 (Green Bay) - Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn asked members of the Packer Alumni association to "help revive the old Packer spirit" at their monthly meeting at the Beaumont hotel last night. Meeting with the unique group for the first time, Blackbourn said, "it would be a big help to all of us, and the fans, if you former players could get acquainted with the active Packers and imbue them with the spirit that has made Green Bay famous." Nearly 30 ex-Packers - one of the largest turnouts for a monthly session - applauded Blackbourn as he sought the cooperation of the onetime Bay stars. Alumni president John Biolo pledged "full assistant from our group", and Packer president Russ Bogda said that "the Packers will cooperate with your group in every way possible." Blackbourn ran down the Packer work that had been accomplished thus far. He told about the draft and his review of the pictures of the previous games. He explained that "our main problem is to strengthen our line." The association voted an honorary membership to Ed Crim, veteran Packer travel agent who handled Packer travel affairs for nearly 30 years. E.A. (Spike) Spachmann, former Packer ticket director, was voted a lifetime membership. The association also drafted a letter of congratulations for Frosty Ferzacca, former West High coach who was named last week as head football coach at Marquette, succeeding Blackbourn.
scores of free agents. General Manager Verne Lewellen is ​presently on a player-signing trip out west; assistant coach Tom Hearden is in the southwest; and aide Ray McLean is in the east. Rymkus returned to his home in Cleveland after the signing and may come to Green Bay next week. No salary terms were announced on the four Notre Dame players, but all expressed happiness in continuing their football careers in the United States. The signings at Notre Dame yesterday represent the largest one-day harvest by the pros on the Irish campus in history. The league went to Notre Dame this year, so to speak. One dozen players - more than from any one school - were chosen in the draft.
FEB 5 (Green Bay) - Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn, somewhere on a player-hunting tour of the midwest, undoubtedly is chuckling today over his new status as a grandfather - not to mention the signing of two big boys. Blackbourn inked Art Hunter, the Packers' No. 1 draft choice, Wednesday afternoon. Yesterday, as he headed into Michigan territory, Liz learned (1) that guard Bob Kennedy of Wisconsin had announced his own signing and (2) that the Junior Lisle Blackbourns became parents of a daughter - their first child. Mrs. Blackbourn, Sr., broke the news to "grand-pappy" on the telephone last night. Mrs. Blackbourn and son, Charles, a student at East High were to leave late this afternoon for the Junior Blackbourn's farm near Lancaster, Wis., to see the new heir. The tot will be named later. What about Liz? He'll continue on his signing trip over the weekend and likely will get back to Green Bay Sunday or Monday. Kennedy, the 225-pound guard who skipped Packer camp along with center Jim Ringo last fall, revealed his signing among student friends in Madison yesterday and the news spread quickly. Kennedy, incidentally, returned to Wisconsin after his unannounced departure last fall for the purpose of continuing his schooling. He will receive his degree in chemical engineering next June. Ringo, as you'll recall, returned to camp a few days later and made the club, though injuries knocked him out of the last five games...PLAYED AT WAUSAU: Kennedy, an all-state guard at Rhinelander High, looked impressive at the Grand Rapids, Minn., training camp but left before getting a good test in the non-league opener against the New York Giants. The Wisconsin ace, who stands 5-11, had the inside track on the middle guard job on defense. Oddly enough, some of his most vicious battles were fought with Ringo - the boy he buddied up with on the "getaway". Kennedy was the entire middle of the Badger line and specialized in jamming up the center. Before he left, the Packers had high hopes that Kennedy would develop into another Ray Bray, the former Chicago Bear who played the middle guard slot for the Packers in 1952. Kennedy had shown some of Bray's meanness and aggressiveness. To remain in condition, Kennedy was given permission by the Packers to play with the semi-pro Wausau Muskies last fall. Kennedy was the Packers' sixth choice in the draft a year ago. Signing of Hunter and Kennedy gives Blackbourn a good start toward bolstering the Packers' line, which, he said, "had to be strengthened first."
FEB 9 (Green Bay) - Now that No. 1 draft choice Art Hunter is in the fold, how about the other No. 1 pick and maybe even No. 2? Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn was back in the friendly confines of his office yesterday along with Aides Ray McLean and Tom Hearden. And they had reason to smile over several other signatures, but Blackbourn said that Switzer and Fleck aren't on the line yet. Veryl Switzer is the great halfback from Kansas State and Bob Fleck is a star tackle from Syracuse. Hearden spoke with Switzer on his trip into the midwest and McLean hashed over the situation with Fleck in his tour of the east. Switzer, the Packers' second No. 1 selection which was final payment from the New York Giants in the Arnie Galiffa deal, has several offers from Canadian clubs. "But," Tom recalled, "he said he would much rather play in the United States - in Green Bay." Switzer, incidentally, is competing in track and likely wouldn't sign for pro football until after the season. A story got out yesterday afternoon that the 260-pound Fleck had already signed with Canada, but it never appeared on the Associated Press or United Press wires. The Packer coaches wouldn't believe it. McLean said, "Bob said he'd do nothing about Canada until he talked with us again." Blackbourn is anxiously awaiting word from General Manager Verne Lewellen who is out on the west coast contacting players. In the south is coaching aide Lou Rymkus, who is expected to make his first appearance in Green Bay over the weekend...AVERAGED 5.99 YARDS: Blackbourn met up with Rymkus when Liz signed Hunter on the Notre Dame campus last week after which Lou took off for the south. Liz continued his trip by car into Michigan and then down into Ohio, seeing other prospects. The Packer coaches found Switzer and Fleck in the pink of condition and discovered both definitely want to play professional football. Switzer, who packs a swift 190 pounds on a 5-11 frame, averaged 5.99 yards in 95 carries last fall, gaining 569 yards. He averaged an amazing 31 yards on seven punt returns, including a 70-yard scamper for a TD. Veryl is one of the more versatile stars on the Packer draft list. He was an All-America defensive back as a junior and last year, what with the one-platoon system, came into his own on an offensive back. Switzer, incidentally, was to be the Bears' No. 1 draft choice, and members of their party showed disappointment when the KS star was lost. The Bears thus were forced to grab Stan Wallace, Illinois defensive back. Switzer had been wined and dined by the Bears several weeks before the draft.
FEB 10 (Green Bay) - The Canadians finally broke their silence. After a NFL draft, it had been customary for the boys north of the border to come out and announce to the world the number of hot shot draft specials they had swiped from the NFL. A year ago, they grabbed off Billy Vessels, Tom Stolhhanske, Bernie Flowers, Bobby Marlow, Ed Crowder - to mention a few right quick. The shoe, thus far, is on the other foot. National league clubs signed half of the dozen first round draft choices, including Art Hunter of Notre Dame by the Packers. This wave of offense apparently stunned the Canadian forces and it wasn't until yesterday - two weeks after the '54 draft, that two Canadian coaches said about the same thing - that the NFL is threatening United States college players with permanent expulsion if they sign with Canadian teams. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn, asked for his reaction today, stated: "We're not threatening anybody - just telling them the facts in the case." Blackbourn thus reflected the feeling of the other clubs in the league which, incidentally, has not asked its clubs to threaten expulsion. The league has a rule, installed at the 1953 meeting, which prohibits a league club from signing a player in the same season he plays or signs with a Canadian team. The league club, however, can sign the "erring" player the following season - as Baltimore has in the case of Flowers. Packer coaches presently are giving their draft choices the "facts" about play in the Canadian circuit. They were briefed on the style of play, conditions there, etc., at the recent league meeting by Bob Snyder, former head coach at Calgary. Blackbourn has in his midst one who also is well acquainted with the Canadian setup - one Lou Rymkus, recently signed as line coach, who was line coach under Snyder at Calgary last fall...HERE'S WHAT THEY SAID: Anyhow, in the interests of good journalism, here is what Toronto coach Frank Clair and Hamilton coach Carl Voyles said. Clair: "It wouldn't surprise me a bit (threat of expulsion). I know they're really putting pressure on the kids and most of them are scared to death of Canada." Voyles: "I don't know whether they threaten to bar the boys now, but I know they have threatened them like that in the past."
FEB 11 (Green Bay) - Gene Knutson and Jim Balog, two University of Michigan stars who found the one-platoon system no mystery last fall, went back to the two-platoon plan today - as professionals with the Packers. And to round out a big day for Coach Liz Blackbourn, word came from Bloomington, Ill., that Milt Kadlec of Illinois Normal signed a Packer contract mailed to him recently. Signing of the three players boosts to the total of announced signed customers to five. End Knutson was the Packers' 10th draft selection, while tackle Balog and halfback Kadlec are free agents. Knutson and Balog played side by side in the right section of Michigan's strong front line for the last two years. The lanky Beloit wing, who packs 215 pounds on a six-four frame, made his name at Michigan as a defensive end in the double platoon program in 1951-52. Good speed plus a sure pair of huge hands enabled him to make the switch to offense with no trouble. He'll get a shot at both phases in the early weeks of Packer training. Knutson, one of Beloit High's all-time football stars and an all-state selection, caught 11 passes for 201 yards in his debut as a two-way wing - an average of nearly 20 yards per. He scored two touchdowns - one on a pass. Knutson was ranked as one of the most gifted freshman to report at Michigan in 1950. He won the Meyer Morton trophy in 1952 for showing the most hustle and drive in spring practice. He suffered a broken leg in spring practice in '51 but played enough the following fall to earn a letter as a sophomore. Sleeper Balog was Michigan's No. 1 tackle last fall. The 220-pound specimen from Wheaton, Ill., plays right tackle on offense and right tackles on defense. Balog is best known for his speed - a big asset in pro ball. He stands 6-3. Kadlec returned to Illinois Normal last fall after playing two seasons with the San Diego Marines. A good blocker with speed, Kadlec, 26, stands six feet tall and carries 185 pounds. He was named the most valuable player at school last fall. Kadlec gained valuable experience with the Marine eleven, playing against a number of pro stars...Veryl Switzer, the Packers' second No. 1 draft choice, which represents the final payment from the New York Giants in the Arnie Galiffa deal, stopped in Green Bay today en route from his home school, Kansas State, to Michigan State where he'll compete in a track meet Saturday. The all-around, 190-pound halfback conferred with Coach Blackbourn concerning his professional football future before going on to the meet. Assistant Coach Tom Hearden talked with Switzer on his recent tour of the southwest. Also coming in today was general manager Verne Lewellen, who had been contacting players in the west...Knutson was one of six ends drafted by Blackbourn at the recent selection party. Blackbourn is determined to find a suitable defensive end mate for big John Martinkovic and an offensive wing or two to push the veteran pass catchers. The Bay mentor also is planning to switch halfback Max McGee, the 6-2, 203-pounder from Tulane, to offensive end. McGee has a good pass catching reputation. Other ends drafted were Dave Davis of Georgia Tech, Ken Hall of North Texas State, Henry Barnes of Oregon, Marv Tenfoss of Stanford, and Hosea Sims of Marquette.
FEB 12 (Green Bay) - Veryl (Joe) Switzer should have a lot of hot afternoons in City stadium - if likenesses mean anything. The Kansas State Jet, visiting here while en route to a track meet at Michigan State, is almost a dead ringer for Buddy Young, the New York, Dallas and Baltimore Scat Kid who every fall gives the Packers a hit in our snug stadium. There are some very important differences in the skilled Negro backs. Switzer towers a half foot taller than Young and, better yet, he plays defense - something Buddy never played in college or pro - as well as offense. Switzer packs 5-11 and stands 190 pounds. Young carries 180 on a 5-5 frame. Judging by advance notices and Switzer's confident outlook on professional football, the native Kansan should have some interesting afternoons all around the powerful National league next fall. Switzer came out of the 1953 season with a ball carrying of average of 5.99 from scrimmage and a 31-yard average on punt returns - a good 15 yards above the normal mark for punt returns. Veryl actually made his reputation at Kansas State as a defensive back - a position at which he starred as a sophomore and junior. He was named an All-America defensive back in 1952. When the colleges went into the single platoon last fall, Switzer became equally effective. Veryl, who came in yesterday and left late this afternoon by plane for East Lansing, said he "sure likes this town" after trips around the area yesterday afternoon. He has been in conference with Packer coach Liz Blackbourn. Switzer said he plans to finish out his track career this spring. Switzer said he has been contacted by Canadian teams. The young speed demon was the Packers' second No. 1 draft choice. The other No. 1 pick, tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame, already has signed by the N.D. athlete is not in track. Switzer represents the New York Giants' final payment to the Packers in the deal that sent quarterback Arnie Galiffa to the Giants for their No. 1 draft pick and defensive halfback Val Joe Walker. A likeable, easy-talking boy, Switzer made a lot of friends here in his brief look at Green Bay. He said that "I was impressed by the kindness shown by everyone I met." The bowlers out at the North Side alleys last night sort of "ate him up" - a good example of how Green Bay fans treat their Packer players.
FEB 12 (Green Bay) - Gene Ronzani, former coach of the Packers, was rumored today as a possible successor to J. Neil (Skippy) Stahley, backfield coach for the Chicago Cardinals, who was picked Thursday as head football coach at the University of Idaho. Ronzani, who resigned as Packer mentor last Nov. 27, may go to the Cardinals in a "good turn" move by head coach Joe Stydahar. Ronzani hired Stydahar when Jumbo Joe was out of work late in the 1952 season. Stydahar, an administrative assistant here, helped with the draft due to the illness of Scout Jack Vainisi. At the recent National League meeting, Stydahar refused to talk about the possibility of hiring Ronzani, onetime backfield coach of the Chicago Bears. Other backfield coaching jobs open in the league are at Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Ronzani, who is living in Green Bay, presently is visiting in Iron Mountain, and could not be reached for comment.
FEB 13 (Green Bay) - The Packer coaching staff was intact for the first time for a few hours yesterday afternoon, with the arrival of line coach Lou Rymkus. Rymkus flew in from his home in Cleveland after spending the past week with Packer prospects in the south. The new coach, former Notre Dame and Cleveland Brown tackle, arrived in hand to meet Veryl Switzer, the Kansas State halfback who was here for a look at the town en route to a track meet in Michigan State. Rymkus was a little shaky when he arrived; he had just recovered from a bout with the flu. Lou plans to make his home here. His family is composed of his wife and two sons, Pat and Mike. The coaching foursome, including head coach Liz Blackbourn and aides Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Rymkus, was not together long yesterday afternoon. McLean left for an unannounced destination - undoubtedly to see some players. Switzer flew out of Green Bay yesterday afternoon - in time to meet his trackmates in East Lansing last night.
FEB 15 (Green Bay) - Packer coach Liz Blackbourn dismissed a pleasant problem today until next August. "Until we can see what the boy does best," Blackbourn pointed out in referring to big Bob Fleck, the 260-pound lineman from Syracuse who was signed by Assistant Coach Ray McLean over the weekend. Actually, Blackbourn isn't confronted with a problem at all. But the happy fact is that Fleck plays two positions - middle guard on defense and tackle on offense - with almost equal ability. Thus, Fleck can be considered a candidate for both. Blackbourn must decide next fall the position to which he is best suited, "although we have him tentatively set as a tackle." Blackbourn has two excellent, pleasantly-conflicting reports on the Syracuse giant. Phil Handler, line coach of the Chicago Bears, coached one of the teams in the North-South game. "Fleck was playing offensive tackle and pushed my 280-pound defensive tackle all over the lot," Liz quoted Handler as saying. Bert Ingwersen, line coach at Illinois, saw Fleck play middle guard against the Illini last fall and saw the new Packer do a damaging job against the middle of the Illinois offensive wall. Co-captain at Syracuse and a teammate of the Packers' Jim Ringo there in 1951-52. Fleck made the Tribune All-Players' All-America in 1952-53. He was also on the Collier's and INS All-Americas. Fleck will carry about 256 pounds on his 6-2 frame into battle. He is considered fast for a big man - a must for offensive linemen. Just a youngster at 22, Fleck was a star basketball and football player in hometown Coatesville, Pa., and later at Manlius Military Academy in Manlius, N.Y. The Syracuse ace is "well mended" from head injuries suffered in an auto accident the day after the National League draft last month. Signing of Fleck gives the Packers two of the most highly regarded tackles in the draft, the other being No. 1 pick Art Hunter of Notre Dame. And the precious contracts give Blackbourn a wonderful start on his announced program to rebuild the Packer line. Three other linemen have already been signed. Next big line objectives in the draft are guard George Timberlake of Southern California, the third draft pick; 240-tackle Sam Marshall of Florida A. and M., No. 7; and 220-pound Jim Williams of Texas Tech, No. 8, an experienced kickoff and extra point and field goal kicker. Fleck, incidentally, was one of two tackles selected in the second round. The other was Buddy Gillioz of Houston, chosen by Los Angeles. Hunter was one of two chosen in the first round, the other being Dick Chapman, the atomic expert from Rice, chosen by Detroit.
FEB 16 (Green Bay) - The mail is always heavy at the Packer office. Coach Liz Blackbourn sets a special period aside every morning to go over correspondence from well-wishing fans, athletes, other coaches and scores of people in the football trade. Scout Jack Vainisi, starting his fifth year in the Packer office, is tangled up in the letter business a good part of the day. A couple of years ago, Vainisi started a "correspondence" course with athletes all over the country. The result is what Jack calls a "running file" of information on athletes - as well as information on the Packers for the athletes. Vainisi got three interesting notes today - from Gayton Salvucci, Bob Kennedy and Frank Kapral, to mention  a few. Salvucci was signed as a free agent a year ago and then went into the Army. The former American International college star halfback, who runs, punts and throws from the single wing, writes "almost every week," Vainisi said. Salvucci, who receives copies of the "Packer News", wrote that he is anxious to try out for the team in 1955. "I'll be out of the Army July 25, 1955," he penned. Salvucci, a six-foot, 185-pounder, presently is stationed at Fort Dix, N.J., but will move to Fort Monmouth, N.J., shortly. Kennedy, the former Wisconsin guard who signed a contract for '54 recently, wrote that he is "grateful to the club after the stuff I pulled last year - this time I'll be with you all the way." Kennedy was referring to last fall when he and center Jim Ringo of Syracuse jumped camp without advance words. Kennedy went back to school and next June will receive his degree in engineering; Ringo returned a week later. Kapral, the Michigan State guard who was the Packers' 22nd draft choice two years ago, is now a second lieutenant in the Army at Fort Sam Houston, Tex. Frank said he'd like to try out for the club next fall. Kapral, who will be separated from service in spring, signed a contract and took part in a brief training in Grand Rapids, Minn., in 1952. He was called him when his wife was injured in an accident and never returned. Vainisi's letter service has been invaluable to Blackbourn in building up the Packer reserve list. One of the chief results likely will be the return of many familiar names to Packer training, such as Kapral and Salvucci...Verne Lewellen, Packer general manager, and public relations chief Jug Earp are in Milwaukee for a few days. Lewellen was one of the speakers at the Santa Monica school sports night program last night. Among the other speakers were Frosty Ferzacca, Marquette coach, and Fred Miller, the sports-minded brewery king...Blackbourn and members of his staff, Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus, have plunged once again into the "cellar" under the Packer office for more views of Packer pictures. It's the first step for Blackbourn in arranging the Packers' 1954 attack!
FEB 18 (Green Bay) - The Packer coaches were red-eyed and sober today. The glimmers were starting to get on the bloodshot side as Head Coach Liz Blackbourn and aides Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus continued a long and eye-smarting movie job - making scout reports on every Packer game played last fall, 17, including five non-league and 12 league. Why sober on this 18th day of February, 1954? It developed that Sam Marshall, the 240-pound Negro tackle from Florida A. and M., had signed a contract to play with Toronto of the Canadian Big Four Football Union. Marshall, whose signed was announced by Toronto last night, was the Packers' seventh draft choice and one of eight tackles selected by the Bays in the draft last month. Big Sam was the first member of the Bay pick list to step out of the NFL - at least for '54. Blackbourn said today that "we'll get in touch with the boy to verify the report of his signing there." The Negro All-American had been contacted immediately after the draft...FIVE NEGROES CHOSEN: Marshall was the No. 3 tackle chosen by the Bays. The top two - No. 1 choice Art Hunter of Notre Dame and No. 2 pick Bob Fleck of Syracuse - already have been signed by the Packers but both had been wooed by the Canadians. Marshall was one of five Negro players chosen in the draft. The others are halfback Veryl (Joe) Switzer of Kansas State, the second No. 1 pick; end Henry Barnes of Oregon, No. 18; tackle Bill Buford of Morgan State, No. 22; and end Hosea Sims of Marquette. Getting back to the red-eye department, the huge task of composing complete scouting reports will take nearly 35 days - more than a month of work days for the four coaches. Two motion picture projectors are being used to complete the job. One is in the coaches' room in the basement of the club offices at 349 S. Washington and the other is in a long, dimly-lit hall in the same building. "It takes us about two days to make a complete report on each game. The plays of each opponent are charted on both offense and defense. This takes about a day and a half. The other half day is used in compiling the information," Blackbourn pointed out. The finished scouting reports will show which plays gained the most yards for the various Green Bay opponents, their defensive strong points, etc., and form a basis for the Packers' strategy against the different clubs next fall. The fact that the Packers played some of the clubs twice last fall makes no difference. Pictures of both games are viewed, and, incidentally, afford the coaches a double look. The Bays played "doubleheaders" with the Western conference clubs - Bear, Lions, Rams, Forty Niners and Colts. In addition, the Bays played double bills (non-league and league) with the Eastern conference Steelers and Browns.
FEB 19 (Green Bay) - The annual stockholders' meeting of Green Bay Packers, Inc., at the courthouse March 1 will mark the "official opening" of the Packers' new regime. Making reports for the first time will be Verne Lewellen, new general manager of the corporation, and Lisle Blackbourn, the club's new head coach. Appointment of Lewellen and Blackbourn in January launched the Packers on a new era which ended with the resignation of Gene Ronzani as head coach late last November. Lewellen will reveal the progress made thus far for the 1954 season. Blackbourn will outline his rebuilding program, the draft and plans for the '54 playing campaign. The stockholders will elect 12 directors, each for three year terms. The nominating committee has placed the names of Richard Falk of Milwaukee up for election to succeed Milwaukee's Joe Krueger. President of Falk Corporation, Falk has been active in backing sports affairs for years. He is considered the No. 2 sports backer in Milwaukee behind Fred Miller, also a member of the Packer board. Holdover directors nominated by a committee composed of John Torinus, chairman, Arthur Mongin and Charles P. Mathys are Ervin Bushman of Sturgeon Bay; Don Hutson of Racine; and H.J. Bero, R.W. Bogda, L.J. Levitas, Dominic Olejniczak, August Reimer, C.J. Renard, Walter Scherf, Edward Schuster and W.J. Servotte of Green Bay. Nominations for new directors also likely will be made from the floor. A highlight of the meeting will be the annual financial report by Secretary-Treasurer Servotte. The corporation made nearly $12,000 and the profit is expected to exceed that amount for the 1953 campaign. Immediately after the stockholders' meeting, the directors will meet to name officers and an executive committee. Officers are R.W. Bogda, president; L.H. Joannes, vice president; W.J. Servotte, secretary-treasurer; and Emil R. Fischer, chairman of the board. The executive committee has 10 members. It was reduced by two following the resignations of Lewellen to become general manager and Ronzani. Remaining members are Bogda, Joannes, Servotte, Max D. Murphy, Fred Leicht, Fischer, Olejniczak, F.N. Trowbridge, Bero and Torinus. The meeting will also act on a change in Article I of the bylaws to provide for holding the annual meeting on the first Monday in March of each year. instead of the first Monday in February as presently provided. The current session was postponed from Feb. 1 because of the late National League meeting which might have prevented the appearance of the new coaches and general manager. Also to be introduced will be assistant coaches Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus.
FEB 26 (Green Bay) - The popularity of Packers head coach Liz Blackbourn reached the card-carrying stage today. Green Bay’s newest citizen is smack in the “middle” of an organization which has been initialed S.O.L.B.A.F. Broken down, those letters stand for the following: “Society of Liz Blackbourn Admirers Forever.” The six words were composed by Wally Cruice, one time football star under Blackbourn at Milwaukee Washington, who announced in Milwaukee yesterday that “the club was organized by a group of Liz Blackbourn admirers.” Membership cards have been printed and nearly 2,000 of them have been sold in Milwaukee alone at $1 each. Cruice reported fifty cards have been sent to the Packer office and publicist Jug Earp said “they’re going fast.” Cruice is chairman of the club and project and Hap Leiser of Milwaukee is co-chairman. The nucleus of the club is made up of hundreds of Blackbourn “alumni” – boys he coached at Milwaukee Washington, the University of Wisconsin and Marquette university in the last 26 years…PAY TRIBUTE TO COACH: The purpose of the club hasn’t been put down in black and white yet. But, as Earp puts it, “the club helps support the Packers, our head coach, and keeps up interest in professional football.” Some of the money will be used for the purchase of a gift card for Blackbourn. And Cruice suggested, “the membership might be able to finance a Packer newsletter – or some other worthwhile program the Packers might like to accomplish.” The new group will play tribute to Blackbourn at the Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s big luncheon for Liz, Frosty Ferzacca and Terry Brennan in Milwaukee March 4. Anyone in Green Bay or area interested in joining S.O.L.B.A.F. can call or write Earp at the Packer office or write to the new organization at 110 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee…On the more serious side of the ledger, Blackbourn learned the other day that Bob Orders, the 220-pound center from West Virginia, expects to go into the service in June. Orders was drafted in ’53 for possible use in ’54. The All-American pivot may serve a three-year hitch. He left West Point following the cribbing scandal three years ago. One center was selected in the draft last month – Ken Hall, a six-foot, 220-pounder from Springfield college. Orders is the third loss to the armed forces. Due to go before the grid season is halfback Don Barton, the Texas whiz who did well late in 1953 after suffering an ankle fracture in the non-league opener. Already in service is Dick Logan, veteran offensive guard…The Packers have announced the signing of seven player thus far, including their first three draft choices…Birth of their fifth son has been announced by Irv and Bernadette Comp of Milwaukee. Irv, backfield star of the Packers in the 40s, says it gives him “the first five-man backfield among Packer alumni.” The new Comp, named Tommy, was preceded by brothers Jimmy, Billy, Mike and Gary.
Levitas, Dominic Olejniczak, August Reimer, C.J. Renard, Walter Scherf, Edward Schuster and W.J. Servotte of Green Bay. After the stockholders’ meeting, directors elected an executive committee and officers. Russ Bogda was reelected president, Olejniczak was named vice president to replace Gene Ronzani, L.H. Joannes was renamed vice president; Servotte was reelected secretary-treasurer; and Emil R. Fischer was named chairman of the board. The reelected executive committee is composed of Max D. Murphy, Fred Leicht, F.N. Trowbridge, John B. Torinus and Bogda, Joannes, Servotte, Fischer and Olejniczak. The discussion on “new blood” developed after Torinus, chairman of the nominating committee, recommended that the 12 directors be reelected and that some thought be given to a rotating plan for directorships. Torinus asked that the 12 directors be renamed “because this is a year of transition,” indicating that the committee favored changes later, rather than now, when the new regime has just started. Savvy Canadeo, a year-around Packer booster, told stockholders that “more consideration should be given to the new blood” and urged that “changes should be made on the board of directors.” Following a discussion in which several stockholders voiced their opinions, the group adopted a resolution, introduced by Abe Alk, that the general manager and the board of directors review the matter of a rotating board of directors and then, at the president’s call, before the next annual stockholders’ meeting, hold a special meeting to discuss the matter. Director Buckets Goldenberg, who drove up from Milwaukee, entered the discussion and stated “this should be our motto: What can I do for the Packers – Not what can the Packers do for me.” Goldenberg’s frank statements brought a round of applause from the stockholders. During the business meeting, a communication from the Sullivan-Wallen post, American Legion, was read. The post recommended that some thought be given to construction of a new stadium and suggested the rental fees deducted from each game be placed in a trust fund and used later to build.
MAR 3 (Neenah) - According to reports, Lee Parrott, Neenah police officer, has been signed to play professional football with the Green Bay Packers. When questioned today, Parrott said he had no comment on reports that he has signed a contract. Coach Blackbourn of the Green Bay Packers was away from Green Bay and could not be reached this morning. Parrott played football at Neenah High school for four years, playing tackle and fullback. He weighs over 200 pounds. Following his graduation from Neenah High school in 1948, he served in the Army, joining the police force in May 1953.
MAR 4 (Green Bay) - The Packers had a full football team today, with the signing of four players – a free agent who toiled with the San Francisco Forty Niners, a 1953 draft choice and two 1954 draft selections. The newcomers are: Ken Bahnsen, 205-pound fullback who was cut adrift late last season by the Forty Niners following the return from service of Jim Monachino; Joe Johnson, speedy Boston college halfback who was picked two years ago for delivery in ’54; Bill Oliver, outstanding Alabama halfback who was chosen in the 12th slot in the January draft, and Jack Smalley, a 225-pound tackle who was ranked as the best blocker at Alabama last fall. The four signings, announced today by Coach Liz Blackbourn, boosted the total of athletes to make the Packers’ contract pile to 11. The group includes four tackles, one guard, one end, four halfbacks and one fullback. Bahnsen was probably the most “unfortunate” back in pro football last fall. He was faced with cracking the circuit’s best ground gaining backfield composed of Joe Perry, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Arenas, Pate Schabarum and Billy Mixon. When veteran Jim Monachino returned from service, Forty Niner coach Buck Shaw had to let Bahnsen go. With the Packers, Bahnsen will fight for the fullback job against veterans Fred Cone and Howie Ferguson – not to mention several other FBs who are expected to sign before the season opens. One of these is Tom Allman, the 210-pound piledriver and blocker from West Virginia, the club’s fourth draft choice. Bahnsen, 24, had a successful career at North Texas State, posting a 5.1 yard ground gaining average on 658 yards in 128 carries in his senior year. He was selected on the all-conference team four straight years and was made All-Texas in ’52. He also captained NTS in ’52. Bahnsen is a native of Vinson, La…RECOMMENDED BY HOLOVAK: Johnson, drafted as a junior in ’53, was the strong man of Boston college’s offense the last three years, averaging well over four yards per rushing try. He also rated as a top-flight pass catcher, nabbing eight for 192 yards in ’52 and six for 98 in ’51. He gained 683 yards rushing in 162 attempts for 4.2 in ’52 and 542 in 123 for 4.1 in ’51. Johnson, 24, stands 6-1 and carries 180 pounds. Captain of BC in ’53, Johnson was recommended by Mike Holovak, head coach at BC and former Chicago Bear back. Oliver, who stands 6-1 and packs 185 pounds, improved in every game last fall and topped the season off with a sparkling performance in Alabama’s loss to Rice in the Cotton Bowl. Against Rice, he gained 56 yards to lead Alabama ball carriers and made six tackles on defense. Oliver started the season behind Corky Tharp but soon became the No. 1 starter at right half. Rated an excellent defensive back with good speed, Oliver might have caught Dick Moegle from behind in that famous from-the-bench-tackle by Tommy Lewis in the Cotton Bowl. Oliver at times shows his speed as a pass catcher; he nailed six for 133 yards against Maryland last fall for a 20-plus average…”ANXIOUS” TO PLAY PRO BALL: The new Packers played prep ball at Aliceville High in Panola, Ala. He’ll turn 27 next March 21. Smalley, who stands 6-3, was Alabama’s regular offensive tackle last fall, winning the job with plenty of rocking and socking in practice. In addition, he won offensive tackle honors in his conference. The Bays’ 25th draft choice, Smalley hails from Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he played prep football. He became 22 years of age last Jan. 31. Both Oliver and Smalley said they were “anxious” to play pro football. Two other Alabama players became pros today – the aforementioned Lewis and center Ralph Carrigan, both signed by the Chicago Cardinals…Official NFL statistics released today list two Packers in the first 30 individual pass receiving standings in 1953. End Bill Howton placed 26th with 25 passes received for a total gain of 463 yards or an average of 18.5 yards per gain. His longest was an 80-yard touchdown run. In 29th place, Bob Mann has a record of 23 pass receptions for 327 yards or an average of 14.2 yards per gain.
MAR 5 (Milwaukee) - The Packers drew a plug or two or four at the Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s luncheon honoring Liz Blackbourn, Frosty Ferzacca and Terry Brennan in the Pfister hotel here Thursday noon. One speaker in particular – Jack Lavelle, the big man from the big city – hauled out something rather interesting. The New York Giant, Army and Notre Dame scout, track referee and starter, public speaker, humorist and just plain nice guy, figured the Packers had a lot to do with taking the woods out of the midwest – that is, convincing New Yorkers and others on the eastern seaboard that we in the MW don’t have bears playing in our backyards, we have modern conveniences, and the fighting against the Indians is over. To put this thought on a little more sensitive level, Lavelle did say that “us folks out there always used to look with skepticism on athletics in the midwest – we with our Yales and Harvards.” The thing that really opened us up was “the miracle of Green Bay; the Packers came out there and beat us (Giants) a few times and gradually the Packer games in New York became one of the big games in the East. The fans and press quickly changed their minds about the midwest.” Lavelle said that Notre Dame’s first invasion out there to play Army in the old days also convinced a lot of New Yorkers about the MW. The advent of baseball in Milwaukee has ‘amazed us out there,” Lavelle pointed out, adding “we’re really believers now.” The rotund man, touching on New York people’s view of the outside world, said, “the subway is a helluva hole; it holds millions of people every day but nobody gets to know anybody else – they just get in there with their Daily News and sit.” Lavelle dazzled the audience of close to 400 fans with his running streams of jokes…Fred Miller, the Packers’ No. 1 backer in Milwaukee and chairman of the AC’s sports committee who served as toastmaster, introduced Packer General Manager Verne Lewellen “as a man who deserves every bit of your support.” He presented Blackbourn “as the man who can put Green Bay back on the winning road.” And speaking of introductions, Miller presented Milwaukee Sentinel Sports Editor Lloyd Larson as “Mr. Lee Larson.” Larson retorted, “Thank you, Mr. Schultz!”.,,Blackbourn, feeling at home before “my friends in Milwaukee” (Liz coaches Washington High there for 22 years, before going to Wisconsin and Marquette) said he was “extremely thankful for the chance of fate that permitted me the opportunity to do all of my coaching in our state – it has given me a great loyalty to the state.” Liz added: “I realize coaching the Packers is quite a challenge but I am proud of the opportunity.” On the humor side, Blackbourn twinkled, “Somebody said that now that I don’t have to worry about the alumni (Wisconsin and Marquette) anymore, maybe I could tell about the prospects. No alumni in Green Bay? As I recall there are about 4,000 stockholders.” Ferzacca, the former Green Bay West grid mentor, now at Marquette, said “we have a feeling that Marquette is on the way up” and expressed the hope that “Milwaukee should realize that Marquette university is Marquette university of Milwaukee.” Frosty, referring to Brennan and Notre Dame, said that “maybe someday we can bring Notre Dame to Milwaukee for a game in the stadium.” Brennan said he hoped to interject “some humor in our practice at Notre Dame.” The young Milwaukeean, who succeeded Frank Leahy, said that “our nerves were pretty ragged at times last season.”
MAR 5 (Green Bay) – Packer quarterback Tobin Rote had another cheerleader today – a daughter who has been named Toni Adair. Born recently in Houston, the newcomer weighed eight pounds. The Rotes have two other children – Tobin, Jr., and Robin Beth.
MAR 6 (Green Bay) - Badly hampered by injuries last year, the Packers’ Gib Dawson and Don Barton served notice the other day that they have lost none of the sparkle they showed at times with the Packers. Dawson scored all 14 points as the University of Texas Old Timers downed the UT Varsity, 14-12, in their annual spring game, and Barton reeled off a 30-yard run to set up a touchdown. Dawson, bothered with pulled leg muscles as a Packer rookie, went up the middle for 13 yards and the first TD and raced around end 12 yards for the other. He booted both extra points. Also starring for the Oldtimers was Harley Sewell, Detroit Lion guard. Barton, who suffered an ankle fracture in the Packers’ non-league opener last fall and then didn’t play until the last three league games, may have to go into the Army shortly…Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn will be one of the guests of honor at the annual gridiron dinner at the University of Wisconsin April 7. Liz will sit at the head table with Thomas L. Stokes, Washington columnist, who will be the main speaker. The fete is sponsored by Sigma Delta Chi, a professional journalism fraternity…While Dawson and Barton were taking their bumps in Texas, a group of Los Angeles Rams defeated the San Pedro Dolphins, 26 to 13, in a touch football game in LA before 500 fans. Quarterback Norm Van Brocklin showed his understudies, Rudy Bukich and Bill Wade, how it’s done by hurling three touchdown passes to Skeets Quinlan, Tom Fears and Bob Boyd. Wade, the Rams’ bonus choice two years ago who spent the last two season in the Army, gave indication that his knee, injured last year, is as good as new by streaking through the Dolphins on a 40-yard run. Paul Cameron, UCLA’s All-American who will play with Pittsburgh, passed for Dolphin touchdowns to Bob Schroeder and Bill Stits…Packer General Manager Verne Lewellen is anxiously awaiting word on the Bays’ league schedule so that arrangements can be made for splitting the six homes tests between Milwaukee and Green Bay and printing of tickets. Ten of the 12 games will be home and home sets with the other five clubs in the Western division and the other two will be against two foes in the Eastern loop. The Packers are due to draw Philadelphia and possibly Washington for their eastern foes. Top business ahead will be the schedule, selection of a training site and signing of players.
MAR 6 (College Station, TX) - Vito “Babe” Parilli, former star Kentucky quarterback, will help coach the backs during Texas A&M’s spring football training period opening Monday. Paul Bryant, director of athletics and head coach, announced that Parilli, who played with the Green Bay Packers the past two seasons, will work the first two weeks of A&M’s spring grid practice. Parilli, vacationing in Lexington, Ky., was not available for comment today on a report by United Press that he will be called into the U.S. Air Force in the near future. A Packer spokesman said, however, that the club has had no word of a change in Parilli’s service station.
MAR 9 (Green Bay) - The Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears and world champion Detroit Lions will meet the Packers in NFL games at City stadium next fall. San Francisco, Los Angeles and Baltimore will be the Packers’ league opponents in Milwaukee County stadium. Verne Lewellen, Packer general manager who announced the home schedule today, revealed that the Packers’ first two league games will be played in Green Bay on successive Sundays – Pittsburgh on Sept. 26 and the Chicago Bears Oct. 3. The next two will follow on consecutive Sunday in Milwaukee – San Francisco Oct. 10 and Los Angeles Oct. 17. There will be a lull of home activity for nearly a month before the Packers take on Baltimore in Milwaukee Saturday night, Nov. 13 in a nationally-televised game. The home card closes out Nov. 21 when the Packers engage Detroit in Green Bay. Though “twin” games in both Milwaukee and Green Bay were not considered desirable. 
Herb (Squeak) Borman. Singing of the free agents brings to 13 the number of athletes announced as inked thus far. The newcomers both are firsts to sign for their particular positions. Falkenstein is generally credited with performing a job of magic last year, accomplishing the changeover from passing to running with such efficiency that the Illini found themselves tied for the Big Ten championship when the firing had ceased. Illinois, with Tommy O'Connell as chief throwing quarterback and Falkenstein as an assistant, was the aerial scourge of the Big Ten and the country in '52...SELECTED FOR EIGHTH: With the departure of O'Connell (to the Bears, incidentally) in 1953 and the arrival of the sophomore running stars - J.C. Caroline and Mickey Bates, Illinois coach selected Falkenstein as quarterback-feeder for C and B. If there's any doubt about the type of work, Falkenstein performed, it can be mentioned that Illinois had been selected for an eighth place finish last fall. Illinois went on to a title tie despite a lopsided loss to Wisconsin....The league office made official today the Packers' punt returning championship for '53. The Bays led the circuit with an 8.9-yard average on 60 returns after finishing in seventh in 1952. Al (Hoagy) Carmichael, the Packers' rookie halfback from Southern California, led the Bays and ranked second in the league behind Charley Trippi of the Chicago Cardinals. Carmichael lugged back 20 punts for 239 yards and an average of 10. His longest return was 52 yards. Gib Dawson returned seven for 72 yards and an average of 10.3. Trippi, oddly enough, didn't return a single punt in '52 but lugged back 21 for 239 yards and an average of 11.4 last fall.