GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(SAN FRANCISCO) - Six victories! That was a wild dream three months ago but the Packers reached the magic No. 6 with a planned blocked punt, a 60-yard aerial bomb and an amazingly alert defense before 34,527 bewildered fans in Kezar Stadium Sunday afternoon. The score was 28 to 7 and the aching Forty-Niners were forced to absorb their fifth straight setback - plus rousing rounds of booing most of the game. Actually, the victory - sweet as it was - didn't help the Packers in their mathematical chance at a playoff. The
Green Bay Packers (6-5) 28, San Francisco 49ers (3-8) 7
Sunday December 4th 1955 (at San Francisco)
WILY VAL JOE OUT-MANEUVERS 'FRISCO SCRIBES ON FUMBLE
DEC 5 (San Francisco) - “Hold everything fellas, Val Joe’s gonna be interviewed,” Bobby Dillon shouted to the happy Packer dressing room after Sunday’s victory. Val Joe Walker, grinning wide, wrapped a towel around his middle, jumped on the top of the bench and looked down on five Frisco writers who wanted to know about the fumble he recovered on the Packers’ six-inch line. The scribes had just been told in the 49ewr dressing room by Joe Perry that he fumbled over the goal line and by Hugh McElhenny that he (Hugh) recovered the ball. “That,” claimed Frisco coach Red Strader, “would have put us back in the game with 21-14 and nearly a half to go.” Asked if he had recovered inside the playing field or in the end zone, Walker answered and asked: “Where did the official put the ball down?” “On the six-inch line,” somebody said. Walker continued, “That’s where I recovered. The official is always right as far as I am concerned. McElhenny wasn’t on the ball. He slid over it. When Forester racked up Perry and he fumbled, the ball was loose. I was behind Bill and fell on it. Any more questions?” The Frisco boys wanted to know if Strader planned to protest. “No, you can’t protest the officials’ decision even when you can produce moving pictures to prove your point,” Red said. Strader thought Green Bay played better football than it did in Milwaukee. “But so did we,” Red added with a sign. On the blocked punt, Strader put the blame on Laughlin, who was blocking for Luna. “Bud gave with O’Donahue instead of driving him back,” Red said. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn was most impressed with the Bays’ sock. “We got a few breaks along the line but the boys were ready for this one and they wanted it and
RECORD CROWD SEEN FOR 'TITLE' BATTLE
DEC 6 (Pasadena-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – The Packers dug in here today for a history-making spectator spectacle and hoped at the same time they won’t be running into another “situation” when they tackle the Rams in the Los Angeles Coliseum Sunday afternoon. Anywhere from 60 to 80 thousand fans – depending on the weather – are expected for the dramatic clash which could win or lose the Western Division championship for the Rams. A Packer victory and a Chicago Bear win Sunday over Philadelphia would put the Bears in. A Ram win would make LA champ. If the gate exceeds 55,000, the Packers could go home with a new record for a regularly-scheduled league game – not to mention a fat check. The Packers have played to larger crowds but they have been exhibitions such as the All Star game and the Philadelphia Eagles’ benefit. Best previous Packer league game crowd was close to 55 grand in Detroit several years ago…At any rate, if old man sunshine strikes Sunday, the Packers will play before more people than live in their hometown. The Rams figured on 65,000 last Sunday vs. Baltimore but rain cut it to 37,024, representing a loss of $50,000 each to the Rams and Colts. The Rams weren’t complaining, thought, because it was the first time heavy rain interfered with a league game here since 1946. Teamside, the Packers can’t help but wonder if they’re heading into a third special situation Sunday. In two earlier “occasions”, the Packers were waxed – 41-10 by Cleveland and 52-31 by the Chicago Bears. At Cleveland, the Browns continued their hate for Western Division clubs and just wanted to prove it on the scoreboard. The Packers didn’t have much chance…At Chicago, the Bears were made about losing and looking bad 24-3 in Green Bay and they just wanted revenge. Ditto - not much chance. In LA next Sunday, the Rams have about the best reason in the world for murdering somebody - merely the championship. This time, the Packers, looking back over those two landslides, figure they have a chance because they know the Rams will have the buzz saw ready. The Browns and Bears gave no "saw" warning. Coach Liz Blackbourn said Monday, "We want it real bad and we'll be out there to win it. Nothing else. It would be wonderful to come home with 7 and 5." But Blackbourn admitted, "It'll be a mean job. We just got our scouting report from Johnny Johnson (coach on the UCLA staff) and he said the Rams dominated the Colts with the exception of the last few minutes. And Johnson tells us that the Rams will be at fill strength for the first time this Sunday. All their cripples, Hirsch, Boyd, Fears, Quinlan and the others, will be in there." The Packers came out of their 28 to 7 victory in San Francisco with a few knee, arm and shoulder cases but Trainer Bud Jorgenson found nothing serious except Howie Ferguson, who has been troubled by a sore collar bone for three games. Howie underwent X-rays Monday afternoon and no breaks were found. Center Jim Ringo, who was carried off the field in Detroit with a back injury, felt "only stiff" today after working all but the last few plays against Frisco. "I had butterflies on that first play. I didn't know what the first bump would do to me. But I was lucky I guess," Ringo said. Trapper Stephenson, brought out of retirement just in case Jim couldn't go, was in for the last four plays and said, "It felt good; I even got a good blind-side block on Hardy Brown." The Packers loafed around Monday, who was also pay day. A number of them rented cars and took in a few sights. The coaches went through Johnson's report Monday morning and viewed pictures of the Packers' 30-28 victory over the Rams in Milwaukee. The team opened Ram week with a meeting this morning and a light workout in Brookside Park this afternoon. They're staying at the Hotel Green.
VICTORY AT 'FRISCO PROVED VALUE OF SHORT
PACKER-LA GO LOOMS AS MENTAL 'STRUGGLE'
DEC 9 (Pasadena-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – Sunday’s Packer-Ram game in the Los Angeles Coliseum shapes up as a mental case of some sort. Both clubs are practicing with gusto this week, but some of the mental preparation could go up in smoke in at least a half-hour before kickoff – about the time the teams are warming up. The Bears and Philadelphia will start their battle in Chicago at 11 a.m. Sunday, LA time, which means that the result will be posted about 1:30, some 30 minutes before kickoff in LA. If the Bears lose, the Rams will win the championship before even touching Green Bay. If the Bears win, the Rams will have to whip the Packers to safeguard the crown. Thus, the mental gyrations a half-hour before kickoff – especially on the part of the Rams could be sky-high for battle if the Bears win and happy and giddy if the Bears lose. Coach Liz Blackbourn feels that the Ram situation will make little difference to the Packers. “We want this one – no matter how the Rams feel. I expect the Bears will come up with a good game Sunday and probably beat the Eagles.”…A win Sunday would give the Packers a 7-5 record. That would be fantastic since the experts pegged the Packers for 4-8 or 3-9 last August. Blackbourn was happier and more hopeful Thursday night because the Packers came up with a sharp workout under warm sunshine (about 75) in the afternoon. The emphasis was on defensing the running of Ronnie Waller and Tank Younger and Norm Van 
PASS DEFENSE KEY IN PACKER-LA DUEL: LIZ
DEC 8 (Pasadena) - When a middle guard intercepts four passes, that's news. It's even a better year when said middle man, who crouches alongside a defensive tackle, comes into his position cold off the street. All this points to the Packers' Bill Forester, the big, rough and agile center guard who never played the role at SMU. Since becoming a Packer in '53, Forester has had a shot at fullback, linebacker, defensive end and finally in '54 at middle guard where he has found a home. Bill was a linebacker and fullback in college. Forester heads what might be termed a fantastic pass-intercepting threesome, the other two members being linebackers Roger Zatkoff and Deral Teteak. Between 'em, they intercepted nine passes in 11 games this season - a total almost unheard for characters in their position. Forester has grabbed off four, including two lifesavers in the San Francisco game last Sunday; Zatkoff three; and Teteak two. No team in the league can even come close to matching that, including the Los Angeles Rams whose assorted collection of middle guards and linebackers swiped only a total of three passes in 11 matches. Pass interceptions may come to the front Sunday since the Coliseum foes rank one-two in the league in that department, Green Bay with 30 and LA with 29. The Rams' steal leader is Bill Sherman with 11 - also the top figure in the league, and the Packers are paced by Bobby Dillon with nine - second in the loop. Coach Liz Blackbourn feels that pass interceptions could make or break the Packers or the Rams. "We'll have to be at our best in the secondary because Van Brocklin and Wade are both excellent passers," Liz said. Blackbourn drilled the Packers' defense against the Rams' most successful passing plays in yesterday's workout and it was interesting to note that the Packers turned in a number of interceptions. This is an encouraging note but the Rams may try their "unsuccessful" stuff Sunday...And speaking about interceptions, Packer quarterback Tobin Rote was happy to note in the paper the other day that 
Rams whipped the Colts, thus knocking the Pack out of title contention. Bu the win set the stage for a climactic windup in Los Angeles next Sunday where the Packers have a chance to knock their traditional enemy, the Chicago Bears, into the championship. Packer and Bear wins would do it. Green Bay could share second place money if the Packers win and the Bears lost to Philadelphia...The Packers accomplished many things Sunday. They scored their first victory on the West Coast since '47 when they licked the Rams in LA; their first win ever in 'Frisco; and their first triumph on the road this season. The Packers are still batting 1.000 against the west coast glamor boys this year, having beaten LA and Frisco back home. The Packers did all this by spotting the Forty-Niners a touchdown in the first quarter, ripping across three touchdowns in the second period, clinching it with a teedee in the third, and then heading off Frisco with a gutty exhibition of defensive football in the fourth frame. Frisco went in front 7-0 on Y.A. Tittle's 12-yard pass to Billy Wilson after getting the ball on the Pack's 24 by recovering Veryl Switzer's fumble of a punt. The Bays evened the count on a nine-play, 67-yard march early in the second period, Tobin Rote sneaking over from six inches out. Three minutes later, Pat O'Donahue - a former Forty-Niner - blocked Bobby Luna's punt on the Frisco 35. Tackle Len Szafaryn fielded the ball like a shortstop on the 28 and roared into the end zone for a 14-7 lead and his first touchdown of a long gridiron career...Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn said later it was  a "planned play", explaining "Pat came to us after Luna's first punt and said the Forty Niner tackle wasn't taking him and wanted us to load up for the return the 
same as on the first punt. We did and O'Donahue had no opposition at the line of scrimmage." O'Donahue leaped over Luna's blocker, Bud Laughlin, and blocked the ball with his arm. The Forty-Niners got wise on Luna's next punt a few minutes later but this time Switzer fielded the ball on the Frisco 45 and bolted back 38 yards to the Forty-Niner seven. Three plays later, Breezy Reid cracked over from the two and it was 21-7 just before the half. The issue was all settled in the first 11 minutes of the third quarter on two maneuvers. The Forty-Niners put on a furious, 17-play, 77-yard drive to start the half, but Joe Perry fumbled on the Packer six-inch line and ballhawk Val Joe Walker recovered...That hurt Frisco but not quite as much as Maneuver No. 2, after an exchange of punts, including a 62-yard boot by Dick Deschaine from deep in the end zone after Walker's recovery. Just past the 11th minute of the third frame, Reid broke behind the Forty-Niner defense, took Rote's pass on the Frisco 45, popped away from Ed Beatty, and legged it into the end zone with Rex Berry riding the last three yards. It was a 60-yard aerial and broke Frisco's back. The Packers were fierce all afternoon and any fear of a repetition of that 35-0 beating on this field in '54 was dispelled in the first period - despite Frisco's 7-0 edge. Rugged tackling knocked Joe Perry, Leo Nomellini and Hardy out of action - among others. Defensively, the Packers were terrific. They intercepted four passes - three by two guys who keep their noses close to the line, Bill Forester getting two and Roger Zatkoff one. Bobby Dillon made the other and three of the interceptions were made deep in Packerland, Dillon getting his on the seven-yard line, Forester on the two and Zatkoff on the 18. Doyle Nix played himself a great game. He kayoed a sure touchdown shot to Carroll Hardy in the second quarter and on the next play knocked a long gainer out of Wilson's hands, forcing the punt that O'Donahue blocked. The Packers didn't set the stadium afire statistically but nobody gave a darn because the points were in the sock. Rote completed nine out of 18 for 151 yards, but latched four of them together on the first TD drive. The Packers settled for 85 yards but Frisco rushed for 169 - 83 by an able Hugh McElhenny. Frisco had it in first downs, 20-13...One of the pleasant mysteries of the game was center Jim Ringo, who was badly injured at Detroit. He somehow got new life Saturday, started the game and went the distance with the exception of the last few plays when Trapper Stephenson went in. Ringo's snap backs - especially on Deschaine's crucial punt - were perfect and put Rote at east. The Forty-Niners drew the first break of the game after the teams traded two first downs each, Powell recovering Switzer's fumble of a Luna punt on the Packer 24. Perry punched it to the 14 in two cracks and on second down Tittle hurled to Wilson for the score. Zatkoff's interception put an end to another possible Frisco TD, returning 15 yards to the Packer 33...The Packers stormed 67 yards in nine plays, with four Rote completions eating up 56 yards. Rote hurled to Howton for 13, to Ferguson for 11, to Knafelc for 11 and to Carmichael for 21 to the Frisco 3 from where Rote scored on third down from six inches out. Cone booted the first of four extra points for a tie score early in the second frame. O'Donahue's heroics followed quickly for a 14-7 edge but there were more coming up. After Borden pitched McElhenny for a seven-yard loss, Forester grabbed Tittle's pass on the Forty Niner 37 and raced to the 20, where he lateraled to Billy Bookout who ran to the 15. Reid and Rote punched to the seven but Ferguson was stopped at the line of scrimmage and Rote was stopped inches short of a first down near the four where the Forty Niners took over. Key tackles by Walker and Martinkovic forced Luna to punt and brought on Switzer's 38-yard runback and Reid's TD plunge from the two and a 21-7 edge. Running by Arenas and McElhenny and Tittle's short passes to Arenas, Wilson and Soltau gave Frisco a first down on the Packer 13 from where Tittle rolled out for an eight-yard gain to the five early in the third period. Perry crashed to the two for a first down but on the next play Joe fumbled and Walker recovered. Deschaine's long punt, which carried 55 yards in the air, and a punt by Luna set the stage for the Rote-Reid TD aerial and a 28-7 edge. Frisco started moving, chiefly on Tittle's 21-yard pass to Hardy, but Dillon intercepted on the Packer seven. With Reid running and Rote hurling to Reid and Switzer, the Packers moved up to midfield on another TD drive but Joe Johnson fumbled on the Frisco 48 and Brown  recovered early in the fourth period. Frisco then made its last serious bid, reaching the Packer six on nine plays covering 42 yards, but Forester put a stop to that by intercepting on the Packer two and returning two yards. The pleasant proceedings ended with Luna and Deschaine punting it out, and, incidentally, Dick on the day's booting duel averaged 46.7 yards and Luna's 33.8.
GREEN BAY     -   0  21   7   0  -  28
SAN FRANCISCO -   7   0   0   0  -   7
                      GREEN BAY SAN FRANCISCO
First Downs                  13            20
Rushing-Yards-TD        31-85-2      47-164-0
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 18-9-151-1-0 36-16-117-1-4
Sacked-Yards                0-0           0-0
Net Passing Yards           151           117
Total Yards                 236           281
Fumbles-lost                3-2           1-1
Turnovers                     2             5
Yards penalized            2-10          2-20
SCORING
1st - SF - Billy Wilson, 12-yard pass from Y.A.Tittle (Gordie Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 7-0
2nd - GB - Tobin Rote, 1-yard run (Fred Cone kick) TIED 7-7
2nd - GB - Len Szafaryn, 28-yard return with a blocked kick (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 14-7
2nd - GB - Breezy Reid, 1-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 21-7
3rd - GB - Reid, 60-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 28-7
RUSHING
GREEN BAY - Breezy Reid 8-32 1 TD, Howie Ferguson 10-28, Joe Johnson 5-22, Fred Cone 1-4, Tobin Rote 6-3 1 TD, Al Carmichael 1-(-4)
SAN FRANCISCO - Hugh McElhenny 18-83, Joe Perry 17-46, Joe Arenas 7-27, Y.A. Tittle 3-9, Bud Laughlin 2-(-1)
PASSING
GREEN BAY - Tobin Rote 18-9-151 1 TD
SAN FRANCISCO - Y.A. Tittle 28-13-104 1 TD 4 INT, Maury Duncan 8-3-13
RECEIVING
GREEN BAY - Breezy Reid 3-77 1 TD, Howie Ferguson 2-17, Al Carmichael 1-20, Veryl Switzer 1-13, Billy Howton 1-13, Gary Knafelc 1-11
SAN FRANCISCO - Bud Laughlin 6-23, Billy Wilson 5-52 1 TD, Joe Arenas 2-12, Joe Perry 2-10, Carroll Hardy 1-20
got it. We had a real good practice week up at Sonoma and it paid off to come out earlier,” Liz said. Blackbourn had words of praise for everybody and Jim Ringo in particular. “We didn’t even know until Saturday that he’d be able to play; he just snapped out of it, unexpectedly, and was his old reliable self through the whole game.” Line Coach Lou Rymkus pointed to Ringo and exclaimed, “He helped make a lot of the difference.” It’s hard to explain just how well and hard the Packers played Sunday against a team as fired up as the Forty Niners were. As the Packers bus was about to leave, a native grid fan poled his head in the door and asked, “Where’s Teteak?” We pointed to Deral and the stranger just looked and beamed, “He played a great game and I just want him to know it!” That might give you an idea how the Packers played – when a local single out an unsung linebacker for praise. Sitting on the Packer bench were ex-Bays Gib Dawson and Elroy Falkenstein, both in service near here, and Milt Gantenbein and his son, Tad, a junior gridder in Sacramento High. Stopping in the Packer dressing room was Packer draftee Jack Smalley, former Alabama tackle now in service who expects to get out in time for the ’56 season.
day that no rain is expected Sunday. Rote isn't inclined to superstition, but he can't help but hark back to the first Ram-Packer game in Milwaukee when he pitched the Packers to a 24-7 lead. Then it started to rain and the Rams proceeded to intercept five passes - three coming on his next four throws, after LA cut the edge to 24-14. That was an unusual game for Van Brocklin and Rote. The Dutchman was cold all afternoon and the Texan was hot and cold. Tobin will have the advantage of Texas weather, warm and sunny, they say...TOBIN ADDS 10 POUNDS: Incidentally, Rote has added about 10 pounds in the last few weeks to help cushion the rugged beating he takes when running with the ball. Tobin, a juicy target every time he runs, is carrying about 214 pounds. Rote says he "feels better" with the extra weight. His poundage skidded to 201 at different times in the last five seasons. Ram coach Sid Gillman sounded the usual warning on Rote today, claiming "he's the toughest quarterback in the league to defense because he'll run it down your throat if you're not careful."...Unofficially, five of the Packers made the Western Division team for the Pro Bowl game in Los Angeles Jan. 15 - Bill Howton, Bobby Dillon, Roger Zatkoff, John Martinkovic and Howie Ferguson. Official selections will be revealed next week, but some of them already have been notified. There's an outside chance Rote might get to play in the classic. Promoters out here want Van Brocklin. of course, and Ed Brown of the Bears. Brown is favored over Rote because Ed was sensational against the Rams in LA Oct. 30. Rote might get a shot if he sets the Coliseum on fire Sunday...The Rams will be favored by seven points Sunday. And, can you imagine, some of the local pressmen are unhappy since they feel the Packers should be choiced. What do they want, blood?
PACK COULD GIVE HALAS BEST FAREWELL GIFT: WIN OVER LA
DEC 8 (Los Angeles) - The Packers never did give George Halas a going-away gift. It would be pretty hard to select a present for the owner-coach of the Chicago Bears because Uncle George, being in the seven-figure class, undoubtedly is well stocked with luggage, watches, brief cases and so forth. The occasion for this Christmas group is merely that Halas is stepping down as head coach of the Bears. And when people depart from long association - such as the oldest and bitterest rivalry in professional football, it is customary to buy the departee a gift. While one doesn't generally honor an enemy with a memento, Halas seems to b a different type of enemy - a sort of a friendly foe. He has fought against and side by side the Packers since '21. He is probably the most cussed and discussed individual among Green Bay fans. But he is highly respected and well liked personally. What kind of gift can the Packers give Halas? Actually, they can give the bland Bohemian a championship by beating the Los Angeles Rams here Sunday. The Bears will have to cooperate by beating Philadelphia in the their windup. Now don't get us wrong. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn isn't going to tell his boys Sunday to go out and win this one for dear old Halas U. The Packers will want to win Sunday to gain (1) a gaudy 7-5 record, (2) a possible shade of second place money, and (3) the satisfaction that goes with knocking somebody out of a title. But if the Packers won (and the Bears won), it would be sentimental to say that the Packers gave George an extra-special going-away present...BRIEFS: Al Carmichael saw his new daughter, Pamela, for the first time Monday. The Carmichaels live in LA and the newcomer was born last October while Al was in Green Bay. "This is the last year my family stays out here; next year they're coming with me," Al said...The Packers will be guests of the Miller Brewing Co. at a steak dinner in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Saturday evening. The late Fred Miller started the "treat" five years ago and it has become an annual procedure - win, lose or draw...A year ago, Clayton Tonnemaker and Trapper Stephenson announced that they were retiring after "next Sunday's game" here. And they made their decisions stick although Stephenson was called back a week ago to back up injured Jim Ringo. None of the '55 Packers have made any definite retirement plans, although Fred Cone said after the first Ram game in Milwaukee (his three field goals won the game) that "this may be my last season." Cone is currently leading the league with 15 field goals. Breezy Reid has talked some of retiring, although the Georgia Peach has a special liking for the game. Cone is 29 and Reid 28...Some 30 wires of best wishes were posted on the bulletin board in the San Francisco dressing room when the Packers arrived before the game Sunday. The messages from Green Bay fans helped "up" the squad.
RED SMITH SOX SCOUT
DEC 8 (Chicago) - Richard (Red) Smith, 51, former minor league baseball executive and well known in the NFL, Wednesday was named a scout for the Chicago White Sox. Smith, who resigned as president and general manager of Toledo in the American Assn. after the 1955 season, will hunt talent for the Sox in Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas. Smith also was a president and general manager for the Milwaukee Brewers in the American Assn. and once was a catcher for the New York Giants and Boston Braves. A football guard at Notre Dame under Knute Rockne, Smith played and was an assistant coach for the NFL Giants and Green Bay Packers. Smith takes over the Sox scouting territory formerly covered by Fred Schulte, now assigned to Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, eastern Colorado and western Missouri.
PASS TO ROTE
DEC 6 (Pasadena-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers' win at Frisco proved to Tobin Rote that the short pass is a mighty potent weapon and to Veryl Switzer that he can actually catch the football. Rote had fallen into the long-pass habit, which characterized his throwing during the Ronzani regime, in the last three or four games. His last longie was the one Billy Hotwon dropped in Detroit, although he threw three of them in the last few seconds of the first half at Detroit. Coach Liz Blackbourn, an exponent of the short pass, noted that Rote produced two touchdowns with five short passes against the 49ers. In the nine-play, 67-yard drive in the second quarter that tied the score, Rote completed shorties of 13 yards to Howton, 11 to Howie Ferguson, 11 to Gary Knafelc and 21 (the pass only traveled 10 yards) to Al Carmichael in that order and Rote sneaked it over. There was more proof early in the fourth quarter when Reid caught one for 10 and Switzer for 14, setting off another Packer drive that ended with a fumble by Joe Johnson at midfield. Switzer has been troubled catching punts and Blackbourn figures that "Veryl might have some trouble making up his mind whether or not to fair catch it, causing a last-second fumble." Sunday's game wasn't five minutes old when Veryl fumbled a Bobby Luna punt. Frisco promptly turned it into a 7-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Johnson joined with Carmichael to catch Gordy Soltau's boot while Switzer sat on the bench. "I didn't keep him there because he fumbled," Liz explained, "but he got a bad bump on the nose and needed a breather." From that sitdown on, Switzer caught punts like he owned 'em. Luna's next punt was blocked for a TD but Switzer took the next on the 49er 45, veered sharply to his right and raced 38 yards to the Frisco 7, setting up a 21-7 lead. Switzer caught two more and returned 'em 50 yards but one, a 30-yard runback, was nullified by a penalty. In fact, Frisco coach Red Strader took special note of the Packers' punt returning with this crack, "Blackbourn really took the commissioner's suggestion seriously." Recently, Bert Bell announced to the world that the punt return is becoming a thing of the past in pro ball because of all the fair catches and that the rules should be changed to encourage the thrilling runbacks. He later told the coaches that they should have their boys do more punt returning. Strader didn't take much heed. The 49ers fair caught three out of six and two others were permitted to roll dead.
BAYS TAKE DAY OFF BEFORE STARTING WORK FOR FINALE WITH RAMS
DEC 6 (Los Angeles) - The Green Bay Packers rested here Monday before they went to work again Tuesday for their NFL finale with the Rams at Los Angeles Sunday. The Packers' performance in their 28-7 triumph over the 49ers at San Francisco certainly earned them a day off. Against the 49ers, quarterback Tobin Rote had one of his finest days. The protection afforded by his lineman was superb. Rote completed 50% of his passes, 9 of 18, to six different receivers. He never had to "eat" the football for a loss and he never had to run when he went back to throw. Nor were any of his pitched intercepted. Green Bay's running game was hardly effective but for good reason. Fullback Howie Ferguson is so battered and bruised that he can hardly pull on his uniform. But he must be in there to keep the defense honest. With Ferguson crippled but still willing, old Breezy Reid came up with by far his top job of the season, running low and fighting for extra yards. He led the Packers' modest ground attack with 32 yards. He also caught three passes for 77 yards, leading the team in both respects. Reid's last catch, for a 60 yard touchdown play on a short pass over the middle, perhaps brought home to Rote something Coach Lisle Blackbourn has been telling him with indifferent success for two season. Throw them short. Rote laughed about his passing after the 49er game especially when Ray (Scooter) McLean, backfield coach, pointed out that he had thrown only once (for a 13 yard gain) to Billy Howton, fellow Rice alumnus and usually his favorite target. "Those shorties over the middle," Rote said, grinning as he buttoned his shirt, "had their linebackers going crazy. They didn't know which way to turn or which guy to follow." Blackbourn expressed pleasure over his defense, as well he might. "Our strategy," he said, "was to stop the long one, which we did. We figured that if we had to let them complete the short passes and make yards on traps up the middle coming down the field, okay. We didn't think they'd be consistent enough to keep going, that something would stop them sooner or later in close, a fumble or an interception. That's what happened, too. The boys did what they were supposed to all the way." Lou Rymkus, line coach, pointed out that the defensive line put a good rush on San Francisco's passers, Y.A. Tittle and later Maury Duncan. "Sure," he said, "we didn't catch Tittle for big losses, but the boys forced him out of the pocket several time, and made him get rid of the ball too fast most of the time. If you want to single out someone who did a real good job in there, I'd say Dave Hanner, although he had plenty of help." Bill Forester, middle guard, made two leaping interceptions and lateraled off to gritty little Billy Bookout after one of them. The large, well-proportioned Texan with the slow drawl had one of his better day after disappointing performances earlier in the season. Roger Zatkoff also leaped high for an interception and Bobby Dillon, quarterback of the deep defense, grabbed another, bringing his season total to nine. Doyle Nix, improving as he learned and one of the league's really fine rookie defensive backs, knocked down three passes, one of them after a burst of speed and a leap to avert what looked like a certain 49er touchdown. For his part, Val Joe Walker, Dillon's sidekick at safety in the all-Texas back line, fell on a fumble on the Packer one foot line to halt San Francisco's early second half bid to make it a contest once again. After the game, the 49ers denied that Walker had actually recovered the ball. Joe Perry, fullback, said, "I crossed the goal and still had possession. It should have been a touchdown. When I did fumble in the end zone, McElhenny was on the ball." Hugh McElhenny, 49ers' halfback, said, "I was sitting right on the ball - in the end zone. It was mine." Someone asked Walker how he got the ball. "McElhenny slid across and past the ball, and I feel on it," he said. "Well, where did you recover it?" "Where'd the referee put the ball down?" Walker asked. "On the one foot line." "That's good enough for me," Walker said, smiling.
GILLMAN SAYS REPORTED REEVES OUSTER WON'T HURT LA MORALE
DEC 6 (Los Angeles) - Los Angeles Ram coach Sid Gillman had this to say today about the reported firing of Dan Reeves as club president by associates Ed Pauley, Hal Seeley and Fred Levy, Jr.: "I don't know anything about front office matters and this has nothing whatever to do with the conduct or the morale of the team. I have no statement other than the fact we want to win this last game against Green Bay." Reeves, who in 15 years at the helm of the Rams has built the club into one of pro football's most successful ventures, has been asked by his partners to devote more time to the team or turn the duties over to someone else. Reeves, a millionaire Beverly Hills broker, owns 32.22 percent of the Ram stock; oilman Ed Pauley 30.56 percent; Fred Levy 22.22 and Hal Seely 13.89 percent. Comedian Bob Hope owns half of Levy's stock, but is not a partner, Levy retaining voting rights. Reeves acknowledged Monday that his partners had expressed a desire to make "certain changes in our existing partnership agreement," but he denied reports that he would step aside as president. One partner, Frederick Levy, Jr., said Reeves had been served notice that his contract as managing partner will not be renewed Jan. 1 unless he can devote "almost full time" to the job. Reeves stated further: "Under our agreement, drawn up in 1953, outlining the management structure of the organization, I was delegated complete authority by the other partners to operate the Los Angeles Rams. Included in this agreement, drawn up by us at the time of the establishment of the partnership, was a proviso that at any time they wished to limit or change the authority delegated to me, such changes could be made by notification on or before Nov. 1 of any calendar year. A desire by my partners to make certain changes in our existing partnership agreement was made known to me on last Oct. 31." He declined to say what changes were sought. Reeves, once sole owner of the Rams, was reported to have drawn a salary of $50,000 a year as managing partner. But he stated: "Although as managing partner of the Ram organization I am authorized a salary, I have not seen fit in the past to draw this money, devoting my time without financial compensation."
PACKERS NEED RUSHING 'LIFT' TO BEAT RAMS
DEC 7 (Pasadena-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers will need more than 85 yards rushing to beat the Los Angeles Rams in the Coliseum Sunday. Coach Liz Blackbourn is sure of that but "we'll also need Howie running at full speed to give us the big lift." The Packers beat Frisco 28-7 with only 85 soil stripes. Blackbourn may get his wish and hope. Howie Ferguson, the Packers' one and only Mr. Rush all season, now is certain that there's nothing seriously wrong with his shoulder. He gained this peace of mind Tuesday when X-rays revealed no structural breaks. Ferguson went through Tuesday's workout with no pain. "Feels wonderful," he shouted in the shower room and in answer to a question added: "I don't expect any shoulder trouble against the Rams," The Rams are well aware of Ferguson - not only from their first game vs. Green Bay but from a "slight" hint Baltimore coach Weeb Ewbank dropped after Sunday's game. Asked if he thought Ram Tank Younger was the best fullback in the league, Ewbank replied: "He's good but wait until you see Ferguson. Watch for him."...Younger had a tremendous day against the Colts, the Packer defense has been notified, reeling off 132 yards in 25 carries and scoring two touchdowns. In fact, Younger and Ronnie Waller, the Rams' rookie halfback sensation, sawed up Baltimore's powerful defensive line for 270 yards in 49 carries. These two gents, who had nine gains of over 10 yards each between 'em, helped keep the Colts' defense honest. The Packers can't match Younger and Waller but Blackbourn figures Ferguson ranks with Tank. As for Waller, the Packers will have to match his high production with Breezy Reid and Joe Johnson, the left halfbacks. Johnson has had trouble squeezing the ball, fumbling three times in the last three games, while Reid has been in something of a late-season slump until the Frisco game, when he broke out with two touchdowns and 109 yards rushing and passing...The Packers had themselves some fun in yesterday's workout. "The boys are a little down about being out of the championship running," Blackbourn pointed out, "but they'll be okay by the end of the week." Green Bay had high hopes Los Angeles would lose to Baltimore. Blackbourn shortened the game preparation part of the drill - held under leaden skies and on wet turf at Brookside Park - and finished off with three exciting games of touch football. The games gave everybody a chance to remove bumps and bruises. If Ram coach Sid Gillman had any private eyes in the mountains surrounding the area, they must have been confused. The Packers had 35 players, two over the limit, in sweat uniforms yesterday, the two odd balls being a couple of sporting writers from Wisconsin. The 33 Packers felt fine today, but the two ringers - on my (and Chuck's) aching back. Blackbourn, incidentally, isn't worrying about Gillman or spies. Liz closed only one week of practice all season and that oddly enough was before the Ram game in Milwaukee. At the time, the Packers were working out a spread formation...Speaking about Gillman, the Ram coach is quite confident of winning Sunday. He told the annual Ye Olde Rams party Monday night that "We only have two games left - Green Bay Sunday and the championship game against the Browns."...BRIEFS: End Jim Jennings left Tuesday for more schooling at the University of Missouri. Placed on the inactive list last Saturday to make room for Dave Stephenson, Jennings hopes to return next year if service doesn't get him...Tackles Dave Hanner and Jerry Helluin have maintained the weights are specified in their contracts. Hanner is carrying 250 and Helluin about 269. A year ago at this time, both ballooned beyond recognition, Hanner going up to 270 and Helluin 304...Reid never scored two touchdowns in a single game until last Sunday - "At least I don't ever recall getting two in one game."...When tackle Len Szafaryn scooped up a blocked punt (by Pat O'Donahue) and raced 26 yards for a touchdown against Frisco, he also received credit for a 26-yard punt return - rather rare for a tackle.
GROUP FAVORS REBUILDING CITY STADIUM
DEC 7 (Green Bay) - A call from the Northside Businessmen's Assn. to start the reconstruction of City Stadium and disregard views for a new stadium was received by the City Council Tuesday night and sent to its finance committee. A letter from Chester Racine, association president, said the group had voted unanimously "to endorse and support the Green Bay Packer Corporation's recommendation that City Stadium be improved and expanded at its present Baird St. location. Our association has taken this action in view of reported attempts by persons, both in and out of the city administration, to contravene this recommendation at a greater cost and expense to the city of Green Bay. We believe that the Packer Corp, decision should be supported because it was based on a careful and thorough investigation of all facets of this situation. Accordingly, we petition and urge you to proceed with plans for the development and improvement of City Stadium at its present location with all possible haste," the letter said. The Council presently is marking time on stadium plans while awaiting comparative cost estimates of rebuilding and enlarging City Stadium and a new stadium on city-owned land at Military Ave. and Bond St. Improvement of the present stadium was the original recommendation of the Packer Corp. because of cost considerations. Proponents of the new site have advanced traffic and parking advantages. A bonding referendum will be required for the plan which gets Council approval.
HERBERT, SERVICE STAR IN GERMANY, LOOKING FORWARD TO PLAY WITH PACKER
DEC 7 (Mannheim, Germany) - The Green Bay Packers, who have lost a lot of talent to the armed forces recently, may get something in return next season. Pfc. Lowell Herbert, a former captain of the College of the Pacific football team, is serving with the U.S. Army in Germany and playing with the 37th Transportation Motor Transport Command football team at Mannheim. The 22-year old Herbert wound up his college career in 1954 and was drafted by Green Bay of the NFL. He went directly into the service, but plans to join the Packers as a linebacker next year. Herbert will be no stranger to Coach Lisle Blackbourn of the Packers. Blackbourn coached the Marquette University team before taking over the Packers in 1954, and his teams played College of the Pacific all three years Herbert was a member of the squad. After one Marquette-Pacific battle, Blackbourn patted Herbert on the back and said "you were giving Marquette more trouble than anyone else on your squad," which is quite a compliment for a linebacker. Herbert has been living up to that reputation while playing with the 37th Transport Command "Wheelers". The team voted the 215-pound Wheeler the most valuable player of the year and he has been credited with dozens of pass interceptions and key tackles. The prospective Packer player is a native of San Andreas, Calif. He was named outstanding defensive player in his junior year at Pacific and was elected captain his final year. Herbert is married to his college sweetheart, the former Patricia Drake of Tracy, Calif., and plans to make football his career. "The folks all up and down Wisconsin are the backbone of the Packer squad," he said. "I'm looking forward to Green Bay. I'm sure it will make a fine home for Pat and me. I only hope I can do my bit for the team."
DICK DESCHAINE VAULTS TO SECOND IN PUNTING
DEC 7 (Green Bay) - Dick Deschaine's 73 yard punt for the Packers last Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers carried him to second place among the league's punters, according to NFL statistics released today. Deschaine has booted the ball 52 times for a 43.4 average. Norm Van Brocklin of the Los Angeles Rams was first with a 44.5 average on 58 attempts. Deschaine's kick last Sunday carried from behind the Packer goal line to the San Francisco 45 and then rolled another 18 yards. Fred Cone, another Packer with a talented toe, stands fourth among the league's scorers with 73 points on 28 points after touchdowns and 15 field goals. The loop's leading scorer is Doak Walker of Detroit with 85 points. Teammate Al Carmichael is the top ranking kickoff return leader with 392 yards in 13 returns for an average of 30.2 yards. His teammate, Veryl Switzer, is tied for fifth with a 26.6-yard average. Bobby Dillon is ranked second in pass interceptions with nine. He returned the interceptions 153 yards, including one 61-yard run. Packer ends, Bill Howton and Gary Knafelc - were 7th and 8th in the standings with 40 and 26 catches respectively. Pete Pihos of Philadelphia led with 51. Tobin Rote stands 11th among league passers with an average gain of 5.85 yards per pitch. He's tried 314, completed 141 for a 44.9 average and 1,836 yards. On top of the pile was Otto Graham of Cleveland with an average gain of 9.25 yards. He completed 85 of 160 for a completion average of 53.1 and 1,480 yards. Howie Ferguson, bruised but battering fullback, was third among the ground gainers. He's clipped off 4.6 yards per trip on 174 attempts that gained 796 yards. Alan Ameche, former Wisconsin star from Kenosha, Wis., tops that department with 932 yards gained on 197 tries. He's averaged 4.7 yards a trip. Switzer was the eighth best punt return artist in the league with a 6.5-yard average.
PACKERS GOING ALL OUT TO BEAT RAMS SUNDAY
DEC 7 (Los Angeles) - Liz Blackbourn's Green Bay Packers aren't going to win the NFL's Western Division championship this year. But they'll go for broke Sunday when they play the Rams here since they can get a piece of second place money from the championship game proceeds provided they whip the Rams and Philadelphia upsets the Chicago Bears. Such an eventuality would leave the Packers and their historic arch-enemy, the Bears, tied at 7-5-0...IRONIC SITUATION: It would be ironic, indeed, for Green Bay to practically hand the hated Bears the championship by dumping Sid Gillmans's team. After reviewing the movies yesterday of Green Bay's last minute 30-28 victory over LA. Oct. 16 in Milwaukee, Coach Blackbourn said he felt that the Packers should have won that one going away. "We played rings around the Rams, "he said. "Until Fred Cone kicked that field goal, every break went against us. Andy Robustelli was out of position when he recovered a fumble for a touchdown, Tobin Rote threw the ball away that Jim Cason intercepted for another score."...TEAM IMPROVED: "But I'm sure the team we beat that day is tremendously improved. Younger didn't play against us and he's a great one. Our scouts say that Morris at linebacker and Waller at halfback are two of the best rookies of the year. I've been in the coaching racket for 30 years and I never remember when the Rams weren't loaded with talent." In his two seasons with the Pack since leaving Marquette University, Liz has done a remarkable job. Last year at Milwaukee, he directed his team to a resounding 35-17 conquest of L.A., Green Bay's first victory over our lads in 12 games...LOSS AVENGED: The Rams later avenged that loss in a rematch, but Blackbourn-coached teams now hold a 2-1 edge over Dan Reeves' varsity. Liz reports that Howie Ferguson's sore shoulder escaped further damage in the 49er game and he expects the big fullback to be in top shape Sunday. The Packers lost linebacker George Timberlake of SC to the service. Stanford's great quarterback, Bobby Garrett, won't rejoin Green Bay until the 1957 season. If the Packers had won the bonus choice at the draft meeting in Philly, they would have taken Hopalong Cassady.
ALAN AMECHE CINCH FOR RUSHING HONORS
DEC 7 (Philadelphia) - Alan (The Horse) Ameche, Baltimore Colt rookie fullback and former University of Wisconsin All-American, almost could sit it out in the final game of the season Sunday and still win the individual ground gaining championship in the NFL. Statistics released Wednesday by league headquarters here show Ameche with 932 yards, 197 more than his closest rival, Fred Morrison of the Cleveland Browns. Ameche will face the San Francisco 49ers in the closing game of his first pro season Sunday. Morrison will his plunging against the Chicago Cardinals. Morrison, with 146 carries to Ameche's 197, is averaging 5.5 yards a play. Ameche has an average of 4.7. Howie Ferguson of the Green Bay Packers dropped to third place with 796 yards. Tobin Rote, Green Bay quarterback, remained in 11th place among the league's passers with 114 completions for a total of 1,836 yards and a 5.85 average. Cleveland's Otto Graham is well ahead of the pack with a 9.25 average on 85 completions for 1,480 yards. Jim Finks of the Pittsburgh Steelers has gained the most yards through the air, 2,100. Punting honors will be at stake in Green Bay's game with Los Angeles Sunday. Norm Van Brocklin of Los Angeles leads with an average of 44.5 yards. Dick Deschaine of Green Bay is second with 43.4 and Adrian Burk of Philadelphia third with 43.3. Biggest gain among pass receivers in the last week was made by Pete Pihos, Philadelphia veteran, who caught 10 aerials and jumped from third to first place. Pihos has caught 51 passes for 750 yards and ​seven touchdowns. Billy Wilson of the 49ers is second with 49 completions. The Packers' Al Carmichael continues to lead in kickoff returns with a total of 392 yards on 13 for an average of 30.2 Ollie Matson of the Cardinals is out in front in punt returns with 167 yards on 11 for a 15.2 average. Willard Sherman of the Rams leads in pass interceptions with 11, followed by Green Bay's Bobby Dillon with nine. Doak Walker of Detroit is the scoring leader with 83 points.
BEARS WRAP UP OFFENSE CROWN
DEC 7 (Philadelphia) - The Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams settle their Western Division title argument on separate fields this Sunday, but the Bears have already taken a stranglehold on the statistical battle. The Rams jumped from fourth to second place in total yards gained after last week's action, but they still trail the Bears by 330 yards, NFL statistics showed Wednesday. The chances of the Rams gaining 330 yards more against the Packers than the Bears do against the Eagles are remote. The Los Angeles club rolled up 418 yards on the ground and in the air against Baltimore, while the Bears were piling up 203 against the Lions. The totals are the Bears, 4,024 to 3,694 for the Californians. Cleveland, winner of the Eastern Division title, is the third place club, Detroit fourth and Pittsburgh fifth. Barring an oversized splurge by the Browns, the statistical title appears rest in the Rams-Bear games. The Bears also are on top as rushing yardage leaders, with a total of 2,174 to the Browns' 1,929. Los Angeles, Washington and Green Bay trail in that order. In the passing department, the Steelers and Eagles are waging a nip-and-tuck affair for the statistical title. The Steelers have a 37-yard edge, 2,273 to the Eagles' 2,236. Detroit, Los Angeles and Chicago follow. Cleveland's passing efficiency leadership, mainly the work of Otto Grahan, dipped one percent, but is still four percent better at 56 than Baltimore with 52 percent completions. Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco are next in line.
UNPREDICTABLE TOBIN ROTE CAN MAKE IT HOT FOR RAMS SUNDAY
DEC 8 (Los Angeles) - Tobin Rote, Green Bay's rifleman from Rice, on a given day can be very, very food and/or very, very bad. Against the Los Angeles Rams generally he is very, very good. In fact, the four metro writers covering the Rams regard Rote as the most underrated quarterback in the NFL. The 6-foot, 3-inch, 210-pounder from Texas keeps Coach Liz Blackbourn nice and loose. Liz never knows what to expect from the big fellow...GOOD AND BAD: "Like a baseball pitcher, any quarterback can have a bad day. That's to be expected. But Rote can look good and bad in the same game," said Blackbourn yesterday as he sent his employees through a drill at Brookside Park for Sunday's titanic with the Rams. "There's a lot to be said in his favor," the Packer coach added. "No better competition exists. Rote wants to win and he will never spare himself to do it. He is utterly tireless." The indestructible Lone Star sharpshooter will be playing in his 73rd consecutive game Sunday. This approaches the endurance record for pro quarterbacks. Now in his sixth season with the Pack, Rote is the busiest man on the ball club, bar none. With the exception of only a handful of plays, he has been at the throttle since the season started. He has thrown 314 passes and carried the ball 64 times. A dangerous runner, Rote has gained 286 yards for a 4.5 average and scored five touchdowns. In 1951, his 6.9 rushing average was tops in the league. Like Liz says, Rote can blow hot and cold from one minute to the next. When the Packers upset the Rams 30-28 at Milwaukee, he hurled touchdown passes to Billy Howton (57 yards), Gary Knafelc (16 yards) and Veryl Switzer (7 yards). Conversely, he was the victim of five interceptions, Jim
Cason swiping three (one for a touchdown) and Will Sherman two...FIELD GOAL DECIDED: After "winning" the game, Rote threw it away when Cason stile one for a go-ahead touchdown late in the game. It took Fred Cone's third field goal of the game in the last 24 seconds to save Tobin's hide. During the fabulous Don Hutson era, Green Bay had several great passers, first Arnie Herber and then Cecil Isbell. Rote has busted all their passing records. His career record performances include: Most touchdown passes, 69; yards gained passing, 9,191; passes attempted, 1,518; passes completed, 664. Among NFL passers this season, Rote ranks only 11th while his foe of Sunday, Dutch Van Brocklin, ranks sixth. But I can think of three or four guys I'd rather meet in a clutch game than the tall Texan with a rubber arm. Meanwhile, back at the ranch - Gilmore Field - the Rams raced through a 90-minute offensive drill. That is, all the Rams raced except Bob Boys and Elroy Hirsch...OBVIOUS LIMP: With an obvious limp, Boyd ran at about three-quarter speed for passes thrown by Van Brocklin and Bill Wade. Hirsch merely jobbed for awhile and then went in early to soak his injured leg in a whirlpool bath. Sid Gillman is taking a realistic view of his wounded aces. "I'm hopeful that they can play, that I'm not counting on either one and we are making plans without them in mind. We have faith in Woodley Lewis and Tom McCormick to fill in for them and Skeet Quinlan, I think, proved Sunday that he's a great flanker - not a good one, but a great one."
SCOUTING THE PROS
DEC 8 (Los Angeles) - Win, lose or draw in Sunday’s decider, the 1955 Rams in my book rate as the gamest pro club ever fielded locally. It is astonishing that a team saddled with so many injuries to key personnel could be in contention after 11 games, let alone be in front with a lap to go. Sid Gillman should be in the vulcanizing business. The Rams spring a leak here or there and Sid patches it up with a guy who never played the spot before…LONG HOSPITAL LIST: Injuries are to be expected in this game, but seldom has a team been hit with a wave of casualties comparable to the Rams’ hospital list, a list that has included Skeet Quinlan, Tank Younger, Tom McCormick, Bob Boyd, Elroy Hirsch, Hall Haynes, Jack Bighead, Don Paul and Dan Towler. Those are the guys that were out of action for from one to seven games. There are others, notably Tommy Fears, Norm Van Brockling, Larry Morris, Jim Cason, Paul Miller, Ed Hughes, Don Burroughs and Les Richeter, who insisted on playing while below par physically. There have been some remarkable clutch performances. Woodley Lewis at end has been invaluable, McCormick has played end, halfback and fullback besides serving on all the special suicide squadrons. Morris was converted into a fullback overnight and was just as great there as at his national position – linebacker. Sid Gillman brought a new approach to the subject of injuries. Unlike his colleagues, not once did he moan because he had to go into a game without a Hirsch, a Younger or a Quinlan, for example. The players caught Gillman’s defiant spirit, and that’s the way they’ve played it – defiantly. They’ve taken their lumps from the Bears and Packers, but the body’s still warm and kicking very much so, in fact. Aside from the first 49er game, the Rams haven’t won “easy” all year. The Rams can come up with more ways to leave you limp than any team in football. They can march 99 2/3 yards to a touchdown, yet they can bog down on the enemy’s 2. They blow big leads, then bounce back in the last minute or so…FINE ASSISTANTS: Fears drops an easy pass and then makes a one-handed stab with a couple of guys draped over him. Van Brocklin sails one to Hirsch 50 yards, then cuts loose with a knuckle ball. Sherman steals two, then lets a receiver get behind him. What an outfit! Working behind the scenes with Sid are a great gang of assistants. Jack Faulkner worked wonders with the pass defense. Lowell Storm handled the ends, when any were available. Joe Madro put together that fine offensive line and Joe Thomas is responsible for a really superb defensive line. I won’t argue with Ye Olde Rams’ selection of Tom Fears as the most valuable and inspirational Ram of ’55, but my personal choice for the honor would be Sid Gillman.
SLOW BUT SURE - PACKERS STAYED IN RACE WITH LITTLE SPEED
DEC 8 (Milwaukee Journal) - Green Bay stayed in contention for the NFL championship until just a week before Sunday's finale here with the leading Los Angeles Rams, despite lack of speed. As Tom Hearden, Packer assistant coach, pointed out Wednesday, "Speed is essential in almost every major sport you can name except maybe golf." Only swiftees on the Packers are Bobby Dillon, Val Joe Walker and Doyle Nix, defensive backs, and halfback Al Carmichael and end Billy Howton on offense...Jack Smalley, former Alabama tackle who was drafted by the Packers a year ago, visited Green Bay's dressing room after last Sunday's victory over the 49ers in San Francisco. Now in the Air Force, Smalley hopes to be out of the service in time to give pro football a whirl next season. He weighs 230 pounds...ROOMED WITH PAINE: Len Szafaryn, touchdown hero on Pat O'Donoghue's blocked punt against the 49ers, roomed with Phil Paine, Milwaukee Braves pitcher, when they were in the Army in Japan in 1952. Szafaryn, veteran tackle from North Carolina, scored his first pro touchdown, but once he scored in college when he played end. Lou Rymkus, Green Bay line coach, told Szafaryn, "Better keep that touchdown a game streak going." Rymkus, as a pro rookie tackle with the Washington Redskins in 1942, scored in successive games, on an intercepted screen pass and a blocked punt...BIG DIFFERENCE: The difference in time could make a difference in Sunday's Packer-Ram game. The Chicago Bears, half a game behind Los Angeles, will have completed their game with Philadelphia at Chicago before the kickoff here at 4 o'clock (Milwaukee time). If the Bears win, the pressure will be on the Rams, for they will need a victory, or at least a tie, to win the Western Division title. If the Bears lose, Los Angeles will be "in", but Green Bay will have a share of second place money at stake. In that case a victory would earn the Packers a tie with the Bears for the runner-up spot...Los Angeles writers, brash in their praise of the Rams, call fullback Tank Younger "the best running back in the whole league right now." Lisle Blackbourn, Green Bay coach, hopes Howie Ferguson will be ready to five Younger a duel. Blackbourn feared Ferguson's collar bone was broken, but X-rays proved negative. The Green Bay fullback has been hampered by shoulder injuries for three games in a row, but never flinches...COLOR IN PUNTS: The Packer last beat the Rams here in 1947. The score was 30-10....In discussing pass receivers most difficult to cover, Bobby Dillon, Packer defensive back, said, "I'm glad I don't have to watch Billy Howton in a game. He's a tricky as anyone I've tried to cover. He drives us crazy in practice." Dillon says that he never worries about pass interference. "I try never to use my hands on the receiver," he says. "If I'm going for the ball, there's any bumping or shoving to be done, the elbows and hips may get in the way, but never the hands."...After the Packers fumbled a punt, got good returns on three others (one was called back), blocked a 49er kick, barely missed another and got away with a 73 yard punt of their own from their one foot line in last Sunday's game, Red Strader, San Francisco coach, commented wryly, "Coach Blackbourn of the Packers must have read Commissioner Bert Bell's edict on getting color into punts and punt returns."
70,000 TO SEE PACKERS PLAY
DEC 8 (Los Angeles) - The Los Angeles Rams hold steady as a seven-point favorite over the Green Bay Packers in the final game of the Western Conference Sunday in Memorial Coliseum, but the odds may be frightfully wrong because of the physical condition of the Ram ends. Weather forecast for Sunday is fair and the attendance figures to be around 70,000. Elroy Hirsch and Bob Boyd, two speed-burning flankmen, are listed as available for limited duty, and Tom Fears is a certain starter. But none is really capable of going all the way, The Ram passing game just isn't what it is supposed to be. Still Hirsch, Boyd and Fears were kaput last week, too, and yet the Rams whipped Baltimore. Skeet Quinlan, a scatback, got on the receiving end of Norm Van Brocklin's passes and made the air threat a real one against the Colts. Liz Blackbourn insists that personnel-wide, the Chicago Bears are the only team in the NFL comparable to the Rams. He says that with all due credit to Sid Gillman, who he says has done a fine coaching job, the Rams are loaded, and injured players gave way to replacements just about as good. Tobin Rote always has been effective against the Rams, who rate him as the best quarterback they have played against. He passed them dizzy in Milwaukee in their last meeting, but went sour in the second half and the Packers barely shaded the Los Angeles club, 30-28. But Blackbourn points out that Tank Younger, the Ram fullback, wasn't in the game then. His return and that of Quinlan have strengthened the Ram running game considerably. Then, too, the Rams have a way of beating the Packers in Los Angeles. Green Bay has won only one of nine games against the Rams here, and the Rams have a way of winning the games they must win in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, it figures as a touch and go game Sunday. The squabble among the Ram owners over the management of the team will have no effect on the players, Gillman promises. Chances are that Dan Reeves will remain on as president, in spite of the desire of some partners in the Ram enterprise to make him spend more time on the job.
3 PACKERS ALL-PRO
DEC 8 (Chicago) - Packer quarterback Tobin Rote, fullback Howie Ferguson and safetyman Bobby Dillon Thursday were named All-Pro by the NEA service. The mythical team was selected by the 396 players of the NFL. In a blanket finish, Rote nosed out Cleveland's Otto Graham. End Billy Howton and linebacker Roger Zatkoff were picked on the second team. In the first team backfield with Rote and Ferguson were Ollie Matson of the Cardinals and Frank Gifford of the Giants.
PACKERS OUT TO ROLL 'SEVEN' AGAINST LA IN FINALE
DEC 10 (Los Angeles-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers hope to roll a seven on the Coliseum’s green carpet Sunday and thus (1) produce their best won record since 1945 and (2) gain the prestige that goes with knocking the proud and cocky Los Angeles Rams out of the Western Division championship. Green Bay will be going for its seventh victory of the season – which would be three notches above last year’s four, and a possible tie for second if the Chicago Bears lose to Philadelphia. A crowd of some 60,000 is expected – maybe more if the weather is perfect. No rain is predicted but threatening clouds or smog could reduce the gate. Kickoff is set for 4 o’clock, Green Bay time. The result of the Bear-Eagle game in Chicago will be known when the Packers and Rams start and it may have some bearing on the windup here. A Bear loss would put the Rams into the world’s playoff, but a Bear win would make it a must win for LA…’WANT THIS ONE REAL BAD’: Coach Liz Blackbourn feels that the Packers are finally up after a slow start in practice this week, winding up with good workouts Thursday and Friday. Liz admits that “the Rams have more reasons, the championship in particular, to be up than we have. If we play like we did at San Francisco, we have a chance to win and you can bet we want this one real bad.” Blackbourn said, “There’s not much to choose between the two teams. We have just as good a chance as they have to win except they have the championship at stake.” The Bay mentor made one change in his attack lineup, putting Veryl Switzer at right halfback or flanker in place of Al Carmichael who started in that spot in the last few games. Also in the backfield, Breezy Reid will open at left half, Tobin Rote at quarterback and Howie Ferguson at fullback…ROTE HAS MISSION: Rote will have a special mission Sunday. The Big Texan is peeved about the pro bowl selections and you can’t blame him. His shoes in the Jan. 15 classic here will be filled by Bear Ed Brown and
Brocklin’s passing. Neither Elroy Hirsch nor Bob Boyd, the Rams’ ace ends, are expected to play but Sid Gillman may rush ‘em in if things get hot or if the Bears win. At the moment, the Rams will start Tom Fears at left end, Woodley Lewis at right end and Skeets Quinlan at flanker…Quinlan offers the Packer defense a special problem. Out most of the season with an injury, Skeets bounced back last Sunday with eight catches against Baltimore, making up for the loss of Hirsch and Boyd. The Colts somehow entered yesterday’s practice tempo, the thought being spread around that the Baltimores almost whipped the Rams last Sunday. On the third last play of the game, Jim Mutscheller juggled and dropped a pass on LA’s five-yard line. Baltimore might have scores from that far out for a 21-20 victory and that’s about how far the Packer missed getting a shot at beating the Rams for a possible playoff. The Packer players feel that “We’d beat the Rams Sunday if they’d lost to the Colts,” but the Rams’ win put a different light on the ’55 windup. The Packers are aware of the tremendous task facing them and the experts today jumped the odds favoring the Rams from seven to eight points…One of the marked Packers will be Tom Dahms, the tackle who came to Green Bay last August in a trade with LA. Dahms hasn’t committed himself on the Rams, explaining merely that “I like to win ‘em all.” But you can bet that there is no other place Tom would like to hang black crepe than right in the Coliseum. With at least eight Packer backers, including the writer in the audience, Ram coach Sid Gillman and a half dozen of his players were extremely cautious in discussing Sunday’s game at the weekly Ram Fan Club luncheon in the Biltmore Hotel Thursday. None of the players – Charley Toogood, Ronnie Waller, Tank Younger, Les Richter, Bobby Cross and Ed Hughes – would make a “we’ll win” statement. All said they’d do their best – especially Hughes, who was faked out of his shoes by Billy Howton on a 78-yard aerial touchdown. Gillman praised the Packers to the hilt…Probably the cleverest statement of the meeting was made by Younger when asked, “Were you going so good because the Rams drafted a fullback (Joe Marconi) last week?” Tank, who ripped the Colt line apart,” answered: “When they draft a back, that doesn’t necessarily open a hole up.” The Ram-Colt film was interesting in that the Rams didn’t look anything like a championship team. They had two sustained drives all afternoon and the Colts had two chances to win in the last five minutes. Maybe the Packers will have some of the luck Sunday that they didn’t have in two losses to the pesky Colts.
PACKERS ARE READY FOR RAMS SUNDAY
DEC 9 (Los Angeles) - Lisle Blackbourn said Friday that he thought his Green Bay Packers could beat the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL finale here Sunday. "We've got as good a chance as they have," he said. Handicappers have established the Rams, Western Division leaders by a mere half a game over the Bears, as favorites to beat the Packers. Green Bay is out of championship contention, a game and a half behind the Rams with only one game to go, but Blackbourn said that he felt the Packers were in a good frame of mind. They could knock the Rams out of the title. "We're in as good physical shape as we've been for a long time," he said. "Ringo feels better than he has for a month and we got no new injuries out of the game at San Francisco." Howie Ferguson, fullback, still has a tender shoulder and collarbone, but X-rays revealed nothing wrong with the bone and he may well be ready to roll again. "If Fergy has a good day, the kind he was having consistently before he was hurt," Blackbourn said, "that will mean a lot to us." Jim Ringo, center, is moving around as if his back, thrown out of kilter at Detroit Thanksgiving Day, had never given him a bit of trouble. Tobin Rote, quarterback, has shaken his cold. "From our scout (Johnny Johnson, UCLA assistant coach)," Blackbourn said, "we learned that the Rams are a much improved club. They really handled Baltimore a lot more easily than the score (20-14) would indicate. Tank Younger is going strong at fullback. He didn't play against us in Milwaukee when we won, 30-28, on Fred Cone's last minute field goal. With Younger in there, they have got to be better. Waller is hard to stop. I've said before he was one of the finest rookie backs in the league. Their receivers have been hurt, but Boyd and Fears will be ready Sunday and Hirsch might be. Quinlan has filled in well. They have the versatility needed to overcome injuries. They will be difficult to contain." Another factor, Blackbourn said, was that the Rams have shown great consistency of late. They gained more than 300 yards on the ground against Baltimore's strong line. "Now that's something," Blackbourn said. At San Francisco last Sunday, the 49ers controlled the ball, 82 plays to 49 for the Packers, but they could score only once in Green Bay's 28-7 triumph, because they lost the ball on a fumble and interceptions when they threatened. "Los Angeles isn't likely to do that," Blackbourn said. "The Rams are more consistent." Against Baltimore last Sunday, the Rams drove 99 yards plus for one of their touchdowns. That's consistency, for sure.
THREE PACKERS ON ALL-PRO ‘11’
DEC 9 (Chicago) – Packer quarterback Tobin Rote, fullback Howie Ferguson and safetyman Bobby Dillon Thursday were named All-Pro by the NEA service. The mythical team was selected by the 396 players of the NFL. In a blanket finish, Rote nosed out Cleveland’s Otto Graham. End Billy Howton and linebacker Roger Zatkoff were picked on the second team. In the first team backfield with Rote and Ferguson were Ollie Matson of the Cardinals and Frank Gifford of the Giants.
PACKERS IN FINE FETTLE FOR RAM FINALE SUNDAY
DEC 9 (Los Angeles) - Relaxed and confident was the attitude of the Packers here Friday as Coach Liz Blackbourn put the squad through a comparatively light drill for the final game of the season against the title-dreaming Rams Sunday. Mentally, from all indications, Tobin Rote and company are still delighted over the showing against the 49ers last week at San Francisco. The 28-7 Packer victory doesn't truly reflect the fact that the 49ers were tough; tough before their hometown fans and trying desperately to salvage something out of a dismal season. Not forgotten, either, is the thought that only two clubs have beaten the Rams this season - the Bears twice, and the Packers. Physically, Green Bay is in good condition. Center Jim Ringo played most of the 49er game after being injured in the Detroit contest and should be in excellent form Sunday. There were no surprises in Blackbourn's starting eleven - Rote, Joe Johnson, Al Carmichael and Howie Ferguson in the backfield, and Gary Knafelc and Bill Howton as pass catching ends. The Packers probably are still a little puzzled about defensive strategy in view of the question marks surrounding at least two Ram pass receivers, Crazy Legs Hirsch and Bob Boyd, the latter still probably the fastest end in the league. Ram Coach Sid Gillman said Friday he still won't decide whether to play either or both until game time. And he might not play either - if he can help it. He still has a great clutch receiver, Tom Fears, and against the Colts last week quarterback Norm Van Brocklin singled out Skeet Quinlan for special attention. The result - eight completions for 96 yards to Quinlan. The sky clouded up Friday and there is the possibility of rain Sunday. If the weather comes up good, however, the Rams expect 60,000 to turn out for their win-or-bust try for the Western Division title. Green Bay has something to gain and not much to lose in this one. A Packer win, coupled with a loss by the Bears, would give Green Bay a tie for second place.
POWERFUL PACKERS STAND BETWEEN RAMS AND WESTERN CHAMPIONSHIP
DEC 9 (Los Angeles) - This Green Bay team that stands between the Rams and the Western championship is no ragtag gang of misfits, as you’ll see Sunday when they square off in the final round of league play. It is a well-balanced club with its share of great offensive and defensive players. It has a favorable blend of youth and experience. Fair speed and good size. And is expertly coached by Liz Blackbourn, who has licked the Rams two of the three times he’s face them since taking over last season. The Packers were good enough to beat the Chicago Bears in their first game, knock off the 49ers twice and also subdue Detroit, the Cards and Rams. But they couldn’t handle the Colts in two meeting and they also lost to Cleveland, the Bears and Detroit. Blackbourn insists that, personnelwise, the Bears are the only team in the NFL comparable to the Rams. That might be true if Sid Gillman didn’t have a couple of basket cases on his hands, but the Rams wouldn’t win any blue ribbons at Muscle Beach this week. Just for kicks, let’s examine some of Blackbourn’s personnel. I already have and it’s frightening. The bell cow, of course, is the quarterback, Tobin Rote. Some observers say he’s the best all-around QB extant. Well, let’s say he’s one of the best and we won’t be wrong. Fullback Howie Ferguson is a 212-pound galloper from New Iberia, La., where Tabasco is produced, and Fergie’s just as fiery. He’s a bangup third among the NFL’s rushers. Fred Cone, who beat the Rams in Milwaukee with the last of three field goals with 24 seconds to play, leads the league in this vital department with 15. He has scored 73 points. Dick Deschaine, a few agent from Menominee, Mich., who never went to college, ranks second only to Dutch Van Brocklin in punting. The kid uncorked a 73-yarder from his own end zone against the 49ers Sunday. Al (Hoagy) Carmichael, late of the Trojans, is tops as a kickoff returner in the NFL and his alternate at right half, Veryl Switzer, is fifth. Hoagy’s 100-yard boomerang against Cleveland was the longest of the season. The ends, Billy Howton and Gary Knafelc, are running seventh and eighth in pass receptions, Howton with 40 for 661 yards and five touchdowns, Knafelc with 36 for 568 yards and six touchdowns. At their respective defensive positions, linebacker Roger Zatkoff, end John Martinkovic, middle guard Bill Forester and tackles Jerry Helluin and Dave Hanner are among the elite in football’s fastest league. The Packers have taken over the pass interception lead from the Rams, 30 to 29. With nine, Bobby Dillon is second to the Rams’ Will Sherman (11). Doyle Nix and Val Joe Walker each have five, Forester four, Zatkoff three, and Billy Bookout and Deral Teteak two apiece. This is a bunch of Bums, Irving?...RAMBLING AROUND: Ron (the Rodent) Waller dons a GI uniform next February. Unsettled weather early in the week slowed ticket sales. Bill John now looks for a crowd of 50,000. Prediction: Given the chance, Cowboy McCormick will surprise a few people as a pass catcher Sunday. Odds favoring the Rams increased ½ point to 7 ½, the same margin accorded the Bears over the Eagles. Howton, who doesn’t rate the Ram pass defense very highly, has caught only one pass in the Pack’s last two games. Dillon, the ace pass defender, keeps his eye on the ball. Natch, he has only one eye. Look for tackle Tom Dahms to make like a tiger against his old Ram pals. He’ll be opposite Uncle Bud McFadin. The Rams have lost 261 yards on 25 penalties in their last three games. That’s making your points the hard way, boys.
Baltimore’s George Shaw, one of whom will join with the Rams’ Norm Van Brocklin. Rote would have to put on a sensational performance to change the minds of Bowl promoters, and that’s just the kind of showing Rote may have to make to beat the Rams. Rote has beaten LA in two out of three starts, the loss being here last December. Rote, who threw only 18 passes in the 28-7 victory over Frisco last Sunday, may double that figure here. LA, they say, can be had in the air despite the fact that the Rams’ defense is rated among the best in the league. Rote’s chief receivers, Billy Howton and Gary Knafelc, caught 14 passes between ‘em in the Packers’ earlier 30-28 win over the Rams…HIRSCH, BOYD OUT?: The Rams have been screaming injuries most of the week and it now seems true that Elroy Hirsch and Bob Boyd won’t play unless they’re absolutely needed. Woodley Lewis will work in Boyd’s spot at right end and Skeets Quinlan will be in Hirsch’s shoes at right flanker. Tom Fears will be at the other end. While the fame may be scored in the air, the infantry holds the big key. If Ron Waller and Tank Younger run like they did (270 yards) against Baltimore, the Packers will be hard put to win. By the same token, Howie Ferguson, Breezy Reid and Joe Johnson will have to be given an occasional hole if the Packers expect to make their air game work. The experts don’t give Green Bay much of a tumble, having announced last Wednesday already that the Rams are an eight-point favorite to face Cleveland in the playoff…TIME FOR CHANGE: The law of averages could give the Packers a lift because the Rams have never lost a league season windup since they moved out here in ’46, winning nine straight. Five of the victories came at the expense of Green Bay, so it’s about time for a change. The Packers will be going for an unusual clean sweep against Pacific Coast teams this season. They already whipped the Rams and defeated ‘Frisco twice. Green Bay will be in reasonably good physical condition. Ferguson aches some but says he’ll be “more than ready.” Several others have various bruises but nothing serious. Center Jim Ringo’s back is a wee bit stiff but he’ll be set. The Packers ran into Southern California’s infamous smog for the first time Friday. It was a little cutting on the eyes but the dirty fog is expected to lift by the weekend.
LAMBEAU PAYS PACKERS VISIT
DEC 10 (Pasadena-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – Curly Lambeau, former coach and founder of the Packers, made a surprise visit to the Packer headquarters Friday evening in the Green Hotel. Now head coach of the College All Stars, Lambeau ate dinner with the squad and spent a half hour discussing prospects with Coach Liz Blackbourn. Lambeau operates much like a team scout, keeping his own lists of prospects all over the country. He works closely with National League clubs and compares his own selections with those of the other teams. Lambeau said he expects to field another strong All Star unit. In his first try as Star mentor, Lambeau’s team defeated the Cleveland Browns last August. Lambeau congratulated Blackbourn on his record (6-5) thus far and added. “I’ll be pulling for you to make it 7-5 Sunday.”…The Packers may have six representatives with the Western All Stars in the Pro Bowl game here Jan. 15. Besides players John Martinkovic, Billy Howton, Roger Zatkoff, Howie Ferguson and Bobby Dillon, the Packers may “field” trainer Bud Jorgensen. Jorgensen is the dean of National League trainers, having served the Packers for over 30 years. It’s quite an honor for Bud because for the last six bowl games trainer from nearby universities handled the pros’ aches and pains…Three Packer Backers dropped in Friday, ex-Bayite Dan McCartin coming down from ‘Frisco and Bob Conrad and Babe Schuster driving in from Green Bay. Also due in from home are Bernard Darling and H.J. Bero.
VAL JOE AND THE OFFICE ARE RIGHT
DEC 10 (Green Bay) - We wish to tip our hat to Val Joe Walker of the Packers. He is not only a great football player, but is also a clubhouse statesman of note. Val Joe’s flair for diplomacy was revealed in the dressing room following the Packer-49er game in San Francisco. He had recovered a 49er fumble on the six-inch line ending a scoring threat during the game. With the Packers in the showers after the game, two newspaper men entered the dressing room to get the facts about that fumble from the man who had recovered the ball. The newsmen had been told by Joe Perry in the 49ers dressing room that he, Perry, fumbled the ball over the goal line, and by Hugh McElhenny that he, McElhenny, had recovered the ball. Now it is up to Val Joe to tell what he thought had happened. The Packers’ great defensive back wrapped a towel about him like a Roman toga and faced the press. Where had he recovered the ball? Like many other skilled statesman, he replied, with a question: “Where had the official put the ball down?” The press, on the defensive, said: “On the six-inch line.” “That,” said Val Joe, “is where I recovered it. The official is always right as far as I am concerned. Any more questions?” It was a good answer, and probably the one all athletes should give when they are asked to dispute or confirm an official decision. To do otherwise merely brings on endless discussion and changes nothing for the referee’s decision will stand even in the face of motion pictures showing the opposite of his call to be true. As our athlete-statesman put it, “the official is always right,” and that goes even when he is wrong.
RAMS NEVER DROPPED SEASON'S FINAL GAME
DEC 10 (Los Angeles) - Calling all hunch players! The Rams never - repeat, never - have lost a final home game of their regular league schedule since opening their store here in 1946. Nine windups and nine victories, and another over the Green Bay Packers tomorrow, would preserve that unusual record and give the Rams their fourth Western Division championship in seven seasons...RAMS NEAR 5,000 POINTS: The indefatigable sports statistician, Dick Nash, who even has the clockings for Pheidippides' gallop before the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., points out that of the nine closing victories registered by the Rams, five were at Green Bay's expense. Moreover, the Rams never failed to score at least 28 points in these finales. While on the subject of points, if Sid Gillman's team can scrape up 26 of them tomorrow, it will bring the Rams' total scoring for 10 seasons (including exhibition, league and playoff games) to a tidy round figure - 5,000. The Rams and Pack held their final drills yesterday, and 7 1/2-point odds favoring the local varsity remained steady. Liz Blackbourn's team, battling for a piece of second-place money, reportedly is in good shape. Not so with the Rams. They have several key men nursing injuries which Gillman prefers not to divulge since it would provide aid and comfort (and targets) for the enemy. Bob Boyd ran well with the team yesterday, the first time he's looked good since being injured six weeks ago. However, Crazy Legs Hirsch didn't join in the practice and Gillman said that Woodley Lewis will be the starter at right end. The battle I'm waiting for matches the rival fullbacks - Tank Younger and Howie Ferguson, who had a trial with LA in '52 but couldn't muscle in on Tank and Dan Towler. Who could then? In six games since coming off the injured reserve list, Younger has been the game's leading rusher five
times. Bass Eyes returned to action here against the Bears and gained 70 yards. His subsequent mileage included: 49ers, 85; Bears, 98; Colts, 107; Eagles, 74, and Colts, 132...TOP PERFORMANCE: In no game, though, did he match Ferguson's 153-yard performance when the Pack plastered the Bears, 24 to 3. Fergie's a rough customer. Last summer, just before training camp, he bought a new car. A truck sideswiped the buggy near Stevens Point, Wis., completely demolishing it. Fergie was flung free, rolled head over heels and came up on his feet. A Band-Air took care of his wounds.
RAMS BATTLE PACKERS TODAY, WITH LEAGUE TITLE AT STAKE
DEC 11 (Los Angeles) - For the fifth time since 1949, the Rams will be shooting the works today for the NFL's Western Division championship. They won in 1949-50-51 and tied Detroit in '52. Green Bay's potent Packers, who have a fighting chance for a share of second place, will furnish the opposition. Although they beat the Rams, 30-28, in Milwaukee, the Packers are 7 1/2-point short-enders. Kickoff time is 2:05 p.m. Fifty thousand fans are expected. There will be no telecast, but KHJ will broadcast the matinee at 1:50 p.m...EYES ON BEARS: With some luck, the Rams could be crowned even before the game begins. It all depends on the outcome of the Bear-Eagle game in Chicago. A Bear defeat automatically would give the title to the Rams and qualify them as hosts for the Cleveland Browns in the championship game Dec. 26. At kickoff time, the Rams at least will know where they stand....ON THE ROAD BACK: For a team that finished fourth with a 6-5-1 record last season, the Rams have come a long way since Sid Gillman introduced himself to the squad 19 games ago at the Redlands training camp. Beset by injuries since season's start, Gillman's gamesters shrugged them off and played winning football. They were first or tied for first for 10 games, temporarily dropping to second behind the Bears after that 17-17 tie with Baltimore. Despite the absence of Bob Boyd and Crazylegs Hirsch, the Ram attack has sharpened up the past several weeks. If they need him, Boyd can play today. Hirsch is doubtful. But the emergence of Skeets Quinlan and Woodley Lewis as topflight receivers to go along with T-Bone Fears has been encouraging. Dutch Van Brocklin seldom has been better than in recent weeks and Bill Wade stands ready if needed. Bill outplayed Van in Milwaukee and threw the Rams' only touchdown pass, a 15-yarder cast to Ron Waller...TOUGH DEFENSE: The brilliant Waller and Paul (Calhoun) Younger, who divvied up 270 yards rushing against the Colts last Sunday, will tee off against the Pack, with Dan Towler and Tommy McCormick also available. The Rams' stout defense, which has kept Messrs. Reeves, Levy, Seley and Pauley from going on the injured reserve list time after time this hectic season, runs into another toughie today. At Milwaukee, the Packers rolled up 361 yards on the Rams, 255 of which Tobin Rote personally obtained with 19 completions that included touchdown passes to Gary Knafelc, Billy Howton and Veryl Switzer...FERGUSON A RUSHER: Green Bay's rugged fullback, Howie Ferguson, was pretty well contained in that game before he was racked up. Playing much of the season with an injured shoulder, the 210-pound roughneck from the Louisiana oil fields is the league's third-ranking rusher. In Switzer, Al Carmichael, Joe Johnson and Breezy Reid, the Pack boasts four dangerous runners. Carmichael and Switzer, particularly, are breakaway types. Another weapon in the Green Bay arsenal is Fred Cone and his long-range hoof. It was Cone's 25-yard field goal - his third of the game - that overcame the Rams in the last 24 seconds at Milwaukee. For distance, he can outkick the steadily improving Les Richter. But in the final analysis, the Pack wins or loses with Rote. The former Rice Owl can be very erratic but when sharp he has no peer. He's a mean cuss on rollouts and runs the option play as expertly as Baltimore's George Shaw. With gold and glory within their grasp, I think we're going to see a top effort by the Rams today. They're long overdue for one of their typically explosive ball games.
STADIUM COST FIGURE TO BE READY SOON
DEC 9 (Green Bay) - An architect’s sketch and cost estimates on a new city football stadium for the Green Bay Packers at Perkins Park on the far west side are both expected to be submitted within a few days to the board of public works. John E. Somerville, commissioned by the board to prepare the sketch and cost estimate at the instruction of the City Council, is expected to complete the job shortly. Somerville’s figures then will give the city a comparison with an estimate by Architect Ed Berners of about $900,000 for a complete remodeling job on the present City Stadium. That figure included all new seating facility with a capacity of about 32,000, new facilities such as concession stands, press box, dressing rooms and toilets, and also contemplated moving the football field and track some distance north in order to allow for more rows of seats on the south side of the field. It is understood that Somerville’s estimates will be broken down into several categories, including a new concrete stadium, the lower third of which would be below ground level, facilities such as concessions, press box and toilets, lighting facilities and parking lots.