Packer one-foot line, and the other coming on a line drive punt by Dick Deschaine that helped Ronnie Waller to a clear field...What's more, Los Angeles had all the reason to make this a run-away quick because on the third play of the game Waller scored the first of his three touchdowns on a perfect 55-yard run around end. But the Rams couldn't free-wheel. The Pack forced a punt, recovered a fumble and went on a 72-yard drive, winding up with Fred Cone's 14-yard field goal after a penalty nullified Tobin Rote's touchdown run. The Rams bolted 83 yards in 18 plays to the Packer one early in the second quarter when the Packers put on a magnificent goal line stand. Stopping Tank Younger cold on two smashes, batting down a pass, and then halting Younger again - all on the one. But maybe this wasn't Green Bay's day. Three plays after taking the ball on downs, Breezy Reid fumbled a handoff from Paul Held and the Rams had it on the Packer one-foot stripe from where Waller banged over for a 14-3 lead...The Packers bounced
(LOS ANGELES) - Back home, they'll remember this one for the attendance - 90,535 fans, the largest crowd ever to watch the Packers pay a NFL game. Out here, they'll remember it for the Western Division championship the Los Angeles Rams won and the tremendous scare Green Bay threw into this partisan throng before the Rams left the green of the Coliseum floor with a well-earned 31-17 victory and the right to
Los Angeles Rams coach Sid Gillman is hoisted on the shoulders of Gene Lipscomb, left, and Don Paul, center, and Charley Toogood, after his team wins the Western Conference championship
Gary Knafelc scores against the Rams in the season finale
Los Angeles Rams (8-3-1) 31, Green Bay Packers (6-6) 7
Sunday December 11th 1955 (at Los Angeles)
Ron Waller (27) of the Los Angeles Rams breaks loose, outstepping Green Bay Packer Nate Borden (87) as he races on a 55 yard touchdown jaunt in the first period of their game at Los Angeles Coliseum. (Credit: Bettmann)
Head Coach Sid Gillman and members of the Los Angeles Rams whoop it up in the dressing room at Los Angeles, after they clinched the National Football League's Western Division Title by defeating the Green Bay Packers, 31-17. They thus earned the right to play host to the Cleveland Browns, Eastern Division titleholders for the pro title on December 26th. (Credit: Bettmann)
Members of the Los Angeles Rams team surround their coach, Sid Gillman as they cheer their 31-17 win over the Green Bay Packers. (Credit: Bettmann)
DEC 12 (Green Bay) - Most of the hard figures are present today with which Green Bay will decide whether to build a new home for the Packers, and, if so, whether it should be a new stadium or an enlarged and remodeled City Stadium. The delivery of estimates and sketches for a new stadium on the far west side to Mayor Otto Rachals this morning by architect John Somerville provided this comparison:
1. A minimum of $1,172,350 for a 32,264-seat stadium and lighting system in E.J. Perkins Park, at Military Avenue and Bond Street.
2. A minimum estimate of $900,000 to tear down the 24,500-seat wood stands at City Stadium and replace them with between 32,000 and 33,000 new seats. This estimate will be scaled down by plans now being drawn to make 12,000 of the seats of a portable type.
When the alternate City Stadium plan is completed, both sets of figures will be forwarded to the City Council's finance committee for a recommendation. Whichever plan gains Council approval will go to the voters in a required bonding referendum. Some City Hall opinion predicts that the question of where the stadium should be located also may reach the voters in an advisory referendum. Preliminary debate early this fall already has indicated the main views, lower costs at City Stadium against better parking and traffic facilities at the proposed new location. Somerville was hired to provide a cost comparison after architects Foeller, Schober, Berners, Safford and Jahn completed sketches of a remodeled and enlarged City Stadium in August. The proposed new stadium would be built in a natural depression east of Military Avenue and north of Bond Street with the lower one-third of sideline stands resting on the slopes. The upper two-thirds of the stands on each side would be pre-stressed concrete slabs supported by steel. There would be 66 rows totaling 13,725 seats, 18 inches wide, on each side...PORTABLE SEATS INCLUDED: The minimum cost estimate includes a 42-row, 4,670-seat portable-type bleacher behind the south end zone. If these seats were to be of the same type of construction as the side stands, the cost would be increased by $40,000. The corners of the "U" would be open, but the same pre-stressed concrete construction could be added or a similar end zone unit could be built on the north side. If this was done on both ends, a 47,184 seat stadium would be the result. Assuming that both side units and the south end unit were permanent as sketched, there would be three gates under each side stand and two under the end section leading to nine ramps to seats on each side and five ramps to end zone seats. Under the stands would be a 40 to 50 foot wide "lobby", team rooms, rest rooms, first aid room and concession stands. Construction under the stands would be closed in, as at Milwaukee County Stadium, but this is not included in the estimate. The west stands would have a heated, 80-foot long press box, about 20 feet longer than facilities at City Stadium...ESTIMATES ARE GIVEN: Somerville's plans include these unit estimates: A total of $647,000 for the two sideline stands and end zone bleachers ($40,000 more for the permanent end zone unit); $286,000 for the facilities under the stands; $110,000 for electrical, heating and plumbing contracts; $73,750 for a field lighting system; and $1,600 for seeding the turf. Preparation of 45 acres of gravel-surfaced parking space for 6,450 cars on adjoining city property would cost an estimated $136,440. This was not included in the stadium estimate, but with the permanent end zone section, it would raise the total to $1,348,790. The city off-street parking ordinance requires one parking space for every five persons of capacity of new buildings constructed for public gatherings. Construction plans for the new City Stadium would also have entrance under the stands in contrast to the present limitation of only gates from N. Baird Street. The estimate was that sideline stands and those behind both end zones would cost between $640,000 and $800,000, rest room, concession stands, and press improvements would cost between $75,000 and $100,000, and $25,000 would be needed for field changes, including a new running track. The playing field would have to be moved slightly to the north. There would be no corner seating...20,000 PERMANENT SEATS: The proposal now being worked on by the architect would reduce the cost by limiting permanent seating to 20,000, adequate for public events other than Packer games. The first rows of sideline stands would be high enough to allow temporary bleachers to be placed on the track and the same type of seating would be placed behind the end zone. These portable units, similar to those used for football at Wrigley Field and Milwaukee County Stadium, could be used by the city for other uses at other times of the year. No track is included in the new stadium sketch, but space is provided. Like most football fields, the new stadium would run north and south compared to the east-west gridiron at City Stadium. Aside from cost comparison, Green Bay received a general forecast of the debate over the sites this fall. Proponents of enlarging the present stadium, including Mayor Otto Rachals, point to the lower total cost and ask why more money should be spent for a new stadium, whose capacity would be used only four times a year. It is argued that the stadium, owned by the Board of Education and adjacent to East High School, could continue to be used for high school sports and more civic affairs since it is closer to downtown...PARKING IS MINIMIZED: Parking and traffic troubles are discounted as over-rated and with the same "four times a year" argument. Improved parking and traffic are the big rallying points for supporters of a new stadium because of the Packers' dependence on out-of-town support. It is pointed out that parking lots could feed into Military Avenue (the Highway 41 bypass), or Velp Avenue, leading northwards to upstate and Upper Michigan or south around Green Bay. Fans from lakeshore communities could travel on such east-west streets as Mather and Bond Streets to Broadway and the Fox River bridges. The Traffic commission already is on record against the City Stadium project because of "severe traffic and parking problems at the site of the present stadium." What the Council will think about turning the so-called Detry property, about 40 acres, and most of the remainder of Perkins Park into a parking lot is another thing...DOWN PAYMENT MADE: A $3,300 down payment for the land, 10 percent of its cost, was included in the 1956 budget, over the objection of Rachals and a finance committee majority, as a park addition. It was plain, though, that a few aldermen had parking in minds. Perkins Park, 37 acres, was purchased in 1954 for $30,500 down and $27,500 over five yards at 4 1/2 percent interest. What of the County Veterans Memorial $1,250,000 arena suggested for Perkins Park in a proposal which will reach the County Board Dec. 20? Somerville said more than enough space remains. Some economies would result from a combination of services, heating for example, for the two projects, he said. The Packer Corporation's position in the whole matter is comparable to a tenant. When stadium talk got rolling in 1954, the Packers pointed out that additional seating was necessary to answer the call for more gate receipts from visiting teams...CITE INCREASED COST: While a new field would have certain advantages such "as increased parking facilities and the lure of a new stadium," the corporation pointed out the increased cost of providing things other than seating. The Packer's report said it was doubtful whether more than one more home game could be moved from Milwaukee to Green Bay, even with increased seating. One thing is certain. Packer football is "community business" in Green Bay, and a citizen debate to rival that over the Lake Michigan water supply is in prospect.
DEC 12 (Los Angeles) - The Los Angeles Rams had just finished trooping into the dressing room after winning the Western Division championship in the NFL Sunday when Coach Sid Gillman held up a gold cuff link for inquisitive reporters. It was inscribed: "Chicago Bears, 1955 Football Champions". Gillman said a friend in Chicago had sent it to him earlier in the week. "Someone back there," said Gillman, "jumped the gun."
DEC 12 (Chicago) - George Halas, owner-coach of the Chicago Bears, is quitting without the championship he wanted but the pioneer of pro football is glad he's stepping out on a winning note. The Bears did all they could in beating the Philadelphia Eagles, 17-10, but had no control over Los Angeles' 31-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Obviously disappointed that his Bears failed to win the Western Division title, Halas said, "I'm glad that the boys finished on a winning note." Halas reiterated that he's going to retire now that the season is over but he refused to name his possible successor. Halas threw his annual "alumni" party Sunday night and said he wasn't interested in talking about pro football. "The season is over and now is the time to have fun," said Halas. Just who will succeed Halas remains a complete mystery. "He must be a man who will devote all of his time to the team." said Halas. "This is a full time job." Halas has indicated that he'll still be the man sitting in on player drafts and probably will run the team from behind the scenes. Despite his numerous statements that he'll retire, it would surprise no one if Halas remained as coach of the Bears.
battle the Cleveland Browns for the world's pro football title here Dec. 26. Los Angeles had all the incentive, the Packers none in particular, since the Chicago Bear victory earlier in the afternoon made this a must game for the Rams and ruined all Packer chances of sharing second place money. The Bear score was announced 20 minutes before kickoff. But the Packers never really folded up all afternoon under the cruel championship pressure exerted by the fired-up Rams. Green Bay outplayed its keyed foe in the first half but had its crust cracked by a Ram touchdown on the heels of a pass interception and another on a 55-yard punt return - all within 2 minutes and 3 seconds in the third quarter...The loss left the Packers with a 6-6 record - two notches above '54 and in third place in the murderous Western loop - also two spots ahead of a year ago. The attendance was some 30,000 above estimates since rain earlier in the week cut down advance sales. But it was a perfect day - sunny and in the 80s, and they came out in droves. The paid was slightly over 63,000 - the difference being in special children's prices. The 90 grand approached the Rams' league game record of 93,751 for a Detroit game here in ;53. The Rams were fortunate Sunday. One of their TDs was a pure gift, resulting from a fumble on the 
right back, rolling 80 yards in 13 plays, with Tobin Rote hurling seven yards to Gary Knafelc for a 14-10 score - a teedee that shivered this throng just before the half. The Packers started to advance after the second half kickoff, but Rote overshot Billy Howton at midfield and Jim Cason intercepted. Seven plays later Waller scored from two yards out and Waller went over again on a 55-yard punt return two minutes later. The Rams thus gained the upper hand but couldn't score but three more points - on Les Richter's 18-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. With less than two minutes left in the game, Rote and Knafelc worked a touchdown pass again, this on a five-yarder climaxing a 55-yard drive in 11 plays...The top-guts guy of the day was Rote, and the crowd have him an ovation every time he went in or out. On the play before Cone's field goal, he suffered a three-inch gash over his left eye in a head-on collision with Don Paul. After Held and Reid lost the ball on the fumble, setting up the Rams' 14-3 lead, Rote went back into engineer a touchdown drive just before the half, rushing 31 yards among the angry and elbowing Rams in four trips and passing once to Carmichael for 32 yards along the way. Rote wound up with 16 completions in 28 attempts for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
He ran 10 times for 46 net. With Rote cut up, the Packers were hurting up the middle since center Jim Ringo suffered a recurrence of his back injury in the first quarter but stuck it out most of the way...The Packers surprised the big house by warming up in T-shirts, but Waller's run was really the first eye-opener. An exchange of punts followed after which the Rams threatened when Don Burroughs intercepted a Rote pass on the Packer 44 and returned to the 23. Nate Borden balanced that by recovering Younger's fumble on the 23. With Reid running for 11, the Packers opened the first drive. Rote hurled to Howton for 13, to Knafelc for 13 and to Howton for 10 after Howie Ferguson gained eight. At the Ram 11, Rote circled left end for the score, but the Packers were holding and the ball went back to the 16. On third down, Rote ran to the six to set up Cone's field goal. Short passes from Van Brocklin to Lewis and Younger and Younger's smashing set the stage for the Packers' goal line stand on the one. With Held at QB, Ferguson and Reid banged to the eight, but on third down Reid fumbled Held's handoff and Hauser recovered on the one-footer from where Waller banged over. Richter kicked the second of four extra points....The Packers promptly went on a 13-play, 80-yard TD march. Johnson and Rote each carried three times on the first six plays, making 30 yards, after which Rote hit Carmichael for a 32-yard gain to the Ram 22. Rote, hurt as he was, banged to the 10 in two tries and three plays later hit Knafelc in the end zone. Cone booted the extra point. Ferguson and Reid combined for a first down to start the second half to the Packer 35, but Cason intercepted Rote's first down pass and the Rams were off to the races. An 18-yard pass from Van Brocklin to Lewis set up Waller's second TD and the line-drive punt set up the third for a 28-10 lead with 7:56 gone in the game. The Rams started breaking through Rote's protection about this time and stalled the Packers. Early in the fourth quarter, Van Brocklin hit Quinlan for a 30-yard gain to set up Richter's field goal from 18 yards out...After Deschaine got off a 55-yard punt, Packer defensive back Val Joe Walker made the catch of the day. Van Brocklin tried to throw the ball out of reach downfield when his intended receiver, Bob Boyd, fell down but Walker made a leaping one-handed catch on the Packer 25 and circled back to midfield. After another exchange of punts, the Packers went on an 11-play, 55-yard TD march. Held started it out by completing a nine-yard strike to Howton and running eight yards. Ferguson added 18 yards in two biffs. Held threw a TD strike to Carmichael but Paul was beyond the line of scrimmage when he threw. Cason intercepted Held's next throw and returned 25 yards but the Rams were offside. Rote went back in and completed a seven-yarder to Carmichael, a four-yarder to Howton and the TD pass to Knafelc. Putting a bizarre ending to proceedings, Cone couldn't kick the extra point because of a bad pass from center but scooped up the loose ball and ran wide around left end for the point that made it 31-17.
GREEN BAY   -   3   7   0   7  -  17
LOS ANGELES -   7   7  14   3  -  31
                       GREEN BAY   LOS ANGELES
First Downs                   20            14
Rushing-Yards-TD        41-161-0      33-153-3
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 32-18-168-2-2 20-13-157-0-1
Sacked-Yards                3-24           0-0
Net Passing Yards            144           157
Total Yards                  305           310
Fumbles-lost                 3-1           4-2
Turnovers                      3             3
Yards penalized             3-33          3-31
1st - LA - Ron Waller, 55-yard run (Les Richter kick) LOS ANGELES 7-0
1st - GB - Fred Cone, 14-yard field goal LOS ANGELES 7-3
2nd - LA - Waller, 1-yard run (Richter kick) LOS ANGELES 14-3
2nd - GB - Gary Knafelc, 9-yard pass from Tobin Rote (Cone kick) LOS ANGELES 14-10
3rd - LA - Waller, 2-yard run (Richter kick) LOS ANGELES 21-10
3rd - LA - Skeets Quinlan, 55-yard punt return (Richter kick) LOS ANGELES 28-10
4th - LA - Richter, 18-yard field goal LOS ANGELES 31-10
4th - GB - Knafelc, 8-yard pass from Rote (Cone run) LOS ANGELES 31-17
GREEN BAY - Howie Ferguson 18-63, Tobin Rote 10-46, Breezy Reid 6-24, Joe Johnson 4-18, Paul Held 1-8, Fred Cone 2-2
LOS ANGELES - Ron Waller 11-82 3 TD, Tank Younger 17-51, Skeets Quinlan 3-16, Dan Towler 1-9, Billy Wade 1-(-5)
GREEN BAY - Tobin Rote 28-16-141 2 TD 2 INT, Paul Held 4-2-27
LOS ANGELES - Norm Van Brocklin 19-12-148 1 INT, Billy Wade 1-1-9
GREEN BAY - Howie Ferguson 5-32, Gary Knafelc 4-45 2 TD, Billy Howton 4-36, Joe Johnson 3-11, Al Carmichael 2-44
LOS ANGELES - Woodley Lewis 5-57, Skeets Quinlan 3-52, Tank Younger 2-19, Ron Waller 2-15, Bob Boyd 1-14