contend was one of the worst holdups since a bunch of the boys tipped over the Brinks Express company, and Don Kindt had to make the catch of his life on his pass. In addition to excellent personnel, Green Bay is profiting from one of the best coaching jobs in football. Lisle Blackbourn, in his second season, has equipped the Packers with a fast, trick, and well balance attack. In Fred Cone the Packers have the league's leading field goal kicker, with 10 out of 16 attempts. Their big end, Bill Howton, is tied with Harlon Hill of the Bears for second place among receivers and fullback Howie Ferguson is third among the league's ground gainers with 444 yards in 94 attempts. Al Carmichael and Switzer are regarded as two of the finest kick return men in the league, and, of course, there always is Tobin Rote, the nomination of some coaches as the most dangerous quarterback in football. Fortunately for the Bear coaching staff, none of these facts are news to the Bear players, who have begun to draw a bead on the division championship. Consequently, the Bears are not expected to fall victim of that fatal football malady - overconfidence. Or at least, thousands of Bear fans who already have visited the box office hope so.
BEARS TO SEEK REVENGE AND ARE LIKELY TO GET IT
NOV 4 (Milwaukee Journal) - Revenge appears near for the Bears - and how Papa Bear George Halas wants it. His Chicago Bears, once again fitting the description "Monsters of the Midway", plan to show Lisle Blackbourn's Packers and a standing room only crowd of 50,000 at Chicago's Wrigley Field Sunday that what happened at Green Bay a month ago was all a mistake. The 74th renewal of this longest of NFL series will be contested starting at 1 o'clock. The Bears, who hold a 42-25 edge since 1921 with six ties, rule solid 10 point favorites. In their Green Bay meeting October 2, the Bears were favored, too. But the Packers won, 24-3. The Chicagoans were thoroughly outblocked and outattacked that day. They crossed midfield only six times and came no closer than 23 yards to Green Bay's goal. But now the Bears are different - entirely different. They have won three straight games, including the feat of sweeping their two game trip to the West Coast. Blackbourn himself calls the Bears "the best team in either division right now." Wally Cruice of Milwaukee, who flew to Los Angeles last week to scout the Bears, then flew right back to Green Bay to tell Blackbourn and his assistants what he saw, backed up Blackbourn's evaluation. "They are the best team I've seen this season," Cruice said. Cruice was asked how the Bears had grown from cubs to grizzlies. "Their line," he said, "is doing a job, offensively and defensively. They are finally running the ball more. At Los Angeles, for example, they had some 80 plays from scrimmage and threw only 25 passes. They used to pass three times as much as they ran. With Jagade, Casares, Hoffman and Watkins, they can run on anybody. Brown has improved greatly at quarterback. Blanda is about the same. You can't give them anytime back there or they'll kill you with a long one."
WHEN PACKERS, BEARS CLASH THE UNEXPECTED HAPPENS
NOV 4 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - On paper, the Bears are a better passing and rushing team than the Packers. And on paper the Bears can show a better quarterback than the Packers, a better end, a better scorer and a better punt returner. Football games are played on a gridiron, however, a 100-yard terra firma that produces peculiar things - like the 24-3 drubbing the Bruins suffered at Green Bay last October. At that time, like now, the Bears were favored to win. They were considered on paper just a little too good, too big and too fast company for Coach Liz Blackbourn's poor little Packers. So after it was all over these statistics seem unbelievable:
Yards Gained Rushing 223 132
Yards Gained Passing 188 85
Total Yardage 411 217
Strange things are happening in pro football. However, there is always the possibility for the unexpected when the Packers and Bears clash. Take 1950 for example. The Packers had one of their poorest seasons in the NFL, winning only three games while losing nine. Yet, on an October afternoon in Green Bay, the Packers ran over the Bears, 31-21. And that season the Bears rolled on to tie the Rams for the Western Division lead with nine wins and three losses. They consequently lost to Los Angeles, 24-14, in the playoff. Now comes Sunday's 74th meeting between the teams, this time at Wrigley Field. Will the Bruins continue their hot pursuit for the divisional lead? Or will the Packers be labeled the darkhorse in this hectic pro race? Here is what has happened since that 24-3 deal in Green Bay. The Packers lost to the Colts, tripped the Rams, were drubbed by the Browns and took it on the chin from Baltimore again. The Bears lost their third straight, being edged by the 49ers and came back roaring with consecutive wins over the Colts, 49ers and Rams. Blackbourn's boys are still trying to figure why they couldn't beat the Colts, even once. The Brown rout is better forgotten. George Halas, who would like to bow out the way he came in - a champion, figured this was the year for the Bears. Now, more than ever - he points that the Bruins are on their way. Brown did it! Hill did it! Blanda did it! Hoffman and Casares did it! Brown acquired big league stature after the Green Bay trip. He completed only five of 16 passes against the Packers and had four intercepted. But today he is the league's fourth best passer. Harlon Hill had his best day against the Rams, grabbing eight for 151 yards and three touchdowns. He caught one pass against the Packers in the opener for 39 yards. George Blanda has scored 44 points this season, second only to Washington's Vic Janowicz. Blanda's 47-yard field goal was the only score against the Packers. John Hoffman is leading the Bears in rushing with 302 yards and a 5.0 average. Rookie Rick Casares has 298 yards and a 4.2 average. Hoffman had a 3.2 average against the Packers while Casares was sidelined. Ron Drzewiecki, the Marquette scooter, has an 8.8 yard average in punt returns, third best in the league. At Green Bay, Drzewiecki was the only spark in the Bears' attack, returning a kickoff 21 yards and running back two short field goal attempts 19 and 17 yards. But at the moment, this is a lot of paperwork. Sunday's showdown is another one of those football games in a league where anything can and does happen. And when the match is Packers and Bears, there is all the more reason for the unexpected.
PACKERS, BEARS VIE 3-3 MARKS IN CHICAGO SUNDAY
NOV 5 (Chicago-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Bears won straight. The Packers lost two straight. That's not a healthy condition - for Green Bay, but the NFL's oldest and bitterest rivals will enter the 74th renewal in Wrigley Field here Sunday afternoon with identical 3-3 records. That makes 'em even-steven, each a full game behind the leading Baltimore Colts, who play Detroit tonight, and the Los Angeles Rams, who battle arch-rival San Francisco Sunday. The Packers and Bears will settle their differences before a standing room crowd of over 50,000 and the weatherman will cooperate with temperatures in the mid-50's and no rain. Kickoff is set for 1:05. The winner stands a chance of going into a first place tie, providing the Colts and Rams lose. The Packer-Bear classic is difficult to figure. Some folks think the Bears will be flying so high - on the wings of three straight wins, that the Packers won't be able to touch 'em. Others feel that the twice-bitten Packers will be mad enough to beat anybody, including the Bears. It could be a question of who's the toughest - the boy who has had two lickings or the boy who has experienced the opposite of three lickings. Past performances, however, don't mean much when these old rivals collide. And you can also throw out the statistics, which favor the Bears on offense and the Packers on defense. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn has been cautious all week, warning the Bays that the Bears won't be the same club that fell at City Stadium 24 to 3 last Oct. 2. Bear Coach George Halas has been cautious by his lack of comment, although he waved something of a red flag in front of the Packers in the hilarity of beating the Rams last Sunday with this remark: "The Packers were the only team to make us look bad but we'll get even." The Packers' key figure will be Tobin Rote, the lean Texan who had his nose fractured in last year's thriller here and who would like revenge with a victory. Rote isn't as healthy as he'd like to be. He's been bothered by head colds for nearly three weeks and presently he had an ear infection. But you'd never know it in practice or in game competition. Ailing or not, Rote will be a marked man. The Bears will probably be out to make him more unhealthy and the Packers will depend on his sharp-shooting to increase their scoring. Given a break on protection, Rote could lead the Bays to a necessary 30. Blackbourn put the heat on Packer pass receivers in practice this week every time a good pass was dropped. Two dropped pitches robbed the Packers of a possible win against Baltimore last Saturday. Billy Howton, the Bays' leading receiver, had trouble hanging onto the ball in the Bear game last year - especially on short hooks about 10 yards downfield. The Bears had a knack of smacking his back about the time the ball reached him. The Packers expect to get a full game out of their chief ball carriers - Howie Ferguson and Breezy Reid. Ferguson's knee will require less tape, allowing him more freedom, and Reid has solemnly resolved not to take a poke at anybody. Reid received the thumb in the first five minutes at Baltimore when he retaliated after Colt Bill Pellington belted the Packer halfback a couple of times. The officials saw only Reid's hooks. The Bear offense, which averaged over 30 points in its last three games, will be keyed by quarterbacks Ed Brown and George Blanda, a flock of pass catchers headed by the brilliant Harlon Hill, and the rushing of Chick Jagade, J.W. Hoffman, Bobby Watkins and Rick Casares. The Packers' defense has ranked among the best in the league - especially against everybody's passing but Cleveland. The Bear offense, tops in the circuit, offers a new challenge since it will be much higher than it was in Green Bay. In that 24-3 test, the Bears never threatened under Packer defensive pressure, and they had to settle for three points on Blanda's 47-yard field goal. While it's interesting to gas about the noted offensive and defensive backs, none of them will be heroes unless the big men in the line can do their jobs. The Packer lines, for instance, suffered one big relapse and the Browns turned it into a 41-10 victory, rushing Rote with regularity and putting a wall around Otto Graham. In the best game for the Packers' front walls, the Bears couldn't budge forward and they hardly even put a hand on Rote. That's what is meant when the authors write: "Football game are won or lost in the line."...NEW FACE UP FRONT: And speaking about the line, the Packers will have a new face up front - big Jack Spinks, the former fullback who will relieve at guard or tackle on the offense. The 238-pounder got his chance when George Timberlake, reserve center and linebacker, got a call from Uncle Sam. Linebacker Tom Bettis will work as the No. 2 center behind Jim Ringo. The Packers worked out briefly in Wrigley Field this afternoon after which they went to the Knickerbocker hotel to relax until game time. The Bays will return him on the 10 o'clock North Western Sunday night.
PACKERS, EAGER TO TRAP BEARS, ARRIVE TODAY
NOV 5 (Chicago Tribune) - Lisle Blackbourn, accompanied by his Green Bay Packers and the vanguard of 3,000 rooters, will arrive in the Loop today in time for a short workout in Wrigley field, where tomorrow they meet the Chicago Bears in 73rd renewal of the bitterest rivalry in professional football. Blackbourn will be pleased to learn that his club is a nine point underdog along Randolph Street, where they have made the Bears favorites in all their losses and gave them points in their victories over Los Angeles and San Francisco. He also will be pleased to learn that Wrigley field is in excellent condition under the tarpaulin spread before Wednesday's snow and that the weatherman predicts fair weather for tomorrow's engagement. Bear preparations featured defense against Tobin Rote and Howie Ferguson again yesterday and in all probability there will be more of the same this morning when Coach George Halas winds up work for his last Green Bay game. Halas holds an edge over the Packers in 34 years of uninterrupted competition, 42 victories to 24, with six ties. But the only game of the series that really counts is tomorrow's. Both teams need a victory to remain in the championship race. At present they are tied for second place with .500 records in six starts.
PACKERS AIM TO BUMP BEARS FROM VICTORY PATH TODAY
NOV 6 (Chicago Tribune) - Green Bay and the Chicago Bears will turn back the pages of professional football history in Wrigley field today. Once again the erstwhile titans of the National league meet before a capacity throng of 48,000 with the title hopes of both teams at stake. Tied for second place in the western division with San Francisco, the loser in this 73rd renewal of professional football's most profitable series must perforce drop out of immediate contention. The winner may, depending on the outcome of the 49er-Ram game in Los Angeles, go to dinner in a tie for first place. Speculative odds favor the Bears by nine points, but psychologically all the advantage is with the Packers, losers of their last two games. In addition to the Packers, who made them look bad in their first meeting, the Bears must fight against the mysterious letdown that has followed them home from the coast every trip for the last three seasons. Bear hopes depend entirely upon their ability to play the same type of football that humbled Baltimore (38-10), produced a victorious rally against San Francisco (34-23), and turned back Los Angeles (31-20). Anything less than the vicious perfection with which they blocked, tackled and ran over the opposition in the three triumphs will be inadequate against an explosive Packer team whose greatest asset all season has been its willingness to give until it hurts. The game will bring together four of the National league's top receivers - Harlon Hill and Bill McColl of Bears and Bill Howton and Gary Knafelc of the Packers. George Blanda of the Bears and Fred Cone of the Packers are second and third among National league scorers and Cone leads the league in field goals with 10. Another interesting duel will pit rival safetymen, Ron Drzewiecki and Bobby Watkins of the Bears and Veryl Switzer and Al Carmichael of the Packers against each other. Switzer is third among the league's kickoff return men and Drzewiecki third among punt handlers. More than 3,000 Green Bay fans will accompany the Packers. The weatherman promises them a fair day and a fast field.