IMPROVEMENT ON FIELD, AT GATE '55 PACKER THEME
DEC 13 (Green Bay) - Improvement might well be the keynote of the Packers' 1955 season - both on the field and at the gate! The Packers closed out in third place in the Western division with a record of six wins and six losses. This compares to fifth place and a 4-8 record in 1954. The experts figured the Packers for a fifth or sixth place finish, with possible the same won-lost mark, but the Packers were off to a fast start, winning their first two and three of their first four before running into a three-game losing streak. They finished with three wins in their last five games. The Packers ended the season with a 31-17 loss before 90,535 in Los Angeles Sunday, but, oddly enough, winning the game would have made no difference in the Packers' final standings because the Chicago Bears had won earlier in the afternoon. The Bears finished second with 8-4 and the Rams with 8-3-1. The 1955 season points to the success Coach Liz Blackbourn has experienced in his program to rebuild the Packers. Blackbourn, looking forward today to his third campaign, looked back and pointed out: "The improvement in the team has been overall. If you can pick out any one thing that has improved the most, it would have to be the defense. That's where we tried to improve in the draft. We concentrated on defense most of the way in the draft and it is gratifying to note that, despite loss of several boys including Jim Temp, the defense improved. We have no key changes on offense but we were able to hold our own in that department. The loss of one back hurt us considerably on offense." Blackbourn was referring to Buddy Leake,
PACK STEPS UP SCOUTING TO STRENGTHEN '56 TEAM
DEC 19 (Green Bay) - Four Packer coaches, three ex-pro players and nearly 20 bird dogs stepped up work today on the task of strengthening Green Bay’s 1956 football team. Coordinating the entire scouting program back home – 349 South Washington, to be specific – is Jack Vainisi, chief scout, who will compile data from sources throughout the country in preparation for the draft in Los Angeles Jan. 16. Coach Liz Blackbourn sounded the “law” before he left for the West Coast over the weekend, as follows: “We salvaged only four men from the 1955 draft – Tom Bettis, Hank Bullough, Doyle Nix and Nate Borden, and only Nix and Borden were regulars. But Bettis will be a good one, I’m sure of that. We want to come up with a good draft this year and I’m sure we can do it. Every effort will be made toward that end but we’ll need some luck, too. We didn’t have too much luck last year. We lost four members of the first 10 – Jim Temp, who went into service; Buddy Leake, Canada; Norm Amundsen, service, and Ed Culpepper, who was hurt.” The scouting program has been going on for the last six months by it won’t reach a peak until the next two weeks when 11 bowl games, involving some of the best talent in the country, will be viewed from coast to coast. Two additional bowls were viewed over the past weekend. Pat Harder, the former Wisconsin, Chicago Cardinal and Detroit fullback star who handled tickets in Milwaukee last fall, broke in as a Packer “eye” at the Shrimp Bowl in Galveston, Texas, Sunday. The game featured Fourth Army champion Fort Hood and the Navy Amphibs. John Sullivan of Green Bay and two high school coaching friends sat in on the Poinsette Bowl in San Diego, Calif., Saturday – a service battle between Pensacola and Fort Ord. Sullivan is now located in California…WATCH GREGG, LOSCH: Blackbourn will view the East-West Shrine game in San Francisco Dec. 31 and he’ll get a look at Forrest Gregg of SMU, Blackbourn’s second choice in the recent preliminary draft. Liz will move on to Pasadena to catch the Rose Bowl classic between Ohio State and UCLA Jan. 2. Blackbourn left Sunday for the West Coast. The three coaching aides – Tom Hearden, Ray McLean and Lou Rymkus – also will be mighty busy. McLean will view the North-South Shrine game in Miami Dec. 26, the Orange Bowl between Maryland and Oklahoma there Jan. 2 and the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Jan. 7. He’ll see first draft choice Jack Losch of Miami in the North-South go. Hearden will take in the Salad Bowl in Phoenix between the all stars of the Skyline and Border conferences Dec. 31 and the Cotton Bowl in Dallas Jan. 2 between Mississippi and Texas Christian. Rymkus is ticketed for duty at the Blue-Gray game in Montgomery, Ala., Dec. 31 and the Sugar Bowl between Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh Jan. 2…RAY, ELLIOTT WORK: Two former Packers also have bowl assignments – Baby Ray, who will work the Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla., between alma mater Vanderbilt 
MAYOR PROPOSES STADIUM STUDY BY CITIZEN GROUP
DEC 20 (Green Bay) - A citizen group to study the question of location and construction of a new Packer stadium was being organized by Mayor Otto Rachals today as the City Council prepared to receive tonight a request for purchase of an area suggested for parking should a new west side stadium be constructed. Rachals outlined his plans for the special committee Monday night to the Council’s finance committee. In another action, the committee recommended an $850,000 bond issue to finance the second phase of a three-year storm sewer improvement program. The 16-member committee will have eight members with homes on the east and west sides, the mayor said. The mayor said he planned to ask business associations on the southwest side, the center west side and the north side, and the Association of Commerce, to name four men each to serve on the study committee whose assignment would be to attempt to each a “fair conclusion” from all stadium proposals advanced…WANTS TO AVOID SPLIT: “What I am trying to do it avoid an east versus west issue, which could easily happen if proper planning is not followed,” Rachals said. Rachals said he hoped the citizen group could start its work early next month. He said an alternate plan to improve City Stadium with 20,000 permanent seats and 12,000 movable seats was expected shortly to be considered with the $900,000 estimate for enlarging City Stadium to 32,000 permanent seats and a $1,172,000 estimate for a new stadium of the same capacity at Military Avenue and Bond Street. The stadium issue bobbed up again before the committee as a result of a letter from the Northside Businessmen’s Assn., asking the city to improve City Stadium and to disregard reasons advanced for a new location…DOWN PAYMENT APPROVED: The Council tonight will receive a Park Board request for the purchase of 40 acres adjoining the proposed west side site, which has been proposed for stadium parking. The request probably will be forwarded to the finance committee. Rachals suggested last week that the Park Board seek an option extension until a decision is reached on the stadium location. A $3,300 appropriation for the down payment on the tract, 10 percent of the price, was included in the 1956 budget over the objection of Rachals and a finance committee majority.
PICK KUHARICH COACH OF YEAR; LIZ CALLED SHOT ON REDSKINS
DEC 21 (Green Bay) - Folks around the NFL are tipping their hats to Joe Kuharich, the coach of the Washington Redskins. Big Joe today was named professional football coach of the year by the United Press for increasing the Redskin record from 3-9 in 1954 to 8-4 in ’55 – a fantastic leap of five games. Actually, Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn doffed his cap to Joe away back last September when he returned from the six-game exhibition tour. Said Liz: “Washington was the best team we played. They were awfully rough on us and don’t be surprised if they win their division.” Blackbourn didn’t miss by much ‘cause the forces of George Preston Marshall wound up in second place in the Eastern Division a game and a half behind the champion Cleveland Browns. Kuharich’s men were in the title running until they were eliminated by a combination of a Cleveland win and a Washington loss to New York. The Washington game was one of the finest performances by Green Bay in the non-league season but the Redskins won out in the last second on a disputed touchdown after half the Packers already had left the sidelines thinking they had won. The final score was 33-31 and the Redskins were behind 24-12 when they put on a 21-point last quarter rally. Kuharich, in the UP poll, was picked by 15 of the 30 sportswriters who cover professional football. Also given consideration was Sid Gillman of the Los Angeles Rams, who captured the Western Division championship. Blackbourn was one of six coaches to improve his team’s record. Liz upped last year’s record of 4-8 to 6-6. Ray Richards of the Chicago Cardinals and Weeb Ewbank each improved ’54 marks by 2 ½ games. Gillman raised the LA record by two games and Paul Brown had a half-game increase at Cleveland. The sixth improving coach, of course, was Kuharich with his five-game jump. Of the other six coaches, George Halas remained even, his Chicago Bears finishing with the same record as in 1954, 8-4. It was a rather spectacular record in view of the fact that the Bears lost their first three games. Experiencing the most surprising drop of the campaign was Buddy Parker, whose Detroit Lions skidded from 9-2-1 to 3-9. Jim Lee Howell was a half-game off his ’54 pace with the New York Giants, while Jim Trimble of the Philadelphia Eagles went down three games, Walt Kiesling of Pittsburgh one and Red Strader of San Francisco three and a half. The 12-club league is now down to nine clubs, since two – Trimble and Strader – have been dismissed and one – Halas – has retired. Who will take their places? There hasn’t even been a sound rumor. The guess in Chicago, though, is that Halas will bring in a former Bear or evaluate somebody on the present staff – at least for ’56. The Eagles and Forty Niners are expected to raid the college ranks. Your guess is as good as anybody’s, but don’t get too excited about the report that Frankie Albert will take over the 49ers. All three teams are expected to have their new men installed by Feb. 1, but the Eagles and Forty Niners may announce sooner. There isn’t much chance of additional head coaching chances unless Walt Kiesling decides to put away the cap and knickers at Pittsburgh. Big Kies isn’t the healthiest guy in the world and he’s said more than once that “maybe a 5 o’clock job isn’t such a bad thing.” Since taking the top job, he nipped the Packers 21-20 and 16-14. Kiesling and Steeler owner Art Rooney are long-time buddies and undoubtedly Kies, a onetime Packer player and line coach, can continue as long as he desires. Walt is highly respected in the coaching fraternity but he’s had his troubles – particularly with injuries.
COUNCIL HEARS REASONS FOR WEST SIDE STADIUM
DEC 21 (Green Bay) - While they have not reached “an arbitrary or final conclusion” for the location of a new Packer stadium, two west side business groups Tuesday night listed five reasons for making a west side site more favorable. In a letter to the City Council, the West Side Merchants Assn. and the South Side Civic Assn., pledged cooperation toward a final solution of the question, listed these advantages for a west side location: 1. More parking space. 2. Earlier to reach through streets and highways, a factor to be considered because of out-of-town spectators. 3. While the cost would be greater, maintenance should be less and the city may eventually get funds from a private trust fund. 4. Green Bay’s growth could require a still larger stadium in the future, and west side plans provided for this eventuality. 5. The stadium might be tied in with the proposed county Veterans Memorial Arena…MAYOR PRAISES LETTER: Mayor Otto Rachals, who Monday night announced plans for a 16-member study group for the stadium question, praised the tone of the letter as indicating the two associations had open minds on the subject. The mayor told the Council eight east side residents have agreed to serve on the special committee and that he was confident the same would be true for the west side. Rachals plans four members each from business groups on the north side, central west side, southwest side, and from the Association of Commerce. The Northside Businessmen’s Assn. asked the Council Dec. 6 to proceed with enlarging City Stadium as the most economical answer to increased seating needs. The letter from the west side organizations follow a Monday afternoon joint meeting of their board of directors and executive committees…FACTS NOW AVAILABLE: The letter termed as unfortunate many “premature statements” made before enough facts were available to make “an intelligent decision” but said the estimates for a west side stadium now “aid materially in making a comparison of the two locations.” “We desire also to record our official and sincere regrets that many are making an east side-west side issue of this matter. As far as our organizations are concerned, we are interested only in arriving at a decision on the basis of facts and not through sectional feelings,” the letter said. A private trust referred to in the groups’ third point is the De Marcell trust understood to be about $240,000 at present, the remainder of which was willed to the city for a west side stadium after the death of all heirs. Rachals told the Council the citizens committee would be able to begin work shortly after the completion of an alternate City Stadium plan for 20,000 new permanent seats and about 12,000 temporary bleachers…COST ESTIMATES LISTED: The estimate for reconstructing City Stadium to 32,000 permanent seats was about $900,000, and the minimum estimate for a new stadium of that size at Military Avenue and Bond Street at $1,172,000, not including parking lots. The letter was forwarded to the finance committee, which also received a Park Board request for the purchase of 40 acres northeast of the proposed west side location, E.J. Perkins Park, at Bond and Military. The added area has been suggested as a parking lot location, and 10 percent of its $33,000 cost was included as a down payment in the 1956 city budget by a 14-8 Council vote. The health and welfare committee received a Park Board request for the city to turn over jurisdiction of Perkins Park and the finance committee a request for the $12,000 purchase of eight acres of future park land near Military Avenue and Biemeret Street, provided for in the 1956 budget. When Perkins Park was purchased last year, the Council adopted a report assigning maintenance of the area to the Park Dept., but deferring a final decision on the land’s use.
seats and under-stand facilities as part of an enlarged City Stadium was added to possibilities today for a new Packers stadium. A sketch for a stadium with 10,000 permanent seats on each side and 11,982 seats in movable bleachers was delivered to Mayor Otto Rachals by Foeller, Schober, Berners, Safford, and Jahn, architects, and a detailed cost estimate was expected to reach the mayor this afternoon or Friday. The tentative estimates are based on $22.50 a seat for permanent stands and between $75,000 and $100,000 for facilities under the stands. Two plans offered previously include: 1. A minimum estimate of about $900,000 to replace the 24,500-seat wooden stands at City Stadium with permanent seating of 32,000. 2. A minimum estimate of $1,172,000 for a stadium with 26,450 permanent seats and 4,760 temporary seats at Military Avenue and Bond Street. This estimate includes a lighting plant but not provisions for parking in 40 acres adjoining the Perkins Park site, estimating to cost $136,440…PROPOSE MOVABLE BLEACHERS: The plan delivered to the mayor today would call for movable bleachers to be set up on the track along both sidelines and behind each end zone. There would be six rows of 1,440 temporary seats along each side and 42 rows of 4,556 each behind both end zones. The cost estimate advanced today does not include purchase or lease-purchase of the movable seats. One possible plan, outlined by Rachals today, would have the Packer Corp. finance the movable stands by annual rental payments. A Milwaukee firm, the Safeway Steel Corp., has proposed a plan to lease movable stands over a 10-year span, with the seating to become city property after this period. The advantages listed for the plan of reduced permanent seating and the movable bleachers by the mayor are that the city would pay for a stadium to meet its maximum high school and civic requirements and the movable bleachers would become available for use in other parks during the times of the year the Packers are not using City Stadium. The 10,000-seat stands on each side of the present gridiron and track would be 43 rows high in sections 24 seats wide. The bottom row of the permanent stands would be 10 feet off the ground to make possible the placing of the six-row movable bleachers on the side portion of the track. Entrances to the side stands, and the bleachers in front of them, would be from the rear in contrast to the existing entrances from N. Baird Street...PLAN FACILITIES: Space under the stands would be used for dressing rooms, concession stands and toilet facilities. Today's tentative estimate does not include replacing or improving the present lighting system. The $900,000 plan for 32,000 permanent seats, prepared by the same architectural firm, would make necessary moving of the playing field and track slightly to the north. This estimate was divided between $640,000 and $800,000 for the sideline and end zone stands, $75,000 to $100,000 for construction under the stands, and $25,000 for field changes, including a new track. There would be no corner seating, and entrances would be from the rear of the stands. Plans for a new west side stadium, prepared by architect John Somerville, would have 13,725-seat sideline stands 66 rows high and a 42-row unit with 4,760 seats behind the south end zone. A total of $40,000 would have to be added to the minimum estimate if the end zone stands were of permanent construction. The estimate does not include a track, but space is provided on the field...TO COUNCIL COMMITTEE: All three plans will go to the City Council's finance committee. Rachals Monday announced plans for four business groups to furnish four men each for a citizens group to study the plans and make a recommendation. The organizations are the Association of Commerce and business groups on the north side, southwest side and central west side. The two west side groups, while saying their conclusion was not final, advanced five reasons to the City Council Tuesday for favoring a west side location. The Northside Businessmen's Assn. Dec 6 flatly asked the Council to proceed with the remodeling of City Stadium. Statute requires a bond issue for the stadium to go to the voters in a referendum.
DEFENSE TOUGHER? NFL POINT BOOTERS SUFFERED!
DEC 22 (Green Bay) - A little thing like the extra point! It was pretty obvious that defenses in the NFL in '55 were slightly on the super side, but we never figured they'd interfere with the accomplishment of what is generally referred to as the "automatic extra point". Points after touchdowns last fall and winter were not automatic. In fact, the Chicago Bears - the lucky stiffs - won a game when Doak Walker missed a PAT, and the circuit had only two perfect point kickers out of the usual six or seven - Bear George Blanda and Packer Fred Cone. And Cone did it the hard way on his last attempt of the season. He picked up a bad pass from center after the Packers' final touchdown against Los Angeles Dec. 11 and high-tailed it for the corner of the end zone, knocking Will Sherman over the goal line with him. The league experienced 26 extra point misses out of a possible 382 attempts. Some might have been blocked but the scoreboard added only a six - the same for a miss. Twenty-six misses can't be considered a black mark but some years the total have been as low as 10 or 12 in a similar number of touchdowns. A year ago, by comparison, the league's 12 clubs scored an even 400 touchdowns - 18 more than in '55, and missed 19 extra points - seven less than last fall. It must be true what they say about those '55 defenses! The most flagrant PAT sinners were the Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers, who disgraced by muffing six extra points each. San Francisco and Washington each missed three, while Detroit and Philadelphia each fouled up twice. Missing only once apiece were Cleveland, Los Angeles, Baltimore and New York. And, of course, the Bears and Packers gained the "championship" by not muffing any, Blanda converting on 37 out of 37 and Cone on 30 out of 30 (with the run). The 1955 PAT record adds fuel to backers of the Keep-The-Extra-Point movement. Annually, Commissioner Bert Bell introduces a motion to knock out the extra point and, annually, most of the clubs knock it colder than a missed extra point. Bell always figured that "the extra point is so automatic, why kick it." He wants to put more emphasis on field goal booting. Bell may not even mention his special pet motion this season year on the basis of '55 misses. There were almost enough muffs to make it interesting, although the booted boots didn't interfere with selection of the two champions...And speaking about the "little things" in life, mention must be made of Johnny Pont, the 5-8, 167-pounder who was selected yesterday as the new head football coach at Miami (Ohio) University, despite his tender 27 years. Pont replaced Ara Parseghian who went to Northwestern. Pont, then a star halfback at Miami, was selected 20th in the draft in 1952 after Gene Ronzani received a terrific Pont-sales letter from Parseghian recommended him and Ara wanted to make sure that Johnny would get every opportunity "because his size is definitely against him, but he has a tremendous heart." Pont was a sensation in training camp in '52 with his drive and willingness but his size was too much of a handicap - even for Johnny to overcome. He finished the season with a minor league club and joined Miami in '53 as freshman coach. Pont corresponds regularly with Packer scout Jack Vainisi and the little guy who scored 154 points and gained 2,457 yards rushing at Miami is constantly on the lookout for pro material for Green Bay. And you can bet, little Johnny will be recommending big men with big hearts.
NEW MIAMI COACH WAS DRAFTED BY BAY, CUT BECAUSE OF SIZE
DEC 22 (Oxford, OH) - The new head football coach at Miami University is Johnny Pont, who missed playing pro football with the Green Bay Packers because he wasn't big enough. Pont, 28, moved up from the freshman coaching job to the first head post vacated last week when Ara Parseghian resigned to coach at Northwestern. Pont was one of the greatest football players Miami ever had. He scored 154 points and totaled 2,457 yards rushing in three years as a varsity halfback. After graduation, Pont was drafted by the Packers, but was dropped shortly because he was too light. He is 5 feet 9 and weighed only 167 pounds at the time. Pont finished the 1952 season with a minor league football club and Miami called him back in 1953 to become freshman coach.
GRAHAM NO. 1 PRO PLAYER
DEC 23 (New York) - Otto Graham, the 34-yard old quarterback who will lead the Cleveland Browns against the Los Angeles Rams Monday for the NFL championship, today was named the pro circuit's Player of the Year in the annual United Press poss. Graham ended a brief retirement shortly before the 1955 season began and led Cleveland to a division title for the 10th straight year. He won the individual passing crown while directing the team that lead the league in scoring with 349 points. Graham was chosen the season's outstanding pro player in voting by 30 sportswriters who covered the games in various league cities. He received 13 votes, winning the honor easily. Graham's closest rivals in the balloting, rookie fullback Alan Ameche of the Baltimore Colts and end Harlon Hill of the Chicago Bears, each drew four votes. Quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, who will lead the Rams against the Browns Monday at Los Angeles, and end Gene Brito of Washington each received two votes. Quarterbacks Ed Brown of the Chicago Bears and George Shaw of Baltimore, fullback Howie Ferguson of the Green Bay Packers, halfback Doak Walker of the Detroit Lions and linebacker-fullback Chuck Drazenovich of Washington each received one vote. Graham didn't plan to play this year. After leading Cleveland to the 1954 championship, he announced he would be selling insurance and working on several other business ventures while the Brown tried for their sixth straight Eastern Division title this year. He agreed to play one more year when Coach Paul Brown was faced with starting the 1955 campaign with only one quarterback, George Ratterman. Graham was a bit rusty at first but soon regained his brilliant passing form. He wound up with one of his best season, completing 98 of 185 passes for 1,721 yards and 15 touchdowns. He won the passing title by averaging 9.30 yards per throw. He has announced that Monday's game will be his last "even if Paul Brown has to play quarterback next year."
IS PACKER FRANCHISE WORTH $1 MILLION? STADIUM WOULD HELP
DEC 31 (Green Bay) - Is the Packers franchise worth one million dollars? That question entered the minds of a lot of between-the-lines readers the other day when a syndicate offered to put that much swag on the line for ownership of the New York football Giants. The Maras, owner of the Giants, turned down the offer with the explanation that “football is our business and we aim to stay in it.” Several years ago, the worth of the Packers was estimated at $500,000. But that was several years ago – before television peddled the product and gave the public new familiarity with the world’s most exciting sport. One of the reasons the Giants are valued so highly is that they have the attendance potential to fill the Polo Grounds for all of the home games – come a real hot season. Green Bay, too, has the attendance potential in the entire State of Wisconsin. But Green Bay doesn’t have the facilities (at least here) to stack up 35,000 or 40,000 fans. Which is why our town must have a stadium to handle the new traffic – a ballyard that will stand the attendance test five or 10 or 15 years from now when professional football player averages are just as familiar as baseball averages were five or 10 years ago. With a new stadium, the Packers might be considered a million dollar project…Green Bay had a generally successful year in sports. The Packers, with their 6-6 record and their three straight league victories in City Stadium, came up with the best improvement over the previous year when the record was 4-8, not to mention no league wins in the stadium. The polio threat kicked the high school football season for a loop and no championships were decided, although West had the best curtailed record in the Fox River Valley Conference. West won the only prep title, taking the Valley track and relay championships again. The Packers’ first loss in league play last fall actually was a double loss. Shortly before the kickoff in Milwaukee Oct. 8, the Packers suffered the loss of a great Packer Backer, Jim Coffeen, who died from a heart attack on the Packer bench. Coffeen was a member of the first Packer team, onetime official voice of the Packers and always a staunch friend of sports. In championships, Green Bay’s sports year wasn’t spectacular. But everybody had a lot of fun. The golf courses had a banner season; so did the yachting folks. And we heard no serious complaints from the hunters and fishermen – other than “the one that got away.” Green Bay put in its second straight season with the Bluejays and, believe us, there was a certain emptiness in the air. The Little Leaguers and the Babe Ruthers helped fill the local baseball gap.
PACKERS PAY $20,861 FOR USE OF STADIUM
DEC 31 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Board of Education today received a check for $20,861.40 from the Green Bay Packers for use of City Stadium in 1955. In the past, the NFL team has paid only maintenance for use of the stadium, which the board owns. The money represents 10 percent of the club's gross receipts for the year. At present, studies are being made to determine whether the stadium should be enlarged and modernized or a new one built for the Packers.
1955 Green Bay Packers
News and Notes from Post-Season
the Oklahoma ace who played baseball in the states and then went into Canada for his football. Leake was the club's No. 2 choice. Blackbourn said he was "proud of the boys all season and it was nice to know that they went all out in every game." Liz and aides Tom Hearden, Ray McLean, Lou Rymkus and Jack Vainisi presently are getting ready for scouting and various bowl games with an eye toward the draft in Los Angeles in mid-January. On the business front, General Manager Verne Lewellen was still beaming today over the 90,535 crowd at the Packer-Ram game. The actual adult paid was nearly 64,000 - the difference being youngsters who are admitted virtually free. The big windup gate gave the Packers a record 311,530 attendance on the road for league games. They never before played before less than 34,000 away from Wisconsin. Here are the figures; at Cleveland - 51,482; at Baltimore - 34,411; at Chicago Bears - 43,890; at Detroit - 51,685; at San Francisco - 34,527; at Los Angeles - 90,535. The old road league record was 229,182 in 1954, which means that the Bays broke that mark by 82,348. The Packers turned in their second-best attendance - 153,241, which fell 13,159 short of the mark of 166,400, set in '47. Home figures: Detroit at Green Bay - 22,217; Bears at Green Bay - 24,662; Baltimore at Milwaukee - 40,199; Los Angeles at Milwaukee - 26,960; Chicago Cardinals at Green Bay - 20,104; San Francisco at Milwauke - 19,099. For the entire league season, the Packers played before 464,771 fans - an average of 38,771 per appearance...The Packer staff arrived home last night, driving the last 50 miles in cars. North Central planes were grounded in Oshkosh due to the fog around Green Bay and passengers either had to wait there or hire cars. The players scattered around the country after the game Sunday night and others left Monday morning. Several came back to Green Bay to close out personal business, while others are making plans to spend the offseason here.
PACKERS NOT SOLD ON LA AS BEST CHAMPION IN WESTERN
DEC 13 (Green Bay) - The Packers aren't sold on the Los Angeles Rams as the Western division's best representatives in the world's championship playoff. Coach Liz Blackbourn, for one, thinks the Chicago Bears would give the Cleveland Browns the toughest battle. "I don't think they (the Rams) are any better than we are; they've been more fortunate more often than we have," Blackbourn commented after the Bays' 31-17 loss in Los Angeles Sunday. The setback gave the Packers a split with LA, the Bays taking the opener in Milwaukee 30-28. The Packers have been most generous with the Rams. LA scored eight touchdowns in the two tests, five of them by rookie-of-the-year Ron Waller, two by a defense back, Jim Cason, and the other one by defensive end Andy Robustelli. Three of the TDs were outright gifts, Robustelli’s 18-yard return of a fumble and Cason’s 24-yard runback of an interception in the first game, and a fumble by Breezy Reid on his own one-foot line Sunday. Cason, something of a “gift” from the San Francisco Forty Niners who felt that Jim was over the hill, almost broke the Packers back in the first game, his return giving LA a 28-27 lead that had to be overcome by a last second field goal. He bent the Bay back Sunday, his interception of a Tobin Rote throw that sent the Rams on their way to a 21-10 lead in the third quarter. But the real back snapper was to appear just two minutes later on Walker’s 55-yard punt return. It was the only time this season anybody’s returned a punt for six on the Pack, but the Packers didn’t have a chance because Dick Deschaine’s punt was a low line drive that actually gave Waller a 30-yard head start. In fact, Packer ends weren’t 15 yards downfield when Waller was running back. To make it worse, Deschaine booted the ball to the Rams’ strong or “return” side. Deschaine has delivered few liners this season but the Rams had the good fortune to get one in the clutch, and it just about settled the championship for them. To show how important a good high punt is, Deschaine’s next boot sailed over 40 yards and Skeets Quinlan called for a fair catch, fumbled momentarily and recovered with six Packers around him. Probably the best thing that happened to Green Bay was merely that they made a good impression on the largest crowd to see a league game this season. The local folks in the press box were white at halftime and some were getting ready to pocket a defeat. But with four minutes left in the game and the score standing 31-10, mimeographed copies of information on championship game tickets were passed out to the writers. Blackbourn pointed to three things that lost it for the Pack: “First, the fumble after the greatest stand of year; second, Rote’s overthrowing Howton and Cason’s subsequent interception early in the third quarter; and third, the punt return.” Liz felt that Cason’s interception was the turning point of the game “because we had a good start downfield when it happened.” Blackbourn added, “at halftime I felt sure we’d win.” Sid Gillman, “slightly” more receptive to talking than he was after the loss in Milwaukee, made a prize remark in the noisy Ram dressing room. Asked about the Packers’ goal line stand and failure of the Rams to score from the one, Gillman joked, “We knew they were going to fumble as soon as they took over.” He was referring to Breezy Reid’s bobble on the Packers’ third scrimmage play. While giving quotes, linebacker Deral Teteak, unofficial principal speaker at the Miller Brewing Co. banquet in the Hollywood-Roosevelt Hotel after the game, made with a heart-warmer: “I’d like to drink a toast to Tobin Rote; he’s got more guts than all of us put together.” The mere thought of Battler Rote and his bloody face during the game brought forth a big ovation. Three stitches were taken in the wound above Rote’s left eye – the result of a head-on collision with Don Paul. “I think it was Paul’s helmet that cut me,” Rote said later. Rote was hurt running 10 yards to the Ram six to set up Fred Cone’s field goal in the first quarter. Paul Held, Rote’s sub at quarterback, also took Rote’s place holding the ball for Cone’s kick. Rote, incidentally, completed the first four passes he threw – all to Howie Ferguson. His next toss was intercepted but he hit on three more completions before missing fire. On the Packers’ first eight plays from scrimmage, Ferguson rushed four times for 13 yards and caught four throws for 27 yards before Cone came in to give him a blow. Cone worked on the next two plays, making 10 in a row for the fullbacks.
STORY ON BELL VOTE 'NOT TRUE'
DEC 13 (Green Bay) - Packer General Manager Verne Lewellen branded as "completely false" a story from Los Angeles that a secret vote to oust Bert Bell as commissioner of the NFL was held. The Los Angeles Examiner, in a story by Vincent X. Flahery, said that the vote ended in a 6-6 tie and listed Los Angeles, San Francisco, Green Bay, Detroit, Cleveland and the Chicago Cardinals as the teams that voted in favor of firing Bell. Lewelle said here today that "we know nothing about it and as far as we are concerned it is not true." He said he had been in touch with Russ Bogda, Packer president, and added: "I'm sure that if there had been a vote, we wouldn't have voted that way." "Bell would have been offered five years' salary in settlement for his contract," the story said. "Another vote concerning Bell's future will be taken when the league meets here late this month. When contacted in Los Angeles at his home, Edwin W. Pauley, one of the Rams' major stockholders, denied all knowledge of the secret vote to oust Bell. Fred Levy, Jr., another Ram stockholder, likewise said he didn't know anything about it." The Examiner story said the newspaper had secured the club-by-club vote that showed New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and the Chicago Bears had voted to retain the commissioner. "Several National League owners have had differences with the commissioner," the story added.
TAXES TO PARE PACKERS PROFIT
DEC 14 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers' overall attendance during the 1955 NFL season was 116,924 higher than the year before, but their net profit probably won't affect the big increase. The reason? Taxes. General Manager Verne Lewellen said today that the Packers had a $52,000 tax credit to fall back on last year due to financial losses sustained the three previous years. The club showed a gross profit of about $86,000 and a net of about $69,000 last year on a total home and away attendance of 347,847. It paid federal taxes of about $16,000 because, with the credit, the taxable income was only $34,000. The tax represented only about 20 percent of its gross profit. The year the Packers posted a new overall attendance record of 464,771, including its second best home draw of 153,241 and its best ever on the road of 311,350, but with no cushion to soften the blow their taxes will be much higher. "Assuming we gross about $100,000," Lewellen said in absence of official figures, which won't be available until March 1, "we'll have to pay the full tax of about 52 percent. That would leave us with around $48,000." Lewellen pointed out that the Packers' attendance will make up for losses from television and radio revenue, which, he said, comes to about $80,000. He said the club picked up $112,500 from this source in '54 and only about $33,000 this year. "Even so," he added, "this year and last have been the two best in the history of the club. We'll have the exact figures at the stockholders' meeting on March 1." Don Huston, all-time pro great who played end for the Packers for eleven season and now is a member of the club's Board of Directors, last Saturday told the Racine Good Fellers in commenting upon the Packers' improved financial position as regards player plans for the future: "One thing is sure, you can't buy a football player. They simply aren't for sale. The draft is quite a gamble, too." So, he said, one channel for Packer profits would be the development of a more extensive scouting staff that could cover large and small colleges alike. Lewellen said the Packers already have made a move in that direction. He said Pat Harder, former pro great who is the Packers' Milwaukee ticket manager, now is devoting his time to scouting.
TWO NO-COLLEGE PACKERS GRAB SECONDS
DEC 14 (Green Bay) - Two gents who never went to college were among the Packers finishing high in the NFL’s annual statistical derby. They are Howie Ferguson, the fullback from New Iberia, La., High, and Dick Deschaine, a punting specialist from nearby Menominee, Mich., High. Ferguson ranked second in ground gaining – the first Packer to place that high in rushing since Tony Canadeo trailed Steve Van Buren in the 1,000-yard chase back in ’49. Deschaine also placed second – the highest ranking for a Packer punter since Jack Jacobs took league honors in ’47 with an average of 43.5. Ferguson, final NFL figures showed, rolled up 859 yards in 192 carries for an average of 4.5. Alan Ameche of Baltimore and Wisconsin won the rushing championship as a rookie with 961 yards in 213 carries – also for a 4.5 average. Ameche gained more than 300 yards in his first two games, but then trailed off with an average of about 60 per game. It was a big jump for Ferguson since he finished 25th in rushing in ’54. Deschaine, an end on the roster, finished with an average of 43.2 yards per boot, missing a chance to grab the championship in his final game against the Los Angeles Rams’ Norm Van Brocklin, who won with 44.6. Dick, down about seventh earlier in the season, climbed steadily in the last four games and nosed out Adrian Burk of Philadelphia who wound up with 42.9. The Packers snared one individual title, Al Carmichael finishing first in kickoff returns with an average of 29.9 per lug. Al’s biggest lift was a 100-yard return, longest of the season, against Cleveland. In other departments, Bill Howton tied for third with three others in pass catching and Gary Knafelc placed ninth in the same branch of play; Tobin Rote finished 12th among passers; Fred Cone placed fourth in scoring; Veryl Switzer was eighth in punt returns; and Bobby Dillon ranked in a three-way tie for second and Val Joe Walker placed fourteenth in pass interceptions. Howton caught 44 passes – eight less than a year ago, while Knafelc nailed 40. Eight of Gary’s catches went for touchdowns – one less than TD-pass leader Harlon Hill of the Chicago Bears. Cone won the field goal championship of the league in booting 16 three-pointed in 24 attempts. He closed out with 78 points, including 30 extra points, and scored his last PAT by running when a bad pass from center prevented a boot. Dillon, the Packers’ interception ace for each of his four seasons here, grabbed nine for 153 yards. Walker came in with six, including a spectacular catch against Los Angeles Sunday…While the “statistics” aren’t all in on the business front, general manager Verne Lewellen said today that the club’s net profit probably won’t reflect the overall attendance increase of 116,924. The reason is taxes, Lewellen pointed out. The Packers had a $52,000 tax credit to fall back on last year due to fall back on last year due to financial losses sustained the three previous years, he said, adding: “The club showed a gross profit of about $86,000 and a net of about $69,000 last year. We paid federal taxes of about $16,600 because, with the credit the taxable income was only $34.000. The tax represented only about 20 percent of our gross profit. Assuming we gross about $100,000 for ’55, we’ll have to pay the full tax of about 52 percent. That would leave us with around $48,000.” Lewellen pointed out that the Packers’ attendance will make up for losses from television and radio revenue which comes to around $80,000. He said the club picked up $112,500 from this source in ’54 and only about $33,000 this year. The exact figures will be availanle at the stockholders’ meeting in March, he said.
NFL CLUBS DENY 'OUST BELL' MOVE
DEC 14 (Los Angeles) - A report alleging a move had been started to dismiss Bert Bell as commissioner of the NFL Tuesday met prompt denials from club owners. Sports columnist Vincent X. Flaherty, in a copyright story in the Los Angeles Examiner, wrote that some owners had initiated a secret poll and the 12 owners voted 6-6 on the dismissal plan. It takes 10 of the 12 to remove a commissioner. In Philadelphia, Bell said he had no comment to make on the Flaherty story. Daniel F. Reeves, nominal president and large stockholder in the Los Angeles Rams, issued this statement: “Any inference that the Los Angeles Rams have participated in a plan to dismiss Bert Bell as commissioner of the NFL is false. At no time have I been approached by owners of other clubs on such a matter. I feel Mr. Bell has done an outstanding job in his capacity as commissioner of the league.” Tim Mara of the New York Giants termed the report “the most ridiculous story I ever heard.” Paul Brown, coach and general manager of the Cleveland Browns, said he never heard of such a letter and believed the story “in complete error.” Green Bay General Manager Verne Lewellen said Tuesday he knew of no meeting, and Tony Morabito, owner of the San Francisco 49ers, said: “Holy cats! Now I have heard everything.”
Conference in December of 1949, attendance records have been set. The 1951 paid attendance was slightly below that of 1950, but only 72 games were played then as compared to 78 the previous year. With the schedule standardized at 72 games, total attendances have been above two million every year since ’52. The Packers reported a 29 percent increase in home attendance in ’55 over 1954. Attendance this season was 153,241 compared to 118,668 a year ago. The Los Angeles Rams, who won the Western Division championship, and the Detroit Lions, who finished last, drew the biggest crowds. The Baltimore Colts showed the biggest improvement at the gate. For their six home games, the Rams drew 397,997 spectators, an average of 66,333 per game. The Lions, who have a tremendous season ticket sale and who closed the books in mid-summer in order to keep a few seats for sale at the gate, wound up with 311,372. That was a decline of only 14,668 from last season, when they won their divisional title. Baltimore’s attendance of 236,826 eclipsed the record set by the All-America Conference team of 1947, which played eight home games, and showed an improvement of more than 44 percent over last year’s figures. The Colts’ increase of 72,588 was the biggest in the league, although Los Angeles and the Cleveland Browns also played before much bigger crowds than last year.
'EVEN' ATTACK, TOUGH DEFENSE LIFTED PACK
DEC 15 (Green Bay) - A more balanced offense and a tougher defense contributed largely to the Packers’ leap from a 4-8 record in ’54 to 6-6 last season. This is an assumption based on final ’55 team statistics, released today by the NFL, although many other factors and/or game situations must be considered when using yards gained or lost as a yardstick. The big point when discussing statistics is just plain old points – the things they hang on the scoreboard. So: The ’55 Packers nailed up 258 points in the 12-game haul, which is 24 more than a year ago. The same team allowed 276 markers, which is 25 more than a year ago. Before you start a beef with the Packers’ defense, it must be recalled that the Bays ran into two unusual situations – or rather landslides, a 41-10 thing with Cleveland and a 52-31 whutch-ma-callit with the Chicago Bears. The powerful Browns had it in for the Western division and they set out to prove a point, and yet the thing that made the Pack look bad still today was Cleveland scoring two touchdowns in the last two minutes. Twenty-seven to 10 would have looked better than 41-10. The Packers caught the Bears on their best day of the ’55 season and it’s unfortunate that they weren’t playing the Browns that day. If they had, Washington might today be getting ready for the championship game instead of the Browns. The 93 points scored by the Browns and Bears gives the Packer defense something of an unfair kick. But even with those points, the Packers allowed an average of 23 per game – far from the worst in the league. Without those points, incidentally, the Packer defense allowed an average of 15.2. What a difference two games make! The Packer offense, while it increased its total over a year ago, was shackled with three 10-point games – probably more of a sin than the two lopsiders. Two of the 10-pointers might well have been won – the 14-10 loss to Baltimore and the 24-10 affair in Detroit Thanksgiving Day. At Baltimore, the Packers were stalled from a 17-14 lead seven yards away in the last quarter. In Detroit, the Packers muffed a shot at a 17-0 lead by failing to gain less than a yard deep in Lion land. The nearby comparison table explains the yardage of the two campaigns, but is interesting to point some of the various eye-openers. A year ago, for instance, the Packers depended on their passing chiefly for yardage, gaining nearly two yards throwing to every one rushing. This season, the rush and pass figures are virtually even, 1,883 by rushing with Howie Ferguson getting nearly half and 1,779 by passing. Thus, the offensive balance! The Packer offense skidded somewhat in the fumble department and you can bet Coach Liz Blackbourn will be out to find the reason why in his winter-long study of films. The Packers fumbled 37 times last fall compared to only 21 in ’54. Fred Cone’s magic toe helped Packer scoring. The 1954-55 teams each scored 30 touchdowns, but Cone booted only nine field goals in ’54 compared to 16 in ’55. Examine those defensive figures closely and you’ll readily see how the Packer defense has improved – especially in passing. Opponents’ yards on passing bounced from 2,479 to 1,688 and the percentage of completions dropped from 55.6 to 45.6. Packer enemies had an easier time rushing in ’55 than they did in ’54, leaping from 1,871 yards on the ground in ’54 to 2,174 last fall…And speaking of defense, Blackbourn gave a special plug to defensive end Nate Borden at the Quarterback Club session Wednesday night. Borden, a rookie out of Indiana who was the club’s 25th draft choice, was a complete surprise. “When we lost Jim Temp (Wisconsin defensive end) to the service we were in a jam. And you’ll remember in the opener against Detroit, we started Roger Zatkoff at defensive end. Before the game was over, Borden came in and did a real job, allowing us to put Roger back to linebacker where he belonged. Nate carried on the rest of the season with reasonable success. His performance was a big help to us,” Blackbourn said. Temp will be lost for the ’56 season, but Borden is expected to return. However, Nate will have some tough competition from big Henry Barnes, the 6-5, 220-pound defensive end who was drafted two years ago and then lost to service. Barnes, according to word on the west coast, has been exceptional in service football at Fort Ord in California. The former Oregon star was drafted 18th in ’54. He signed for the ’54 campaign but was called into service.
NFL IN RECORD GATE
DEC 14 (Philadelphia) - For the fifth straight year, the NFL smashed attendance records during the 1955 season in spite of miserable weather that plagued some clubs during the early part of the season. Nine of the 12 clubs, including the Green Bay Packers, reported attendance increases over the ’54 season, an Associated Press survey showed Tuesday and two of the other three showed only minor decreases. The total attendance for 72 regular season games was 2,722,685, an increase of approximately 12.7 percent over the record 1954 season. Every year since the National League merged with the All-America 
of Wisconsin immortal – Alan Ameche, Baltimore’s plunger who won the league’s ground-eating title, and the Rams’ Tank Younger. Howton will work in with Harlon Hill of the Bears and Billy Wilson of the San Francisco Forty Niners. Gino Marchetti of Baltimore and Martinkovic will handle the defensive end, and Zatkoff joins linebacker Joe Schmidt of Detroit and Les Richter of Los Angeles. Dillon will work with defensive backs Jack Christiansen of Detroit, Will Sherman of LA, Jim David of Detroit and Bert Rechichar of Baltimore.
COACH LIZ PLEASED WITH IMPROVEMENT OF RECORD!
DEC 16 (Green Bay) - There doesn’t seem to be any question that the Packers’ 1955 season was an unqualified success. Since returning from the two-game windup on the west coast, we’ve popped the what-did-you-think-of-the-season question and Joe Phan’s answers have been unanimous: “Wonderful!” What did Coach Liz Blackbourn think of the past campaign? “Of course, I was pleased with the way things turned out. Naturally, there were some games that we might have won and they would have made the record even better than six and six, but now that it’s all over I feel that some improvement has been made,” Liz stated, adding: “But I don’t think we had any exceptional improvement in personnel. We had good confidence in ourselves all season and we did no exceptionally bad things. If there was any one thing that hurt us the most, it was our fumbling. We fumbled 37 times and other teams got 21 of those. That really killed us in some of the game we might have won. For instance, two fumbles on successive kickoffs hurt us badly in the Bear game. And on that score, I don’t subscribe to the theory that we were as bad as some people think in that loss to the Bears (52-31). They were brilliant that day – as great as they’ve ever been. But we were able to put on one of our greatest rallies – 28 points in the last quarter when we were behind 45 to 3 at one time. I can’t tell you exactly what caused our fumbling, although I feel the fact that the fumbling in the Detroit game Thanksgiving Day might have resulted from playing it on a Thursday. Detroit was fumbling, too, you know. I expect to learn something more about our fumbling after examining the pictures more closely in the next few months...EAGERNESS BIG HELP: “What helped to make the season a success? Gary Knafelc’s play in Max McGee’s place for one! He caught 40 passes and got eight touchdowns. You can also add Nate Borden, Howie Ferguson and Tobin Rote to Gary. And Breezy Reid’s pass catching helped us. He caught 14 and we didn’t expect him to do that well. The defensive secondary played very well, and the eagerness of Bookout and Nix (both rookies) was a big help in front of Dillon and Walker. Otherwise, the breaks more or less offset each other, I thought, during the season. It wasn’t that way in ’54; the breaks seemed to be more of the other teams.” Refreshing himself with the play-by-play of each game, Blackbourn had these quick thoughts on the dozen battles: Packers 20, Detroit 17 – “We were lucky to win. The breaks did it, but we gave them a few breaks, too. A poor punt gave them one touchdown and a fumble gave them the other. That last drive was wonderful, 80 yards, only one play that didn’t work and then Knafelc’s catch.” Packer 24, Bears 3 – “We played find, steady, no-break football all the way. We deserved to win that one. Ferguson’s running (57 and 47 yards setting up two second half touchdowns) did it. We didn’t give away a touchdown.” Colts 24, Packers 20 – “Ferguson was hurt early and that hurt us. So did those two long touchdown passes, but it was a whale of a football show. We lost the game on that offside penalty when Howton scored.” Packers 30, Rams 28 – “We played good offensive football for three quarters and we shouldn’t have had to be pressed to win it in the last second. Cone’s third field goal did it.” Browns 41, Packers 10 – “Ferguson didn’t play to speak of. That’s the week we ran into the flu and all those colds. We weren’t right, but the Browns were good that day. It wasn’t as bad a day as the score shows because of those two touchdowns in the last minute.” Colts 14, Packers 10 – “The way we play each other, the Packers and Colts could finish even in 10 straight games. What hurt us there was Billy (Howton) having that ball pop out of his arms on his long touchdown catch. That slowed him up when he had to re-catch the ball and they caught up with him.” Bears 52, Packers 31 – “I’m not going to say a word on that one. The Bears were just brilliant and the Packer story is the comeback – 28 points in the last quarter.” Packers 31, Cardinals 14 – “We were wonderful for three quarters – real sharp both ways. Our defense lost its lift in the last quarter and they got two touchdowns. That long one (98 yards) was a damned accident.” Packers 27, Frisco 21 – “We were lucky in some respects – especially on that wild lateral (from Reid to Rote who ran 58 yards to set up the winning touchdown). They had us going early.” Lions 24, Packers 10 – “Just too much fumbling.” Packers 28, Frisco 7 – “They never were in it.” Rams 31, Packers 17 – “That fumble on our one-yard line was the difference. It might have been a close game and we might have won it but the fumble gave them a 14-3 lead. That long run at the start hurt. They don’t usually score that way.” What about the draft and prospects for ’56? That’s another story and we’ll relay it to you shortly. And now to relax during a non-football weekend – the first since last July! How many shopping days ‘til Christmas, Liz?
RECORD-BREAKER! PACKERS SET SIX INDIVIDUAL MARKS, TIE TWO
DEC 17 (Green Bay) - The Packers’ 1955 season, besides being a success with a 6-6 finish, also was a record-breaker. Six individual records were established, two were tied and one new team standard was set. In addition, there were three new attendance marks. Individually, quarterback Tobin Rote enhanced his position as the Packers all-time passer, figuring in four records. He added to three of his previous marks and set a fourth – most touchdown passes in his career. The lean Texans fired 17 TD throws to give him 71 for his six campaigns, thus breaking the old mark of 59 by Cecil Isbell in five seasons (1938-42). Other records added to by Rote: Most passes completed, 680; most yards gained on passes, 9,332; and most passes attempted, 1,465. Al Carmichael and Fred Cone figured in the other two new individual marks. Carmichael’s 100-yard runback of a kickoff against Cleveland broke the 98-yarder performed by Andy Uram in ’42. Cone’s 16 field goals easily snapped the old mark of nine held jointly by Clarke Hinkle in 1940, by Ted Fritsch in 1946 and Cone in ’54. Dick Deschaine, the punting specialist, and Cone tied records. Deschaine’s 73-yard boot against San Francisco equaled the 73-yarder Roy McKay got off against the Chicago Cardinals back in ’45. Cone’s career FG total of 36 tied the all-time total set by Fritsch in the 1942-50 period. Teamside, the 16 field goals broke the previous season best of 13 set by Ward Cuff with seven and Fritsch with six in 1947. Attendancewise, the Packers’ 311,530 fans on the six road games broke the previous high of 229,182 in 1954. The total home and road attendance of 464,771 bettered the mark of 349,848 set in ’47 and the 40,199 gate at the Colt-Packer game in Milwaukee fractured the 34,369 figure at the Packer-Cardinal battle in Milwaukee in 1948…The second quarter turned out to be the best offensive period for the Packers in the past league campaign. The Bays scored 91 points in that period – an average of over seven. Defensively, the second and third frames were the best, the Pack allowing 59 in the second and 58 in the third – an average of less than five. Here’s the Packers’ composite scoring by frames:
Packers   – 70 91 38 79 – 258
Opponents – 77 59 58 82 – 276
Green Bay and Los Angeles shared the interception championship for the season, each grabbing off 31 enemy aerials. Bobby Dillon led the Packers with nine interceptions while the other deep man, Val Joe Walker, snared six. Other steal totals: Doyle Nix five, Bill Forester four, Roger Zatkoff three, Billy Bookout two and Deral Teteak two…Dick Logan, former Packer guard now in the service, was named to the Air Force Times annual all-Air Force first team as a tackle. Logan, who packs about 230 pounds, is expected to return to Green Bay for the ’56 season. The former Ohio State star came to Green Bay in a trade with Cleveland in ’52.
IT'S OFFICIAL! FIVE PACKERS IN PRO BOWL
DEC 15 (Green Bay) - It’s official today! Five Packer players and Trainer Bud Jorgenson have been selected for participation in the Pro Bowl game in Los Angeles Jan. 15. The athletes, revealed unofficially last week, are fullback Howie Ferguson, end Billy Howton, linebacker Roger Zatkoff, defensive end John Martinkovic and defensive halfback Bobby Dillon. Ferguson, the No. 2 ground gainer in the league, and Dillon, annual close to the top in pass interceptions, will be performing in the game for the first time. All five players – plus Jorgenson – will represent the Western Division against the Eastern Division selections in the Coliseum classic. Sid Gillman of Los Angeles will coach the Western team and Joe Kuharich of Washington will handle the Eastern. Jorgenson, the daddy of all trainers in the league, is the first muscle and bone expert ever selected for a training room role. He’ll handle the aches and pains of the Western gridders. Previously, the work had been done by trainers of west coast universities. Nineteen of the 30 Western players are from the three top clubs in the division – the championship Los Angeles Rams and second place Chicago Bears each claiming seven and the third spot Packers getting five. Ferguson will share the fullbacking with the University
where he’s coaching and Auburn Dec. 31, and Stretch Elliott at the Sub Bowl in El Paso, Tex., between Texas Tech and Wyoming Jan. 2. After each game, the “scouts” will make a complete report to Vainisi, who already has compiled thousands of names of football stars. They’ll also be in telephone touch with the home office. The entire business will come to a head about Jan. 8 when the staff will meet, make recommendations and set up strategy for the draft. Vainisi has heavily-bound filed of players by positions – plus a master list. At the moment, Vainisi is busy compiling reports from the 18 bird dogs (part time) scouts covering small colleges throughout the country. Many of the small college aces, if they escape the draft, will be signed later as free agents.
DILLON NAMED TO UP ALL-PRO SQUAD; FERGIE ON 2ND; BROWNS PLACE SEVEN
DEC 19 (New York) - The Cleveland Browns, who led the NFL in scoring this season while allowing fewer points than any other club, today placed seven players on the two-platoon 1955 United Press all-star professional team. The Los Angeles Rams, who will play host to Cleveland in the league’s championship game Dec. 26, won two berths in voting by 30 sportswriters who covered the NFL campaign. The Chicago Bears, Baltimore Colts and San Francisco Forty-Niners also placed two players apiece on the first team. Each of the other seven teams placed one man on the mythical two-platoon team…HILL, WILSON ENDS: Cleveland, which won the Eastern Division title for the sixth straight year, placed quarterback Otto Graham, tackle Lou Groza, guard Abe Gibron and center Frank Gatski on the offensive first team. End Len Ford, tackle Don Colo and halfback Don Paul of the Browns won places on the defensive first team. Graham, Groza and Ford each made the team for the fifth straight season. Los Angeles, the Western Division champions, placed Ron Waller, rookie halfback from Maryland, on the offensive unit and halfback Bill Sherman on the defensive platoon. The others who won positions on the offensive team, were ends Harlon Hill of the Bears and Billy Wilson of San Francisco; tackle Bob St. Clair of San Francisco; guard Bill Austin of New York; halfback Ollie Matson of the Chicago Cardinals and fullback Alan Ameche of Baltimore…TWO ROOKIES NAMED: The remainder of the defensive platoon was made up of end Gene Brito of Washington; tackle Art Donovan of Baltimore; middle guard Dale Dodrill of Pittsburgh; linebackers Chuck Bednarik of Philadelphia and George Connor of the Bears; and halfbacks Jack Christiansen and Bobby Dillon of Green Bay. Hill, Groza, Gibron, Gatski, Graham, Donovan and Sherman were the only men who won berths with clear-cut margins. Ameche, former Wisconsin All-America, and Waller were the only rookies who made the team. The second offensive team: Ends Pete Pihos, Philadelphia, and Kyle Rote, New York; tackles Mike McCormack, Cleveland, and Lou Creekmur, Detroit; guards Duane Putnam, Los Angeles, and Stan Jones, Chicago Bears; center Dick Szymanski, Baltimore; quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, Los Angeles; halfbacks Fred Morrison, Cleveland, and Alex Webster, New York; fullback Howie Ferguson, Green Bay. The second defensive team: ends Andy Robustelli, Los Angeles, and Norm Willey, Philadelphia; tackles Ray Krause, New York, and Bob Toneff, San Francisco; middle guard Bob Gain, Cleveland; linebackers Joe Schmidt, Detroit, and Les Richter, Los Angeles; halfbacks Bert Rechichar, Baltimore, and Warren Lahr, Cleveland; safetymen Dick Lane, Chicago Cardinals, and Emlen Tunnell, New York.
PACKERS RECORD ATTENDANCE
DEC 19 (Green Bay) - The all-time attendance records were set by the Green Bay Packers this season, with new marks established on the road, total attendance and for a single game in the state. The Packers drew 311,530 on the road to better the record of 229,182 set last year. Total attendance for the season was 464,771, surpassing the previous mark of 349,848 set in 1947. The 40,199 attendance set at the Packers-Baltimore Colts game in Milwaukee last season was the highest mark of all-time for a professional football game in Wisconsin.
PACKERS GET REFUND OF OVER 10 PLAYERS FROM ARMED FORCES
DEC 20 (Green Bay) - The Packers will get a pretty good “refund” from Uncle Sam next year. At least 10 veterans, highly-prized rookies and even a free agent will be out of service in time to join the ’56 team. The total could balloon to 15 or 20 come next July since a number of athletes are uncertain of their availability at the moment, according to scout Jack Vainisi. Most of these come outees went in ’53 or early ’54 and a good share of them were selected in the 1953 or ’54 draft. Two veterans with pro football game experience and one with training camp testing head the group. They are Dick Logan, the onetime Ohio State guard; Don Barton, the Jug Girard-type halfback; and Bob Kennedy, the former Wisconsin guard who quit the ’53 camp after a couple of weeks. Logan, a 235-pounder, could be a valuable addition to the offensive line. He played tackle in the Army and made the all-Army team at that position. Barton, a swiftie from the University of Texas, kept close to football in the Army. A rugged cuss despite his 178 pounds, Barton suffered a broken ankle in the opening exhibition game in ’53 but returned to play in the last league game. Tops among the rookies is Gil Reich, the former Army and Kansas quarterback and defensive halfback who was drafted No. 2 in ’53. Liz Blackbourn has been on Gil’s trail ever since he took over the Packer head coaching in January of ’54. He signed Reich that winter for the ’54 season, but Reich decided in spring that he’d better get in his Army service first…IN CRIBBING SCANDAL: Reich was also an All-American basketball player and Uncle Sam figured he’d be of considerable service with the various goodwill teams. He’s now at an Air Force base in Lake Charles, La. Gil expects to be out late this winter and you can bet no time will be wasted in signing him to a Packer contract. Reich was West Point’s No. 1 quarterback at the time the cribbing scandal broke and he promptly shifted out to Kansas where he gained high honors as a QB and a defensive halfback. Blackbourn is in the market for players who can handle those two positions – as an assistant to Tobin Rote or a replacement for Doyle Nix who may go into service. Three other potential Packer backs are due out – Bill Roberts of Dartmouth, Tomie Ward of the University of Texas and Kosse Johnson of Rice. Roberts, a 190-pounder, was signed as a free agent a year ago in hopes that he’d be out of service but his time apparently hadn’t been up yet. Roberts starred for two seasons in football with the Quantico Marines…WARD PUNTER, TOO: Johnson is the 180-pound All-American from Rice who was drafted in ’53. Johnson was about ready to sign a Packer pact, despite reports that he was going to Canada, but Uncle Sam grabbed him first. Ward is a 230-pound fullback from the University of Texas. He gained a nationwide reputation as a punter and was about to sign before Uncle Sam called. The remaining three returnees are Emery Barnes, the 235-pound Oregon defensive end who is fresh from stardom at Fort Ord; Lowell Herbert, a linebacker from College of the Pacific with a good record in service competition in Europe; and Jack Smalley, a tackle from Alabama.
CITY GETS REVISED PLAN FOR REVAMPING STADIUM
DEC 22 (Green Bay) - A tentative estimate between $525,000 and $550,000 to construct 20,000 permanent
PACKER ALUMNI PROFITS GO UP IN SMOKE - OR FIREWORKS
DEC 23 (Green Bay) - The Packer Alumni Assn. - the only working organization of its kind in professional football - wrapped up another season this week and President Bernard Darling called "our 1955 year a success". Several clubs in the NFL have alumni groups, with a once-a-year banquet, but none of these actually work for the benefit of their alma mater as the Packer ground has been doing in the last seven years. The Packer Formers have served as something of a right arm to the Packer organization. Their profits usually go up in smoke - or rather fireworks to welcome the Packers back from a big victory of a hard-played loss or send 'em off to a tough battle. How can the Alumni make money? Their pet project, the Quarterback Club, not longer is the coiner it was back in '49, '50 and '51 when it had a membership of 1,500. Television caught up with the QB club, so the Alumni took the attitude that if you can't beat 'em join 'em. The '55 meetings were televised, and while the membership stayed around 300 everybody concerned seemed happy with the results. TV viewers saw snatches of the Packer games and comments from Coach Liz Blackbourn. The actual members saw the complete games and more detailed facts from Liz at a cost of about 10 cents per meeting. The Alumni also kept busy during '55 by sponsoring the Globe Trotter basketball game for the benefit of the Curative Workshop; two wrestling matches for the benefit of the Salvation Army; and three special trains to Milwaukee for Packer league games. In addition, and this is important, members of the Alumni group gave 84 talks in various cities in Packerland on behalf of the Packers. When the team moved back to Green Bay from training camp at Stevens Point, the Alumni assisted in finding living quarters for the players. And when the '54 season was over, they helped in finding jobs for players who wished to remain here during the offseason. This work is presently continuing and several players may return after the holidays, while others are already here. The Alumni group will carry through '56 with the same officers - Darling as president; Jug Earp, vice-president; Tom Miller, secretary-treasurer, and board members Tony Canadeo, Wally Ladrow, Darling, Earp and Miller. The association has nearly 30 active members, who live in Packerland, and 40 associated members scattered around the country. They're all faithful Packer Backers and always keeping their eyes open for a prospect or two! 
$780,000 COST FOR REVAMPING CITY STADIUM
DEC 24 (Green Bay) - The alternatives on which Green Bay voters will have to decide whether to build a new Packer stadium, how much should be spent, and where it should be located were available today for what could become the city's "great debate" of 1956. A final estimate of $780,000, not including improved lighting, for rebuilding City Stadium, with 20,000 permanent seats and movable bleachers with 11,982 seats was delivered to Mayor Otto Rachals Friday afternoon by Foeller, Schober, Berners, Safford and Jahn, architects. While the estimate actually covers the third stadium proposal, it probably will become the choice placed against a new west side stadium with its main argument being economy. A minimum estimate of $1,172,000 for a new stadium at Military Avenue and Bond Street, with 26,450 permanent seats and 4,760 movable seats, was made by architect John Somerville Dec. 12...PARKING AREA EXTRA: The total included $75,000 estimates for lighting, but did not include preparation of a parking area of 40 acres adjacent to the site, estimated at $136,000. The other plan, of rebuilding City Stadium with 32,000 permanent seats, was estimated to cost about $900,000. If a plan outlined this week by Rachals becomes reality, the actual cost of the latest plan to the city would be $600,000, not including lighting changes. The mayor said the Packer Corp. could finance purchase of movable seating, estimated to cost $180,000, though a 10-year lease-purchase plan. The seating would become available for city use during the football offseason and the city would have a stadium with 20,500 permanent seats, more than adequate for high school and civic needs...$460,000 FOR STANDS: The estimate for the latest plan was divided between $400,000 for the permanent stands and $140,000 for facilities under the stands, including a locker room for visiting teams, and a new press box. The Packer team room presently is located under the southeast corner of the stands. Changes in existing lighting was estimated at between $50,000 and $75,000, depending upon how extensive the improvements would be. With the movable seating and maximum lighting estimate included, the total cost for improving the stadium with this plan would be $855,000. The latest plan would have stands with 10,000 capacity on each side with the bottom rows 10 feet above the ground to allow movable bleachers with six rows seating 1,440 on the track on both sides. Two sets of movable bleachers with 42 rows seating 4,556 each would be placed behind both end zones. Entrances to the 43-row permanent stands and six-row movable unites would be from the rear. Plans for the new west side stadium provide for permanent stands 66 rows high seating 13,725 on each side and movable bleachers 42 rows high seating 4,760 behind the south end zone. If the south unit was permanent, $40,000 will have to be added to the estimate. With the arguments on the various plans boiling down to economy for the latest plan versus parking and traffic advantages advanced for the west side site, a 16-member citizens group will meet early in January to attempt to reach a recommendation. Rachals has asked four representatives each to be named by the Association of Commerce and business groups on the north, southwest, and central west sides. The three groups from geographic parts of the city, however, already have taken tentative positions favoring construction on their sides of the city. The City Council's finance committee Dec. 29 will receive a Park Board request to purchase the tract suggested for parking for the west side proposal. The board has an option to buy for $33,000 and a down payment of 10 percent was included in the 1956 city budget. Rachals has suggested that an option extension be sought until a stadium decision is reached.
​SANTA CLAUS COMES EARLY FOR PACKERS THIS YEAR - SEPT. 25
DEC 24 (Green Bay) - Ho! Ho! Ho! Don't suppose there's much use in writing to Santa Claus today. He's probably left his home base already and, besides, he made a rather premature stop here last Sept. 25 - three months ahead of schedule to the day. If you'll recall, Santa - just in case you happen to read this - that's the day you moved the goal posts over when Doak Walker tried a 16-yard field goal. And that's the day you led the Packers on an 80-yard match that won the game. And that's the day you put glue in Gary Knafelc's hands for that game winning catch and, incidentally, made him  a real pro. And that's the day you riled up Green Bay fandom to such heights that they almost tore down the goal posts. Santa, old boy, that's the day you arrived 
and brought us a present that helped us finish with six-six and kept us in the black. One of your staunchest backers, Liz Blackbourn, always felt that "of the six games we won, we had less business winning that one." But, Liz will agree, when you've got Santa on your bench, you can't lose. You must have been there that day because Walker doesn't miss from 16, 20, 25 or 30 yards out. If Doak had converted the Packers could have gained no more than a tie. You gave the Pack a real push that day, Old Pal, and the momentum helped us beat the Bears the next Sunday. And the push helped put 40,199 people in the Milwaukee park the next Saturday night. You must have gone back to the North Pole that night - no doubt to supervise your toy projects, because, had you been there, you never would have let us be offside when Billy Howton scored that one touchdown. And you never would have left us stalled on the Baltimore 16 when the game ended. But we'll forgive you, Santa. The season has been a success. As to the future, Santa? Just your presence and guidance on the Packer bench next fall will be enough, and the rest of the league can go jump into a plum pudding. We'll need your help on these new draft choices - Jack Losch and Forrest Gregg, and the 27 boys that will follow. Make Losch a good one - 600 yards the first year will do, Santa. And, of course, you have heard about the new stadium. You probably noticed last Sept. 25 that City Stadium is getting a little on the obsolete side. Our town is agreed that we need a new stadium but, you may have heard, there's a debate going on as to which side of town to build it. On that score, we ask just one thing: Don't let the discussion go so long that it will delay construction! Here's hoping somebody left a copy of the Press-Gazette near a fireplace. Maybe you might chance to read this!
​PARK BOARD ASKS FULL AUTHORITY OVER PARK SITE
DEC 27 (Green Bay) - A Park Board request that it receive complete authority over E.J. Perkins Park, suggested as a site for a new Packer stadium, will be received tonight by the City Council's health and welfare committee. The request was approved by the board Dec. 14 to clarify the transfer of the property last spring. After its purchase, the City Council adopted a finance committee report giving the board jurisdiction over the tract "with reservation of future use of the property." A natural depression in the 37-acre tract at Military Avenue and Bond Street had been proposed as the location for a $1,172,000 stadium. A board request for the city to proceed with the purchase of 40 acres northeast of Perkins Park, suggested as a parking area for the proposed stadium, will be received by the finance committee Thursday night.
FERGUSON, AMECHE IN HINK-NAG PATH
DEC 29 (Green Bay) - Among various ways to pick a fight 20 years ago was merely to start a discussion about the battering power of Bronko Nagurski of the Bears and Clarke Hinkle of the Packers. The bickering was fairly well settled - at least in these parts - when Hinkle and Nagurski met head on one Sunday at City Stadium. The historic crash left Nagurski writhing on the turf and Hinkle on his way for a sizeable gain. Hinkle was something of an unknown at the time, coming out of Bucknell, while "The Nag" gained a national reputation at Minnesota. There's a re-run of the dueling fullbacks in the process and the principals, as if you haven't guessed, are the Packers' Howie Ferguson and the Baltimore Colts' Alan Ameche, the former Horse of the University of Wisconsin. Ferguson was much less known than Hinkle, never having played college ball, while Ameche, of course, broke all the ground records in the book at Wisconsin. There is that similarity between the scourges of the 30s and fullback fighters of the 50s. Ferguson and Ameche will never get a chance to meet head-on like Hinkle and Nagurski, who played linebacker when the other had the ball. These days of specialization permit the likes of Howie and Alan to concentrate purely on ball carrying. Statistics didn't help much to settle the Nagurski-Hinkle debate, although in those days little emphasis was placed on the "individual totals". Hinkle wound up with 3,860 yards in 10 seasons (1932-41) and for years led the league until Steve Van Buren and Tony Canadeo came along. Nagurski never was ranked but the National League record manual always carried this footnote in part: "Nagurski credited with 4,031 yards in nine season, 1930-37 and 1943, including seasons of 1930 and 1931, two years before official statistics were 
recorded."...WON GROUND CROWN: Only one comparison between Ferguson and Ameche can be made - the season of 1955 when the Horse broke in and when the Bayou Bronk served what amounted to his sophomore campaign. Howie was around in '53 but received little attention. Ameche won the league's ground gaining championship, rolling up 961 yards in 213 attempts, while Ferguson ranked second with 859 yards in 192 tries. Their averages were identical, 4.5. Ameche carried 21 more times and gained 102 more yards than Ferguson. Which, if you'll permit a cheer for Howie, is just about what Ferguson "lost" due to a painful shoulder injury that actually plagued him in seven of the last nine games. Alan went through without a painful scratch. Ameche's march was unusual in that he gained 347 yards in his first two games - both of which were spectacular. He reeled off 194 yards in his pro debut against the Chicago Bears and then popped off 153 vs. Detroit. In his last 10 games, Ameche gained 614 yards - an average of 61 per start. Ferguson, using the same yard stick, picked up 223 yards in his first two games (70 against Detroit and 153 vs. the Bears). Howie made 636 in his last 10 battles - an average of 63. Thus, it would indicate that Ameche's almost unbelievable start won the soil crown right then and there. Alan followed with one 100-yard performance (117) - ironically against the Packers. Ferguson had one other also, gaining 120 on the Bears in Chicago...KEZAR STADIUM STICKY: San Francisco's Kezar Stadium proved to be sticky for the two fullbacks, Ferguson making 28 in 10 tries and Ameche 29 in 16. Howie's shoulder was in such bad shape after the game that he requested and received X-rays. Relieved that nothing was broken, Ferguson finished off with 63 yards vs. Los Angeles. Ameche had the last laugh on the folks who thought he couldn't catch a pass. He snared 29, mostly short flips, for 152 yards. Ferguson caught 22 for 153 yards - somewhat off his pace of 1954 when he grabbed 41 for 398 yards. Ferguson was more occupied with his running in '55 than in '54 when he carried 83 times for 276 yards. The Ameche-Ferguson rivalry likely will go on for a long spell yet and before it's over there probably will be plenty of arguments. Ameche and Ferguson will be teammates in the Pro Bowl game in Los Angeles Sunday, Jan. 15. Since the game generally features passing, Howie and Alan may not get much chance to show their stuff. But they'll get to meet each other for the first time and talk over this business of ground gaining!
COMMITTEE TO EYE PROPERTY PURCHASE PLANS
DEC 29 (Green Bay) - The City Council's finance committee will meet at 7:30 tonight to receive property purchase requests from the Park Board and Board of Education. Both groups want the city to buy a nine-acre tract on Biemeret Street, near Military Avenue, for a future park and school site. An appropriation of $12,000 was included in the 1956 city budget for southwest side park purchases. The other request from the Park Board asks the city to proceed with buying 40 acres northeast of Perkins Park "for park purposes only." The area has been suggested as a parking lot for a proposed new $1,172,000 Packer stadium in Perkins Park. The board has an option to buy the property for $33,000...INCLUDED IN BUDGET: Ten percent of the purchase price was included in the 1956 budget as a down payment by a 14-8 Council vote over the objection of Mayor Otto Rachals and a finance committee majority. Rachals has proposed the board seek an extension on the option until a final stadium decision is made. The committee also, as a matter of record, will receive the letter addressed to the last Council meeting by the Southwest Side Civic Assn. and the West Side Business Assn., listing five favorable points for building a new Packer stadium on the west side. The meeting was moved to tonight because of the holiday Monday.
BIG LINEMEN SCARCE, PACK COACHES FIND
DEC 30 (Green Bay) - The single platoon of college football is starting to cut in on professional football and its unlimited substitutions. The big rub is in the line where the colleges feature little fellas - especially on offense. Pro offensive lines, you know, must be big - chiefly to combat giant defensive linemen. Packer coaches are having slim pickings in the "big linemen" department. Head Coach Liz Blackbourn, alternating between the East and West Shrine game camps in San Francisco, reported back to Scout Jack Vainisi today: "The line prospects aren't as good as I had hoped. They are small. There isn't a center in either camp over 200 pounds and the guards don't go over 210." Can you imagine how long a 195-pound center and a 210-pound guard would last in the pros? Guys like Art Donovan, Dave Hanner and John Kissell would throw 'em into the stands. College mentors, of course, have a reason for settling for little linemen - especially centers and guard. Their centers and guards, in the one platoon, also must play linebacker - a position that requires the speed that most little men have. The college guard also does a lot of pulling out in the common split-T, which means that the light-fast guy gets the call over a heavier individual who might be a wee bit slower. Packer line coach Lou Rymkus, a big, strapping 250-pounder, is running into the same thing at the Blue-Gary camp in Montgomery, Ala. Rymkus wants his linemen "big, fast and strong," but, as he pointed out, "most of them only seem to be fast." Coach Tom Hearden, concentrating more on backfield material, also noted the large number of "small linemen" in talks with Vainisi. Tom is in Phoenix, Ariz., where two conference all star teams will tangle in the Salad Bowl Saturday. Blackbourn and Rymkus also will be in action Saturday - Liz at the East-West game and Lou at the Blue-Gray battle...VERIFY SELECTIONS: The coaches have watched the six teams for a week in practice and expect to verify their selections when they see the boys in action. Coach Ray McLean will have an "off" day Saturday in Miami but he'll join with the other three in viewing the top bowl battles Monday. McLean will watch the Orange Bowl, Liz the Rose, Hearden the Cotton and Rymkus the Sugar. McLean will remain in the south to catch the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Jan. 7, and Blackbourn will remain on the west coast, interviewing prospects and covering service clubs. Hearden, Rymkus and Vainisi will leave Green Bay Jan. 8 for Los Angeles where they'll join Blackbourn and McLean and set up shop in preparation for the National League's annual player draft there Jan. 16. In between, they'll take in the national collegiate convention there - an excellent opportunity to discuss prospects with their college coaches.