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.”