PACK CONFIDENT TERP ACE WILL MAKE GRADE
JAN 4 (Green Bay) - The Packers are confident that their No. 17 pick in the 1955 draft will turn out to be their No. 2 quarterback in '56. That's been the feeling of Coach Liz Blackbourn in the last few weeks and Scout Jack Vainisi, after talking with the coaches in the field, explained: "We feel we don't have a problem at quarterback." Chief reasons, of course, is the showing of Lynn (Ed) Beightol, the Maryland No. 2 signal caller, in the Terps' last few games of the season, including the 20-6 loss to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. Beightol was drafted as a junior a year ago this month. The ticket on him read: "Good T-formation quarterback, excellent passer, but will probably play under Frank Tamburello who is a better split-T quarterback. Beightol is much better passer of the two." The Orange Bowl game upheld this prediction. When Oklahoma went ahead, Beightol did most of the QB'ing because of his throwing ability. Ironically, just after he completed a pass putting Maryland in Oklahoma territory, Beightol overshot a receiver and the Sooners' Carl Dodd intercepted and returned 82 yards for a touchdown. Beightol is also a skilled punter, judging by his performance in the Orange Bowl. He punted three times for an average of 53 yards, one of his boots sailing 76 yards - six yards short of the Orange Bowl mark of 82 set by Ike Pickle of Mississippi State against Duquesne in 1941. Packer coaches discovered that Beightol, who stands six feet tall and packs 190 pounds, is capable of running. He's a strong runner and crashes the line well. Blackbourn checked with Maryland coaches again before the recent preliminary draft in Philadelphia. The purpose was to make sure that Beightol would be capable of filling in behind veteran Tobin Rote and thus relieve the Packers of going for a quarterback in the early rounds. The Packers have another quarterback possibility in mind - Gil Reich, the club's No. 2 choice in 1953. Reich, the Kansas football and basketball star who started his grid career with Army, is due out of service shortly and will be contacted. Blackbourn had him signed early in '54, but Reich decided to get his service in. Reich never played service football but concentrated on basketball. Reich is also a defensive halfback standout and could be a candidate for corner linebacker if Doyle Nix is called into service. The Packers will also have two veteran quarterbacks available - Rote, who signed a two-year contract a year ago this month, and Paul Held, who understudied Rote last fall...Superstitious? Beightol was the Packers' 17th draft choice, as pointed out. What happened to some previous No. 17s? Here they are: Wisconsin guard Harold Otterback in 1950, decided not to play; Eastern Kentucky State halfback Ray Pelfrey in 1951, played one season, then was traded; Wisconsin quarterback Johnny Coatta in '52 went into service, quit the squad after tryout last fall; Texas end Bill Georges in '53, failed to make team; Oklahoma guard J.D. Roberts in '54, went to Canada, then stopped briefly at Packer camp. Beightol may be the one to break the No. 17 jinx!...BRIEFS: Bonnie Ryan has resigned as Packer publicity director. The former University of Wisconsin publicity aide, who came here in the summer of '54, plans to do similar work in Madison or Milwaukee...Tackle Forrest Gregg of SMU, the Packers' No. 2 choice in the recent picking, will play in the Hula Bowl in Hawaii next Saturday. Gregg played nearly 60 minutes for West in the East-West game in San Francisco and displayed good lateral movement and an apparent desire to mix it. Gregg turned down an invite to play in the Senior Bowl game so as not to lose his amateur standing for track...The No. 1 pick, halfback Jack Losch of Miami, has been in conference with backfield coach Ray McLean in Florida over the weekend. McLean will scout the Senior Bowl battle Saturday. Coaches Lou Rymkus and Tom Hearden returned today after bowl assignments, while Blackbourn remained on the west coast. Rymkus, Hearden, McLean and Vainisi will join Liz in Los Angeles next week to take in the collegiate convention and prepare for the draft there Jan. 16.
PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL IS BIG BUSINESS
JAN 4 (Green Bay) - The reported offer of a million dollars for the New York Giants of the NFL and its refusal by the owners, Tim Mara and his sons, Wellington and Jack, indicates how far professional football has come in the past 30 years. The Green Bay Packers have been in the league for 36 years and their financial history includes a period of passing the hat. Perhaps there is no more primitive or more unreliable method of financing an organization that lacks a religious or benevolent fervor. The mere fact that it worked, even briefly, for the Packers may indicate something of the deep attachment the fans have for the game. The New York offer is interesting in that the team is not one of the leaders at the box office. During the past season, New York was ninth among the 12 teams in attendance at home games. While the league was rolling up record attendance of 2,722,685, which was 12.7 percent above the 1954 season, the Giants had a loss of 26,000 at their home games. In refusing the offer, the Maras did not go into the matter of heavy taxes on the profits, although that might have been a consideration. They bought the Giants in 1925 for $2,500, which seemed to have been the going price for a league team in those days. But now 30 years later, the Maras turned down one million dollars with the remark that "football is our business and we intend to remain in it." The successful owners of professional football teams have usually had an interest in and a loyalty to the game that was more impelling than the possibilities of cash profits. They have been willing to give in much the same spirit that the early Green Bay fans have given through the years of their money, time and energy without thought of remuneration when the Packers needed support. The offer of a million dollars for the New York club does not provide a sound basis for estimating the value of a club in Green Bay, but it does indicate that professional football is firmly established both as a sport and a business, no less in Green Bay than in New York.
DELAY REQUESTED ON PARK ADDITION PLAN
JAN 4 (Green Bay) - Any plan to buy a 37-acre addition for Perkins Park and turn it into a parking lot for a new Packer stadium, advanced as one of the main advantages of a new stadium site, will meet with Park Board opposition. That conclusion emerged Tuesday night as the City Council voted 13-12, with Mayor Otto Rachals breaking a tie vote, to ask the Board to seek an extension of its purchase option for the proposed addition from Feb. 1 to June 2. It was the second tie vote since the 1953 charter change which gave the mayor a veto power but took away his Council vote. The Council also authorized the Park Board and Board of Education to obtain a joint school-park site on Biemeret Street, east of Oneida Street. The request for an option extension was recommended by the finance committee, which decided Dec. 29 that no action on buying the land should be taken until a final stadium decision is reached. Ald. E.J. Perkins, Park Board president, disputed a linking of the stadium question with the proposed purchase...LOTS OF CONFUSION: "There is a lot of confusion about the Park Board wanting to buy this land as a parking lot. We would be incompetent to run our parks if we wanted to buy this virgin timber for parking. If we reject this, the city is losing the greatest opportunity it ever had to obtain a park with a wooded area," Perkins said. The people of the west side are "sick and tired" of having news reports describe the tract as a possible parking area, Perkins said. Rachals pointed out the tract "was definitely suggested for parking" in the architect's plans for a Perkins Park stadium and that report estimated it would cost $136,000 for 45 acres of parking space for 6,450 cars. "I can't visualize any architect suggesting the turning of a heavily wooded park into a parking lot." Perkins replied...DOWN PAYMENT MADE: "Parking was the cry when this thing was first asked for," said Ald. Fred Foerster, referring to the addition of a $3,300 down payment for the tract to the 1956 budget at a November council session. He questioned whether the Park Board wasn't "putting the cart before the horse" in wanting the land bought before a stadium bonding referendum reaches the voters. "You will never, never get this land for parking," Ald. Wilner Burke predicted flatly, saying he knew its owners would sell to the city only if the land became a park. Ald. Leonard Jahn said the requirements of the off-street parking ordinance could be met and "the six or eight acres of wooded land could be left." The Park Board request to the finance committee asked for a completion of the purchase "for park purposes only." The option would enable the city to buy for $33,000.
PACK WON'T SELECT 27 TACKLES BUT...
JAN 5 (Green Bay) - Don't be surprised if the Packers pick 27 tackles in the forthcoming draft. That may be stretching a point, but Coach Liz Blackbourn, after running down college player weights, has discovered that "we've got to draft tackles to play three positions - tackle, guard and defensive end." All of which makes a college tackle - 220 pounds or over, a handy item! "Most tackles in college are too small to play pro tackle, but they make good guards and defensive ends - if they can move," Blackbourn said the other day. The trend toward smaller linemen in college football is starting to hit the pros, although the play-for-pay boys never will get down to a 195-pound center or 200-pound tackles or guards for the simple reason that the pros' emphasis in on passing. And no 200-pound linemen will afford a passer much protection. The Packers' No. 2 choice in the recent preliminary draft, tackle Forrest Gregg, packs slightly over 220 pounds. But he has good speed, is rugged and play defensive end. In addition, he likely will put on more weight. It's a sure thing that the Packers won't pick 27 tackles when they take part in the college player draft at the NFL convention in Los Angeles Jan. 16, but you can bet the emphasis will be on tackles...Slightly on the newsy side today came a report from Madison that University of Wisconsin head coach Milt Bruhn is considering filling the vacancy, created by his promotion, with Don Kindt, Phil Bengtson or Tom Hearden. It was real news to Hearden, the Packers' defensive backfield coach who just returned today from a scouting trip in the southwest. "Somebody must be picking names out of a hat down there. I don't know anything about it," Hearden laughed. The names were suggested by Hank McCormick, sports editor of the Wisconsin State Journal. Kindt is the most likely prospect for the job. His playing days are about over with the Chicago Bears and he undoubtedly would like to return to his alma mater. Bengtson, one-time Minnesota star, is an assistant with San Francisco but was mentioned as a possible successor to Red Strader, who resigned as head coach recently. Hearden, incidentally, assisted at Wisconsin after leaving St. Norbert, while continuing his studies. Bruhn is expected to make his selection Jan. 15 - after returning from the collegiate convention in Los Angeles, starting Monday...Hearden and Lou Rymkus both reported today on weekend scouting trips. Tom witnessed the Salad Bowl, involving all stars of two conferences, and the Cotton Bowl, while Lou viewed the North-South game and the Sugar Bowl. Their reports added to Scout Jack Vainisi's filed which, by the way, also contain information on promising sophomores and juniors for future drafts. Hearden, Rymkus and Vainisi will leave Sunday for the west coast where they'll join Blackbourn and Ray McLean to take part in the college parley and plot their strategy for the draft.
CIVIC COMMITTEE PLANS MEETING NEXT WEDNESDAY TO DISCUSS STADIUM PLANS
JAN 5 (Green Bay) - A committee consisting of four representatives from each of two west side business organizations, four from an east side group and four from the Association of Commerce, will hold the first of a series of meetings next Wednesday night with Mayor Otto Rachals to discuss the location of a Packer stadium. The mayor's plans call for the group to reach a site recommendation which would be submitted to the City Council. A discussion session on the stadium question was held Wednesday evening at the Beaumont Hotel by members of the Association of Commerce. According to Jerry Atkinson, chairman of the Association of Commerce sports committee, the meeting was designed to stop "a growing split between the East and West sides on the location of the stadium."...MUST EXAMINE FACTS: "No east-west argument based on partisan thinking can be a healthy one," Atkinson declared. "We all stand to lose unless we stop thinking merely in terms of east or west and begin examining the facts logically." Atkinson said he called the meeting Wednesday night for the purpose of "sane and sensible comment" on the stadium location and not for "criticism based on mere geography." Atkinson also emphasized that many persons have looked upon the Association of Commerce as being an east side organization because it is located in the east side business district. "This certainly is partisan thinking meant to stir up an east-west argument," Atkinson declared. "The association wants to go on record as stating it definitely is not an east side organization but an organization acting in behalf of all Green Bay."...TIMING IS IMPORTANT: In asking the facts on the stadium location be examined logically, Atkinson expressed the opinion that time is of great importance. "The city's bond indebtedness is such that if we don't act on the Packer stadium now we don't get another chance until 1970," Atkinson said. He added that time is also important because the Packers should be expanding as Green Bay is expanding. "The Packers we should think of and their stadium should be those of the St. Lawrence Seaway era and not of the 1950's," Atkinson declared. Pointing to the average 1955 NFL attendance of 43,000, Atkinson said: "It's certainly safe to say that 32,000 seats in a new stadium is not a large estimate. We should be thinking in terms of 45,000 to be on a part with the rest of the league."...OUTLINES PROPOSAL: John Borgenson, Association of Commerce manager, outlined the four proposals which already have been submitted on stadium improvement or relocation. These include a final estimate of $780,000 not including improved lighting for rebuilding the present City Stadium with 20,000 permanent seats and movable bleachers with 11,982 seats. Also included is a minimum estimate of $1,172,000 for a new stadium at Military Avenue and Boland Road, with 26,450 permanent seats and 4,760 movable seats. This total includes a $75,000 estimate for lighting but does not include preparation of a 37-acre parking area in Perkins Park adjacent to the site and estimated at $136,000. The third and fourth proposals, involving remodeling of the present stadium, would include a plan to purchase movable seating through a ten-year lease purchase plan and a plan to install 32,000 permanent seats on the present site. The former plan would cost about $500,000 for seats only and the latter about $855,000, Borgenson said. Borgenson urged the civic leaders to make as clear-cut a decision as possible to present to the Council...CITES NEGATIVE VOTES: Based on political background, Borgenson said, about one-third of the Green Bay voters have voted no on bond issues in the past. Another one-third would vote against a bond issue when it actually came to a vote, he contended, "meaning that two-thirds conceivably could vote no on any stadium proposal." He urged all representative groups to unite in securing a clearly defined bond issue "which will stand a chance of meeting public approval."
SUIT AGAINST PACK IN DIFFERENT COURT
JAN 5 (Detroit) - The $25,000 breach of contract suit filed by Bob Mann against the Green Bay Packers was transferred to Federal District Court in Detroit Wednesday. The Packers, as an out-of-state corporation, requested the transfer from Wayne County Circuit Court. The Packers have 20 days to file an answer to Mann's suit. Mann, a former star end for the University of Michigan and the Detroit Lions, claimed in his suit filed November 23 that the Packer released him after he suffered a knee injury in an exhibition game, without giving him a written notice.
LIST TRIO IN LINE FOR U.W. STAFF
JAN 5 (Madison) - Head coach Milt Bruhn may select one of three men as assistant to round out his University of Wisconsin football coaching staff, a Madison editor said today. Henry J. McCormick, Wisconsin State Journal sports editor, said Bruhn was considering filling the vacancy, created by his promotion, with Don Kindt, Phil Bengtson or Thomas Hearden. He also said Bruhn would make LaVerne Van Dyke a full-time assistant. Van Dyke worked only part-time for Ivy Williamson, now athletic director. Kindt, who played halfback here from 1943-46, has finished nine years as a Chicago Bears player. Hearden is an assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers and formerly coached St. Norbert. He played at Notre Dame. Hearden began his football coaching career at St. Catherine's High School in Racine. After four years he transferred to Washington Park High, where he coached for two years before taking a job at Green Bay East High School. After serving as an assistant at Iowa Pre-Flight during a Navy career, Hearden took the St. Norbert post. Bengtson, whose alma mater is Minnesota, is an assistant for the San Francisco 49ers and has been mentioned as a possibility for the head job with that pro team. McCormick said an announcement by Bruhn would not be made until January 15. Bruhn will attend the meeting of the National College Football Coaches Association which starts on the West Coast Monday.
AC DECLINES MEMBERSHIP ON STADIUM GROUP
JAN 6 (Green Bay) - Because of its city-wide membership, the Association of Commerce will not participate as one of four groups on a 16-member citizen group, which will study four plans for proposed new Packer stadiums, W. Heraly McDonald, association president, said today. The four committee members who Mayor Otto Rachals originally asked be furnished by the association will be selected from east side business or professional men. At the same time, it was announced that the association's sports committee would be host at an organizational dinner meeting for the committee Wednesday night at the Beaumont Hotel. Four members each for the committee also will come from membership of the Northside Businessmen's Assn., the South Side Civic Assn., and the West Side Merchants Assn., Rachals had announced previously that the four organizations, including the Association of Commerce, had agreed to furnish four men each for the study committee. The mayor's plan calls for the study group to analyze all facts of the various stadium proposals in an effort to raise the issue above any east side versus west side controversy. A recommendation will be made to the City Council's finance committee, which has the responsibility of bringing a plan to the Council. The plan chosen will eventually reach the voters in a bonding referendum. In letters to the Council in December, the three geographical business groups pointed out advantages for locating the stadium on their sides of the city.