GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(LOS ANGELES) - The Packers broke a nine-quarter touchdown drought before 70,752 pro football fans in the Coliseum Sunday afternoon. That about sums up the Bays' one and only achievement in their annual and usually ill-fated December assignment with the Rams. The latest score was 42 to 17 for the Rams, who rolled up a 35 to 3 edge in the fourth quarter before the Packers uncorked two touchdowns. The Green Bays now have the Western Division cellar all to themselves since the Rams are 5-6 and the Packers are 3-8. The season ends with one last change for the Packers to become famous - in 'Frisco next Sunday where they'll try to knock the 49ers out of the championship. The Packers were badly hurt when they went into Sunday's show and they came out with one new casualty. The victim was Ron Kramer, who suffered an injury to his right leg just below the knee when he was tackled while catching a pass midway in the first period. It was still undetermined as to the extent of Kramer's injury today, although physicians in the Packer dressing room after the game said it's "acting like a break." X-rays were being studied at Good Samaritan Hospital where Kramer is confined. They are expected to show a small break in the bones below the right knee. Ram halfback Tom Wilson is also being x-rayed for a possible break in his upper jaw structure. He collided with Tom Bettis and Hank Gremminger in the second half. Both Kramer and Wilson are out for the season. Ankle case Paul Hornung injured his knee in his lone appearance - for a kickoff, but he'll be ready for the windup Sunday. Kramer could be the second broken bone case for the Packers in two days - against the Rams, at that. Sam Palumbo had his injured ankle x-rayed Saturday morning and a break was discovered. Sam suffered the hurt in the Ram game Nov. 17 in Milwaukee and he was one of 17 Bays banged up that day. The Packers never did recover from that game. They went through Sunday's match with only 12 defensive players and finished with just one full team since Ernie Danjean was banished by the officials (fighting) in the fourth quarter. Lack of replacements on defense, 85-degree hear on the floor of the Coliseum and some let-George-do-it tackling at times helped make the already-powerful Ram offense look most devastating. The Rams rolled up 599 yards, including 307 by rushing, but that wasn't as bad as a year ago when the Rams 
Los Angeles Rams (5-6) 42, Green Bay Packers (3-8) 17
Sunday December 8th 1957 (at Los Angeles)
SID DROOLS OVER LUNDY, FLIPS BOUQUET AT FERGIE
DEC 9 (Los Angeles-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Ram coach Sid Gillman spoke about two people in his dressing room after his team beat the Pack 42-17 Sunday - Lamar Lundy and Howie Ferguson. "'I'm scared of that Ferguson, he'll go for a touchdown anytime. He sure can move people for his weight. You get a lot of mileage out of him," Sid said. Incidentally, if you wonder about Gillman's reference to weight just remember that his fullbacks are much heavier - Joe Marconi at 230 and Tank Younger at 228. Gillman drooled over Lundy because Lamar did exceptionally well on defense - a short suit in Ram operations for two years. "That was his first test at defensive end and wait'll he fills out. He will weigh 260 pounds and be much better than Len Ford." Lundy stands 6-7. As you know, Lundy also plays offensive end. He caught the winning TD pass on the Pack in Milwaukee Nov. 17 and caught one for six here. With guys like Lundy, Boyd and those three left halfbacks (Arnett, Wilson and Waller), the Bay boys couldn't help but ask that oft-asked question: "How come the Rams even lose a game with that personnel?" The Rams are 5-6. Packer coach Liz Blackbourn figured the Rams "licked us on outside runs and they hit us and succeeded where we were strongest. They were going outside with their running and with those short passes of Van Brocklin's." Van Brocklin was uncanny with his flare flips and worst yet his judgment was nearly perfect. When the Packers would rush their defense, he'd pin-point somebody off to the left or right side. Blackbourn, admitting that "we were outplayed," felt that "those three easy touchdowns made it lopsided." Three TDs off LA's total would bring it down to 21-17. The coach pointed to Elroy Hirsch's 35-yard catch in the fourth quarter. "Wade converted (changed signals on the line of scrimmage). We could hear him on the sidelines, when he saw Bobby (Dillon) 
COLTS GIVE PACK PEP TALK FOR 49ER BATTLE
DEC 10 (Boyes Springs, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Colts and Packers collided at the Burbank Airport Monday noon. The Packers made with the "Hello." The Colts had the "Hiya, Buddy Boy" greeting. The Colts looked sick - like somebody who had kicked away about $4,000 in the last 40 seconds, which is what happened when Hugh McElhenny caught that pass for the 49ers in the end zone in 'Frisco last Sunday. That completion put the Colts, 49ers and Lions in a three-way tie for first place. Until John Brodie pitched that pass, the Colts were 40 seconds away from the western title and a playoff with the Browns. So if the Colts looked with sweetness and direction toward the Pack, they could be excused. They want Green Bay to beat Frisco and this just happened to be a perfect and unexpected time to give the Packers a pep talk and a prescription on how to combat the 49ers. Dr. Weeb Ewbank was in consultation with Dr. Lisle Blackbourn for quite a spell while the Bays boarded the United Airliner that had just brought the Colts down from Frisco...COLTS SCARED OF RAMS: Of course, Weeb wanted to know about the Rams, too. The Colts, we gather, seem a bit scared of LA for two reasons - the bad physical beating they gave the Rams in Baltimore two weeks ago and the Rams' lopsided victory over the Packers. Ewbank felt that his team "wuz robbed in 'Frisco." He told the Bays that McElhenny pushed Milt Davis away and then caught the pass. "It's illegal but not called too often," one of the Colts said. The natural thing to say when introduced to a few Colts was just "tough luck." John Unitas, the Colts' brilliant young quarterback, nodded slightly and walked away. Alan Ameche reunioned briefly with Jim Temp and Norm Amundsen and they joked about the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena where the Colts stay and where the former Badgers stayed for their Rose Bowl trip here. "What a time we had, eh Al," Temp laughed, adding: "It'll be nice going back." Colt Ameche couldn't laugh back but he sounded the tempo - "It could have been wonderful this week if we had won yesterday." The Packers, needless to say, hold one of the three keys to the Western Division championship. The other key carriers are the Bears, who play the Lions, and the Rams, who take on the Colts. The 49ers are quite happy with their "key" opponent because the Packers are low on the Western pole, with 3-8 and they looked pretty bad in losing to the Rams, 42-17. On the other hand, the Rams want to whip Baltimore in the worst way and repay a debt to the 49ers, who knocked off Detroit back in '51 to put the Rams into the title. The Bears, apparently murder once again, might handle the Layne-less Lions. Ram Coach Sid Gillman told the press boys Sunday that "we feel we can defeat the Colts and we are quite anxious to do it." The Packers arrived here late Monday afternoon after a quick plane ride from Burbank to Frisco and then a slow and scenic bus trip from Frisco to this old fashioned but quiet Sonoma Mission Inn. It was close to 85 in Burbank and about 50 when they arrived here, and Blackbourn is hoping the sudden change won't bring a raft of colds. Colds? They would be the least of the Packers' troubles. Two players were sent home Monday - Sam Palumbo, who uncovered a broken ankle Saturday, and Ron Kramer, who suffered a cracked bone in his leg during the first quarter of the Ram game. Earlier x-rays showed no break but careful scrutiny of the "pictures" revealed the crack Monday afternoon at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles...FOUR OTHERS INJURED: Of the remaining 32 players on hand, four came out of the game with assorted injuries - Norm Masters, knee; Paul Hornung, knee and ankle; Jim Temp, back; and Jim Ringo, shoulder and knee. Injury to Temp leaves the defensive platoon down to an even 11 whole and hearty players. The offensive unit has 17 (of 20) in perfect shape - as of now, that is. The way things have been going, the Bays get hurt in practice, too. Kinard sprained his ankle last week in workouts, but he may be ready for Frisco. He never suited up in LA.
AMAZING 49ERS STRIKE IT RICH; SELLOUT SUNDAY
DEC 10 (San Francisco) - Those amazing San Francisco 49ers, winning in the waning seconds, have struck it rich this season both on the field and at the gate. Five of their six regular season home games will have been sellouts and they will have played before more than 600,000 fans counting games at home and away. That's far beyond the wildest preseason expectations when the 49ers were considered among the also-rans. Coming up Sunday is a sellout of nearly 60,000 for the Kezar Stadium battle with Green Bay's Packers. The 49er management has taken precautions against another riot such as the one that broke out Sunday after frenzied fans rushed for a final batch of unreserved seats. With the San Francisco crew of Frankie Albert in a three-way tie for first place in the NFL's Western Conference, this game could prove decisive. While the 49ers play the Packers, the other two teams in the deadlock - Baltimore and Detroit - play the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears, respectively. Tickets went like wild fire Monday as the fans gobbled up the final 2,000 reserved seats. About 4,000 were sold right after the 49ers beat Baltimore in the final 46 seconds Sunday. Publicity Dan McGuire said 4,800 unreserved seats would go on sale at noon Saturday instead of on Sunday as usual. "We want to avoid a repetition of Sunday morning's mob scene at the ticket office, if at all possible," he explained. Green Bay rests at the bottom of the Western Conference, but Albert says it won't result in any complacency. "It hadn't better," the coach declared. "Our guys smell that $3,000 apiece in playoff loot. If they won't win, they don't like money." He inserted a further note of caution that, "We had trouble beating them early in the season."
WILL 49ER LUCK HOLD SUNDAY?
DEC 11 (Boyes Hot Springs, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Midweek mush from the Valley of the Moon, the land made famous by Jack London: The Packer players think the 49ers were the worst Western Division team they played; Bay Coach Liz Blackbourn thinks the 49ers are lucky; and 49er Coach Frankie Albert is the first to admit that he'd rather be lucky than good. San Francisco beat Green Bay 24 to 14 in Milwaukee last Oct. 20. The Bays shook their heads later: "They were the sorriest team we played - how can we lost to teams like that?"...VITAL FIVE MINUTES: Now the 49ers are tied in first place with the Lions and Colts - each with 7-4 records. Four of those seven victories were scored in the final seconds - just about five minutes in all. Liz can't be blamed for feeling that the 49ers were fortunate in producing their record thus far. He put it this way: "The 49ers are good this year and also very, very lucky. They've won four of their seven in the final seconds. To have won two of those four would have been par." Albert admitted that his team has been somewhat lucky, although he felt that his men have been playing inspired football under the guidance of a smart quarterback who is having a great year. That would be Y.A. Tittle, natch. The Packers can be rough on Tittle and Y.A. knows it. They intercepted four of his passes in Milwaukee and the 49ers had to scramble to win in the second half. Tittle is the talk of Frisco this week and reports of his muscle-cramped legs take precedence over the weather. Well, not quite...PLAY TOUCH FOOTBALL: The Packers engaged in a couple of touch football game as a means of loosening up after Tuesday's drill in Sonoma and during the action Blackbourn noted that "Kinard is running pretty good and he should be ready." Thus, the hard-pressed and weakened Packer defensive unit will have all 13 player ready for action. Bill Kinard is the lone replacement for Bobby Dillon, John Symank, John Petitbon or Hank Gremminger. Gremminger jammed up the tips of his fingers reaching for the ball in defensive practice. Blackbourn watched the touch game with keen interest and chuckled: "I'm just looking to see that nobody gets hurt." About that time, big Jim Temp took a short pass and took off like a Howton. "Sure, he can catch the ball," Liz answered. "He played offense at Wisconsin you know and maybe he wouldn't be too bad as a slot back. He's big and should be able to block."...JOHNSON FOR KRAMER: And who will replace Ron Kramer, the Bays' ace slotback who suffered a broken leg last Sunday in the Ram game? Joe Johnson, of course. But who will take over for Johnson in case? "We'll put Al Carmichael there," Liz said. The Packers are finishing the show with 32 players - three under the limit and, oddly enough, they've got just one casualty, Paul Hornung, who is having trouble with his ankle. He could be ready for Sunday but probably won't be able to go full speed. Billy Howton will have to catch 20 passes Sunday to tie his pass receiving output of a year ago when he nailed 55 for 1,188 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 11 games thus far, Billy caught 35 for 684 yards and five touchdowns. Why the drop off? "We're throwing less this year and our quarterbacks have been throwing to all of the receivers more," Howton explained, adding a compliment for sophomore Bart Starr: "All he needs is just a little more experience and he'll be taking us places. Wait'll next year and watch him; he'll be as good as anyone in the league." The Packers have attempted 300 passes in 11 league games thus far and completed 142 against 353 attempts and 171 completions during the 12-game card last year. The boys stepped up their pass production in the last few games, attempting nearly 70 against Detroit and Los Angeles. Before Detroit, the boys averaged only 25 per game...WORST SINCE '55: At any rate, Billy stands to experience his worst season since 1953 when he was limited to 25 in eight games after missing the first four with injuries. As if the 49ers aren't tough enough, they'll have two disabled animals back in the Kezar ring Sunday - Ted Connolly, offensive guard, and linebacker Paul Carr, both of whom missed the last three games. The Sisters of St. Francis, who operate the Hanna Boys Center, a school in Sonoma, have promised their 
INJURED PACK WALKS IN EGGS 'TIL SUNDAY
DEC 12 (Boyes Springs, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers are still walking on eggs and trying to keep from breaking 'em. There are no new injuries to report today but look what happened in the short space of 20 minutes near the end of Wednesday's drill: Fullback Howie Ferguson stepped on his foot so hard that his shoestring snapped. Defensive specialist Bobby Dillon pulled a muscle. And halfback Don McIlhenny got hit in the hear by a bullet pass over the line from Bart Starr. None of it turned out to be serious, trainer Bud Jorgensen was happy to learn after watching Ferguson hobble around and Dillon hobble out of action - McIlhenny had his helmet on but the bounce of a hard-thrown football, point first, made Don groggy for a short spell. Bobby later found nothing wrong in particular but he put on a good show once he hit the sidelines for the benefit of possible 49er scouts camping in the hills overlooking the Sonoma practice field. With so much money and blood riding high next Sunday, it wouldn't surprise us a bit if Packer workouts are being "scouted". The Bays put on their offensive shoes yesterday and covered just about everything, with emphasis on running by the fullbacks - Ferguson, Fred Cone and Frank Purnell, and short passes by Starr and Babe Parilli. Purnell is breaking his neck in an effort to polish his pass catching. The rookie 235-pounder dropped a touchdown pass in Los Angeles Sunday but vowed that night that "it won't happen again." Incidentally, Ferguson was open on the same play later in the game and the pass was thrown too high. And, speaking about fullbacks, Cone has a chance to become the 1957 league scoring champion, although he may have to score a touchdown to make it. Sam Baker of Washington and Lou Groza of Cleveland are leading with 67 apiece while Cone is second with 66 on two touchdowns, 24 extra points and 10 field goals in 15 attempts. Cone has kicked seven field goals in his last four games, getting two each against Los Angeles (in Milwaukee), Pittsburgh and Detroit and one vs. LA on the coast. Cone could become the first Packer to win the point title since Ted Fritsch took it with 100 in 1946. Don Hutson holds the all-time record, 138 in 1942. Dillon also could become a league champion - in interceptions. Milt Davis of Baltimore leads with 10 but Dillon, Jack Christiansen of Detroit and Jack Butler of Pittsburgh are tied with nine. The Packers' John Symank are eight. The Packers haven't forgotten their interception success vs. the 49ers in Milwaukee. "We got four that day on Y.A. (Tittle) and maybe we can get a few off him again Sunday," Dillon said. The Packers' defensive unit (all 13 of 'em) feels that loss of Tittle would hurt the 49ers considerably. While the defensers have respect for rookie John Brodie, they point out that he doesn't have Y.A.'s experience. In case we neglected to mention, there's a possibility that Tittle will be considerably handicapped with injured legs Sunday. The papers have been full of Tittle's miseries, and one ventured that Brodie might start. "They (the 49ers) want us to think that Tittle is in a bad way," Dillon said after practice, adding: "They're working everything on us. They can't afford to lose." Tittle pulled muscles in his legs during the Giant game two weeks ago, but stuck it out. He played against the Colts last Sunday, but then had to leave with a minute left. With 47 seconds to go, Brodie threw the winning TD to Hugh McElhenny. And how about that McElhenny? Hurryin' Hugh, who had a field day rushing against the Packers every time except last Oct. 20 in Milwaukee when he gained only 30-odd yards, was switched from halfback to offensive left end four games ago when Clyde Connor was hurt. His teammates call Hugh a poor man's Elroy Hirsch since the famed Elroy Hirsch, since the famed Elroy also switched from halfback to end, but McElhenny caught 19 passes since he moved to wing for 294 yards, including eight in the clutch game vs. the Colts. Hugh nailed only 14 for 131 yards as a halfback in his first seven games. McElhenny is still 10th in rushing (seven games' work) and now has moved within two catches of Billy Howton in pass receiving. Howton ranks fifth and the leader is the 49ers' Bill Wilson who has 48. Wilson missed the first two game this year due to injuries. Thus, he averaged over five in the next nine...THEY'RE BIG PROBLEMS: Those fellers, if you haven't guessed, are the Packers' big problems Sunday. All is reasonably quiet in Frisco. The game will be completely sold out when they put 4,800 general admission seats on sale Saturday. The capacity is just under 6,000. The Packers will remain in this hideaway up in the hills until Sunday morning. The odds out of Reno and Las Vegas Wednesday showed the Packers as a 14 1/2-point 
PACKERS PRIMING TO DETAIL FORTY-NINERS
DEC 13 (Boyes Springs, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – “Sure we can beat ‘em.” Dave Hanner had just stepped to the sideline during Thursday’s workout. He was sweating as he hammered out: “We got a lot of pride and I’m darned sure if we all get our pride up we can knock them off.” The veteran tackle was referring to Sunday’s showdown battle with the 49ers in Kezar Stadium. A loss for Frisco would knock the 49ers out of the championship unless the Lions and Colts also lose, and that isn’t likely. The three clubs are now tied in first place with 7-4 records. Hanner said he felt that “all of us want to win this game real bad. What a way to finish the season. And we can do it. There’s so little between winning and losing in this league. It just takes a little extra effort, and that’s what we’ll have to do next Sunday.” For the season windup of a team that’s closeted in the cellar, there sure is a lot of excitement around here. A lot of it comes from the big play the newspapers have been giving the game. One paper said that John Brodie will start (at quarterback) and Y.A. Tittle will be saved for the playoff, thus assuming that the 49ers would win with a rookie quarterback. Coach Liz Blackbourn made the most of that one and quickly peddled it around their Sonoma Mission Inn headquarters. It was sort of a back-handed slap at the Packers and undoubtedly wasn’t approved or voiced by 49er Coach Frankie Albert. But it gives you an idea of what the 49ers are thinking. Officially, Albert announced Thursday that “Brodie will start and stay in there as long as he’s doing good or as long we need him. He’s proved in practice he’s definitely ready to lead our 49ers.” Brodie has played just 6 minutes and 15 seconds for the 49ers in league competition. He has appeared for 14 plays including nine against Detroit after the Lions led 31-3. One was against the Chicago Bears, two in the final seconds against Los Angeles and two against Baltimore. The last was a game-winning pass. Tittle says he’ll be ready but the 49er medics claim that he won’t be able to move (rollout) very well. He can throw but will have trouble with the rush. Blackbourn, by the way, feels the Packers have a chance to win. As he put it for the benefit of a local scribe: “If I didn’t think so I’d call off practice this week and enjoy myself playing cards or maybe a little golf on the nice courses they have up here. Instead, we’re here to do what can do about making a game of it with the 49ers. I don’t say we’re going to win it, but I do say that’s what we have in mind.” Yesterday’s drill was strictly on defense and Liz said he liked the way everybody went out and worked, and maybe that’s a sign that the 49ers will have some trouble scoring. The Bays bottled up the 49ers’ running game but good in the earlier match in Milwaukee, but a few key passes by Tittle helped Frisco to a 24-14 victory – not to mention a goal line stand by the 49ers. There’s one rule defenses follow when playing the 49ers. It’s this: When they need a first down with five or more yards on third down, they’ll throw to Billy Wilson. The 49ers have been doing that for five years and a year ago Wilson won the pass catching title and he’s leading this season. Hugh McElhenny’s work as a pass-catching end (he was once one of the most feared running backs in pro ball) and the Alley Oop man, R.C. Owens, are other Packer defensive problems…Among the Packer rookies who will be getting a full go will be long Carl Vereen, the Packers’ left offensive tackle. Blackbourn always felt that the 6-7 giants would be another Bob St. Clair, the 49ers’ offensive tackle. Vereen might study Bob's actions and then put them into practice. Vereen, who seems to have an edge on Norm Masters although Norm has been injured, will start and will probably have to cope with big Bob Toneff. Carl now scales 245 pounds but “I want to get that up to around 260 or 265. I’m taking special weight-lifting exercises this winter so I can increase my weight without losing any speed.” Vereen, who is too tall to be called into the armed forces (the limit is 6-6), is exceptionally fast – “a lot like St. Clair,” Blackbourn said…Watching movies of the Colt-49er game Thursday, Liz commented that Gino Marchetti didn’t have much of a day. “You can blame St. Clair for that; he really handled him.”…BRIEFS: John Symank, rookie defensive back, will enter the Army’s six-month program in February and he’ll be back for next season. Paul Hornung expects to do the same. The Packers practiced this (Friday) morning instead of the usual afternoon session because the bus taking ‘em to Sonoma wasn’t available. The Saturday drill will be in the morning as usual. The team will go to Frisco Sunday morning and stay at the Bellevue Hotel after the game.
PACKER GROSS PROFIT MAY HIT $50,000
DEC 13 (San Francisco) - The Green Bay Packers expect to make a gross profit of about $50,000 this year, despite the fact that operating expenses have gone over the million dollar mark for the first time, General Manager Verne Lewellen said Thursday. “The biggest single increase has been in player salaries,” he said, and added, “Paul Hornung and Ron Kramer aren’t the cheap variety and then we picked up two more players, from 33 to 35, this season. The salary increases amounted to about $65,000.” The Packers probably will get their biggest payday Sunday when they meet the San Francisco 49ers before 60,000 fans in Kezar Stadium. Despite an attendance of 70,572 in Los Angeles last weekend, the Packer share of the gate was only $52,000. Lewellen said that while his comments were not official, he felt the Packers would play only two games, instead of three, in Milwaukee County Stadium next season. The other four home games would be played in City Stadium in Green Bay. “The Rams,” he said, “howled about their cut at Milwaukee this year when they got about $100 over their guarantee of $20,000. So they want to play in Green Bay. I suppose the 49ers are unhappy, too. But they haven’t approached me – yet.” The general manager said that in the last four years while making money for the club has increased its net surplus to $140,000. He indicated it was his belief that if the “Packers had a quarter of a million dollars in reserve they wouldn’t have to look upon the West Coast trips for a make or break season. We’re not in the business to make money,” he said, “we just want to keep football in Green Bay.”
RAMS WANT TO PLAY IN BAY NOW - FOR EXTRA $$$
DEC 13 (Boyes Hot Spring, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – “Hope to see you in Green Bay next year. We’d like to get one of those big checks, too!” That was Pete Rozelle’s way of saying that the Rams would like to play in Green Bay. “And we haven’t been there in a long time – since 1948. Played in Milwaukee ever since,” the Rams’ general manager recalled. To put it bluntly, the shoe is on the other foot. The Rams didn’t care much about playing in Green Bay in those days and they actually wanted to perform in Milwaukee because of the so-called gate potential and Elroy Hirsch, etc. Now? Rozelle indicated that he was convinced Milwaukee wouldn’t make much of a cash register ring. The Ram-Packer game in Milwaukee last Nov. 17 pulled a terrible crowd – 19,540, meaning that the Rams got no more than their $20,000 guarantee. The Rams, naturally, would rather have the gravy from a 32,000-plus crowd in Green Bay – close to $40,000. 
playing up close. Hirsch went down and in and got away from John (Petitbon)." Another "easy" TD went to Lundy in the third period. Hank Gremminger followed Bob Boyd across instead of taking his man, Lundy, deep. Long Lamar wound up alone, with not a Packer within 10 yards, on the two-yard line and took Van's throw for the touchdown. It was similar to the play that Lundy "worked" to beat the Pack in Milwaukee...CALLED 'RIGHT' PLAY: The other easy TD was the 61-yard screener from Van to Marconi, making the score 35-3 in the fourth period. The Packers red-dogged on the second and seven situation but Van Brocklin had called the "right" play, hurling to Marconi to the right. Big Joe, however, was helped along by some terrible tackling by Petitbon, Symank and Dillon. "Those three made it real bad," Liz said. Ron Kramer, who suffered a broken bone in his right leg in the first quarter, stayed at Good Samaritan Hospital here Sunday night. Kramer's booming blocks and pass catches will be missed in Frisco. It was especially tough for the big bruiser because he had been invited to play in the Hula Bowl in Honolulu after the season. The big gate - 70,572 - brought LA's attendance for the season to 998,456 and next Sunday the Colts and Rams expect to become the first pro club to draw over a million fans.
STRATEGY FALLS FLAT - JUST OUTPLAYED, EXPLAINS BLACKBOURN
DEC 9 (Milwaukee Journal) - "We were outplayed," Lisle Blackbourn, coach of the beaten and battered the Green Bay Packers, said after the game with the Los Angeles Rams here Sunday. "We let them have three easy touchdowns and that's what made it so one sided." The coach shook his head, sadly. The effects of the 42-17 lacing had not yet worn off. "We set up what amounted to an eight man line," he said. "We figured that would stop their wide stuff and make it tough on their passing. We were vulnerable up the middle, but we gave them that."...STRATEGY BACKFIRES: "So what happened? They ran wide on us. They never did run up the middle. They never had to try it. The three easy touchdowns that made it all the worse were the screen pass to Marconi, Wade's pass to Hirsch for a touchdown and that seesaw pass to Lundy, who was all alone. On the screen, we sent six men in on all-out rush. They'd been beating us at our strength. so we gambled. Van Brocklin caught us with the screen. Nobody smelled it and Marconi went all the way. Lundy scored on the same play they beat us with at Milwaukee. We knew they were going to try it again. Boyd slanted toward the middle, Gremminger went with the fake and Lundy was alone on the side. On the other easy one, Wade changed the signal on the line of scrimmage. He saw Dillon was playing up close, so he sent Hirsch on a slant in from the left. Hirsch beat Petitbon and went all the way."...TOO MANY MISTAKES: "We've got a lot of men hurt but we made too many mistakes. The Rams played a great game. You wonder what they're doing in the second division." Like Topsy, Green Bay's hospital list just grows and grows. Kramer broke his leg Sunday. Only the walking wounded remain for the season finale at San Francisco next Sunday. There the Packers, or what is left of them, will try to interfere with the 49ers' title hopes. Kramer became the fourth Packer sidelined with broken bones. Others include guard Joe Skibinski, broken leg before the season opened; defensive end Nate Borden, broken arm two weeks ago; and middle guard Sam Palumbo, broken leg three weeks ago. Besides, regular offensive end Gary Knafelc was lost for the season after three games when he hurt his knee in practice. Palumbo's injury, inflicted in the first Ram game in Milwaukee, was originally diagnosed as a sprained ankle after X-rays showed no break. He tried working out again after a rest but the leg continued to ache. Further X-rays late last week showed a fracture and the former Notre Dame star is hobbling around in a walking cast...DOWN TO MINIMUM: The Packers started Sunday's game with 12 defensive players, the starters and tackle Tom Finnan, who was picked up on waivers from the Chicago Cardinals less than two weeks ago. Through most of the game, end Carlton Massey and Finnan shuttled back and forth, carrying defensive signals. Then middle guard Ernie Danjean was thrown out of the game for extracurricular activity (so was end Bill Ray Smith of the Rams), Massey switched to Danjean's position, Finnan took over in the line full time and Green Bay played with the bare minimum of defensive players. Defensive back Billy Kinard and rookie running back Paul Hornung did not play because of ankle injuries. Hornung tried kicking off to start the second half and limped back to the bench after he was blocked. Kinard sprained his ankle in practice Friday and is probably lost for next Sunday's finale, too. Hornung is also on the doubtful list. The Rams' main casualty was halfback Tom Wilson, who suffered a fractured cheek bone when he was tackled by Tom Bettis and Gremminger as he caught a pass in the second quarter. Gremminger hurt his arm on the play but stayed in the game because there was no one to replace him. Packer defensive end Jim Temp hurt his back but X-rays afterward showed no bone damage.
BAYS' PALUMBO ALSO BREAKS LEG
DEC 9 (Boyes Springs, CA) - The Packers quietly slipped into this little hideaway late Monday afternoon, hoping to rest their weary bones and prepare for their finale against the San Francisco 49ers at Kexar Stadium Sunday. Coach Liz Blackbourn reported that slotback Ron Kramer and linebacker Sam Palumbo left the squad for their homes Monday. Kramer broke his right leg in the Ram game and Palumbo, it was discovered, also had a broken leg. He had been complaining of shin splints last week when X-rays proved otherwise. Kramer had been promised an invitation to the upcoming Hula Bowl in Hawaii and was a pretty dejected boy when he left the hospital. While Blackbourn would have liked to forget Sunday's 42-17 beating by the Rams, the fact remains that the Packers continue to lay their biggest eggs at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Bays have now lost 10 straight at L.A. Maybe it was the 70,000 plus which urged the Rams on - for they didn't run around the Packers, they ran over 'em. Ram coach Sid Gillman showed amazement at the size of the huge crowd. "I doubt if that's the real reason why we play so much better at home," he shook his head, "but I do know it sure does help." The Rams have won only one road game in the past two seasons, a thorn which has been stabbing deeply in Gillman's side. Blackbourn was still trying to figure what went haywire when he boarded the Packers' chartered plane. "We were having a very bad time stopping wide runs during the last few games," he said, "and so to set for the Rams' terrific backs we often had practically an eight-man line and then tried to red-dog the passer. So what happened? They lobbed soft screens over our heads and their fullbacks went crazy catching passes. That's good strategy by their quarterbacks, of course, and interesting to observe, except when it's happening to you. This game gets harder and more complicated every year," Liz continued. "And of course we coaches are making it tougher on ourselves by getting trickier and trickier. It's a vicious circle." While the Bays will have a major role in determining the Western Division champion Sunday, Blackbourn said, "you guess is as good as mine. But I'd surely like to surprise a few folks. These trips west have been awfully tough."
made nearly 800 yards in a 49-21 victory over the Pack. The Bays were hitting hard yesterday; they weren't in '56. In fact, the fourth quarter - with nothing at stake, mind you - resembled a free-for-all slugfest at times. The Rams had Gene Ray Smith thumbed out for fighting. The Packers couldn't protest the passer and they could not budge the Ram line - especially up the middle. That hampered their offense. Defensively, the Bays couldn't stop Norm Van Brocklin's short flare strike aimed at Green Bay's strength and couldn't effectively bottle up guys like Joe Marconi, Ron Waller, Jon Arnett and Tank Younger. The Bay touchdowns in the fourth quarter - Babe Parilli's eight-yard pitch to Howie Ferguson and Bart Starr's 13-yarder to Max McGee - were quite a treat. The last previous touchdowns came in the second quarter of the 27-10 victory at Pittsburgh Nov. 24. The TD blackout continued in the third and fourth periods that day, all four in Detroit Thanksgiving Day and the first three here. Van Brocklin was hotter than that proverbial pistol with 15 completions in 25 pitches - not to mention four touchdown throws. Billy Wade followed with a 35-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter to give the Rams five aerial TD's in their six scores. The grand old man of pro football, Elroy Hirsch, caught two for TDs and led both teams in receiving with five catches. Lamar Lundy, who caught the pass that beat the Pack in Milwaukee 31-27, caught one here - practically in the same spot. That 230-pound Marconi scored two TDs, one on a 61-yard screen job and the other on a plunge. Leon Clarke, a 240-ponder gazelle, got the other TD on a 21-yard throw from Van Brocklin. This turned out to be quite a battle for the first half, which ended 14-3, with the Rams scoring single TDs in the first and second periods. Fred Cone's field goal in the score in the earlier Ram game in reverse, as it were. Pack led at the half 24-3. But the Rams sparkled with two touchdowns in each of the last two periods. In fact, they took the opening kickoff down for 70 yards in 10 plays for a 21 to 3 lead. Before the Packers got another first down, the Rams made it 28-3 and so on. The Rams also won the statistics, which you can examine in the adjoining column, and kindly note that the Packers had the help of 118 yards in penalties on the Rams. The Rams' two defensive tackles, Art Hauser and Frank Fuller, gave the Bays fits and good rushes by Fuller forced a Dick Deschaine punt after Don McIlhenny scooped 29 yards on the second play of the game. The Packers quickly made Van Brocklin punt, thanks to a tackle by John Petitbon on Marconi, and that was the first Ram boot against the Pack here since 1955. The Rams didn't have to punt against the Pack here in '56. The Packers moved to the Ram 35 on Starr's 27-yard toss to Billy Howton but McIlhenny fumbled and Hauser returned the ball to the Packer 40. Boom, the Rams score in three plays, Marconi going through the line 35 yards in two runs and Van then throwing to Hirsch for the score. Paige Cothren booted the first of six PATs. The Rams got the ball right back and scored in 13 plays over 86 yards, with Marconi plunging the last three on the first play of the second quarter. The teams each made two first downs and then punted. A 20-yard run by Babe Parilli, making his first appearance, and a 30-yard slash by McIlhenny on the next play set up Cone's field goal from the 29. Just before the half, Jerry Helluin recovered Ron Waller's fumble on the Packer 34. Parilli was stopped at the center of the line trying to make a yard on fourth down on the Packer 43, and John Symank intercepted a Van Brocklin pass and returned 26 yards. The Rams received the second half kickoff and marched 70 yards in 10 plays, with Van Brocklin pitching 21 yards to Clarke, who had gotten away from Symank on the two, for the touch. Deschaine got off 51 and 55-yard punt toward off the Rams but after his second boot the Rams went 75 yards in 10 plays for a 28-3 margin. The Packer defense goofed up and Lundy was all along on the five when he took Van's 31-yard pitch for a touchdown. Frank Purnell worked himself along on the Ram 15 but he dropped Starr's perfect pass just before the third period ended. The Bays lost the ball on downs when Starr was smeared 10 yards on the Ram 36, and the Rams scored in two plays. Van hurled to Marconi on a screener to the right and big Joe got away from Petitbon, Symank, Gremminger and Dillon on the way to a TD and a 35-3 edge. Now it was the Packers' turn. McGee took Parilli's throw to the left and raced away from Burroughs on the sidelines but the tall Ram back just tripped up Max by grabbing his ankle. The play gained 50 yards to the Ram 34. Burroughs then intercepted Parilli's pass but the Rams were found guilty of interference and a personal foul, Smith getting tossed out. Anyhow, the Pack had a first down on the Ram eight and on the first play Ferguson took Parilli's swing pass to the right and scored. Cone kicked the first of two points. After Bobby Dillon intercepted Wade's pass and Deschaine punted, Wade hurled a 35-yard strike to Hirsch down the middle for the Rams' final TD. The Rams moved 63 yards in six plays. A 23-yard run on an end around by McGee, a 10-yard belt by Fergie, an interference penalty on the Rams, an 11-yard end around for Howton and Starr's 13-yard pitch to McGee produced a TD in the last minute. Just before the touchdown, the mighty crowd let out a mighty roar of approval as the final score was announced of the 49er-Colt game. It seems that the Ram fans want to have a West Coast champion. On the second last play of the game, the Rams almost made it 49-17. Waller scooted outside right tackle and bolted 76 yards before Jim Temp brought him down on the Packer 4.
GREEN BAY   -   0   3   0  14  -  17
LOS ANGELES -   7   7  14  14  -  42
                       GREEN BAY   LOS ANGELES
First Downs                   18            27
Rushing-Yards-TD        27-161-0      42-302-1
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 32-16-201-2-0 31-17-297-5-2
Sacked-Yards                  55             0
Net Passing Yards            146           297
Total Yards                  307           599
Fumbles-lost                 2-1           1-1
Turnovers                      1             3
Yards penalized             5-46        10-118
SCORING
1st - LA - Elroy Hirsch, 5-yd pass fr Norm Van Brocklin (Paige Cothren kick) LOS ANGELES 7-0
2nd - LA - Joe Marconi, 3-yard run (Cothren kick) LOS ANGELES 14-0
2nd - GB - Fred Cone, 29-yard pass LOS ANGELES 14-3
3rd - LA - Leon Clarke, 21-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Cothren kick) LOS ANGELES 21-3
3rd - LA - Lamar Lundy, 31-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Cothren kick) LOS ANGELES 28-3
4th - LA - Marconi, 61-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Cothren kick) LOS ANGELES 35-3
4th - GB - Howie Ferguson, 8-yard pass from Babe Parilli (Cone kick) LOS ANGELES 35-10
4th - LA - Hirsch, 35-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Cothren kick) LOS ANGELES 42-10
4th - GB - Max McGee, 17-yard pass from Bart Starr (Cone kick) LOS ANGELES 42-17
RUSHING
GREEN BAY - Don McIlhenny 10-60, Babe Parilli 6-31, Howie Ferguson 6-24, Max McGee 1-24, Billy Howton 1-11, Bart Starr 2-8, Al Carmichael 1-3
LOS ANGELES - Ron Waller 5-105, Joe Marconi 16-95 1 TD, Jon Arnett 13-49, Tank Younger 6-38, Tommy Wilson 2-15
PASSING
GREEN BAY - Bart Starr 19-10-109 1 TD, Babe Parilli 13-6-92 1 TD
LOS ANGELES - Norm Van Brocklin 25-15-253 4 TD 1 INT, Billy Wade 6-2-44 1 TD 1 INT
RECEIVING
GREEN BAY - Don McIlhenny 4-36, Max McGee 3-68 1 TD, Joe Johnson 3-30, Billy Howton 2-37, Al Carmichael 1-13, Howie Ferguson 1-8 1 TD, Ron Kramer 1-8, Frank Purnell 1-1
LOS ANGELES - Elroy Hirsch 5-76 2 TD, Joe Marconi 4-85 1 TD, Leon Clarke 4-67 1 TD, Bob Boyd 2-21, Lamar Lundy 1-31 1 TD, Ron Waller 1-17
prayers for the Packers Sunday. Most of them hail from Wisconsin, where many schools are taught by nuns of that order, including Green Bay. The school, for semi-delinquents and boys of broken homes, cut out classes during the World Series while the students and nuns cheered for Milwaukee. Fred Cone, 31, who could be another Ben Agajanian, is the only member of the Packer playing corps who definitely plans to retire after the season. "I've made up my mind to quit," says Cone.
INEXPERIENCE AT QB HURT: HOWTON
DEC 11 (Sonoma, CA) - "The heck with injuries and bad breaks," Billy Howton was saying Tuesday. "You can't alibi the kind of season we've been having." The likable Texan isn't the kind of guy who would point the finger of guilt on any individual, either. But he did believe that inexperience quarterbacking has hurt the Packers considerably this fall. "Don't get me wrong," Howton pointed out. "Bart Starr and Babe Parilli have played their heart out. They've really been on the spot. The responsibility to make us go rests on their shoulders. But with the personnel we've had this year, I believe we could have been in this thing down to the wire with an experience quarterback." Like a Tobin Rote? "Yes," Howton responded. "I'm not saying that Starr isn't the man," Howton continued. "I think in a year or two he's going to be one of the best in the business. But as it is now, we'll have to rise with his improvement. That's how much he means to us. The difference between Starr and Rote is their anticipation on a pass play," Howton explained. "The anticipation at times wasn't there with Bart. The way the league has been setting up their defenses - shooting in their linebackers has put a lot of pressure on our passers," Howton went on. "Therefore, they've had trouble hitting an open hand at times. Rote could smell 'em a mile off if we got open," Howton said. "Sure it's getting frustrating. But we're bound to improve. A pro quarterback isn't made overnight." Billy believed he was having a good season despite the team's failure. "I've been maneuvering better this year than any season before," he said. "I guess our passers just haven't seen me. But it's been good practice," he chuckled. The Packers' player representative returned to more pleasant topics, namely the improvements brought about by the Players Association. "One thing I've got to say," Howton smiled, "the Packer management has been darn cooperative with us in our demands. They were the first to recognize $50 a week exhibition pay, an injury reserve clause, a minimum player salary ($5,000). Now we are working on a pension plan. We hope to play an intrasquad game in the new stadium next summer," Howton explained. "The receipts would go into our pension fund. And the Packers said they would match the amount we personally put in say each player being assessed $300 a year." Howton also revealed the club is willing to set up a profit-sharing deal with the players once an adequate reserve (say $200,000) has been banked. So there's a distinct advantage playing for Green Bay - especially for a winning team.
CONE NEARS SCORING TITLE
DEC 11 (Philadelphia) - Fred Cone, Green Bay's placekick expert, is only one point away from scoring leadership in the NFL, statistics released by league headquarters showed later. Cone has scored two touchdowns and booted 24 extra points and 10 field goals for 66 points.
PACKERS ATTEND CLASSES; SHARPEN WITS FOR FINALE
DEC 11 (Milwaukee Journal) - Brawn alone is not enough in pro football. All players must be students. The dumb guy has trouble. Brains are standard equipment. As the Green Bay Packers prepare for their NFL final with the co-leading 49ers here Sunday, they are spending more time in the "classroom" than on the field. This is not unusual. It is the way of pro football, which every year becomes more complicated. "We coaches have only ourselves to blame," Lisle Blackbourn of the Packers said. "We are making it tougher for ourselves every season." Much of the classroom time is spent on movies. The Packers not only look over their last game (in this case the 42-17 beating by the Rams at Los Angeles last Sunday), but they look at films of their last game with San Francisco (won by the 49ers, 24-14) and at the 49ers' last game (a 17-13 thriller with Baltimore which enabled San Francisco to climb into a three way tie with the Colts and Detroit for the Western Division lead). Then, too, there are game reports by every player. The quarterbacks write theirs in essay form. Their report, by the very nature of their job, must be quite complete, must explore almost every phase of Green Bay's offense and the other team's defense. The rest of the players fill out standard forms. These reports are filed and used as refreshers the next time the two teams meet. The Packers this week are studying the reports they themselves made out on the 49ers after their first game in Milwaukee in October. "Working out these reports," Line Coach Lou Rymkus said, "makes the players think. He becomes more aware of his assignments this way." A typical report filed by offensive guard Al Barry listed the name of the opponent he faced, his number and position and how many years the opponent had been in the league. The Packer was asked to rate his opponent, from zero to six. Barry's opponent got three and a half. Then questions were asked about blocking: The best way to block the man, blocking difficulties encountered, and the best way to block on pass protection. Next, Barry was asked to discuss each opponent, giving clues to weaknesses and strengths. "72 (Herchman) has good pursuit, can be blocked on dives, can draw against him. 73 (Nomellini) when tapping be sure and get inside out angle." On the back of the report, general information on the opposing team was sought. What was their best defense? Answer: "43 (four man line and three linebackers)" What plays do you think work best against them? After some play numbers were mentioned, the Packer wrote, "During early part of game linebackers were very inside conscious. We were able to run outside and take the linebackers in. We had the 49ers line loosened up and just about anything would work." Other questions asked were: What errors did you make, what were you able to do against your opponent and did they use anything that was unexpected" The interior lineman finished his report with these remarks: "Our offensive line has best day of league season so far vs. 49er line. I don't think the reason for this was because we were playing above our heads. In fact, I think (at least myself) we are capable of better line play than we had vs. 49ers. This is actually the first game we stuck to our ground game. I believe our ground game will go against any team if we utilize it as we did against the 49ers."
PACKERS HOPE TO 'SAVE' YEAR BY BEATING 49ERS
DEC 11 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Kezar Stadium will be jammed Sunday when the 49ers, who are up there on top, battle the cellar-dwelling Packers. What can the Packers have for an incentive? Even should they upset the 49ers they can't get out of the basement? "What more incentive could a last place club have than to finish the season by knocking over a top team," Coach Liz Blackbourn answered Wednesday. Blackbourn is not a 49er hater. "As a matter of fact I'd rather see the 49ers or Colts win," he said. "The Lions have won enough championships. But we've just got to be 49er haters to save our season." Blackbourn is also aware that his club must come up with a presentable showing in Sunday's finale or it will be difficult returning to an unhappy Green Bay. Another egg, like the one laid at the Coliseum last Sunday could jeopardize Blackbourn's position, although the executive board is pretty much agreed on retaining him through next year when his five year contract runs out. This is a tough business, battling a title contender before 59,000 screaming fans - especially when your team is physically beaten up. The Packers are presently down to 12 men in their defensive unit, which means one to spare. And fullback Paul Hornung, who re-injured his ankle in the Ram game, will be used on kickoffs only. He can't do much turning on his ankle. Blackbourn, who couldn't buy a break this season, consider the 49ers a very lucky club to be where they are. "They've won four of their seven games in the final seconds. To have won two of those four would have been par. But they've won all four." While 49er coach Frankie Albert will be watching the scoreboard for accounts of the other crucial contests involving the Colts and Lions, he is hardly taking the Packer game for granted. "We know we have another must-win game coming up with Green Bay," said Frankie. "The Packers gave us a good go in Milwaukee and we have only respect for them. Tittle had trouble in the first half but he found the range in the second half. It made a difference." Tittle will definitely to be ready Sunday. The veteran 49er quarterback, who had to leave the Colt game to rookie John Brodie to pull out in the final minute, suffered a muscle spasm. It's true that the Packer pass defense is one of the club's stronger points. The Bays lead the whole league in pass interceptions with 28, and Tittle is one of their chief victims. Y.A. had four picked off on him in Milwaukee. Bobby Dillon has intercepted nine this season and rookie John Symank eight. The Packers have been working out at Sonoma High School field in rather brisk weather. They don't figure they're subduable to any team despite their lowly position.
NEW GATE RECORD ASSURED FOR NFL
DEC 11 (Sporting News) - Bert Bell can already count on a new NFL attendance record, and with any luck in the weather and in the standings for the closing games, the increase could be a whopping gain of between seven and eight percent over 1956. For the past five years, the paid attendance (not the total attendance figures given out on games days) has shown an annual increase, from 2,052,126 in 1952 to 2,551,623 last season. The total for '57 is likely to hit around 2,750,000. Compared to the count for 1952, this would represent an increase of 34 percent over the brief span of six years! The boom in popularity is leaguewise and includes all but three clubs. The Green Bay Packers, first to close their home season of six games, raised their average paid attendance per game from 23,000 to 26,000. The Packers were able to average a virtual sellout of 31,000 for three games in their new stadium at Green Bay, but were unable to borrow crowd baseball enthusiasm in three games in Milwaukee. These game in the home of the Braves, County Stadium, averaged only 20,000 paid. The Baltimore Colts, intent on winning the first major league championship for their city since the old Orioles, pushed their average up from 39,000 to 45,500 per game, a tremendous increase. The Pacific Coast is booming. The San Francisco 49ers lifted their average from 41,000 in '56 to 51,000 this season for five games, with one to go. The Los Angeles Rams, who had the largest paid house of the year, 88,312 for a game with the the 49ers, showed an average of 69,000 for four games, compared to 50,000 for the six games of the '56 card. The two remaining games were likely to pull down the Rams' average, but the gain would still be considerable. The Cleveland Browns, out of the running for the first time in their history in 1956, averaged only 35,000 for that season. This year they rebounded with bumper crowds, to average 51,000 for six games. The arch-rivals of the Browns, the New York Giants, went up from 44,000 to 45,000 per game, with the Browns left for the finale. Pittsburgh's Steelers recorded a mild advance of 1,000 or so over their 28,000 average of '56. The Detroit Lions couldn't go any higher, because they habitually sell out Briggs Stadium at an average paid house of about 53,000. The Chicago Bears, another customary sellout attraction, had one weak crowd this year, to drop their average slightly, from 46,000 to 44,000. Washington's Redskins could put a little fat on their 24,000 average of '56, although their two closing games were only fair attractions. The Philadelphia Eagles definitely dropped off, from 24,500 to about 22,500. The Chicago Cardinals, sore spot of the league, were not even likely to hold last year's average of 16,500 paid per game. With the exception of the Cards, and the Green Bay foray into Milwaukee, all clubs either did as as well as they expected, considering their standings, or went far above anticipation. Bell credits the nationwide TV program of the past eight years with making pro ball known to millions of fans who hitherto had not viewed it. Obviously, he points out, many of these new fans are attending games.
 underdog - the Bears and Rams are favored to whip the league-leading Lions and Colts. Respectively, so that makes the 49ers automatic favorites to win the Western title.
MASSEY '58 SLOT BACK? NEAR TRAGEDY FOR STARR
DEC 12 (Boyes Springs, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - It was Saturday morning at Brookside Park in Pasadena. Carlton Massey, a rough defensive end, lined up at slot back during the Packer offensive warmup for the Ram game. He shot straight downfield for 35 yards and then gathered in Bart Starr's long shot over his shoulder while two defenders bumped him around lightlike (considering sweat clothes). "Maybe that's the spot for him - slot back," Coach Liz Blackbourn observed later. "He's too light for defensive end; these big fullbacks are heavier than he is, it seems," Liz pointed out. Massey would become a key slot candidate if Ron Kramer is called into service - as expected, and maybe for three years. Massey, himself, says he'd "like to try right from the start in training camp next year." Carlton is no stranger to pass catching and he's hefty enough at around 220 to do some blocking. The former Brown was an All-American end at the University of Texas and in his senior year he and Johnny Carson, now of the Redskins, were the top two pass catching ends in the country...The final Pasadena practice came within a foot of being quite tragic. To give the ends a brief break, the spare quarterback will run at end on occasion. Starr stepped into Max McGee's spot at left end and proceeded to fire downfield and take a long pass from Babe Parilli. Bart was headed straight for the fence (at the 400-foot mark in the baseball park) and/or flag pole as he caught the ball. Blackbourn yelled "fence!" and Bart whizzed just inside the pole and stuck out his arm to “bend” his crash into the wire fence. Fortunately, the fence gave some. Blackbourn called that phase of practice right away and switched to platoon drills. “Things had been going terrible on injuries and when that happened I figured we’d better stop,” Liz said. On the day before, Bill Kinard sprained his ankle with such force that he tore open the tape on his ankle. After returning from practice and the Starr incident, Trainer Bud Jorgensen informed Liz that x-rays showed that Sam Palumbo’s lower leg was broken, though he had been working lightly at drills for two weeks. Then the game and Ron Kramer’s break…And speaking about injuries, even a Packer player’s wife suffered a broken bone. John Symank’s wife, Sarah, sustained a fracture of a small bone in her leg when she fell down some stairs at their apartment, 1738 E. Mason, last week. John was happy to learn that his wife and baby-to-be-soon are both doing fine. John’s mother, Mrs. Ann Symank, came in from Phoenix to see the Ram game…Among the Packer cheerers at the Ram game were Dr. Robert Gosin, Dr. Thomas J. Durkin and Les Kelly of Green Bay and Dan McCartin of San Francisco. McCartin, the former Bayite, came down for the weekend. Kelly, a member of the Packer executive committee, is spending some of his vacation on the west coast. Also here in recognition of jobs well done are Bob Schwartz and Earl Halck of the Bays’ ticket department. Curly Lambeau missed his first Packer-Ram game Sunday in LA in years; he is back in his old hometown, Green Bay, for the holidays. Lending a hand in the Packer dressing room was big Carl Mulleneaux, the former Packer end, who coaches a junior college at Santa Monica. “My heart’s still with the Packers and always will be,” Carl said. Coach Liz Blackbourn took one look at Mulleneaux and told him “to suit up – we can use you.” Carl, other than for the gray hair (crew cut, at that), looks ready to go.
PACKERS TO SHOW TIDY PROFIT
DEC 12 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - There's gold in these hills - and the Packers should take enough loot out of sold-out Kezar Stadium Sunday to swell their gross profit (before tax deductions) for the 1957 season to $50,000. This was the word from General Manager Verne Lewellen here Thursday as he was assured of finishing in the black for the fourth year in a row. During the three years prior to 1954, the Packers lost $52,000. "Our total operating expenses have gone over the million dollar mark for the first time," Lewellen said. "The biggest single increase has been in player salaries. Hornung and Kramer aren't of the cheap variety and then too we've picked up two more players (from 33 to 35) this season," Lewellen continued. "The increase in player salaries has amounted to $65,000." The Packer GM recalled that it was only four years ago that the club got no more than its guarantee on the West Coast. Payoffs of today have been responsible for the club finishing in the black. Sunday's sellout (60,000) should represent the Bays' biggest money take. Despite 70,572 at the Coliseum last Sunday, Green Bay took home only $52,000. While talking about attendance figures, the conversation switched to the Packer Milwaukee picture. Although Lewellen said he was in no position at this time to make a definite statement, it was his belief that the club would play four league games in Green Bay next season and two in Milwaukee. "The Rams howled about their cut at Milwaukee this year," Lewellen pointed out. "They got about $100 over their guarantee ($20,000), so they want to play in Green Bay. I suppose the 49ers are unhappy, too, but they haven't approached me yet." Lewellen said that in the past four years the club has increased its net surplus from nothing to $140,000. It is his belief that with a quarter of a million in the till, the club wouldn't have to look upon the West Coast trips for a making or breaking year. "We're not in the business to make money," Lewellen concluded. "We just want to keep football in Green Bay." Meanwhile, out at the Sonoma Mission Inn, Coach Liz Blackbourn continued to groom his Packers for the 14-point favorite 49ers. And he emphatically said his club has a chance to knock off the title contenders. "If I didn't think so," he said, "I'd call off practice for the week and enjoy myself playing cards or maybe a little golf on the nice courses they have up here. What would be the sense of me working myself and the boys if I felt i would do no good? All of us could be taking it easy and having a little fun. Instead, we're here to do what we can about making a game of it. I don't say we're going to win it, but I do say that's what we have in mind." If this week's drills bear any indication on what will transpire Sunday, the 49ers could have their hands full. The Packers actually believe this club can be had.
PACKERS REALLY GOT SOMEBODY IN CURRIE
DEC 12 (MIlwaukee Journal - Oliver Kuechle) - The Green Bay Packers got themselves somebody when they picked Dan Currie, Michigan State's center, as their No. 1 man in the recent pro draft. "They not only got one of the best lineman of this year," Duff Daugherty, his coach, opined after the Journal's All-Star football dinner at the Milwaukee Athletic Club Wednesday night, "they got one of the best lineman of the last half dozen years." Daugherty, for all of the humor with which he always spices everything, is a man of very sincere feelings and when he says anything he means it. It was not in this particular case, then, a gratuitous plug for a boy who happened to play for him. "They'll be able to play Currie wherever they need him in the line. We had him at guard in his first couple of years, then at center, and we toyed for awhile putting him at tackle. He could even play end - he's fast enough. We had him down around 230 this year, but he could play at 240. And one of the best linebackers I've ever seen anywhere - ever." Milt Bruhn, with memories of Currie's play against Wisconsin a month ago still fresh, winced an assent...PACKER 'FARM': "You know," Duff chuckled, "we've been a pretty good farm for Green Bay. They could field half a Michigan State line next year if they wanted to. They've got Norm Masters (240) at tackle right now, they are going to get Hank Bullough (guard) back from the Army in a couple of months, and they could play Currie at end - and it wouldn't be bad, no, sir, not bad. I'd take them. Bullough - just heard from him the other day - has put on quite a bit of weight in the service, not fat, weight. He's up around 245 or so now and in shape." Daugherty expressed puzzlement why his quarterback of this year, Jim Ninowski, was not drafted earlier than the fourth round. (Cleveland got him.) "The pros are always looking for passing quarterbacks and here they had one of the best we've ever had right under their noses (Michigan State has had a succession of good ones - Morrall, Wilson, Yewcic, Dorow, etc.). "Ninowski is just an ordinary guy on defense - not as good as Morrall for instance. The pros platoon, though, and Ninowski can sharp shoot with any of them. He can run, too - a good runner. Big and tough. Those clubs that passed him up, if they wanted a quarterback, really muffed something."
'GAME BREAKER' HOWTON FINDS DEFENSES MAKING LIFE TOUGHER ON ENDS, PASSERS
DEC 12 (San Francisco) - The Green Bay Packers do not have many "game breakers", which is one reason they are last in the NFL's Western Division. One great one they do have, a fellow who can conceivably go all the way on any play, is Bill Howton, their all-pro end. Howton sat before the fireplace at Sonoma Mission Inn, where the Packers are preparing for their season finale with the San Francisco 49ers here Sunday. He was wearing a gray letter sweater with a blue "R" on it, a memento of his college days at Rice Institute. Red haired and of slight build, Howton is 27 years old and in his sixth pro season. He possesses great speed on the field and he answered the questions in the same way he runs, fast, but with sureness. The interview went something like this:
Question: How many different patterns or routes do you use in trying to get free on a pass play?
Answer: Oh, we have maybe 25 or 30 individual patterns with variations for the right end, but we use about five of them as "bread and butter" patterns - "hooks", "swing hooks", "hook outs" and "rights" and "lefts". The others we use to take advantage of certain defenses.
Q: For example?
A: Well, against the Rams at Los Angeles Sunday, Shofner was playing me to the inside, so we needed something to the outside. We ran a "post corner" meaning Howton ran downfield toward the defender, then slanted toward the middle and then back toward the sideline corner. We made it go for about 30 yards.
Q: In your six seasons what changes have you noticed in pro football.
A: The offense hasn't changed much, but the defense sure had. They all try to put on a bigger rush on the passer now. Then you often don't have time to run down and finish your maneuver. You can't rush your maneuver or it throws the timing off and the quarterback, under that rush, will upset the routine if he throws too soon.
Q: How do you feel about linebackers who line up in front of you on a pass play and try to hold you at the line of scrimmage so you can't run your pattern?
A: It's part of the game. The defensive man is allowed to use his hands until the ball is in the air. Of course, there is a lot of unnecessary holding, tackling and blocking, but it's a judgment call and the officials seldom see it or call it. I guess they have too many other things to look for. Caroline (of the Bears) blocks on every play. You just have to try to throw him, or elude the block or jump over. They have another man about 10 yards waiting to pick you up. The idea is to slow you up so you lose a couple of steps and can't get out there before they get to the passer.
Q: What is the difference between having an experienced quarterback like Tobin Rote (whom the Packers traded to Detroit last summer) and a young quarterback like, say, Bart Starr (present Green Bay regular, in his second season)?
A: I certainly wouldn't want to knock Starr, because he is a very fine prospect, but the "big" quarterback like Rote or Norm Van Brocklin or Layne has that advantage of experience which you just can't beat. They throw the ball where no one can intercept it or knock it down. They get it out where you reach for it and don't have to wait for it. They have to anticipation which is so necessary. The difference between a touchdown and an interception is only a yard or two. The quarterback has to anticipate the end getting a step on his man. He can't wait until the break is actually made or the defensive man will close up again. It's got to be anticipation and it takes time for a quarterback to get that. Some never do and others just suddenly seem to get it all at once.
Q: Which player or team gives you the most trouble?
A: I'd have to say Warren Lahr of Cleveland is the one man who has been toughest for me. He seems to know what the play is going to be and he reacts awfully fast. Detroit usually doubles up on me so we usually pass to the other side. Shofner of the Rams is a very good rookie and should be great in a few years. He's got that speed.
Q: Do you and the quarterback do any "ad libbing" on pass patterns?
A: Not after the ball is snapped. In college we had a play where I had the choice of trying to beat the defensive man either of two ways, but then the quarterback just waited back there until I made my play and he only had to watch me. The pro quarterback has too many receivers to watch and not enough time for there to be anything like that up here. On the line of scrimmage, though, before the ball is snapped we often convert plays. We have a set of hand signals which I use to tell the quarterback the pattern I'm going to run. Hands on hips for one, rubbing my chin for another, spitting on my hands - five signals altogether. We use these when he hasn't called my pattern in the huddle. Then I give him my pattern after I look at the defensive setup. Or when a running play is called in the huddle and he changes with an audible signal to a pass play. He can call the switch to a pass play in the signals but he can't call the patterns so the ends (Howton and McGee) indicate with hand signals which patterns they will run.
Q: Any chance of the opposition stealing these signals?
A: No, because I go through the same routine on running plays and on plays where my pattern has already been called. In those cases the signals don't mean anything. If they try to steal 'em, it would be like a baseball coach telling a batter a curve was coming and then having the guy hit in the head by a fast ball.
YA OR BRODIE? STILL A QUESTION
DEC 12 (San Francisco) - Tittle or Brodie? That was the question in the 49er camp at Redwood City yesterday as the San Francisco pros went through a spirited hour and one-half session in preparation for the Green Bay Packers Sunday. Y.A. Tittle, veteran quarterback and money player, jogged on ailing legs but admitted his battered underpinning felt “lots better than Tuesday.” Rookie John Brodie, who hurled the game winning pass in the final seconds to wrest victory from Baltimore last Sunday, worked with the offensive unit in perfecting pass patterns…ALBERT STALLS: Coach Frankie Albert refused to pick his starter this early in the week. “Don’t rush me,” he said. “It’s not game time. As of right now, we’ll go with Tittle. But how can we be sure? By Friday we should have a better idea.” YAT, who has delivered in the clutch all season while enduring the hardest whacks of rivals, pulled a muscle in his right leg against the Giants two weeks ago and then suffered a muscle spasm in his left leg that forced him to hobble out of the Baltimore contest in the waning minutes of the fourth period. “It may be a spasm, but it feels like a muscle pull to me,” he said yesterday…TITTLE TAKES IT EASY: Both legs were given the whirlpool treatment and bound with tape before Tittle reported on the field. Albert indicated YAT will rest all week, except for loosening up his pitching arm. “Brodie will be at the controls in practice,” said the 49er coach. Observers felt that even with a rapid recovery, Tittle would be able to do only passing from a tight pocket against the Packers. If he is nailed on rollouts or caught by shooting linebackers, he may be sidelined in a hurry and possibly lost for any playoff games…’I’LL PLAY – TITTLE: Tittle, like an old pro, is not counting himself out. “I’ll play,” he said. “A few days can make a lot of difference.” Brodie’s experience since the regular season opened is confined to nine passes, six completed for 88 yards and two touchdowns. In another development yesterday, tackle Bobby Cross discovered from X-ray pictures that his toe was unbroken. The digit is sore but he can play. R.C. Owens, flanker back, was back on the job after a day off to have a tooth extracted. Larry Barnes worked at fullback. In view of Gene Babb’s sprained knee, he may start.
In case you haven’t read between the lines year, we have a hunch the Rams would like to be one of four (4) league opponents of the Packers next year – in Green Bay. And, of course, that already points up the giant sales task awaiting the Packers and Packerland for ’58. That nifty stadium of ours isn’t going to be worth a hoot unless it’s filled. Green Bay must maintain a 30,000-plus average to compete with or even look good aside of the gates in this fantasyland, Detroit and a few other spots. The Packers played before 411,399 fans in 11 games thus far and that figure will go above 470,000 because a sellout crowd will watch the Packer-49er game in Frisco Sunday. The average will be 39,175. If you think that’s a hot total, it can be reported that the Rams need only 1,544 fans next Sunday to hit one million for their entire ’57 season. Nobody, including Frisco and Detroit, will touch that figure because of the size of the Rams’ park (roughly 105,000) but it gives you an idea of the importance of the Packers’ maintaining a good, solid average. All of the Ram viewers (in the flesh) didn’t pay, however. The LA club paid off on around 51,000 Sunday and the remaining 19,000 were kids who were admitted practically for free. The paid attendance for the 93,000-gate at the ’55 Packer-Ram game was a shade under 70,000. Actually, the Packers stand to get a bigger payday out of Frisco this year than LA. A sellout at Kezar Stadium represents a full quota of silver dollars per ticket. Frisco is experiencing a fantastic gate problem due to stampedes for tickets to the Colt and Packer games. Theater television has even been suggested as a means of satisfying 49er fans and as a possibility for the future. It’s all very wonderful for our Packers but, let us never forget, the Bays must keep up their end of the bargain by filling their stadium…Walter Berge, former West High football aide to John Biolo, came up from Whitter to watch the Bays practice in Pasadena last Saturday. Dressed in a sport shirt (this is December, Mac), Berge said he liked “the setup very much.” He’s an assistant in football and basketball. The Berges keep in touch through the Press-Gazette and let’s just take a line or two to pass their “hellos” back to their friends in Green Bay…Sonoma Mission Inn, located in Boyes Hot Springs, is a coach’s dream. They roll up the streets at 9 p.m., the Inn is locked up at midnight (if you’re out it’s just too bad), and the few bright lights are dimmed by fog.
DILLON HAS A SECRET AMBITION; HE'D LIKE TO PLAY AT END ON OFFENSE
DEC 13 (Milwaukee Journal) - Bobby Dillon, the Green Bay Packers' all-pro defensive back, would like to play end on offense. "Maybe just in training camp," said the one eyed Texan, a six year veteran of the NFL. "I probably wouldn't do too well, but I'd like to try all those things on somebody else that all those ends have been pulling against me the last few years. I think I've learned quite a few tricks." Dillion laughed, a little wistfully. "I guess I won't ever get to try it," he said. "I know I know the moves and I've got the speed." How about catching the ball? "Well, I haven't got hands like Billy Howton. But then who has? But I think I can catch the ball all right." Dillon probably will never get a chance to try his secret ambition, because he is too good at defensive back. The University of Texas graduate, a sprint star in college, lost an eye in a childhood accident. It never has seemed to bother him too much, either on or off the field. His fellow Texan, Bobby Layne, Detroit quarterback, always kids him in the off-season, saying, "Bobby, you watch out when we play, because I'm going to pass to your blind side." Harlon Hill, the Chicago Bears' great end, said recently, "I find that Green Bay's Bobby Dillon is the toughest for me to get away from. Dillon only has one eye, but it's a mighty sharp one. At least, I've never had a good day against the Packers when he's in there." With a game to go to complete his sixth pro season, the one here against the 49ers Sunday, Dillon has intercepted 45 passes. After intercepting four his rookie year, he intercepted nine in 1953, seven in 1954, nine in 1955, seven in 1956 and nine so far this year. "Interceptions don't necessarily reflect how good a defensive back is," Dillon said. But one can tell Dillion is very conscious of the number he has. Probably for three reasons: 1) because of pride in his work, 2) because he is player-coach this year and wants to set a good example, and 3) because of negotiations for next year's contract. "I guess I'm one interception behind Milt Davis of Baltimore for the year. He got two last Sunday against San Francisco. I'd have 10, too, but one I got in the end zone against New York was called back because John Symank was called for interference on the receiver. Symank (Packers rookie defensive back) cost me the big one." Dillon thinks quite highly of Symank's work. The University of Florida boy, a Texas native, has eight interceptions himself. In Dillon's case, his consistency the last few years has been amazing, in that the pro teams aren't throwing as much as they used to. "It's probably because everybody has gone more to the four man line," Dillon said, "and it's a little easier to run." Also, for the last three seasons, the Packers have had a rookie on the side opposite Dillon - Doyle Nix at cornerback in 1955, Hank Gremminger at cornerback in 1956 and Symank at safety this season. The tendency, then, has been for the opposing quarterbacks to throw more to the left side to try to beat the rookies, Dillon plays right safety. "One thing about interceptions," Dillon said, "it's usually a lot harder for a defensive back to catch the ball than it is for the end. After all, the receiver is going with the ball and often we're headed the other way when we try to catch it. Say you're moving 15 miles an hour when you catch it. That adds about 30 miles an hour to the speed of the ball for us." Was there any particular type of pattern which was toughest to cover? "No, not particularly," Dillon said. "Some ends are more dangerous than others and are tougher on all kinds of plays. Some quarterbacks fake better than others. You have to be especially careful on play number passes - that's a play designed to look like a run that turns out to be a pass. You really have to be awake. You take a step forward and the pass goes all the way. Anyone who has been in the league for awhile has had it happen to him. You really get interceptions when your line rushes their passer. If the quarterback has the time and is one of the good ones he likely will put the ball where the defense can't do much about it except tackle the receiver. But when they put the rush on the quarterback, even the greatest ones will stink out the place. I've seen it happen."
BRODIE STARTS FOR 49ERS!
DEC 13 (San Francisco) - John Brodie drew the assignment of his brief but meteoric NFL football life yesterday! The 22-year old rookie from Stanford, who became national copy last Sunday with his game winning, last chance touchdown flip to Hugh McElhenny, will start Sunday’s all-important Kezar Stadium battle with the Green Bay Packers. Coach Frankie Albert made the announcement that 6-1, 195-pound Brodie would replace veteran Y.A. Tittle even before yesterday’s spirited workout at Redwood City. It was strictly a coaching decision because, at the conclusion of practice, there was firm assurance from Dr. William O’Grady and Dr. James O’Connor that “if Tittle is needed Tittle will be ready.” Apparently thinking of a probable playoff game ahead, the coaches decided to see if they could spare the much battered Yat and win with Brodie. “We checked Tittle both before and after practice,” said Doctor O’Grady. “We found his legs nice and loose. You can say he has been given full medical clearance by Doctor O’Connor and myself. He has been ‘released’ for action Sunday.” Doctor O’Grady described Tittle as “a remarkable athlete.” “The way he can get racked up and twisted like a pretzel and then unwind right in front of you is amazing,” he commented. At the same time, he credited Trainer Henry Schmidt with “amazing work” in bringing Tittle around. Tittle seemed to move well throughout the drill, giving no indication of the painful muscle pulls which forced him to take himself out of last Sunday’s Baltimore thriller. That set the stage for Brodie’s dramatic 14 yard scoring pass which beat Baltimore, 17-13, and hoisted the 49ers into a three way Western Conference tie with the Colts and Detroit Lions. Presumably, the calmness with which Brodie carried out his assignment against the Colts last Sunday had much to do with the decision of the coaching staff to let him start the job this time. Certainly no rookie ever has been called upon to come through under more trying circumstances than was Brodie against Baltimore. His first pass was a chest high bullet that Billy Wilson might have had for a touchdown had not Lenny DeCarlo hooked one of Billy’s arms. The second sailed perfectly to McElhenny in the end zone. It was an astonishing performance under fire by a pro football “babe” who has played a total of six minutes and 15 seconds in NFL games. After sporadic appearances during the exhibition season – he started and staggered through the first half of the preseason contest with Cleveland, won by the 49ers, 21-17 – Brodie saw his first NFL championship game action against the Chicago Bears at Chicago…BRODIE’S PERFORMANCE BRIEFLY BUT PROFITABLE: Tittle was slightly racked early in the fourth quarter and had to go to the pits for emergency repairs. Brodie was in for one play, a “draw” on which Gene Babb picked up 10 yards. The rookie sat out three more games until the Los Angeles game down south. He came out for the last two plays – one a long incompletion aimed at Clyde Conner, the other a 13-yard ground gain by McElhenny. It wasn’t until the Detroit clash back east – at a time when the 49ers were hopelessly mired, 31-3 – that Brodie got to do much more than run on and off. He was in for nine plays, six passes and three runs by Joe Perry. Brodie completed five of six passes for 71 yards, one of which covered 20 yards and went to Wilson for the 49ers’ lone TD in a 31-10 loss. Brodie sat out two more games until his dramatic call to arms against Baltimore last Sunday. That crucial pass gave the youngster a record of six pass completions out of nine attempts for 88 yards and two touchdowns and a total gain of 157 yards for the 14 plays he has been at the helm…’BRODIE WILL DO OKAY’ – TITTLE: Undoubtedly, Tittle will be in close contact with Brodie all during Sunday’s game. Yat expects to be on the field phone. “I think he (Brodie) will do a fine job,” commented Yat. He confided that he wasn’t quite satisfied with the way he was running in yesterday’s practice but added, “I’ll be good and ready by Sunday in case I’m needed.” Albert made one other change in the offensive lineup. Babb is still favoring a sprained ankle, and Larry Barnes, the 225-pound rookie from Colorado A. and M., will get the starting call at the tight back slot next to Perry. All other 49er hands were pronounced “in fine fettle” by Doctor O’Grady. There were no new developments at Sonoma Mission Inn, where the Packers continued to ready for the regular season windup game. Coach Lisle “Liz” Blackbourn displayed little reaction to the Brodie announcement. “He’s a good one, we know that,” he commented matter-of-factly. Blackbourn said that in his recent study of recent 49er movies he was most impressed by the improvement of San Francisco’s offensive line. Police announced yesterday they would have extra details at Kezar tomorrow noon when 4,800 general admission tickets are put on sale. The added manpower is to prevent recurrence of last week’s rioting.
BRODIE'S WIFE CONFIDENT
DEC 13 (San Francisco) - There was no doubt in the mind of Mrs. Sue Brodie last night that the San Francisco 49er coaches had made a wise decision when they named her quarterbacking husband the starter in Sunday’s game. “I think it’s wonderful,” she exclaimed. “John called me and sounded very excited. He was very enthusiastic about it. He was somewhat surprised, too. He had assumed Tittle would start.” Asked, “Can John get the job done Sunday?” Mrs. Brodie unhesitatingly responded: “Why, of course.”
HOW SF LANDED INJUN ACE
DEC 13 (San Francisco) - It was just about a year ago that Paul Brown of Cleveland uttered what may prove to be the most prophetic statement ever made as far as the NFL is concerned. It was at the Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia, last Nov. 26, and Bert Bell, the NFL commissioner, was at the mike, announcing the draft selections as they were being handed to him on little white slips of paper. Green Bay had the bonus choice. The Packers took Paul Hornung of Notre Dame without a split second’s hesitation. There were a few groans around the room. But at the 49er round table, there was a sigh of relief. Now the Los Angeles Rams were “up”. A tense moment and then the Rams announced “Jon Arnett of USC.” There were cheers at the 49er table. No slip of paper at a draft meeting ever moved faster than the one that came “special delivery” from Coach Frankie Albert. “The 49ers select John Brodie of Stanford,” intoned Bell. At that moment, Brown, sitting at the Cleveland table, awaiting his pick, turned to Albert and commented: “Well, you’ve got yourself a meal ticket.” Little did Albert or any of the 49er management, for that matter, know that Brown had spoken words of wisdom. In fact, the 49er coach, while recognizing he had picked off a gem, casually mentioned that it would be a year before Brodie would realize his potential. And, while the choice was a speedy one at the draft meeting itself, it was made known that the 49ers’ “brains” had haggled until three in the morning the day of the draft session before it was decided that Brodie should have preference over Jimmy Brown of Syracuse, grabbed later by Brown, and Len Dawson, Purdue’s passer, who went to Pittsburgh’s Steelers. If he never throws another pass for the 49ers, Brodie has proved Brown entitled to his trophy as the “Prophet of 1957.” With that one 14 yard pass to Hugh McElhenny last Sunday, Brodie WAS a “meal ticket.”
BRODIE TO DIRECT 49ERS TOMORROW AGAINST PACKERS
DEC 14 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - John Brodie, hero of last Sunday's victory pitch over the Colts, will take command of the 49ers in place of veteran Y.A. Tittle against the Packers Sunday. Tittle, with two pulled muscles in his thighs, is able to play but he can't run out of the pocket very well. Coach Frankie Albert hopes that Brodie can do the job over the distance because he wants a whole Tittle for a possible playoff or even a championship game later in the month. When Brodie was contacted, he said, "I'm ready, In fact this is my big moment. After last Sunday when I made it with the roof caving in why should I be shaky? Naturally, I feel sorry for Y.A. to have to give way when he's carried the load for 11 ballgames, but I have no shakes. I'm just cocky enough to think next to Tittle I'm the best." Albert chuckled when told of Brodie's confidence. "That's the kid for you, he's got what it takes. We kid the pants off him about sitting on the bench and now it's time to hand him the ball and say, go get 'em, kid. We're not worried." When Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn heard that Brodie was starting, he laughed, "What's Albert doing? Saving Tittle for the playoffs? He can't be taking us seriously." The Packers will finish preparations with a light workout Saturday morning. They'll move in from their northern retreat Sunday morning. Every seat (59,600) has been gobbled up. Scalpers are getting $10 to $15 a ticket. The whole town has gone nutty over their 49ers, who have always been a bridesmaid as far as a pro football championship is concerned - but never a bride.
PACKERS RATE 49ERS LUCKY BUT GOOD, TOO
DEC 14 (Milwaukee Journal) - After viewing movies of San Francisco's victory last Sunday over Baltimore, Green Bay Coach Lisle Blackbourn has drastically revised his estimate of the 49ers, whom the Packers will face in their NFL finale Sunday. "When we played the 49ers the first time (in Milwaukee two months ago)," Blackbourn said. "I thought they were lucky to win (24-14). I still think so. They're not the same team now. They've had plenty of luck this season. You have to have it to win in this league. But they've developed into a pretty solid team. They did quite a job against the Colts." Blackbourn had special praise for Hugh McElhenny, the former all-pro halfback, who is now at end. "McElhenny is a great football player," Blackbourn said. "He adjusts to almost anything. He has terrific balance. He has the speed, he gets up in the air and goes after that ball and he can catch it. And once he catches it, watch out. He can really run with it. He drives the other team crazy." McElhenny caught eight passes against the Colts, including the winning one, a wobbly effort from rookie John Brodie with less than a minute to go. Sunday's game here between the Packers and 49ers will not be televised at all (WTMJ, The Milwaukee Journal station, will carry the radio broadcast starting at 3:30 pm, Milwaukee time). Many fans traveled as far as Nevada to see last Sunday's game here on TV. The last of some 60,000 seats, 4,500 general admission tickets, were sold Saturday. Those without tickets are just out of luck.
of the Redskins, Bart Starr of the Packers and George Shaw of the Colts also have lost time through injuries. The rundown,” August pointed out, “indicated a drastic change from the days Otto Graham used to tale about quarterback as an ‘armchair job.’”…George Wilson, rehired this week as head coach of the Detroit Lions for 1958, says he will be a full-time coach in 1958 for the first time in his 10-year tenure in Detroit. In his eight seasons of apprenticeship under Bo McMillin and Buddy Parker, Wilson occupied himself with football on a six-month contract. Wilson, incidentally, will name a fifth assistant within a few weeks and the Detroit News’ Watson Spoelstra says “the choice reportedly is Ray (Scooter) McLean, backfield coach of the Green Bay Packers.”…John Brodie, the rookie quarterback who is scheduled to start for the 49ers against the Packers Sunday, is taking no bows for that game-winning touchdown pass he threw against the Colts last Sunday after Y.A. Tittle was injured. “I just threw it and prayed,” the forthright Stanford alumnus confessed, adding, “I didn’t have time to be nervous. I didn’t get nervous until I was lying on the ground listening to the crowd and wondering if Baltimore had intercepted the pass. Mac (Hugh McElhenny) said he could beat the defender. I just threw it high and hoped.”…Another quarterback, the Los Angeles Rams’ Norm Van Brocklin, looks for San Francisco to win the Western title – if Tittle is able to play. With the same proviso, he thinks the 49ers can beat the Browns for all the marbles. “Cleveland’s pass protection isn’t what it used to be,” he explained…Paul Brown’s capsule judgment of the 1957 Browns, winner of the 11th division title in a 12-year history: “Never before did we start out with so little and improve so much.” His nomination for the Browns’ play of the year: Lou Groza’s 47-yard field goal in the final seconds of the opener against the Giants that supplied the impetus for the title drive.
​RAIN SEEN FOR 49ERS' BIG GAME
DEC 14 (San Francisco) - A new and unexpected element entered the picture yesterday virtually on the eve of the all-important game tomorrow between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers. That’s the threat of rain. The weatherman saw rain bearing clouds in the offing and forecast a blustery rainstorm for the weekend…RAIN HURTS BOTH: It rains on both sides of the field, of course, but just the same it’s a leveling factor and also enhances the chances of “breaks” figuring strongly in the outcome. There always are breaks in a ball game. But a slippery ball and soft underfooting means more of them. If the breaks are evenly divided, that’s one thing. But Dame Fortune seldom slices the cake right down the middle…BOTH THROW: Both the 49ers and Packers want to “throw the ball a lot,” and consequently are hoping for a clear day and dry track. But there’s one pertinent aspect. As far as playing under adverse weather conditions, the 49ers are green peas. On the other hand the Packers might be termed at least “fair mudders” in view of their experience. Even this year they battled the Detroit Lions in a storm. Yet the dampened hide – changed on every play – didn’t stop quarterback Bart Starr from completing 22 out of 38 passes. The Lions, however, won the game, with John Henry Johnson running wild. If rain falls, it would break a 12 year precedent. Kezar authorities insist that a check of the records at the Weather Bureau show not a drop of moisture has fallen on a home game of the 49ers. On several occasions, there has been a wet fog. But nothing that could be classified as rain…TITTLE FOR BRODIE?: If it does rain, this could make a difference in Coach Frankie Albert’s plans. He might want the game-seasoned Y.A. Tittle in the pilot’s seat instead of rookie John Brodie, previously announced starter. The quarterback may be limited in his activities anyway and gimpy legs would not severely handicap YAT if he were pitching only from a protective ring. On the other hand his 10 years of pro experience would be of great help in clutch situations. Not that Brodie would panic. But as precocious as he is in football, John just hasn’t had time to acquire the poise and icy reaction that might be needed under adverse weather conditions…DID HUGH PUSH?: Coach Lisle Blackbourn professes sound respect for Tittle but confesses he doesn’t know enough about Brodie to catalogue him. As for the Stanford’s ace’s touchdown throw to Hugh McElhenny that got the 49ers out of a desperate situation last Sunday, Blackbourn says: “It doesn’t mean a thing. McElhenny pushed Milt Davis away and caught the pass.” Did ol’ Hustlin’ Hugh push? “That’s what my two scouts say and I’ve got to believe them,” said the Packer coach. Outside of Tittle, he listed his “fears” in respect to the 49ers offense in this order: Billy Wilson as No. 1, and then McElhenny, Joe Perry and R.C. Owens…LIKES MOEGLE: For defense, he tabbed Dick Moegle as the individual who could do the most damage because “he covers a lot of territory back there and can come up fast to make a tackle, too.” Leo Nomellini at tackle and Ed Henke at end were other defenders whom Liz singled out as rough-tough hombres. Blackbourn didn’t mention Bob St. Clair as the key to the offensive line but said, “His return must have made the difference – they’ve been clicking since he got back.” As for his own team’s outlook, the Packer coach said he was “trying to get his team in shape for this one big effort before the season ends.”…HARD TO TAKE: “This has been the most fantastic season I ever have experienced,” he explained. “First, an epidemic of flu. Then an epidemic of broken bones. It is hard to believe that a club would lose three players with broken legs, one with a broken arm and a fifth with knee operation. And all were regulars.” As to whether the 49ers have been lucky in respect to injuries, and pulling games out of the fire, Blackbourn stated: “No team can win in this league without luck. Let’s just say that the 49ers are luckier this year than last – and luckier than they likely will be next year.”
49ERS BATTLE PACKERS IN FINALE TODAY
DEC 15 (San Francisco) - Closer to a major strike than they have ever been before, San Francisco’s prospecting 49ers pan for the dust of gold in Kezar Stadium today. Everything that has gone into 11 weeks of grueling and backbreaking effort will be riding on the outcome of a venture clouded in doubt because football’s most accomplished quarterback, Y.A. Tittle, is a question mark and young John Brodie has been assigned the all-important engineering role with only 14 NFL plays behind him. Standing in the way of a 49er stakeout for at least a share of a first NFL division title are the Green Bay Packers, crippled and deeply settled in the Western Conference basement, but nonetheless capable of destroying the hopes of both the 49ers and the faithful thousands who have waited 12 long years for this one moment of reward. Some 59,600 pro football fanatics will be in the stands for the 1:30 p.m. kickoff. There will be no television, but thousands will follow the battle as it unfolds through medium of radio (KSFO). The chance that it will be raining during the game only serves to add to the tension. Going into today’s combat, the 49er “Minutemen”, so named because of their many dramatic last minute victories, are nose and nose with the Baltimore Colts and the Detroit Lions. Each has a 7-4 record. What the Colts do against the Los Angeles Rams down south and how the Lions fare against the Chicago Bears in the Windy City are of far reaching significance to the 49ers. Any one of the three could win the conference crown today and qualify for the world’s championship clash against Cleveland’s Browns if there are two losers. There could be a two game playoff if all three triumph. Or the call will be for a one game elimination if two survive today’s 12th and final regular season testing…’NO TOMORROW’: The 49ers well know that there’ll be no tomorrow for them if they stumble at Kezar this afternoon. That’s why all eyes are straight ahead – on Green Bay, a team bent on playing the part of “spoiler” in a game which must be figured as “tough.” It has been a rare occasion when San Francisco was an easy winner. Four time they’ve reached deep in the fat to avert defeat. Even in the 24-14 win over Green Bay at Milwaukee, it took a super passing performance by Tittle and a powerful goal line stand by the defenders to bring it about. Remember, the Packers outgained the 49ers, 298 yards to 246, and, in a crucial situation, were held at the 4-yard line with four downs at their disposal. Coach Liz Blackbourn of the Packers claims to this day that if it hadn’t been for a foolish forward lateral by Ron Kramer just before the close of the first half, things would have been different…CONTROL SHIFTS: Kramer, the big slot back who joined five other would be Packer regulars on the sideline when he broke a leg last week, tossed the forward at a time when Green Bay was leading, 7-3. It was intercepted by J.D. Smith and the 49ers sailed goalward just before the intermission gun to take control, 10-7. In addition to Kramer, the Packers have lost end Gary Knafelc and guard Joe Skibinski from the offensive unit. And Paul Hornung, the bonus choice from Notre Dame who has been among the leading Packer ground gainers as a fullback in recent games, supposedly will be able to contribute little more than kickoffs today because of a sprained ankle. Also, end Nate Borden and middle linebacker Sam Palumbo have been lost to the defensive unit. However, except as they affect the depth, the losses are not as severe as they might seem because the Packers have replacements who are just as capable…BIG QUESTION: Any number of Packer opponents will tell you that Green Bay is as hard hitting an outfit as they’ve faced and that in Bart Starr and Vito Parilli, Blackbourn has a sound one-two changeoff at quarterback. They own a great end in Billy Howton. In fact, with only a few breaks, the Packers would have been right up there in contention with the 49ers, Colts and Lions. As concerns the 49ers, the big question revolves around Brodie and Tittle. The brilliant Yat, enjoying his greatest campaign in 10 seasons with 116 completions out of 265 passes for 2,060 yards and 13 touchdowns, will be on the bench at the opening kickoff while Brodie tries to engineer the triumph. Tittle’s passing yards represents almost two-thirds of what the 49ers have gained in their 11 games. True, Brodie was magnificent in the clutch last Sunday when he threw that pass to Hugh McElhenny to beat Baltimore and put the 49ers in the three way tie. But that was ONE PLAY. Consequently, it’s logical that there should be speculation over whether Brodie, who has seen action on only 14 NFL plays, can carry the full load through the pressures that will be exerted today…TITTLE READY: The 49er camp reports that “Tittle will be ready if Tittle is needed.” But some doubt exists that’s the case and there’s further conjecture about his lasting powers should he be used. The quarterback situation is particularly ticklish because the Packers lead the entire NFL in the interception department. Bobby Dillon, perennial all-pro safety, and John Symank have picked off nine and eight enemy passes, respectively. All the Packers have “stolen” 28. Despite the injuries, Green Bay will be unchanged on offense from the Milwaukee game with the 49ers except for right half where Joe Johnson takes over for Kramer and at left half where quick Don McIlhenny moves in so hard hitting Howie Ferguson can shift to full for Hornung. The 49ers have made some major improvements since the early season meeting with the Packers. Bob St. Clair wasn’t around to clear the path for the runners and Joe Perry wasn’t anywhere near his present form. And that was before McElhenny was thought of in terms of an end. In three games he has played at the new position, Hugh has progressed to one of the league’s most dangerous receivers. Against Baltimore twice and New York he has caught 17 passes for 271 yards and, in light of what happened last Sunday, it’s a certainty Brodie won’t overlook Hugh today, not to mention Billy Wilson, the league’s leading receiver. Larry Barnes presumably will be the other tight back with Perry since Gene Babb is favoring a sprained ankle. Assuredly, this could be another one of those cliffhangers where the team that has the ball last will be the winner…THEY’RE VULNERABLE: Impenetrable on many an occasion, the 49ers nevertheless are vulnerable. They’ve given up more yards than any team in the league. Fortunately for them, the Packers haven’t been much better. Green Bay is next to the bottom in defense. The Packers have been run over for 3,872 yards. If it comes up rain, a possibility according to the weatherman, anything can happen. We’re looking for ‘em to “Pack the Packers,” as Trainer Henry Schmidt would put it. The 49ers have whipped the Packers nine out of 12 and have lost to them only once at home in six sessions. That was in 1955 when Green Bay boomed to a 28-7 win. Coach Albert says he’s expecting a real dogfight today. “We may be favored to beat ‘em, but it doesn’t mean a thing. We can’t take it on the field with us.” It’ll be a brawl, all right. The Packers, with nothing to lose, are “loose.” But we’re looking for the Fightin’ Forty Niners to get the job done.
PACKERS SHOOT FOR UPSET OF 49ERS IN 'TITLE' GO
DEC 14 (San Francisco-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – The Packers can pull their 1957 season out of the fire by defeating the San Francisco 49ers in a “championship” windup in Kezar Stadium Sunday afternoon. This 37th NFL season was thought to be a hot number of the Bays – on the basis of the Packers’ 21-17 victory over the Bears in the opener last Sept. 29, but the Bays scored only two victories and have lost eight since. A Green Bay triumph – or at least a spectacular hard-fought loss, would help heal the wound of another losing campaign. A loss would set the record at 3-9, the poorest since the 2-9-1 of 1953; a win would tie the 4-8 of 1954 and 1956. Let’s face it, the Packers aren’t given any chance of winning by anybody but themselves and the attending diehards. The 49ers were favored to win by 14 ½ earlier in the week but the odds dropped to around 10 when John Brodie was announced as the starting quarterback in place of injured Y.A. Tittle. The Packers will be handicapped by injuries and a shortage of manpower for the closer, which has been the case for the last five games. This had been Green Bay’s “injuringest” season, what with five broken bones, a knee lock and a lot of sprains…11 HEARTY PLAYERS: If the Bays squeeze it out, it will be a medical miracle since their defensive unit has dwindled to 11 hearty players and a damaged replacement, Billy Kinard. This group must cope with Tittle, Hugh McElhenny, Billy Wilson, Joe Perry, Bob St. Clair and the rest of their hungry pointmakers. Despite the manpower plight – plus the offense’s expected scoring difficulty, the Bays are unusually optimistic over their chances to win. They’ve been talking “win” just about all week and the last tough workout of the season Friday turned out to be successful. This is a tremendous opportunity for the Packers to get famous. The 49ers are tied with the Lions and Colts in first place with 7-4 records. The Lions and Colts are both favored to lose to the Bears and Rams, respectively. Which makes the 49ers a shoo-in for the Western Division crown. A sellout crowd 
of nearly 60,000 will watch the action. The last of 4,800 general admission tickets were snapped up in nothing flat today, as extra police details kept order. There was a riot a week ago for the LA tickets before the Colt game. Showers were predicted for the game. Kickoff is set for 3:35 Green Bay time. The result of the Lion-Bear game will be known at the kickoff here, but the Ram-Colt game in LA will be starting at the same time as the Packer go. The 49ers are quite confident of knocking the Packers for a loop, although Coach Frankie Albert has been doing his best trying to “worry” his team. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn has told 49er followers that the Packers will “do their absolute best.” The Bays are expected to throw the book. The 49ers reported that Gene Babb, the rookie back, has a cold and defensive end Bob Toneff has a sore back. Charlie Powell may start for Toneff and Larry Barnes for Babb. On the Packer side, Paul Hornung’s work may be confined to kickoffs…INTERCEPTION LEADERS: The Packers’ defensive hopes rest chiefly with their secondary which gave Tittle a fit in Milwaukee, intercepting four of his passes. The Packers are leading the league in interceptions with 28 and Bobby Dillon has nine and John Symank eight. The 49ers have intercepted only 15, with Dickie Moegle getting seven. The 49ers had no luck running on the Pack in the earlier game, won by SF 24-14, and the Bays are hoping for similar success. Forcing the 49ers into the air could help the Bays. We’ve been saying the Packers are due to bust out in a rash of points for the last five games, and now they’ve got just one more chance. The ’57 Bays have yet to exceed 27 points and they hit that mark twice, losing once 31-27 to LA and winning 27-10 over Pittsburgh. This would be an ideal spot for the Bays to produce their first four-touchdown game of the season. That, of course, is up to quarterbacks Bart Starr, who will start, and Babe Parilli and, among others, members of the offensive line. Bart will have to get protection and the line will have to open holes for the rushers if the Bays expect to win. The Packers will be playing in a screaming madhouse and they’ll get no noticeable backing from a Golden Gate audience that has never treasured a championship. The club entered pro football in 1946. The Packers will fly out of here Monday morning in a United Airlines charter to Milwaukee. They’ll return to Green Bay on the 8:25 North Western Monday night if they make connections. Otherwise, they’ll be in on the 10:25.
​INJURIES? PRO QB'S NO LONGER ENJOY IMMUNITY
DEC 14 (Green Bay) - Pro Closeouts: “The quarterback no longer enjoys immunity from the occupational hazards of professional football.” Bob August of the Cleveland Press was moved to make this observation in noting that, “among the wounded evacuated from the National League’s front areas, the high-priced passers are being included in large numbers. For example, three of the four teams that may figure in the championship game have quarterbacks in various states of despair. Y.A. Tittle of the 49ers was injured in the final minute Sunday and Bobby Layne of the Lions went out with a fractured ankle. Tommy O’Connell of the Browns suffered a back injury and then a sprained ankle in successive games and still is walking with a cane after a week’s rest. The other teams have been hit, too, at various times and to various degrees. The Giants lost the services of Don Heinrich most of the season when his hand was broken. Eddie LeBaron