GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(SAN FRANCISCO) - The 1957 Packers went down fighting. Even the scared and groggy 49ers and 59,522 partisan fans will have to admit that. Green Bay was expected to roll over and play dead – judging by the 14-point odds, last-gameitis, and a lopsided loss at Los Angeles a week ago – but the Bays gave it a tremendous and refreshing effort and the 49ers were darned hard pressed to make off with a 27 to 20 victory in Kezar Stadium Sunday. The triumph left San Francisco in a Western Division first place tie with Detroit and forced a playoff for the division crown Sunday. The winner then plays the Cleveland Browns for the world’s championship. The loss set the final Packer record at 3-9, worst since 1953 when the Bays finished with 2-9-1 in Coach Gene Ronzani’s last year. The Packers very easily could have absorbed a wicked belting because of their terrible physical condition. They only had 13 men on defense to start with and one (Billy Kinard) was hurting, and to make it worse linebacker Tom Bettis went out in the first quarter with torn ligaments in his knee. This forced Carlton Massey into his first game as a linebacker and moved Dave Hanner to defensive end. Thus, a one-sub and makeshift defense had to stop a flock of 49ers spurred on by $4,000 playoff checks, a fierce-yelling crowd and the team’s promise to win the championship for 49er owner Tony Morabito, who died during the Bear-49er game here. The Packers threatened to explode the whole business and “save” the season back in Packerland with a rousing 20-point second quarter that gave the Bays a 20-10 lead at the half. But the 49ers came forth with injured Y.A. Tittle, one of the league’s all-time quarterback greats, in the second half, and the old master brought his team “up” for 10 points in the third quarter for a 20-20 score and a touchdown in the fourth to win. Old Yats, a bald feller at that, made a winner out of a mediocre loser under John Brodie who played the first half. The Bays’ big second period was a lot to behold. The offense scored two touchdowns and two field goals and the defense intercepted two passes and recovered two fumbles by Joe Perry. Bart Starr snaked one-yard and threw an 11-yard pass to Joe Johnson for the touchdowns, and Fred Cone kicked 18 and 37-yard field goals in the last 20 seconds of the half. Hank Gremminger and John Symank pulled off the interceptions and Jim Temp and Bill Forester recovered the fumbles. Gremminger returned his steal 45 yards to set up Johnson’s TD and Symank galloped back 36 to set off Cone’s first field goal – 81 yards in runbacks. Forester scooped up a fumble by Perry and roared back 38 yards. But that was the extent of the Packers’ score-producing offense and defense. Green Bay only had the ball for 10 plays, including two punts, in the third quarter, but on the sixth play Val Joe Walker, the former Packer, intercepted a Starr pass aimed at Billy Howton to set up the tying touchdown on a nine-yard run by Perry. Walker’s flight came to an abrupt end when he made contact with Ollie Spencer, the impact knocking him cold. Val Joe was unconscious for a few minutes but returned to the game later. The Packers’ only offensive move of the second half came after the 49ers went ahead, 27-20, early in the third period. Starr
49ers team mascot Clementine the Mule appears unconcerned as the 49ers trail the Green Bay Packers 10-20 during the third quarter of the team’s 27-20 victory over the Packers at Kezar Stadium (Photo by Frank Rippon)
San Francisco 49ers (8-4) 27, Green Bay Packers (3-9) 20
Sunday December 15th 1957 (at San Francisco)
49ERS DID 'NOTHING' AT HALF; LIZ BLAMES Y.A.
DEC 16 (San Francisco-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - So what did the 49ers do in the dressing room between halves Sunday" "Nothing in particular," said 49er coach Frankie Albert in that same dressing room after the game. "We were all so disgusted with ourselves. Nobody wanted to say anything. We told 'em Yats (Y.A. Tittle) would start the second half. That made 'em feel a little better. They were really mad at themselves." Albert said he made one change in the 49er defense - "We had to so something. Put Ridlon in for Smith." We don't recall Ridlon ripping up the Bays but they were limited, chiefly due to the 49ers' revived playing, to three completions for a gain of one yard in the second half. Actually, the Bays should have had a tie. Babe Parilli was short on two passes to Billy Howton in the last few minutes and both were intercepted, the first in the end zone and the second with Billy in the clear. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn felt that Tittle "was his old self with his passing but more than that he pepped up the whole 49er team." Blackbourn blamed the loss on Tittle and "our running out of gas in the second half again. We've lost three or four games in the second half. Losing Bettis really hurt us. We didn't have any substitutes and we had Hanner and Massey playing in new positions (end and linebacker)," Liz said, adding: "I was pleased with the general effort. They gave it a good go and Bart (Starr) looked real good until his pass protection started to break down. Walker's interception 
moved the club for two first downs. The Bays tried Babe Parilli at QB midway in the final period but he had no luck. Dickie Moegle intercepted Babe’s first pass and a 49ers punt and three Packer running plays later big Karl Rubke intercepted his second pass. Both throws were aimed at Howton, the first in the end zone and the second at midfield where Howton was alone. He undoubtedly would have scored easily. Starr was an efficient workman - especially in the first half when he completed 12 out of 16 for 149 yards. He finished with a good 15 for 22 for 163 yards. Brodie had five out of 12 in the first half while Tittle hit 10 for 14 in the second half. The Packers couldn't get much of a rush on Tittle or Brodie and under the circumstances the secondary, one of the league's best, did a terrific job. Yardagewise, the Packers did little in the second half. They gained 122 yards passing in the first and had a one yard loss in the second and they gained 75 yards rushing in the first and 30 in the second. In all, the Packers made 198 yards in the first half and 29 in the second. The 49ers had 150 stripes in the first and 325 (an increase of 175) in the second. This turned out to be a roughhouse affair although each team was penalized only three times. Howie Ferguson was banished for slugging on Walker's interception, giving the 49ers position for the tying TD from the Packer nine instead of the 24. It rained all morning but the rain stopped shortly before the game and never started again until shortly after the 49ers went ahead. Somehow, the downpour seemed to make it final for the Pack but a moment later the second interception of a Parilli pass did just about that. The Packers shocked the dickens out of the big crowd right away as they marched right down the field. Don McIlhenny, who outgained the other McElhenny (Hugh) 68 yards to 44, ripped 15 yards; Starr pitched to Johnson for 14; McIlhenny ran 17 only to lost it on a penalty; and Starr threw to Johnson for 14. But the 49er fans relaxed as Starr fumbled on the 49er 30 and Marv Matuszak recovered. The 49ers quickly exerted themselves for a 7-0 lead on a "stinky" play that climaxed a 70-yard, 13-play drive. Perry picked up 44 yards in six carries along the way and Brodie hurled 20 yards to McElhenny to set the stage for a field goal attempt by Gordy Soltau from the 15. The 49ers got real daring, and also foolhardy for a championship game, by sending Joe Arenas, who was holding the Packers by complete surprise and Soltau's extra point made it 7-0. The Packers gave it right back when Ferguson fumbled and Bill Stits recovered on the Packer 26. The Bays held and Soltau really kicked one this time - from the 32 for a 10-0 lead. Now it was the Packers' turn. Starr hurled to McIlhenny for 18; McIlhenny ran 10; Starr pitched to Howton for 19; Starr hit Al Carmichael for 26 to the one; and Bart banged over on the second play of the second quarter. Cone converted and it was 10-7. The two clubs exchanged punts (the 49er boot was a quick kick) and the 49ers threatened to go in on Brodie's 29-yard pass to R.C. Owens to the Packer 18. Three plays later, Forester scooped Perry's fumble on the seven and bulled back to the 45. This maneuver didn't develop and to make it worse Dick Deschaine got off a 15-yard punt. That was quickly forgotten two plays later when Gremminger intercepted and returned 45 yards to the 49ers 18. Two Carmichael runs for six yards, Starr's six-yard pass to Johnson, a Packer offside penalty and Starr's 11-yard pass to Johnson, plus Cone's kick, made it 14-10, Green Bay. With 55 seconds left in the half, Symank intercepted a Brodie pass deflected by Gremminger and wheeled back 36 yards to the Frisco 36. Starr threw to Howton for 15 and then to Ferguson for nine to the 49er 11, bringing on Cone's 18-yard field goal for a 17-10 edge with 20 seconds left. On the 49ers' first play, Perry fumbled and Temp recovered. With five seconds to go, Cone kicked his 12th field goal of the season for a 20-10 halftime score. The crowd screamed madly as Tittle took over in the second half. He was trapped for a seven-yard loss after moving 40 yards in five plays, and Soltau settled for a field goal from the 35 for a 20-13 score. After an exchange of punts, the 49ers tied the score on Walker's interception, a personal foul on the Pack and Perry's nine-yard run. Max McGee, who went without catching a pass, dropped a first down throw and Deschaine, whose first punt of the second half zoomed 57 yards, got off a 50-yarder. The 49ers then went on a 69-yard, 13-play touchdown drive. Tittle was superb with his passes along the way and the payoff was an 18-yard flip to Billy Wilson on the Bay five on the first play of the fourth quarter. Perry powered across in two plays and Soltau made it 27-20. The Packers seemed to toughen up defensively but the offense couldn't get moving due to two interceptions of Parilli passes. The second steal set up a missed field goal by Soltau from the 21 with 16 seconds left. The Bays tried two passes. Starr couldn't and ran out of bounds to stop the clock. Parilli tried the second and was thrown for an eight-yard loss, ending the ball game.
GREEN BAY -       0  20   0   0  -  20
SAN FRANCISCO -  10   0  10   7  -  27
                       GREEN BAY   SAN FRANCISCO
First Downs                   15            19
Rushing-Yards-TD        27-105-1      40-172-3
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 25-15-163-1-3 26-15-169-0-2
Sacked-Yards                  41            16
Net Passing Yards            122           153
Total Yards                  227           325
Fumbles-lost                 2-2           2-2
Turnovers                      5             4
Yards penalized             3-19          3-25
SCORING
1st - SF - Joe Arenas, 7-yard run (Gordie Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 7-0
1st - SF - Soltau, 32-yard field goal SAN FRANCISCO 10-0
2nd - GB - Bart Starr, 1-yard run (Fred Cone kick) SAN FRANCISCO 10-7
2nd - GB - Joe Johnson, 11-yard pass from Starr (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 14-10
2nd - GB - Cone, 18-yard field goal GREEN BAY 17-10
2nd - GB - Cone, 37-yard field goal GREEN BAY 20-10
3rd - SF - Soltau, 35-yard field goal GREEN BAY 20-13
3rd - SF - Joe Perry, 9-yard run (Soltau kick) TIED 20-20
4th - SF - Perry, 2-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 27-20
RUSHING
GREEN BAY - Don McIlhenny 9-46, Fred Cone 2-28, Al Carmichael 6-17, Frank Purnell 2-7, Bart Starr 5-5 1 TD, Howie Ferguson 3-2
SAN FRANCISCO - Joe Perry 27-130 2 TD, Larry Barnes 3-13, Gene Babb 8-11, Hugh McElhenny 1-11, Joe Arenas 1-7 1 TD
PASSING
GREEN BAY - Bart Starr 22-15-163 1 TD 1 INT, Babe Parilli 2-0-0 2 INT, Howie Ferguson 1-0-0
SAN FRANCISCO - Y.A. Tittle 14-10-94, John Brodie 12-5-75 2 INT
RECEIVING
GREEN BAY - AL Carmichael 4-47, Joe Johnson 4-45 1 TD, Billy Howton 3-43, Don McIlhenny 3-22, Fred Cone 1-6
SAN FRANCISCO - Billy Wilson 4-61, Hugh McElhenny 4-33, Gene Babb 3-25, R.C. Owens 2-36, Joe Perry 1-13, Larry Barnes 1-1
and that penalty on the same play did it." The 49ers tied the score on the next play. The game somehow was typical of the whole season - a big rough and ready start and then all sorts of troubles. The '57 Packer season was loaded with flu, injuries and four broken bones, but that's another story for later...BRIEFS: Dick Deschaine averaged 40 yards despite a 15-yarder. When Tom Bettis went out with an injured knee in the first quarter, Bill Forester was the only regular linebacker left from the LB'-ing group that started the season. Massey said he'd rather play linebacker than defensive end; he tipped both passes that were intercepted by the Packers. Liz said he's thinking about Massey as an offensive end or slot back next year...Backfield Coach Ray McLean flew on to Concord, N.H., today for the funeral of his father, John McLean, who dies in Tice, Fla., Saturday night. Mr. McLean was 82; funeral services will be Wednesday...The entire squad is flying back to Green Bay and is due to arrive on the 8:25 North Western tonight. Bettis' knee was placed in a cast in a hospital here after the game and he returned with the team.
LUCKY 49ERS! PACKERS AGREE THEY DON'T HIT HARD
DEC 16 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Packers, almost to a man, consider the 49ers a "lucky" team. Not that Green Bay's pros hold this against San Francisco's Western Division co-champions. "You've got to be lucky to get any place in this league," one Packer said. Carlton Massey, defensive end turned linebacker because of further injuries to the crippled Packers, said, "The 49ers surprisingly don't hit hard at all - even as hard as Pittsburgh. They're better than Pittsburgh, but they don't hit as hard." Typical of the 49ers, they engaged in a lot of coin flipping with Baltimore and the Detroit Lions in case of ties for the Western Division championship. The 49ers won only one flip - the one which ha to do with a two way tie between Detroit and San Francisco. That's how it came out, so they will decide which Western Division team will face the Cleveland Browns for the NFL championship in Kezar Stadium here next Sunday. The Packers and their coaches think Detroit has the better team but that San Francisco will be tough to beat at home...Jerry Kramer, guard from Idaho and Green Bay's fourth round draft choice for next season, attended Sunday's game as a guest of the Packers. Kramer is almost a dead ringer for Harvey Kuenn, Detroit Tiger shortstop from Milwaukee. Only Kramer is bigger, at 6 feet 3 inches and 230 pounds...THAT INJURY JINX: Final Packer injury report: Tom Bettis, linebacker, suffered a knee injury in the first quarter and left the field for good soon after. His right leg was put in a cast after the game because of torn ligaments. He will have to wear the cast for at least a month. Fullback Paul Hornung kicked off twice and limped away, his ankle injury aggravated. Defensive back Bill Kinard, also out with a bum ankle, was pressed into service for two plays because John Symank was stunned when fell on his head defending a pass in the third quarter. When fullback Howie Ferguson was ejected for fighting, the Packers were left with 28 able-bodied men, including punting specialist Dick Deschaine. Fred Cone, Ferguson's replacement, suffered a leg injury. Frank Purnell replaced Cone...Ticket scalpers took a beating as it rained all morning Sunday and almost right up until game time. It also rained in the second half and after the game. The field was almost devoid of grass in the middle...TITTLE WAS VILLAIN: "I guess Tittle is the one who did it for them," Packer Coach Lisle Blackbourn said afterward. "But we helped. We didn't rush him hard enough and we never did hit him." Tittle entered the game in the second half with the Packers ahead, 20-10. He didn't start because of leg injuries. He suffered no aggravations. Frank Albert, San Francisco coach, said, "Tittle's the one who won for us. But that's the way it was in the first 11 games, too. Perry played a swell game, too." Blackbourn agreed to that...Blackbourn thought quarterback Bart Starr "looked real good". He said that Starr's blocking protection broke down too often, causing losses...Carlton Massey, playing linebacker for the first time, deflected the ball on both Packer interceptions. "I should have had one myself," he said....Three or four times, Packer blockers had a lane open for long yardage but halfback Don McIlhenny slipped or was tripped by the last man...Ferguson tried a pass and it might have clicked if Max McGee had turned to catch the ball after Dick Moegle tired to deflect it in the end zone.
49ERS NEEDED OLD PRO TO BEAT BAYS
DEC 16 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - "Y.A Tittle won it for us," Coach Frankie Albert declared Sunday after his 49ers rallied to beat the Packers, 27-20. "There's just no substitute for experience," Albert said. "I told the team at halftime that Tittle would start the third quarter and it seemed to pick up the players. They were disgusted with themselves after the first half." With rookie quarterback John Brodie at the controls because Tittle had suffered pulled muscles in both legs, San Francisco trailed, 20-10, at the half. Two of Brodie's passes had been grabbed for costly interceptions and Joe Perry made two expensive fumbles. In the second half, Tittle held the helm and Perry roared like the "Joe the Jet" of old. Perry scored two touchdowns and wound up as the game's rushing leader with 130 yards. "That is the best clutch game I've seen Perry play," Albert declared. "And Gene Babb went in there at fullback in the second half without having run all week because of a bad knee. He really went well." Joe Arenas, speaking of his own startling eight-yard touchdown run off a fake place kick formation, said: "We called the play in the huddle and I had the option of running or passing. My receiver was covered so I ran." Albert was happy over the luck of the playoff draw that has Detroit meeting San Francisco here next Sunday for the Western Division title. The winner will meet Cleveland December 29 for the NFL championship. Green Bay Coach Lisle Blackbourn said the Lions were better against his club than the 49ers were, but he wanted no part of any prediction. "Sure the 49ers are a good club," Blackbourn said. "But today they beat a bunch of cripples. Five guys from our starting team were out of the lineup because of injuries." Blackbourn said the Lions were better against his club than the 49ers were, but he wanted no part of any prediction. "Sure the 49ers are a good club," Blackbourn said. "But today they beat a bunch of cripples. Five guys from our starting team were out of the lineup because of injuries."
HALFTIME 'LECTURE' BY ST. CLAIR PUT SHOW ON THE ROAD
DEC 16 (San Francisco) - Flat as tortillas in a near disastrous second quarter, San Francisco's 49ers swept past the Green Bay Packers, 27-20, and into the Western Division playoff today because they turned into second half whirlwinds. What on earth caused the black to white transformation? The mud stained warriors, who underwent the change, explained it in many different words, which all added up to the same thing: desire and determination . Y.A. Tittle, the old master who engineered the offensive phase of the rally, put it this way: "We had to go in the second half. We were down to the wire and we weren't going to get another chance. We had to go." Said Val Joe Walker: "We just got together here in the dressing room at halftime and decided to play some football, and that's all there was to it. The defensive team decided we'd tighten up and keep 'em from scoring any more, and we did, too." It was Capt. Bob St. Clair, that giant of a man, who dug the spurs into the hometown forces during the intermission. According to Leo Nomellini, St. Clair demanded to know "what's the matter with us that we're going to lose in one game everything we've been fighting for all season." Hugh McElhenny, another old pro, explained: "The club has to keep together. We got spread out individually out there in the first half. We thought we had it wrapped up. Guys relaxed. I know I did. That's the secret of football - going all out all the time. And we weren't doing it. We had to gather our thoughts and get together as a team. That's what we did when Bob gave his talk. We were itchy to go that second half. Everybody was on his feet and anxious to start playing football long before it was time to go back onto the field." John Brodie, the rookie hero of last week's victory who quarterbacked the 49ers through the first half today, said:...WERE NOT READY: "We weren't very ready to play football in the first half." The ex-Stanford All-American, who completed five of 12 passes and had two intercepted, wasn't disheartened. The passes that were incomplete or intercepted "only missed by this far," he said, holding his hands about 10 inches apart, "and that much luck." In Coach Frankie Albert's book, "Tittle won it for us." The "Bald Eagle", taking over for Brodie at quarterback at the outset of the third quarter, "settled 'em down," Albert declared, adding: "He got us here in the first place and then won it for us. Brodie had a bad day. There's just no substitute for experience. I told the team at halftime that Tittle would start. The only other change we made was putting Jim Ridlon in at defensive wing for J.D. Smith...TOOK A CHANCE: "I would like to have held Tittle out to rest his legs for next week, but the way things were going, it looked as if there might not be any next week. He's just not going to be the runner he has been." I don't know how you saw it or if you saw it at all. But it struck me that Val Joe Walker's interception of Bart Starr's pass, touching off a flurry of fisticuffs and setting up San Francisco's first touchdown of the third quarter splurge, was the turning point of the ball game. Here's the story behind the play: To begin with, Walker played for Green Bay for four years before being traded to Detroit and then the 49ers this year. But let the former Southern Methodist ace tell it: "Billy Howton used to run this patter a lot. I know it every step of the way, so I gambled on it. I broke a little sooner than I would have ordinarily. Sooner than I would have if I hadn't taken a chance that Howton was running this particular pattern. I was lucky." Walker ran the interception back 12 yards to the Green Bay 18, where Oliver Spencer, the Packers' 250 pound tackle, hurled him to the ground. Then two things happened. While Spencer was rolling Walker over, San Francisco's Karl Rubke threw a block on Green Bay's Howard Ferguson. While the officials were watching Ferguson's swing on Rubke, Spencer hauled off and smashed his massive, tape wrapped fist smack into the face of Walker, who was lying flat on his back...GETS TOSSED OUT: "He just lost his head," Walker laughed in the dressing room. "The funny thing about it is, he's a real good friend of mine from the days I played at Green Bay." Val Joe will have a cut and bruised cheek to remind him of their friendship for a few days. As for the Rubke-Ferguson affair, the 49ers' linebacking whiz said: "I guess Walker really had been stopped when I blocked him (Ferguson), but I had no way of knowing that. He got mad and swung on me." For that, Ferguson was booted out of the ball game and the Packers were penalized half the distance to the goal - to their own nine. From there Joe Perry went in for the touchdown which, with Gordy Soltau's following conversion, tied the score at 20-20, and the 49ers were on their way...MOEGLE GRINS: Dickie Moegle, the 49ers' milkshake drinkin' safety man who makes tackles at the line of scrimmage and interceptions deep in the secondary, accepted congratulations on his spectacular theft of Babe Parilli's pases in the end zone. "That's what is known as helping a friend," he said with a grin. "That wasn't my territory." Moegle explained that he had his hands full covering a man who button hooked in front of him. It wasn't until Parilli let fly with the ball that Dickie sprinted for the point where Green Bay's Howton and the 49ers' Walker were jockeying for position. Just when it looked as if Howton had Walker beat, Moegle went flying through the air to snag the hide in the end zone for an automatic touchback at a time when the 49ers just couldn't afford to let the Packers keep shooting for the tying touchdown...PIGSKIN TO Y.A.: Rubke, who came up with still another game saving interceptions, said it was the first of his career as a collegian or pro. Capt. St. Claire gave the game ball to Tittle, the 30 year old insurance salesman who admitted that he had mixed emotions about playing today. "I wanted to play," Yat said. "But I wanted to be ready for next week's game too. I guess I really hoped." It was obvious he had been going to say that he hoped to rest his injured legs today so that he could go into the playoff game against Detroit here next Sunday as a whole man, one who could run as well as pass. But he left his sentence unfinished and interjected another thought: "Brodie played a good game." Tittle went on: "Perry had a hell of a day. We ran inside a lot in the second half, and that defensive team of ours was tough, real tough, in that second half." Tittle guessed his underpinnings would hold up for the Detroit game. Despite his success today, he figured that "when I can't move around back there, I'm at a disadvantage. My biggest problem is getting knocked down," he added, "but maybe that's better than throwing the ball away." Albert analyzed that his troops became "depressed and panicky" in the second quarter, during which Green Bay scored 20 points, but all in all, he asserted, "this is as fine a 49er team for unity as I've ever seen." "We really have our job cut out for us next week," Frank said. "I think we'd all rather play Detroit than Baltimore. Not that we don't rate Baltimore a top team, but we all respect Detroit more. They're the solidest club in our division. But maybe these kids of ours can give out once more." And then maybe once again.
'NOISES IN THE STANDS DIDN'T BEAT US,' SAYS BLACKBOURN
DEC 16 (San Francisco) - "The home crowd noises had not a damn thing to do with today's game," barked Coach Liz Blackbourn, head coach of the Green Bay Packers, after he had showered following today's 27-20 defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. "If you provincial minded people and writers out here paid as much attention to the facts of the visiting team as you do your home boys, you'd know what caused our defeat," the former Marquette mentor declared, not in bitterness but with an intensity of feeling as to how hard he took the defeat. Blackbourn was affable by cynical about the whole day. The Packer dressing room was calm and collected as is expected in the quarters of a team whose season had ended. The players went about their customary chores of undressing, showering, and packing for tomorrow's long trek homeward. It has been a hard year for the Green Bay boys as Blackbourn pointed out...RADICAL CHANGES: "We started today's game with only 12 defensive players. Then Tom Bettis, our great linebacker, suffered a pulled knee ligament in the first half and we had to do a lot of switching. Carlton Massey, a defensive end, was moved over in Bettis' place and we were forced to make other changes, radical in nature. If you writers were good reporters, you would have seen those changes," the grizzled Green Bay coach said as he grinned at his interviewers. "I guess you're as lousy reporters as I am a coach." (Liz's record this year is three wins and nine defeats.) Blackbourn resumed his cynical pose when he was questions as to whom he would pick in next Sunday's game for the Western Division championship in Kezar between the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers. "If it were any place but here, I would certainly pick Detroit," the Packer coach promptly replied. "You know that this place is good for 14 points for the 49ers."...HEDGES ON REASON: Pinpointed to explain his remark, Blackbourn hedged with this comment: "I don't dare give my reason, but you fellows know as well as I do, I can't say anymore about that." Apparently he was referring to the officiating. Blackbourn interrupted the interview to tell an assistant manager: "Get all the boys on the bus and get them downtown. Then the season is over." The final sentence sounded as if he was really glad. "Yes, I am! This has been a season of frustration. We lost one game and then beat the Bears. We lost then to the Lions and the flu hit us. We either had players with high fevers. We more than got well from the "bug" than a plague of broken bones, four of them, and one torn cartilage caught up with us."...NEW GROUP: "And we lost several games in the last half. We had the Rams, 24-3, at halftime and they came on to beat us. That I do not understand." A new group of football writers joined the pack and they asked Liz about the game. "It was a typical pro football game. It got wild in the second half. They must write the script before the season starts." Apparently he had seen motion pictures of previous 49er cliffhangers. Asked about the performance of Y.A. Tittle in his second half appearance as 49er quarterback, Blackbourn emphatically declared: "Tittle certainly sparked them to the win. He is one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL." Blackbourn had noting but praise for his own quarterback, Bart Starr, who completed 15 of 22 throws for a total of 163 yards and one touchdown. Only one of his tosses was intercepted. His brief replacement, Babe Parilli, threw twice and both were grabbed by San Francisco players in crucial spots. The only reported Green Bay injury was the torn knee ligament suffered by Bettis, who was taken to a hospital for X-rays.
COMMUNITY EFFORT PAYS OFF AS 49ERS RESPOND TO ROAR OF CROWD!
DEC 16 (San Francisco) - An example of what San Francisco can do when it puts its mind to it was seen here today as the 49ers kept alive their hopes for a first NFL championship by beating the Green Bay Packers, 27-20. Although the banner lines must go to two magnificent old pros - Y.A. Tittle and Joe Perry - this was a community effort if we ever saw one. Perhaps you've heart it said that rooting sections are important to the outcome of a game. This has long struck us as juvenile and corny, but, by cracky, it was true this afternoon. Sixty thousand persons in the packed stadium wouldn't let their team loose. Their thundering cries of "Go-Go-Go" gave the 49ers a tremendous lift and helped turn the tide of battle as unmistakably as did Tittle's good right arm. The magic of it began as the 49ers, training 20-10, returned to the field for the second half. Exhorted by scores of volunteer cheerleaders who leaped into action all over the place, the crowd let out with an ear-splitting roars. Although it won't show in the play-by-play record of the game, in our book, the pulsing power of it was as vital to the 49ers' comeback as anything that happened during the struggle. The team's response to its booming message was visible with the first play of the third quarter. All of a sudden, the 49ers were a different ball club and, even though they were behind by 10 points, you could sense that they were on their way. Tittle, who replaced the rookie John Brodie when it became evident that an older hand was needed to get the job done, was terrific. So was the veteran Perry. The 49er defensive line, no great shucks in the first half, was at its best in the second. But behind it all was the great and compelling voice of the crowd which inspired the team to a fighting fury which was to prove irresistible. Actually, many more than the 60,000 within the stadium rooted the 49ers home. Thousands upon thousands of others joined the effort by giving it the old body English as they listened to the struggle unfold on radio. Inside the stadium and out, the community had but a single thought. The 49ers must win. The score is evidence of what can be accomplished when everybody pulls together...WILL IT WORK AGAINST THE LIONS?: So now the 49ers and the Detroit Lions are tied for the western division title with the playoff coming up next Sunday. We don't know that the all-out spirit which had so much to do with today's victory will again be a telling factor, but it certainly will help. Win or lose, though, Frankie Albert can stand up in all modesty and take a bow for the job he has done in his second season as coach of the 49ers. This is one of the rare instances of a young coach rising from the ranks and making good as the leader of a ball club made up largely of guys who only recently knew him as a teammate. It is a difficult thing to do. When a coach and his players are of comparable experience, the question of authority is bound to arise. In this case, Albert had to convince the team's veterans that he knew more than they did and do it in such a way that he wouldn't be labeled as a "wise guy." Albert speedily licked the problem. The 49ers' morale may well be the finest in the league and among the players who formerly labored alongside of Frankie Boy there isn't one who disputed, even secretly, his right to command...BRODIE GAINS GAME EXPERIENCE!: It has been said that much of Albert's success this year was due to luck. Albert doesn't deny the truth of the statement. Luck is something that never hurt any coach - young or old. Indeed, it is something every coach has to have if he is to be a winner in a league as tough as the NFL. In respect to the outcome of the game, the 49ers weren't lucky today. They were, however, lucky in another direction. We mean they were lucky that Tittle's sore leg permitted him to play and that Brodie's first half adventures at quarterback had no lasting effect on the final result. Fact is, the playing of Brodie worked out perfectly for the 49ers. Now, if the club has to use him as a replacement for Tittle next Sunday, the young fellow figures to be the better for having played two full quarters of football against Green Bay.