FIRST DOWN MISS TURNING POINT: GH
NOV 11 (Chicago) - George Stanley Halas, playing a familiar role for the first time since he "retired" two years ago, hasn't lost his touch. Stepping in as host at Wrigley Field's Pink Poodle Sunday afternoon in the absence of Head Coach Paddy Driscoll, Papa Bear presided as though he'd never been away in submitting a 15-word analysis of the 78th Packer-Bear collision just completed. "The Packers' failure to make the first down in the fourth quarter was the turning point in both cases," the urbane owner of the Midway Monsters asserted. (There was a feeling in the Packer camp, which later became a conviction through photographic evidence, that the ruling that nullified Joe Johnson's catch of a Bart Starr pass in the fourth quarter was perhaps more significant but Halas declined comment on the decision.) Dismissing the question with a shrug of the shoulders, George smiled, "Well, we outgained 'em, anyway," as he scanned the day's statistics. "Not by much," a Chicago scribe shot back. "No, no, that's right," Halas, in a position to be gracious, conceded, "not by much." Somebody else said, "That's particularly true if you figure in the number of yards the Packers ran back interceptions." Granting this to be true, Halas pointed out, "Yes, but if that pass that Bobby Dillon intercepted would have just a couple of yards longer, Harlon Hill would have been gone with it because he was in the open." Halas, a championship gleam in his eye, left no doubt he attached considerable significance to this latest Bear victory, despite the fact that it left the Bruins with a modest 3-4 record. "The Forty Niners," he said, "will lose three of their next four." He didn't say it but the NFL pioneer obviously was assuming the Bears would simultaneously win three in a row, which would catapult them into a first place tie with San Francisco. He forced himself to be practical in the next breath, however, observing, "Actually, anybody who looks beyond next Sunday's game is a fool." Returning to the Packers, Halas opined, "With McIlhenny (Don) and Paul Hornung back there, they're in pretty good shape. That Hornung played an excellent game at fullback today." How about his Bears? "When you win," he grinned, "you can overlook a lot of things." Halas was proud of his players for another reason. "They gave the game ball to Harry McNamara," he said, "and I though it was a splendid gesture." McNamara, veteran Chicago Herald-American sportswriter, is seriously ill..."Sure I caught it!" This half-indignant response came from Joe Johnson, principal in that much-disputed "no catch" decision in the fourth quarter which subsequently was proved erroneous by the Associated Press camera. "I had it in my hands, just like this," Joe gestured, creating a cradle effect with his hands. "The ball bounced up my arm when I hit the ground, then back into my hands - but it never touched the ground during that time." Across the room, Bobby Dillon confided, "Yes, just for an instant, I thought I might be going all the way." Bobby, who had reference to his fourth quarter interception, added, "If I'd cut to my left at about the 50, I think I would have because the Bears were all bunched up the other way. But I had to stop when somebody, I think it was McColl, came over and I lost my chance." Turning to lockermate Hank Gremminger, he said with a twinkle, "You threw a pretty good block on that one." Hank smiled, a little self-consciously, and replied, "I don't know about that but it turned my thigh pad inside out." A few doors down, Paul Hornung had little to say except, "Yeah, I had great day - I couldn't get that yard, or that foot which it actually was, when we needed it." Crew-cut Johnny Symank, a dynamo on defense all day, said apologetically, "I had a clean lick at Casares on that last touchdown but he had so much momentum I just couldn't hold him." Ken Gorgal, a Packer in 1956, was consoling Bart Starr near the door with, "I'm sorry you couldn't win that one, Bart." "We just can't get enough points," Bart said sadly, "I guess I had McGee open down close and I didn't see him in time. That's terrible." Be that as it may, one of his colleagues, Ollie Spencer, had nothing but praise for the forthright Alabama alumnus. "I think Bart probably is the best sophomore quarterback this league has ever had," Ollie declared. "He's really coming fast."..."I feel sorry for the kids," was Head Coach Liz Blackbourn's first reaction, "because they've been playing so well, they deserve to win. This one today was a real good effort all the way. As a matter of fact, we played good football against the Giants last Sunday as well as today - and even before that against the 49ers," Liz pointed out. "Yet in the face of tremendous handicaps, they still improve. That's why I feel sorry for them." He was particularly pleased with evidence of growing cohesion because only two members of the present starting cast, Bill Howton and Jim Ringo, were in the lineup a year ago. Labeling the blocked punt that led to a Bear touchdown in the second quarter "as just one of many things that happened out there today," Liz said, "We'll have to get Dick (Deschaine) to get the ball delivered a little faster."...SEE NO EVIL?: Slugging ordinarily brings automatic expulsion for the offender and a 15-yard penalty but such was not the case when the Bears' 6-foot, 8-inch Doug Atkins socked the Packers' Jim Salsbury in the third quarter - in full view of an official. Not only was Atkins permitted to remain in the game, but the penalty was ignored...'HOWTON DEFENSE': The Bears set up a special defense for Bill Howton after the Packer greyhound went all the way with a Starr pass in the first quarter. The Bruins put a chugger, either Wayne Hansen or Joe Fortunato, on him at the line of scrimmage, assigned J.C. Caroline to knock him down (if possible) when he began to maneuver and the left safety, Vic Zucco, to move over if Bill got by J.C. Speaking of defense, the Bears had what amounted to a two-man defensive line on the first play of the first half, with seven men deep in a double umbrella alignment, in anticipation of a Packer pass. The defense went untested, however, the Packers preferring to freeze the ball and run out the clock...DOUBLE DUTY: Don McIlhenny is not considered overly robust when compared to some of his burly Packer colleagues, such as Ron Kramer and Ollie Spencer, but he engineered a coup in the third quarter that would have been a credit to either one. The swift SMU alumnus bowled over two Bears with one block on Paul Hornung's run for a first down after recovery of a Bear fumble...SUPPORT: The Packers were performing on foreign soil but they were not without support, visual as well as vocal. A big sign bearing the admonition, "Go! Go! Packers," in huge green and red letters, was set up at the south end of Wrigley Field between halves...MIXED SIGNALS: Rocky Wolfe, veteran Bear field announcer, got his sports mixed in the second quarter when he intoned, "Downed by Tanner..Hanner." He may be partially excused, however, since Chuck Tanner also roams Wrigley Field - as the Cubs' leftfielder. Wolfe, pro football's first P.A. announcer in 1925, is in his 33rd year as field voice of the Bears...WISTFUL THINKER: The Packers' Norm Amundsen was unhappy - he had to sit this one one out in civvies on the bench in his hometown because of a knee injury incurred early in last Sunday's Giant game. Trainer Bud Jorgensen is hopeful, however, that the sturdy ex-Badger will be ready for next Sunday's match with the Los Angeles Rams...'PLAYERS ONLY': They'll probably be calling rookie Johnny Symank "Baby Face" from now on. The hard-hitting defensive back had trouble getting aboard the Packers' special car at the North Western depot Sunday night. A trainman, who thought Symank, "was some high school kid," told John, "This car is reserved for Packer players." Fortunately for Symank, Packer Aide Jack Vainisi was present to establish identification.
LIZ BOILING MAD - BUT BELL'S RULE KEEPS HIM TONGUE-TIED
NOV 12 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - "I'm sorry," said the voice on the other end of the phone Monday, "I am unable to make statement regarding that play." Because of Commissioner Bert Bell's ironclad rule, Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn could not make a single comment on Head Linesman Dan Tehan's judgment of Bart Starr's 30-yard pass to Joe Johnson, the one which was ruled incomplete on the Bear one foot line during Sunday's game at Chicago. Apparently it's an unwritten law handed down by Bell's office. It must carry enough weight to cost a violator his job. The Packers have found it tough winning at Wrigley Field. They've turned the trick only once in the last 16 years. And when such a disputed call occurs in as close a game as Sunday's, there's reason aplenty for howling in Packerland. As it was, Johnson made a sensational catch of Starr's pass. He juggled it, fell forward and slid along the turf. The ball was clutched to his stomach
and Bear defender Bill George was riding his back. The two players skidded diagonally toward the sidelines and eventually out of bounds over the corner flag. An Associated Press sequence picture showed that Johnson apparently had possession of the ball in bounds. For a few moments the only visible signal on the field came from the Bears' J.C. Caroline, who waved his hands palms down in a scissors motion to signify an incompleted pass. After a conference with Field Judge Yans Wallace, Tehan picked up the ball and motioned it was caught out of bounds. Johnson almost went berserk, jumping up and down. But the decision stood. The Bruins went on to push over a touchdown with 61 seconds to go for a 21-15 victory. Blackbourn, still trying to buy a little bit of luck, believes his team is improving by the game. "We're not doing anything difference now than when the season started," Liz said. "But we are gaining that needed confidence." When asked why Dick Deschaine, who is carried for his punting ability, is having his kicks blocked lately, Blackbourn said, "he's taking too darn much time, he can't be that slow and expect the opposition to stand around and watch." The Bears had a 6-man line with two linebackers, one of them Harlon Hill, on that rush. All eight of them rushed Deschaine. Three of them charged the same path. Hill and Jack Hoffman came in on the blocking back. He took Hoffman and Hill blocked it. The next time the Bears tried it, almost worked again. Fred Cone, who kicked five field goals during the pre-season campaign, has only booted three to date. He missed from the 37 and 44 against the Bears. Blackbourn said he would still stick with Cone for kicking the "short" goals until it's proven he is falling. Then Paul Hornung will be used. Hornung does all the kicking off. On the critical fourth down and six inches to go play in the fourth quarter, the Bears outsmarted the Packers and nailed Hornung from making the vital first down. On three previous occasions, Starr made the necessary yardage on quarterback sneaks. The Packers must have thought the Bears were waiting for the sneak on the big one, so they gave it to Hornung on a quick count - and that quick count gave Starr no time to convert the play when he realized the Bears had stacked up on that side. The game was another bruising affair, typical of Packer-Bear scraps. Yet, Blackbourn believed his squad came out without any serious injuries. Tackle Norm Masters reported a wrenched knee.