PACKERS WILL SHOOT FOR CONSISTENCY VS. CHI-BEARS
SEPT 27 (Green Bay) - The Packers were able to score when the heat was on during the non-championship season. And, of course, they were able to win - or what with a 5-0-1 finish. Both are good habits to carry into the NFL season - opening with the big bad Chicago Bears as guests in the new City Stadium Sunday. Those two characteristics - plus a dogged defense, stuck with the Bays from the first non-leaguer right down to the end. Thus, the Bays were consistent in the Grapefruit League. But that word consistent is a precious one to Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn to apply it yet to the Packer offense. This unit has been a source of sorrow for Liz chiefly because the scorers haven't blossomed forth with a flock of points in six non-league efforts. Packer point-producing went like this: 24 17, 16, 13, 20 and 10. And the defense allowed the following in the same order: 16, 14, 13, 10, 17 and 10. The offense's big job against the Bears will be to keep the ball, thus widening the Packers' chances of scoring and keeping the potent Bear offense inactive. The Bears will be looking at a Rote-less Packer offense for the first time since '49. The Packers will come in with a one-two punch at QB in Bart Starr, the likely starter, and Babe Parilli, the magician. These two, of course, replace Tobin Rote who is now sharing work with Bobby Layne at Detroit. Incidentally, the Bears were the first to scream when Rote was traded to the Lions in July. Their automatic feeling was that the Packers gave the title to Detroit. There is a suspicion that in Chicago now that the trade actually strengthened both Lions and Packers, setting up an even rockier roadway for the Bears. The four players Green Bay obtained from Rote and Val Joe Walker, who since went to 'Frisco, could all be in the Packers' offensive lineup Sunday - Norm Masters at left tackle, Jim Salsbury at right guard, Ollie Spencer at right tackle and Don McIlhenny at left half. If those ex-Detroit linemen can help make the Packers' rushing work and provide good protection for the passer and if McIlhenny can run as he did in the first half of the '56 season (he was hurt in the last half), then the trade will be of some help to the Bays. The four players have shown only flashes of form thus far. The Packers' other big trade was designed to toughen up the defense - Roger Zatkoff and Bobby Garrett going to Cleveland for six players, four of them defensemen - John Petitbon, Sam Palumbo, Bill Kinard and Carlton Massey. They have been a big help in keeping down enemy scores, although Massey only played one game. This foursome, along with the rest of the Packers' defense, will get no tougher than the Bears Sunday. The Bruins have the long-ball gun in Harlon Hill and Willie Galimore - to mention a few; and the big power man in Rick Casares...The Packers worked in the new stadium for the first time today, getting the feel of the turf during punt and kickoff practices. The major portion of the preparation for the Bears was completed in an offensive and defensive drill yesterday. And all hands were in good condition, including cold victims Bobby Dillon and Sam Palumbo...One of the spectators Wednesday was Tom Hearden, the Packers' defensive coach who suffered a stroke last May 19. Tom watched part of the workouts from a car. He expects to see other drills from time to time.
BALANCE IN PACKER-BEAR RIVALRY SHIFTED TO BRUINS IN 1940S
SEPT 27 (Green Bay) - The balance shifted definitely to the Bears in the 1940s, especially during the war years. Even when they won their last championship in 1944, the Packers had to settle for a split with the Chicagoans, who has previously been cocks of the pro football barnyard. From 1941 through 1948, the Bears took 12 decisions, the Packers only two and one ended in a tie. Between 1941 and 1943, the Packers were the second best team in football, a situation comparable to the fellow holding the second best hands in poker. The Bears were the best and they raked in five of seven pots during those seasons, another showdown being a standoff. Win, lose or draw, though, the boys continued to belabor each other with all the old-time gusto through some of the roughest, most spine-tingling thrillers in the history of the series. The 1941 season was a case in point. The Bears won the first one and the Packers the second, forcing a playoff for the division title for the first time. In the clutch the Bears had a little more than the Packers. Although the Packers smashed back from a 15-point deficit to a 17-15 lead in the third period, the Bears added a touchdown and a field goal to stagger off with a 25-17 verdict in the first meeting. Hutson took a toss from Cecil Isbell for one Green Bay touchdown, while Clarke Hinkle counted another as well as a 39-yard field goal. The Bears came back after that to a winning touchdown by George McAfee. In the return match the inspired Packers overwhelmed the Bears to go into the division lead, 16-14. With the Bears limited to 25 yards and only three first downs in the first half, the Packers roared to a 16-0 lead on touchdowns by Isbell and Lou Brock and a 44-yard placement by Hinkle. The Bears tallied twice in the last quarter, once after McAfee ran an interception 55 yards to the Bay 15...PACKERS GOT JUMP: The Bears walloped the Packers in the subsequent divisional playoff, 33-14, scoring 24 points in the second quarter after spotting Green Bay an early lead. The Packers got the jump when the Bears fumbled the opening kickoff and Hinkle bulled to a touchdown, but Hugh Gallarneau shortly raced 82 yards on a punt return, and then the Bears opened up. The other Packer score came on a fourth quarter pass from Isbell to Hal Van Every. The Packers gave the Bears a terrific fight for three periods in the 1942 home contest, but the Bears counted twice in the final quarter for a 44-28 decision. Hutson took passes for two touchdowns and set up others by Lou Brock and Tony Canadeo. The Packers were leading, 28-27, when the Bears turned on the power. It was a little easier for the Bruins in Chicago as they virtually wrapped up the division crown again with a 38-7 victory. Bulldog Turner lumbered 42 yards with a fumble and Sid Luckman carted an intercepted pass 54 yards to give the Bears a 14-0 edge, and they ran the count to 38-0 before Isbell hit Hutson with a fourth quarter scoring toss. The Bears, who were penalized 118 yards, had three more TDs called back, while Hutson and Andy Uram intercepted passes in the end zone to avert others...SID LUCKMAN VILLAIN: Don Hutson performed his usual heroics in 1943, catching a touchdown pass and converting in the final minute to give the Packers a 21-21 tie. The Alabama Antelope only caught two all afternoon, but both of them came in the closing drive. Ted Fritsch and Irv Comp counted the other tallies as the Packers came from behind three times. Sid Luckman was the villain of the Bears' 21-7 conquest in the Chicago game. Sid lateraled to Scooter McLean and the latter scooted 66 yards for one touchdown, Luckman threw for another and counted himself. After ending the first half in a 7-7 tie, the Packers could manufacture only one first down and one pass completion in the second. The Packers made their opening bid for another title in 1944 by smacking the Bears back on their haunches, 44-28, in a wild, bruising game here, but did it only by scoring twice in the last five minutes after blowing a 28-0 lead. After the Bears had come back to knot it up, Lou Brock swept left end and raced 41 yards for one touchdown and Fritsch galloped 50 yards with a purloined Bear aerial for the other. Earlier, Brock had raced 48 yards to score on a similar end sweep...BOTH SCORE TWICE: The Bears got even for that later, handing the Packers their first defeat of the season and first shutout in 66 games with a 21-0 shellacking. With their passing combination of Comp to Hutson thoroughly smothered, the best the Packers could do was a drive to the Bear 20-yard line, where Henry Magarita intercepted a pass on the goal line. Luckman was responsible for all three Bear tallies, throwing directly two and setting up the other. Hutson was the star of another thriller in 1945. Don didn't score, but he pulled down several key passes in the Packers' 31-21 victory. With the Packers leading 17-7 going into the fourth quarter, both teams scored twice in a wild last period. Ted Fritsch counted twice and booted a field goal, Roy McKay ran 20 for another TD and Don Perkins scored the fourth Packer tally. The Chicago match was another rouser, the Bears taking a 28-24 decision after trailing 21-7. Irv Comp hit Clyde Goodnight with a 67-yard scoring interception for two early touchdowns, but the Bears smashed 97 yards for the winning score in the fourth quarter. Fritsch contributed a booming 49-yard placekick to the Packer total...OLD-FASHIONED BATTLE: Hutson was gone in 1946, and without him to worry about the Bears romped to a 30-7 decision. The Packer overhead attack wasn't worth shucks, failing to register a completion until the last period. The Bays got their only touchdown in that period when McKay bucked over after Tiny Croft recovered a fumble near midfield. The return game was an old-fashioned thumping line battle on a soggy field, which the Bears won, 10-7. The Bruins never crossed midfield in a scoreless first half but counted quickly in the second. Bulldog Turner belted Fritsch loose from the ball on the kickoff, Ed Sprinkle picked it up and ran 35 to score, Maznicki later adding a field goal. In the last minute of play, Croft stole the ball on the Bear 15 and Fritsch banged over. In 1947, the Packers rode to a smashing triumph on the heroics of Jack Jacobs and Fritsch. Jacobs passed to Nolan Luhn and Bruce Smith for TDs, scored once himself and intercepted three passes in the 29-20 victory. After trailing 17-6, the Bears closed the gap to 22-20 before Jacobs went over the big one...ANOTHER SPINE-TINGLER: Two brilliant goal lines stands and the blocking of a field goal try gave the Bears a 20-17 decision in the second game, another spine-tingler. The Packers got away to a 10-0 lead but the Bears wiped that out in less than two minutes and stopped the Packers on the three and one-yard marks. With 18 seconds to go Noah Mullins blocked Ward Cuff's bid for a tie. The 1948 opener was a Packer nightmare as the Bears smothered them under the widest margin in the history of the 60-game rivalry, 45-7. The Bears simply passed the "L" out of the Bays on the aerial accuracy of Lujack, Layne and Luckman. The count was 38-0 before the Packers achieved a consolation touchdown on a short plunge by Walt Schlinkman after 71-yard drive. The Chicago game, however, was a throwback to a lustier day, a 7-6 squeaker in an old-time defensive battle in which each team was forced to punt 10 times. The Bears were penalized 90 yards, the Packers 60, and Paul Lipscomb tossed out of the game. The Bears scored in the first quarter and converted, but the Packer PAT was wide after Luhn took a touchdown toss from Jacobs to climax an 80-yard advance in the fourth.
BAY'S OFFENSE MUST PERK UP TO HAVE CHANCE AGAINST BEARS
SEPT 27 (Milwaukee Journal) - In the games that didn't count, Green Bay's offense showed great potential, produced few points. In the NFL opener against the Chicago Bears at Green Bay's new stadium Sunday, the Packer attack will have to do quite a bit better than it did in exhibitions (17 points a game) to have any kind of a chance. If the Packers offense, sprinkled liberally with new men, has not yet jelled the Bears won't let it. The Chicago defense, a veteran outfit, has been ferocious in preseason activity. It will put out an all-out "blitz" in rushing the passer and runners. The Bears held their opponents to 14 points a game in winning four, losing one and tying one in the exhibitions. Green Bay's defense was even stingier, permitting only 13 points a game. The Bear offense, however, averaged 26 points a game. Green Bay's only 17 in winning five, tying one. The Bear defense was especially tough in its last two outings, victories over Pittsburgh (37-10) and Cleveland (29-3). Green Bay tied Pittsburgh, 10-10, in its last exhibition and did not meet Cleveland. Cleveland passers lost 111 yards trying to pass against the Bears. They ended up with minus yardage in the air. A 48 yard field goal saved the Browns from a shutout. If Paul Brown, Cleveland's mastermind, could not adjust his offense to the Bear charge, how will the Packers react? Walter Cruice, Green Bay scout, analyzed the Bear defense thusly: "They did so poorly in the championship game (losing to New York, 47-7) and the coached have been using that a lever to spur them on. They have been spending more time on defense. They have experienced personnel. Vic Zucco of Michigan State is the only rookie to break in. So they have been able to use all their defenses. Most teams at this stage have been working with only three or four defenses. The Bears have been throwing the book at their opponents." The Bears have a veteran line - Doug Atkins and Jack Hoffman at ends with Country Meadows in reserve. Fred Williams and Bill Bishop at tackles, Bill George at middle guard. Wayne Hansen and Joe Fortunato are the linebackers. J.C. Caroline has been switched from halfback to safety, where he teams with McNeil Moore. Zucco and Ray Gene Smith are at the corners. Stan Wallace, a regular deep man a year ago, now is substitute linebacker and general handyman. A great rookie lineman like Earl Leggett of Louisiana State is unable to break in. Against this, the Packers will try to move with an almost entirely rebuilt offensive line (the third "new" one in three years), a new quarterback (Bart Starr), what should be an improved running game and a fine set of receivers. Buddy Parker, Pittsburgh coach, calls the Packers receivers - Bill Howton, Gary Knafelc, Ron Kramer and Max McGee - "the best in the league". They certainly rank high, although the Bears will have a mighty crew there themselves Sunday in Harlon Hill, Jim Dooley, Bill McColl, Gene Schroeder, Willie Galimore, et al. Howie Ferguson, his knees apparently recovered from injury, will start at fullback for Green Bay. At left halfback it will be Al Carmichael or Don McIlhenny, obtained from Detroit, or maybe even bonus rookie Paul Hornung of Notre Dame. Fred Cone will back up Ferguson at fullback and Babe Parilli, Starr at quarterback. Hornung is also available for both fullback and quarterback. Much, of course, will depend on Starr. Will he be able to take the place of Tobin Rote, the big guy who was traded to Detroit? Can he outsmart the Bear defense with his calls? Can he remain cool under the furious rush? The Green Bay line will be sorely tried, too. Can Oliver Spencer and Norm Masters, the tackles, and Jim Salsbury and Norm Amundsen, the guards, and Jim Ringo, the center, give Starr the protection and Ferguson, Carmichael, McIlhenny, Cone and Hornung, the kind of holes they need to move the ball and keep it away from the Bears' potent offense? The Packers are in fine shape for the game. Only Bear likely to miss the game is M.L. Brackett, reserve linebacker.
MIRACLES? TAKE A LOOK IN GREEN BAY
SEPT 27 (Milwaukee Journal - Oliver Kuechle) - They talk about the Milwaukee miracle in baseball. How about the Green Bay miracle in football? Green Bay, a community of 31,000 at the time, started a professional football team in 1919; kept it going through good days and bad while dozens of other cities, mostly larger, fell by the way, and Sunday will open yet another era in not only its own history but professional football's but dedicating a spanking new stadium of its own (Capacity: 32,150). Where else is there a city like it? Green Bay rubs shoulders today with New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Where else is there a city which through the years has so much consistently supported its team? St. Louis, Milwaukee, Duluth, Minneapolis, Louisville, Columbus, a score of smaller cities also had league franchises at one time but quit. Not Green Bay. Where else is there a city, or team, that has won more championships? Well, the Chicago Bears have with their seven. That's true. But Green Bay has won six and how many else have? And most of all today, where else is there a team with its own field? The rest use baseball parks or municipal stadia. They talk of building their own. They're still talking. Green Bay today has an exclusive pro football field - a first. No mention of Green Bay and professional football up there can can be complete, can even be begun, without consideration of the man who started it all - Curly Lambeau. It was his idea in the summer of 1919 to organize a team; it was he who raised the money for the first team from a packing company and who most of all sweated through lean years that followed; it was he who coached the team for 31 years and who won those six championships - not only coached it but acted as general manager of the club. Unfortunately, as pro football grew, jealousies cropped up within. Internal fights concerned themselves principally with personalities. Lambeau actually was ahead of his time in the things he wanted to do. But they clipped his wings, and a little weary he finally resigned. A lot of water has gone over the dam since he left; bitterness has been forgotten. And Green Bay has a stadium. What a wonderful tribute it would be to him who contributed so much if some day Green Bay could see its way to call this field "Lambeau Field." A capacity crowd will see Sunday's game of course, and in it will surely be some who saw the first Packers team - Acme Packing Co. blazed across the jerseys - in its games at old Hagemeister Park almost 40 years ago. The park was a pleasant place. It had a pavilion where German bands played, picnic tables among huge pines and, of course, the playing field which for the Packers was turned into a football field. The club next moved to Bellevue Park, nearer the brewery, and here the soft odor of hops and malt often hung over the field on a Sunday afternoon. The old stadium was finally built on land owned by the school board and down through the years was repeatedly enlarged and improved until last year it had a walled-in capacity of 24,000 plus. The Packers and high schools both used it. But 24,000 plus wasn't enough. Not for this miracle of Green Bay. Not if Green Bay wanted to continue with New York and Chicago and Los Angeles in the NFL. So a million dollar stadium was built and built in less than a year. Green Bay today has a population of 52,000. Is there any other small city in the country with a story quite like that? My hat goes off to Green Bay.
YOUR ALL-TIME PACKER TEAM - CHOSEN IN PG POLL
SEPT 27 (Green Bay) - Versatility, in the fullest sense of the team, is the trade mark of the swashbuckling all-time Packer team chosen by the fans of 1957. Seldom have 11 men of their many and varied gridiron talents been "assembled" anywhere under one banner. In fact, the lineup reads like a "Who's Who" - nearly half of them are listed on Football Encyclopedia's all-time all-pro team and the others were all-pro selections during the playing careers. The heroes who catapulted Green Bay into the international spotlight, they represent an attacking force that would rank with the greatest in football history and a bruising defense that would yield ground to the enemy ever so grudgingly. Offensively, this dream team would have the following artillery to strike from anywhere on the field at any given moment: (1) The immortal Herber-to-Hutson aerial combine, perhaps the most potent scoring instrument football has known; (2) Clarke Hinkle, the human sledgehammer who also ranks as one of the finest field goal kickers in NFL history; (3) Tony Canadeo, the ever reliable Gray Ghost of Gonzaga who averaged 4.2 yards per carry during a brilliant 11-year career; (4) Johnny Blood, the legendary Vagabond Halfback who contributes a long threat - and a spectacular pass receiver; and (5) A big, mobile line bulwarked by mountainous Cal Hubbard, Cub Buck and Mike Michalske, operating in company with Charlie Brock,