Meanwhile, nearly all the Packers have been struggling hard to be realistic and philosophical about Anderson and Grabowski.
Before the College All-Star Game in Chicago, before Donny and Grabbo had even reported, Hornung relaxed in his room at the Drake Hotel, along with Thurston and End Max McGee, his roommate for nine years, and talked about it.
"I've met 'em," he said. "They seem like good kids, shy like all rookies at first. Anderson's got some color. He throws you some lines, at least I've read some. He's a hell of an athlete. He can do a lot of things. But you can't make anything out of this money deal. I'm for anyone getting all he can. I've got mine. So these kids came along at a time when the really big money was being thrown around."
Hornung, his golden hair gleaming, his cuff links shining, said, "They're not gonna step right in. They've got to learn the plays and fit in with the guys. Hell, they'll play. Elijah Pitts and Tom Moore played a lot. I think all of us just want them to help us be a better team."
Fuzzy Thurston squirmed on one of the twin beds and said, "Take Anderson. From what I've heard, he's a completely different type of runner than Paul. He does things his own way. He slams in there and goes outside, too, but Paul follows his blockers 100%—the best ever at that kind of thing. Anderson will have to learn a lot of variations on every play, the tips and mannerisms of his blockers, how to take the hand-offs. And he'll have to block himself. Our backs work on every play in our offense."
McGee, stretched out on a bed in his undershorts, said, "He's gonna have to be a mover to take over as social leader." Max raised up. "You know how I got to be Hornung's roommate? The first time I ever saw him in a hotel room in Winston-Salem, where the team was when I got out of the service. I walked into a poker game...."
"We don't do that anymore," Fuzzy interrupted wistfully.
Max continued, "I walked in and looked around the table and there was Paul, just a rookie, sitting there with all the cheese in front of him. I said, 'You, baby, you belong to me from now on!"
Hornung enjoys his reputation as one of the first-class swingers in pro ball, a man who would almost rather fumble than be seen in the company of an unattractive young lady; he is a check-grabber, a stylish dresser. Golden Boy. But getting that label was accidental, he said. "You come from Notre Dame and you get seen in a few good restaurants and you've got the image."
It is widely believed that Donny Anderson, honest and likeable one moment, an amusing con man the next, desires the same kind of reputation. While a tremendous athlete (6 feet 2, 215 pounds) who can run, catch and kick, he keeps getting himself involved in situations that might well make him another Hornung—off the field, at least.