SI Vault
December 26, 1955
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR: THE PATIENT CHAMP Sirs:If SI's Sportsman of the Year is to be judged on courage, skill and sincerity, then please let me nominate Carmen Basilio, world's welterweight champion. He has exhibited all of these qualities in his patient waiting for a crack at the champ, and then by whipping him decisively in their first bout here in Syracuse. Only three days ago he proved his greatness by knocking out DeMarco again, after taking the best blows Tony could dish out.FRANK LOEW Syracuse, N.Y.
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December 26, 1955

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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Unless the eyesight of the writer is badly impaired he observed no mention of the game nor any description of it except by a double page spread of the Mardi gras surrounding the event.

The Grey Cup might well be regarded as the greatest and most dominating influence in Canadian unity, knitting the East and the West through "playing the game."

Canada is still talking Grey Cup and it is not too late, even at this hour, for SI to make amends.

?"The Grey Cup," a cynic once said, "was donated by an Englishman and is played for by Americans." But this year Canadians proved as never before that the squat, 46-year-old chunk of silverware, the symbol of Canadian pro football supremacy, has become the focus for one of the most exuberant, boisterous and exciting football weekends on the North American continent.

This year's game was played in Vancouver, the first time in Grey Cup history that a city west of Ontario was chosen. After 36 hours of memorable high jinks, over 39,000 spectators, the largest sporting crowd in Canada's history, jammed Vancouver's Empire Stadium to watch Montreal's Alouettes, the champions of the East, square off against Edmonton's Eskimos, the western champions.

What they saw was a north-of-the border image of the Army-Navy game: a great backfield sparking a controlled ground attack that was finally able to overwhelm a famous passing team. The first half was close. First touchdown went to Edmonton when Jackie Parker, the Eskimos' shuffle-footed quarterback and No. 1 asset, passed 25 yards to Halfback Earl Lindley on the Edmonton 50. From there the Eskies moved steadily on the ground and in 11 plays sent Normie Kwong over from the one-yard line. Montreal, relying mainly on the superb passing of Sam (The Rifle) Etcheverry and the receiving of Red O'Quinn and Joey Pal, quickly moved to the Edmonton one-yard line. Pat Abbruzzi, Canada's most valuable player for '55, went over to even touchdowns. Then, with only a minute's play remaining in the first quarter, Montreal's Jim Miller recovered an Edmonton fumble and Etcheverry once more passed for 39 yards to Patterson, who went into the end zone with Montreal's second touchdown.

It was not until the second quarter that the Eskimo backfield, the most versatile Canada has seen in many a year, came into its own. Relying on solid ground plays punctuated by Jackie Parker's short, strategic passes, Normie Kwong, Bob Heydenfeldt and Johnny Bright twisted and plunged their way through the Montreal line again and again. The most spectacular play came when Bright raced Parker's reverse hand-off 42 yards for a touchdown. Minutes later both teams scored again as Quarterbacks Parker and Etcheverry found their receivers with 15-yard passes. At half time Montreal led Edmonton by the slimmest of margins: the single point gained by Korchak's wide field goal in the first four minutes of the game.

Parker and his Eskimos were in full command of the field during the second half. The pass combination of Sam Etcheverry to Patterson never really got going again and when Eskimo End Bob Heydenfeldt broke up the last great Montreal attack by intercepting a long Etcheverry pass on his own 35-yard line, Montreal's spirits seemed to break. With the final score 34-19 in favor of Edmonton, a great quarterback who managed to complete 30 out of 39 passes for 508 yards was beaten by a team that drove 440 yards on the ground. Football conservatives who maintained that a controlled ground attack is the only offensive system had witnessed a classic.

Edmonton Eskimos—Ends Prank Anderson, Oklahoma; Rupe Andrews, Stanford; Fullback Johnny Bright, Drake; Center Kurt Burris, Oklahoma; Tackle Bob Dean, Maryland; Quarter (second string) Don Getty, U. of Western Ontario; Tackle and Guard Don Glantz, Nebraska U.; End Bob Heydenfeldt, UCLA; Fullback Bob Kimoff, U. of Toronto; Halfs Normie Kwong; Earl Lindley, Utah Aggies; Tackle Dale Meinert, Oklahoma; Half Rollie Miles, St. Augustine's, N.C.; Quarter Jackie Parker, Mississippi State; Guard Walker, Michigan; Quarter Ray Willsey, U. of Calif.

Montreal Alouettes—Fullback Pat Abbruzzi, Rhode Island State; Halfs Jacques Belec, U. of Western Ontario; Bill Bewley, U. of Toronto; J. C. Caroline, U. of Illinois; Quarter Bruce Coulter, U. of Toronto; Tackle Tex Coulter, U.S. Military Academy; Half Sam Darragh, McMaster U. ( Hamilton, Ont.); Quarter Sam Etcheverry, Denver U.; Guard Jerry Hogan, McGill; Center Tom Hugo, Denver U.; Half George Klein, McGill; Flying Wings Joey Pal; Bud Korchak; Guard Mike Kovac, U. of Western Ontario; Center Bob MacLellan, McGill; Tackle Al Makowiecki, Florida St. U.; Ends Doug McNichol, U. of Western Ontario; Jim Miller, McGill; Red O'Quinn, Wake Forest; Hal Patterson, Kansas U.; Tackle Jim Staton, Wake Forest; Half Alex Sulyok, McGill; Guard Herb Trawick, Ohio State U.; Half Johnny Williams, UCLA; Quarter Joe Zaleski, Dayton U.—ED.

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