Packers shut-out Triangles in week one

[September 22, 1929]

The night before the game, the first of the season, Cousin Walter and I stood in the kitchen with the windows wide open, the cool autumn breeze creeping in with the darkness against the warmth of the cook-stove. A pot of water rolled and boiled and steamed. I added more sugar and stirred the mix.
Cousin Walter had a large wooden post clutched between his hands. He was mashing a large bucket of blue-berries by lantern-light, the look on his face a mix of anticipation and furious destruction. And love, I think.

Kick-off was less than twelve hours away.

Early summer was cool and wet, and so the berries arrived late, after Independence Day again this summer. Once the bushes were ripe and full we picked every afternoon, buckets and buckets from the hot bed-rock where the fire had melted the forest, the entire forest whole, six summers ago now, just a bit north from here. Up the trail. We filled the ice-box with berries, and now with fall in the air it was time to start fermentation. There was a group of grey-jays outside the windows looking in. A very curious bird.

What would become of this batch?

Saturday night gave way to Sunday afternoon and we tuned in the game on Cousin Walter's fancy radio-box.

The Green Bay Packers started the season perfect in the standings and on defense after beating Dayton 9-0 on Sunday. The Triangles never advanced beyond mid-field at City Stadium, their offensive attack looking like a drunken dew-dropper fighting his own shadow. Green Bay held the Dayton offense to -48 yards, and just two first downs.

The Packers offense only managed one score, but they should have had many more. Both sides looked lack-luster in the first half, and a hand-ful of mis-communications and missed opportunities kept the game close until the third quarter, when the hulking line-men of Green Bay began wearing down the smaller Dayton squad.

The Packer offense generated a fourteen-play drive behind the impressive heave-blocking of Mike Michalske and Boob Darling. On one crucial third-down conversion, right tackle Jug Earp was credited with five opponents blocked and one opponent moved (by force) to tears.

With the defense stacking the box against the Packers rushing attack, back Red Dunn caught the Triangles on a devious play-action, and with all day to throw against single coverage, he heaved a beautiful 30-yard touch-down pass to Verne Lewellen down the right side-line.

On the ensuing drive, the defense did its part on the score-board. After Dayton rushing plays of -2, -10, and -3, punter Steve Buchanan failed to handle a wild snap in the back of the end-zone, and Hurdis McCrary quickly obliterated him for the safety. Buchanan was taken off the field in the mule-cart.

While the Packers offense seems cool and wet and a little late in arriving this season, the defense looks truly ripe for a championship run.

Fermentation is a profound process, said Cousin Walter, still mashing berries. The wine is done and it is different every season. There are so many factors. And then we wait through the dark of winter, and we drink some of the wine, it is like a quilt in the winter. It tastes like the years gone by. And we wait through the spring, impatiently and starved for sun-light. Sure enough, the sun-lights shines, we pick berries in the summer and the excitement builds. Then the day is here, when we gather in the kitchen the night before the first game, and we mash them. He gave the berries a good solid thump of heavy post. We start them on that path. Here goes another batch... And it looks like a good one.

It looks like a really good one, I agreed.