The Green Bay Packers are getting to like the challenge of coming back from losing three of their first four games. They are even coming to respect Coach Bart Starr for not giving up on them during some early humiliations. And they are exuding confidence.
They are mostly young and there have been good drafts, despiste losing their last No. 1 choice, defensive tackle Bruce Clark, to Toronto. And yesterday, Starr recevied an unofficial vote of confidence on keeping his 3-5-1 team, a day after it dropped a 22-20 decision to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Charles R. (Buckets) Goldenberg, guard and quarterback for the Packers from 1933 through 1945, is one of the 45 members of the board of directors who knows the thinking of the seven-member executive committee headed by Dominic Olejniczak, president of the club.
Goldenberg said yesterday from his Milwaukee office, "We're playing good football. Bart Starr admitted he was green when he took the job; he had only one year of experience, under Dan Devine. Bart's going to be competitive. The people are a thousand percent behind him. After all, he is Bart Starr.
"It's up to the executive committee, but I don't think there's going to be a change, with Bart's popularity. Could you ask for a better operation than the Packers showed in that 22-20 game on Sunday?"
Goldenberg was asked about reports that George Allen had talked to the Packers recently in the event they were going to make a coaching change.
"He was up to Green Bay for an interview before he went to the Redskins and before we hired (Dan) Devine, but we interviewed others at that time, too. But Allen has not been interviewed this year. I'm positive. I know the president (Olejniczak) and people on the executive committee such as Tony Canadeo. They wouldn't make a change in midseason anyhow. I don't think there is a necessity for a change. The Packers are playing well, they are holding their heads high. Bart has gotten rid of the spectators (players who were not giving their best).' They are going to give everybody trouble.
"We have over $15 million in the treasury; we have to compete with the 'big boys (the high income franchises in the big cities).' It's our security blanket. We sell out our games in Green Bay and Milwaukee. We have a waiting list of 5,000 to 8,000 for season tickets. We are the only non-profit organizaton in pro football.
"People were disenchanted at the beginning of the season; it was rather horrible. We had players hurt, and it was just the exhibition season. As the regular season settled in we finally knew who our quarterback and running backs were going to be. You have to go through a period with young players; it's a trial and error game. I don't believe there will be a coaching change because Bart now has experience -- and it was public pressure that put him in the job in the first place.
"We were the laughing stock of other clubs. We were ridiculed by the media for our ineptness. But that has all changed. Mister (Lynn) Dickey is now playing excellent football, and is capable of playing much better. He's played with injuries most modern players couldn't bear. He has the courage of a lion.
"I say: let the coaches coach and let sideliners (executives) take care of the business end. Olejniczak and Fred Trowbridge (treasurer) have had the respect of our executives for 20 years, and football is 'big business,' no matter what anybody says. Why get rid of them? They're doing the job for nothing. Dominic receives a small stipend as president, but with a regular corporation he would be getting 10 times as much."