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Detroit Lions’ Management Defends Players

Jan. 9, 1963 - The management of the Detroit Lions rushed to the defense of four players today as the NFL’s investigation into their activities continued on several fronts. William Clay Ford, team president, said he was convinced all the players were in the clear, although he conceded some of them used “poor judgment.” In New York, Commissioner Pete Rozelle denied that he planned to question the players about associations with hoodlums. The four are a defensive tackle, Alex Karras (center); a defensive end, Darris McCord (right); a linebacker, Wayne Walker, and an offensive lineman, John Gordy. In Los Angeles, at practice for Sunday’s Pro Bowl game, Karras admitted that he had ridden on an open “party bus” with Gordy on the return trip from the Lions-Browns exhibition at Cleveland on Aug. 18. The Detroit Police Commissioner, George Edwards, said the bus was “hoodlum operated.” The bus, equipped with a bar and bunks, was driven by either Vito Giacalone, a convicted gambler, or his brother Anthony, who, Edwards said, has a conviction for bribing a policeman. At Miami, police admitted that they had kept under surveillance three Detroit men at the Lions-Pittsburgh Steelers Playoff Bowl game last Sunday. The three were identified as Vito Giacalone, Anthony J. Zerilli, and Anthony J. Corrado. The police were asked to keep the men under surveillance by Commissioner Edwards.

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