It is known throughout the football world that the AFL is creeping up on the NFL in popularity and caliber of play. But in my mind the Buffalo Bills set their league back several years.
If they felt such a sigh of relief because of Lincoln's serious injury (Foggy Feast for Buffalo's Faithful, Jan. 4), they should have kept it to themselves. I consider this very bad taste on the part of the Buffalo Bills and derogatory to professional football players.
JOHN A. DEBENEDETTO
The Bronx, N.Y.
The article in your January 4 issue finally made up my mind for me. I quote, "But Lincoln, one of the toughest backs in the league, lay as if he had fallen out of a third-floor window. 'A thrill went up and down our bench,' said Buffalo Assistant Coach Joel Collier...." Wonderful character building. Wonderful example. I realize as well as anyone that they aren't in it for the sport but for the money. But in this country we are used to separating businessmen with principles and those without. I see no further reason to watch or support professional football.
Further headlines reveal owners giving ridiculous amounts of money to players in the college ranks and even unashamedly signing players before they have finished their college seasons. It was recently revealed that a Georgia lineman, Wilson, was even signed before the season started. What a ridiculous set of standards to live by—illegal signings, cutthroat tactics and exulting over injury of an opposing player!
Since they are pros even the most hardened apologist would have to admit that the only difference between the winning and losing sides is the money in the bank account. So it seems they wish the worst sort of harm to someone else just for the money (or would it even be better if it was just to win the game?).
COLLIN E. COOPER, M.D.
The statements made by Buffalo Assistant Coach Joel Collier and the reaction of the Bills' offensive unit after the injury to Keith Lincoln only lead to the conclusion that, with Lincoln and Lance Alworth playing, the Bills would have been shmeared—and they know it!
ROY E. LIEBER
Injuries are certainly to be expected in this game, but it is a little hard to accept, complacently, the thrilled attitude of triumph as evidenced by the Buffalo team and coaches over the fallen San Diego player, Lincoln.
Perhaps, in the heat of battle, all competitors in all sports may temporarily feel such high enthusiasm. But the most disturbing thought is that this "trample the other guy—for keeps" attitude may become the type of "sportsmanship" that our young people will see practiced daily in all aspects of life.
FRANK E. NELSON
It is tremendously amusing to hear the cries of outrage from Walter Byers and other NCAA officials because some college football players signed pro contracts too early (SCORECARD, Jan. 11). Who cares? After all, these athletes have already been paid for four years by the colleges that hire them to entertain us every Saturday in the fall—so why be upset when these boys elect to continue their pro career in the NFL and AFL? And what matter when they sign? A pro is a pro is a pro.
And why the righteous indignation by coaches whose bowl teams lost players due to early signings? Why blame the NFL and AFL? After all, the boys are only repeating tricks they learned when the very same college coach was recruiting them in their high school days.