My congratulations to Tex Maule for coming up with the perfect answers to the problems of professional football (Dear Pete: Feb. 5). He hit the nail squarely on the head when he observed that pro football's major concern seems to be the television networks instead of the dedicated fans or the game itself. Because of the fear of CBS and NBC—and the ridiculous realignment of the National Football League—this season was a thoroughly disappointing one. It is very hard to accept the fact that the Los Angeles Rams and the Baltimore Colts, after compiling their fantastic records last fall, could be left out of the postseason games.
I am sure Pete Rozelle realizes the validity of Mr. Maule's proposed system, and I am certain he will admit that something must be done to make postseason play as exciting as it was meant to be. Once again I thank Tex Maule for devising a system that is surefire. The next move is up to pro football.
The Maule Method for realigning football divisions is ingenious, but it has one glaring fault. One of the greatest injustices in the history of all sport was what happened to the 1967 Baltimore Colts. They lost only one game but got nothing for their efforts—no championship game, no Super Bowl, no Runner-up Bowl, no nothing.
With Maule's divisional setup, not one but three great teams will be thus penalized, while three rinky-dinks will get a slice of the playoff loot and a shot at the championship. And suppose a fourth-division team wins the championship. Does it deserve it?
Mr. Maule's ideas about draft choices and player trading are excellent, but his divisional setup is best forgotten.
LEWIS J. CODDINGTON
Mr. Maule's match of Green Bay and the also-rans is due to his making up divisions that would assure equality of competition in the regular-season play. As a result, the playoffs must be between the good teams and the poor ones, and the championship games lack equality of competition.
I believe that the answer to pro football's problems lies in the complete merger of the AFL and NFL into four conferences of similar strength. In this manner each city will be exposed to some good teams, and the championship games will be played by teams of championship caliber.
RICHARD Z. LEWIS
Professional football is a business—big business! Why kowtow to TV? Simply, because it's what made pro football. Most businesses, successful ones that is, learn to kowtow to their customers. Those who become entranced with their own set ideas, irrespective of market demand, soon end up with the perfect design—only it won't sell! Tex should keep on picking the sure things but leave running a business to successful businessmen. How many people watched the sure-thing Super Bowl?
Tex Maule is right that TV is ruining the sport, but I think he is wrong when he says that top draft choices win football games. The San Francisco 49ers are loaded with first-round picks, but they have never won a division title. In the early '60s, the New York Giants became a power by trading rookies, not collecting them. Sure, the draft has helped Green Bay, but then Vince Lombard could make a flanker out of Hermione Gingold.
I congratulate Tex Maule on another masterful article. The way he envisions the NFL schedule, trading and drafting, I believe there would be many more interesting, surprising, topnotch football games played.