Gwilym Brown's fine article Oh, How Gently Flows This Don (July 23) partially makes up for an almost total lack of the recognition due one of football's finest fellows.
I can still picture No. 13 slithering through the Oakland secondary, clutching Namath's bullet and tumbling to the turf on that damp December night. Howard Cosell tried to get excited and so did Frank Gifford. But they, like the Jets, got lost in the Raiders' rush to the playoffs. Don Maynard had become the alltime pro football pass receiver, but few stopped to say "congratulations."
EDWARD M. SMITH
Concerning your article on Don Maynard: he may have 632 receptions, but how can one justifiably put Maynard and his other AFL cohorts in the same class with those NFL reception leaders. Most of Maynard's receptions were made against minor-league-caliber football teams in the old AFL. Considering the competition that Ray Berry had in the NFL for 13 years, Berry's record is phenomenal.
The subject of an article on the game's alltime top receiver should be Lance Alworth, who holds records for seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and receptions in 96 consecutive games. Compared to Lance, Don Maynard lacks more than blocking ability and overall team play.
Statistically, he trails Alworth in receptions per year (45.1 to 49.3), in yardage per reception (18.7 to 18.9), in yardage per year (844 to 933) and in touchdowns per year (6.3 to 7.7).
Don Maynard is superior to Lance Alworth only in longevity.
Barry McDermott's article Bend an Ear to Billy's Music (July 23) was absolutely superb. As a somewhat devout member of the Chicago Cub fan populace, I was really astonished to even stumble on a piece of pro-Cub literature in a national magazine. It reassured me that there are Cub rooters elsewhere.
It's about time somebody recognized Billy Williams. For 13 years he has been consistent in every aspect of the game. He has hit 368 home runs, has over 2,320 lifetime hits and has driven in 1,250 runs. He also holds the NL record of playing 1,117 consecutive games, a mark that I doubt will ever be broken. Billy Williams deserves Most Valuable Player of the last decade.
BLOOD AND SWEAT
In your otherwise excellent article about pre-spring conditioning programs for college football (A Case of Volunteer—or Else, July 23) you twice make the statement that this type of activity doesn't go on in the Ivy League. While the assumption that lack of spring practice makes winter drills unnecessary would seem valid, it is just not true. I attended Yale in 1967-71 and prepared for two seasons on the varsity level at virtually mandatory conditioning sessions at the Payne Whitney gym on campus.
Weight lifting and conditioning drills were under the direct supervision of Head Coach Carmen Cozza and his football staff. All of us were "encouraged" to play handball after those sessions. On more than one occasion coaches told me to shave or get my hair cut. To my knowledge only football players participated in these sessions. I have no reason to believe that things are done any differently in New Haven today.
West Brewster, Mass.