Joe Namat wrote a touching memoir of former Jets wide receiver Don Maynard, who died this week at the age of 86.
“This day, January 12, 1969, was one of the most wonderful days of my life … our lives… and none of us could have done it without each other,” Namat wrote on Twitter. “In fact, it was only possible because of Don’s sensational shots in the AFC Championship game.”
In the game that Namath envisioned, in the AFL Championship game against the Raiders, which the Jets won 27-23, Maynard had six catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
“Surprisingly, as people say, he didn’t get a pass in the whole Super Cup,” Namat continued. “But the reason is the coach [Don] Shula and Baltimore’s defense had a lot of respect for Donnie and he knew it was a lightning strike for our team, so they showed him twice in every game, which opened up the whole attack for us.
“The strength of the defense has always been on Don’s side. His influence in the Super Cup was hidden from ordinary fans, but for those of us who understood, he was priceless. “
The Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts 16-7 in Super Bowl III to support Namat’s famous guarantee.
“It simply came to our notice then [Maynard] up … priceless, ”wrote Namat. “He was a great teacher to me about life and football. He is one of the best people I have been lucky enough to spend this life with and I have no bad memories of him.
“We all come and go. We are moving to the next stage where our souls move freely, and I have an image of him running in the heavenly field like a noble being. Rest in peace until we meet again. “