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The Sun’s Shining on Don Maynard and His Book

Posted by Randy Lange on September 19, 2010 – 3:03 pm

Don Maynard has authored more than a few Jets/Titans records and even some that still stand in the NFL’s Record & Fact Book. But now for the first time he’s a book author and he’s enjoying the “tour,” which includes signing copies of “You Can’t Catch Sunshine” on the sun-bathed plaza outside New Meadowlands Stadium before the start of today’s Jets-Patriots game.

“It’s an autobiography, kind of an unusual one,” Maynard told me before last month’s Ring of Honor ceremonies at NMS. “I went to 13 schools, five high schools in Texas. I even played six-man football at one time for two or three plays a game. It was a little bit like Forrest Gump’s situation. I kept moving around.”

That continued as he left North Texas State and turned pro, playing in the CFL, then for the Giants for a year, and finally becoming the first player signed by the upstart New York Titans of the fledgling American Football League.

“To play in the sudden death game [Giants-Colts "Greatest Game Ever Played" in 1958], then wind up years later in another big game, Super Bowl III, then the first Monday night game ever played, the Heidi Bowl, other bowls,” Maynard said, “it’s great to have been a part of it.’

The title comes from Don’s nickname since his Texas school days. Larry Grantham, his former Jets teammate and good friend to this day, remembers seeing Maynard get off the bus at the Titans’ first training camp in Durham, N.H., wearing boots, jeans and his trademark two-inch-wide belt with 13’s on the side and “Shine” on the buckle.

“I knew then he was something different,” said Grantham.

One of Maynard’s traits was what he called his thriftiness and Grantham called his “cheapness.” The All-AFL linebacker recalled when the team did some friendly wagering of whether Maynard would launch himself off a diving board into the pool at the Jets’ Oakland hotel one road trip.

“We made up a little pot for 78 dollars,” Grantham recalled. “Everybody dared him to go off the board in a Jets blazer. He dove off the board in the blazer. Later he said heck, it didn’t cost that much to get it cleaned. He made a profit.”

I don’t know if Maynard went into the diving board story but he hit a number of great stories from his time as one of the great wide receivers in the AFL and in pro football.

“I was just trying to illustrate all the appreciation I have for all the people,” Maynard said, “whether it’s teachers, coaches, the great fans in New York,” Maynard said. “And now to come back to New York with my book, that’s just made everything complete.”

“You Can’t Catch Sunshine” is cowritten with Matthew Shepatin, with a foreward by Joe Namath and is published by Triumph Books/Random House.

Jets Inactives

The Green & White inactives today are RB Joe McKnight, OL Vladimir Ducasse, T Patrick Brown, TE Jeff Cumberland, DTs Marcus Dixon and Howard Green and LB Calvin Pace. Kellen Clemens is the third QB.

Brodney Pool is active but the Jets again list two defensive starting lineup changes: Eric Smith for Pool at S and Jason Taylor for Pace at OLB.

The Patriots’ inactives are WR Taylor Price, CB Terrence Wheatley, LB Dane Fletcher, T Steve Maneri, OL Quinn Ojinnaka, DL Brandon Deaderick, T Nick Kaczur and just-signed former Jets RB/WR Danny Woodhead. The Pats are not listing a third quarterback.


Ed Hochuli will be presiding over his 15th Jets game since he became a referee in 1993. Hochuli’s had several noteworthy games, including the 1998 AFC Championship Game at Denver, the 2004 AFC Wild Card Game at San Diego, and Rex Ryan’s first game as an NFL head coach a year ago at Houston.


The Jets will be in all white for the second straight home game. In the last 10 seasons, this is only the sixth  time the Jets have worn white jerseys and white pants for a home game. Four of the six have been against New England — in the 2002 home opener, the ’07 season opener and the ’09 home opener. That last was also Ryan’s first home game as Jets coach, with the Jets prevailing, 16-9.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “The Sun’s Shining on Don Maynard and His Book”

  1. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 19, 2010 | Reply

    Bad news that Pool’s apparently not well enough to play. Wish I could be there to see Maynard, though, maybe his long-gaining spirit will seep into our offense today.

  2. By Walt on Sep 19, 2010 | Reply

    To call the unintentional contact of smith with welker a deliberate and intentional helmet to helmet hit is most ridiculous.It was no more than two players trying to make a play on the ball and it was hardly a hard hit.Something has to be done to hold these game officials accountable.It seems like they just do not want the Jets to win.It was just as much welker hitting smith as smith hitting welker.That would have been a no call even in flag football.

  3. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 19, 2010 | Reply

    Anybody still freaked out about cutting Woodhead? Back after the Manning Bowl.

  4. By Walt on Sep 19, 2010 | Reply

    I was wondering if anyone could enlignten me on something. A long time ago when I was reading an article about the great Don Maynard It was mentioned that he was a sprinter. I was wondering if someone could tell me if Don ran track in college and any details about it.I once said to a friend that Don was a better receiver than Jerry Rice.The defensive backs in the era that Don played could jostle the receivers all over field.It was much more difficult to play receiver back then.They also played only 14 games a season back then.There are a lot of other changes in the rules since Don played that makes it a lot easier to pass today.I am serious Don was the better receiver.

  5. By Rick Roucoulet on Sep 19, 2010 | Reply

    Nothing much to say accept congrats JETS w/a win & Winning solves EVERYTHING – Oh! I can’t resist & i’m not one to live in the past but (IF ONLY THEY PASSED A LITTLE AGAINST THE RAVENS THEY’D BE 2-0)

  6. By the real t.o. on Sep 19, 2010 | Reply

    guess u were right tom 64!!!! it definitely helped cuz our offense finally got a deep threat today …not unlike maynard once was for the gang green……KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK U STARTED THIS WEEK SHOTTY SANCHEZ AND REX!!!!! U GUYS LOOKED LIKE A TEAM TO BE SCARED OF TODAY…BRAVO!!!

  7. By Scott on Sep 19, 2010 | Reply

    What other places is Don Maynard going to be at promoting his beek?

  8. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 19, 2010 | Reply

    I woulda been somewhat encouraged even if we’d lost 30-28, t.o. When we ran on 3rd and 12 and punted but the Pats passed on 3rd and 10 before the half and got the Moss TD, I thought, “Here we go again, dreaming that you’re gonna beat the Pats 10-7.” But FOR ONCE Schotty seemed to understand that you’ve gotta make the threat to pass hold up FOR THE WHOLE GAME! I don’t know when he’ll give up on that stupid WR reverse that never works and if that kind of Brad Smith nonsense is really all Rex contributes to the offensive game plan, he’d better start having his salad lunches with Namath. But for the most part Schotty pulled out some great passing plays in key situations. He even went for the Fitzgerald-type “Dare you to beat me on the jump ball” pass to Edwards on the 2-point try, something we shoulda been doing with BE since the day he got here. More after the Mannings, I can’t wait to see what everyone else has to say about the most perfect Jets game in years!

  9. By Arte Old School Section 327 on Sep 20, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Randy,
    Such a great feeling today to be a Jet Fan today!!! FYI… Is “the greatest game ever played” from ’68??? It reads ’98? Many years later Super Bowl III…

  10. By Randy Lange on Sep 20, 2010 | Reply

    Arte Old School, I was only 40 years off. The Greatest Game Ever Played was of course in 1958.

  11. By Kenny P on Sep 21, 2010 | Reply

    Now if only Don could turn back the clock and take dopey Edwards place while he gets spended for the next 4 weeks! Was is it with these guys? Ever hear of a Limo service? Unreal!

  12. By JJ on Sep 22, 2010 | Reply

    I’m loving the white at home! That is how it should be!

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