Don Maynard, the only Miner to ever land in the NFL Hall of Fame, passed away this week at the age of 86.  One of my memories of Mr. Maynard was seeing him at local charity golf tournaments. He always wore these cowboy boots that had been modified to ALSO be golf shoes. I went online to see if I could find out more about these crazy golf boots. My search didn’t turn up anything. But, I found an AMAZING story from a 1973 Sports Illustrated article. Apparently, Don Maynard once had his tonsils removed…because someone told him he’d pack on weight. What?!?

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I’ll summarize, but this is the link to the ’73 SI story.

Okay. It’s the 1950s and Don Maynard is playing as a running back at Texas Western (now called UTEP). A Miners line coach mentioned to Don that if he had his tonsils removed he would quickly gain 15 to 20 pounds. At 170, Maynard was thought to be a bit undersized for the position.  Based on that advice, Don Maynard said, he decided to have his healthy tonsils removed. Seriously. He did it!

There wasn’t anything wrong with my tonsils, but I was thinking, dadgum, I’d be some kind of rompin’ stompin’ football player if I weighed 190.  They gave me a local and snipped them out. Then I started to hemorrhage, swallowed blood by the quart and they had to put in five stitches. Of course, I never gained a pound. ---Don Maynard, Sports Illustrated July 23, 1973

I encourage you to read the SI story in that link I provided. It is FULL of crazy stories like the tonsil one. Read this and you’ll understand why his golf cowboy boots were only the beginning of the uniqueness that was the Great Don Maynard.

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