Joe Namath’s place in football history is not limited to his fine record of 12 seasons with the New York Jets and one swan-song year at the end of his career with the Los Angeles Rams. Namath was also in the thick of the 1960s rivalry between the National and American Football Leagues.
Drafted by the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals, Namath raised eyebrows when he signed with the AFL’s New York Jets, in no small part, one must assume, because of the then astronomical $400,000 contract he was offered. That, and his reputation as a ladies man, earned him the nickname Broadway Joe.
On the field, the former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback, who played for legendary coach Bear Bryant, excelled in his first season, earning Rookie of the Year honors. In 1967, he became the first quarterback in any league the throw for more than 4,000 yards in a single season. But his greatest triumph came at the end of the 1968 season—in 1969, actually—when he delivered on his promise of a Jets victory over the NFL’s mighty Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
Namath’s idol, Johnny Unitas, was on the Colts bench until late in that game, but it was Namath’s 17 of 28 completions—which got Matt Snell close enough to score a touchdown and Jim Turner close enough to kick three field goals—that kept the pressure on the Colts. Namath was named the game’s Most Valuable Player and gave the AFL its first Super Bowl victory.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985, Namath has long been a favorite of football-memorabilia collectors. Indeed, few vintage football cards are as iconic as his vertical, 1965 Topps rookie card.
The illustration of the young Namath, with an all-business expression on his face, floats on a bright yellow background—the words “NEW YORK” hover above his head like a Broadway marquee. In fact, all of Namath’s Topps cards from the 1960s are collectible, as are recent items, from signed jerseys and footballs to autographed photos.
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Marshawn Lynch, Joe Namath and the myth behind Super Bowl 'guarantee'New York Post, January 27th
Marshawn Lynch barely spoke to the media Tuesday, but it also should be noted that the famous guarantee by Joe Namath (inset) was not given at an organized media event, Mike Vaccaro writes. Photo: Getty Images; Reuters (inset) ...Read more
Joe Namath 1978Syracuse.com, January 27th
Former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath runs onto the field at New York?s Shea Stadium at halftime of a game played between the New York Jets and the Baltimore Colts, Dec. 3, 1978. Namath and other former Jets players returned to the field for ...Read more
Joe NamathSTLtoday.com, January 22nd
Legendary Alabama coach Bear" Bryant called Namath the "most talented college football player I ever saw.” NFL teams were concerned about Namath's banged up knee, so he was still around when the St. Louis Cardinals made him the 12th player taken in ...Read more
Joe Namath gives stamp of approval on Jets' recent movesFanSided, January 16th
When speaking about the history of the New York Jets, one man separates himself and comes to the forefront: Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath. The 71-year-old Super Bowl champion has remained very close to the organization and is never afraid to ...Read more
Spoiler alert: Watch 'Broadway' Joe Namath's cameo in a clip from Kevin Hart's ...AL.com, January 16th
No stranger to the spotlight, Joe Namath will temporarily switch Broadway for Hollywood this weekend with the release of Kevin Hart's comedy "The Wedding Ringer," in which the former Alabama and NFL quarterback has a cameo. Sorry for the spoiler...Read more
Remembering The Day Joe Namath Made Good On His Super Bowl GuaranteeThe Post Game (blog), January 11th
January 12, 1969: Joe Namath guaranteed a Super Bowl victory three days prior to the game and then went and backed it up on the field. On this day, the New York Jets shocked the football world and upset the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Oddsmakers ...Read more
Joe Namath signed his rookie contract with the Jets 50 years ago todayNJ.com, January 2nd
Joe Namath signed his rookie contract with the Jets 50 years ago today. 16691207-mmmain.jpg. Joe Namath joined the Jets 50 years ago on Jan. 2, 1965. (William Perlman | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com). Print · Charles Curtis | For NJ Advance Media ...Read more
Remembering The Day Joe Namath Got The Largest Rookie Contract In FootballThe Post Game (blog), January 2nd
January 2, 1965: "Bear" Bryant called Joe William Namath the best player he ever coached at the University of Alabama. And apparently New York Jets owner Sonny Werblin was willing to do whatever it took to get him. On this day in 1965, Werblin signed...Read more