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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Mind-blowing stats for the New York JetsNFL.com, June 29th
In 1985, Joe Namath became the first player from the franchise to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But should he be there? Namath is one of seven modern era quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame with more career interceptions than touchdowns...Read more
Marino, Montana, Kelly sing Namath's praises at Gridiron Gold event in PittsburghTimesonline.com, June 6th
Saturday night's Gridiron Gold event was a celebration of four Hall of Fame quarterbacks and western Pa. including East Brady's Jim Kelly, South Oakland's Dan Marino, Monongahela's Joe Montana and Beaver Falls' Joe Namath...Read more
The Replay: Andrew Luck, Joe Namath, and Juergen SommerIndianapolis Monthly, June 5th
Namath in Vain: Andrew Luck channels Jets great Joe Namath during a commercial for fledgling sports-drink maker BODYARMOR. In the minute-long spot, Broad Ripple Andy goes full-on Broadway Joe, sporting a Fu Manchu 'stache and, over his shoulder, ...Read more
Andrew Luck looks like Joe Namath for adColtPower.com (subscription), June 4th
Colts' three-time Pro Bowl quarterback has 'Broadway Joe' persona with Fu Manchu, mink coat in Body Armor TV pitch. Has Andrew Luck really ditched the “Neard” for a Fu Manchu? No, not yet. But the Indianapolis Colts quarterback who prefers growing a ...Read more
Joe Namath for President!Boise Weekly, June 3rd
No question about the Republican nominee coming out of this July's national convention in Ferguson, Mo.: Joe Namath, the guy who beat the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts 16-7 in Superbowl III, the fur coat wearing former University of Alabama...Read more
Billy Reed: 1969 Triple Crown bid, Joe Namath and Toots Shor'sWAVE 3, June 2nd
The big story of the week was about Joe Namath, the quarterback who only months earlier had led the New York Jets to an historic win over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. But now Joe's mug was on the back pages of the New York tabloids for...Read more
Happy Birthday, Joe NamathThe Post Game (blog), May 31st
Joe Namath, who became one of the NFL's first stars in the Super Bowl era, was born on May 31, 1943. Namath was a standout quarterback at Alabama who went on to play for the New York Jets in the AFL and NFL. He led the team from 1964 to 1975, ...Read more
Joe Namath Wouldn't Play Football If He Could Do It All Over AgainHuffington Post, May 1st
Football legend Joe Namath has decided that if he could live his life over again, he wouldn't play football. In a recent sit-down interview with WPBF-TV, an ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Florida, the Hall of Fame quarterback was asked by Tiffany...Read more