Joe Namath was already a family identify upon delivering the best assure in skilled sports activities historical past. However after he and his workforce cashed in on his Tremendous Bowl assure, Broadway Joe, for a quick second in time, was arguably probably the most well-known man on the planet.
Namath, who declared that the 18-point underdog Jets would defeat the mighty Colts in Tremendous Bowl III, backed it up by main a Jets offense that befuddled Baltimore’s mighty protection. The Jets protection additionally performed a key position within the upset, forcing 5 turnovers that included three interceptions of quarterback Earl Morrall, the NFL‘s MVP that season. After the Jets had completed their 16-7 victory, Namath additional etched his identify in professional soccer lore by pointing his index finger to the sky as he danced off of the Orange Bowl turf. Namath’s play that day was one of many fundamental the reason why his profession was immortalized within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1985.
In mild of his 78th birthday, we determined to try 5 quick information about Namath that you simply may not know. One in all them includes an eye-popping truth from Namath’s crowing achievement, one which Namath himself did not know till many years later.
1. A particular quarterback fraternity
Of the 26 quarterbacks at the moment enshrined in Canton, Ohio, six are from Western Pennsylvania: Namath (Beaver Falls, Pa.), George Blanda (Youngwood, Pa.), Johnny Unitas (Pittsburgh), Joe Montana (New Eagle, Pa.), Dan Marino (Pittsburgh) and Jim Kelly (Pittsburgh/East Brady, Pa.). In 2015, the six quarterbacks have been honored as a bunch in Pittsburgh.
“I get goose bumps fascinated with it. It is an awesome honor,” Namath stated throughout the occasion. “It is our individuals. The folks that have been forward of us, our work ethic. Once we are speaking concerning the six quarterbacks from Western Pennsylvania within the Corridor we did not do it by ourselves. It is in our blood, the laborious working ethic and the appreciation for others.”
A 3-sport star at Beaver Falls Excessive Faculty, Namath led the soccer workforce to an undefeated season in 1960. Practically a decade later, Namath watched as Unitas — a fellow Western Pa. product — tried in vein to rally his Colts after reliving Morrall throughout the second half of Tremendous Bowl III. Unitas did quarterback the Colts to their solely landing, however his late-game magic was not sufficient to beat Namath and the Jets.
2. Nationwide champion
Throughout his last yr at Alabama, Namath helped lead the Crimson Tide to a 10-1 report and the second of six nationwide titles for legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Although his passing stats weren’t gaudy, Namath went 29-4 as Alabama’s beginning quarterback. Whereas his knees have been finally his undoing within the NFL, Namath had no such points in school, the place he ran for 15 touchdowns that included six scores throughout the ’64 season. Bryant later referred to as Namath “the best athlete I ever coached.”
The twelfth total choose within the 1965 NFL draft, Namath spurned the NFL and the St. Louis Cardinals to signal with the Jets, who chosen him with the No. 1 total choose in that yr’s AFL draft. Fittingly, Namath signed with “Gang Inexperienced” after receiving a $427,000 contract, the very best rookie contract in professional soccer historical past on the time. A Professional Bowler in 1965, Namath led the AFL in passing in 1966. In 1967, Namath turned the primary quarterback in professional soccer historical past to eclipse 4,000 passing yards (he additionally led the AFL with 28 interceptions that season). Namath took full benefit of the gifted receiving duo of Corridor of Famer Don Maynard and All-Professional George Sauer, who caught a mixed 146 passes for two,323 yards and 16 touchdowns in 14 regular-season video games.
4. Zero fourth-quarter passes
For the primary three quarters of Tremendous Bowl III, Namath accomplished 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards. Namath didn’t try a single go throughout the fourth quarter, a truth Namath himself did not know till many years later throughout an NFL Movies particular on the sport.
“I would not be stunned if was zero,” Namath informed the interviewer when requested what number of fourth-quarter passes he tried towards Baltimore. “Was it actually? That is the primary time I have been informed that. I promise.”
With the Jets taking a 16-0 lead one minute into the fourth quarter, Namath was content material at hand the ball off to Matt Snell (30 carries, 121 yards, one landing) and Emerson Boozer (19 yards on 10 carries) throughout the sport’s last stanza. Not solely did his play-calling preserve the Colts’ protection on their heels, Namath additional pissed off them by shortening his drop to offset Baltimore’s fericoius go rush. Namath additionally took benefit of the Colts’ give attention to stopping Maynard. Whereas Maynard didn’t catch a go throughout Tremendous Bowl III, Sauer caught eight passes for 133 yards that included a 39-yard catch that arrange the Jets’ last rating.
5. Comeback Participant of the 12 months
Throughout his 5 seasons within the AFL, Namath was a four-time Professional Bowler and the league’s MVP in 1968 and in ’69. After accidents worn out nearly all of his first two NFL seasons, Namath earned his first and solely Professional Bowl nod within the NFL in 1972 after main the league in passing yards and landing passes. Two years later, after accidents restricted him to simply six video games in 1973, Namath gained Comeback Participant of the 12 months after showing in all 14 video games throughout the 1974 season. If could be the ultimate vital award Namath would win throughout his enjoying profession.