New York Jets
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Broadway Joe’s Hall of Fame Career
Joe Namath is widely considered one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. His efforts with the New York Jets would eventually place him in the Hall of Fame. His outgoing personality and natural athletic abilities made “Broadway Joe” one of the most iconic football players of his time.
What set Joe Namath apart from other players was his athletic ability. In high school he was a standout player in three different sports; football, basketball and baseball. When Joe graduated high school in 1961, several Major League Baseball teams would offer him contracts. However, Joe would choose football over baseball because his mother wanted him to get a college education. There were many Division I colleges vying for Namath, but Alabama would end up winning him over. Joe would have an amazing college career, leading the Crimson Tide to a 29-4 record over three seasons. Alabama Head Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant called Joe Namath the greatest athlete he ever coached.
In 1964, Namath would be selected in the first round of both the NFL and upstart American Football League. The St. Louis Cardinals would pick Namath 12th overall, while the AFL’s New York Jets would take him with the first overall pick. Joe would end up signing a three year, $427,000 contract with the Jets, which was the richest contract ever at the time. Even though Namath would split time with quarterback Mike Taliaferro in his first year, he played well enough to be named AFL Rookie of the Year. Two seasons later he would be the first professional quarterback to ever pass for 4,000 yards in one year and he accomplished that during a 14-game season.
Broadway Joe is probably most famous for guaranteeing a win in Super Bowl III. After the Green Bay Packers dominated AFL teams in the first two Super Bowls, many people believed it would be years before an AFL team could compete with the NFL. Montana and his Jets would take on the Baltimore Colts for the championship in 1968, a team that was considered “the greatest football team in history”. Three days before the game, Joe would boldly tell the press, “We’re going to win the game. I guarantee it”. This seemed like a crazy statement, but Joe made good on his promise. The Jets would upset the Colts, winning Super Bowl III by a score of 16-7 and Namath would be named MVP.
Joe Namath’s career would end in Canton, when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985. He will always be a legend in New York and forever be remembered for his Super Bowl guarantee. The Jets retired his number 12 jersey, further proving the impact he made on the team. New York Jets fans are also forever grateful to Joe for bringing them their only Super Bowl win.
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