Joe Namath will live in the hearts of New York Jets’ fans forever, or at least until they win another Super Bowl. He guaranteed it, and made good on his guarantee, 44 years ago, delivering the Jets their only championship in the history of the franchise.
Jets’ fans will be forever in his debt, thanks to that one game. However, the ride with Joe Namath hasn’t been so great since, especially over the last few seasons.
We have all speculated that his relationship with the Jets isn’t so good. On Rich Eisen’s podcast, Joe confirmed as much:
“Clumsy, awkward. Expressing myself and giving my opinions … none of us when we’re in position to be critiqued, if it’s not good we don’t like to hear it,” he said. “And I know it’s been uncomfortable for the Jets, Mr. (Woody) Johnson, Rex or whatever. It’s uncomfortable for me, it has been for me since I’ve been around and noticed a subtle change in our relationships.”
One of the major topics of the day was, what else? Should Mark Sanchez have been in the football game Saturday night in the fourth quarter?
“I wish (Ryan) would just say it was wrong — ‘I made a mistake,’ ” he said in that unmistakable Namathian drawl. “But instead he was talking about the competitive feelings of wanting to win. That’s just beating around the bush. My man made a mistake, Rich! “You do not put your quarterback in there in that situation, not the guy that is probably going to be your starter behind a makeshift offensive line in a preseason game,” Namath added. “Come on. There was no rhyme or reasoning to that.”
I don’t necessarily disagree with Joe on the issue, as we know. Personally, I think Rex should have had the forethought to “flip the script” and go another direction. But that isn’t the point here.
Joe has been critical for a few years now. He really has nothing nice to say about the team. I understand that he is asked his opinions, so he is going to give them. But, should he really be surprised that the relationship is awkward? After being criticized for a long time, over and over again, relationships are going to turn awkward.