The New York Jets Must Mend Fences with Icon Joe Namath


Feb. 2, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA: New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath walks the red carpet prior to the Super Bowl XLVII NFL Honors award show at Mahalia Jackson Theater. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice.  What do all of these people have in common?  The ability to lead men.  The ability to take their team’s on their respective backs and lead them to the promised land.  Each one of these players was able to do that, and that brought them to a next level, that not many players achieve.  The status of “icon”, and of someone who will be revered for years to come.

Brian Costello talked about this topic earlier in the week, but as OTAs move forward, it seemed like a good time to bring his topic back and take it further.

We know what started all of this, we don’t need to go into great detail to rehash the parents, and my sister didn’t want to chime into this one.  For anyone that is somehow not aware, there is a war being vetted by Joe Namath.  Namath has felt that it is his duty to call his former team out, for any move he hasn’t approved of.

Here he is, Joe Namath, former starting quarterback for the Jets, and icon to end all icons.  How can you not be an icon if you guaranteed a Super Bowl win, and went out and earned it?  That is the icon to end all icons.

But yet, Namath doesn’t carry himself that way, causing many fans not to consider him in that regard either.  For the last two years, Joe has taken to his weekly ESPN radio interview to criticize nearly everything the Jets have done.  Not much has pleased him, and frankly, it’s a bit of a turnoff to hear him speak.

This week, we gained a small glimpse into Namath’s feelings, when, during an interview with the “Boomer and Carton” show on WFAN radio here in NY, Joe finally admitting that there are some problems between him and the New York Jets.  He didn’t elaborate, nor should he be expected to.  But, this is obviously what sets reporters to begin by feeling negative about this football team.

So how do we fix it?  First of all, Joe Namath needs to grow up, whatever his problem is.  I mean, is he really surprised that Woody Johnson is annoyed by him.  Whether is comments are accurate or not, they are constant.  Do you remain friends with someone who continuously belittles you in public?  I would assume not, because you would be silly.  So it’s no shock that the Jets are annoyed with Joe.

Secondly, in the category of “grow up”, what is Joe Namath’s problem anyway?  What did the Jets do to him that so bad.  I understand that I was not alive for the playing career of Joe Namath, no argument there.  But, it seems that the Jets have ALWAYS been there for Joe, no matter what he did.  His utter embarrassment in the Suzy Kolber splat?  The Jets were right there with him.  He has always been promoted to the forefront, and as the leader.  This is the response that he gives his life long team?  Sorry, he should really get over what his problems might be.

But take away all of that, and admit there is a problem that just can’t be forgiven.  How do the Jets get past this?  Well, Brian Costello posted an interesting theory.  You know the theory that some have, that making drugs legal would keep them off the streets?  Well, Coz would like to apply a similar theory here.  Bring Joe back into the family as an advisor, let him make suggestions to the brass face-to-face.  That way, the luster of making comments won’t be there, so he won’t want to make them to the press.

It could work.  Namath might just be feeling a bit un-important, and giving him a role with the team might help a lot.  But the situation must be monitored.  If the Jets do it, they must focus on the dynamic that comes into the locker room from upstairs.  If this causes more tension amongst everyone, Namath would have to be moved out.  He cannot be a distraction.

But the status quo cannot remain either.  They must at least try to fix this relationship, and do it fast.   For the love of the team, try to somehow find a middle ground.