Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Our next candidate for enshrinement in the Jet Press Hall of Fame is one that we obviously couldn’t forget, brought to you by Charlie DiSturco.
One of the most deserving nominees for the Jet Press Hall of Fame is “Broadway Joe” Namath. Namath was a first round selection in both the American Football League and the National Football League.
The New York Jets drafted him in the AFL with the first pick of the draft, while the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL selected him with the 12th overall pick in the first round. He signed with the Jets, as he would become the best quarterback in Jet history.
While playing for the AFL, Namath made the All-Star team in each of his first four seasons. In 1967, he was first quarterback to surpass 4,000 passing yards. In 1969, the year before the AFL-NFL merger (but third AFL-NFL Super Bowl – announced in 1969), Namath led the Jets into Super Bowl III, where he would face off against the Baltimore Colts.
The Colts were nicknamed the “greatest team in NFL history” and ridiculed the AFL, especially the Jets. Namath, three days before the big game, declared, “We’re going to win Sunday. I guarantee it.”
Although he didn’t throw a touchdown pass in the game, Namath led the Jets to a 16-7 victory over the Colts. He completed 17-of-28 passes for 206 yards and was also named the Super Bowl MVP.
Without the bold Super Bowl III prediction and victory for the Jets, Namath and the rest of the AFL might have faded into obscurity.
Due to multiple knee injuries, Namath began to struggle in the NFL, never returning to his old form.
The Jets retired his number 12 jersey and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
Now bring him to the Jet Press Hall of Fame.