New York Jets legend Joe Namath has been named as one of the 22 finalists for the quarterback position on the NFL 100 All-Time Team.
Either way, he’s undoubtedly beloved by Jets Nation and is likely the most recognizable player in franchise history.
His status in Jets lore as never been questioned, but his place among the NFL’s elite is something that has been called into question. Many feel that his greatness has been overrated and inflated by his off-field persona and legendary Super Bowl III victory.
That said, it’s clear that those who share that opinion don’t hold positions in the NFL’s front office.
The league announced the 22 finalists for the quarterback position on the NFL 100 All-Time Team and Namath is among those listed. The list — which has drawn the ire of many — was created to celebrate the NFL’s 100th anniversary and has included the best players in league history at each position.
While the other positions have been controversial, to say the least, it could only be imagined the firestorm that will be created once the quarterbacks are decided.
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In total, 10 of the 22 finalists will be named to the actual NFL 100 All-Time Team itself and there are sure to be a number of difficult decisions. Of course, some of the greats such as Tom Brady, Joe Montana, and John Elway seem like locks, but the list will definitely cause some disagreement.
And given Namath’s less-than-stellar career numbers (even accounting for the difference in eras) and the many claims of “overrated” from football fans before this list, it’s safe to say that his inclusion as a finalist has already riled up a certain sect of fans.
Namath may be unlikely to be named one of the 10 quarterbacks, but his inclusion among the likes of Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Aaron Rodgers, Johnny Unitas, Steve Young, and Roger Staubach — just to name a few — is absolutely something to celebrate.
If he did somehow manage to make the team, he would be the first player to play his career primarily with the Jets to be included. While a couple of players on the list had short stays with Gang Green — see Ed Reed — Namath is as synonymous with the franchise as any person.
His inclusion as a finalist comes as a slight surprise but it isn’t undeserved. Namath was one of the greats of his era and his legacy as “Broadway Joe” solidified him as one of football’s legends.
To find out if Joe Namath surprises the NFL world and makes the team be sure to tune in to NFL Network this Friday at 8 p.m. ET when a two-hour special announcing the 10-man quarterback roster is aired.