One word to sum of Joe Namath? Confidence. In football, it is what separates the run of the mill quarterback from the championship quarterback. When the experts talk about confidence, the discussion inevitably turns to Joe Namath. Three days prior to Super Bowl III in 1969, Joe Namath brashly guaranteed that his upstart New York Jets would defeat the might Baltimore Colts.
With Joe’s confident declaration, Namath had broken the unwritten rule of professional sports: Never guarantee a victory. When the 17 point underdogs went out the next day and actually did humiliate the Colts, it was a defining moment for football and for the brash young star who made it happen.
Super Bowl III in 1969 is considered a landmark event in football history. When Namath and the AFL’s Jets beat the Baltimore Colts of the NFL, it showed that the AFL had finally reached parity, ending years of dominance of the NFL.
Joe Namath’s Biography
Born May 31, 1943
Growing Up: Learns to throw from his three older brothers. Namath practiced throwing over telephone wires near his home. His goal as a kid was to be in the Air Force and fly airplanes.
Age 17: Joe Leads high school team to an undefeated season and the Western Pennsylvania league title. Named to the All Conference team. Shoulder separation almost ends his career.
Age 18: Goes to college at the University of Alabama.
Age 20: Breaks training junior year and is suspended from the Sugar Bowl.
Age 21: Senior year, team finishes No. 1 but because of knee injury, coach Bear Bryant plays Namath only eight times.
Age 23: Namath signs with the Jets in 1965.
1969: leads the New York Jets to the Super Bowl.
1977: Retires from football.