|Birthdate:||May 31, 1943|
|Birthplace:||Beaver Falls, PA|
|Team/Year:||New York Jets; 1965-1976|
L.A. Rams; 1977
|MVP:||Super Bowl III|
|Other:||Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.|
Although Joe Namath is best remembered for his sterling performance in the New York Jets' stunning 16-7 upset of the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, his 13-year tenure from 1965-1977 as one of the game's most exciting, proficient, and publicized quarterbacks clearly establishes his place in professional football history.
This was assured with his first pro football act, the signing of a $400,000 contract early in 1965 that gave the AFL its biggest victory in the costly interleague war of the 1960s. After that, his image as a swinging New York bachelor as much as his golden arm helped make him perhaps the most famous football player of his time.
In 1967, "Broadway Joe" became the first quarterback to pass for more than 4,000 yards in one season. In 1968, he was named AFL player of the year and a unanimous all-pro. He also was selected the most valuable player of Super Bowl III. Namath's pregame "guarantee" of victory, backed up by his 206 yards passing, was a major factor in assuring the competitive viability of the Super Bowl.
Namath excelled at Alabama, where he was hailed by veteran Crimson Tide coach Paul (Bear) Bryant as "the greatest athlete I have ever coached." But he was plagued with knee injuries through much of his pro career. Still, his career passing totals are impressive. In the 1968 AFL Championship Game, he threw 3 touchdown passes to lead New York to a 27-23 win ove the Oakland Raiders that put the Jets in Super Bowl III. He was named to the All-Time AFL Team in 1969.