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Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway
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Saturday, 28 July 2012

CBS 60 Minutes: Joe Namath The Life of Broadway Joe: The First Pro Football Superstar

I have mixed the feelings about the life of former New York Jets Quarterback Joe Namath. On one hand the great part of Joe Namath's career was really about 3-4 years in the NFL, from 1966-69 or so. And then the rest of his career was filled with injuries and losses, stuck playing for the bad teams of the Jets in the early and mid 1970s. On the other hand what Broadway Joe accomplished in that short period of time, is about as great of career that a football player could have. Including winning MVP's, Super Bowl III, the Jets being the first American Football League team to win the Super Bowl and winning the MVP. The first Pro Football QB to throw for 4000 yards, the Jets being like a seventeen point underdog and yet beat the Baltimore Colts 16-7 and the Jets haven't been great since. Some forty three years later, that alone should give you a good idea of the impact that Joe Namath had on the New York Jets. A great team with Broadway Joe, a bad team with Broadway Joe and the Jets haven't been great since, they had at the time. With John Unitas aging and beat up, arguably the greatest QB of that era and they did everything they could with him in 1968. And haven't accomplished much since.

Why was Joe Namath a great QB even for as short of the time that he was, even though his career numbers, except for his won loss record. Look pretty good compared with the stats of the QB's of his generation were putting up, the quickest release that Pro Football had ever seen, at least up to that point. You can argue that Dan Marino had a quicker release but has soon as Joe figured out who he should throw the ball to, the ball was gone almost at that exact moment. He read the defense and bam, the ball gone and towards the receiver and of course it was up to the receive whether he received the ball or not. And a cannon and touch to go with that release, he could throw the ball short, mid and deep and throw it with authority to get the ball to the receiver. As soon as he needed to have it, Joe's arm was so strong that of course he got overconfident and got passes picked off that he shouldn't of but a lot of time his throws were right on.

Had the Jets remained competitive, continued to draft and trade for the players, especially on the Offensive Line. So they could've protected Namath more and perhaps ran the ball better in the 1970s, because other great QB's managed to stay fairly healthy in this brutal era. Maybe we are talking about the greatest Quarterback of all time in Joe Namath who leads the Jets to 2-3 more Super Bowl Championships. But even without that not happening, Joe is still one of the top 5-10 QB's who ever played, at least in my opinion.