06 Feb Joe Willie Namath ~ Hollywood Joe
Joseph William Namath, born May 31, 1943, nicknamed Broadway Joe, is an American former football quarterback. He played college football for the Alabama Crimson Tide under coach Paul “Bear” Bryant from 1962 to 1964, and professional football in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) during the 1960s and 1970s. Namath was an AFL icon and played for that league’s New York Jets for most of his professional football career. He finished his career with the Los Angeles Rams. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. He retired after playing 143 games over 13 years in the AFL and NFL, including playoffs. His teams had an overall record of 68 wins, 71 losses, and four ties, 64–64–4 in 132 starts, and 4–7 in relief. He completed 1,886 passes for 27,663 yards, threw 173 touchdowns, and had 220 interceptions, for a career passer rating of 65.5. He played for three division champions (the 1968 and 1969 AFL East Champion Jets and the 1977 NFC West Champion Rams), earned one league championship (1968 AFL Championship), and one Super Bowl victory (Super Bowl III).
In 1999, he was ranked number 96 on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, the only player on the list to have spent a majority of his career with the Jets. In his 1975 autobiography, Bryant called Namath the most natural athlete he had ever coached.
Namath is known for boldly guaranteeing a Jets’ victory over Don Shula’s NFL Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III (1969), then making good on his prediction with a 16–7 upset (the win remains the Jets’ only Super Bowl appearance). Already a celebrity, he was now established not only as a sports icon but a pop culture icon. He subsequently parlayed his notoriety into success with endorsement deals and as a nightclub owner, talk show host, pioneering advertising spokesman, theater, motion picture, and television actor, and sports broadcaster. He remained a highly recognizable figure in the media and sports worlds half a century after his brashness cemented his identity in the public mind. In 2019, a survey conducted by the Associated Press of 60 football historians and media regularly covering the NFL voted Namath the league’s greatest character, beating out former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis and fellow Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.
After the Super Bowl victory, Namath opened a popular Upper East Side nightclub called Bachelors III, which not only drew big names in sports, entertainment, and politics, but organized crime. To protect the league’s reputation, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle ordered Namath to divest himself of his interest in the venture. Namath refused, apparently retiring from football during a teary news conference, but he eventually recanted and agreed to sell the tavern, and reported to the Jets in time for the 1969–70 season. Namath again threatened to retire before the 1970 and 1971 seasons; New York wrote in 1971 that “his retirement act had become shallow and predictable”. The magazine stated that Namath did not want to attend training camp because of the risk of injury, but could not afford to retire permanently because of poor investments.
Monday Night Football’s inaugural game
The head of ABC’s televised sports, Roone Arledge, made sure that Monday Night Football’s inaugural game on September 21, 1970 featured Namath. The Jets met the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland Municipal Stadium in front of both a record crowd of 85,703 and a huge television audience. The Jets set a team record for penalties and lost on a late Namath interception.
Building on his brief success as a host on 1969’s The Joe Namath Show, Namath transitioned into an acting career. Appearing on stage, starring in several movies, including C.C. and Company with Ann-Margret and William Smith in 1970, on stage in “Picnic” with Donna Mills in 1971 and in a brief 1978 television series, The Waverly Wonders, he guest-starred on numerous television shows, often as himself, including The Love Boat, Married… with Children, Here’s Lucy, The Brady Bunch,The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, The Flip Wilson Show, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, The Dean Martin Show, The Simpsons, The A-Team, ALF, Kate & Allie, and The John Larroquette Show. He guest hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson several times and also served as a color commentator on NFL broadcasts, including the 1985 season of Monday Night Football. In September 2012, Namath was honored by the Ride of Fame and a double-decker tour bus was dedicated to him in New York City. He appeared as himself in the 2013 sports film Underdogs and the 2015 comedy film The Wedding Ringer.
. In 2011, Namath was representing Topps and promoting a “Super Bowl Legends” contest, appearing on its behalf on the Late Show with David Letterman. For Super Bowl XLVIII which was hosted in the Jets’ MetLife Stadium, Namath and his daughter Jessica wore fur coats for the ceremonial coin toss to “bring back a little of that flash from his heyday” as a player. Namath continues to serve as an unofficial spokesman and goodwill ambassador for the Jets
Namath’s prowess on the field, fashion sense, lighthearted personality, and stature as a sex symbol made him the first sports figure to appeal equally to men, women, and children – as proven by his various product endorsements over the years. His nickname “Broadway Joe” was given to him by Sherman Plunkett, a Jets teammate. “Joe Willie Namath” was Namath’s moniker based on his full given name and was popularized by sportscaster Howard Cosell. Namath also appeared in television advertisements both during and after his playing career, most notably for Ovaltine milk flavoring, Noxzema shaving cream (in which he was shaved by a then-unknown Farrah Fawcett), and Hanes Beautymist pantyhose. All of these commercials contributed to his becoming a pop-culture icon.
Joe Namath has reported net worth of $18 million dollars.