Namath. A biography.

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by Juke99, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    I picked up this book yesterday. Great read.

    I immediately went to the chapters that covered the Superbowl...great stuff indeed. In depth stuff about how he set up the Colts with the deep threat and then picked them apart underneath. Great stuff about Snell. Great stuff about how the Colts rotated their vaunted zone to the strong side...and Namath kept calling run plays to the weak side.

    THEN I went I began to read the rest of the book...what an amazing athlete this guy was....and in spite of the pretty boy image, he was one tough SOB.

    There are a few pics of him tossing a "jump pass"...he had more elevation that Michael Jordan. If not for the knee injuries...well, the sky was the limit.

    Hopefully, he won't only be remembered for his antics with Suzy on TV...the worst part of which was that it was an AWFUL pick up line...I expect better from Broadway Joe!
  2. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Nice post, Juke.

    Actually, the one positive came out of Joe's drunken display with Kolber was he sought treatment. From accounts, he never reached Pat Summerall level alcoholism, but the guy who was quoted as "liking his women blonde, and his Johnny Walker red" thirty five years ago had to have downed a lot of scotch over the years.

    Joe played on knees no doctors would sanction today, and before recent medical innovations in ACL and MCL surgery. Severe arthritis had set into his knees while he was still playing - I remember reading at age 40 or so he was unable to cross the field of the football camp he runs for kids - had to use a golf cart.

    Toughness, yeah, a legacy of Bear Bryant, whom Joe worshipped, and his western Pennsylvania background. Even tho he reached cultural icon status, (really, he carries a historical significance beyond Super Bowl III in how he reflected the change in pro athletes and the public perception of them - is there any more glaring example of the social cut off from the early 60's and late 60's than that between Johnny Unitas and Joe Namath? It's like Bobby Darren morphing into Jimi Hendrix :eek: ), he still was, at core, an old-school, tough guy football player.

    And then there was that astonishing release...

    ....they just don't make em like that anymore.
  3. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    And...if you judge him by his numbers, as those who did not see him play might be inclined to do, you're missing the story.

    Even before the SB, Namath, when asked about Earl Morall said that his completion percentage would be 80% if he threw the dinks and dunks that Morall did. That comment set the tone...first, it was true (although a bit overstated)...second, it goaded Morall into throwing some realllllly bad passes downfield.

    Namath had TE's average 18 yards per catch while he QB'ed the Jets. Everything he threw, he threw downfield. And he was the superbowl, he tossed a long bomb to Don Maynard (who was nursing a terrible hamstring injury) just to let the Colts know that they should be careful. Maynard didn't catch a single pass that game but the most important play might have been that missed bomb...Maynard, bad hamstring and all, beat Lyles by three yards...if he was healthy, he would have caught up with the pass.

    But for the rest of the day, the Colts rotated their defense to Maynard's side...and Namath ran and passed the other way.

    Great stuff.

    And yes, THAT release...classic one every dropped back as quick...and had a quick a release...

    People also forget that he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles. Great great athlete.

  4. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Nope not even the great record-holding Marino, tho you won't find many Phins fan willing to entertain it.

    Bear Bryant once said Joe was the "greatest athlete I ever coached".

    I know at Beaver Falls High he was a football, baseball and basketball star. I believe he was both a pitcher and an outfielder in high school, and the Orioles offered him a fairly big bonus for that time...but Joe decided on football.

    You know what, Juke, I was just a kid when he was playing but Joe was what attracted both my older sister and me to the Jets over the Giants - it wasn't just about his persona, it was how damn good he was. My dad was a lifelong Jints fan but marveled at Joe from the time he was at Alabama. He told me later he thought Joe was the best college and best pro QB he had ever seen, til the injuries and overall Jet FO ineptitude set in.

    I'm glad you enjoyed that bio so much!

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