Category — Joe Namath
I was a 10-year-old snot-nose kid in Oklahoma when the Jets shocked the world and the Baltimore Colts back in 1969. I remember it like yesterday. As much as I liked the Raiders even then, I quietly rooted for Joe Willie Namath and the Jets. Namath represented the essence of cool. He had long hair, girls, liked Johnnie Walker Red (my Dad did too) and wore hip clothes like bell bottoms and loud colored flowered shirts that looked like they came straight off the pages of a Flagg Brothers catalogue. As much as I liked Namath though, the main reason I rooted for the Jets was because Mom had gone to college and dated Johnny Sample, who played safety for the team. At my grandmother’s house, there was a framed wrinkled black and white image of him and her at some dance. It was a big deal to me my mom knew a big-time pro athlete because, up until that point, that was my closest brush of fame even if the distance of it was as far as L.A. to Oklahoma. I never met Sample (he died years ago), but it didn’t make any difference. He knew my mom and vice versa, so that was good enough for me.
This also was the first time I’d heard of a point spread. The Colts were 18-point favorites to beat the Jets before Super Bowl III and I had to ask the Old Man what that meant. It’s only a prediction, he told me, but that pissed me off even more because then I wondered who were these idiots picking the Colts?
Anyway, Jim Litzke, who I’ve always admired because he frequently pens a good feature, delivers again with Namath and how he’s enjoying watching the rise of the Jets.
January 21, 2010 No Comments