48 Facts About Joe Namath


Joseph William Namath is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback in the American Football League and National Football League for 13 seasons, primarily with the New York Jets.


Joe Namath played college football at Alabama, where he won the national championship as a senior, and was selected by the Jets first overall in the 1965 AFL Draft.


Joe Namath played in New York for seven more seasons, with his final year spent as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.


Joe Namath cemented his legacy in 1969 when he guaranteed his heavy underdog Jets would win Super Bowl III before defeating the NFL's Baltimore Colts in one of the greatest sports upsets of all time.


Joe Namath received Super Bowl MVP honors in the game, while becoming the first quarterback to win both a college national championship and a major professional championship.


Joe Namath was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.


Joe Namath was born and raised in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.


Joe Namath grew up in the Lower End neighborhood of Beaver Falls.


Joe Namath is the son of Roman Catholic parents, Rose and Janos "John Andrew" Namath, a steelworker, both of Hungarian descent.


Joe Namath was the youngest of four sons, with an older adopted sister.


Joe Namath excelled in all sports at Beaver Falls High School and was a standout quarterback in football, guard in basketball, and outfielder in baseball.


Joe Namath later clarified a story about being the only white player on his high school basketball team on The James Brown Show in 2018, where he was the guest.


Joe Namath stated that although he was one of several white players on the team, he was the only white starter.


Joe Namath told interviewers that he wanted to sign with the Pirates and play baseball like his idol, Roberto Clemente, but elected to play football because his mother wanted him to get a college education.


Joe Namath enrolled at the University of Alabama, but left before graduating in order to pursue a career in professional football.


Joe Namath had many offers from Division I college football programs, including Penn State, Ohio State, Alabama, and Notre Dame, but initially decided upon the University of Maryland after being heavily recruited by Maryland assistant coach Roland Arrigoni.


Joe Namath was rejected by Maryland because his college-board scores were just below the school's requirements.


Between 1962 and 1964, Joe Namath quarterbacked the Alabama Crimson Tide program under Bryant and his offensive coordinator, Howard Schnellenberger.


When Joe Namath was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985, he teared up during his induction speech upon mentioning Bryant, who died of a heart attack in 1983.


Joe Namath attended college at the height of the civil rights movement in the Southern United States.


Joe Namath was eleventh in the voting for the 1964 Heisman Trophy, which was won by quarterback John Huarte of Notre Dame.


In 1964, despite suffering a nagging knee injury in the fourth game of his senior year at Alabama, Joe Namath limped through the undefeated regular season to the Orange Bowl.


Joe Namath was a first-round draft selection by both the NFL and the upstart AFL.


The day after the Orange Bowl, Joe Namath elected to sign with the Jets, under the direction of Sonny Werblin, for a salary of US$427,000 over three years.


Joe Namath became the first professional quarterback to pass for 4,000 yards in a season when he threw for 4,007 yards during a 14-game season in 1967, a record broken by Dan Fouts in a 16-game season in 1979.


On some occasions, Joe Namath had to have his knee drained at halftime so he could finish a game.


Joe Namath was the Super Bowl MVP, completing eight passes to George Sauer Jr.


The WFL's television provider, TVS Television Network, insisted on the Winds signing Joe Namath to continue broadcasts; Joe Namath, in turn, requested 15 percent of the league's television revenue.


Counterintuitively the WFL refused, and Joe Namath stayed with the Jets.


Joe Namath was benched as a starter for the rest of the season and retired at its end.


Joe Namath guest-starred on numerous television shows, often as himself, including The Love Boat, Married.


Joe Namath was a candidate to host the 1988 revival of the American game show Family Feud, before the job went to comedian Ray Combs.


Joe Namath guest hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson several times and served as a color commentator on NFL broadcasts, including the 1985 season of Monday Night Football and several years with NBC Sports.


In September 2012, Joe Namath was honored by the Ride of Fame and a double-decker tour bus was dedicated to him in New York City.


Joe Namath appeared as himself in the 2013 sports film Underdogs and the 2015 comedy film The Wedding Ringer.


Joe Namath was the only athlete listed on the master list of Richard Nixon's political opponents which was made public in 1973 during the Watergate investigation, erroneously listed as playing for the New York Giants.


On December 20,2003, Joe Namath garnered unfavorable publicity after he consumed too much alcohol during a day that was dedicated to the Jets' announcement of their All-Time team.


In July 2015, Joe Namath joined the search for two boys who went missing during a fishing trip off the coast of Florida, and offered a $100,000 reward for the safe return of the boys.


On June 6,2018, Joe Namath threw out the first pitch at a Chicago Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field.


Joe 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 Joe 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.


The white shoes started when Joe Namath was at Alabama, where he kept having his worn-out cleats taped over as a superstition, especially after his first major knee injury was the result of a game in which he had forgotten to have the shoes taped.


When he joined the Jets, Joe Namath continued to have his shoes taped until Jets coach Weeb Ewbank noticed that the excess tape usage was costing the team money, so he ordered white cleats for Joe Namath.


Joe Namath appeared in television advertisements both during and after his playing career, most notably for Ovaltine milk flavoring, Noxzema shaving cream, and Hanes Beautymist pantyhose.


Joe Namath continues to serve as an unofficial spokesman and goodwill ambassador of the Jets.


In 2011, Joe Namath was representing Topps and promoting a "Super Bowl Legends" contest, appearing on its behalf on the Late Show with David Letterman.


On June 2,2013, Joe Namath was the guest speaker at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, unveiling the Canton, Ohio museum's $27 million expansion and renovation plan.


In conjunction with its release, Joe Namath was interviewed for the November 19,2006, edition of CBS' 60 Minutes.