New York Moments – The Guarantee (Original)
The New York Jets haven’t had a signature moment in New York sports lore since making back to back AFC Championships in ’09 and ’10. However when searching for the perfect New York moment for them, there’s really only one that kept popping up in my head over and over again.
Joseph William Namath came to the New York Jets in 1965 after a successful college career at Alabama. He could have gone to the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL (they drafted him 12th) but the Jets drafted him number one overall, gave him much more money, and gave him the spotlight of New York City. He had a charisma that lit up the skyline and although he was statistically an overrated quarterback, his swagger and demeanor preceded his play on the field. “Broadway Joe” came to the Jets for one reason; To win a championship. Boy, did he set the stakes high for them in 1969.
The NFL and AFL had just merged into the NFL and Super Bowl III was a matchup of epic proportions. It was the upstart Jets against the old guard Baltimore Colts. The Jets were the heaviest underdogs in Super Bowl history at +18 points, but that wouldn’t stop Joe Willie and the gang from having uber confidence.
I had spoke about another guarantee in a past New York moment when Mark Messier guaranteed a victory over the Devils, but this was the original one. The Jets had no business even coming close to defeating the Baltimore Colts but with Joe Namath as their leader they went in cool and confident.
The game wasn’t much to speak about. Matt Snell ran the ball 30 times for 121 yards and a touchdown. Other than that, it was a bunch of field goals and the feisty Jets defense held Earl Morrall and Johnny Unitas to under 200 yards passing and forced four interceptions. Namath was efficient, passing the ball 28 times, completing 17 of them for 206 yards. It wasn’t anything special, but he kept the ball away from Baltimore and was turnover free.
It was the greatest moment in Jets history, and still is. Namath is still considered to be by all accounts a New York legend, and he solidifies his stature as one of the greats with this guarantee. The interview is below and it was one of the greatest New York sports moments in history.
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