Hall of Famer Spotlight: Joe Namath

QUARTERBACK (1965-76)

Joe Namath, "superstar," is an apt description for this illustrious Jets QB. He was a player who transcended the playing field to become a household name and put a whole league on the map, the AFL. Namath enjoyed a sparkling career and led the Jets to what experts call one of the greatest upsets in sports history when he guided the team to a 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts, garnering MVP honors at the Orange Bowl in Miami in Super Bowl III January 12, 1969.

Despite enduring five knee operations, "Broadway Joe" was one of the game's great quarterbacks and one of its most prolific passers. In 1967, Namath became the first player to throw for more than 4,000 yards, accomplishing the feat in a 14-game season. He still holds most of the Jets' passing records, including single-game marks set when he lit up the Colts for 496 yards and six touchdowns September 24, 1972. For his career, he completed 1,886 of 3,762 passed for 27,663 yards and 173 touchdowns. The $400,000 contract signed by Namath in 1965 gave the Jets and the AFL some much needed credibility and started the team down the road to a Super Bowl championship.

His legendary coach from the University of Alabama Paul "Bear" Bryant said, "Joe Namath is the greatest athlete I have ever coached." Namath ended his storied career after spending one season with the Los Angeles Rams in 1977. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame August 3, 1985.

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