By 1987, Namath was able to stop his drinking, though he would relapse after his divorce in 2000. [5] His parents were of Hungarian descent. The longtime bachelor became a dedicated family man when the couple had two children, Jessica (born 1986) and Olivia (born 1991). [22] With Namath starting full-time they won five of the last eight of a fourteen-game season and Namath was named the AFL Rookie of the year. to his family and friends, came to Ellis Island on the steamer Pannonia in 1911,[6] and worked in the coal and steel industries of the greater Pittsburgh area.

During his time at the University of Alabama, Namath led the team to a 29–4 record over three seasons.

[45] The couple divorced in 2000,[45] with the children living in Florida with their father. The 1968 Colts were touted as "the greatest football team in history", and former NFL star and Atlanta Falcons head coach Norm Van Brocklin ridiculed the AFL before the game, saying "I'll tell you what I think about Joe Namath on Sunday night—after he has played his first pro game. He was a first-round draft selection by both the NFL and the upstart AFL. When was Joe Namath inducted to the Hall of Fame? [54], Namath's prowess on the field, fashion sense, lighthearted personality, and status as a sex symbol made him the first sports figure to appeal equally to men, women, and children—as demonstrated by his various product endorsements over the years. [3] In 2019, a survey conducted by the Associated Press of 60 football historians and media regularly covering the NFL voted Namath the league's greatest character, beating out former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis and fellow Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre. Later in life, long after he left football, he underwent knee replacement surgery on both legs. © 2020 NFL Enterprises LLC. Coached by Larry Bruno at Beaver Falls, Namath's football team won the WPIAL Class AA championship with a 9–0 record in 1960.

"[48] He subsequently apologized, and several weeks later entered into an outpatient alcoholism treatment program. Answer. [57] On the field, Namath stood out from other AFL and NFL players in low-cut white shoes rather than traditional black high-tops. After playing well in a 2–1 start, Namath took a beating in a one-point loss on a cold, windy, and rainy Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears, throwing four interceptions and having a fifth nullified by a penalty.

Then they offered Namath a contract worth $600,000 a year for three years; a $2 million annuity ($100,000 per year for 20 years); a $500,000 signing bonus; and terms for Namath's eventual ownership of a WFL franchise in New York (which apparently involved moving the Charlotte Hornets franchise back to the Big Apple, perhaps playing in the refurbished Yankee Stadium).
Bryant stated his decision to recruit Namath was "the best coaching decision I ever made.”[14], Between 1962 and 1964, Namath quarterbacked the Alabama Crimson Tide program under Bryant and his offensive coordinator, Howard Schnellenberger. The WFL's television provider, TVS Television Network, insisted on the Winds signing Namath to continue broadcasts; Namath, in turn, requested 15 percent of the league's television revenue. In May 2007, Olivia gave birth to a daughter, Natalia.

[36] Another notable moment was in 1970, when the head of ABC's televised sports, Roone Arledge, made sure that Monday Night Football's inaugural game on September 21, featured Namath. This was Namath's first time at Wrigley Field. [4] When Namath was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985, he teared up during his induction speech upon mentioning Bryant, who died from a heart attack in 1983.

After winning division championships in 1968 and 1969, the Jets struggled to records of 4–10, 6–8, 7–7, and 4–10. Namath was the Super Bowl MVP, completing eight passes to George Sauer alone for 133 yards.

Namath continues to serve as an unofficial spokesman and goodwill ambassador for the Jets. He played college football for the Alabama Crimson Tide under coach Paul "Bear" Bryant from 1962 to 1964. [22][23][24], The St. Louis Cardinals selected Namath 12th overall in the NFL Draft, while the Jets selected him with the first overall pick of the AFL draft. His most memorable moment in those four seasons came on September 24, 1972, when he and his boyhood idol Johnny Unitas combined for 872 passing yards in Baltimore.

[46], For the early years of his marriage, Namath continued to struggle with his alcoholism until his wife warned him that he could break up his family if he continued.

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