Thursday, January 12, 2017

1969: We remember Joe Namath and Super Bowl III

This is for those old enough who remember the Jets beating the Colts in Super Bowl III:
"Namath’s brash confidence was never more on display than in a public appearance in the days leading up to Super Bowl III, when he assured a heckler that the Jets (19-point underdogs) would beat the Colts (reputedly the best team in NFL history), even going so far as to say "I guarantee it." 
Namath’s trash-talking drew criticism from many in the NFL, who doubted his ability and insisted the AFL could not really compete with the older, more established NFL.    
Namath proved to be as good as his word, however, as the Jets drove 80 yards in the first quarter and grabbed a 7-0 lead in the second with a four-yard touchdown run by fullback Matt Snell. 
The defense intercepted Colts quarterback Earl Morrall three times to prevent Baltimore from scoring. Two Jets field goals by Jim Turner in the third quarter and another at the start of the fourth put New York up 16-0. 
Though Baltimore was able to score a single touchdown in the fourth, it would not be enough. Namath completed 17 of 28 passes, for a total of 206 yards, while wide receiver George Sauer caught eight of those for 133 yards, and Snell ran for a Super Bowl record 121 yards. 
Apart from ensuring the legacy of Broadway Joe, a future Hall of Famer, the victory gave legitimacy to the AFL and assured the competitive viability of the AFL-NFL rivalry."
It was a great game to watch and a consequential victory.   It put the AFL on the map and paved the way for the merger that created the AFC and NFC that we know today.



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