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Joe Namath

The College Years

His quarterbacking skills were so great while at Alabama that coach Bryant eventually changed his offense to accommodate his star player during Namath's sophomore year. Things did not always go as smoothly for the handsome college football star, being benched for two games for directing traffic while intoxicated was one such incident. His reputation for hijinks, however, would be quickly erased when he returned to take his team to the 1964 national championship. The injuries he would endure during his college days would continue to plague him throughout his professional career and would lead him to later claim that he left his game in college.


1943 Born May 31 in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
1960 Leads high school team to undefeated season
1962 Wins Orange Bowl with Alabama
1964 Drafted by the New York Jets
1965 Makes professional debut
1965 Named AFL Rookie of the Year
1967 Breaks single season passing record with 4,007 yards
1968 Leads Jets to AFL Championship
1969 Leads Jets to Super Bowl III victory
1977 Signs as a free agent with the Los Angeles Rams
1977 Retires from professional football
1984 Marries Deborah Lynn Mays
1985 Inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Awards and Accomplishments

1965 Named AFL Rookie of the Year
1965 Named Most Valuable Player at AFL All-star Game
1968 Named Super Bowl III Most Valuable Player
1968-69 Named AFL Player of the Year
1969 Wins George Halas most courageous pro player award
1972 Named All-Pro
1985 Inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame

Coming out of Alabama with a reputation and a freshly repaired knee, Namath was far from a sure thing. He was drafted by both the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL and the New York Titans of the AFL. In New York, the team had a new owner and soon a new name, the New York Jets. The offer he received set records and proved too much to turn down. Owner Sonny Werblin gave Namath a contract worth $427,000, which led to legendary Green Bay Packers' coach Vince Lombardi's public outrage. This not only signaled the arrival of a new star but also an escalation in the amount professional athletes could demand. In addition to his salary, Namath was rewarded with a number of lavish bonuses and jobs for his brothers.

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Famous Sports StarsFootballJoe Namath Biography - The College Years, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments, Instant Celebrity, Highs And Lows, The Guarantee And Super Bowl Iii