Big Lead Sports Bar


Namath to Sign Books; No "I Just Want to Kiss You" Inscriptions Allowed

The one, the only Joe Willie Namath will be signing his autobiography, Namath, tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at South Side Works. The legendary Beaver County native and NFL Hall of Famer will be appearing from 6-8 PM. And no, Suzy Kolber will not be there.

I was discussing Namath's career recently with my brother, and since he played before we were both born, we delved into the world of internet stats to quantify Namath's greatness. According to, Namath had a career TD to INT ratio of 173 to 220 (1:1.27). On the all-time lists, he is stunningly mediocre: Pass attempts, 44th; Passing yards, 42nd; Passing TDs, 43rd.

In terms of career passing yards, Namath ranks behind Kerry Collins, Jake Plummer, Mark Brunell, and Rich Gannon, none of whom should expect to be immortalized in Canton. Yes, I realize that the seasons were only 14 games long when Namath played; but I also noticed that he played in six or less games as a starter four times in his 13-year career. He didn't have Manning's stats or Favre's durability; those attributes did not get him a bronze bust in Ohio. Namath's greatness was his moxie, his bravado, and most importantly, his win in Super Bowl III. Namath's Super Bowl win is probably the closest tied to a Hall of Fame career than any other player's. The guarantee and subsequent win defined who he was and legitimized the AFL to a legion of non-believers.

He was the first true off-the-field media machine. He is the epitome of the phrase "Women loved him, men wanted to be him." He is almost equally famous for his Fu-manchu, nightclub ownership, panty hose, and fur coat as his on-field exploits. He was a personality that would thrive in the modern-day NFL.

To people like myself who never saw Namath play, I encourage you to check out his Wikipedia page. "Fascinating" would be an understatement when describing his life. I would love to see the scene when Namath descends on the South Side tonight, but I doubt he'll hit the bars post-signing. He's been clean and sober for over 1,000 days. But turn back the clock 30 years, and I can assure you we'd have a gallery of pictures that would make Big Ben, Kyle Orton, and Matt Leinart look like amateurs by comparison. Here's to you, Joe.


Anonymous said...

As reluctant as I am to admit to reading this, it's nice to see ESPN's ripping off the Cowher Statue.

Anonymous said...

The reason Joe Namath is in the Hall of Fame with his numbers is the fact that he transcended the game. With his flamboyant personality he attracted more than just the football nut to the game. Women loved Joe Willie and fed of his every move. He is a major reason why the Super Bowl is the spectacle it is today. If he didn't play with the knees of a 70-year old man he probably would have achieved much more on-field success.

Doug said...

With their flamboyant personalities I guess that we will be seeing T.O., Warren Sapp, and Chad Johnson in the hall.

Anonymous said...

Great post Raul! My memory is failing me, but the thing I really remember aboout Joe Namath was his appearance in his senior year in the Sugar? Bowl, I believe.

The opponent was Nebraska and they were playing the Nebraska grind it out offense with a back by the name of Ernie Coy (why do I remember his name to this day?)

Anyway, it was a classic example of the pass versus the run in a way that you hardly ever see anymore. On one hand you hand Namath throwing on nearly every play in spectacular fashion and on the other side you had this relentless ground game plodding, plodding plodding. The game also featured "Bear" Bryant and his hat against Bob DeVaney.

Although I don't remember the final score, Alabama won in thrilling fashion and Joe Namath became the hottest thing since sliced bread.

I'm sure Raul that you will quickly find the information on this game and point out my many memory lapses.

Anonymous said...

Sapp, probably--he won a Super Bowl and was the most dominant player at his position for a number of years. Johnson has a high chance if he keeps up his current pace. Owens is a longshot--I can't see those old fogies like Dr. Z. and Peter King voting him in.

HadesGigas said...

AHEM, I think it's about time we had the "Jay Cutler to the hall" discussion.


Anonymous said...

I don't know what's crazier about that video, that he wanted to kiss Kolber or that he thought the Jets would win a championship with Chad Pennington.