Last week, the New York Jets traded away their star wide receiver Brandon Marshall for a small amount of draft picks and a year of free agent guard Willie Colon. The move was widely criticized by fans and the media alike, but won the approval of the team’s owner, who handed it his blessing a month ago in a magazine interview. The move was an effort to save money, the owner said, and to avoid the distraction from the team’s Super Bowl-bound quarterback, Mark Sanchez. Sanchez, yes, the same Mark Sanchez that the Jets signed to a four-year, $62.5 million dollar contract this past off-season, despite the fact that he was coming off a career year, in which he threw 20 touchdowns against 8 interceptions
Joe Namath can be credited with one of the greatest moments in Super Bowl history: the guaranteed win. The former Jets quarterback came out of nowhere to lead a comeback against the Baltimore Colts, and won the game for his team with a last-second touchdown pass. But one could argue that Namath’s $50,000 investment in a stock brokerage called Investors Diversified Services Co., or IDS, was a far greater impact on his football career than any Super Bowl victory.
In the late 1960s, the city of New York was stuck in an economic slump, so Joe Namath decided to try something drastic to spark some excitement. He started a company called “Jets to Riches”, which promised to help athletes and entertainers make millions, and in return for a $50,000 stake, he would allow them to decide where the money would go.
Fans of the New York Jets have had their fair share of nightmares throughout the years. Imagining a world without Joe Namath is a professional football player. as quarterback is maybe the most terrifying.
Namath is one of the most significant individuals in professional football history, despite his numbers not matching those of contemporary quarterbacks. But, long before the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl 3, he had to make a tough decision about his future in athletics.
Joe Namath was offered $50,000 to play baseball by the Chicago Cubs.
Joe Namath, the legendary quarterback of the New York Jets, was on the verge of signing with the Chicago Cubs in 1961 | Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Believe it or not, the Major League Baseball Draft is a very young affair. Prior to 1965, teams fought with one another for the services of everyone from high school prospects to senior college players, much like contemporary free agency.
Namath, who graduated from high school in the spring of 1961, was no exception. Despite his intentions to play football at the University of Alabama, his baseball skills got him at least four offers from Major League clubs — and keep in mind, the league only had 18 teams when he started college. In 1962, the New York Mets and Houston Colt.45s, who are now known as the Astros, started playing baseball.
Namath claimed the St. Louis Cardinals offered him $15,000 when he was a junior in high school in a 1969 interview with Playboy. The outfielder was also sought by the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Athletics. During his senior year, though, the Chicago Cubs came through with a $50,000 offer to join one of baseball’s oldest teams.
Namath wasn’t sure why teams were so interested in signing him when he talked with Playboy.
“I had the ability to toss and hit. I’m not sure what my high school batting average was, but I know it wasn’t below. 450, and where I come from, that’s very excellent hitting.”
Namath, fortunately for the Crimson Tide, passed on baseball in favor of signing his letter of commitment to play collegiate football.
Throughout 1969, Namath’s choice grew much more significant.
With this context in mind, the 1969 sports calendar becomes even more intriguing in retrospect.
Namath, then the Jets’ quarterback, famously predicted that his team will beat the highly favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl 3 in January 1969. Indeed, the Jets triumphed 16-7 in what is now considered one of sports’ biggest shocks.
Later that year, Tom Seaver and the Mets won the World Series against the Orioles. The Mets might have missed the playoffs altogether if it hadn’t been for the Cubs’ late-season collapse. On September 4, the Cubs had a seven-game lead, but they lost 17 of their last 25 games. The ‘Miracle Mets’ rallied to win the NL East while the Cubs faded.
In this scenario, the what-ifs are endless. The Jets will almost likely have a new starting quarterback in 1968-69 if Namath signs with the Cubs. Despite the fact that the AFL and NFL had always planned to combine in time for the 1970 season, Namath and the Jets’ win gave the old league legitimacy.
The Mets and Jets, two long-suffering teams, both benefitted immensely from this tale.
In 2018, Namath made it to Wrigley Field for the first time.
The Jets had been out of the playoffs for many years by the time 2018 arrived. The Cubs, on the other hand, had just won their first World Series in almost a century two seasons before.
In June 2018, Namath, who had just turned 75, paid a visit to Wrigley Field. Before a 7-5 win against the Philadelphia Phillies, he donned a No. 12 Cubs jersey and threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Joe Maddon, the Cubs’ manager at the time, had a prior connection with Namath. When Maddon was the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, the two met before a spring training game in Florida.
Namath had to wait almost 60 years to set foot on one of baseball’s most sacred sites. Fans of the Chicago Cubs can only fantasize about a world in which Namath, wearing No. 12 and manning the outfield, earned World Series MVP honors in the late 1960s. We’ll choose Broadway Joe over a billy goat any day.
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Mac Jones Reminds Joe Namath of Tom Brady: ‘He Might Be the Best Player in the Bunch,’ says Joe Namath.
A lot of people think Joe Namath is the best quarterback in history. I disagree. I think he is just a guy whose career ended in the mid-1970s, and he was one of the biggest busts in NFL history. In high school, he was a jock who wore a lot of cologne and wore his hair in a pompadour. He was a star quarterback in high school, but he went to the University of Alabama, where they did not even play football. So, Namath’s playing career was limited to the one year he played for the Crimson Tide.. Read more about how old is joe namath wife and let us know what you think.
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