(Photos courtesy of the New York Jets)
Talk of Fame Network
The Talk of Fame Network continues its Super Bowl heroes series this weekend with Joe Namath, the architect of the AFL upset in Super Bowl III, stopping by to reminisce about that shocking victory over the Baltimore Colts plus growing up in quarterback-rich western Pennsylvania.
His New York Jets were 18 ½-point underdogs against the NFL champion Colts but Namath said his team had momentum, which buoyed him to guarantee a victory during the week of the game.
“The last five games our team played that season, our team was sharp, mentally as well as physically” Namath said. “We had smart players, we were poised and we earned our confidence. I was confident because I knew how good our team was and how good we could be.”
Namath recalled the Jets pounded away on the ground on the left side, where All-AFL tackle Winston Hill was blocking Baltimore right end Ordell Braase. Matt Snell rushed 30 times for 121 yards and New York’s only touchdown that day. Namath said he didn’t consider the victory an upset.
“If we played them 10 times, they might have beaten us once or twice,” Namath said.
Namath grew up in Beaver Falls, just up the Ohio River from Pittsburgh. That’s the hometown of Johnny Unitas, who went on to become the game’s greatest quarterback. But growing up, Namath was less infatuated with Namath than another western Pennsylvania quarterback.
Vito “Babe” Parilli was from nearby Rochester, Pa., and Namath recalled as a kid walking past an Army & Navy store and seeing a gold “Hutch” helmet in the window with Parilli’s signature on it. He coveted that helmet.
Several years later, into adulthood, Namath took the field for Super Bowl III with Parilli as his backup quarterback with the Jets.
“In that lockerroom, we’re sitting together side-by-side … and I couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to be sitting beside and being a teammate of Babe Parilli,” Namath said. “That was cool.”
Talk of Fame Network hosts Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge also discuss the 15 modern-era Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists announced this week and weigh in on the chances of first-time nominees Junior Seau and Kurt Warner. Judge also states the Hall of Fame case for Houston Oilers all-decade linebacker Robert Brazile, Borges examines the race to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles in his Borges or Bogus segment, and Gosselin speaks on the difficulty of picking weekly underdogs in the NFL in his Dr. Data segment.
All this plus the always entertaining two-minute drill at the end of each hour of the show.