Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Joe Nameth and the most...
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Joe Nameth and the most super, Super Bowl

George Foster - February 1st, 2010
Joe Namath and the most super, Super Bowl
When the underdog New York Jets were eliminated from Super Bowl
contention recently, it was a reminder of another underdog Jets team a
little over 40 years ago. In the 1969 Super Bowl, Jets quarterback Joe
Willie Namath changed, not just football, but the world of sports
forever.
You had to be there. Only football fans of that era can appreciate the
magnitude of the game. When the American Football League’s (AFL) New
York Jets beat the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League
(NFL), it was considered the biggest upset in American sports history.
It still is - the mighty Colts were an 18-point favorite and
considered by some as the greatest football team ever assembled.
Unlike now, there was an intense rivalry between NFL and AFL – players
and fans alike. The AFL was a rebel league, relatively new,
challenging the NFL for the third straight year in a championship
game. The NFL’s Green Bay Packers had whipped the AFL’s representative
badly in the previous two years.
Joe Namath was the most notorious outlaw in the rebel league. He wore
a sinister Fu Manchu mustache in a time when wearing any facial hair
at all was controversial. His party-animal, bachelor image spit in the
face of the sports establishment. He stayed out late Saturday nights,
reportedly taking in the alluring sights of Manhattan, but always
showed up on Sundays to lead the Jets to their most successful seasons
ever. His teammates and Jets fans loved him.
Probably not the best quarterback in the AFL, what Namath had was a
stadium full of confidence... okay arrogance. When he guaranteed a
victory for New York over Baltimore a few days before the 1969 game,
football fans backing the NFL were incensed. I can’t tell you how many
times I heard to the effect, “How dare he brag about beating the
Colts. Baltimore will make him eat those words.”
Many people were compelled to tune in to a Super Bowl game that they
might not have watched otherwise to see that bigmouth Namath and the
upstart Jets massacred by the now-angry Colts. In the spirit of
Namath, guarantees to win made by athletes today are fairly common. In
Michigan, sports fans are most familiar with former Piston Rashead
Wallace’s guarantees before playoff games. Wallace’s promises had
mixed results at best, but they are no longer a big deal – a cliché at
best.
Few of us knew at the time that the proposed merger of the leagues
from 1966 began to unravel after AFL teams were trounced in the first
two Super Bowls. It appeared that the AFL couldn’t compete with the
NFL–why should the NFL bring in rinky-dink AFL teams that would dilute
the quality of play?
Of course, the AFL’s Jets delivered on Joe Namath’s guarantee by
humbling the NFL’s Colts 16-7. Namath was the MVP of the 1969 Super
Bowl, the NFL and AFL merged leagues in 1970, and the rest is history.
The outlaw image of athletes is more the norm in sports, today.
The intense rivalry between the leagues has since all but disappeared,
but the merged NFL has prospered to become the most popular and
powerful sport in the United States. Pro football is now the model
sport for success. Its teams earn billion of dollars for relatively
few games each season. Players’ salaries average near $1 million per
season, often earning much more for endorsements from advertisers.
Pro football and sports has Joe Namath and the 1969 New York Jets
to thank for much of their popularity and wealth. And there will never
be another NFL championship game more memorable than Super Bowl III.

 
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