Open Mic: Joe Namath's Guarantee More Than a Great Upset

Joe WillettSenior Writer IJune 15, 2008

Let's take a trip down memory lane.

Pretend you are Joe Namath.

Your team just made it to the first true Super Bowl. (The first two were called Super Bowl's after they were held).

Your team isn't good enough to have TV time over a made-for-TV movie.  You probably shouldn't even be there if it weren't for recovering an Oakland Raider fumble with less than two minutes left in the AFL Championship Game.

You finished the season with more interceptions (17) than touchdowns (15) and you completed less than 50 percent of your passes on the season.

Pretend you are Earl Morrall.

Your team just finished a 13-1 season and is headed for their first Super Bowl.  You also just won the NFL MVP award after pushing Johnny Unitas to the bench.

You are heavily favored to win the Super Bowl, and you are sitting pretty with the Jets not having a chance.

You're Namath again.

You have everything against you except for one of the best defenses in football.  But you are a brash quarterback, and you want to make some noise.

So you gaurantee a victory in Super Bowl III, even saying that your backup QB is better than the opposing team's Earl Morrall, who won the NFL MVP.

You don't care about how much of an underdog you are or how good the opposing team's players are, you know you are going to win.

Let's fast forward to game time.

You deliver on your guarantee, winning 16-7 with Baltimore only scoring late in the fourth quarter.  Not only do you deliver, but you win the game's MVP, completing 17 of 28 passes.

Earl Morrall, your opponent, went 6 for 17 while getting intercepted three times, and was pulled in the fourth quarter.

After the game, Morrall said, "I thought we would win handily. We'd only lost twice in our last thirty games. I'm still not sure what happened that day at the Orange Bowl, however; it's still hard to account for."

But this game was more than a great upset, Namath paved the way for the NFL today.

His victory finally showed the NFL that the AFL was a force to be reckoned with, and there was finally a merger between the two.

It also set the stage for many other guarantees after that.

Although guarantees have become overplayed and are now being used by backup safeties, at that time, a guarantee meant something.

Joe Namath changed football with that one game, and it was the greatest accomplishment of all time.

I'm Joe W.

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