Joe Namath is Completely Deserving of His Hall of Fame Bust
L.J. This one's for you man.
Horrible? Not a top 100 quarterback in NFL history? Only in because of a guarantee?
That's the words I've heard when it comes to a lot of Bleacher Report writers who think that Joe Namath is actually a disgrace to the Hall of Fame and should be removed.
I've been writing about the game nearly three years now.
I remember when I first looked at Joe Namath's stats. I didn't think he deserved to be kicked out of the Hall of Fame.
I thought maybe he's a bit overrated.
Maybe he shouldn't be as heralded as he was.
But, I never believed he didn't deserve the recognition for the miracle he performed. He did in ONE game what a league had been trying to do for nine years.
He beat an NFL team soundly.
He was the smartest guy on that field. He created the offensive gameplan. He saw where they were weak on the ground, and where they were weak in the passing game. He was the face that the AFL needed to survive.
His swagger, his ability, his charm, and his love for the game was so pure. Joe Namath had that confidence about him that just rubbed off on people. Just watching him play was amazing. Every architect of the passing game that we know of wanted him as their quarterback.
From Sid Gillman to Al Davis to Bill Walsh, Namath's ability was realized.
Isn't it strange how none of those who doubt, and I mean really doubt, Namath's Hall of Fame status ever watched him play? I have yet to see a senior citizen on this website say anything negative about Joe Namath. Isn't it odd how the opposition to Joe Namath's legacy isn't even old enough to run for president?
Isn't it peculiar that these men, you know who you are, are at most 30? 12 years after Joe Willie won the Super Bowl is when they were born at best.
Who are they to judge Namath?
Who are they to question the legendary sportswriters that didn't use computers to judge a player but their eyes?
The men such as Paul Zimmerman and Ray Didinger who used a typewriter, and had notepads and pencils to record notes. The iPad wasn't even a thought. Only girls with horrible reputations would dare to wear the outfits that appear in malls and on 12-year-olds today.
Ah, the arrogance and the disrespect of youth.
One of the biggest problems in the world is that the young are always convinced that their elders are complete morons and they, the new age, see things clearly.
Thus, you get a young man that thinks just because he read some numbers in columns on a website or two, that he can tell a person's career in its entirety.
He thinks that 173 touchdowns to 220 interceptions tells the facts and that's that.
I guess that just because a man has tattoos means he's been in the army or a gang?
Its stereotyping. It is pure stereotyping of football players. They see a number like Brett Favre's 317 interceptions and think 'Oh, he's awful. Terrible, terrible passer."
Yeah, well he had 497 touchdowns! How about that?
To all of you who think that you can judge Joe Namath and deem him unworthy of the praise that real professional writers and great coaches have give him; I'm surprised that you can stand up with those huge heads you have.
You are obviously not detailed thinkers for one. You don't try hard enough in your arguments, and you are incapable of sufficient research.
Well, Bleacher Report's defense attorney, James Williamson, has been retained to put the kibosh on this erroneous findings.
For the record, lets look at Joe Namath's life before he entered the world of professional football.
Alabama coach, Paul "Bear" Bryant, said that Joe Namath was the greatest athlete he'd ever coached. This is coming from a guy who's won over 300 games in college football, had coached the likes of Hall of Famers like Bart Starr, John Hannah, Dwight Stephenson, Ozzie Newsome, and Don Hutson.
Yeah, he sure doesn't know what he's talking about because he hasn't seen the stats right? Stats are the gifts from God right? They tell every detail of the game right?
Many people called "Broadway" Joe Namath an amazingly accurate passer. Well, they are all wrong obviously. Joe Namath had a career completion percentage of 50.1, that's barely one out of every two passes made it to the receivers hands.
Is it inconceivable, that a defender managed to get a hand on a ball that was on target, and knocked it away? Is it inconceivable to think that none of those incompletions were thrown away balls?
Or how about the idea that a receiver, who is a human being, slipped and didn't get to the ball or dropped a pass?
That can't be though. The stats would've noted that right? Right, because we can believe everything Microsoft Excel can create?
You can't argue with his Joe Namath's quarterback record though. He won 62 games, lost 64, and tied in four games.
Never mind the concept that teams win games right?
Or how about the fact that Joe Namath had no knees yet still played in tremendous pain, and he even played with a broken jaw once?
Things like bad knees that prevent you from running, from throwing the football correctly because your legs aren't set, from avoiding a sack are not relevent to the game of football because they don't have mentions of those on websites.
If there isn't a statistic, there isn't a case.
Never mind the fact that when he was healthy for a full season, which was six years, he was 36-29-4 as a starter, which is a winning record for a bad team at times. Never mind that his own peers, not the girls who thought he was super cute, wrote on ballots and selected him to Pro Bowls.
Fellow players and REAL sportswriters felt that this guy was worthy enough to go to five Pro Bowls and be on the first team All-Pro in 1968. In six good years, he was an elite player five times.
But, they are all old geezers who don't know football like the young generation who doesn't even watch all the games, but looks up numbers on NFL.com to support their opinions.
Forget the fact that before 1978, only one man had ever thrown for 4,000 yards in a season and his name was Joe Willie Namath.
Forget that before 1978, you could bump receivers, put your hands in their faces, block their hands with your body if you were a defensive back, and it would not be called pass interference.
Yet, Joe Willie Namath threw for 4,007 yards in 14 games with seven of those games in New York where it is windy and hard to throw.
There are those who think Namath doesn't belong because he didn't play 10 or 12 full years. Well, let me remind you of the basic requirement for the Hall of Fame. I'm going to hold off on the satire and be really blunt right here.
If you play five seasons in the National Football League, you are eligible to be a Hall of Famer. That's it. Only five seasons. So, the argument is moot. You can't keep a man out of the Hall of Fame because he only played a few years.
Gale Sayers is in the Hall of Fame yet he only had five full years due to knee injuries. Dick Butkus only played nine years and four with basically no knees. You want to take him out?
The Hall of Fame isn't about longevity. Longevity can be used to help a case, but not as something to hold a person out.
The Hall of Fame is about dominance. It is about how much you contributed to the game, and the impact you had on the league.
Most importantly, can you write the history of professional football and exclude his name?
Can you give me a basic history of football without Joe Namath and his guarantee?
I'd like to see it. Come on, you know who you are, I'm not going to call you out, but I'm daring you to try.
When I think of Joe Namath, I think about what he could've accomplished had he been healthy.
He was quirky, and was a player with the ladies and the beer halls. I remember what John Madden said, "If he couldn't have played football the way he did then all that other stuff; you would've laughed at."
Well, he could play football.
That is why he is respected by his peers because they knew that with all the gallantry and all the charisma, this man was a great football.
Bill Walsh never gave a compliment that he didn't believe in. He felt that a false compliment was just as bad as an insult, so when Bill Walsh said something good about someone, he meant it.
"Well, Joe Namath was the most exciting quarterback to play the game and to watch play. He had a style that no one else had had. His feet were so quick and so smooth. It was almost like watching a ballet in motion."
I remember Walsh picked Joe Montana because he saw those same characteristics in him. He used Joe Namath to pick out the man who won four Super Bowls.
And to think that this new generation of stat addicts think that Walsh has to be wrong about Namath.
The Hall of Fame selectors didn't think these men were wrong when they inducted Namath in.
They knew the Hall of Fame is not for just statistics. It's for contributions. Statistics are part of the picture yes, but if you set a new standard in the NFL or you invent a new move or you win a game that changed Pro Football forever, you belong there.
There are people that say Joe Namath didn't play that great in Super Bowl III. He was only 17/28 for 206 yards. The running back, Matt Snell, really should've been the MVP.
He scored the rushing touchdown to put the Jets up 7-0, and he had 121 yards rushing on 30 carries.
You know, there's a saying, a double-team is as good as a sack. It applies to defensive linemen. If one guy takes two offensive linemen to bring block him, he basically has gotten a sack because someone is free to get the quarterback.
Well, after the guarantee, who do you think was being double teamed? Who do you think was the number one target?
It wasn't the running back, it was the flashy quarterback who said that his team was going to win the game. Those Colts defenders wanted Namath. Namath knew that they wouldn't be focused on Snell enough.
Namath goes in the huddle and looks to his men and calls running plays. Not because he didn't believe they could win by passing, but because he wanted to dominate the time of possession. He wanted his team to focus the offensive attack and how do you do that?
You run the ball. Convert key third downs. Don't turn the ball over. Don't be risky. Keep their defense tired, your defense rested, and you will win the game the majority of the time.
He could've thrown for 300 yards, four touchdowns, but he wanted to keep his defense confident that they could do their jobs and help him out.
And 206 passing yards is actually pretty good when you think about it.
Joe Namath never had a great supporting cast. Only one other player he worked with during his prime went to the Hall of Fame and that was Don Maynard.
He was told by doctors that he maybe had five years. Five was all it took for Joe Willie to prove the AFL was a legitimate organization.
I think Namath should be honored for doing something in five years what some quarterbacks could not do in 15.
There is not a more important quarterback in the history of the NFL. You can talk about Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning... They all take a back seat to Joe Willie Namath in importance to what the NFL is today.
And here are some people with questionable IQ levels that want him out?
Excuse me while I go to the bathroom and laugh at your expenses. You know who you are gentlemen.
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