"Politics?" I ask.
"I spent some time with Ronald Reagan. Namath says. "My wife and I had dinner at the White House once. Reagan was also at the head table once when Dean Martin had one of those roasts for me."
"Not exactly," Namath says. "I was on Nixon enemies list. I don't know how that happened, was at my boys' football camp in Connecticut I 1973, and all these calls started coming in from everywhere. From journalists in London an Paris. What did I think about being on the enemies list? I get a laugh whenever I see Can Channing. She always brings it up. She was on the list too. I still don't know how I got there."
"Maybe the long hair?" I say. "The image?"
"I don't know."
The largest dog, Scout, the border collie, sits at Namath's feet. He rubs her head. He says he had a dog when he was a boy, but when the dog died he vowed he would never have another one, would never subject himself to the same pain of loss again. He didn't have a dog for the longest time. Then he married Tatiana in 1984 and she had a dog, and now he wouldn't think of being without one. "Dogs just give you so much love, they stir up so much emotion," Namath says. "Thirty or 40 times a day—every day—these dogs will just give you a hit of love. How can you beat that?"
He stares toward the bay, famous face, a Picasso kind of face, all angles painted around the famous blue eyes. (How's he look? you ask in your catty little way. He looks fine, great, I say. Older, but fine. The hair is good.) Joe Willie Namath. The man who signed a three-year contract with the New York Jets for $427,000 straight out of college. The white llama rug on the living-room floor. The mirror on the bedroom ceiling. Johnnie Walker Red in the glass. Broadway Joe. Bigger than big.
He sips from his one cup of coffee for the day, a guilty pleasure now, a hit of caffeine at this hour when he was once just coming home.
"Tell me about the time you were on The Brady Bunch," I say.