Few Athletes have gotten more mileage out of one game than Joe Willie Namath. He earned a place in NFL history by backing up his guarantee that the New York Jets would beat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, but in the nine seasons he played after that, Namath never won another truly important game. He was a dangerous quarterback-capable of the occasional breathtaking bomb—but not a great one. He threw far more interceptions (220) than touchdown passes (173), but after Super Bowl Ill, no one seemed to notice his failings. Namath parlayed one historic game into TV commercials, several forgettable movies, a Monday Night Football gig, a spot in the Hall of Fame and a starring role in a short-lived sitcom. Remember The Waverly Wonder? Didn't think so. It was about as memorable as Namath's post-Super Bowl football career.
Walt (Clyde) Frazier
In the late 1960s and early 70s, Knicks guard Walt (Clyde) Frazier was as active on the Manhattan nightlife scene as Broadway Joe, and with his wide-brimmed hats, muttonchop sideburns and Rolls-Royce, he had a groovy stylishness that even Namath couldn't match. Yet Frazier never got the endorsement and show-biz opportunities that Namath did. That was partly because the public wasn't ready to embrace a black playboy and partly because, unlike Namath, Frazier's greatest game went almost unnoticed. Everyone knows that in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals, Knicks center Willis Reed limped onto the court and helped lift the Knicks to victory. Few recall that it was Frazier who dominated that game with 36 points and 19 assists, perhaps the most underappreciated big-game performance in NBA history. Frazier was a superb scorer, playmaker and defender—a rare New York star whose greatness was underplayed.