"And now I
can say, no, I never got tired of the memories of that Super Bowl. It doesn't
get old, talking about it, but I can see it in perspective now. I don't know if
there will ever be another underdog like we were. [The Colts opened as 17-point
favorites, but by kickoff, after reports of turmoil in the Jets' camp, the
spread was up to 19½ ].
"There are a
lot of underdogs out there in the world, in our country," Namath says.
"They'd seen the AFL lose in the first two Super Bowls. Now it was our turn
to be the heavy underdog. But we played 60 minutes and won, and maybe that
meant something to all those people out there who felt they were underdogs. I
know it must have affected a lot of high school and college teams. I can't tell
you how many coaches told me afterward that they used our game as a motivator.
But maybe it meant something to the underdogs in life, too.
game stands out in my mind, the whole era, the way we approached football. I've
done four Colt games for NBC this year. The one thing I see missing on that
team is one guy to take control. I talked to the quarterback [Jeff George]. I
said, 'You've got to get 'em going.' He said, 'Well, I'm a quiet guy.'
tough for a quarterback now. All the guys are in the huddle here, the
quarterback's over there the whole time looking toward the sidelines for the
play to come in. I see it with Marino, with Schroeder, all of them. They don't
even have time to talk to their guys.
think I could handle that. In the Super Bowl, a lot of what I called was,
'check with me,' which meant I made the call at the line. I'd come back to the
huddle and talk to Schmitty, our center [John Schmitt], or Haystack Herman, who
was the tackle in front of Bubba Smith that day, and say, 'What do you like,
Stack?' He'd say, 'Run a draw, Joe,' or, 'We can trap him,' and I'd say, 'O.K.,
you got it.' That's all lost now. It's gone."
A young woman
identifying herself as a substitute teacher at a nearby elementary school wants
to know if he will visit the school and speak to the children.
old?" he says.
first grade," the woman says, "They're adorable."
see," he says. "I've got two games coming up for NBC. After December's
good. I'll do it after December. Maybe it would be better if I brought some
magic tricks or something to do for them. Most of those kids wouldn't know me
You might catch
Namath working an NBC game every now and then, or you might see his face on TV
pushing Flex-all 454, an arthritis pain reliever, or a few of the other
products he endorses, and he's still got his summer camp in Connecticut, but
basically he's out of the spotlight, which is the way he wants it. "I love
being home with my family," he says. "I love my leisure time here. I'm
not a workaholic and I'm not greedy. Do I miss the limelight? No, but I don't
forget it, either."