Thursday, August 14, 2008

Joe Namath - Then and Now

If you're over the age of 50, then Joe Namath is a living legend to you. He guaranteed one of the biggest upsets of all time and took the sports world to Hollywood with his good looks and charm to go along with a great arm. If you're under the age of 40, you probably know Joe Namath as an ambassador to the New York Jets, as a football announcer for Monday Night Football and NBC, and seen in bit TV parts and movies.

To those of us 30 and under, you probably know Joe Namath as the guy who got completely hammered on national TV and tried to kiss Suzy Kolber a bunch of times. That's the Joe Namath I forever will know and love.

It wasn't all that bad for Joe Namath in the past 15 years. The first video from 1992 shows him shilling video cameras for the old electronics chain store here in the NY known as The Wiz. He looks healthy, sports a nifty brown toned turtleneck/sweater combo, and is at the peak of his pitchman powers. Of course $899 for a cheap looking video camera seems pretty expensive for 1992.

Now contrast that with the second video from 2003. Oddly enough, I was at this game and Joe came out on the field at halftime as they were honoring the greatest Jets of all time. This interview actually happened before the halftime ceremony with a minute left in the first half so he must have been bombed during the ceremony as well. Here are some highlights from the second video:

:12 - Transcription of what Joe is saying here. I'm writing the words like I hear them: "I believe, uh, everything that anyone else that has washed, uh, Chad plaaay, impresses me the same thing that impresses them. He's a qua-la-tee, classy quarterback that has a touch on the football. He's not a throwing he's a passer. His mind is aHEAD of what the defense is and if the Jets can supposrt him they will win the championship." I love the passer not a thrower comment and how he shrugs his shoulder.

:53-1:00 - The greatest seven seconds ever held in an interview. Suzy Kolber finishes her question, Joe has this devious smile, asks to kiss her, and then has the greatest enunciation of one of the greatest words of all time...struggling. I must have seen him say ten times putting this post together and I laughed every time. Classic.

1:12-1:23 - Joe completely contradicts himself by saying that Jets are looking to next season but making some noise now. Then another kiss comment.

1:24 - One of the greatest "yeahs!!!" you'll ever hear.

1:33 - end: The ESPN annoucing team says he's a happy guy with fellow drinker Paul Maguire stating "oh yeah he's happy".

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