L.A. Times sportswriter Jim Murray from 1969 on Joe Namath and the Jets' Super Bowl III victory over the "unbeatable" Packers from the behemoth NFC:
Tags: Jim Murray
First of all, are you sitting down?
Be sure who you tell this to or they’ll think you’ve been drinking.
On Sunday afternoon, the canary ate the cat. The mailman bit the police dog. The minnow chased the shark out of its waters. The missionaries swallowed the cannibals. The rowboat rammed the battleship. The mouse roared, and the lion jumped up on a chair and began to scream for help.
The first thing that’s going to surprise you about the Super Bowl game is the closeness of the score. But, hang onto your hat. If you think that’s a shocker, wait till I get to the punch line.
The –- come closer and let me whisper this -– New York Jets are the Super Champions of football! Cross my heart! That funny little team from that funny little league they left on pro football’s doorstep a few years back. You know the one -– the team whose checks bounced and so did their quarterbacks.
And you know that smart-alecky quarterback they got for $400,000 and the NFL sat down and like to have busted laughing? Well, turns out he was a bargain. You know, they called him “Broadway Joe” and he went around wearing women’s fur coats and he closed up more bars than Carrie Nation? A sleep-to-noon guy who had been a model youth. He didn’t smoke till he started kindergarten and he never drank in high school till the sun went down. And when someone said the Jets had a “Boozer” in the backfield, someone thought it was a description instead of a name.
They said (Norman Van Brocklin did) that Broadway Joe would be playing in his first professional game in the Super Bowl. Well, he likes it better than that game they play over in that other league. He got beat three times over in that league.
They said the Jets were the third-best team in their own league. If so, it’s a good thing they didn’t send the best. Everybody would have switched over to Heidi.
I would say, on the basis of what we saw Super Sunday, the NFL is a couple of years away. I mean they have individual performers, but the AFL appears to be better in teams.
. . .
It was like the turkey having the farmer for dinner, the rabbit shooting the hunter, the dove pulling the feathers out of the eagle.
The worm had not only turned, it was chasing the early bird right down the street and up a tree. And Broadway Joe can be singing the old Jimmy Durante tune, “You Know Darn Well I Can Do Without Broadway, But Can Broadway Do Without Me?”
Even at 400 grand, he may be the biggest bargain in Manhattan since they gave those Indians all those beads and started to put in subways. As for the NFL, it will have to start building to catch up.