If you’re a fan of American Football (AFL, NFL), you definitely have heard the name of the legendary quarterback Joe Namath.
Joseph William Namath (nicknamed: Broadway Joe) is a retired American Football player who played as a quarterback for the New York Jets before finishing his career with the Los Angeles Rams.
Namath was born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, on 31st May 1943 to parents János Namath and Rose. The quarterback was raised alongside five siblings in a religious Catholic household.
Joe started getting recognition when he led his team, Crimson Tide, to a national championship title in 1964 before getting signed by the New York Jets.
He was famous for wearing a fur coat, and he continues to wear a fur coat which sometimes becomes the topic of discussion.
You may know him as an American Football icon, but do you know why he is nicknamed “Broadway Joe”?
Let’s dive deep into his personal life and career.
Here are some quick facts about Joe Namath.
|Name||Joseph William Namath|
|Birth Date||May 31, 1943|
|Birth Place||Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania|
|Education||Beaver Falls High School, University of Alabama|
|Father’s Name||János Namath|
|Siblings||4; John (Brother), Robert (Brother), Franklin (Brother), Rita Sims (Sister)|
|Age||79 Years Old|
|Height||6 ft 2 in|
|Hair Color||Dark Brown|
|Profession||American Footballer (former), Actor|
|Associated Teams||New York Jets, Los Angeles Rams|
|Individual Awards||AFL Rookie Player of the Year, 5 Pro Bowl Selections, 1968,1969 AP AFL Player of the Year|
|Children||2; Jessica Grace, Olivia Rose|
|Net Worth||$25 million|
|Social Media||Twitter, Instagram|
|Merch||Rookie Card, Autographed Jerseys, Autographed Helmet|
|Last Updated||June, 2022|
Joe Namath: Age, Height, and Weight
Namath is currently 77 years old and stands about 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) tall, and weighs around 91 kilograms (200 lbs).
Joe Namath: Parents and Childhood
Born and raised in a Catholic household, he was the youngest of five children. Due to lack of money, his parents got divorced, and Joe started living with his mom.
The naturally gifted athlete Namath played on the football team, the basketball team, and the baseball team during his high school years.
Joe attended the University of Alabama, and he played as a quarterback for the Crimson Tide from 1962 to 1964.
Joe Namath: Personal Life
Namath spends time with his family in his Florida house and normally stays out of the limelight. His Florida residence features a four-bedroom, three-bathroom, boat dock, and a swimming pool.
He put a halt to his broadcasting career years ago as it took away a lot of time from his family.
Joe is now busy with his family and golf. He also gives his football camp time, which he has jointly run for 32 years with his friend John Dockery, his former teammate.
Joe recently came to the limelight again for the medicare advertisement. He appeared in the advertisement saying free health care for all.
Wife and Kids
In 1983, Namath met Deborah Mays while he was taking a voice acting class.
Deborah was an actress. The pair married in 1984, although they were 19 years apart.
They had two daughters, Jessica Grace and Olivia Rose. But, the pair couldn’t last long and eventually divorced in 2000.
Joe is currently single.
Joe Namath: Career
His professional career started in 1965 with the New York Jets and ended in 1977 with the Los Angeles Rams.
How it all began
In 1961, after he graduated from high school, several baseball teams approached him for Major League Baseball. However, he chose football instead as his mom wanted him to get an education.
Joe had to settle for the University of Alabam, where he quarterbacked the Alabama Crimson Tide between 1962 and 1964.
He worked alongside legendary coach Bear Bryant who would later call Namath “the greatest athlete I have ever coached.”
He limped through his senior year at Alabama. The cartilage damage to Namath’s right knee made him ineligible for the draft during the Vietnam war.
New York Jets
Both the AFL and the NFL selected Namath in the first round.
He was later signed by the AFL team, New York Jets, for a salary of $427,000 over three years, which was a record at the time.
He was named the AFL Rookie of the Year during his first season with the Jets.
In 1965, following Namath’s appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated, offensive tackle Sherman Plunkett came up with the nickname “Broadway Joe”.
In January 1969, before the AFL-NFL merger, Namath played the game of his life during the Super Bowl III, beating the Baltimore Colts 16-7, which he guaranteed weeks earlier.
Namath struggled with knee injuries throughout his career and, on occasions, had to drain his knee at halftime so he could finish a game.
However, Joe did continue to woo his fans, throwing for 496 yards in a victory against the Colts.
Los Angeles Rams
In the hope of strengthening his career, Namath signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 1977.
Due to numerous knee injuries and a bad hamstring, Namath couldn’t perform up to his level. Joe was benched as a starter for the rest of the season and thus retired at the end of the 1977 season.
Joe Namath: Movies and Broadcasting
He tried his foot in acting when he hosted the “The Joe Namath Show” in 1969 but later transitioned properly into acting roles.
Appearing on stage, he starred in several movies like “C.C and Company” in 1970, “The Last Rebel” in 1971 and acted briefly in the 1978 television series, “The Waverly Wonders.”
Namath legitimized his “Broadway Joe” nickname when he was cast in a New York revival of “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” in 1983.
He also hosted “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” several times.
His broadcasting career started in parallel when he served as a color commentator on NFL broadcasts and some gigs with NBC Sports.
He also briefly established himself as a voice actor with roles in the animated series “The Simpsons.”
Joe Namath: Injuries
Namath suffered his first injury in the fourth game of his senior year at Alabama. The cartilage damage to Namath’s right knee also deferred him from service during the Vietnam War.
Namath was troubled with knee injuries in his professional career at New York Jets and underwent four major knee operations.
After he retires, he underwent knee replacement surgery on both legs.
Due to his injuries, he couldn’t finish his career on high and had to retire at the end of the 1977 season at the age of 34.
Joe Namath: Awards, Trophies, and Achievements
Joe has achieved several titles and trophies throughout his career.
Namath led his college team, Alabama Crimson Tide, to a national championship in 1964.
During his time at the university, Namath led his team to a record 29-4 over three seasons.
In his first season with the Jets, Joe was named the AFL Rookie of the year.
He became the first professional quarterback to pass for 4,000 yards in a season when he threw for 4,007 yards in his 1967 season with the Jets.
Joe earned his name as an AFL All-Star in 1965, 1967, 1968, and 1969. His performance in the 1968 season got him the Hickok Belt as top professional athlete of the year.
He also achieved the AFC-NFC Pro Bowler award in 1972 and is also a member of the Jets’ and the American Football League’s All-Time Team.
Unsurprisingly, he was also elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985.
Joe is also the first quarterback to start and win a national championship game in college, a major league championship, and a Super Bowl.
In 1975, Joe became recognized as the highest-paid celebrity endorser. At one point, he was earning $1 million a year from various brand deals and endorsements.
Joe Namath: Scandals and Struggles with Alcohol
Joe was addicted to alcohol throughout much of his life. He drank heavily, which affected his marriage to the point where his then-wife, Mays, warned Joe that drinking could end the marriage.
Joe managed to get addiction under control but relapsed after their divorce in 2000.
Joe embarrassed himself in 2003 when he drank heavily before going on air with ESPN. He managed to answer one question from Suzy Kolber correctly before telling her he wanted to kiss her.
In 1969, after the Super Bowl victory, Namath opened a nightclub called Bachelors III. It drew in big names in sports, entertainment, and politics.
However, it also became a popular destination for members of organized crime.
Namath got himself smothered in controversy when the NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle ordered Namath to divest himself from the nightclub to protect the league’s reputation.
Namath refused and retired from football, but then he eventually agreed to sell the venture and continue his career.
Joe Namath: Net Worth, Salary, and Lifestyle
Namath was well known for his brand endorsement and appearing in commercials for brands like Ovaltine, Noxzema, and Hanes.
He got famous for actually wearing the Hanes Beautymist Pantyhose in the commercials.
Joe was also the highest-paid celebrity endorser and earned $1 million each year from various brand deals. He was also earning a whopping $450,000 per year in salary.
Joe Namath is worth $25 million as of 2020, all through his football career and television appearances.
Talking about money, Joe sure does know how to earn the big bucks!
Joe lives a normal life in his spacious residence in Florida. He has four dogs, two cats and seems to be content with his lifestyle.
His house features a four-bedroom, three-bathroom, a boat deck, and a swimming pool.
Joe was a prominent vegetarian even during his football days, stating, “It shows you don’t need meat to play football.” Namath continues his healthy lifestyle.
Namath stopped using salt in his cooking after his retirement. He instead prefers cinnamon, mint, turmeric, thyme, and other such herbs.
Story Behind nickname Broadway Joe
There’s an interesting story behind his nickname “Broadway Joe.”
Namath and a couple of his friends decided to take a trip to the Big Apple. “I figured we had to go uptown because where we came from, the lights were uptown,” Joe told Sports Illustrated. “We went too uptown and found Broadway.”
Joe and his friends were amazed by the sights of lights and the sound of Broadway. Those lights that Namath explained were for a Sports Illustrated photo shoot that landed Joe on the cover of the magazine.
While some of the Jets veterans didn’t take the cover photo too kindly, offensive tackle Sherman Plunkett had such a reaction that landed Namath with the infamous nickname.
Joe Namath: Social Media
Joe regularly posts on Instagram about his merchandise, shares interesting posts, and gives an insight into his lifestyle.
His Instagram handle is broadwayjoenamath, on which he has over 30k followers.
Namath is also active on Twitter, where his handle is @RealJoeNamath, with over 99k followers.
He is a few of the vintage celebrities who would’ve absolutely killed it if social media would have been present in his football days.
I mean, the lifestyle, the girls, the attitude. Try not to like him, impossible.
How many Super Bowls rings does Joe Namath have?
Joe has one Super Bowl ring.
What position did Joe Namath play?
Joe Namath played as a quarterback.
How long did Joe Namath play for the Jets?
Joe Namath played from 1965 to 1977 for the New York Jets and is remembered for his performance in the New York Jets’ stunning 16-7 upset of the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.