This Day in History: Joe Namath leads NY Jets to one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets ever
Broadway Joe made a true legacy when the NY Jets upset the Baltimore Colts 45 years ago, January 12, 1969.
Three days before the game, Namath responded to a heckler in Miami with the now-famous line: “We’re going to win Sunday. I guarantee it.”
His prediction was initially ignored, but it became legendary after the Jets’ upset of the Colts.
The Jets victory 16-7 was also a key precursor to the AFL-NFL merger. Namath acquired legendary status for American Football League fans as the symbol of their league’s legitimacy. When he was asked by reporters after the game whether the Colts’ defense was the “toughest he had ever faced”, Namath responded “That would be the Buffalo Bills’ defense.”
Namath was named Super Bowl MVP. He was the game’s first true media superstar, and also the first quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards during the 14-game 1967 season. Nobody achieved this feat again until Dan Fouts in 1979, a year after the NFL adopted a 16-game season format and enacted new rules that gave more protection to quarterbacks and wide receivers.