Greatest Alabama football career No. 5: Joe Namath
A national champion quarterback at Alabama nearly six decades ago, Joe Namath built quite the football career. He was perhaps the best quarterback that Bear Bryant ever coached in his entire career and his impact was felt not just at the college level.
Namath was drafted by both the AFL and NFL, becoming the 1st overall selection way back in 1965 by the New York Jets. Later nicknamed “Broadway Joe” he had quite the impact on the Jets in the coming years, leading the NFL in passing yards in two of his first three seasons.
In 1968, he was named AFL MVP and led the Jets to an important victory in Super Bowl III, becoming the first AFL team to win the Big Game. He was named Super Bowl MVP but would play just one more postseason game after that big success.
Quarterback stats from the ’60s and ’70s are hard to compare to today, but he was an important weapon for the Jets, playing there for twelve seasons. He led the NFL in passing touchdowns and yards on several occasions before eventually ending his career in 1977 with the Los Angeles Rams.
Namath has been in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for several decades, reflecting a brilliant career that saw him as the AFL’s top quarterback in its final seasons. He made several trips to the Pro Bowl or AFL All-Star games and remains one of the most important Jets in franchise history.