The Titans of New York were renamed and revitalized in 1963 when David “Sonny” Werblin wanted to personify the Jet Age, renaming the team, The New York Jets.
The belief that the Titans were named the Jets because of the jet aircraft that regularly flew over Shea stadium is incorrect as the New York Jets didn’t play at Shea Stadium until 1964.
Shea Stadium was the home of the New York Mets, the Jets leased instead of building their own stadium due to financial concerns, but the terms were unfavorable as scheduling differences favored the Mets forcing the JETS to workaround their dates.
Werblin also sought to revitalize the American Football League by Drafting and signing Joe Namath.
The AFL Draft was held before the NFL Draft and Namath was drafted by both Leagues, ultimately signing with The New York Jets.
David “Sonny” Werblin Was instrumental in forming the merger between the AFL and NFL a merger the National Football League scoffed at until the mighty NFL was beaten by the lowly AFL’s New York Jets.
The infamous coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi had gleefully stated that the American Football League was not up to the caliber of the NFL after winning the first SuperBowl. A game named by Lamar Hunt after the super ball made by whamo.
The Times were different, their was a war on, for the nation it was Vietnam, for football it was the NFL Vs. The AFL.
Joe Namath became a representative of the AFL’s younger culture and as such was the only football player to make President Richard Nixon’s now famous enemies list
To this day the New York Jets do not have a home stadium of their own. Currently they play out of MetLife stadium in New Jersey along with the New York Football Giants and currently do not reside in the state of New York. They do however, hold practices in Upstate New York at the State university of Cortland (SUNY) at the Atlantic health training center and occasionally on Long Island, their former base of organized team activities.
While there was talk of a stadium being built in Calverton, Long Island; the former home and airport of the Grumman Aerospace corporation as well as other in-state locations, the team again choose to save money by sharing MetLife stadium with the New York Football Giants. This time however, the NFL creates the schedule working with both teams.
Quarterback Joe Namath, Broadway Joe – Joe Willie … is Perhaps the most famous New York JET of all.
What he accomplished for the franchise, the AFL and the National Football League can never be forgotten or perhaps even equaled. First to pass for 4000 yards, six touchdowns and 496 yards in a game have yet to be surpassed by any Quarterback since.
But no accomplishment compares to that of winning Super Bowl III and giving the AFL the validity it so desperately needed. Vince Lombardi had retired in 1968 only to watch as the Jets beat the NFL’s best team; The Baltimore Colts.
The NFL, as we know it today, started with Joe Namath and his flamboyant ways. Their were songs written, pantyhose commercials and an anti establishment ring about him as the New York Jets rang in a new era of American Football.
Once the “Titans of New York”, the team transformed into the New York Jets and he transformed both the JETS and the AFL
Born on May 31, 1943 in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, Joseph William Namath (a/k/a: Joe Willie, Broadway Joe) attended University of Alabama where he played collegiately under Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.
After graduation from high school, Joe received offers from various major league baseball teams like the Phillies, Pirates, Reds, Indians, Mets and Yankees but turned them all down.
He got his start in the NFL in 1965 when he was selected by New York Jets as its 12th overall pick in the first round of the 1965 NFL Draft.
An American Football League icon, Joe Namath spent most of his professional career with the New York Jets.
A few facts:
It’s not generally known that Namath did not throw a pass in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl III or that Center John Schmitt had pneumonia and by the fourth quarter could hardly play. The Jets utilizied the ground game and their Defense to manage the clock.
“We’re gonna win, I guarantee it” was stated to a reporter out of frustration, not flamboyance as the JETS were playing against the heavily favored Baltimore Colts and the “start-up” AFL was not seen as a threat to the well established National Football League having lost the first two super bowl’s.
The promise of signing Joe Namath helped end the World Football League:
Some well known NFL players had signed with the WFL in 1974; however they could only play with the league after their NFL contracts had expired according to a court ruling.
According to [Canadian] TVS president Eddie Einhorn, the [WFL] games actually got decent ratings at first . [But] By the time of the World Bowl, the games were struggling to achieve Nielsen ratings above 2.0, and TVS found it nearly impossible to sell advertising. Despite the losses, Einhorn was actually willing to stick it out until Hemmeter announced the Winds were going to try to sign Namath. Einhorn told Hemmeter that the league had effectively bet its whole credibility on Namath coming to Chicago, and none of TVS’ affiliates would commit to broadcasting the 1975 season unless Namath signed with the Winds. When he didn’t, the WFL was left without a national television contract. The loss of such a critical revenue stream was a factor in the league’s collapse midway through the  season.
Stat of the Day:
Since 1966, the most passing yards in a game by a Jets player is 496 by Joe Namath against the Colts on Sep 24, 1972.
Top 5 Grs Pass Yds
PYds Name Date Opp
496 Joe Namath Sep 24, 1972 BalCol
481 Vinny Testaverde Dec 24, 2000 BAL
479 Ken O’Brien Sep 21, 1986 MIA
447 Richard Todd Sep 21, 1980 SF
446 Richard Todd Sep 25, 1983 LARams
Joe Namath, to this day, is regularly asked his opinion on the state of the current team. Not one to shy away from an honest personal opinion, he is often criticised by “younger” fans for doing just that – giving his opinion.
Joe maintains a relationship with the Jets and remains an ardent supporter of the team and their fans.
In 1985, Joe was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.