Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Joe Namath

When I was about eleven or twelve years old, I got a copy of Joe Namath's autobiography I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow ('Cause I Get Better Looking Every Day) from my mother's book club. I read it all the way through and understood less than I would have admitted.

As a boy, Namath was a hero of mine, probably as much because my father hated him as being impressed by his athleticism. He wore fur coats and Nehru jackets and turtlenecks and medallions. He was loaded all the time (still is, apparently), and I thought it was all very amusing. He was surrounded by girls, he was not 'macho' like most athletes, he was in Playboy, he was on television talk shows laughing and carrying on. He was a man's man!

My dad? He liked Arnie Palmer. Joe Namath was everything that Arnold Palmer was not.

I have been trying to acquire a Book Club Edition of his book, which is what I had in the sixties and I found these pictures recently:

The two gems I remember from the book was this quote about his childhood: "Till I was 13, I thought my name was Shut Up." and the title of one of the chapters: I Like My Girls Blonde And My Johnny Walker Red.

Namath was always on television, in the paper, in magazines. He was everywhere, and I loved him for it.

He has done a good job getting himself some attention recently. During last Saturday's Patriots-Jets ESPN telecast, sideline reporter Suzy Kolber interviewed Joe Namath. Not only was Broadway Joe not at his most sober, he was obviously blotto out of his mind. When Kolber asked what the Jets' recent problems meant, he slurred: "I want to kiss you."

There is a website out there with an audio feed of the interview. Follow this link to
I guess this interview is the logical 2003 event in the long and storied life of Joe Namath.