Widgets May 31 ~  Show Some Courage Namath Jets Lithograph

"You learn you can do your best even when it’s hard, even when you’re tired and maybe hurting a little bit. It feels good to show some courage." ~ Joe Namath

Superstar quarterback Joseph William "Joe Willie" Namath (1943-) was born on this day in the steel mill town of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania and blossomed brilliantly for coach Paul "Bear" Bryant as an All-American at the University of Alabama.

"To be a leader, you have to make people want to follow you, and nobody wants to follow someone who doesn't know where he is going," Namath once said.

A first-round draft choice with a then-record pro contract, Namath quickly became starting quarterback for the New York Jets (1965-1976). A rogue and media darling, he had long hair, Wore white, not black football shoes, partied hard, and always had a beautiful woman on his arm.

“I was the appetizer, entrée and dessert all rolled into one for New York’s mischievous media – its sportswriters, three television reporters, radio guys, and general sporting crowd," Namath said.

With the best arm in football, Broadway Joe became the first to pass for more than 4,000 yards in a season (1967). Then just before the 1969 Super Bowl game, he boldly "guaranteed" a victory over the highly-favored Baltimore Colts, which he delivered with a stunning 16-7 upset.

"The game is choreographed," he said. "It is mental, it is physical, it is a battle. People can feel those hits when they are in the stadium, you feel them and you see the velocity of the players."

With movie roles and famous television ads for pantyhose and shaving cream, Namath was a 60s cultural icon. "When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things." he said.

Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985, Namath's career totals included 1,886 completed passes for 27,663 yards and 173 touchdowns.

More FOOTBALL Quotations

Anything's possible--show courage.