Exclusive: Joe Namath Talks More About Book, What He Was Like in the Huddle
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former quarterback and Super Bowl III MVP Joe Namath yells the Jets chant during the halftime show honoring the 1968 team during a NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK
Even though he played his way into the Hall of Fame, ‘Broadway’ Joe Namath was never afraid to ask the other 10 men on the field for a play idea.
In his book, Namath went into huge detail about what it was like with him in the huddle . Readers find out that plays Jets fans may have watched while Namath was playing, were picked by his teammates.
“If I didn’t have something that I was locked into or had anything positive that was going to work, I’d ask that, sure,” Namath told Prime Time Sports Talk. “I want my teammates’ input. That was at a time also where we could milk that clock. Today, the game is so much more efficient. I don’t think the quarterbacks have a chance these days to ask the guys in the huddle, ‘What do you like?’ or ‘You got something?’ because of the way the communication is with the sideline and the coaches. It’s a different game today.”
The author of All The Way: My Life In Four Quarters began work on his autobiography when he was approached by a publisher as the anniversary of his 1969 Super Bowl victory drew closer.
“It was the timing of it because we were approaching the 50th anniversary of the New York Jets championship victory,” Namath said. “It was also a big time for New York because in 1969, it was the Jets, Knicks and Mets all winning at that time, so that’s how the idea came about with the publisher.”
The publisher came to Namath with the idea of formatting the events unfolding in his life around his greatest victory.
“The way it went throughout the book, that game interrupting with life and what was going and what got me there to that position, what got us there, the people that helped me learn throughout life and ongoing education,” Namath said. “Being able to accept an ongoing education, how to get through thinking that it wasn’t always right the way I saw things or through Joe’s mind’s eye. I could be wrong and I was many times.”
While he stated previously to us that it was at times frustrating getting the words out on the page, the Hall of Fame quarterback was excited about the idea of making his work into an audiobook.
Namath drew inspiration for his audiobook from his late friend, Yogi Berra.
“Thinking of Yogi and how he would tell a story about an incident with a lot of emotion or laughter, any way he could do it,” Namath said. “And I felt like, with the book, I lived it and I would be better at doing the audio part than anyone else because I lived the emotion, I know the pain, the sad parts, happy parts, all of it.”
However, that is not to say the whole process was not challenging for the former New York Jet. While he has accomplished enough for five lifetimes and knows himself better than anyone, Namath admits he needed help from his new team being his family to tackle this feat.
“We all need help in life,” Namath said. “If it wasn’t for Sean Mortimer, my daughter, and people asking me questions from publishers, we wouldn’t have gotten it together.”
Namath was happy to delve into the good times with his fans and was also not afraid to touch upon the bad.
“Just trying to share with people some of the life that I have been fortunate enough to have,” Namath said. “Also the tough times, it’s not a perfect world and without other people helping me, or us, we’d be lost, I’m afraid. There’s so much more out there bigger than us individually.”
All The Way has been met with glowing reviews from outlets and fans alike. An unnamed reviewer of the book, said he wrote a thesis on Namath in 1982 while in school. The Alabama alum was taken aback by this.
“It’s great to hear a good story or good comment,” Namath said. “The fan of the Jets who wrote that paper in ’82, that’s joyful. That really is joyful to hear that.”
Even at 76 years old, Namath has not stopped moving nor plans to anytime soon. He continues to wake up every day to continue his mission to go all the way as a loving father and grandfather.
“I have two daughters and five children which is certainly a focal point, and I have two dogs here at the house that tend to keep me busy throughout the day,” Namath said with a laugh.
Namath is also tackling a challenge most people never achieve: getting better at golf.
“Years ago, someone mentioned to me that golf was 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical. I changed that in my head [so] I was golfing 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical,” Namath said with a laugh. “I just think too much trying to change things constantly. If you don’t take lessons and get help from an expert or start the game right young, it [will be] an ongoing battle and even these guys on tour have off days. We all have off days. Sometimes, you wake up and bump into a piece of furniture. It just happens and we have to deal with the difficult things life throws at us.”
All The Way: My Life In Four Quarters is available in stores and online.