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The great soothsayer Joe Namath says the New York Jets will go as far as Brett Favre's supporting cast takes them, not the other way around.
New York Daily News reporter Rich Cimini caught up with Namath at the legendary quarterback's annual March of Dimes golf event on Long Island. Namath, in his first published interview since preseason, was giddy over Favre.
"We know what Brett's going to do, for the most part," Namath said. "If the Jets are a good enough team, they'll be serious contenders. If the rest of the team can't own up, Brett's in for a long season."
The Jets are 2-2 and coming out of their bye with games against the Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and St. Louis Rams.
The Jets went into their off week with a wild victory over the Arizona Cardinals. In that game, Favre threw six touchdown passes, tying Namath's franchise record. Namath said he turned the game off in the third quarter and read about Favre's stunning stat line in the newspaper.
"I'm optimistic. Who isn't?" Namath said. "This is the most exciting beginning of a season we've had in some time. This is a tremendous lift in terms of expectations and excitement."
Cimini also spoke with former Jets stars Richard Caster, Dave Herman and Larry Grantham, all of whom saw similarities between Namath and Favre.
"As a defensive player, when we got the ball back for Joe, we knew he was going to make something happen," said Grantham, who made the trip from Memphis despite his cancer battle. "It's the same with Brett. They have that ability."