Tuesday, January 9, 2001
Updated: January 6, 12:51 PM ET
Jets make good on Namath's guarantee
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com
Jan. 12, 1969
Despite the New York Jets being 19-point underdogs to the Baltimore Colts, quarterback Joe Namath had visions of victory a few days before Super Bowl III. With a double scotch in his hand, he answered a heckler by saying, "We'll win. I guarantee it."
Broadway Joe is as good as his word as he guides the Jets to a stunning 16-7 triumph, legitimizing the upstart AFL with an upset for the ages. He completes 17-of-28 passes for 206 yards, with George Sauer grabbing eight for 133 yards.
"Joe called the right play at the right time," says backup quarterback Babe Parilli. "He read their safety blitz, and he read their pass coverage. What else is there?"
Fullback Matt Snell gains 121 yards on 30 carries, including a four-yard touchdown run to give the Jets a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. Jim Turner tacks on three second-half field goals.
In the locker room in Miami, Namath chides a press corps that had called him a loud-mouthed loser and expected him to eat his words. "I hope they all eat their pencils and pads," he says. "We won!"