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Joe Namath

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1943 Born, May 31st in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. 1960 Leads his high school team to an undefeated season and accepts a scholarship to play for Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama. 1962 Leads Alabama to a 17-0 Orange Bowl victory over Oklahama. (Note: game played on January 1, 1963) 1964 Injures his knee in a game against North Carolina; Alabama loses the Orange Bowl (played on January 1, 1965) to the University of Texas in a game Namath didn't start due to his knee injury. New York Jets use their pick gained in a trade with Houston to draft Joe Namath. 1965 New York Jets of the AFL draft Namath in the first round; is signed for a record salary -- a three-year deal worth $427,000; is named AFL Rookie of the year, and Most Valuable Player in the AFL All-Star Game. Twenty-three days after signing, Joe enters Lenox Hill Hospital to undergo an operation to repair cartilage and ligaments in his right knee. Joe makes his first appearance as a pro in the second quarter of the second game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs, September 18. Joe Namath starts his first game, September 26, against the Buffalo Bills, the third game of the season. Joe Namath is named the AFL's Rookie of the Year. 1966 In the All-Star Game, Joe Namath leads the AFL All-Star team to a 30-19 victory over the AFL champs, the Buffalo Bills. 1967 Leads league in passing attempts, completions, and yards gained for the second year in a row; also leads league in average gain per pass attempt (8.2 yds.); named to AFL All-Star Game. 1968 Leads Jets to an 11-3 record and AFL Championship; is named Sporting News AFL Player of the Year. 1969 Namath backs up his guarantee as his Jets defeat Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, one of the greatest upsets in sports history. Joe receives a number of awards: AFL MVP, Hickok Belt, George Halas Award as most courageous pro player, Pro Player of the Year. Joe Namath announces his retirement from pro football in dispute with NFL over his ownership of Bachelors III, Manhattan bar (June 6). Joe announces the sale of Bachelors III, and ends retirement (July 18). 1970 In the first meeting with the Baltimore Colts since Super Bowl III, Joe fractures his right wrist and is out for the rest of the season. (October 18). Appears in the following films: C.C. and Company, The Last Rebel, Norwood. See Joe's Filmography. 1972 Leads league in passing yards and TDs thrown; named to Pro Bowl. 1975 Namath turns down a reported multi-million dollar contract to play in the WFL, and signs a two-year contract with the Jets. 1977 Released by New York Jets and signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Rams; retires at the end of the season to pursue a broadcasting career. 1985 Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio. See Joe's Hall of Fame induction speech.

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