Friday, July 30, 2021

Review of "Super Joe: The Joe Namath Story," by Larry Bortstein

 Review of

Super Joe: The Joe Namath Story, by Larry Bortstein

Three out of five stars

Was Namath really a superstar?

 Published in 1969 shortly after the Jets won Super Bowl III, this book is very laudatory about Joe Namath. He was brash, predicting a Jets victory when almost everyone else thought it would be another NFL rout. The Jets and Namath were decisive victors in a game that is considered the turning point in equality between the NFL and AFL.

 Namath is put forward as a rebel and a star, along with his reputation as a big-time ladies man and swinger. While the Jets did in fact win their division the following year, they lost the playoff to the Chiefs and the following year they started a streak of eight seasons without a winning record. It is clear from this book that Joe Namath was the beneficiary of the media hype that playing in New York meant.

 Granted, this book was read in retrospect, but if a comparison is done of Namath with other Hall of Fame quarterbacks, his stats are significantly weaker, specifically the number of interceptions versus touchdown passes. He flashed brightly, but then faded fast. This book was written during the flash and before the fade.

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