From Super Bowl MVP to pantyhose pitchman, Joe Namath cut a unique path through first the AFL, then the NFL as the quarterback of the New York Jets.
Namath played for coach Paul “Bear” Bryant at Alabama, but he became “Broadway Joe” in the pros, noted for his furs and his throws as a two-time Player of the Year in the AFL and the issuer of football’s most famous guarantee.
Namath’s larger-than-football life landed him in the No. 1 position on the list of the game’s greatest characters selected for the NFL’s centennial season.
In celebration of its 100th season, the NFL, in conjunction with The Associated Press, selected a “blue ribbon” panel of 80 to pick the league’s 100 greatest characters. The top 30 of the 100 greatest characters was revealed by NFL Network on Friday night.
Namath was followed on the list by six more players with Alabama football roots:
· Wide receiver Terrell Owens (Benjamin Russell High School in Alexander City) at No. 16.
· Quarterback Ken Stabler (Foley High School, Alabama) at No. 21.
· Running back Bo Jackson (McAdory High School, Auburn) at No. 39.
· Quarterback Philip Rivers (Athens High School) at No. 85.
· Quarterback Cam Newton (Auburn) at No. 90.
· Outside linebacker Kevin Greene (Auburn) at No. 91.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.