Joe Namath – Not Just a Football Star
Icons | November 8, 2017
Joseph William Namath was a celebrated professional football player. He had always been known as a great football player and was a star quarterback in high school. Football wasn’t his only sport though. He also played baseball and basketball. He was just a natural athlete.
Namath played professional football for 13 years with an impressive 143 games played over the course of his career. Namath is probably best remembered for the Jet’s epic victory over the Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl (III). For all of his sports prowess, Namath had been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was the first athlete to have received a $1,000,000.00 signing bonus; an unheard-of amount!
Being a professional athlete can be a physically punishing career. Over the years, Namath, like many others in his line of work, suffered injuries that left him sidelined from time to time. Eventually, he reached the point where he hung up his cleats and walked away from the game; but not before he left his mark!
At one point, Joe Namath and Mickey Mantle had pulled their collective fame and talents to form a temporary employment agency. It was called, “Mantle Men and Namath Girls, Inc.” The employment agency was not sports related though, it was for the average “Joe” looking for work (no pun intended). The timing of their venture was unfortunate, though. Because of the recession in 1969, they just couldn’t make it work.
Although Namath had retired as a football player, he was not ready to retire completely. He had a big personality and was comfortable in the spotlight. He briefly hosted his own television talk show in 1969 and then went on to acting. Namath was seen on variety shows including The Flip Wilson Show, Laugh In, The Love Boat and The Brady Bunch. Besides making guest appearances, he also dabbled in acting. He even shared the stage with stars including Ann Margret.
Namath, at one point, appeared on a television commercial for Beautymist pantyhose. At the time (maybe even now), it was a little controversial to show a man, on television no less, dressed in what was considered women’s undergarments. Men just didn’t know how to feel about it. Of course, Namath was no pansy, but still…! The ads received both positive and negative attention but Beautymist pantyhose sales skyrocketed! It was a risky approach to advertising, but it sure worked!
Another advertising gimmick he was involved in was for Noxzema. Noxzema was popular, mostly with the ladies, for being a beauty cream. It promised to give women (and men) perfect skin and a youthful complexion. Well, if it was good enough for Joe Namath, it was good enough! He shaved his mustache for the commercial, reportedly being paid $10,000.00 in exchange. Women went crazy!
Joe Namath was also very recognizable both on the field and off. He had very pronounced features and good looks. He was known at times to be a ladies’ man and bit arrogant but overall was well liked by both men and women. He was often seen in his signature fur coat (reportedly mink) and made no apologies for being flamboyant. He never had to… He was/is Joe Namath!