Joe Namath celebrated another birthday Wednesday, his 68th, and each year my reaction is the same: How did Joe get to be that old? He doesn’t look a day over 25, which was how old he was when he and the Jets rocked the NFL’s world in Super Bowl III.
But the Orange Bowl and the Guarantee and the latest birthday cake have all been placed aside for now as Namath went on a somber tour of Tuscaloosa, Ala., more than a month after a deadly tornado tore Joe’s old college town apart.
“It looked awful from the air but once we were on the ground it felt even worse,” he wrote on his Website. “I want to try to express to you how familiar I am with the entire town of Tuscaloosa, but I promise you, we were visiting places I didn’t recognize.”
Namath has posted several blogs and Webisodes on his site since the April 27 disaster. If you’re a Jets fan, a ‘Bama backer or just an admirer of Joe’s, you can read up on his travels and his aid efforts at BroadwayJoe.tv. Namath also spoke briefly to the Jets and fans of the Green & White in a video on the Jets’ Facebook page last night.
Trivial Pursuit: Yearbook Edition
One of the activities we’re involved in here is putting together the Jets’ annual yearbook. And one of the activities within the activities that I love diving into is the compilation of trivia items, one for each player, which appears on that player’s full-color bio page in the 200-plus-page book. It’s similar to the blurbs that appear on the backs of football and baseball trading cards, just an interesting chunk of information to augment each player’s quick stats, bio data and action and mug shots.
And there’s something for everyone, from the big names down to the newcomers no one’s heard about yet. Here are a few of the factoids I’ve come up with, and I’ll pass on some more in another blog next month.
■ TE Dustin Keller posted career highs in receptions, yards, average per catch and touchdowns. In fact, he led the Jets with 55 regular-season receptions, the first Jets TE to do that since Mickey Shuler in 1985. Additionally, his 12.5-yard average is the best by a Jets TE since Johnny Mitchell’s 12.9 in 1994.
■ G Brandon Moore has made 105 straight regular-season starts, all as a Jet and all at RG — a streak that, assuming Alan Faneca (144 in a row) remains retired as he announced recently, will be the longest among active NFL guards.
■ In the season opener vs. Baltimore, DT Sione Pouha became the first Jet since 1993 to recover two opponent fumbles in one quarter. And his three FRs for the season were tops among NFL D-tackles.
■ Mark Sanchez’s .622 winning percentage (23-14, including postseason) as the Jets’ starting quarterback is the highest in franchise history among the 15 QBs with at least 10 starts, and his four playoff wins is two more than any other Jets QB.
■ Drew Coleman led all NFL cornerbacks last regular season with four sacks (and added a fifth in the playoffs). And his five forced fumbles equaled the franchise’s best by a DB in the last 25 seasons.
■ LB Brandon Long, signed to a reserve/future contract on Feb. 9, was born and raised in Canton, Ohio.
Tags: Brandon Long, Brandon Moore, Drew Coleman, Dustin Keller, Joe Namath, Mark Sanchez, Tuscaloosa
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