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Great Jets Fan Dottie Hampton Passes On

Posted by Randy Lange on June 3, 2013 – 12:45 pm

Updated, Tuesday, 2:03 p.m. ET

Dottie Hampton, the wife of longtime Jets equipment man Bill Hampton, mother of Jets senior director of operations Clay Hampton, and “unofficially one of the greatest Jets fans of all time,” died Friday night after an illness in Florida. She was 76.

Dottie made a couple of key under-the-radar contributions to Jets history along with her husband. The weather was cold and windy all week leading up to the Jets playing the Raiders at Shea Stadium for the AFL Championship on Dec. 29, 1968. In advance of that game, she sewed pockets onto the jersey fronts of QB Joe Namath and his running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.

“That was one of Dottie’s greatest contributions,” said longtime public relations director Frank Ramos. “She took it upon herself to sew the pockets onto the jerseys so players could keep their hands warm during the game.”

That may have been just the ticket for the Jets that day. Despite a wind-chill in the 20s, Don Maynard had six receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns, George Sauer had seven catches for 70 yards and TE Pete Lammons grabbed four Namath passes for 52 yards and a TD as the Jets prevailed, 27-23, to advance to Super Bowl III.

Of course all Broadway Joe fans remember when he tried on the Hanes Beautymist pantyhose for his celebrated television spot in 1973. Do you know who went out and bought the multiple packages of full-figure pantyhose required for that commercial shoot? Dottie Hampton.

She and Bill, married 55 years, had many of the Jets players and their families over to their house during the course of each season.

“We used to have a barbecue every year at the house for the players,” Bill recalled. “And the players and their wives would come over for an evening. I’d go to bed and Dottie was still downstairs talking with them until midnight. We had a great relationship with the players. We took good care of them.”

Dottie also policed the family area, where family and friends of Jets players attended home games, going all the way back to the Polo Grounds, at Shea, and into the start of the Meadowlands years.

“She made sure she cheered the Jets on,” Ramos recalled, “and if anyone ever came into that section and started booing the Jets or rooting for the other team, she gave them the word that wasn’t tolerated in the family section.”

One last story that tells just a little more about Dottie Hampton is the spelling of her first name. Is it with an “ie” or a “y”? Said one impeccable family source: “It doesn’t really matter. She said she went by both, depending on her mood.” We corrected it briefly in this blog to Dotty but have changed it back to the original spelling.

The entire Hampton family made it down to north Florida to attend a service Friday night at the Cathedral of St. Augustine and to reminisce about someone who Ramos said, “unofficially might be the greatest Jets fan of all time.” We offer our condolences to the Hamptons.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Great Jets Fan Dottie Hampton Passes On”

  1. By Jet Fan since 1964 Frank on Jun 3, 2013 | Reply

    Sorry to hear about Dottie. She and her husband have supported the “JETS” for a lot of years. My prayers are with her family.

  2. By IRA on Jun 3, 2013 | Reply

    Very sorry to hear about the sad news. Randy that was some story how she sewed the pockets for the guys. Condolences to the entire family.

  3. By Buschie on Jun 3, 2013 | Reply

    Nice Piece Randy!
    Dottie will be missed by all!
    She was truly one of a kind!

  4. By Tom Uschok on Jun 3, 2013 | Reply

    I offer condolances to the entire Hampton family – I am sorry for your loss – Dottie was a wonderful lady whom I had the pleasure to have met a few times over the years – I especially want to reach out to Beth Wallace ( Hampton ) – we love you and we love the NY Jets. – ( Tom and Elena )

  5. By Jerry Eskenazi on Jun 3, 2013 | Reply

    Dottie was one of the folks who made the Jets seem as much a family as a team in the years I wrote about them for The New York Times. There was a great relationship between the club and the writers, and she, in a sense, was like the matriarch. It was always nice seeing her upbeat during many of the get-togethers team officials had with the writers.–Jerry Eskenazi

  6. By Connie Nicholas Carberg on Jun 3, 2013 | Reply

    Wonderful tribute article Randy, and Dottie so deserved it. Our families grew up

    together and section 23 at Shea was so special screaming with her for our Jets.

    We could talk Jets forever and her laugh and stories were the greatest. She

    raised a great family and she really was a Jet legend in her own right. She was

    smart, witty and kind and I am so sad today. But you brought back some great

    memories that will live on forever. God bless the Hampton Family.

  7. By russ on Jun 4, 2013 | Reply

    thank you for this article Randy…puts it all in perspective…Condolences to the family of a great caring Lady…

  8. By RONBO on Jun 4, 2013 | Reply

    RANDY, thank god the Jet web-site was smart enough to bring you onboard. You continue to demostrate you are the right guy to moderate this blog by constantly coming up with appropriate topic’s for us to discuss and by putting us back on track when we stray. I’m very thankful I stumbled onto this site over a year ago as I have come to love the interaction we have here.Your sensitivity on this subject plus many others was great.Obviously all of us here on Randy’s Radar wish the family nothing but the best. Please pass along our sympathy if the opportunity presents itself.Thanks Randy.

  9. By Randy Lange on Jun 4, 2013 | Reply

    Ronbo, I bet you say that to all the moderators. But seriously, thanks, and I know the Hampton family appreciates your condolences. It’s one of the things we do on newyorkjets.com, keeping up with the Jets family at large, which means players, coaches, front office, scouts, the business side, charitable endeavors, the Flight Crew, and of course the fans. The Hampton family is one of the first families in the Jets’ extended family and our hearts all go out to them here.

  10. By John D'Onofrio on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    We could all stand to learn a lesson of how a fan should act fro Mrs. Hampton. Rest in Peace Dotty!

  11. By Larry Anderson on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    My condolences to the entire Hampton family. She was a great lady and will be greatly missed.

  12. By Mike Jet Vet on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Sorry to say, I never met Dottie nor anyone in her family, but from what is written of her, plus what she has contributed,meaning a long and loyal following adding class to our fan base, I’m sure all who knew her will miss her contribution to the NYJ, God Bless and God speed Dottie

  13. By Ablity on Jun 10, 2013 | Reply

    Hello everyone, ready for another season of GREAT Jets football!!!! This offseason was terrible, the only good thing we did was draft Dee Milner

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