Posts Tagged ‘Joe Namath’

NFL Predictions for 2010 Season: Five Keys To a Jets Super Bowl Win

August 8th, 2010

Jets coach Rex Ryan has come out and predicted a New York Jets Super Bowl victory this year, with Jets legend Joe Namath backing up Ryan's optimism by saying the Jets hype is justified. 

Say what you want about Rex Ryan's brash pompousness and/or weight, but he truly believes in his team, and wants more than anything to shake Commissioner Roger Goidell's hand in February as he hoists the Lombardi trophy. 

While as a Jets fan I love Ryan's cockiness, there are still a few things that absolutely have to go right in order for the Jets to win a championship in 2010-2011.

Here are the Jets 5 keys to success:

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Brett Favre Jenn Sterger vs. Joe Namath/Suzy Kolber: Failed Jets’ Scores

August 6th, 2010

Stop me if you've heard this before: Former Jets quarterback gets caught trying to flirt with attractive sideline reporter and fails miserably.

When news broke that Brett Favre tried to seduce former New York Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger by sending her lewd cell phone pictures, one thing came to mind: Joe Namath drunkenly trying to hit on Suzy Kolber during a halftime interview.

Both were cringe-worthy and hilarious moments.

Two larger than life Jets quarterbacks trying to relive their glory days by going for one last score, and it ended in complete failure.

So, let's go to the tape. How do these two classic moments stack up against one another?

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San Diego Chargers School Is in Session; Come and Learn Your History

August 4th, 2010


Well, school is almost back in session. Yay for those of us who need a break from the kids.

But today, I'm going to take the Chargers fans to Charger school.

Wait, wait—don't leave. We will still be talking Chargers, and with a little luck, you might even learn something about your favorite team.

Today is a great day to leave the economics class behind. You know, holdout strategies, money debates, and contract disputes, etc.

While we're at it, let's skip debate class as well. You know, "Who's gonna win the AFC West? Our team is better than your's..." articles. Yawn!

Math class. Double yawn.

Reading about people becoming multi-millionaires for playing a game I play for free—hmm, that can wait.

Drama class. Holdouts demand bigger money. We've attended this class all too often lately. Next.


Here's a new formula:  Rivers + Mathews, Sproles - Tomlinson + Gates to the second power + Floyd = Balance squared. Sweet.

Spelling. Simple, that's what they make spell check for. Besides Manumaleuna is off the team. Just remember Naanee has two N's Two A's and two E's.


Language arts. OK, here's a try:

English- Go Chargers!
Spanish- ¡ Vamos Chargers!
French- Je Vais Chargers!
Japanese- Iku Chargers!
Chinese- Qui Chargers!

This is equally boring, let's skip that tutorial. Edgar, Armando, Hector, can you confirm "Vamos" before I embarrass myself?

Moving on.  Oh I got it—Pop Culture.

Did you know that:

Pamela Anderson
Arnold Schwarzenneger
Kendra Wilkenson
Constance Marie
Rey Mysterio
Chuck Liddell
and P.O.D

are all avid Chargers fans?

Well, they are. OK, who cares? They have good taste.

Enough pop culture.


Did you know that all these guys were actually Chargers at some point?

Johnny Unitas     1974
Mercury Morris    1976
Yancey Thigpen    1991
Wes Welker        1994 (ouch) Chargers cut him
Webster Slaughter 1988

Ken Shamrock-1989 (cut) World's most dangerous man, and Ultimate Fighter. Shamrock was a semi-pro player with the Sacramento Bulldogs before trying out with the Bolts.


Wes Simms- This Ultimate Fighter was cut from the Chargers in 2005.

Oh darn, I listed the names, and years. Google is just fingertips away, check it. Debate class over!


Chargers moved from Los Angeles to San Diego in 1961. They played at Balboa Park until 1965, and moved to Qualcomm, formerly known as Jack Murphy Stadium, and Charger Stadium before that.

The Chargers named their stadium "Jack Murphy" to honor the sportswriter who gave them positive press. Murphy was a huge fan, and wrote many columns praising the team, its heritage, coaches, and players.

Wait a minute. I give the Chargers a boat load of positive press, I'm a huge fan, I write many columns praising the Chargers, their coaches, their players, and heritage. Hold on a sec.

OK, I just researched it. Sadly I cannot match the 58 million dollars Qualcomm Corparation put up in stadium modifications to get its name on the building. Darn it. There's always the lottery.

If the Chargers do move to a new location again, the projected costs are between $400-800 million. Not even Powerball can help my cause here. Geography sucks. Moving on.


Music class.

P.O.D made a new Charger anthem in 2005 to replace that ultra-disco "San Diego Super Chargers" song as performed by Captain QB in 1979. How long overdue was that?

Wow, that was brief. Damn, how am I gonna finish this article up? Aha, I got it.

History. Here's a subject that is greatly ignored.

We can do a question/answer skit and make History a little more interesting.

When and why were the Chargers created?

In 1959, The AFL (American Football League) founder and Texas oil Businessman, Lamar Hunt, was looking to expand the league's exposure and fanbase out west.

He was trying desperately to compete with the much larger NFL. He knew that in order for his expansion to be any success, he needed to capitalize on the market in Los Angeles. A year later in 1960, the Chargers were born.

Is it true Al Davis was actually the first assistant coach of the San Diego Chargers?

Yep, he sure was, in their innagural season in Los Angeles.

Is it true that Paris Hilton's grandfather was the first owner and creator of the Chargers?


Yes, Barron Hilton was a Los Angeles hotel tycoon and avid sports fan. Yes, that is the man behind "the Hilton" hotel Chain we all are familiar with, and even more importantly, to the younger generation, the grandfather of Paris Hilton!

Is it true the Chargers had to share their first stadium?

Yes, the start for the Chargers was ugly. The average annual salary then was 20,000 dollars for the average NFL player. When Joe Namath signed the NFL's first 60,000 dollar contract the fans were outraged.

Do you realize that the average player in the NFL in 1960, when the Chargers started,  would have to play for 50 years to earn a million dollars?

They would have to play for 5000 years to match Albert Haynesworth's 100 million dollar contract. Back then, they had to play offense and defense. Haynesworth can't even pass a pre-practice conditioning test. Back to history—math is just plain depressing.

The Chargers  shared the Los Angeles Coliseum with the much more established and respected Los Angeles Rams, who boasted popular stars such as John Arnett and Norm Van Brocklin.

The Chargers were merely a side show, and drew very small crowds, averaging just over 13,000 fans a game.


It did not take long to pull the plug, not on the team, but on the venue. The Chargers relocated to San Diego in 1961, where they enjoyed a bigger fanbase and much sweeter success.

Is it true that the Chargers were the first to innovate the forward pass as a primary weapon?

Yes, The Chargers first head coach was Hall of Famer Sid Gilman, whose unique approach of the passing game as a first option was emulated throughout the game.

He helped shape the game of football into what it is today, passing his style through the years from Don "Air" Coryell (RIP) to Norv Turner.

Is it true that the Chargers were first to put the players' names on jerseys?

Yes, the Chargers were the first team to add players' names on the backs of their jerseys in 1961. Many teams followed suit and it became mandatory throughout the NFL in 1970.

What is a Charger? Why were they named that? What's with the bolt? Why is there a horse on the logo?

Many fans are often asked these questions, and it may be harder for a Charger fan to answer questions about name orientation than that of a Cowboy, Bear, or Eagle fan.

There have been many theories through the years. I will write the rumors, theories, and reasoning behind the Charger name. Can you pick the real reason?


Rumor 1:

Barron Hilton owned a very successful race horse named "High Voltage," so he named his team after the horse, and used a horse as part of the emblem.

Well, although Hilton did own a horse named "High Voltage," it had nothing to do with his team's name.

However, a Charger is a race horse, but this didn't give the Chargers their name.

Rumor 2:

Hilton owned a credit card company at the time called Carte Blanche credit cards. Many investors and contributors to the Chargers were made up of Carte Blanche credit card members, and in his homage to "people who pay on credit," he named the team "The Chargers."

Although Hilton did own this company, this is merely a rumor.

Rumor 3:

Hilton was often seen at USC Trojan games. Because of his love of horses, Hilton was documented as being part of bringing in a horse to Trojan games. A man dressed as a Trojan on a horse would charge down the field, igniting the crowd and the team.

This is all true. However, it had nothing to do with Hilton's professional ball club.


Rumor 4:

Hilton let the fans vote on a list of names, and the fans were actually the ones who picked the name "Chargers."

Nope, not a chance. You know damn well that the fans get no say.

Rumor 5:

Hilton's young team was undecided on its name, so several choices were opted. But when it took the opening kickoff in team history 105 yards for a touchdown, Hilton heard the announcer shouting loudly, "The home team is quick as lightning, bolting over 100 yards and shocking their stunned opponents."

Well, it's true. The first play in Chargers team history was a kickoff taken 105 yards for a touchdown. That play was possibly the greatest start to any franchise ever. It is still often referred to as the greatest play in team history.

Sadly, this isn't the reason for the name either.

The truth is, Hilton was an avid sports fans who regularly attended games at USC. His favorite part of the game was right after the bugle call, where everyone in attendance would yell "Charge!!" When asked to pick a team name, he simply added an "r" at the end of Charge, and the Chargers were born!

Yep, that's it. Sorry it wasn't more glamorous, especially with the Hilton name attached to it. But, at least the next time you are at Qualcomm and you hear the Bugle call, you will know why you are screaming "CHARGE" at the top of your lungs, and you will also know why the Chargers are the Chargers!!!

As a successful billionaire, businessman, and innovator, not to mention Paris' grandfather, Hilton recently stated:

"The happiest days of my life were the days I was involved with the Chargers!"

Well, that's it, boys and girls, Charger school is dismissed. I sure hope you learned something useful today.

A Player’s Statistics Must Be Measured In the Context of His Era

July 13th, 2010

When evaluating a football player, statistics are by far the most popular measure. While it has many flaws, the stat sheet does do a decent job of giving us an idea of how successful any one player is. The danger of statistics is that, taken alone, they can be the most misleading measure of a player's success.

An important component of a player's statistics is the time in which he played in and what was typical of that time. Without this component, it becomes impossible to compare players of different eras, with rules so different that it is almost like playing a different game.

One exaggerated example of this mistake would be to compare the statistics of Dan Marino and Sammy Baugh. Both are Hall of Fame quarterbacks and two of the greatest ever. However, a statistical comparison would be ridiculously lopsided in favor of Marino because the era he played in allowed for passing statistics that would have been alien in Baugh's era.

This brings me to the point of my article. The flaw in judgement explained above has been used to argue that two quarterbacks, namely Joe Namath and Terry Bradshaw, should not be in the Hall of Fame. Here are their stats for reference:

Bradshaw: 168 games, 51.9 completion percentage, 27,989 passing yards, 212 passing touchdowns, 210 interceptions, 32 rushing touchdowns, 70.9 quarterback rating

Namath: 140 games, 50.1 completion percentage, 27,663 passing yards, 173 passing touchdowns, 220 interceptions, 7 rushing touchdowns, 65.5 quarterback rating

While those stats surely look unimpressive to the casual fan, it is important to remember that before the illegal contact rule took effect in 1978, those were solid statistics.

Here are some more things to think about before you scream about how bad Bradshaw and Namath's stats are:

-Of the top 65 quarterbacks all time in passer rating, only five played the majority of their careers before the illegal contact rule (started in 1978). All five of them are in the Hall of Fame.

-Notable quarterbacks that have a higher quarterback rating than Johnny Unitas: Aaron Brooks, Matt Cassel, Jeff George, Jason Campbell, and Brian Griese.

-A 4,000 yard season in today's NFL is old news. In the 1970's it was almost the equivalent of a 5,000 yard season today. (Fun fact: Namath had the NFL's first ever 4,000 yard season in 1967.)

To take another example, Johnny Unitas is considered by many to be the very greatest quarterback to ever play the game (Montana would have something to say about that, but that's for a different debate). Did anybody know that Unitas threw more interceptions than touchdowns EIGHT times in his 17 year career and had "only" a 78.2 quarterback rating? Should he even be in the Hall of Fame for that?

Now, if it took you more than one microsecond to scream "(expletive) YES" to the previous question, that's my hand coming through the computer screen to slap some sense into you. The point of that stat is that it was commonplace in the league at that time to throw more interceptions than touchdowns as even the greatest quarterback of that era did so several times. 

Where is this going, you may ask? Well, Bradshaw and Namath's quarterback statistics were actually good for the time they played in, and that is without even accounting for the postseason accolades that Bradshaw accumulated and Namath's history altering guarantee.

I admit: I'm only 19 years old. I haven't had the chance to see the great players of the 1970's and 1960's play. What I do understand is the many rule changes that have happened since then:

-the Mel Blount rule

-the Ty Law rule

-the Tom Brady rule

-rules against hitting receivers in the helmets

-hitting defenseless receivers

-hitting quarterbacks in the head


If you don't understand the impact that these rule changes have had on the game, you have no right to evaluate the player statistics of the past. It was much more difficult to throw the ball in the 1970's than it is in today's NFL, and you must account for that when comparing across different eras.

The rule changes aren't the only thing that have changed since the time Namath and Bradshaw played. Ever heard of this thing called the West Coast offense? Of course you have. One of the most popular and successful offensive schemes of all time, the West Coast offense was not around during the time these quarterbacks played.

This meant that quarterbacks weren't throwing three yard slants to their receiver and benefiting from lots of YAC, like many quarterbacks today do to inflate their stats. The quarterbacks of the past had to sling it down the field against tight coverage (no such thing as illegal contact), which results in more dangerous throws, much lower completion percentages, and more interceptions for all quarterbacks. 

So, before you claim that a Hall of Fame quarterback is not Hall of Fame worthy, always remember the era that that particular quarterback played in before you go bashing sub par stats. Otherwise, I could blindly bash just about every HOF quarterback that played in the 1970's and before.

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