notes on government, sports and popular culture
.....Interesting that I'm reading a football biography
just as baseball season is starting.....
'Namath' is a very blog-like book, though. Mark Kriegel writes with a bit of attitude, and the short chapters consist of even shorter passages. You can read as much or as little as you want in one sitting and still come away satisfied.
I just finished the section about the bidding war for Namath's services coming out of Alabama. The NFL Cardinals were making overtures, but they were only feeling him out on behalf of the Giants, who did not wish to openly compete with the crosstown Jets, who made their intentions to draft Joe Willie quite public.
Jets owner Sonny Werblin had the cash to ward off the Giants' Wellington Mara, who was much more conservative with his money. Namath signed for $400,000 and a Jet green Lincoln Continental.
Cleveland quarterback Frank Ryan, who threw a league-leading who threw a league-leading 25 touchdown while leading the Browns to the 1964 NFL championship, made this observation:
"I guess I'll have to ask for a raise of about $980,000. If a fellow who hasn't even pulled on his cleats in pro ball is worth $400,000, then I must be worth a million dollars."
Fair enough, from a man qualified to make such a statement.
Just for fun: Ryan's stats
vs. Namath's stats