Joe Namath stopped by the Cortland training camp of the Jets on Thursday to pay his annual visit to the team that he brought to its only Super Bowl title. Both of this year's story lines fit well with the historical king of the franchise.
Those story lines are, of course, the cocky swagger taken on by the Jets since Rex Ryan took over coaching duties and Darrelle Revis's holdout. Cocky swagger and Broadway Joe go together like chocolate and peanut butter so it isn't surprising that Namath is a fan of Ryan's and willing to throw a little more gasoline on the raging fire of Jets expectations.
"Justified. This is what I’m saying: This team that I’m looking at today is more suited to be able to follow through with the championship or to get a championship than what we’ve had out there."
That's not a guarantee but it's good enough for right now. He didn't have much to say about Revis, beyond expressing confidence that he'll be back with the team soon, but it would have been interesting to hear some thoughts from Namath about which side he thought was right in the impasse. Namath shook up the salary structure of football when he was a player, something that caused friction within the locker room. That isn't the case with Revis, but Namath's thoughts would have been welcomed.
Namath was followed by cameras for "Hard Knocks" on Thursday and you'll certainly be seeing him when the show premieres next week. We're guessing it will come during a segment that underscores the less happy thoughts that accompany Namath every time he stops by the Jets.
You can't look at Broadway Joe and not see 42 years of broken promises, dashed dreams and humiliating failures from the various men who have played, coached and worked for the team. He is, in other words, a walking billboard for restraint when it comes to putting the cart before the horse and imagining championship parades in early August. That doesn't make him unwelcome, far from it.
It makes him something more than a good photo op on an otherwise uneventful day at Jets training camp.