1969: Joe Namath Guarantees A Super Bowl Victory For His Underdog Jets

By Kellar Ellsworth
New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath (12) looking on as he led the Jets to a 16-7 victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III on 1/12/1969 at the Orange Bowl in Miami Florida. (Photo by Fred Roe/Getty Images)

In 1969, the New York Jets were headed to the Super Bowl III (previously called the AFL-NFL Championship) and Joe Namath really stepped in it. The quarterback guaranteed to the press that his Jets team -- champs of the AFL, considered the inferior league -- would defeat the Baltimore Colts. The guarantee was one of the most famous statements ever made by an athlete, in no small part because it came to pass. The upstart Jets beat the odds and won the game, and Namath -- who was already a popular player known for his charisma -- became a quasi-magical figure in sports.