I had an interesting conversation with Joe Namath in September regarding the Jets' new young quarterback, who at the time was 2-0.

Namath said nice things about Mark Sanchez and his potential and clearly hoped the Jets would do well. But when I asked Namath whether after all these years he would be relieved finally to pass along the burden of being the face of the franchise . . .

Well, here is a transcript of our chat as he had his makeup removed after appearing on HBO's "Joe Buck Live":

WatchDog: "Would you like to see one of these younger guys actually win a championship so it's not like every quarterback who comes down the pike has to be compared to you?"

Broadway Joe: "That has nothing to do with anything. I'd just like to see us win a championship."

WatchDog: "But you know how it is; every quarterback that comes through, people want to talk about you. If this guy wins a championship, then people will talk about him. Wouldn't that be nice, or do you like the fact you come up every time a quarterback comes through here?"

Joe: [Several seconds of sardonic laughing.] "How would you feel?" [Several more seconds of sardonic laughing.]

Here a friend of Joe's interjected: "How would you feel when that new guy comes to Newsday and takes your job?"

WatchDog: "Oh, so you like the fact it's always you. Nothing wrong with that."

Joe: "I did not say that."

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Photo: AP