Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel (99) hits the blocking...

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel (99) hits the blocking sled practice during NFL football practice. (Jan. 19, 2011) Credit: AP

Joe Namath might just be the only Namath rooting for the Jets on Sunday.

Broadway Joe hails from Beaver Falls, Pa., a suburb 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, and his brother, Frank, told Newsday Thursday that there are about 30 Namaths still residing in the area.

So when the Jets meet the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game Sunday night in Pittsburgh, which team will the rest of the Namath family be rooting for?

"If Joe was playing for the Jets, we'd be bleeding green and rooting for Joe and pulling for the Jets," Frank Namath said. "But right now we want the Steelers to win. It's where we live."

The 73-year-old retired insurance agent happily pointed out during the telephone interview that "we really can't lose" no matter what happens Sunday.

They would be happy to see the Jets go to the Super Bowl for the first time since his brother successfully followed through on his famous guarantee in 1969.

But for rooting purposes, most of the Namaths are going with - gasp - the Steelers.

"Back here, the mind-set is you root for your local teams, and that's the way you're brought up," Namath said. "If your local high school is in the playoffs, you cheer for them. If they're not in the playoffs, then you cheer for the next local team.

"Right here, I'll tell you right now, people bleed black and gold. It's a fantastic occasion. I'm still amazed at it all. What overwhelms me is that people get so wrapped up in it. It's great."

People in Beaver Falls are so excited about the Steelers-Jets matchup that Frank Namath said he's been asked many times this week if his famous brother will be returning to town for the big game. But Joe Namath told Newsday on Tuesday that he will be watching the game - and tweeting! - from his South Florida home.

And it turns out Joe Namath wasn't the only member of his family to guarantee a Jets victory in Super Bowl III. Frank Namath said he was so confident in his brother that he made friendly wagers with all of his neighbors in Livonia, Mich.

"After the game was over," he said, "I walked up and down the street on both sides and just collected my bets."

More Jets