Jets quarterback Joe Namath offered the most famous guarantee in pro sports history when he guaranteed the Jets would win Super Bowl III over the Colts. But Namath suggests this year's Jets do far more talking than he ever did, and offered a word of caution about what will happen if the Jets can't back up their big words.
"If they can win, it’s great," Namath said before last night's Jets-Giants game, where he was inducted into the Jets' Ring of Honor at halftime. "I make of it less than what the opposition does. I take it with a good laugh and a good sense of humor. But you look around the league, and 31 other teams don’t like it [even] a little bit.
"[The Jets] are asking for trouble in a sense," he said. "You better get out there and put up, because they’re going to have to shut up big-time if they don’t keep putting up."
I asked Joe Willie if he thought the Jets ought to dial back some of the talk for their own good, but he said that wasn't his call.
"That's not for me to say," he said. "If they can win that way, God bless 'em. Keep on. Carry on. Do more. As long as the wins add up. But if the wins were to stop happening, then the payback will be coming. When you trash talk, you've got to expect some payback somewhere along the line. Hopefully this isn't trash talk. Hopefully this is where they're going and they're going to do it and they're going to win."
Former Jets running back Curtis Martin said the talk is simply a reflection of head coach Rex Ryan, and that even Martin, one of the quietest, most mild-mannered players of his era, might have been a different player.
"Rex Ryan is the father of this team," Martin said. "If your father is a talker, you’ll be a talker. If your father tells you to shut up — like Bill Parcells did — you’ll shut up. That was my situation and that’s what I’m accustomed to. That said, if Rex Ryan was the coach, you might have seen a different Curtis Martin."