Let us escape for a moment from where we are as Jet fans today and go back exactly 44 years ago to 1/12/1969, as Joe Willie held his right index finger to the sky jogging off the Orange Bowl field. Feel free to share any and all remembrances of that amazing day in our history.
When I woke up today and saw it was January 12th, this was the first thing that came to my mind. My mom took us ice skating that morning. I was 10 years old and that season I just saw my first Jet game at Shea against the Broncos. My uncle's seats at Shea were 35 yard line, 6th row behind the Jets bench. After the game, I ran down to the dugout entrance where the players exited at the time. I always remember being 6 feet from Joe Willie, green eyes, white shoes, tan and the long hair. Been a fan ever since. Problem is if we are waiting for another 44 years, I will be 98!!!
I was 8, rooting hard for those Jets: Namath, Maynard, Snell, Schmitt, Hill, Atkinson, Sample, Turner (both Bake and Jim!), Sauer, Lammons, Boozer, Philbin, and all the others.
My uncle told me that Namath would be squished by Bubba Smith.
I was 18 on that day. But, believe it or not, I did not see the game. In 1969 I wasn't a football fan. Only a baseball fan. My only excuse is that my family had immigrated from Canada and my dad, wanting his son to grow up American, only had encouraged in me an interest in baseball. He had been a hockey fan too, but he felt that was too Canadian of a thing to influence his son to have an interest in.
Eventually, by the 1970's, I became an NFL fan. I chose the NY Jets to be my favorite team, based on their downtrodden history (and also based on the fact that I used to live close to NYC, in NJ, actually). So you really gotta feel for me, I think. I was alive during the Jets only SB victory, but missed it. And I probably will never see a Jets SB victory. But I can hope!