Sunday, May 27, 2007

1968 AFL Championship Game

5) 1968 AFL Title Game: New York Jets 27—Oakland 23

Six weeks earlier, the Raiders triumphed in the classic “Heidi Bowl” game. Now the Jets and Raiders would play a rematch in the AFL championship game, the biggest game in the young career of football’s most famous and highly paid player: Joe Willie Namath. The crushing pressure on Namath had really gotten to him by the eve of the game. So how did he deal with it? How else? He went to his bar, “grabbed a girl and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red and went to the Summit Hotel and stayed in the bed the whole night with the girl and the bottle.” The next morning, about five hours before game time, an off-duty police officer stood at a crosswalk and saw Broadway Joe with a girl on one arm and whiskey bottle in his free hand. Namath looked tired, messy and drunk. The cop knew what he had to do--he “raced to the closest sportsbook he could find and bet everything on the Raiders.” And how’d that work out for him? Well, in a seesaw game Joe Willie played through his hangover and tossed three touchdowns, the final one coming when he hit Don Maynard for a 6-yard touchdown with 7:47. Jets up 27-23. Still, plenty of time remained for a Raiders comeback and Daryle Lamonica, who threw for 401 yards on the day, used that time to drive his team to the New York 12 with just over two minutes remaining. Now it was time for a special play, a play the Raiders had worked on all week for just this type of situation: a quick screen to Charlie Smith. Lamonica blew it though; he floated the ball over Smith's head for an incompletion. Or rather, Lamonica threw what appeared to be an incompletion. In fact it was a lateral, not a pass, meaning the play was still alive. Unfortunately, the only people on the field who realized this wore Kelly green not silver and black. The Raiders stood there flatfooted while Jets linebacker Ralph Baker scooped up the ball and clinched the game for the Jets. The next week, the Jets, not the Raiders, made football history by shocking the Colts and winning the AFL’s first Super Bowl.

All the above quotes came from this "Modern Drunkard Magazine Online article about Namath that I couldn’t possibly recommend more!

The Oakland Raiders' Top 10 Toughest Losses of All-Time:

Tenth Toughest Loss
Ninth Toughest Loss
Eighth Toughest Loss
Seventh Toughest Loss
Sixth Toughest Loss
Fifth Toughest Loss
Fourth Toughest Loss
Third Toughest Loss
Second Toughest Loss
Toughest Loss

2 comments:

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