Joe Namath, the legendary New York Jets quarterback, and cult status hero, has had an unsavory off-the-field history. The Jets legend’s life has been marred by controversies surrounding his alcohol and drug abuse since his ex-wife Deborah Mays left him in 1998.
The negative publicity surrounding him has gotten so bad that his two daughters have become embroiled in it, threatening to taint his life just as he is getting his life back on track.
Facts of Joe Namath
|Also Known As||Joe Willie Namath • Broadway Joe • Joseph William Namath|
|Born||May 31, 1943 (age 78) • Pennsylvania|
|Awards And Honors||Pro Football Hall of Fame (1985) • Pro Football Hall of Fame (inducted 1985) • 1 AFL championship • 1 Super Bowl championship • 1 All-Pro selection • 5 Pro Bowl selections • 1969 AP AFL Player of the Year • 1968 AP AFL Player of the Year • 1974 PFWA Comeback Player • 1968 UPI AFL Player of the Year|
|Education||University of Alabama|
|Height/Weight||6 ft 2 inches, 200 lb (1.88 m, 90 kg)|
|Jersey Number||12 (Los Angeles Rams, 1977) • 12 (New York Jets, 1965–1976)|
|Draft||Drafted by the New York Jets in the first round (first overall) of the 1965 AFL draft and by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round (12th overall) of the 1965 NFL draft.|
|Yards Gained By Passing||27663|
|Yards Per Attempt||7.4|
Namath Involved in Yet Another Scandal After Eldest Daughter’s Ex Demands Financial Report
In August 2019, just as the quarterback hall of fame of farmer’s life seemed to be devoid of controversies, he was caught up in yet another scandal. This time, the unwanted spotlight was brought into the family by his eldest daughter Jessica Namath’s husband.
In September 2016, his eldest daughter filed for divorce from her husband, Brian Kennedy, citing her husband’s drug and alcohol abuse, as well as anger management issues. She also requested child support for their 2-year-old son.
On the other hand, Kennedy did not back down, bringing the quarterback into the drama by asking him to submit his financial documents, including credit card statements and tax returns, to claim that Jessica is supported by her wealthy father.
This demand was made to demonstrate that Jessica did not require Kennedy’s financial assistance because she had received numerous gifts from her wealthy father.
On the other hand, Jessica’s attorneys retaliated by claiming that the estranged ex’s demands were an overreach of his right to obtain personal and financial information about the Namath family.
The Upper West Side condo that Namath had given to his daughter and son-in-law after their July 2015 wedding was also brought up in the dispute as one of the hall-of-“gifts” farmers to his daughter. As it turned out, Namath and his daughter and son-in-law shared ownership of the $1.01 million condos.
Joe Namath’s youngest daughter Olivia became pregnant at the age of 16.
Olivia Namath, his youngest daughter, made headlines in 2007, a few years after his divorce from his wife when she became pregnant at the age of 16. Olivia was still in high school in Florida at Namath’s grandchild’s birth.
Although the news was not particularly controversial, reports that the baby’s father, Edwin Baker III, had been arrested for meth possession, burglary, and auto theft three times in the year preceding the baby’s birth sparked outrage in the media.
As if that wasn’t controversial enough, Olivia was arrested on drug possession charges three years after the child was born. Olivia was arrested in West Palm Beach in 2010 with a pound of marijuana in her car. Olivia was only 19 at the time.
Namath’s most recent controversies appear to have subsided after Olivia married her baby daddy in 2014.
Namath’s Alcoholism Struggle
Namath had a drinking problem long before he married Deborah ‘Tatiana’ Mays in 1984. Because he was a bachelor, his pre-marriage alcoholism went mostly unnoticed.
Despite his alcoholism, the quarterback remained a popular athlete who endorsed a few products. Deborah was the one who helped him reduce the amount of alcohol in his system. But his sobriety lasted only more than 14 years, from 1985 to 1998, after Deborah allegedly left him for a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon.
Following the divorce, the Hall of Famer attempted to drown out his sorrows by returning to the bottle, as well as his medications.
His alcoholism went unnoticed until a December 2003 episode of Monday Night Football. Namath’s words were misinterpreted in the episode as the reporter, Suzy Kolber, struggled to understand him. The ex-quarterback was swooning over the reporter and even leaned in for a kiss, saying the famous words, “I want to kiss you.”
Three decades later, it appears that Namath is still struggling to avoid the controversies that surround his family.
Namath in the 2021 NFL Draft for the New York Jets
The New York Jets signed QB Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The 21-year-old BYU signal-caller is ecstatic to be playing for the Jets.
Namath, a Jets legend, told the Associated Press during the draft,
: “I’m looking forward to meeting Zach, I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting and talking with him, so it’s hard to try to evaluate someone without sitting down and visiting with them. But to me, what I’ve watched of him on tape or on television, oh yeah, man, he’s an athlete. He makes the throws; he moves around. A gifted athlete.”
During the interview, Namath stated unequivocally that the Jets were overdue for a championship. He also expressed gratitude for being a part of a winning team during his tenure. And hopes that the Jets can make history once more. He is ecstatic about Wilson’s signing and has high expectations for the athlete and team. Even if many things are going wrong for Namath, he has football to keep him happy.