Houston Oilers trade first round draft pick to New York Jets for Jerry Rhome
On Nov. 29, 1964, the New York Jets traded the rights to quarterback Jerry Rhome to the Houston Oilers for a first-round draft pick. With that pick, the Jets selected a strong-armed quarterback out of the University of Alabama named Joe Namath. Namath would go on to become a legend in New York, helping the Jets to an improbable Super Bowl win along the way.
Namath battled knee injuries throughout his career, after hurting himself in the fourth game of his senior year at Alabama. Still, Namath limped through a perfect regular season for the Crimson Tide, winning a National Championship in the Orange Bowl. He was selected in the first round of both the AFL and NFL drafts.
The Jets, who were in the AFL at the time, took Namath with the first overall selection, a pick they got from the Houston Oilers in a trade. When he led the Jets to the Super Bowl in 1968, not many people gave them a chance against the NFL’s Baltimore Colts. The NFL was considered the stronger league, and had won the first two Super Bowls.
Prior to the game, Namath guaranteed the Jets would win the game, which would eventually become his claim to fame. The Jets did win, 13-7, and despite a pretty pedestrian game, their quarterback was named the game’s MVP.
Throughout his career, Namath put up stats that normally would not put a player in the Hall of Fame. He completed only 50.1 percent of his passes, threw for more interceptions than touchdowns, and had a losing record as a starter.
Still, his win in Super Bowl III helped the merger of the two leagues, and brought legitimacy to the AFL. He still is the only quarterback to lead the Jets to a Super Bowl victory, and will forever be the face of the franchise.
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