Say it ain’t so, Joe

Say it ain’t so, Joe

What was with Joe Namath Saturday night? The legendary New York Jets quarterback was interviewed on the sidelines of the New England Patriots v. Jets game on ESPN and embarrassed himself, the Jets, and the NFL.

ESPN reporter Suzy Kolber, one of the best sports reporters, male or female, handled herself admirably in a bad situation. When I first saw Namath I thought he’d had a stroke recently, he was slurring so badly. But it quickly became apparent it was not illness but a bad ice cube that had stricken Namath. He was barely coherent and it all fell apart when he told Suzy, not once but twice, that he wanted to kiss her. What a display. Joe Theisman, in the broadcast booth, said right after the incident, “Joe’s just a happy guy.” And then a very wry Paul Maguire replied, “Oh boy, is he happy.”

Of course, some people are going to get in high dudgeon today and fulminate about sexual harassment. I thought it was funny, but in a “point and laugh at the idiot” way. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was just on local radio and handled questions about the incident with aplomb. He acknowledged that Namath wasn’t the only Jets quarterback embarrassed on the field on Saturday and then noted that Suzy did look cute that night.

I think if people are smart, they’ll chuckle and move on, resolving that all sports broadcasters should do a better job of screening their guests before putting them on the air.

Oh, by the way, the Pats won yet another football game, once again not a blowout, but finding ways to win. That’s 11 in a row, right? Here comes Buffalo. After their manhandling by Miami yesterday, they should be just about tenderized for the Pats. The Pats have been waiting for this game since the beginning of the season.

  • Bill,

    I think “bad ice cube” is a Boston expression. Yeah, it was often used of politicians who were caught drunk in public. The wry observation would be made that it wasn’t his fault, but he must have had a “bad ice cube” in his drink.