Cover image for All the way : my life in four quarters
All the way : my life in four quarters
1st ed.
Physical Description:
vii, 232 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm.
The warm-up -- First quarter -- Second quarter -- Halftime -- Third quarter -- Fourth quarter.
Personal Subject:
The NFL icon who first brought show business to sports relates the story of his spectacular rise and reign as "Broadway Joe" and discusses his struggles with alcoholism and the redemption he found in God later in life.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 921 NAMATH 1 1
Book 921 NAMATH 1 1
Book 921 NAMATH 1 1

On Order



"I guarantee it." Three days before the now-legendary 1969 Super Bowl III, quarterback Joe Namath promised the nation that he could lead the New York Jets to a clear underdog victory against the seemingly invincible Baltimore Colts. In what has been remembered as perhaps the biggest upset in football history, that game catapulted the young superstar to not only football immortality but also into a stratosphere of celebrity the likes of which only a few athletes have ever achieved.

But before all that, 'Broadway Joe' was just Joe, the small-town kid from Beaver Falls, PA with an arm so impressive that it caught the attention of University of Alabama's Bear Bryant. Following a knockout four-year run at Alabama, Namath was ceremoniously courted by every professional football team. Yet it was the New York Jets who offered a then-unheard-of figure, $427,000, to bring football's Golden Boy to the upstart AFL. In an era of raucous rebellion, shifting social norms, and political upheaval, Namath's roughish charm quickly became symbolic of the commercialization of pro sports, while his progressive views on race further pioneered integration on the gridiron. By 26, with a Super Bowl title under his belt, Namath was quite simply the most famous athlete alive.

Although his legacy has been cemented in the history books, underneath the eccentric yet charismatic personality was a player plagued by injury and addiction, both sex and substance. Doctors treated him with a stiff cocktail of painkillers, some strong enough to literally knock out a horse, and Namath matched these prescriptions with his own medication, Johnnie Walker, which fueled countless nights that began alongside the likes of Sinatra and Mantle, and ended in bed with the moment's most fashionable model or actress.

When his injuries permanently derailed his career, he turned to Hollywood and endorsements, not to mention a tumultuous marriage with Deborah Mays and fleeting bouts of sobriety. Now 74 years old and dry, Namath is finally ready to pull back the curtain on a life that might have seemed charmed, but in reality was anything but. Rich with personal history, private insights, and deep reflection, Namath is prepared to reveal the man behind the icon in this memoir that is as much about football and fame as it is about addiction, fatherhood, and coming to terms with one's own mortality.

Author Notes

Joe Namath is a former American football quarterback and Hollywood actor. He played for the New York Jets for most of his professional football career and played his final season with the Los Angeles Rams. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Namath, quarterback of the 1968 Superbowl III-winning Jets, reflects on his life in this riveting, earnest memoir. Namath explains that he intends to show readers "how I've changed, both positively and negatively," and divides his memoir into four parts, as he recalls each quarter of Super Bowl III, incorporating moments of his private life throughout. For example, as Namath discusses his legendary Super Bowl III "guarantee" to win against the Baltimore Colts, he addresses his struggles with drinking. Namath is refreshingly candid throughout, taking readers through his decision to even write the book (Mortimer and Yaeger expertly bring out Namath's intimate, conversational tone), and emphasizing his desire to not overlook the darker parts of his life. It's apparent that he valued his relationship with coach Bear Bryant, for whom he played at the University of Alabama, and uses his quotes as metaphors for life ("You'll remember the losses quicker than the wins. We're going to win a lot of games, but the losses will stick in ya'll's craws"). Football fans- will delight in Namath's play calling throughout (he tells Jets coach Weeb Ewbank on the sideline, "They haven't scored on our defense yet. I'd rather not throw. I'd like to run"). Namath's razor-sharp recollections bring a bygone era of football to vivid life in this illuminating volume. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Hall of Fame quarterback and erstwhile cultural icon Namath (I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow...'Cause I Get Better Looking Every Day, 1970) looks back on a long life of football, fashion, and fun.Tom Brady may always live with Deflategate hanging over his head, but such shenanigans were the coin of the realm when, half a century ago, Namath was a household word. During one game, he writes, he filed down five thumbtacks and taped them to his fingers to better grip the ball. It was ill-conceived: As he writes, "the ball stuck to the tacks just long enough so the release was too low," and his passes went straight into the turf. "So the tacks didn't work," he adds, with characteristic amiability, "but hey, in the days before playing gloves, the idea was worth a try." Both all-out star and team player, Namath has much to say on the inspirational front about trying, getting smacked down and dusting yourself off, and the usual sports stuff. He also discusses the N-word, divorce, booze, adultery, and other off-field violations of decor, taste, and ethics, and he has a very long memory for past injuries and insults as well as triumphs: "Oakland was real good, but certainly had some players who completely disregarded the rules of decent sportsmanship"; "This victory, the biggest upset in professional football championship history, was for all underdogs to be shared by all the underdogs." Though he professes to hate writing, calling himself a "reluctant author" who'd much rather be outside playing, he's got a handle on the storytelling racket. If it's not especially literary, it's good fun, with Burt Reynolds, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, and other assorted luminaries joining in. And if you want to know how his college coach, Bear Bryant, came by his nickname, Broadway Joe is the go-to guy.A pleasure for fans who remember way back to Namath's glory daysand an entertainment for those who are new to the gridiron hero. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Review

Few athletes embody a major cultural revolution as much as Namath. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, "Broadway Joe" brought style and swagger to the National Football League, assuring his legacy by brashly declaring that his upstart New York Jets would triumph over the old-school Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. When they did, New York (and by extension, the sports world) was his. Now 75, Namath has weathered injuries, addictions, and a battered public image. With the championship game that changed his life as a backdrop, he recounts his struggles and victories in the framework of a prolonged conversation. Namath is a charismatic storyteller with a warm, familiar voice and hard-won perspective on his role ushering in the era of entertainment and individuality in sports. This introspective, candid autobiography is a guaranteed winner for football and sports fans, and readers interested in the cultural history of the late 20th century. VERDICT From the football field to Hollywood and beyond, Namath claims his trademark flair and singular place in history with an autobiography that will be popular with several generations of -readers.-Janet Davis, Darien P.L., CT © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.