NAMATH, ONE OF PRO FOOTBALL’S BIGGEST STARS, IN A
DOCUMENTARY DEBUTING JAN. 28, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO
The Emmy®-winning combination of HBO Sports and NFL Films explores the fascinating life and career of one of pro football’s biggest stars when NAMATH, a documentary on New York Jets icon Joe Namath, debuts SATURDAY, JAN. 28 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: Jan 28 (1:00 a.m.) and 31 (noon, midnight), and Feb. 3 (5:30 p.m.), 5 (11:15 a.m.), 7 (noon, 3:30 a.m.), 9 (8:00 p.m., 1:30 a.m.), 11 (3:00 p.m.), 15 (11:30 a.m., 5:45 p.m.) and 17 (7:30 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Jan. 30 (4:30 p.m., 12:50 a.m.) and Feb. 6 (6:30 p.m., 4:30 a.m.), 18 (7:45 a.m.), 21 (12:25 p.m., 8:00 p.m.), 26 (8:30 a.m.) and 29 (midnight)
HBO On Demand availability: Jan. 30-Feb. 28
“Joe Namath is one of the most compelling sports figures of the last 50 years and we are delighted to tell his story,” says Rick Bernstein, executive producer, HBO Sports. “We will retrace his life not only from Joe’s perspective, but also from the viewpoints of many others who are familiar with Joe’s extraordinary football career, following his journey from Beaver Falls to today. We hope to present the definitive film on an NFL icon and a trailblazing free spirit.”
“In the mythology of pro football, Joe Namath is Arthur,” says Steve Sabol, president of NFL Films. “He pulled the proverbial sword from the stone and the NFL became the Camelot of American sports. His story is timeless, authentic and also very human. It is a privilege for NFL Films to partner with HBO Sports once again in documenting the life of ‘Broadway Joe.’ ”
Born in Beaver Falls, Pa. in 1943, Namath was raised in western Pennsylvania and was a stellar high school athlete in basketball, baseball and football. He accepted a football scholarship to the University of Alabama and played quarterback for the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant. Namath led the Crimson Tide to the top of the national polls in 1964 and his stock as a pro football prospect soared.
With entertainment mogul Sonny Werblin at the helm of ownership of the New York Jets, Namath elected to sign with the upstart American Football League for a then-staggering $427,000, and by game five of his first season had become the Jets’ starting quarterback. He was subsequently named AFL Rookie of the Year, and was one of the first sports celebrity superstars, captivating both the entertainment press and fans with his movie-star looks and bigger-than-life “Broadway Joe” personality.
In a moment that would alter the NFL landscape, Namath led the underdog New York Jets to a world championship title in Super Bowl III versus the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. His “guarantee” of a Jets upset brought him legendary status.
While his MVP performance in Super Bowl III was the high point, Namath fashioned a high-flying all-star career during his 13 years in pro football, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
Now 68, Namath remains engaged in the game with which he has had a lifelong love affair. He provides radio commentary, is connected to new media initiatives through Facebook and Twitter (@realjoenamath), and hosts his own website destination (broadwayjoe.tv).
Interviews for the documentary include: family members Frank Namath, Rita Sims and Jessica Namath; family friends Linwood Alford, Wibby Glover, Al Hassan, Jimmy Walsh and Tad Dowd; former New York Jets teammates Matt Snell, John Schmitt, Don Maynard, Richard Castor, Emerson Boozer and John Riggins; former Jets assistant coach Ken Meyer; former Alabama teammate Gaylon McCollough; former Alabama assistant coach Howard Schnellenberger; former Baltimore Colts head coach Don Shula; former NFL players Mike Curtis, Ben Davidson and Fred Dryer; sports journalists Sal Marchiano, Suzy Kolber, Dave Anderson and Rick Telander; producers Larry Spangler and Roger Smith; attorney Mike Bite; and actress Ann-Margret.
HBO Sports and NFL Films have a long history of acclaimed football productions, including the 2010 documentary “Lombardi,” which earned rave reviews and received the Sports Emmy® for Outstanding Documentary.
The executive producers of NAMATH are Rick Bernstein for HBO Sports and Steve Sabol for NFL Films; produced by Joe Lavine for HBO Sports and Keith Cossrow for NFL Films; Liev Schreiber narrates; music composed by Dave Robidoux of NFL Films; writer, Ouisie Shapiro; senior coordinating producers for NFL FILMS, Pat Kelleher and Ross Ketover; executive producer for Namanco Productions Inc, James Walsh.