The Jets are now one of the most sulfurous teams in the NFL. But that’s nothing new for the green and white. Since its inception, New York’s second-ranked team has been one of the league’s most turbulent.
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The New York Titans are the brainchild of radio journalist Harry Wismer who, before building the team in 1960, was also a minority owner of the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins.
For lack of a better place to put the team, he moved the team to the Polo Ground, a stadium abandoned by the Giants baseball team since 1957, which would be a real drain on the Titans’ finances.
By 1962, the Titans were in the news: the team was in dire financial straits, and some players refused to play without pay. The AFL was forced to step in mid-season and cover most expenses until the team could be sold.
After the team sold for $1 million, the franchise became a group of 5 investors (David A Werblin, Townsend B. Martin, Leon Hess, Donald C Lillis, and Philip H. Iselin) in 1963.
The Titans became the Jets, and Wilbur “Weeb” Ewbank led the team as both general manager and coach.
In Baltimore, Ewbank won the national title in 1958 and 1959. In New York, he had to wait until 1969 and the third Super Bowl to win the only title in the history of the Jets, after a season of 11 wins and three losses.
On January 12, 1969, the Jets went to the Super Bowl as underdogs, with the Colts favored by 18 points by the national bookmakers.
However, the Jets were under pressure since quarterback Joe Namath had announced his team’s victory: “We will win this game, I guarantee it.
The Jets finally won 16-7, which was enough to ensure Namath a place among the sport’s legends.
“Broadway Joe” then signs a performance with 17 completed passes in 28 attempts for 206 yards (including 132 yards on eight receptions by receiver George Sauer Jr.) and receives the title of MVP.
However, the Jets defense controlled the game, intercepting opposing passers four times.