A spectacular rookie quarterback’s season ended Sunday for the Redskins. College football’s season ends tonight with Alabama playing Notre Dame for the national championship. Now we bring you another spectacular rookie quarterback, from Alabama, whose first pro season began in Northern Virginia.
It was Joe Namath, who made a big splash by coming out of Alabama in 1965 and signing not with the NFL but the upstart American Football League and the New York Jets. And for his first exhibition game as a rookie that summer, the Jets took to the road and played the Houston Oilers in the confines of the old George Washington High School Memorial Stadium in Alexandria.
The WETA blog Boundary Stones recently dug out this historical gem, with the help of the George Washington High School Alumni Association. The high school’s stadium, which already had a capacity of nearly 15,000, was expanded to 25,000 and tickets sold for the outrageous sum of $6.00 to see the young star who had just signed the biggest contract in football history.
Namath apparently was pretty impressive in his first outing, throwing for 110 yards and helping to put up 13 points for the Jets while playing just the first half. Three years later, he led the Jets to win Super Bowl III. For more info and photos about why and how this momentous game happened in Alexandria, go to Boundary Stones here.