Over­came our crit­ics — Na­math

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Mi­ami, Fla. — While his team­mates whooped it up and his coach called him “fab­u­lous,” Joe Na­math — de­fi­ant as ever af­ter steer­ing the New York Jets to vic­tory over Bal­ti­more in the Su­per Bowl — pro­claimed him­self a “poor win­ner.”

“I’m only talk­ing to New York writ­ers — those were the guys who had faith in us,” the Jets quar­ter­back told the tight squeeze of news­pa­per­men around him in the ju­bi­lant Jets dress­ing room.

“I’m a poor win­ner,” Broad­way Joe said and pushed away mi­cro­phones pushed in his face. But Joe re­lented when they put him on tele­vi­sion. He called the Jets’ 16-7 upset of the Na­tional Foot­ball League cham­pi­ons in the third an­nual world cham­pi­onship a vic­tory for the en­tire Amer­i­can Foot­ball League.

“We over­came our crit­ics. Most peo­ple pre­dicted a 42-13 loss; we over­came our crit­ics,” said the sweat­ing Na­math, a cup of soda pop in his hand and black grease paint still on his cheeks.

“We sur­prised the crit­ics but Bal­ti­more’s a fine foot­ball team.”

(Jan. 13, 1969)

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