Cigar Aficionado

America's Game
Photo: Walter Ross Jr./Getty Images
Executing one of his signature jump passes, Joe Namath shocked the world with his New York Jets in Super Bowl III. Games like this one made NFL football America’s favorite sport.
Pro football, with its long and storied history, is the most popular sport in the United States
It was January 1969, with the nation still in the thrall of the Summer of Love. A quarterback with long sideburns, bushy hair and a penchant for wearing white shoes made a brash prediction. Responding to a heckler at a Miami supper club, Joe “Willie” Namath guaranteed victory in Super Bowl III against the Colts, a juggernaut favored by 18 points.  Few gave the Jets a chance, but Namath was more than ready. “We had an advantage because the Colts had this defense that killed the whole NFL that season,” says Namath, now 74, remembering that day more than 50 years ago. “Why would they change for an 18-point underdog? I knew they would stick with the same fronts and …
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