In recent years, New York Jets Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath has followed the team closely and offered critiques from his perspective. At times, informative and insightful. Other times, intrusive and annoying.
In 2012, the NFL legend has kept it relatively low-key, or at least he had been until recently.
Namath went on The Jets Blog Podcast on SNY’s theJetsBlog.com Wednesday, and he ripped team owner Woody Johnson, while also taking some thinly-veiled shots at general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
“I think that the fans haven’t been given a fair shake,” Namath said. “I don’t think they get a straight story, often enough, from the powers that be. I think it’s kind of condescending talk a bunch of times.”
The man they call Broadway Joe said that Woody Johnson has been disrespectful towards Jets fans in recent years, starting with his decision to sell personal seat licenses at MetLife Stadium, just like their co-tenants in blue.
Namath believes that Mr. Johnson has lost touch with what’s important, and that’s why the Jets are struggling.
“I think the focus is changed, subtly,” Namath said. “It’s more toward grabbing headlines, and everything starts at the top. Go back to when the seat licenses were initiated, how we started conducting things.”
“I don’t think winning [games] has been put at the top of the board,” he said. “Winning headlines has replaced that.”
Many have criticized the Jets’ decision to acquire Tim Tebow, and Namath agrees. He actually used the word “disrespectful” to describe the Jets’ rationale for acquiring the popular quarterback.
“I think [Johnson's] been disrespectful. We can go right to the Tebow thing. I mean, come on. If you’re bringing him in to play, where’s he been? … Are you bringing him in trying to get media headlines?”
Finally, Namath took some shots at the front office, and while he didn’t name GM Mike Tannenbaum by name, he acknowledged that there has to be a change coming in the front office if things don’t improve soon.
“We seem to have regressed with talent, the last two years at least, the last three years,” he said. “I’m disappointed in the talent we have, and I think you have to start looking at who’s doing the picking and why.”
Namath might not be employed by the organization any more, at the facilities, seeing the inner workings of how things are run, but his analysis is not all that incorrect.
I don’t agree with everything Namath said this week, but he’s definitely on to something.
The Jets need to start winning football games again. Period, point blank. Until they do, the outside voices will only get louder. They’ve got eight weeks to turn this season around, and many people’s jobs could be on the line.
How the Jets play over the next eight weeks will go a long way towards determining who’s part of the problem and who’s part of the solution. It’s make or break time for a lot of people. The margin for error is razor thin.