Namath: Barkley is Must-See TV

Football Sundays have always been must-see television for Joe Namath, but nowadays it centers around a stud rookie running back.

He’s the kind of talent that the New York Jets Hall of Fame quarterback says makes him stop clicking through games on his remote.

The legendary Namath, who led the Jets to their only Super Bowl win almost 50 years ago, likes Sam Darnold, his old team’s first-round pick and quarterback of the future. But Namath has become a huge fan of the New York Giants’ own rookie star, Saquon Barkley.

Barkley has the stats to back up “Broadway Joe’s” seal of approval. He has 1,124 rushing yards with nine rushing touchdowns so far this year and is coming off four straight contests of 100 yards rushing.

Saquon Barkley talks about his 78-yard TD run, rushing for 170 yards in game and breaking Odell Beckham's rookie TD record after the Giants blowout win over Washington.

Must. See. TV.

“From what I’ve seen on my television and from what the people have said about him that are the closest to him, I can only admire him and I look forward to seeing when he plays,” Namath said.

“When I’m switching games on the TV on Sunday, I’m switching to see people. I’m switching to see teams – yes, but I’m switching to see people and he’s one of the people I tune in to see how he’s doing on that day. He’s that kind of player. He’s special.”

Barkley was a standout at Penn State, leaving after three seasons for the NFL. He was a candidate for both the Heisman and the Maxwell Award during his junior season with the Nittany Lions.

There was a lot of criticism for Giants general manager Dave Gettleman for taking a running back so high in the 2018 NFL Draft. After all, conventional wisdom says you should take a quarterback if you have the chance with the second pick overall.

But the Giants are winning games and Barkley is showing that he is every bit worthy of the generational-talent tag.

Namath, who played for legendary head coach Bear Bryant in college at Alabama, doesn’t think the Giants should be looking in their rearview mirror on this pick.

“One of my old coaches – it could have been coach Bryant [said] ‘Quit dealing with coulda, woulda and shouldas’ – that’s not running through their minds,” Namath said. “I don’t want to go there – I think the Giants team is very happy with him.

This January is the 50th anniversary of Namath leading the Jets to a win over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. He remains active and highly involved with the Joe Namath Foundation, which helps individuals who suffer traumatic brain injuries and pioneers research in the field.

In addition, Namath has a biography coming out in time for the holidays. Joe Namath: All the Way is available for pre-order in both hardcover and electronically for Kindle.

The legendary NFL quarterback said the book details “my life in all of its triumphs and pain in a way that I’ve never expressed before. I hope it inspires people to do the best in their lives every day.”

The Joe Namath Foundation is a private 501 organization that makes a difference in the lives of children and their families. The foundation will award grants to organizations that meet the criteria for children’s charities and neurological research.

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