Joe Namath says infamous Suzy Kolber interview was ‘blessing in disguise’ |

Joe Namath says infamous Suzy Kolber interview was ‘blessing in disguise’

Frank Carnevale
New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath gets off a pass under pressure from the Baltimore Colts defenders during Super Bowl III in Miami, Fla., on Sunday, Jan. 12, 1969.
Former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath poses for photographers on the green carpet ahead of an event unveiling the team’s new NFL football uniforms, Thursday, April 4, 2019, in New York.
New York Jets Joe Namath hands off to teammate Matt Snell during Super Bowl action against the Baltimore Colts, at the Miami Orange Bowl, Florida, Jan. 12, 1969.
New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath.

Former New York Jets quarterback and Super Bowl III hero Joe Namath hit rock bottom on national TV in 2003 when he infamously hit on ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber.

“I want to kiss you. I couldn’t care less about the team struggling … I want to kiss you,” Namath slurred during the interview on live TV during a Jets – New England Patriots game. He later apologized and admitted that he was drunk during the interview.

Now, Namath, 75, who grew up in Beaver Falls, writes that it was a blessing in disguise and he hasn’t had a drink since.

Namath talked about the about the incident and his problems with drinking in his new book, “All the Way: My Life in Four Quarter,” which was released Tuesday.

“I saw it as a blessing in disguise,” Namath, writes in the book according to reports. “I had embarrassed my friends and family and could not escape that feeling. I haven’t had a drink since.

“That shame is where I found my strength to deal with the addiction. With the help of my recovery, I learned that I had used my divorce as an excuse to go back to drinking. That knowledge made me a stronger individual.”

About his alcohol problem, which he calls Slick, he writes that it lead to his divorce from his wife Deborah in 2000, and that he’d be dead he didn’t stop drinking.

“Every now and then Slick whispers, but having a name for him makes me listen to him differently,” Namath wrote. “And, health-wise, I’d probably be dead by now if I hadn’t stopped drinking,”

The autobiography also covers Jets’ historic Super Bowl against over the Baltimore Colts in 1969, where he guaranteed and deliver the victory.

Frank Carnevale is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Frank via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | NFL
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.