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.