Nixon Enemies List entry for
Joe Namath:

List and position:First, #127
Name as originally listed:Joe Namath, New York Giants; businessman; actor.
Vitals:5/31/1943 -
Comment on original list:New York Giants; businessman; actor
Category given:Celebrities

- probably added because of a misunderstanding of someone on staff who knew nothing of football.

- Mistakenly listed as "New York Giants" just 3 years after he memorably led the NY Jets to the upset Super Bowl victory in 1969.

- The Washington Post put "(sic)" after Giants, but not the NY Times.

- In the Sunday paper that week, the article, "A Landslide Was Not Enough," The NY Times said that the list included "even the most famous of all quarterbacks, Joe Namath, misassigned by the football buffs in the White House to the New York Giants."

- In "Namath: A Biography", Mark Kriegel writes, "Dean does not know exactly what prompted Namath's inclusion on the list, or his misidentification as a member of the Giants. The president himself, a fan so devoted he would call the Redskins coach to suggest plays, wouldn't have made that sort of mistake. Thus Dean believes that the quarterback's classification probably owed to zealous staffers who overheard Nixon make a crack about Namath."

- A week after the list came out, the AP ran an article quoting Namath's lawyer, James Walsh, as saying it must have been a mistake and "Joe Namath has never been critical of the President, his administration, the White House or anyone in government."

- Regretted playing pro football. Dave Anderson in the NY Times (May 3, 1992) quoted Joe: "I think if I had it all to do over, I would've played baseball."

- His knee injuries during his rookie year in 1965 got him classified 4-F and he never had to serve in Vietnam. He wasn't outspoken about the war and seems to have kept any political feelings to himself.


Name/Date:DanSep 26, 2020 9:56am
Comment:I was watching a Tonight Show with Johnny Carson from 1973 and Joe Namath was a guest and Johnny was joking with him that he was on this list.

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