Happy 45th Anniversary to the New York Jets 1969 Super Bowl lll Team! Today, January 12th!
As I sit and watch the NFL playoffs today, my mind goes back to being a Senior at Babylon High School on Long Island, NY. I lived and died with every play and every game the Jets played. The Giants were the established NY, NFL team and going to school getting teased when Jets were losing was tough. Then, the season of 1968 became a dream come true.
Looking back, here is what stood out to me.
- Coach Weeb Ewbank was a special man who always had time for everyone.
- There were only 5 assistant coaches and players played every down.
- There was no situational players, all played a 4-3
- No player was 300 pounds.
- The LBers were 215-230 at most and lifting weights was thought to slow players down until the late 1960s.
- Practices were 2-a-day full hitting
- Shea Stadium was Home.
- And though Joe Namath was first big pay player and a true celebrity, when the season ended in January, players all got regular jobs until training camp started in July.
I was fortunate to grow up with this team. Players all got together with their families and there was no free agency so Jets were Jets basically their whole career and everyone was close. When we beat the Baltimore Colts 16-7 and changed the world of football, it was my dream come true. I went to school and no longer heard “what’s wrong with your Jets? (I someday hope my son will no longer endure this question).
To this day, 45 years later, being able to be a part of that victory through my dad and uncle (the Doctors Nicholas), is a big part of my identity. And still to this day, the first question asked is “you really know Joe Namath”?
Yes, I do and I thank the 1969 Super Bowl Jets for bringing so much joy and so many memories to me and the entire Nicholas family.
Now and forever, LET’S GO JETS!