History of Super Bowl III

January 12, 1969 - The Orange Bowl

New York Jets football huddle
  Sean Gardner / Contributor / Getty Images 

New York Jets 16
Baltimore Colts 7

Super Bowl III between the New York Jets and Baltimore Colts is possibly the most storied Super Bowl in the history of this great game. I think every football fan knows the story of how Joe Namath guaranteed his Jets would beat the heavily favored Colts in an appearance before the Miami Touchdown Club.

Namath didn't stop there. In the days to come, he would bad-mouth many of the Colts players, including quarterback Earl Morrall. "I study quarterbacks," said Namath. "I assure you the Colts have never had to play against quarterbacks like we have in the AFL."

But Morrall refused to join in the war of words saying, "He's got his newspaper space and that's what he wants. A lot of players have opinions on other players that would send writers running for their typewriters if they expressed 'em."

Colts' defensive end Billy Ray Smith was more than happy to respond to Namath's comments, "He hasn't seen defenses like ours in his league. Our defenses are as complicated as some teams' offenses."

Game Changer

The Colts didn't really take the Jets seriously, but when the Jets drove 80 yards in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead and then proceeded to intercept Morrall three times, the Colts knew they were in for a fight.

Baltimore head coach Don Shula's halftime speech told the story, "We're making stupid mistakes, we're stopping ourselves. You've got them believing in themselves. You've got them believing that they're better than we are."

Two more field goals in the third quarter made the score 13-0 in favor of the Jets, and another one as the fourth quarter began to put the mighty Colts down by three scores. The Colts did manage to put the ball across the goal line, but it was not enough as the Jets pulled off one of the biggest upsets in sports history, 16-7.