It was a heartwarming moment, sort of, on Wednesday, when new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam welcomed Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown back into the organization.
Don’t count on that happening with the Jets.
Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath has had plenty of criticism in recent years for his former team, and he took it up a notch on Thursday, during a visit with Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton of WFAN.
Specifically, Namath accused the Jets of being “deceptive” when talking about the quality of the football organization.
“The team’s declined while we fans are being told how good they are constantly, how this new player’s so good,” Namath said. “They haven’t played up to how they’ve been touted. And so I think they’ve misled the fans more or less. They’ve made some bad decisions on personnel the last couple of years.”
The Jets have had a strong incentive to tout and hype players; the team needs to sell tickets and PSLs in its still-new stadium.
Namath admits that his criticism of the team has resulted in a less-than-loving relationship.
“I wouldn’t say bad terms, you know?” Namath said. “Uncomfortable. Because I was saying earlier, you don’t like to hear negative things, negative vibes, and Woody I’m sure doesn’t like the criticism. I mean, when we’ve brushed shoulders in the past it hasn’t been the same as it was originally. We don’t talk — ‘Hi, how are ya?’”
Actually, owner Woody Johnson doesn’t hear nearly the criticism some think he deserves. In New York of all markets, Johnson somehow has avoided taking the brunt of the blame for the team’s constant state of dysfunction, or a slew of bad decisions that at a minimum he allowed and at worst he ordered.
From signing Brett Favre (and handing Chad Pennington to the Dolphins) to trading for Tim Tebow to signing Mark Sanchez to an extension to keeping Santonio Holmes after he essentially quit on the team in 2011 to sending Darrelle Revis to Tampa, it seems as if every fork in the road has resulted in the Jets making the wrong turn.
And the guy ultimately driving the bus never gets called out for it.
Whatever Namath’s agenda, it’s good that he’s willing to stand up and speak his mind.