Super Bowl III, New York Jets vs. Baltimore Colts, January 12, 1969. The Jets defeated the Colts 17-14 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California.
The 1969 NFL Championship Game was the final game of the 1968 season between the top two teams in the National Football League (NFL). The Jets finished with a 10-4 record while the Baltimore Colts finished with a 11-1 record. This is the only time these two teams have met in the postseason.
This was also the first Super Bowl to be played outside of Washington, D.C. The previous three games were held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but due to security concerns over then-Senator Joe McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) investigating communists in the film industry, the NFL decided not to risk having their championship game held in L.A. This would not be the last time that football's biggest stage was played outside the United States, however. In 2014, the Patriots traveled to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLIX after winning the NFL Championship Game against Seattle Seahawks 24-22 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
The Baltimore Colts The American Football League (AFL) champion New York Jets upset the National Football League (NFL) champion Baltimore Colts 16-7 as an 18-point underdog. The victory gave hope to a league that was on the brink of collapse as only two teams remained from the original 12 that began play in 1960.
In its first season, the AFL was considered a failure by many as only two of the eight original teams survived into 1969: the Houston Oilers who moved to Tennessee and became the Titans; and the New York Yankees of the AFL who merged with the New York Giants to form the current version of the New York Football Giants.
However, during their three seasons, the Jets were able to win 46 games, which is the most of any team in the AFL's history. Additionally, they won the AFL's championship game twice, so they are now tied with the Oakland Raiders for most championships with three each.
Coming off back-to-back NFL championship wins, the Colts were favored over the upstart AFL squad by many experts. However, thanks to an aggressive betting strategy used by Joe Namath and others, they were able to outsmart the Colts and avoid losing two consecutive title games for the first time in franchise history.
The 1969 Super Bowl III was the first game to bear the designation "Super Bowl," but it will be remembered for the "Guarantee." Then, the quarterback of the 18-point underdog New York Jets, Joe Namath, informed reporters, "We're going to win the game." The confident quarterback had no reason to boast, as his team was being dominated by a larger and more experienced Baltimore Colts squad. Namath's bravado turned out to be well-founded, as his team came from behind to win 31-30.
This victory is now known as the "Guarantee Game" because Namath made such a bold statement after his team took a late 30-28 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Colts were driving for a winning score when Jim Kiick intercepted a pass at the Jets' 5-yard line with 29 seconds left. That's when Namath went on national television again to make sure everyone knew who was still standing after four quarters of play. He announced, "I just want to tell you one thing: We're going to win the game!" Sure enough, the Jets won their first championship since 1949, when they last appeared in the game. This victory also gave hope to football fans who had seen their teams defeated time and time again by more prestigious sports like baseball and basketball.
Although the NFL has become a popular league over the years, it wasn't always the case.
The 1996 New York Jets season was the franchise's 37th overall and 27th in the National Football League.
Joe Namath Ensures Super Bowl Victory For His Jets Icons | January 9, 2021 On January 12, 1969, in the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath (12) looks on as he leads the Jets to a 16-7 victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. (Image courtesy of Fred Roe/Getty Images)