Alabama football’s success might be a point of pride for one of the greatest quarterbacks in school history. But Joe Namath has never been comfortable with that word. Instead, Namath said in an exclusive interview with SEC Country that he’s “thankful.”
“I’ve always stumbled around with that word itself, pride or proud. I’m not always comfortable using that,” Namath told the Alabama Crimson Tide podcast. “I’m thankful.”
Namath, who led Alabama to the national championship in 1964, has a lot to be thankful for when it comes to the Crimson Tide.
“I am thankful for Nick Saban,” he said of the coach who’s led Alabama to four national championships and five SEC titles in the last decade. “I am excited about this entire team, and I am thankful that he (Jalen Hurts) is on our side.”
Namath praised Hurts, whose 30-yard touchdown run gave Alabama a 31-28 lead against Clemson with 2:08 remaining in the national championship game. Deshaun Watson rallied Clemson to a 35-31 victory in the game’s final seconds, but Namath expects big things from Hurts in his sophomore season.
“He may recognize something that’s going to happen this season a little bit faster,” Namath said. “I think he’ll be sharper. I think everything he does will be a little bit better. We were seconds away … he brought the team back.
“I thought it was remarkable last season, I think he is remarkable right now for a young man. The way he carried himself throughout the season last year. And Coach Saban has spoken very highly of Jalen again, how he’s taken the leadership role. He has gotten more wiser, smarter, more advanced with the offense. … I’m excited about the whole team and I’m thankful for our side.”
As a result, the resident of Jupiter, Fla., says he can walk with his head up and chest out when he’s around people from Florida, Florida State and Miami.
“I don’t have to say anything, you see,” Namath said. “They know. They know what we’ve done.”