Category Archives: Weeb Ewbank

New York Titans become Jets

Fifty-one years ago this week saw the death of one of the AFL’s most storied teams, and the birth of another.  Harry Wismer had been the head man of the New York Titans from the franchise’s inception in 1960 through 1962 when the team was taken from him due, ultimately, to his lack of finances.

Famed talent agent, Sonny Werblin,bought the Titans for $1 million.  He changed their name to “Jets,” and after installing Weeb Ewbank as his head coach and Joe Namath at quarterback, had the team playing for a world championship within five seasons.

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1966 New York Jets Preview

Sports Illustrated had lofty preseason praise for the 1966 New York Jets.  Coming off a 5-8-1 record in ’65, Joe Namath was developing well behind a strong offensive line, and had great offensive tools in Maynard, Sauer, Snell and Boozer.  The defense, however, was shaky, with several new players at key positions.  The end result was a 6-6-2 record for Weeb, Joe and the boys, but in just two short years they would stun the world with their victory in Super Bowl III!

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Why Weeb Ewbank?

I’ve long been interested in the AFL All-Time Team.  From Alworth to Otto, Sestak to Bell, the names on this roster evoke memories of the greatest players in league history.  And while there will always be a bit of debate with teams like these, the head coaches position on this team has never quite sat right with me.

Weeb Ewbank was selected as head coach of this mythical AFL all-star team, and while he was undoubtedly a fine coach, I have often wondered how voters chose him for the honor.

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Edwin Shrake’s Crystal Ball – A Champagne Party for Joe and Weeb

Guest blogger Dave Steidel takes a stroll down memory lane, recalling life, Sports Illustrated and the AFL!

In 1966 my parents gave me one of the best birthday presents I ever received, a subscription to Sport Illustrated.  I have been a subscriber ever since.  The first issue I received was the Sportsman of the Year copy with track star Jim Ryan on the cover.  SI covers instantly became my memory bank in which most of the memorable events, of my life, sports and personal, would be stored for safe keeping.  Throughout the next thirty years I could look at an SI cover and tell you what was in the magazine that week as well as the events that were happening in my life and in the country.  Some people can do that with top 40 songs on the radio, for me it’s SI covers.

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Joe Namath’s knee

weeb ewbank, joe namath, sonny werblin

January 23, 1965 – NEW YORK: Joe Namath (right), the rookie quarterback the New York Jets paid an estimated $400,000 for, shows the Jets’ head coach, Ween Ewbank, his knee at a press conference here January 22nd.  Namath, who is troubled with a bad cartilage in the knee, is scheduled to have it operated on at Lenox Hill Hospital, January 25th

Credit (UPI PHOTO)