Jets legend Joe Namath believes Giants signal caller Eli Manning might be the greatest New York quarterback ever.
“I was pretty good and did some things. Eli, I marveled at. He was remarkable,” Broadway Joe told The Post right around the time Manning announced his retirement Friday morning. “I wouldn’t compare myself to Eli. He’s done far more than I ever did on the field.”
Asked how he would have stacked up against the two-time Super Bowl MVP if he hadn’t racked up so many knee injuries, Namath didn’t hesitate to trumpet Eli’s 16-year resume: “If, if, if. It’s bulls–t. The games played. The durability. The playoffs. I remember early on he was getting some heat, he didn’t always smile much, but every player that’s ever played with Eli swears by his work ethic and his character.”
Namath also noted that if Eli and Peyton Manning’s dad Archie — who starred for the Saints, Oilers and Vikings — “ever had a team, he would have been the first Manning in the Hall of Fame. He never had a team.”
Namath also couldn’t say enough about Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who will take on the San Francisco 49s in next Sunday’s Super Bowl. “He’s gifted. He’s got quick feet … He’s absolutely spectacular and a treat to watch. Hopefully he stays healthy.”
But Broadway Joe — whose recent autobiography, “All the Way: My Life in Four Quarters,” offers a candid take on his first 75 years on and off the gridiron — would not “guarantee” who will win Super Bowl LIV.
“I’m looking forward to it man, because they are the two best teams in the league,” Namath said. “I can’t see the game getting away from either team. It’s going to go down to the wire.”
Asked how his championship 1969 Jets would have fared against today’s Chiefs or 49ers, Namath laughed. “I don’t want to answer that! I’m liable to get some old teammates on me, man. We would have been a bigger underdog today than we were back then!”
For more on Eli’s retirement, listen to the latest episode of the “Blue Rush” podcast:
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