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#pounditWednesday, April 24, 2024

Joe Namath responds to Aaron Rodgers’ uniform number gesture

Joe Namath wearing a Jets uniform

Sep 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former quarterback and Super Bowl III MVP Joe Namath during the first half of the game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Namath gave Aaron Rodgers permission to wear his retired No. 12, but Rodgers opted against that move after being traded to the New York Jets. That gesture was not lost on Namath, even with his previous permission.

Namath said Wednesday that Rodgers’ decision to switch from No. 12 to No. 8 left him feeling “humbly grateful” and made him like Rodgers even more.

“That was warm, that touched my heart a bit, that shows something about the man,” Namath told Steve Serby of the New York Post. “He has a way about him, a lot of respect for the past. I was humbly grateful, you know what I mean? It felt good. It made me like him even more. First time I met him I liked him, and I’ll tell you what, I’ve not seen anybody play better than him over the last 10, 15 years I’ve been watching.”

Rodgers has worn No. 12 for his entire career with the Green Bay Packers. Namath had said he would have no problem with the Jets unretiring the number so Rodgers could wear it in New York, but Rodgers specifically cited Namath as a reason for his decision to change to something different.

Rodgers’ new No. 8 was also his college number at Cal. He gets to go back to an old favorite and wins Namath over in the process, which is a pretty solid pairing.

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