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Broadway Joe Under FBI Surveillance

The question is if you buy the new Joe Namath biog set to come out next month, will Broadway Joe want to kiss you?

New York- Joe Namath was the first quarterback to throw 4,000 yards in a season, but because he had long hair, wore mod clothes and loved the ladies, the feds began tailing him, according to author Mark Kriegel in his long-awaited biography, “Namath,” due out Sept. 9.

FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover had agents begin following the Jets leader with the movie-star looks in January 1967 simply for the “crime” of going to clubs.

“Earlier this month,” quotes Kriegel from Namath’s FBI file, “information was received from a reliable source indicating that [Namath] frequents the Pussycat Bar in New York City.” The file also notes Broadway Joe “was observed intoxicated on several occasions…and also reportedly had an affair with an airline stewardess.”

The FBI director seemed threatened by Namath’s free spirit and hoped to put a stop to his status as an American role model. Praising his venerable FBI, Hoover once said: “You won’t find long hair or sideburns à la Joe Namath here. There are no hippies in the FBI.”

Hoover wasn’t alone – President Richard Nixon added Namath to his “enemies list.”

Kriegel, a Daily News alum, writes that Namath was “the first sports celebrity” and notes that television history could have been forever changed had Namath gotten some of the parts for which he auditioned. Not only was the football great up for the role of Sam Malone in “Cheers,” but he actually “did some trial runs as a host of ‘Family Feud,'” writes Kriegel. “At the last minute, producers decided the “Feud” should have “a more erudite host.”

Namath even took singing lessons. Self-conscious about his voice, he wanted to sing the national anthem better, so he hired voice coach Arthur Joseph.

“It’s not inappropriate to say he had the poorest pitch discrimination of any singer I have ever taught,” Joseph told Kriegel.



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