8 Joe Namath
What Happens: It’s from season 9, so it’s not technically from the “golden era,” but it’s too good to leave out. Homer becomes the coach of a pee-wee football team and favors Bart over star quarterback Nelson Muntz, a decision that Bart hates and gets him threatened by the rest of the team. Training deep into the night, Bart has a chance encounter with legendary New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath, whose car has broken down nearby. Broadway Joe agrees to help Bart, but bails when his wife announces that she’s fixed the car. “It was just vapor lock!”
Key line: “You know, we had a lot of fun tonight. But, there’ snothing funny about vapor lock. Its the third most common cause of stalling. So please, take care of your car and get it checked. I’m Joe Namath. Good night!”
If I didn’t work on a network with a site dedicated to Joe Namath’s drunken sexual harassments I’d claim this appearance as the best thing he’d ever done. You know, Super Bowl win aside.
Doing these Sports On TV columns has taught me that Joe Namath and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the easiest sports legends to get on your sitcom. Kareem shows up everywhere, from ‘Full House’ to ‘The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ to ‘Guys With Kids’. He even has a Simpsons appearance in the later seasons. This is Namath’s second Sports On TV appearance, following his epic championship win alongside Bobby Brady. I can’t wait to write about him showing up to help Dawson win Joey back from Pacey, or whatever.