Joe Namath: Drunk Suzy Kolber 'Kiss' Saved My Life

May 07, 2019 - 11:44 am

(WFAN) In his new book, Joe Namath writes that his drinking was on a dangerous path, that he named the voice in his head that pushed him toward alcohol and that he hasn't had a drink since his infamous sideline interview with ESPN's Suzy Kolber 16 years ago.

"The drinking was what would kick my butt for a long time," the New York Jets icon writes in "All the Way: My Life in Four Quarters," which was released Tuesday. "I believe any of us can be brought to our knees whether from physical or emotional pain. Over the years, I learned how fragile we humans can be. Emotionally, I used that as an excuse to start drinking again. ... I would drink all day sometimes."

Excerpts from the book were first reported Tuesday by ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Namath, 75, writes that a voice in his head would tell him to drink. He said he named the voice "Slick" because it made him listen to it differently.

"And, health-wise, I'd probably be dead by now if I hadn't stopped drinking," writes Namath, who quarterbacked the Jets from 1965-76 and led them to a legendary upset over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

During a 2003 interview, Namath told Kolber he wanted to kiss her. He admits he was drunk at the time.

Prior to that, his then-wife Deborah encouraged him to seek help, but he would stop at a liquor store to buy a pint of vodka after visits to a psychologist, he writes.

He also says that when he was playing for the Jets in his 20s, he would routinely stay out until 3 a.m. on weekdays during the season.