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Bryce Harper wants to be the next Joe Namath

Feb 8, 2012, 9:57 AM EDT

Joe Namath

Bryce Harper has a role model. Sure, that role model retired 15 years before Harper was born, but it’s a role model all the same:

Harper doesn’t plan to make any adjustments off the field. Known to speak his mind on Twitter, Harper plans to be himself. Harper is a sports history buff, and he would like to live his life the way Jets quarterback Joe Namath did during his heyday in the 1960s and early ’70s. Namath was known to be flamboyant off the field, but backed it up by having a Hall of Fame career.

Great, now we’re going to be inundated with stories about Harper filming remakes of “C.C. and Company” and making guest appearances on the “Flip Wilson Show.”

But let’s be clear about something: if you are inclined to cut Harper more slack now that he seems less willing to just be a punk kid but, rather, has a role model who lived large off the field but backed it up on the field, know that he called Namath’s era “back in the old days,” and his reminding us of how damn young he is while we grow ever-older is simply disrespectful.

  1. koufaxmitzvah - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    I’m guessing this means Bryce won’t be shaving his body hair. Good for him. Manscaping is beyond lame.

  2. kopy - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    A man with Harper’s athleticism should aim higher than Namath. Broadway Joe was good, but he is mostly famous for guaranteeing his Super Bowl win and living said lifestyle (in New York). After all, he only completed half his passes and threw more interceptions than touchdowns by a sizable margin.

  3. realgone2 - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Call me a jerk but I hope this kid fails miserably.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:26 AM

      You’re a jerk.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Any reason why?

    • marshmallowsnake - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      Jerk…but I agree with you :)

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    This means he wants to make drunken passes at Suzy Kolber?

    • phillyphreak - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      I’m sure I’m not in the minority when I say this was my first thought before I even clicked on the story.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:02 AM

        I’ll admit to this,too . . . then I realized that Suzy Kolber is probably older than Harper’s mother.

  5. farvefromover - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    He sure can’t drink like Joe Willie can

  6. drmonkeyarmy - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Also, he wants to be one of the most overrated players ever? I believe Namath had a career losing record and as somebody pointed out above his individual stats weren’t all that great. He might as well came out and said he wants to be the next Trent Dilfer.

    • wlschneider09 - Feb 8, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      I suspect he desires the attention that Namath received, not necessarily the results.

    • bubba56 - Feb 9, 2012 at 8:46 PM

      Harper reminds me of American Idol Adam Lambert on steroids!

  7. yankeesfanlen - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Believe it or not, I will not say “Leave Joe Namath Alone”. Y. A. Tittle, perhaps.

    • bigharold - Feb 8, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      OK, I’ll say it; Leave Joe Namath Alone.

  8. 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Figure that picture was from 1976 or so? In the interests of full disclosure, should have posted a picture of Joe and Farrah from 1996.

    THEN, ask Bryce if he really wants to be the next Joe Namath.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      That doesn’t even make sense. Are you saying he shouldn’t want to be Namath because Namath got old like any other mortal? Joe might have aged poorly but that isn’t what Bryce meant.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:31 AM

        You don’t look at Joe now (and for the past 15 years or so) and get a feeling of overwhelming sadness?

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        Again, not Bryce’s point.

  9. 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Also for the record, Namath’s Jets put up 16 points in SB 3. Marino’s Dolphins put up 16 points in SB19. Just sayin’.

    • bigharold - Feb 8, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      “Dolphins put up 16 points in SB19. ”

      Yeah and got their asses kicked by 22 points. The Jets were a 17 point underdog to a team that NOBODY thought they had a chance against. The Fins were underdogs too, as I remember, and the final score proved they should have been.

      Big difference.

      • byjiminy - Feb 8, 2012 at 7:32 PM

        I think you missed his point. Obviously he’s aware the Jets won and the Dolphins lost. His point is Namath gets credit for a great victory that really should be credited to his team as a whole. He didn’t do anything Marino didn’t do. You know, sorta like Tebow was credited with being a successful quarterback because his defense was so good it made the other team’s QB look almost as bad as Tebow for a week.

      • bigharold - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:41 PM

        It’s not that I missed his point I think it’s completely baseless.

        While the Fins might have scored as many points it was in a woeful losing effort, .. and they weren’t nearly the underdog that the Jets were. Moreover, the Jets didn’t just win, Namath said in advance that they would. And, not as in a Rex Ryan; “were here to win the Super Bowl and eat Cheetos, .. and we’re all out of Cheetos”. He stated that they would win and explain why and he was right.

        In the end, however, regardless there is no point to be made comparing the Super Bowl 3 to 19.

  10. metalhead65 - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    but Joe’s team won! so the kid wants to get out and enjoy life what is the big deal? as long as he puts up the numbers and does not get busted for dui or doing drugs or beating his woman or whatever else guys do that get them busted then let him do what he wants, I wanted to be like Joe to when I was growing up but had no athletic talent but he was still one cool dude!

  11. yankeesgameday - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    He wants to wear panty hose and fur coats?

  12. shawndc04 - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Kid, you might want to stay away from the Bachelors III stuff. IIRC, that got Namath into some trouble. Also, kid, that’s a lot of bravado from someone who hasn’t swung a bat at the MLB level.

    • natstowngreg - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      There’s nothing wrong with a little bravado. Now he will have to back it up.

      It’s amazing how much fans will put up with if a player produces. And how little they will put up with if he doesn’t. See Morgan, Nyjer.

  13. stex52 - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Sure a lot of talk about someone who hasn’t made it to the MLB yet. If he can back it up, fine. He probably will grow up some in the process. We are just seeing the extreme results of a young man who has been told he is the greatest all of his life.

    If he delivers, he can continue to have a big mouth. But he probalby won’t as he gets a little older.

  14. 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Anyone else out there wish chicks still dug male body hair?

    • kiwicricket - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      The ‘body’ is a reasonably large and ambiguous zone when referring to ‘hair’.
      It’s all relative. Depends where.

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        Ear, nose and back?

      • winkeroni - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:44 AM

        Perhaps this is a sign that the end is near. Who would have thought there would ever be a day when a woman wouldn’t want to run her fingers through a guys chest hair?

      • nightman13 - Feb 8, 2012 at 5:01 PM

        I think the true sign of the end will be the day when men want to run their fingers through a woman’s chest hair.

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      When did the memo go out that we weren’t supposed to?

  15. kiwicricket - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    “Harper doesn’t plan to make any adjustments off the field. Known to speak his mind on Twitter, Harper plans to be himself”

    Is there anyone else wondering what on earth has happened to the world?

  16. APBA Guy - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    The kid’s what, 18? Give him a break. My nephew’s 18. When I take something he says seriously it’s an accident. On his part. It takes time to grow up. Better Namath as a role model than some other possibilities. Remember the hype around Matt Wieters? Let’s see how long it takes Harper to hit MLB pitching. Then we can make fun of his role models. I remember my role model: James Bond. Sadly, I never managed the transition from desk jockey to international spy.

    • drewzducks - Feb 8, 2012 at 12:51 PM


  17. QuothTheRaven - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    On the field, Joe Namath was the most overrated player in the history of sports, but off the field he was a legend. This Harper kid sounds like a bag

  18. aceshigh11 - Feb 8, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I’m the Wiz, and nobody beats me!

    Now, before you ask, “What the hell does this have to do with the story??”…Joe Namath used to be a spokesman for the Wiz.

    Truth be told, I just wanted to post a Seinfeld clip.

  19. thenaturalmevs - Feb 8, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Harper sounds really immature. My gosh I look at stuff I said when I was 19, 20, 21, and I want to strangle myself just like Harper will for saying this.

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