It was my birthday, January 12, 1969 and I was in serving in Vietnam with a group of soldiers who were Baltimore Colt football fans. The soldiers constantly teased me that the Colts would defeat the New York Jets and their popular, if not revered quarterback, Joe Namath in the Super Bowl. It wasn’t hard to believe at that time – the Colts were a 17 point favorite to win. However, as the cliché goes, the tables were turned and the Jets and Namath defeated the Baltimore Colts 17-6. It was this victory that gave great credibility to the AFL. Soon the merger between the leagues was completed to become the AFC and the NFC, both of which comprised the NFL.
I am a Joe Namath fan and a fan of New York sports in general, so when the Baltimore soldiers proposed a second bet, I took it. This time the wager was on the World Series. It was based on the pennant winning baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles against the upstart New York Mets. Once again, the New York team was the underdog and once again I won the bet when the Mets famously won the Series.
A Baltimore soldier confronted me later and said, “Bordino it would take an act of God for you to meet Joe Namath, it will never happen.” Well it took fifty years, but on September 29, 2018, at a sports store in the Garden City Mall in New York, I had the privilege to take a picture with Joe Namath. Before the picture was taken the former sports star said to me, “Thank you and all the veterans for your service.”