With New York Jets legend Winston Hill finally elected to the Hall of Fame, new brother in enshrinement Joe Namath praised the late lineman.
Joe Namath and Winston Hill were eternally paired together on the football field. It only makes sense their respective football journeys end in Canton, Ohio.
The late Hill was finally named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame earlier this week, a long-awaited honor for the accomplished offensive lineman. Hill was a legend of both the NFL and its AFL predecessor, partaking in 15 NFL seasons. All but one was spent with the New York Jets.
One of Hill’s primary duties in green was protecting Namath, a quarterback that joined the Jets in the blocker’s third year. With his name finally etched in gridiron nirvana, Namath sang of Hill’s praises to Kristian Dyer of SportsIllustrated.com.
“I don’t remember Winston ever getting beat by someone,” Namath said. “He never let us down. Winston was the man.”
Namath made it clear that the Jets’ historic run to Super Bowl III would not have been possible without Hill’s efforts. The Jets defeated the Oakland Raiders in the AFL Championship Game at Shea Stadium before topping the Baltimore Colts 16-7 in one of the biggest upsets in sports history.
The Jets gained 143 yards on the ground against the NFL’s Colts and running back Matt Snell scored the Jets’ lone touchdown. A dominant blocking performance from Hill and the rest of the line was widely credited for the success.
“Watch him against Oakland in the championship game and Baltimore in the Super Bowl. Good Lord. He was just wonderful,” Namath said. “Without him, or with a lesser effort by anyone in that position, we wouldn’t have been able to win the championship.”
Both Hill and Namath ended their careers with a single season with the Los Angeles Rams in 1977 before their respective retirements.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490.