Will Zach Wilson Be Broadway Joe 2.0?

The Jets may never have another quarterback in the same league as Joe Namath. They have tried for the better part of 46 years, but it really hasn’t worked.

No one has had the pizazz and the magnetic personality of Namath. No one has quite captured the city like Broadway Joe did.

Enter Zach Wilson. There hasn’t been as much hype surrounding Wilson for a long time. The Jets thought they had the answer with Richard Todd, Chad Pennington, and even Mark Sanchez to name a few.

Wilson turned the tide in his favor in the latter part of last season when he apparently pieced everything together after he missed four games with a knee injury. 

As a result, Wilson’s critics have put away some of their daggers and have begun to believe the second-year slinger from Utah could be the answer.

Wilson had been very active in the offseason, and he certainly can’t be criticized for his lack of effort. He understands that he is still under a microscope, and must convince fans and the Jets’ brass that he is the answer.

In addition to his workouts, Wilson has taken the steps to heighten his profile with his alleged off-the-field romps with his mother’s best friend. It wasn’t the kind of response you may expect from someone who attended BYU and being involved with the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

Those allegations have skyrocketed Wilson’s profile nationally on Twitter and other social media outlets. Without this story, Wilson’s popularity wouldn’t have reached these heights.

Is this a sign that Wilson could follow in the footsteps of Namath’s social life? Could this be the first step toad the late-nights, the women, the multitude of ads, the guest appearances, and a pantyhose ad? Could we have a Broadways Joe 2.0 A Zealous Zach?

Like Namath, Wilson has the marquee looks, and he has begun to show the same type of effervescent personality.

Namath hasn’t exactly endorsed Wilson, and his thoughts have rattled Jets’ fans.

“I think there’s a side of school that’s still out,” said Namath earlier this year.on “We’ve got to see more. But the other thing is – I know it takes a group. Zach couldn’t perform at his best for a couple of reasons. He’s not there yet, certainly, and it was new for him and his team is not that solid. He needs more help around him. With help around him, it’s amazing how much better a guy can play.

Unlike popular opinion, Wilson is 6-foot-2 and weighs roughly 214 pounds. It is a mirror-like image to Namath, whose 6-2, 200-pound frame in his day was considered to be a solid quarterback in the pocket. 

“I like him, but I don’t know how long he’s going to last,” Namath said. “You’d like for a guy to be 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7 back there in the pocket. School’s still out on how Zach’s going to do.”

Everyone knows Wilson must have a breakout year this season to establish his presence.

Now the question will be whether Wilson will keep himself in the national limelight like Namath did. 

Based on his brief history, the endorsements likely wouldn’t come. But Wilson’s latest antics can raise the bar.

Over the next few months, Wilson will need to find the right balance between on and off the field to gain respectability among his peers, the Jets’ fan base, and across the country.

If he can, Wilson will discover what the New York market can offer for his career.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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