All the Way: My Life in Four Quarters is his first autobiography in 50 years

By Matt McNulty
May 08, 2019 09:17 AM
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Former New York Jets star Joe Namath has come clean in a new book over his post-football career alcohol addiction, a habit that nearly cost him his life, according to ESPN.

The legendary quarterback says it got to a point to where a voice in his head told him to drink — a voice Namath named Slick, ESPN reported.

“Every now and then Slick whispers, but having a name for him makes me listen to him differently. And, health-wise, I’d probably be dead by now if I hadn’t stopped drinking,” Namath writes in All the Way: My Life in Four Quarters, his first autobiography in 50 years.

The notoriously private 1970s-era icon covers a wide range of personal and professional experiences in the book, according to ESPN — from football-induced brain trauma and his Super Bowl III victory to his path to sobriety after years of alcohol abuse.

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Namath, now 75, admits his infamous 2003 sideline interview with Suzy Kolber — where he drunkenly told the reporter he wanted to kiss her — was a turning point in his life.

“I saw it as a blessing in disguise,” Namath writes, ESPN reported. “I had embarrassed my friends and family and could not escape that feeling. I haven’t had a drink since.”

“That shame is where I found my strength to deal with the addiction. With the help of my recovery, I learned that I had used my divorce as an excuse to go back to drinking. That knowledge made me a stronger individual.”

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A 2000 divorce to his ex-wife Deborah made Namath even more of a problem-drinker, the Hall of Fame quarterback reportedly recounts.

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“The drinking was what would kick my butt for a long time,” Namath writes, according to ESPN. “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.”

All the Way: My Life in Four Quarters is available now.