Monday, March 3, 2014

Joe Namath: Derek Jeter is an 'angel'

Derek Jeter has only played in one professional organization in his career.

Joe Namath was on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch between the Yankees and Nationals game Monday afternoon. And afterward the former Jets quarterback had nothing but glowing praise to say about fellow New York icon Derek Jeter.

In short, Namath called Jeter an "angel" and lauded his life both on and off the field of play.

"Over all the years, I've learned to respect what teammates and coaches have to say about the guys they work with, and I've only heard wonderful compliments about him," Namath said. "And then we get to see him in person, or on the television, or how he conducts himself away from the game, or off the field. The scrutiny that he's had over the years, and I can't imagine how the guy could be an angel like this over the years. He's to be respected for every phase of his life it seems.

"Many of us fell short in some of that, but learned to bounce back," Namath added. "It's human to err, and I know about that. We do our best to come back. Derek hasn't made many errors that I've been able to witness."

"He's special," Namath said. "Some of the things in life that athletes, people in the public eye go through, I can relate to a bit. But his career, where he's been, what he's done, I can't relate to all that."

Namath may not be able to relate completely with the media scrutiny Jeter has faced over the years, but he definitely knows better than most. The Big Apple is not an easy place to keep your proverbial nose clean as a celebrity, but Jeter has somehow managed to keep a squeaky clean reputation nonetheless.

Via USA TODAY (Photo: Getty Images)

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