In the twilight of his career, Joe Namath was waived by the New York Jets to facilitate his move to the Los Angeles Rams when a trade could not be worked out. He was signed by the Rams on May 12, 1977. Namath hoped to revitalize his career, but by this point his effectiveness as a quarterback was greatly reduced by his knee injuries, a bad hamstring, and the general ravages of a long period of time playing professional football, as well as his “hard and fast” lifestyle. After playing well in a 2–1 start, Namath took a beating on a cold, windy, and rainy Monday night game in a one-point loss at the Chicago Bears, throwing two interceptions, with another being nullified by a penalty, and was through for the regular season.
He did not play again, but redemption and a Hollywood ending was there for the taking. After a disastrous three quarters of turnovers and only trailing by seven points in the opening round of the play-offs, head coach Chuck Knox seemed ready to pull Pat Haden and insert Namath. Rams assistant coach Kay Stephenson said Namath looked great warming-up in the third quarter and advised Knox to put him in. The television audience was on the edge of their seats as it appeared Namath would replace Pat Haden and save the Rams’ season. But Knox hesitated. Haden’s problems continued and the Rams lost to the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 14–7 in a sea of mud at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Namath retired from the Rams after a single season.