The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

16 Jan
Barry Williams

Hey Joe, throw me the ball

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 3 comments



The Super Bowl is just around the corner and in the world of football we’re down to four teams: Giants, Packers, Chargers and Patriots. For most people it’s the holidays that stir that nostalgic emotion. For me the connection with a particular time of year is the big day that brings two teams of gladiators together for that annual test of mettle – the Super Bowl. It all started with a man known as Broadway Joe.

On the Brady Bunch, we weren’t known for our “guest stars” although we had several. Joe Namath is one guest star who is particularly memorable and, one could say even inspirational. Already a legendary football player by the time our fifth season of the Bunch got underway, I was able to spend a couple of days on the set with him. Unfortunately for me the episode called MAIL ORDER HERO, focused around little Brady brother Bobby. I didn’t let that get in the way of playing receiver of his passes in patterns of down and outs and going long in-between takes. Joe was, simply put, a gracious guy. He didn’t avoid everyone by staying in his dressing room until he was called, he didn’t sit in the corner waiting to get it over with, he was social, friendly, and oh yeah… pretty good with a football.

I ate it up. I probably could have run more plays with him if Florence Henderson didn’t keep jumping up into his arms. He was an amazing athlete, and at the time had a personality that required proving just how good he was… and he did. You may recall, he is the guy who famously squashed a heckler at a press conference just three days before the big game with, “We’re going to win Sunday. I guarantee you.” Check out his stats sometime for Super Bowl III; Jets (a three touchdown underdog) vs the Colts. Amazing.

I am not claiming to follow every team and know every stat (the way Bob Costas does) but it is Broadway Joe’s type of confidence, followed up with that kind of delivery, that made a 17 year old kid, who at the time occasionally thought he was pretty hot stuff, pay attention. I was star struck.

A couple of years ago, at an event for TVLand, I ran into Mr. Namath and his daughter. I overcame my self imposed intimidation, went over to him and introduced myself. No introduction was necessary, he not only recalled but has enjoyed being reminded over the years of his appearance on the “B Bunch,” even referring to me by name – Barry not Greg. Perhaps it is his daughter I have to thank for him asking me to call him Joe.

 

3 Comments

    Laura
    on Jan. 16th, 2008

    Hi Barry,

    Who are you hoping will win this weekend? I’m going with the Giants and the Chargers. I just wrote about it a couple of days ago on my blog.

    Joe Namath sounds like a really great guy. I met Willie Mays once. He was signing autographs so I didn’t get to toss a baseball with him. lol

    Suzie
    on Jan. 17th, 2008

    Well, since my team was the Colts way back then, ahem…………..lol! I remember he always wore white shoes (on the field).

    [...] a career like Joe Namath had, it’s a testament to the power of television (and the impact of the show) that people [...]

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