It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of what happened Jan. 12, 1969, in Miami.

The huge underdog New York Jets upset the Baltimore Colts, 16-7 in Super Bowl III.

This rocked the previously invincible National Football League establishment. They finally had to recognize that the upstart American Football League was on par if not superior.

The AFL’s champion Jets beat the NFL’s champion Colts for the world title.

This solidified the merger of the two leagues into what became today’s NFL. An agreement was announced in 1966 and the merger became official in 1970.

The Jets won their one and only Super Bowl appearance but they left a lasting mark.

Jets quarterback Joe Namath, the Super Bowl MVP and University of Alabama product, delivered on his poolside guarantee that his team would win.

Football fans everywhere proved to be the eventual winners because today’s professional football foundation was laid for generations to come.

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