Joe Namath, the hero of the New York Jets’ Super Bowl victory in 1969, returned to the national stage on Sunday to conduct the pre-game coin toss for this year’s Super Bowl festivities. But there was just one problem: He (and possibly the ref, too) messed it up.
The man made famous for his “guarantee” is guaranteed to go down in Super Bowl history once again after he entered midfield adorned in an eccentric fur coat. After referee Terry McAulay showed the special coin, he handed it over to Namath. McAulay then stepped back, seemingly signaling to Namath it was time. But the problem was McAulay hadn’t gotten a heads-or-tails calls from the “visiting” Seattle Seahawks. Namath, then, flipped the coin high into the air.
That’s when it appeared to dawn on McAulay what was happening.
Not wanting a major scandal on his hands, McAulay quickly stepped in and caught the coin before hit hit the ground, thus negating the premature flip. And he kept a smile on his face the whole time, even chuckling.
Watch it unfold below:
Now it’s unclear if the mistake was entirely Namath’s or if McAulay was at fault, too. Maybe McAulay was expecting Namath to ask the Seahawks for their call, and when Namath started flipping, McAulay quickly stepped in. Or maybe McAuley was supposed to ask the Seahawks and just got caught up in the moment.
Either way, it made for a very entertaining stat to the Super Bowl. (The Seahawks eventually called tails and won the toss. They deferred. And then ended up holding the Broncos to a safety on the first possession.)
This story has been updated.