Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath opened his professional football career not at Shea Stadium in Queens, N.Y., but at the George Washington High School football stadium in Del Ray.
Boundary Stones, a new local history blog from WETA dedicated to sharing interesting stories and historical nuggets about Virginia, Maryland the District, detailed the story behind the 1965 AFL preseason opener in a Thursday post.
The game pitted Namath’s New York Jets against the Houston Oilers, who also had a Hall of Famer under center in George Blanda. Hall of Fame coach Weeb Ewbank was on the sidelines for the Jets.
The game was organized by a local Shriners organization as a charity benefit and coincided with a summer festival in Alexandria. Extra bleachers were brought to George Washington, which is now a middle school, to expand the football stadium to 25,000 seats. Tickets sold for $6.
Prior to the game, Oilers players participated in a parade down King Street in Old Town.
For more info about the game, check out the Boundary Stones post.