Sonny Werblin


Sonny Werblin

David A. "Sonny" Werblin (March 17, 1907 - November 21, 1991) was an owner of the New York Jets.

As Vice President of the Music Corporation of America, Werblin had been a major power broker in Hollywood for years. In 1963, he and his partners purchased the American Football League (AFL) Titans of New York from original owner Harry Wismer. Bringing his showbiz savvy to bear, Werblin changed the team's name to the Jets, and drafted Matt Snell in the first round, signing him away from the NFL's Giants. His biggest coup came in 1965, when for $400,000 he signed University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath, who had been drafted by the NFL St. Louis Cardinals. Werblin's success was a contributing factor to the NFL's merger with the AFL. However he and the Oakland Raiders' Al Davis strongly resisted the indemnity the NFL demanded, of $100,000 per year for twenty years. The less warlike AFL owners agreed to the terms, along with stripping the name and logo from the AFL, to which many important aspects of pro football are now credited.

Werblin was fired by Jets management prior to the 1968 season, which concluded with the team winning Super Bowl III over the Baltimore Colts in one of the greatest upsets in sports history. Newark Star-Ledger sports columnist Jerry Izenberg would later speculate that, because the Jets fired Werblin, there was a "Curse of Sonny Werblin" on the team.

However, since the firing took place before the great victory, this seems to be an insufficient explanation for the Jets' inability to reach the Super Bowl since that game on January 12, 1969. By an unusual coincidence, Werblin and Izenberg were elected to the Sports Hall of Fame of New Jersey in the same year, 1997. Werblin became the president of Madison Square Garden in the late 1970's and was influential in helping Phil Esposito reach his decision to retire from the New York Rangers.

Werblin was a graduate of Rutgers University. The school built the Sonny Werblin Recreation Center on its Busch Campus, near Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey, across the Raritan River from its main campus in New Brunswick. The Center is home to weight-training facilities and the University's main venues for water-sports competition and volleyball.

Werblin was married to actress Leah Ray up until the time of his death.

ee also

*American Football League players, coaches and contributors

External links

* [http://www.bnaibrith.org/jahmfacts.cfm Jewish American Heritage Month]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • New York Jets — Current season Established 1960 Play in MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, New Jersey Headquartered in the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center Florham Park, New Jersey …   Wikipedia

  • Chuck Bednarik — No. 60      Linebacker / Center Personal information Date of birth: May 1, 1925 (1925 05 01) (age 86) Place of birth …   Wikipedia

  • Vince Lombardi — Head Coach/General Manager Personal information Date of birth: June 11, 1913 …   Wikipedia

  • Weeb Ewbank — NFL PlayerCoach Name=Weeb Ewbank Caption=Weeb Ewbank DateOfBirth=May 6, 1907 Birthplace= Richmond, Indiana DateOfDeath=death date and age|1998|11|17|1907|5|6 College=Miami (Ohio) Position=Head Coach Awards= Honors= Records= Record=130 129 7… …   Wikipedia

  • Meadowlands Sports Complex — The Meadowlands Sports Complex is a sports and entertainment facility located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, owned and operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA). The site currently consists of three venues: Giants… …   Wikipedia

  • Harry Wismer — Infobox person name = Harry Wismer image size = 150px birth date = June 30, 1913 birth place = death date = December 3, 1967 death place = New York City nationality = United States alma mater = University of Florida known for = Charter owner of… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the New York Jets — The history of the New York Jets American football Club began as the New York Titans, which was a founding member of the American Football League in 1960. The team struggled through its early seasons, before being led by quarterback Joe Namath to …   Wikipedia

  • Berle Adams — (birth name: Beryl Adasky) was a music industry executive, best known as second in command at MCA.He was born to Russian immigrant parents on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois, on June 11, 1917.As a teenager at Chicago s Crane Technical High… …   Wikipedia

  • MetLife Sports Complex — The complex, as viewed from a satellite as of 2006. The racetrack is at the top, while Giants Stadium is on the left and the Izod Center is on the right. The MetLife Sports Complex (formerly the Meadowlands Sports Complex) is a sports and… …   Wikipedia

  • Dick Vermeil — Date of birth October 30, 1936 (1936 10 30) (age 75) Place of birth Calistoga, California Position(s) Head Coach College San Jose State Awards …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.