ESPN.com New York Jets reporter Rich Cimini wrote Sunday advocating for the induction of Bill Hampton into the Jets Ring of Honor because, as Cimini states, “You can’t write the history of the Jets’ franchise without mentioning Hampton.”
Hampton, the team’s equipment manager from 1964 to 2000, died last week at age 86.
He was a favorite among the team’s players, Cimini writes, and was responsible for Joe Namath’s famous white sneakers. The long-time equipment manager also impacted the game in ways that benefited players through those cold, wet late-season games. Namath’s famous pantyhose commercials was born from one of Hampton’s brilliant ideas.
Hampton was innovative. During the run-up to the 1968 AFL Championship, played in nasty cold at Shea Stadium, he and his wife, Dottie, stitched pockets into the uniform jerseys of the skill-position players. Hampton also introduced this radical concept to combat cold weather — pantyhose beneath the uniform pants. It later became the inspiration behind Namath’s celebrated pantyhose commercial in 1973.
The Jets will induct two former running backs, Emerson Boozer and Matt Snell, into its Ring of Honor Nov. 29 when the team hosts the Miami Dolphins.