Before discharging Hall-of-Fame football coach Weeb Ewbank from the hospital today, doctors offered the 90-year-old one last piece of advice: Don't watch the New York Jets on television.
"That's one of the no-no's," said Ewbank, who coached the Jets to the Super Bowl III championship. "I just get too excited."
The excitement reached a fever pitch late Sunday afternoon, when John Hall's 37-yard field goal in overtime gave the Jets a 19-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens and sole possession of first place in the AFC East.
Ewbank was hospitalized the next morning when his blood pressure rose to dangerous levels.
"It was scary," Ewbank said. "It's good to be home."
While fans celebrated the victory in New York, Ewbank did at his home in Oxford, Ohio, about 40 miles northwest of Cincinnati.
"I got to see the field goal," said Ewbank, who blamed his health problems on a faulty heart valve and not the excitement created by the game.
"That kid (Hall) didn't put me in the hospital," Ewbank said. "He's going to win a lot of games. He's a good one."
The kick propelled the Jets, the National Football League's laughingstock last season with a 1-15 record, one game ahead of the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots for first place in the AFC East.
It's the first time the Jets have been alone atop the division this late in the season in 11 years. Ewbank said he's learned to control his emotions, which is why he's able to watch his former team play.
"I made up my mind I wasn't going to get too excited," he said. "I've got to be careful."
Even so, what if the Jets made the Super Bowl? What if the game was close? What if they were losing? "Then," Ewbank said, "I'd get excited."
Ewbank spent 1954-1962 with Baltimore, leading it to NFL titles in 1958 and 1959. He joined the Jets in '63 as coach and GM and led them to the Super Bowl III title. He retired after the 1973 season.