Tag Archives: National Football League

Sports: Johnny Unitas

Johnny Unitas won MVP honors three times, played in 10 Pro Bowls (three-time MVP), and won the NFL Championship in 1958 and 1959. Uploaded by dpatsblog.blogspot.com.

Johnny U. can’t be credited with single-handedly making the NFL into America’s favorite sports league. Nor was he the league’s first superstar. But he did lead his Baltimore Colts to a sudden-death overtime victory over the New York Giants in the 1958 Championship Game. And he did revolutionize the position of quarterback, helping to make the forward pass the game’s most exciting play.

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Unitas played collegiately at Louisville. At that time, the Cardinals weren’t exactly in the upper echelon of college teams – they played (and often lost to) such powers as St. Bonaventure and Eastern Kentucky. Unitas played both offense and defense and proved to be quite an athlete. Still, no pro team wanted him after graduation, and he worked in construction to get a paycheck. In one of their all-time smart (lucky?) moves, the Baltimore Colts invited him to try out before the 1957 season. He made the team, and became a starter midway through that campaign. Neither the Colts nor the NFL were ever the same.

Unitas set a boatload of records, most of which have been exceeded by pass-happy offenses of recent years. One remarkable one stands, however. He threw a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games, something Marino, Fouts, Bradshaw, Montana, Brady, and Manning have been unable to match. Unitas was named league MVP three times, and NFL.com selected him as the sixth-greatest player of all time.

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Sports: Pro Football Hall of Fame

 

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has recently opened two new exhibits: Pro Football Today and Moments, Memories, and Mementos. Uploaded by dustinkeirstead.blogspot.com.

It’s unfortunate that professional football (then the American Professional Football Association) had its origins in Canton, Ohio, because that’s where the Hall of Fame organizers felt obligated to place their shrine. Nothing against Canton; I’ve never been there, it might be a fine place for all I know. But it’s neither the quaint old-time village that Cooperstown is for baseball, nor an appealing destination as South Bend, Indiana is for the college game.

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The original building, opened in 1963, has been expanded several times, so that it now totals just over 82,000 sq. ft. Unfortunately, the exterior still looks like a giant juicer. It’s too bad that some of the money raised for expansions didn’t go to improving the architecture.

But it’s the inside that matters, and that’s a fascinating place for football fans. Two new galleries, Pro Football Today and Moments, Memories, and Mementos bring the latest computer and video technology to celebrate the great players and biggest events in the sport’s history. From the game’s greatest legends to the players of today, the Hall brings the artifacts and history of pro football to life. The Hall will bring back lots of memories and provide hours of enjoyment to fans. Even if it is in Canton, Ohio.