Originally Posted by Kaylore
That's a pretty awesome list and honestly surprisingly accurate. I like that Unitas is getting some love. He was part of what began the change that would become the NFL becoming America's game - ecclipsing baseball and basketball. His numbers aren't good, but when you consider the streak that he had of TD's thrown in game a that took half a century to break - and he did it in an era that favored defense by a large margin, without an offensive guru as a coach AND that he called his own plays, he really deserves to mentioned as one of the greatest ever.
Time has a way of diminishing memories. I feel very fortunate to have seen a significant number of Unitas' games on live TV or in person. What you can't measure about the man from watching NFL highlights is the man's intelligence, his command and respect on the field, his guts, his coolness under pressure, his play calling and his ability to raise the level of his own team's play. All those things aren't measurables but they are truly what makes a very good QB into a champion. Physically, not imposing but the man may have been the most accurate deep ball thrower in the history of the game.
People talk about Peyton's drive to excel by his unparalleled work ethic. Unitas was Peyton before Peyton. The Unitas to Raymond Berry connection was not by considered one of the best duos by accident.
The most attractive thing about Unitas was that he was a quiet, reserved man that integrated himself into the community. Never aloof and generally appreciative of the affection the people of Baltimore gave him. This is why Unitas wanted his records taken off the Colts books when they moved to Indy and became a vocal supporter of the Ravens.
The man had a bit of a swagger, not out of arrogance but of confidence in himself. I remember Unitas being upset that Shula didn't go to him earlier in SB3 with a injured elbow and all. Shula always looks uncomfortable when asked about that even today. I watched him a number of times, being inserted into a game after not playing with an injury and rallying the Colts for a game winning score. You could see the whole team just pick it up when he came in even though he was really hurting. It was like watching him will the team to play better.
When I moved to Colorado and John Elway came along, I remember thinking during his career, the Bronco fans don't really understand what they have here and will miss him dearly when he finally retires. The Broncos went 13 years wishing and hoping before last year. Its just too bad the Peyton time in Denver will be so short then back to wishing and hoping.