Sun archives: John Unitas

Sun coverage of Baltimore Colts quarterback John Unitas.

December 28, 2008

Rick Maese: 'Greatest Game' another workday for Johnny U, the modest hero

Fifty years ago, an undersized defensive back named Andy Nelson climbed into a car alongside a 25-year-old, fresh-faced quarterback. Was it a Pontiac? A Chevrolet? Tricky thing about time: Just as easily as it can help shape a legacy, it can fade a memory.

December 28, 2008

Frederick N. Rasmussen: Reminders of the 'Greatest Game' filled John Unitas' Golden Arm

Too bad we can't jump in the car today and drive to Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm restaurant in Rodgers Forge and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1958 championship game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants with a hearty meal and a couple of cold ones.

December 9, 2007

QB giants, Colts stars

The question still makes Peyton Manning wince, many years and countless times since it first was asked. The comparison to a legend who wore the familiar blue-and-white uniform, with the trademark horseshoe on the helmet, remains an uncomfortable topic for the Indianapolis Colts quarterback.

October 20, 2007

Broken record sounds fine to Unitas' former teammates

In the twilight of his football career with the Baltimore Colts, John Unitas was repeatedly asked the question by reporters:

September 16, 2007

Missing Unitas

It's been five years since he left us.

June 26, 2007

Unitas fights on in place of legend

Sandra Unitas remembers how her husband, John, late in life could barely sign autographs with his once-powerful right hand, much as he tried.

March 27, 2007

A piece of history

Bisciotti confirms he's buyer of Unitas souvenirs

Driven to keep John Unitas memorabilia in Baltimore, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti confirmed yesterday that he was the anonymous bidder who purchased 10 items relating to the legendary Colts quarterback for $165,370.

February 3, 2007

Unitas' contract is on the block

John Unitas' rookie contract - the one that brought the Hall of Fame quarterback to Baltimore in 1956 - goes on the auction block this month.

February 2, 2007

18, 19 in horse race

Alex Hawkins sees it in the mannerisms, the way Peyton Manning sometimes cocks his helmet back on his head or the look on his face coming off the field.

November 15, 2006

Preparing talk on husband's death saves Sandra Unitas' life

After football legend Johnny Unitas died of a heart attack in 2002, his wife was swept up in a whirlwind of interviews and speaking engagements.

October 21, 2006

Unitas' first pass wasn't a Bears' TD

John Unitas went to his grave believing he had bungled his debut with the Baltimore Colts.

October 20, 2006

Rick Maese: The unknown Unitas

Tomorrow marks 50 years since anyone was given even a glimpse of what was in store.

October 12, 2003

A golden legacy begins on a new playing field

For the dedication of Towson University's stadium to Johnny Unitas yesterday, fans filled the bleachers as if the Colts legend himself were playing.

January 5, 2003

Golden legacy

Sandra Unitas remembers the first six days of grief as if she were a helpless observer. Her husband was dead. It didn't seem possible. She was there but she wasn't.

October 21, 2002

Unitas statue unveiled at ceremony honoring Colts Hall of Fame players

Ravens Stadium got the Unitas touch yesterday, from the 13-foot statue of John Unitas to a ring of honor induction for Baltimore Colts Hall of Famers to an eloquent halftime address by the late quarterback's wife.

October 20, 2002

John Unitas: 1933-2002

Youngster's drive couldn't be sacked

When John Unitas was in seventh grade at a Catholic grade school in the hard hills south of downtown Pittsburgh, his teacher asked each of the students in his class what they wanted to be when they grew up.

October 20, 2002

The mix that made him great

They came to watch the cold war, to be fought at Memorial Stadium on an icy Sunday in late November 1958. On the field, Popsicle-hard at 2 o'clock, the high-flying Colts readied to play San Francisco, a team Baltimore had rarely beaten.

October 20, 2002

Nineteen touched by No. 19

Awe-struck schoolboy

September 19, 2002

Thanks for support and prayers

To the friends and fans in the Baltimore community, throughout Maryland and across the country:

September 18, 2002

'We won't see another Johnny Unitas'

Mourners said goodbye to John Unitas yesterday, evoking memories of a steely, Hall of Fame quarterback and a tender father who stayed close to his coal-shoveling roots.

September 18, 2002

Dan Rodricks: One last vision of a Unitas-to-Berry pass

RAYMOND BERRY was at the lectern, giving his fond eulogy for Johnny Unitas, when I looked up at the nearly 90-foot ceiling of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen and had the strange, fleeting and irreverent vision of a football spiraling perfectly through the somber atmosphere, under the contemporary-Gothic buttresses, all the way from the back of the great place and through the main nave to the sanctuary.

September 17, 2002

Naming stadium for Unitas costly, not unprecedented

Naming Baltimore's football stadium in honor of the late John Unitas would be costly to the Ravens, but a handful of other teams have found a way to make similar gestures.

September 16, 2002

Fans turn out at Ravens game to pay respects to Colts' Unitas

The funeral for John Unitas is tomorrow, but the wake began yesterday, when the past and future of Baltimore football merged at Ravens Stadium.

September 16, 2002

At Club 4100, memories

Dino Spanomanolis smoked cigarettes and sipped his coffee yesterday morning at Club 4100, the restaurant in Brooklyn Park he and his brother Manny own, waiting for the tribute to the man who often sat on the stool he now occupied - John Unitas.

September 16, 2002

Dan Rodricks: Unitas' reach extended past Md. borders

PLEASE PARDON this personal memory of Johnny Unitas, even though it does not stem from the few special times I was actually in his company here in Baltimore. While natives can attest to seeing him throw footballs at Memorial Stadium -- or buy shirts at Hamburger's -- my experience was limited to what I saw, until about 1969, on black-and-white television.

September 15, 2002

Special talent, regular guy

Johnny Unitas' football life was remarkable, a royal blare of records, championships and honors. His life after football was another matter, grounded in the touchstones of normalcy more familiar to those who cheered for him.

September 15, 2002

Letters to the Editor

I think what Johnny Unitas did was elevate a second-tier city like Baltimore to major-league status - not just in sports.

September 13, 2002

His words, feats are as vivid as ever

Orioles great Brooks Robinson, who played third base in Baltimore from 1955 to 1977, said last night that John Unitas took himself and the game in stride.

September 13, 2002

Colts memorabilia bring stampede

Baltimore sports fans raided their closets, sock drawers and shoe boxes yesterday to dig up their mementos of John Unitas - then rushed to sports stores and the Internet to snap up some more.

September 13, 2002

Column after column underlines the loss

Excerpts from columns about John Unitas from around the country:

September 12, 2002

Toughest Colt lifted up a city

It must have been a blind-side tackle that took John Unitas yesterday. The man who made Sudden Death part of the American language would have headed downfield in that determined crablike scuttle of his if he had seen the real thing coming. Anybody could tell you: Give Unitas a few final ticks on the clock, and he could bring triumph out of almost any disaster.

September 12, 2002

The Golden Colt

John Unitas' importance in pro football history can't be emphasized enough. He was not only one of the game's all-time greatest quarterbacks, but also a central figure in the NFL's rise from relative obscurity to the nation's No. 1 sports obsession.

September 12, 2002

Mike Preston: An era passes, leaving Baltimore a different place

When former Baltimore Colts great and Hall of Fame quarterback John Unitas died yesterday of an apparent heart attack, so did an era in Baltimore when a professional athlete embodied the spirit and passion of a city.

September 12, 2002

Remembering Johnny U.

Fearing another terrorist attack on the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11, former Baltimore Colt Gino Marchetti said he "was praying all day I wouldn't hear any bad news."

September 12, 2002

No. 19 was No. 1 in city, my house

The first words I remember are "Get the baby out from in front of the TV." I was 3 years old when the Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants in the 1958 NFL championship game, so it's a safe bet that my father wanted an unobstructed view of the man who was known as Johnny U. by most, the "Master" by insiders and "Mister Unitas" by referees.

September 12, 2002

Ravens mourn friend, supporter

When the Modell family moved its NFL franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1996, it knew a major endorsement from a certain local legend would ensure the new team's acceptance.

September 12, 2002

League is hit hard by loss of legend

Larger than life even when he played, John Unitas was hailed yesterday as one of the NFL's fiercest competitors, greatest leaders and toughest quarterbacks.

September 12, 2002

On the links is fair way to judge traits of man

I had met Johnny Unitas a couple of times for a few minutes before last Thursday and didn't by any stretch of imagination know him.

September 12, 2002

Sun editorial

At quarterback

JOHN UNITAS was slow but cool, gritty yet unpredictable. He played with an unsentimental grace. One day he was a semi-pro on Western Pennsylvania's oil-soggy fields, and seemingly the next he was at Memorial Stadium, taking the Colts and football and the idea of the quarterback to new and unimagined places.

September 12, 2002

Unitas timeline

May 7, 1933

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