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60 years ago, the Colts won the NFL championship, but does anyone remember?

Colts quarterback John Unitas (19) scores a touchdown as Lenny Moore (24) throws a key block on the Giants' Cliff Livingston (89) in the 4th quarter of the 1959 Championship Game, Dec. 27, 1959.
Colts quarterback John Unitas (19) scores a touchdown as Lenny Moore (24) throws a key block on the Giants' Cliff Livingston (89) in the 4th quarter of the 1959 Championship Game, Dec. 27, 1959. (Ralph Dohme / Baltimore Sun)

It’s the title game that time forgot. Sixty years ago, the Colts won their second straight NFL championship — a contest now often ignored because of the first. The 1958 game was a doozy, a 23-17 overtime victory over the New York Giants in a classic now called “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” But the follow-up, a 31-16 win, over the Giants again before a raucous crowd of 57,545 at Memorial Stadium?

“Don’t remember it at all,” Colts great Lenny Moore confessed on the golden anniversary of the game played Dec. 27, 1959 — and Moore had scored a touchdown! Teammates shrugged as well. Hall of Famer Gino Marchetti, since passed, declared the game was “lost in space.”

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Truth be told, the sequel had legs of its own. Trailing, 9-7, in the fourth quarter, the Colts intercepted three passes and exploded for 24 straight points — Johnny Unitas threw for one touchdown and ran for another — to salt the game away.

Bedlam ensued. Fans raced onto the field, lifted players to their shoulders and snapped up keepsakes, tearing wooden planks off the Colts’ bench and the helmet off Marchetti’s head. They razed the iron goal posts and broke off the crossbar, a 10-foot section of which was grabbed by two enterprising City College students who hustled it home, cut the pipe into two-foot pieces and sold them to friends and neighbors. It seemed the Baltimore thing to do.

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