Today is an unofficial holiday in the Charm City, as we celebrate the birthday of arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, Johnny Unitas. He would have turned 80 years old today.
A three time MVP, Unitas symbolizes what a quarterback is supposed to be, a leader on and off the field with his performance and character on and off the field.
Let's just look at some of his on field prowess shall we? Unitas was a ten time Pro Bowler and a five time first team All Pro. His 290 career touchdown passes still ranks ninth all time, which is unbelievable considering he played in a time that passing was no where near the importance and priority it is now. His 47 consecutive games with a touchdown pass record stood until this past season when Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints finally broke it, which speaks to caliber of quarterback Unitas was.
He also ranks 11th all time in passing yards per attempt at 7.8 yards, 14th with 29 career game winning drives, and eighth with 27 career comebacks.
Unitas was even greater during his time as he led the league in touchdown passes four times, passes completed three times, passing yards four times, passer rating three times, game winning drives four times and comebacks an astonishing seven times.
Of course his greatest attribute was his visibility. Unitas was always around the City of Baltimore and did not shy away from saying hello, shaking your hand, and just having a conversation with anyone. He was Baltimore's son, and will always be remembered for what he was and stood for for Charm City.
His official records may be held with the Indianapolis Colts, but he is and always will be a BALTIMORE COLT!
Happy Birthday Johnny!
Born May 7, 1933
Died September 11, 2002 in Towson, MD
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