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Johnny U: The Life and Times of John Unitas


Johnny U: The Life and Times of John Unitas Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a time “when men played football for something less than a living and something more than money,” John Unitas was the ultimate quarterback. Rejected by Notre Dame, discarded by the Pittsburgh Steelers, he started on a Pennsylvania sandlot making six dollars a game and ended as the most commanding presence in the National Football League, calling the critical plays and completing the crucial passes at the moment his sport came of age.

Johnny U is the first authoritative biography of Unitas, based on hundreds of hours of interviews with teammates and opponents, coaches, family and friends. The depth of Tom Callahans research allows him to present something more than a biography, something approaching an oral history of a bygone sporting era. It was a time when players were paid a pittance and superstars painted houses and tiled floors in the off-season—when ex-soldiers and marines like Gino Marchetti, Art Donovan, and “Big Daddy” Lipscomb fell in behind a special field general in Baltimore. Few took more punishment than Unitas. His refusal to leave the field, even when savagely bloodied by opposing linemen, won his teammates respect. His insistence on taking the blame for others mistakes inspired their love. His encyclopedic football mind, in which hed filed every play the Colts had ever run, was a wonder.

In the seminal championship game of 1958, when Unitas led the Colts over the Giants in the NFLs first sudden-death overtime, Sundays changed. John didnt. As one teammate said, “It was one of the best things about him.”

From the Hardcover edition.


This surprising, interview-rich account of the career of Johnny Unitas--the ultimate NFL quarterback--explores an era in football when the players were drawn to the gridiron by a love of the game.

About the Author

Tom Callahan, a former senior writer at Time magazine and sports columnist at the Washington Post, is a recipient of the National Headliner Award. He has covered three decades of everything in major-league sports, from Sarajevo to Zaire, including hundreds of pro football games and numerous Super Bowls. Among his many Time cover subjects are San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana and Chicago running back Walter Payton. Callahan is the author of three other books, the most recent being The Bases Were Loaded (And So Was I).

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Callahan, Tom
Three Rivers Press (CA)
Sports - Football
Football - General
Football players
United states
Football players -- United States.
Unitas, Johnny
Sports and Fitness-Football General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
7.98x5.28x.72 in. .56 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Sports
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Football » Biographies
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Football » General

Johnny U: The Life and Times of John Unitas New Trade Paper
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Product details 328 pages Three Rivers Press (CA) - English 9781400081400 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This surprising, interview-rich account of the career of Johnny Unitas--the ultimate NFL quarterback--explores an era in football when the players were drawn to the gridiron by a love of the game.
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