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Offline Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, July 16, 2008 8:21:01 PM(UTC)
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by Dr. Z

In the offseason between '76 and '77 I got a phone call from Don Klosterman, general manager of the L.A. Rams. I went back a long way with Klosty. We were both in college at the same time, both on the West Coast, while he was setting passing records at Loyola and I was groveling in the dirt at Stanford.

"What can you tell me about Joe Namath?" he asked. I knew exactly the thrust of the question. He was looking for a veteran quarterback.

"He can't play, Don," I told him. Not that I was super-intelligent. Any of the other beat guys covering the Jets could have told him the same thing.

"Well," he said, "We've got a guy at their practices," which in itself was a pretty good story, "and he said Joe Willie's throwing as well as he ever did."

"He'll always look like that in practice because his arm is still OK, but he can't face a rush," I said. Namath was going to be 34 the next season, not terribly old as quarterbacks go, but his legs were used up, shot.

"The guy said he can still throw the hell out of the ball," Klosterman insisted.

"Fine," I said. "Sign him." Which he did. For free. There was a weird loophole in the bargaining agreement in those days and the Jets, under the stewardship of Al Ward, lost their two biggest stars, Namath and John Riggins, without getting a dime in return.

I covered Namath's debut for the Rams, a 17-6 loss to the Falcons in Fulton County Stadium. Leeman Bennett threw the hounds at him, blitzed him like crazy. In the old days you never did that with Namath because he could get the ball out to his hot receivers too quickly. And he had the courage to stay in there until the last moment and face the horns of the beast. But against the Falcon rushers he was a dead duck. He was overrun. He started three more times, the last one a loss to the Bears in cold, drizzly Soldier Field, in which he threw four interceptions for the Rams, now 2-2. That was it. Pat Haden replaced him, and 10-4 L.A. made it to the playoffs. Read More....

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Offline Zero2Cool  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, July 16, 2008 8:58:19 PM(UTC)
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I WANNA KISS YOU!

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Offline CalifPacker  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, August 13, 2008 2:28:17 AM(UTC)
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Namath's knees were shot but he could still throw the football. I do remember one Ram game at Soldier Field in the rain and Joe Willie connected that night. I still think he was one of the greatest QB's.

Johnny U went to SanDiego with a dead arm - he was done - however, he did help this kid just out of college named Dan Fouts. To this day I can remember an interview with Dan saying how happy he was to learn from the "General".
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Online IronMan  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, August 13, 2008 2:39:48 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Namath really stunk it up. Perhaps he was hammered though. That would make the most sense.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/v/Gc65NC44dSk.swf[/youtube]
Offline porky88  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, August 13, 2008 2:46:33 AM(UTC)
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Namath is the most overrated QB ever. He's a creation of the New York media. The reality of the situation is his best season ever (1969) he had 19 TD's 17 INT's and 2,734 yards. That's the only year he had more TD passes than INT's. He had a career passer rating of under 70.

Now Johnny U is top 10 on all lists I'm sure. The thing is he had 5 seasons prior to being dealt to San Diego where he wasn't very good. During that span he had more INT's than TD's in each season and was banged up a lot too.

My point being this whole thing with Favre has never happened before. He's coming off an outstanding season. Regardless of how it turns out this is not the same as the others in my opinion.
Offline NormaL  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, August 13, 2008 3:22:57 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
I WANNA KISS YOU!
Good god i'm glad Ironman posted that video or I would have been completely lost as to why you wanted to kiss Packone. lol
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Offline zombieslayer  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, August 13, 2008 3:53:36 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
I WANNA KISS YOU!
Good god i'm glad Ironman posted that video or I would have been completely lost as to why you wanted to kiss Packone. lol


I was thinking the same thing. What did Packone say that deserved a kiss?
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Offline WhiskeySam  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, August 13, 2008 10:07:55 PM(UTC)
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I don't care if the Jets are strugg-a-ling. I loved that clip, but yeah, you can't compare Namath's last year with Favre going to the Jets. Watching Namath try to run on those knees was painful. Agonizingly slow, and you just hoped someone didn't kill him out there.
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Offline CalifPacker  
#9 Posted : Thursday, August 14, 2008 12:43:51 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Namath is the most overrated QB ever. He's a creation of the New York media. The reality of the situation is his best season ever (1969) he had 19 TD's 17 INT's and 2,734 yards. That's the only year he had more TD passes than INT's. He had a career passer rating of under 70.

Now Johnny U is top 10 on all lists I'm sure. The thing is he had 5 seasons prior to being dealt to San Diego where he wasn't very good. During that span he had more INT's than TD's in each season and was banged up a lot too.

My point being this whole thing with Favre has never happened before. He's coming off an outstanding season. Regardless of how it turns out this is not the same as the others in my opinion.


No, I disagree, porky88. Namath was great. Did you know he was the first QB to pass for 4,000 yards? He hit 4,007 in the late 60's. And the rules were a hell of a lot different than today's game. Back then the defence & DB's were playing a more physical game than todays crap rules. I remember a lot of games where the opposing team knew the Jets were passing and couldn't stop Namath. I don't know how old you are but, I was in my early teens then and experienced it first hand.

And for Johnny U. Well, did you know he was a THREE TIME MVP? Not just Brett Favre as the media says. Below is an article I saved when Johnny U died. He created the 2 minute drill AND called all the plays not like todays robot QB's. John Unitas was NO DOUBT the greatest QB in NFL history, IMO. And he threw a TD pass in 47 straight games (12 game seasons) an NFL record. Below is the article.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hall of Fame QB Unitas dies at 69
Sept. 11, 2002
SportsLine.com wire reports




BALTIMORE -- Johnny Unitas, the Hall of Fame quarterback who broke nearly every NFL passing record and won three championships with the Baltimore Colts in an 18-year career, died Wednesday at age 69.

Advertisement



Unitas had a heart attack while working out at a physical therapy center in the Baltimore suburb of Timonium, said Vivienne Stearns-Elliott, a spokeswoman for St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. Doctors and nurses at the scene could not resuscitate him, she said.

Unitas underwent emergency triple-bypass surgery in March 1993 after a heart attack.

"Johnny U," with his trademark crewcut and black hightops, was the first to throw for 40,000 yards and now ranks seventh, surpassed by a group of quarterbacks who played after him, with rules that make passing easier.

Unitas retired after the 1973 season with 22 NFL records, among them marks for most passes attempted and completed, most yards gained passing, most touchdown passes and most seasons leading the league in TD passes.

"Johnny Unitas will always be a legendary name in NFL history," league commissioner Paul Tagliabue said. "One of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, he epitomized the position with his leadership skills and his ability to perform under pressure."

Unitas completed 2,830 of 5,186 passes for 40,239 yards and 290 touchdowns. He completed at least one touchdown pass in 47 straight games, a record not challenged since it was set from 1956-60.

Unitas was Most Valuable Player three times and played in 10 Pro Bowls. He led Baltimore to the NFL championship in 1958 and 1959 and the Super Bowl in 1970.

On the NFL's 50th anniversary in 1969, Unitas was voted the greatest quarterback of all time. He also was selected at quarterback for the NFL's All-Time team in 2000 by the 36 Pro Football Hall of Fame voters.

"Johnny Unitas is the greatest quarterback ever to play the game, better than I was, better than Sammy Baugh, better than anyone," Sid Luckman, the great Chicago Bears quarterback of the 1940s, once said.

Unitas was one of the few quarterbacks who called his own plays, an ability traced to his knack for reading an opponent's defense and spotting a weakness, then calling a play to take advantage.

John Mackey, the Colts' tight end during the Unitas years, once said of his teammate, "It's like being in a huddle with God."

Unitas was never flamboyant or boastful -- yet No. 19 always seemed to get the job done thoroughly and quietly.


Johnny Unitas was known for his clean-cut appearance reflected in this 1960 photo. (AP)
"A man never gets to this station in life without being helped, aided, shoved, pushed and prodded to do better," Unitas said at his induction into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, in 1979. "I want to be honest with you: The players I played with and the coaches I had ... they are directly responsible for my being here. I want you all to remember that. I always will."

The long list of accomplishments was quite a reversal of fortune for a player who hitchhiked home from his first NFL training camp after the Pittsburgh Steelers cut him in 1955. He spent that season playing semipro football on rock- and glass-covered fields in Pittsburgh for $6 a game and working as a piledriver at a construction site.

The Colts signed him the following season after getting tipped to his ability in a most unusual way.

"Unitas was signed after we received a letter from a fan telling us there was a player in Bloomington deserving a chance," former Colts coach Weeb Ewbank recalled a few years later. "I always accused Johnny of writing it."

Unitas became a backup quarterback and made his debut in the fourth game of the 1956 season. His first pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. It got worse as Unitas fumbled on his next two possessions.

Fortunately, however, the Colts' other backup had opted for law school and Unitas was able to start the next game, and Baltimore beat the Green Bay Packers 28-21. A week later, the Colts upset the Cleveland Browns, and Unitas had earned himself a job.

He remained revered in Baltimore long after his retirement. He often watched Baltimore Ravens' games from the sidelines, and always received cheers when his face was displayed on the scoreboard.

"I don't have many heroes. Very plain and simply, Johnny Unitas was one of my heroes," Ravens senior vice president of football operations Ozzie Newsome said. "When you think of Baltimore, you think of Johnny Unitas."

Unitas was born in Pittsburgh on May 7, 1933, and was only 4 when his father, who had a small coal delivery business, died of pneumonia. His mother went to night school to become a bookkeeper to support her four children.

Unitas later said he learned more about courage from his mother than any coach.

Unitas didn't really look like a football player. At 6-foot-1, just under 200 pounds, his body was that of an everyday person -- except for the scars, bumps and bruises.

"What made him the greatest quarterback of all time wasn't his arm or his size, it was what was inside his stomach," said Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi, who worked with the Colts in Unitas' final years on the team. "I've always said the purest definition of leadership was watching Johnny Unitas get off the team bus."

Unitas' most noticeable malady was a curved right arm, evidence of the thousands of passes he threw. His worst injury was a torn Achilles' tendon, but he also had broken ribs, a punctured lung and knee injuries.

Unitas' brightest moment probably came in the 1958 championship game against the New York Giants, a match that was called "the greatest football game ever played" for years afterward.

With 90 seconds left, Unitas completed four passes, taking the Colts to the 20-yard line to tie the game on a field goal. He then engineered an 80-yard drive for the winning touchdown.

"The drama came from the championship setting rather than the game itself, until we came down to tie it in the final seconds. And then it became the first playoff ever to go to sudden death, and you can't have much more drama than that," Unitas recalled.

The following year, Baltimore beat the Giants 31-16 in the championship game. Unitas ran for one touchdown, and passed for two others, completing 18 of 29 passes, good for 264 yards. For the season he set an NFL record by throwing 32 touchdown passes, and was named the league's outstanding player.

His Super Bowl victory came in 1971, a 16-13 victory over Dallas in which he played sparingly. He also played in the 1969 Super Bowl, a shocking 16-7 loss to Joe Namath and the New York Jets.

Unitas' enormous talent and ability, combined with his penchant for taking command in the huddle, caused some players to view him as overly cocky and arrogant.

Unitas called it confidence.

"There's a big difference between confidence and conceit. To me, conceit is bragging about yourself. Being confident means you believe you can get the job done, but you know you can't get your job done unless you also have the confidence that the other guys are going to get their jobs done too. Without them, I'm nothing," he said.

Some of that confidence was apparent in his freshman year of college at Louisville. He threw for more than 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns in his first two years, earning the nickname "Mr. Football" from local sports writers.

The Steelers drafted him in the ninth round, but he saw little action in the preseason and was cut just before the season-opener. Unitas said he harbored no ill feelings.

"How could I?" he asked. "It was the best thing that ever happened to me."

Unitas played his final season for the San Diego Chargers, and his 30-yard completion to Mike Garrett against Cincinnati on Sept. 30 put him over the 40,000-yard mark.

His influence on the game lasted long after his retirement. He served as a tutor to Louisville quarterback Chris Redman, who received his first NFL start last week with the Ravens.

"I believe he's one of the main reasons I'm an NFL starting quarterback," Redman said. "He had such an impact on me. I'll miss him so much."

Unitas is survived by two sons, Kenneth and John Jr.

Services were not immediately announced.





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Online IronMan  
#10 Posted : Thursday, August 14, 2008 3:38:09 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post


And for Johnny U. Well, did you know he was a THREE TIME MVP? Not just Brett Favre as the media says.


Wow after doing a little research, you are right. Johnny Unites won the AP MVP award in 1959, 1964, and 1967, yet on Brett's wikipedia page it says Favre is the only 3 time AP MVP. This deserves its own thread. How has the media got it wrong all these years? Even on packers.com it says Favre is the only 3 time AP MVP. WTF?

http://www.packers.com/team/players/favre_brett/
Offline CalifPacker  
#11 Posted : Thursday, August 14, 2008 11:51:57 AM(UTC)
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IronMan,

I read an article a few years back on Johnny U and I believe the first MVP in 59' was voted by the players in the NFL, not the AP. I think haveing been voted that award by people you played against would mean a lot more than sports writers. JMO.

I also read on another thread here on PackersHome that was discussing Brady & Manning about the number of rings making a player the greatest of all-time. I don't by that regardless if it is the QB position or not. There have been many great players that unfortunitly were not surrounded by exceptional talent.

IMO, the greatest DL was a man that won an NFL title.

David "Deacon" Jones. Nicknamed The Sectarary Of Defence.

There was a study some time back from a guy that dug up the Ram game films from the 60's and counted "sacks" from Deacon. The numbers were staggering, like 22-24 a season in 12-14 games. But, sacks were not part of offical NFL stats back then.

Anyways, my 2 cents...
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Offline DarkaneRules  
#12 Posted : Monday, August 25, 2008 3:20:59 PM(UTC)
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Offline eap33  
#13 Posted : Monday, August 25, 2008 5:17:16 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post


And for Johnny U. Well, did you know he was a THREE TIME MVP? Not just Brett Favre as the media says.


Wow after doing a little research, you are right. Johnny Unites won the AP MVP award in 1959, 1964, and 1967, yet on Brett's wikipedia page it says Favre is the only 3 time AP MVP. This deserves its own thread. How has the media got it wrong all these years? Even on packers.com it says Favre is the only 3 time AP MVP. WTF?

http://www.packers.com/team/players/favre_brett/


I can't find it right now, but this discussion happened a few weeks ago and we found out that JU only got the AP MVP twice (64, 67) but received the UPI MVP '59, not the AP. As much as I love Wikipedia... it's wrong.
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Offline CDNRodgersfan  
#14 Posted : Monday, August 25, 2008 11:32:44 PM(UTC)
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Not sure but a lot of records are considered only post merger. I could be wrong but Jim Brown might of won 3 too but maybe not. Too lazy to check it. As for the Favre Namath comparison I think it's more fair to compare Favre and Montana. Both still elite QB's being pushed out by a new young gun
Offline Zero2Cool  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, May 18, 2011 9:32:49 PM(UTC)
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I don't think he learned.

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