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We'll miss you, Johnny Unitas...(7 posts)

We'll miss you, Johnny Unitas...MXL02
Sep 20, 2002 8:51 AM
Just got the new SI. On the cover is Johnny U under center...harkens back to a bygone era...the greatest that ever was?
Joe Montanamr_spin
Sep 20, 2002 9:09 AM
The greatest that ever was
That's what I thought...MXL02
Sep 20, 2002 9:26 AM
but according to the SI rating system, he came in number 2...got dinged for arm strength and toughness...guess he got injured one too many times.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/dr_z/news/2002/09/11/remembering_unitas/
oh man...mr_spin
Sep 20, 2002 9:36 AM
Here we go down another "x is greater than y" thread!

Yes, maybe they played harder and tougher in Unitas' day. But they were faster and stronger in Montana's day, on offense and defense. Imagine if Unitas had to go up against linebackers like Lawrence Taylor. LT's arrival changed offenses forever!

Anyway, there's no comparison, which is why these arguments are always endless and always moot.
Unanswerable question, but here's my answer:cory
Sep 20, 2002 11:21 AM
When you compare players of the past with those of the present, you have to remember the season used to be 12 games, so the season stats don't look impressive. And the defenses actually used to be allowed to play defense. Every quarterback since they took away the head slap has had a huge advantage, because the game's been changed to allow higher scores.
Having said that, though, I have to agree with Mr. Spin: A lot, maybe most, of the players of the 1960s and before simply couldn't make it today. Even Frank Gifford used to say that.
I grew up near the '49ers old training camp in Redwood City, and we used to go watch them when I was in grammar school. I remember thinking how HUGE they were. But I came across an old program the other day, and Leo Nomellini, a "giant" tackle, was listed at 6'4" and 240. Even that may be exaggerated, because my dad was 6'2"/210, and when they stood together, they were about the same size.
they were much smaller thenDougSloan
Sep 20, 2002 12:01 PM
My dad played tight end for the New York Titans, after the University of Missouri. He was 6'4" 185 pounds at the time (and played both ways in college). I think kickers are bigger than that now.

Doug
re: We'll miss you, Johnny Unitas...DINOSAUR
Sep 21, 2002 7:37 PM
I grew up in the S.F. Bay area also. Back when I was a kid we listened to the 49er games on the radio as they were not televised at the time. A bunch of my friends and I went and saw Leo Nommellini at Stanford Hosptial when he broke a leg in a game (stats show he was never injured, but that is not the case). Nice guy and his wife was a lovely blond.

Remember also that Bill Walsh built his team around Joe Montana and he had good protection. I can't compare the two as they came from different eras. Johnny U. was a household name back in the 60's. It would be like comparing Fausto Coppi to Eddy Merckx.

Joe was pretty darn good, both remained calm and cool under pressure.

Sure miss the 99ers of the 80's and 90's...

I met Roger Craig and Kena Turner...both nice guys, and darn good players (should have asked for their autographs)...