Cover image for Johnny Unitas, America's quarterback
Johnny Unitas, America's quarterback
Sahadi, Lou.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : Triumph Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 343 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV939.U5 S35 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Offering an in-depth look into the private life behind one of the most important athletes of the 20th century, this comprehensive biography of Johnny Unitas explores the man who made the quarterback position the crux of a football team's offense and was an icon to millions of fans across the country. From his upbringing near the Monongahela River and becoming the "Golden Arm" to his retirement and battle with numerous physical ailments, this book reveals how he was affected by his boss's bets that were as much as $1 million per game and his livid anger at Colts management over his trade to Chargers. It also includes more than 15,000 words of never-before-published commentary directly from Unitas himself about his career, fame, moments of great personal pride, and others he'd rather forget.

Author Notes

Lou Sahadi is one of the country's most prolific sports authors

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Anyone who saw Unitas play quarterback in his salad days--an era when quarterbacks called their own plays, and roughing the passer was the goal of the defense rather than grounds for a 15-yard penalty--uses him as the benchmark by which all other quarterbacks are judged. Veteran sports journalist Sahadi combines game accounts and interviews with teammates and coaches to tell Unitas' story, which makes ideal fodder for the daydreams of aspiring athletes: skinny kid gets cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers, plays semipro ball for a year, gets a second chance with the Baltimore Colts, and rides to the rescue--and immortality--when the starter gets hurt. He also recounts Unitas' last years, when surgery left his formerly golden right arm virtually useless and the National Football League turned its back on his medical issues. Pro-football fans of a certain age will relish every word of this biography, which asks us to celebrate a skinny kid who threw touchdown passes in 47 straight games and will always be known as America's quarterback. --Wes Lukowsky Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Johnny Unitas won his fame in leading the Colts to a 23-17 win over the New York Giants in the 1958 "greatest game ever played." From humble beginnings in Depression-era Pittsburgh, he found his niche in Baltimore, leading the Colts to two more National Football League (NFL) titles. In 17 seasons with the Colts and Chargers, he won Hall of Fame honors and records and also was named the All-Time NFL team's quarterback. Sadly, his final years were marked by illness, bankruptcy, and displeasure with the current game before his death in 2002. Sahadi (Autobiography of Willie Mays) gives Johnny U a glowing portrait that is suitable for popular collections, especially in the Baltimore area.-Morey Berger, St. Joseph's Hosp. Lib., Tucson (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Peyton ManningArt Donovan
Forewordp. ix
Forewordp. xiii
Prefacep. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
Introductionp. xxi
1. The Greatest Game Ever Playedp. 1
2. The Hillp. 27
3. Bloomfield to Baltimorep. 41
4. America's Idolp. 55
5. Another Championshipp. 65
6. Christmas in Clevelandp. 79
7. An Injured Armp. 89
8. A Lonely Figurep. 97
9. Still the Bestp. 121
10. One Long Passp. 135
11. One More Chancep. 145
12. Not Enoughp. 155
13. The Last Year in Baltimorep. 163
14. Exilep. 171
15. The Decisionp. 183
16. Looking Backp. 189
17. The Hall of Famep. 199
18. Adjustmentp. 209
19. A New Erap. 219
20. The Unexpectedp. 229
Afterword: Johnny's Time by Ernie Accorsip. 243
An Interview with Johnny Unitasp. 247
Appendix Johnny Unitas' Statisticsp. 285
Bibliographyp. 329
Indexp. 331