Johnny Unitas

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John Constantine Unitas, nicknamed "Johnny U", or "The Golden Arm", was an American professional football player from the 1950s through the 1970s.


Just to set the record straight. Johnny U was hurt and didn't play in Super Bowl III except at the end. And yes, he was effective then. Also, holding was illegal back then so the QB's got a real pass rush. The receivers got hit all the way down the field. My point is that he played against real defense.

Check the record books. How many defensive records are set today? Seen many 7-3 games lately? defense is gone and the inflated offensive statistics rule.

Johnny U was definitely one of the best if not the best ever. My top 5 would be Johnny U, Joe Montana, Bret Favre, Terry Bradshaw and Warren Moon. Yes, Tom Brady is good and may make my top 5 before his career is over.

This guy is the best ever. He invented quarterbacking in the NFL. He played in the two greatest NFL games ever and he made football the #1 sport in the USA. He set the bar for todays quarterbacks and none of them, none of them have had the impact on the game that Unitas had in his days. Definitely, the greatest to ever lace them up!

Johnny U was the best there ever was hands down. We are not talking passer here, we are talking quarterback. One who directs and leads, that is the definition of a quarterback and there was nobody better. He also called his own plays, who on your list (besides Manning and his audibles) called there own plays? He made everybody better around him. He also knew the blocking assignments of his offensive line, what other QB knows that? And what other QB ever had his initial on the side of their teams football helmet? And still do to this day! But he was a Baltimore guy, not an Indy guy...He made the game simple to him. He said when he thought the defense was thinking run, he passes, and when they thought he was going to pass, he ran. 7th? What a crock. S.I. had that big poll last year (lasted about a month) and Unitas and Montana were the finalists (as they should be) and Unitas won! I believe the people in charge of this poll must be too young to watch Unitas, if you would have, the poll ...more

I lived in Baltimore and went to many of his games. He was my idol. Although being great he had a heck of an offensive line that gave him plenty of protection. The offensive line and johnny were hard to beat. I met him in his restaurant, (The Golden Arm) after he retired we became good friends. He was very humble about being a star in the NFL and attributed it to all the protection he had in each game.

Unitas is the chess grandmaster among quarterbacks. You can actually see the beautiful logic in a Unitas game, so unlike other QB's who rely on strength alone. All NFL games should be like a Unitas game, his 1958 NFL championship is the template of great football games guaranteed to glue fans to the screen in increasing numbers. Unitas is the man, others are just boys.

R you kidding me johnny would light up Montana as you know it was very hard to play in those days and still managed to be an Allstate player not a wimp cough cough Brady but he could beat manning cause he also could take many more hits than any quarterback ever he could rush to unitas all the way the best and always be the best

Greatest football player in his time... Put a lot into the game and made a lot less money... He was a hero before all the big buck players were ever born. Did more for football than the players of today... The game has changed so much since his day and those days are missed.

A man's man and a leader.. They don't make them like him anymore. Integrity on and off the field.

With 40,239 yards and 290 touchdowns, Unitas was the NFL's most prolific passer at the time of his retirement. but the number tell only part of the story. His leadership and poise are what really make him one of the all-time greats.

Holy Cow?! How is Unitas this low. He revolutionized the NFL and was part of the definitive 60's team, way better than the Indy Colts (screw them! ). Only exception I would see is Joe Montana. Johnny is at least least a top 3 qb. - dudesterravensfan

He called his own game Period! Two minutes to go and baltimore got the ball I can see those Hi-Tops walking on the field and knowing Johnny you would save the day! Most players today could not carry his Jock strap Period!

Unitas should rank higher simply because there isn't a QB on this list who wouldn't say Unitas created what they attempted to emulate. Unitas is the Gold Standard.

Unitas played real football not the flag football of today. Brady would fold like a house of cards without all the rules to protect the quarterbacks of today.

The greatest of them all! Never be another like him in a time when football was football. A lot of these guys would have never survived in the 50's and 60's.

3 Time World Champion, 10 Pro Bowls and threw for over 40, 000 yards in an era when it was 3 yards and a cloud of dust. Johnny you basically invented the position. Best of all time!

Dan Marino the best quarterback ever in the sense that he was a pure passer of the ball. The quickest release proved as his dolphins gave the bears there only defeat in the year that they won the Superbowl.

By far, the best quarterback I watched as a Kid, but he always believed in team first. All these quarterbacks are deserving of being on this list

Johnny should be number 2 because they didn't have much of the forward pass back then but if they did he would dominate.

Look at the man's records and you would think: he doesn't look that good. In Unitas's era there were no defense holding penalties. HE WAS AMAZING!

He called his own plays! The others had the coach call the plays. If you saw him play, you'd know he was the best ever.

He defined the position. Seems like anyone from before 1980 does not count. It is Unitas and then everybody else.

Unitas is the greatest quarterback ever. Time is his enemy, as youngsters having never seen him or his impact on the game cannot know the man.
Unitas could have played now - not necessarily true that all of the "modern" qb's could have played back then. Different rules, less protection, but most of all calling your own game. I will always remember him as the greatest quarterback - a man among men who willed his teammates to victory.

The poll obviously favors more recent quarterbacks. We you are credited with defining a position how can anyone be considered better?

He was 3-0 in championships he started in and set every record in the book. Sam Mario meets Otto Graham in this guy. Best of both worlds

Saw him play many times. He could play and win today. Not sure Brady and Manning would be as great when he played. Best I ever saw!