navigation-background arrow-down-circle Reply Icon Show More Heart Delete Icon wiki-circle wiki-square wiki arrow-up-circle add-circle add-square add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up calendar-circle chat-bubble-2 chat-bubble check-circle check close contact-us credit-card drag menu email embed facebook-circle facebook-square facebook faq-circle faq film gear google-circle google-square google history home instagram-circle instagram-square instagram linkedin-circle linkedin-square linkedin load monitor Video Player Play Icon person pinterest-circle pinterest-square pinterest play readlist remove-circle remove-square remove search share sign-out star trailer trash twitter-circle twitter-square twitter youtube-circle youtube-square youtube

You have to have a valid membership to attend this event

You have to have a valid membership to attend this event

Jack Gilden's New Football Book Is About More Than The Game

July 10, 2018
Baltimore freelance writer Jack Gilden's new book, "Collision of Wills: Johnny Unitas, Don Shula, and the Rise of the Modern NFL" (University of Nebraska Press) is a reminder of a time when the Baltimore Colts were among the classiest teams in NFL history (and the Orioles were still among baseball's classiest). It offers a revealing behind-the-scenes look at one of the game's most idolized players and one of its most triumphant coaches -- and how the two men won with remarkable consistency despite their sheer contempt for each other.

It's a mark of our changing journalism that nobody in that decade, starting in 1963, reported the tension between the two key figures on that ballclub. Shula was a control freak who wanted to call the offensive plays. Unitas was the game's brightest star, and a brilliant, seasoned play-caller, who resented anyone telling him how to run his offense.

Unitas was the last of a breed when quarterbacks figuratively drew pass patterns in the dirt. Shula was the uninvited visitor from a mechanized future that would evolve into robotic quarterbacks receiving plays dictated into their helmets.

What's more, Unitas had won two NFL championships under Weeb Ewbank, who treated him in a fatherly fashion. Unitas loved him for that. Shula was a screamer. Unitas hated him for that.

For more from Olesker, read the full article at Jmore.

Photo Credit: Ed Sheahan/PressBox