So Joe Flacco’s doing Joe Unitas a favor (presumably at a fair compensation level) by starring in the football scenes of the upcoming film “Unitas We Stand” as Unitas’ dad Johnny, a development that will no doubt leave the city of Baltimore completely enraptured with pleasure whenever it comes out. Will Flacco pull off the flat top nearly as well as Johnny U did? Only time will tell. Did Unitas himself ever come close to being 6 feet 6 inches without wearing platform shoes? Not in the slightest. But it’ll be nice to have an actually accomplished quarterback mimic Johnny U’s legendary perfect mechanics on film (as opposed to a random DIII quarterback or actor they picked up off the street) and I’m sure the entire Unitas clan is thrilled that another Baltimore hero is paying homage to their beloved family member…
John Unitas Jr. called Flacco a “goofball” in comments about the movie to USA Today Sports on Sunday and said he is considering taking legal action if Joe Unitas makes any profits from his father’s name. Unitas’ second wife, Sandra, unsuccessfully sued John Unitas Jr. in the past for control of Unitas Management Corp., which controls the rights to Johnny Unitas’ name.
“If you want a quarterback, go with Peyton Manning,” he told USA Today Sports. “My father was just like that. This is a joke.”
Hey! That’s really mean, John! Of course Peyton Manning would have been a better choice, but it’s not like he’s ever taken time out of his rigorous offseason workout schedule to accommodate the very whim of any company that wants to film him within a 10,000 mile radius! Wait a minute, that’s what he’s done every offseason since 1999. My mistake. Still, my original point remains: Joe’s not that bad! Hold on, John Unitas Jr.’s son J.C. isn’t happy, either:
His son, J.C., ripped Flacco’s casting in a post on his Facebook page, writing that it is an “embarrassing choice,” according to USA Today.
According to USA Today, J.C. Unitas wrote: “My grandfather and his legacy deserves only the best, and this is not it. Has Baltimore forgotten that Trent Dilfer also won a Super Bowl while playing for Baltimore?”
Now THERE’S a real low blow. It’s not Joe’s fault that Peyton Manning’s both a better quarterback and actor than he’ll ever be. But getting compared to the Trenterception himself is an indignity that is only befitting the lower class of common criminal or Kevin Kolb. If you’ve got such a problem with this casting, J.C. and John Jr., why don’t you try to convince an above-average NFL quarterback to do a film in July right around the time training camp starts? See how you like them apples! Anyway, here’s how I imagine their wish list for actors to portray their dear father/grandfather pans out:
1. Peyton Manning. “Most similar quarterback, mechanics-wise, to Dad; same sort of authority on the field; and his forehead can be digitally shrunk in post-production. Only downside: he’s 6’5”, which makes him just as goofy-looking as Flacco. Will Peyton consent to getting his feet chopped off for role? Must ask during pre-film interview.”
2. John Unitas Jr. “If anybody knows what Dad was all about, it’s me – his beloved first-born son. Hell, I’ve even thrown the ball twenty-five yards in the air before! With the aid of three of four bounces. Only downside is I’m in my fifties and haven’t picked up a ball since 1986. Can hair and makeup convincingly whack off twenty-five to thirty years off my face? More importantly, will director believe my story that Dad needed an oxygen tank during the final drive of the 1958 NFL Championship Game?”
3. J.C. Unitas. “A little wet behind the ears, but actually played quarterback at Villanova and has his granddad’s mechanics down pat – mostly because I forced him to watch those old films of Dad playing 16 hours a day when he was growing up.”
4. Daniel Day-Lewis. “I’m a little leery of any non-football player taking on my dad’s role, but if anybody could do it, it would be this guy. My God, I was convinced they had actually resurrected Lincoln to play in that movie! Have to see how he throws a spiral, though.”
5. Meryl Streep. “Look, we’re all in agreement that she’s the best actor – male or female – alive, right? And when you have all the football gear, you can’t make out the Adam’s apple or tell the difference or anything. So what’s the problem? Why aren’t we pulling out ALL the stops for Dad?”
1694. Brett Favre. “His agent has told me multiple, MULTIPLE times he’s available. Eh, he’s a bigger name than Flacco, but Dad would never have approved of the way he used cellphones.”
1695. Jaleel White. “For the last damn time: NO URKEL. It wasn’t funny the first time you dropped his name in the suggestion box, J.C., and it sure as hell ain’t funny the 400th freaking time.”
1696. Joe Flacco. “There’s a 0.000001% possibility he may eventually surpass my father’s greatness and become the greatest quarterback in Baltimore football history. HE MUST BE STOPPED.”