LiveAuctionTalk.com Highlights Johnny Unitas Game-Worn Helmet in its Weekly Free Article Rosemary McKittrick’s column is one of America’s leading online sources for art and antique information. Visit the site and sign up for a free weekly subscription. Photo courtesy of Hunt Auctions.
News-Antique.com - Jun 11,2007 - June 11, 2007-- The year is 1958. It’s the last quarter of the NFL playoffs. The New York Giants lead the Baltimore Colts 17-14. The Colts have the ball on their own 14-yard line.
The final seconds tick off. Baltimore quarterback Johnny Unitas seems unbelievably focused and calm. It’s as if he’s “willing” the Colts into field goal range--like he already knows how it’s going to turn out.
The Colts score, tie the game and send it into sudden-death overtime. On their next possession, Unitas continues to drive the team toward the goal line.
At New York’s 8-yard line Unitas knows he can setup an easy field goal and win the game. But--he doesn’t.
Instead, he passes to the 1-yard line and presses for the touchdown. On the next try fullback Alan Ameche goes over the top and scores the winning touchdown.
In final moments like this, Unitas was the most dangerous. Nicknamed, “The Iceman”, he managed to pull off one more win when it counted most.
The Colts took the NFL title. The game went down in history as one of the greatest ever played. The Colts captured the title again in 1959.
"The drama came from the championship setting rather than the game itself, until we came down to tie it in the final seconds,” Unitas said. “Then it became the first playoff ever to go to sudden death, and you can't have much more drama than that.''
Anything owned or autographed by a great athlete like Unitas is going to command lots of interest at auction. The devotion sport’s fans and collectors show toward their heroes is mind-boggling.
Memorabilia is one big way fans idolize their idols. A 1960s era helmet belonging to Unitas went on the block at Hunt Auction’s Sports Memorabilia and Cards Auction in Exton, Pa., on Feb 23 and sold for $54,050.
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