Because Leadership Matters

Hall of Fame running back Lenny Moore never stopped being astonished by how much of the field John could see, even under the worst duress. "There were 13 seconds left at Wrigley," Lenny said. "The Chicago Bears were leading us by three, and we were about 40 yards away. It had been a brutal game, typical Bears game. Alex Sandusky had to reach down into the mud to pack off John's bloody nose. His upper lip was shredded too. He was a mess. The trainer, Eddie Block, had put Band-Aids all over his face, but they weren't staying on. We get in the huddle, and John says, as casual as anything, 'Sput, you know Sixty-six?' 'Yeah, an angle in, at 12 yards, out of, like, the Sixty-two series.' 'Right. I want the line to give me the Sixty-two blocking protection, but I want you to give me the Sixty-six takeoff with a good look to the inside, like you're poised for a quick hitter. I'll make a real big pump. You make a real good head turn. Plant hard, then break to the outside and take off.'

"Sure enough, the fake drew the defensive back inside. Johnny U laid it right out. Six points. Man, I damn near ran the football straight into the brick wall. I mean, with everything that was spinning around him at that moment, how in hell could he think of a play that we don't ever run? He had told me not just what to run but how to run it. That should have been coming from me to him. He had been watching my man all game long and waiting. He knew exactly what my man was going to do when it mattered. He saw him clearer than I did. I can't tell you how many games came down to a play like that."

  • Excerpted from Johnny U: The Life and Times of John Unitas, by Tom Callahan, Random House Inc., 2006 by Tom Callahan.