I’ve been reading Johnny U: The Life and Times of John Unitas the past few days as a sort of mental preparation for Sunday’s Super Bowl. It’s a great read about one of the game’s all-time greats—and a must for any football fan.
I’m torn about which team to root for, though I'm leaning toward the Bears. I’m a Chicago native, but I was once drafted by the Colts when they were in Baltimore. I use the word “drafted” because it sounds more authentic. But the truth is, it was more of an invitation to try out for the Colts, and I was not an official draft pick.
Don’t ask me why this happened. In the days before the two leagues merged, the NFL held what amounted to a supplemental futures draft. The idea, as best as I can recall, was to scout college athletes as prospects for down the line. They wanted to time us in the 40-yard dash and see how high we could jump and if we could catch a football.
One area of emphasis was on recruiting basketball players—mostly tall guards—because they could jump, had good hands, were good at back-pedaling and seeing passing lanes. When I got my invite, I was a 6'-2," 180-pound guard playing for Chapman College.
Of course I never entertained any thoughts of playing pro football—intramural flag football was more my speed. But I did get some mileage out of the story at parties (and my dad loved it), and I would occasionally tease my friends that, hey, in a couple of years, I could have the locker next to Johnny U.
I wish the best of luck to Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy, and I’m hoping Rex Grossman plays at least well enough to keep the Bears in the game.
I made a bet with Marvin about which team will win, and I dropped the bombshell that I was once drafted by the Colts. (We got a good laugh out of that.) He thinks the game will be over by halftime and predicts the Colts will win handily, 35-10. I also think the Colts will win, but I'm betting the score will be 27-17—and I’m rooting for the Bears.
So here’s your chance to go on record. Tell me who you think will win and what the final score will be.
John Kmiecik — Chicago, IL — January 31, 2007 5:26pm ET
John C Winkelmann — Cincinnai — January 31, 2007 5:26pm ET
Arnaud Tronche — Chicago — January 31, 2007 7:01pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — January 31, 2007 7:17pm ET
Tim Sylvester — Santa Monica, CA — January 31, 2007 7:22pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — January 31, 2007 7:31pm ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento,CA — January 31, 2007 7:48pm ET
John Gavin — CA — January 31, 2007 9:14pm ET
Colin Haggerty — La Jolla, California — January 31, 2007 10:34pm ET
Kris Bigelow — Fishers, In — January 31, 2007 11:13pm ET
Barrett Miller — Indianapolis, IN — February 1, 2007 12:14am ET
Michael Green — San Diego, CA — February 1, 2007 12:20am ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — February 1, 2007 12:47am ET
Victor James Sandoval — Riverside, CA — February 1, 2007 3:04am ET
J E Shuey — Dallas, TX — February 1, 2007 10:11am ET
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — February 1, 2007 10:57am ET
Jason Fernandez — Boston, MA — February 1, 2007 11:19am ET
James Peterson — San Antonio, Texas — February 1, 2007 11:30am ET
William Newell — Buffalo, NY — February 1, 2007 12:17pm ET
Harvey Steiman — San Francisco, CA — February 1, 2007 1:08pm ET
Tim Fish — Santa Rosa, CA — February 1, 2007 2:30pm ET
Maryann Worobiec — Napa, CA — February 1, 2007 5:20pm ET
Adam Lee — Santa Rosa, CA — February 1, 2007 6:14pm ET
Joseph Karpowicz — Stony Brook, NY — February 1, 2007 7:52pm ET
Jared Myers — Lincoln, Nebraska — February 1, 2007 11:05pm ET
Richard Hirth — Michigan — February 2, 2007 8:39am ET
John W Graham Iii — Richmond VA — February 2, 2007 10:16am ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — February 2, 2007 11:47am ET
Harvey Posert Jr — napa valley — February 2, 2007 12:48pm ET
Flavio Leoni Siqueira — new york — February 2, 2007 1:17pm ET
Fred Weil — Redding CA — February 2, 2007 4:30pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — February 2, 2007 4:59pm ET
Michael Richmond — Traverse City MI — February 2, 2007 7:49pm ET
Doug Jeffirs — February 2, 2007 8:14pm ET
Scott Nelsen — Menomonee Falls, WI — February 4, 2007 1:44pm ET
William J Beitz Jr — Brighton, MI USA — February 5, 2007 10:01am ET
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