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Original Issue


The most expensive football player in the world is a tall, skinny young man named Johnny Unitas, who wasn't worth the price of a steak dinner three years ago. That was when the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had drafted Unitas in 1955, released him. He played a year of sandlot football in Pittsburgh then before the Baltimore Colts, looking for a bullpen quarterback to relieve starter George Shaw, picked him up. When Shaw went out of action early in 1956 with an injured knee Unitas took over, and he has been the best quarterback in the National Football League ever since. More than any other player he was responsible for Baltimore's great success in 1958. He played the second half of the season with a harness protecting three broken ribs, but it did not affect his passing aim, his judgment or, most important of all, his cool courage.