The Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants 23 to 17 on this date 60 years ago today in what has forever since been touted as “The Greatest Game Ever Played” in the National Football League.
While it may not have been literally the “greatest” game ever, the fact that it was played on a gray December day and televised nationally from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx had such a dramatic impact on making football so popular in America…especially when it went into overtime, becoming the first championship game to do so.
Legendary quarterback Johnny Unitas passed for 349 yards and led the Baltimore Colts to a game tying field goal at the end of regulation. He then led the Colts to a lengthy touchdown drive to win the game in overtime when Alan Ameche crashed into the end zone on a 2 yard plunge. That performance cemented Unitas’ legacy as a great clutch performer.
I can vividly remember watching the game in its entirety on a black and white television with my father.
The following year the Colts defeated the Giants again in the NFL Championship. This game was played at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Trailing after the third quarter, by a score of 9 to 7, Unitas again led the Colts to victory with a 4th quarter explosion that led to a 31 to 16 win.
A few years later my father took me to my first pro football game in Baltimore where we saw the same Johnny Unitas lead the Colts to a 52 to 0 victory over the Chicago Bears.
The best part of growing older I suppose is the thousands of memories we have packed away in our brains that help us relive our youth. This was and still is one of my greatest.
All of this occurred right around the time that I began to become a weather geek. After all, the weather plays a large role in the outcome of sporting events played outside.
While tomorrow promises to be an absolutely gorgeous sunny December day the same can not be said for the Baltimore Ravens game on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Right now it looks like it will be another gray December day with a chance of rain. While the weather forecast for this game may not be 100% accurate I can guarantee that some young kid will watch that game with his dad and make a memory that will last forever!