The Unitas family is upset over the casting of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco as former Baltimore Colts Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas. The movie is entitled Unitas We Stand and in ironic fashion, the casting of Flacco has created–or just exposed an underlying rift within the Unitas family.
The movie, "Unitas We Stand," is being co-produced by Joe Unitas, the late quarterback's son from his second marriage. But his oldest son from his first marriage, John Unitas Jr., and his grandson, J.C. Unitas, blasted the decision to have the Baltimore Ravens quarterback play the part of Baltimore's greatest quarterback.
John Unitas Jr. called Flacco a "goofball" in comments about the movie to USA Today Sports on Sunday and said he is considering taking legal action if Joe Unitas makes any profits from his father's name. Unitas' second wife, Sandra, unsuccessfully sued John Unitas Jr. in the past for control of Unitas Management Corp., which controls the rights to Johnny Unitas' name.
"If you want a quarterback, go with Peyton Manning," he told USA Today Sports. "My father was just like that. This is a joke."
His son, J.C., ripped Flacco's casting in a post on his Facebook page, writing that it is an "embarrassing choice," according to USA Today.
According to USA Today, J.C. Unitas wrote: "My grandfather and his legacy deserves only the best, and this is not it. Has Baltimore forgotten that Trent Dilfer also won a Super Bowl while playing for Baltimore?"
To quote the young baseball diamond philosopher Bryce Harper, J.C. just asked "a clown question, bro." Either this is contrived drama for John and J.C. or they have no grasp on how filmmaking works. Flacco’s plays will be scripted. He doesn’t have to be the greatest quarterback in NFL history, he just has to drop back and throw a few passes against some extras. Peyton Manning would be a great choice if you needed a quarterback on short notice with a spare Colts uniform lying around. Flacco is slightly taller than Unitas, but he bears a striking resemblance to the Colts legend. Calling Flacco a goofball was unnecessary, and Dilfer probably appreciates the compliment, but he’s a little old for the role. Lastly, Flacco just had one of the great postseasons in NFL history.
For his part, Joe is acting like an adult in the face of all the childish mudslinging by his brother and nephew.
Joe Unitas responded to the criticism with a letter to The Baltimore Sun on Monday, writing that he'd "like to apologize to Joe [Flacco], his family, agent, and the Ravens organization for any embarrassment these comments may have caused. Joe is a respectable man, a great player, and very similar to my Dad in many ways. The Ravens organization is top notch and I respect them very much. Both deserve better."