The Baltimore Sun reported yesterday that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will portray Baltimore Colts’ great Johnny Unitas in an upcoming film called Unitas We Stand.
“Obviously, the Baltimore ties are very important to me,” said Johnny Unitas’ son Joe, per The Sun. “I think it’s great that Joe just won the Super Bowl with the Ravens and was Most Valuable Player in the game. A lot of the way Joe plays and his demeanor reminds me a lot of my dad. He’s not a rah-rah guy. He throws a touchdown and maybe there’s a little fist pump. He understands his job is all about winning and he does a phenomenal job leading the offense and the team and obviously they’ve developed a lot of trust after becoming a champion. He’s an awesome teammate and great leader of the team.
“He does things the right way and is a good role model for kids and he gets what hard work is and does everything he can for the team. There are a lot of parallels that can be drawn between Joe and my dad. My production team is very fortunate and thankful that he’s dedicated to help us and play my dad. I know he doesn’t do a lot of things away from the game, and football players’ time off in the offseason is very valuable. For him to take time away and commit to doing this is very humbling.”
Johnny Unitas’ grandson J.C. isn’t as supportive Joe Unitas. He wrote on Facebook that Flacco is an “embarrasing choice.”
“My grandfather and his legacy deserves only the best, and this is not it,” J.C. said. “Has Baltimore forgotten that Trent Dilfer also won a Super Bowl while playing for Baltimore?”
The film, based on a book written by Tom Callahan, is being produced by Joe, Johnny’s son from his second marriage. Expected to hit theaters in 2014, the film has touched off a family feud between Joe and half-brother John Jr., Johnny’s eldest son from his first marriage.
“It is awful. The guy’s a turd,” John Jr. told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday. “He never talked to me. He never talked to any of the first five children. He’s a guy that’s just making money off of my father.”
This won’t be the last we hear from John Jr. about the film. He’s considering legal recourse if Joe turns a profit.
“They’re trying to do anything on the coattails of my father’s name,” John Jr. said. “It’s like prostituting yourself. My father would have nothing to do with it. It makes me angry, but there’s nothing I can do about it until they slip up.”
It sounds like the Unitas family has a lot of issues that they need to sit down and work out.