Johnny Unitas Jersey

Jack Gilden, of Dunkirk Road, signed a contract with the University of Nebraska Press to publish his book, “Triumph and Disaster,” a story about the contentious relationship between legendary Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas and his coach, Don Shula, during the 1960s.

In the book, Jack details how Unitas and Shula helped shape American culture through their successes and failures during a period in our country’s history that straddled social issues around the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and the sexual revolution. Jack first conceived of the idea when he was a 15-year-old student attending a journalism conference at the former Colts training complex in Owings Mills.

“That’s where I heard the great newspaperman, John Steadman, talked about how the greatest quarterback and the winningest coach in NFL history did not get along,” said Jack.

That idea resonated with him for decades so he set out to discover how two people who did not care for one another personally could manage such successful and intertwined careers. He interviewed numerous legends to understand the dynamic, meeting with Raymond Berry, Don Shula, Joe Namath, Jimmy Orr, Bobby Boyd, Sam Havrilack, Tom Matte, Gay Talese, Gary Collins, Frank Ryan, Bill Curry, Dan Sullivan, Charley Winner, and Jan Unitas.

In 2018, when the book hits shelves, you can read all about it. I bet if you see Jack out and about walking his dog, Angel, you can probably even get him to autograph a copy for you. That’s my plan.

Dumbarton Middle School held its Farewell Assembly for 8th-graders June 7 at Loch Raven High School. Many students were recognized for their achievements and hard work over the past three years; however, one student really stood out for his many talents and accomplishments. Congratulations to Griffin Mekler-Culbertson, of Overbrook Road, who not only attended every day of school for all three years, but also earned straight A’s in every quarter.

Rob Ambrose, of Lanark Road, the Towson University football coach, along with John Putnam, of Rodgers Court, who is the Towson Rec Council football commissioner, John’s son, Fisher, and Fisher’s friend, Alex Sebring, hauled a ton of junk and treasurers June 3 during the annual Rodgers Forge Dumpster Day, sponsored by the Rodgers Forge Community Association.

Rob, John, Fisher, and Alex were volunteers who worked their bums off to help 245 residents unload items from their cars that had been collecting dust in garages and basements all around the Forge. The items were sorted for donation, trash, or recycling in the hot summer sun of the Rodgers Forge Elementary School parking lot.

Happy 15th anniversary to Rachel Morris and Noah Melnick, of Dumbarton Road, who are celebrating the milestone with a Groupon adventure. Congratulations, you two.

Do you have some good news? Did you recently go on an exciting trip, receive a promotion, achieve a personal goal? Do you know someone who brings joy to our community and want to clue me in? I would love to write about it.

Peyton Manning Jersey

NFL quarterback Peyton Manning was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1976. The son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, and the older brother of New York Giants QB Eli Manning, Peyton is one of the most prolific passers in NFL history. He won an NFL-record five MVP awards, as well as two Super Bowl championships. Manning announced his retirement from the NFL in March 2016.Peyton Williams Manning was born March 24, 1976, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The second of three boys, Peyton is a son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, and the older brother of New York Giants QB, Eli Manning.Stoked by a competitive fire that surpassed even that of his two brothers, Peyton seemed destined to be a great quarterback almost from the time he could pick up a football. At Isidore Newman High School, Manning led the football team to a 34-5 record, throwing for more than 7,000 yards, and was largely viewed as the nation’s No. 1 football recruit in his senior season. Manning enrolled at the University of Tennessee in 1994, where his dominance continued. Over his four-year career, Manning torched opponents with a big arm and dead-on accuracy, setting an astounding 42 conference, school and NCAA records. In all, he passed for 11,201 yards, registered 863 completions and connected for 89 touchdowns. In addition to his physical gifts, the 6’5″, 230-pound Manning developed a reputation as a voracious student of the game.In 1998, the Indianapolis Colts selected Manning with the first overall pick in the NFL draft. For a franchise with a recent record of hard luck and plenty of losses, Manning was quickly embraced as a savior.His rookie year, however, was far from perfect. Moments of brilliance were often followed by bouts of struggle as Manning experienced some expected growing pains. While establishing NFL rookie records for completions (326), attempts (575), passing yards (3,739) and touchdowns (26), he also threw a league-worst 28 interceptions for a team that struggled to a 3-13 finish. Those early lumps, though, soon gave way to a level of success largely unmatched in league history, as Manning became arguably the game’s best quarterback and the face of a high-powered Colts team that regularly contended for the NFL’s top record. After winning his first MVP award in 2003, Manning went on to capture the award four more times (2004, 2008, 2009 and 2013), becoming the first NFL player ever to achieve that distinction. In addition, he became the fastest player to compile 50,000 career yards and 4,000 completions.For the first decade of his career, Manning was dogged by suggestions that he couldn’t win a big game. In 2007, he silenced critics when he toppled his longtime rivals, the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, in the AFC title game, and then went on to beat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. In the Super Bowl, Manning, who threw for 247 yards, was named the game MVP. In addition to athletic exploits, Manning has proven to be a valuable brand off the field. He’s been praised for his comedic timing and has appeared in several funny television commercials for Sprint, MasterCard and Gatorade, among other brands. In addition, he’s hosted Saturday Night Live.For the first 13 seasons of his career, Manning largely avoided injury and started every game at quarterback for the Colts. However, on September 8, 2011, his streak of 227 consecutive starts ended when he underwent a spinal fusion to repair a damaged nerve in his neck that had weakened his throwing arm. It was Manning’s third neck surgery in 19 months, and it cost him the entire 2011 season.It also cut short his career with the Colts. With their leader on the sidelines, Indianapolis posted the worst record in the league, securing the franchise the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft, which they eventually used to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Intent on starting over with their quarterback of the future, the Colts released Manning. In March of 2012, the former Colts QB signed a new five-year, $96 million contract with the Denver Broncos.Returning to the gridiron for the start of the 2012 season, Manning quickly shrugged off any lingering rust and concerns about the state of his health. He went on to lead the league in completion percentage while guiding the Broncos to the AFC West title, and was named the AP comeback player of the year.As impressive as that season was, it was just a prelude to a record-shattering 2013 campaign. Manning opened the year by tying a league record with seven touchdown passes in one game, and continued to deliver huge numbers week after week. By the conclusion of the regular season, he had established new marks for touchdowns (55) and passing yards (5,477), numbers that easily earned him his fifth MVP award. The Broncos advanced to Super Bowl, but were beaten by the Seattle Seahawks.In 2014, Manning added to his list of personal records by surpassing Brett Favre with his 509th career touchdown pass. The following year, he broke Favre’s record of 71,838 passing yards in Week 10 vs. Kansas City, but was benched that same game for his poor performance. Slowed by a foot injury, Manning was seemingly headed for an ignominious end to a storied career.

Pat McAfee Jersey

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee has become an example for his teammates headed into the team’s bye week — and not in a good way.

Indianapolis suspended McAfee for one game on Wednesday, a little more than 12 hours after the 23-year-old was arrested for public intoxication. Police said McAfee took a pre-dawn swim in a city canal and told them “I am drunk” as he tried to explain why he was sopping wet in the Broad Ripple neighborhood, a trendy area known for its nightlife.

Officers say the second-year player from West Virginia had a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for driving in Indiana. He was released from custody just before noon, about six hours after his arrest.

According to the police report, McAfee was asked whether he was swimming in the canal and answered, “I am not sure.” When he was asked why he was wet, McAfee responded, “It was raining.” When he was asked where his shirt was, McAfee said, “In the water.” And when he was asked how much he had to drink, McAfee said, “A lot ’cause I’m drunk.”

McAfee was not released from custody before Indy practiced and was not in the locker room during the 45-minute media availability following practice. By then, radio talk shows and local blogs had turned McAfee into the butt of jokes.

Not surprisingly, the Colts found no humor in it. They’ve now had four players arrested on alcohol-related charges this year.

“I talk about it more often than the bye weeks,” coach Jim Caldwell said. “But that’s not the issue. What I’ve been doing hasn’t been enough. So the fact of the matter is we’ve got to get it straightened out.”

The Associated Press sent an e-mail seeking comment from Colts owner Jim Irsay and left two messages at the office of McAfee’s attorney, Jim Voyles.

Team president Bill Polian said the Colts decided to suspend McAfee for next weekend’s Houston Texans game, which could be a big loss for the Colts in a key AFC South game. McAfee could also face NFL penalties under the substance-abuse policy.

Police were called after a driver at a red light reported that a man with no shirt approached her car. The woman told police she feared the man was going to try to get in, so she ran the red light and called 911.

McAfee then told police he was waiting for a friend to get him but also that he planned to take a taxi home, the report said. He asked if he could walk home, but officers arrested him. They say he smelled of alcohol, his eyes were watery and bloodshot and his speech slurred.

Officers said they had to help McAfee stand up after giving him a breath alcohol test.

Some teammates were already offering assistance.

“Look, it’s my job as Pat’s friend and teammate to be there and support him, and I know that sounds like a company line, but it’s not,” receiver Anthony Gonzalez said. “It’s the truth. We have to be there to help him.”

Teammates also understand that another arrest has again damaged the Colts’ mostly clean-cut reputation.

In January, Colts receiver Taj Smith was stopped by police on suspicion of drunken driving. Smith spent last season on the Colts’ practice squad but was cut Sept. 4.

In August, backup defensive lineman John Gill was arrested for public intoxication after Indianapolis police found Gill passed out in a ditch. The charge was later dropped, but Polian said then that Gill would be placed in a roster category that would keep him inactive all season.

On Sept. 3, defensive tackle Fili Moala was arrested for driving while intoxicated, public intoxication and speeding.

And now it’s McAfee, a fun-loving young player whose Twitter bio reads in part “welcome to the partyy.”

“What coach says from the beginning of training camp is expected to be carried out,” left tackle Charlie Johnson said. “Nobody feels worse than the guys that got in trouble. But they hurt the team’s image and, hopefully, we don’t have anything else happen like this.”

Players insist there is not a drinking problem in Indianapolis.

“Look, we’re all human, we all make mistakes and we’d all like to take something back that we did when were younger,” running back Joseph Addai said. “It’s what you do afterward that makes the difference. The biggest thing is being a man, accepting your mistake and moving forward.”

Which is precisely what Caldwell intends to do Thursday before players leave town for the bye week.

“We talk about it, we talk about it often,” Caldwell said. “One time is too many and we’ve had a few more than we’d like.”

McAfee is averaging 44.7 yards per kick, has placed eight punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line and has had 11 touchbacks on kickoffs. Only two teams — the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons — have forced opponents to start drives deeper than McAfee after kickoffs.

T.Y. Hilton Jersey

Johnathan Joseph called T.Y. Hilton a clown in the lead-up to Colts-Texans, because Hilton called Houston’s NRG Stadium his “second home.”

Hilton responded by clowning the entire Texans defense, starting with his own clown mask.

Hilton caught five passes for 85 yards, including three catches on Indianapolis’ emphatic opening drive, helping the Colts storm out of the gate and into a lead that proved to be insurmountable. This was a road game, though, meaning he didn’t have a possible stash of Halloween costumes from which to source his headgear.

“I sent my trainers to go get it this morning and they went and got it for me at Party City,” Hilton said. “Can’t go wrong with Party City. I love Party City. … It was the last one.”

Potential for future endorsement deal aside, this is potentially flammable material. Wear a clown mask and perform as well as a whoopee cushion, and this mask becomes a dunce hat. That didn’t enter the mind of Hilton, though.

“I got a lot of messages last night with what (Joseph) said,” Hilton said after the Colts beat the Texans 21-7. “I said, you know what, let’s have fun with it. So it was something I did, I wanted to have fun with it, but now it’s over.

“I wanted to have fun. My teammates, they look for me for a lot of stuff. I wanted to go out here and set the tone. I didn’t want to be a distraction. Once I got here, I wanted to let them know I’m totally focused. Even though I did that and said what is aid, my focus is I’m here for y’all.”

His charade ended as soon as he hit the locker room door, but his motivation and focus lasted throughout the victory. He drew 10 targets from Andrew Luck, caught two more passes after the first drive and attacted plenty of attention, opening opportunities for Chester Rogers, Dontrelle Inman and Eric Ebron, among others. The result was a big win for a surprising Colts team that seems to be peaking at the right time.

“I was just doing my job,” Hilton said. “They gave me the lanes. Coach put me in great position to make plays and I was able to make the plays. But I wanted to go out there and let them know it’s going to be a long day for them.”

Last season’s head-worn novelty was a dog mask, worn by multiple Philadelphia Eagles to signify their underdog status on their run to Super Bowl LII. This year’s mask is one-off, according to Hilton.

“It might be the lucky charm, but nah, it’s done,” Hilton said. “It’s retired after today. … The mask is done after today. It might stay in Houston, or it might go back. I don’t know yet.”

As for the Colts? They might just be getting started.

T.Y. Hilton owns the Houston Texans — proverbially, of course.

The Indianapolis Colts’ receiver has averaged 103.2 receiving yards per game in 14 career tilts versus Houston. Hilton has earned 1,445 career receiving yards against Houston on 76 catches (needs 192 receiving yards to pass Reggie Wayne for most by a single player versus the Texans all-time, including playoffs).

Following a nine-catch, 199-yard performance against the Texans on Dec. 9, Hilton called NRG Stadium in Houston his “second home.”

Texans corner Johnathan Joseph didn’t appreciate the jab.

“Nah, man, that’s for clowns,” Joseph said, via the Houston Chronicle. “That’s for TV. That’s what they do. You put something in their face, anybody can say it.”

In two games against the Texans this season, Hilton has totaled 314 yards on 13 receptions, 24 yards per catch.

“Sounds good, it’s easily said,” Joseph said of Hilton’s comment. “I could easily say that, too. We could call the division our division since I’ve been here, last five out of eight years. It’s not our first rodeo, so we’ll be ready.”

Hilton has battled through an ankle injury but is expected to play in Saturday’s playoff rematch. The speedy receiver has been a catalyst for the Colts’ playoff run, and should again be the focal point in Houston.

If Hilton torches the Texans in the postseason, the receiver could once again claim lordship over NRG Stadium.

Andrew Luck Jersey

Early in the morning, in a little place called Joanie’s Cafe in Palo Alto, just outside the Stanford campus, Andrew Luck sits down for breakfast. He’s dressed in a blue T-shirt and shorts, with his trademark sea-captain beard.

If anyone recognizes him, they don’t say anything. The star quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts doesn’t look like a hotshot athlete at first glance. If anything, he looks like a slightly oversize version of any other Stanford student, which is what this school allowed him to be when he studied here. At an SEC or Big 10 school, an athlete of Luck’s stature would have been worshipped like a god everywhere he went. But at Stanford, he got to be just another teenager for a little bit longer.

“The nice thing about going to Stanford was that you didn’t live in a fishbowl,” he says. “You had a lot of license to sort of be a normal dude. You know, there were people that were doing way cooler things than playing quarterback on Saturday. Curing cancer. Stem-cell research. Composing incredible scores.”

He pauses. “It was very good, at 19 years old, not to have to deal with intense fame, per se. Because that can mess with your psyche, if you’re at a really young age.”

That was then. Now Luck is about to turn 26 and is on the verge of being one of the most famous people in America. Like his counterpart in the NBA, LeBron James, Luck was anointed for greatness by scouts at an absurdly early age, yet has managed to remain either on or even slightly ahead of the preposterous expectations set for him by the sports-media hype machine.

In his first three seasons as a pro, he’s smashed franchise passing records and advanced further in the playoffs each year. If form holds true, he’ll reach the Super Bowl this year. And even if he doesn’t win it all this year, it’s the expectation of just about everyone in the sport that sometime in the near future there will be a changing of the guard, and he’ll become the marquee player in an NFL that for 15 years has been dominated by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

But America isn’t the Stanford campus. For better or worse, this country cares a lot more about its sports stars than it does about composers or cancer researchers.

So when the public looks deeply at Luck, what are they going to find?

As great as he is on the field, Luck is maybe more impressive off it. He’s grounded, levelheaded, courteous and self-deprecating. He seems absolutely dedicated to his job, but he also has interests outside of football and perspective about its relative importance. Even while succeeding in one of the most unforgiving high-pressure environments you can find in America, he retains a bit of a philosophical attitude, wondering what it all means and what, if anything, he should do with the platform he’s won.

Luck comes across as a person who could accomplish anything in life, and that’s not restricted to football.

But right now, it’s all about football. Luck thinks about other things, from architecture to politics, but feels it’s not the right time to talk about any of them. “I don’t think it’s my job to talk about politics,” he says. “It’s not my job to opine on things. I understand as an athlete, especially as a quarterback, you have this platform where you can be heard by a lot of people. But I don’t necessarily want to be heard, unless it’s about football.”

Andrew Luck was born into pro sports. His father, Oliver Luck, was a star quarterback at West Virginia University, was drafted in the second round by the Houston Oilers in 1982 and carved out a career as a backup to the legendary Warren Moon.

He retired before Andrew was born, and in the Nineties he worked in Europe as an executive in the now-defunct World League of American Football. Andrew, as a result, spent a lot of his early childhood in Germany, where his father managed teams. At one point, Oliver worked alongside another ex-quarterback, former Washington State great Jack Elway, who had coached at Stanford and had a son, John, who was on his way to the Hall of Fame. Reached by phone, Oliver remembers Jack coming over to his Frankfurt home for a barbecue one evening.