Colts v. Jets Then and Now: Unitas v. Namath, Luck v. Manning?


All of this talk about Peyton Manning potentially heading to the New York Jets has me nostalgic for a game that I wasn’t even alive to see.   Super Bowl III, between the mighty Baltimore Colts and the upstart New York Jets, was staged 42 years ago yesterday, on January 12, 1969.  That was so long ago that we hadn’t even landed on the moon yet.  It was so long ago that the Colts were still in the NFL (as opposed to the AFL/AFC), and the good people of Baltimore had scant reason to hate sleepy little Indianapolis.    It was SOOOOOO long ago that Johnny Unitas was still piloting the Colts and Joe Namath had yet to shave his legs on TV.

Now, it looks like Manning may be headed out of town, and he’s certainly heading into the twilight of his career.   The Colts will presumably draft the next hotshot quarterback in the person of Andrew Luck come April’s NFL Draft.  While the Colts and Jets can’t play each other in the Super Bowl, they could square off in the AFC Championship game as they did a couple of years ago.   If that happens in,  say,  2013, it could be just like 1969 all over again, except this time, the wily old Colt might actually be a Jet, and the young upstart might be a Colt.

It’s confusing, depressing, and exciting all at once.