The petition to name the Ravens' stadium after Unitas is both a plea and a challenge to the Baltimore Ravens to do the right thing.
Ravens, put Johnny Unitas' name on our stadium. Find a way.
I was fortunate to meet Mr. Unitas last year, and I spoke with him one-on-one for five to 10 minutes.
He spoke to me as if he knew me. I can't imagine any other professional athlete who has been labeled the greatest of all-time by most doing the same. He was a special man!
Hopefully, we will be watching all future Ravens football games at the renamed John C. Unitas Memorial Stadium.
-J. McDonald Kennedy, Baltimore
Johnny Unitas was not only the greatest quarterback who ever lived, he was also a very good person. He gave unselfishly of himself to many charitable causes and was always very humble and modest.
Here is a man who by football standards was small, yet in spite of his size he went on to set many NFL records. I can only imagine the pain that he suffered day in and day out being tackled by men twice his size, yet he still always managed to get the job done. He never complained; he just continued to play and play exceedingly well.
I don't know if they are going to change the name of our football stadium to honor him, but nobody deserves to have a football stadium named after him more than this great man.
-Murphy Edward Smith, Baltimore
Baltimore football and Johnny Unitas were synonymous. I never saw someone held with so much reverence by a generation than that of Johnny Unitas and my parents' generation.
He was one of us through and through. His gangly frame even made him look like one of us. His hunched shoulders and saddle-walk gait gave him a signature awkwardness that we all identified with. He took what God gave him and he gave us and our city an identity.
Mr. Unitas transcended football. He gave us all a message ... to believe in yourself, give others a chance, and it will all work out.
-Terry Woods, Cockeysville
In the early 1980s, I was at Baltimore-Washington International Airport to board a flight to visit my mother in Florida. While waiting to check in, I happened to turn around, and there stood Mr. John Unitas.
Normally, I don't ask athletes for autographs because of their questionable manners. I took a chance and asked him for his autograph for my mother.
He literally bowed to me and asked my mother's name and proceeded to write her a lovely note. My mother is an 87-year-old New York Giants fan, who always said that Mr. Unitas was the greatest quarterback that ever lived.
For me, he will always be the classic gentleman who set the standard for other NFL players.
-Maria DeMeo, Baltimore
Growing up in Washington, I was privileged to see the first of the truly great quarterbacks, "Slingin' " Sammy Baugh. We all saw Joe Montana do his magic on TV. But in between those two greats was the man who sat on top of the mountain - John Unitas.
His record of performance speaks for itself. He was without peer. He defined forever the position of quarterback.
When Baugh retired, he left town for Texas and seldom returned. Our D.C. hero was merely a sports hero. John Unitas stayed here and gave of himself to the citizens of Baltimore in both business ventures and personal appearances.
He made the city as proud of him as he had when he was on the football field. He may have passed from us, but he will never be gone. His legacy will live forever.
-Michael Baker, Baltimore