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Ozzie and Johnny U

by Larry Canale |

By the 1960s, Ozzie Sweet had developed a sterling reputation as an ace cover photographer and was in high demand. His total of magazine cover photographs had surpassed the 1,000 mark in the mid-1950s and he kept adding to his total as the new decade began. Sport magazine remained the anchor of his clients; he would continue providing perfect cover photos—warm, revealing, engaging—for the magazine for several more years.

This one, from December 1960, features football's brightest star of his era, quarterback Johnny Unitas of the Baltimore Colts. The great Johnny U was known for his passing precision and daring, so Ozzie—always ready for a unique, surprising effect—put Unitas up to a ball-carrying pose. And why not? Virtually every other photograph you'll find of Unitas has him in a classic passing pose.

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