A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 27, 2013
“There is a big difference between confidence and conceit”

Pro football quarterback Johnny Unitas (1933-2002) was named the athlete of the decade by the Associated Press in February 1970. Unitas was quoted as saying:

“There’s a great difference between confidence and conceit. To me, conceit is bragging about yourself. Being confident means that you believe you can get the job done, but you know you can’t get your job done unless you also have confidence that the other guys are going to get their jobs done too.”

The quotation would be used in his obituaries in 2002. NFL on ESPN put the quote on Twitter in October 2013.


Wikipedia: Johnny Unitas
John Constantine Unitas (lithuanian: Jonas Konstantinas Jonaitis) (/juːˈnaɪtɨs/; May 7, 1933 – September 11, 2002), known as Johnny Unitas or “Johnny U”, and nicknamed “The Golden Arm”, was a Lithuanian American professional American football player in the 1950s through the 1970s. He spent the majority of his career playing for the Baltimore Colts. He was a record-setting quarterback, and the National Football League’s most valuable player in 1959, 1964 and 1967. For 52 years he held the record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass (which he set between 1956–1960), until New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees broke his long standing record on October 7, 2012. Unitas was the prototype of the modern era marquee quarterback with a strong passing game, media fanfare, and widespread popularity. He has been consistently listed as one of the greatest NFL players of all time.

Google News Archive
3 February 1970, St. Petersburg (FL) Independent, “Unitas Voted Decade’s Best” (AP), pg. 1-C, col. 2:
“There’s a great difference between confidence and conceit,” Unitas explains. “To me, conceit is bragging about yourself. Being confident means that you believe you can get the job done, but you know you can’t get your job done unless you also have confidence that the other guys are going to get their jobs done too.”

Google News Archive
26 July 1974, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “Magical Johnny U.: A legend in a horseshoe hat” by Hubert Mizell, pg. 1-C, col. 3:
‘There is a great difference between confidence and conceit,” Unitas says. “To me, conceit is bragging about yourself. Being confident means you believe you can get a job done, but you realize you can’t get that job done unless the other guys are handling their jobs well, too.”

ESPN Classic
Thursday, September 26, 2002
Unitas dies of heart attack at 69
Associated Press
BALTIMORE—Johnny Unitas, the Hall of Fame quarterback who broke nearly every NFL passing record and won three championships with the Baltimore Colts in an 18-year career, died Sept. 11 at age 69.
(...)
Unitas’ enormous talent and ability, combined with his penchant for taking command in the huddle, caused some players to view him as overly cocky and arrogant.

Unitas called it confidence.

“There’s a big difference between confidence and conceit. To me, conceit is bragging about yourself. Being confident means you believe you can get the job done, but you know you can’t get your job done unless you also have the confidence that the other guys are going to get their jobs done too. Without them, I’m nothing,’’ he said

Google Books
Johnny Unitas:
The Best There Ever Was

By Roland Lazenby
Chicago, IL: Triumph Books
2002
Pg. 47:
During his playing days Unitas was sometimes criticized for his seeming arrogance. But he maintained that it was merely confidence based in a belief in his team. “There’s a big difference between confidence and conceit,” he said. “To me conceit is bragging about yourself. Being confident means you believe you can get the job done, but you know you can’t get your job done unless you also have confidence that the other guys are going to get their jobs done too. Without them, l’m nothing.”

Twitter
NFL on ESPN
‏@ESPNNFL
“Conceit is bragging about yourself. Confidence means you believe you can get the job done.” - Johnny Unitas
7:27 AM - 3 Oct 13

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Sunday, October 27, 2013 • Permalink