A Short History Of The Greatest Quarterback To Play The Game
THE GREATEST QUARTERBACK TO PLAY THE GAME
Joe Montana, born Joseph Clifford Montana Jr. on June 11th, 1956 in New Eagle, Pennsylvania, has also been known to go by a couple of other names as well, such as ‘Joe Cool’ and ‘The Comeback Kid’. Considered to be one of, if not the, greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the National Football League, he gained the nickname ‘Joe Cool’ because of his unflappable serenity under pressure in some of the biggest games of his life, and ‘The Comeback Kid’ because of how many times he was able to bring his team back from the brink of defeat in the final seconds of games, including 32 fourth-quarter come-from-behind victories.
Montana’s NFL career began with the San Francisco 49ers in 1979 after winning a college national championship with Notre Dame. At that time the 49ers were known more for losing records than winning ones, and the only NFC Conference Championships they’d been in were against the Dallas Cowboys (who had somehow acquired the moniker ‘America’s Team’), losing to them both in 1971 and 1972.
But that changed in the 1982 NFC Championship game, when Montana made a late 4th quarter pass to wide receiver Dwight Clark to beat the Cowboys, 28-27. That play, commonly referred to as ‘The Catch’, is one of the most memorable in NFL history and started what the 49ers would themselves become known as: ‘The Team Of The 80’s’.
It also launched them to their first of four SuperBowl Championships led by ‘Joe Cool’ (the other one was by Steve Young, who was Joe’s back-up QB when Joe was still playing for the 49ers).
In 1993 Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, where he played his final two years. During his first year there, he led the Chiefs to 13 wins (tying a franchise record), including two playoff victories.
During his 16 years in the NFL, Montana threw for 40,551 yards, 273 touchdowns (many to his long-time teammate, Jerry Rice), with a completion percentage of 63.2% and a career QB passing rating of 92.3 (13th all time). He was voted SuperBowl MVP for 3 of his 4 appearances, still holds the record for pass attempts without throwing an interception in a Superbowl (122), was selected to the Pro Bowl 8 times, and was selected All Pro six times.
Montana has several NFL awards and holds many NFL records, including the most postseason games with a passer rating over 100.0 (12). He was listed at #4 on the NFL Network’s The Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players, ironically with his teammate Jerry Rice (who caught more of his TD passes than anyone else) listed at #1.
After signing a one-day only contract with his original team on April 18, 1995, Joe Montana announced his retirement from football as a 49er in front a huge crowd in San Francisco.
His number 16 was retired by the 49ers on December 15, 1997. And in 2000, his first year of eligibility, he was elected to The Pro Football Hall of Fame.