Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday's Legend- Joe Montana

Joeseph Montana Jr. was born on June 11, 1956 in New Eagle Pennsylvania. Montana was even known for late-game comebacks when he played for Notre Dame in college. He helped Notre Dame to one national championship while he was there. The San Fransisco 49ers selected Montana in the third round of the 1979 NFL draft. Montana was the number two quarterback on the depth chart his rookie season and won the starting job in his second pro season. He led the league in completion percentage in his second season with 64.5 but the 49ers went 6-10. The next season the 49ers went 13-3 and Montana helped them to 2 4th quarter comebacks. Then came one of the most memorable plays in the history of the NFL, in the the 4th quarter of the 1982 NFC Championship game, Montana threw the ball to Dwight Clark in the the endzone and Clark leaped high an caught the ball for the game-winning score. The moment will forever be known in football lore as "The Catch". The 49ers then went on to win the Super Bowl, beating the Cincinnatti Bengals 26-21 and Montana won the MVP of the game. The 9ers did not make the playoffs the next strike-shortened year. The next year, though, they went 10-6 and won the NFC West. In the divisional game Montana fueled yet another late-game comeback, throwing the winning touchdown with just over a minute left. Despite Montana throwing 3 touchdown passes in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship, the Washington Redskins beat the 49ers 24-21. In 1983, Montana lead the 49ers to a 15-1 record. That was the first time any team won 15 games in a season. The 9ers easily made it to the Super Bowl. The opponet was the Miami Dolphins and the quarterback was Dan Marino. Montana broke the record for most passing yards in a Super Bowl (331) and threw 3 touchdown passes. The 49ers beat the Dolphins 36-16 and Montana got the MVP again. The next year the 9ers made the playoffs again but made an early exit in the NFC Wild Card game. The next season Montana only played 8 games because he suffered a severe back injury. In 1987 Montana set the record for the most consecutive complete passes (22). Even though they finished with the top win-loss record in the NFL, they lost in the NFC semi-finals. The next year the 9ers finished with a 10-6 record and won the division. They easily made it to the Super Bowl, where they would play the Bengals. Montana had a great game as he broke his own record for the most passing yards in a Super Bowl game (357). They were losing by 3 with only a little over 3 minutes left when Montana and the 49er offense got the ball. Montana drove down the field quickly and threw the game-winning touchdown to Tony Taylor with only 34 seconds left. They beat the again in the Super Bowl. The 49ers went 14-2 the next year and Montana won the season MVP. The 9ers flew threw the playoffs without a single mistake. The 49ers won the game 55-10 over the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. That was the most lopsided victory in Super Bowl history. Montana threw 5 touchdowns, another Super Bowl record. He also is the only player to win the Super Bowl MVP award 3 times. In 1990, Montana led the 9ers to a 14-2 record but got injured in the NFC Championship game. It was such a severe elbow injury that he missed most of the next 2 seasons and by the time he came back Steve Young was the 9ers starter. He was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993. He was injured for some of the 1993 season but led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship. They lost to the Denver Broncos, though, in the game. In 1994 he played in most of the games leading the Chiefs to playoffs but lost in the first game. He retired after that season.
Montana led his teams to 31 fourth quarter comebacks, which is remarkable. He has the most career touchdown passes (45) and passing yards (5,772) in the postseason. He has never thrown an interception or lost a Super Bowl game. He played in 8 Pro Bowls in his career.
Montana was so good at comebacks that he earned the nicknames: Joe Cool and Comeback Kid. Joe Montana is a legend and one of the best quarterbacks of all time. No doubt about it. He represents what is the difference between a great player and a legend. The difference is that he came up big in the clutch. For example, if a baseball player strikes out with the World Series on the line the fans are going to remember that instead of his 500 home runs. That is the difference between great and legendary. That is what Joe Montana represents.

1 comment:

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