Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|NFL draft:|| 1979, 3rd round,|
San Francisco 49ers
|Pro career:||15 seasons|
|Hall of Fame:|| Pro Football|
Joseph Clifford Montana (born on June 11, 1956 in New Eagle, Pennsylvania) is widely considered one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. He led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowls (1982, 1985, 1989, 1990) and became the only player to win three Super Bowl MVP awards. In 1990, he received Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year" award, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Drafted in the third round by the S.F. 49ers in 1979 from Notre Dame after leading the team to victory in the 1978 Cotton Bowl to secure the 1977 national championship, Montana led the 49ers for 12 seasons. Injured during the NFC Championship game in January of 1991, Montana missed all of the 1991 season and most of the 1992 season with an elbow injury (he did appear in a Monday Night Football game vs. Detroit Lions at the end of the '92 season and was spectacular).
Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in April, 1993, and spent his two final seasons with the Chiefs before retiring at the end of the 1994 season. As a Chief, Montana led two come-from-behind wins in the 1993 playoffs and reached the AFC Championship game where Kansas City lost to the Buffalo Bills. In 1994, Montana's highlight's included a classic duel with John Elway on Monday Night Football and a final playoff appearance.
Montana earned the nicknames "Joe Cool" and "Comeback Kid" due to his ability to rally his teams from late game deficits, including 31 fourth quarter comebacks. "The Catch" (the game-winning TD pass vs. Dallas in the '82 NFC Championship game) and "The Drive" (the Super Bowl-winning 92-yd. drive vs. the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII) are staples of NFL highlight films.
For his career with the 49ers, Montana completed 2,929 of 4,600 passes for 35,142 yards and 244 touchdowns. He had thirty-five 300 yard passing games. His career totals: 3409 completion on 5391 attempts, 273 touchdowns, 40,551 yards. His career passer rating was 92.3, 3rd highest of all-time, behind Kurt Warner and successor Steve Young. He also rushed for 1676 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Montana holds post-season records for most career touchdown passes (44), and passing yards (5772) among others. In his four Super Bowls, Montana completed 83 of 122 passes 1,142 yards and 11 touchdowns with an impressive zero interceptions, earning him a quarterback rating of 127.8. He played in eight Pro Bowls. His success is a combination of Bill Walsh's highly successful West Coast Offense and Montana's uncanny ability to find the open man (often the third or fourth option).
Critics have largely slated his comedy appearances, e.g. "Saturday Night Live". However his 3½ minute piece on the Late Show with David Letterman in 1996 has been praised as nothing short of inspired.
- Joe Montana's enshrinement speech : NFL Hall of Fame
- Joe Montana player page at Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Dave Letterman spends a day with Joe Montana
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