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View Full Version : Chiefs Montana reflects on Favre, 1993 w/Chiefs


MahiMike
10-30-2009, 06:09 AM
Thought this was interesting...

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2009-10-30-the-bell-tolls-joe-montana_N.htm

By Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY
Joe Montana was on the other end of the line this week, typically cool but with a distinct edge in his voice when recalling his split from the San Francisco 49ers in 1993.
Montana guided the 49ers to four Super Bowl titles during the 1980s, but when he returned from a nearly two-year layoff because of an elbow injury his job belonged to the league's MVP, an emerging Steve Young.

Without the chance to win the starting job again — the one comeback drive he couldn't finish — the three-time Super Bowl MVP demanded a trade and played the final two seasons of his 16-year NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs.

"My thing was, 'Just let me compete,' " Montana, 53, reflected. "I wasn't going to sit behind him just because they determined it before we got on the field. If we're competing, I'll take whatever was coming my way. Because I wasn't worried. I wasn't going to lose."


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With Brett Favre heading back to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Montana can relate to the drama. With the Chiefs, he never went to play the 49ers in San Francisco, but defeated Young and the 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium in 1994.

Favre beat the Packers earlier this month at Minneapolis.

"I'm not going to say he used it as a statement," Montana said of the Vikings' 30-23 victory in Week 4. "But as far as the game is concerned, you want people to realize that you can still play. My case was different. I was coming back off an injury."

While Favre might have remained a Packer if he had fully committed to playing — instead, he retired last year, then wavered, which led to a trade to the New York Jets— the similarity to Montana's case is that Green Bay had another option in Aaron Rodgers.

For competitors who were kings of their franchises, such a reality can be difficult to stomach. By the time Favre decided he wanted to play, Packers GM Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy had turned over the offense to Rodgers, their 2005 first-round pick.

When Montana was healthy enough to play again after elbow surgery, Young was in the midst of winning three consecutive passing titles.

The 49ers, coached by George Seifert at the time, wanted Montana — whom John Madden had declared was the greatest quarterback ever — to stay as a backup.

"That was the whole thing," Montana recalls. "Just the decision to say that you're not going to get a chance to be the starter. I wasn't going to sit back and take that, when I knew I could still play."

Friction between Montana and Young had existed for years, intensifying after former coach Bill Walsh replaced Montana during a playoff-opening loss to Minnesota after the 1987 season. At one point, Montana referred to Young as "the enemy."

Imagine how history might have been rewritten if there were an open competition in 1993. Talk about a turbulent locker room.

"Joe was and always will be one of the all-time great competitors," says Ronnie Lott, the Hall of Fame safety who left the 49ers in 1991 for the Los Angeles Raiders. "You knew if there was one thing he could do, he could not only beat you physically, but mentally. That's why Joe said, 'Make it a competition and I'll win.' That's why they let him go. Everybody knew that mentally, Joe would find a way to create an environment where it would have been very difficult for Steve to rise up to that every day. That's who Joe was. It's like playing against Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods. Mentally, they find a way to break you.

"To a certain extent, that's why the Packers had to let Brett Favre go, to move forward with Aaron Rodgers. It's almost impossible to deal with that. Guys like Joe and Brett, they wake up and they smell competition. It's in the air."

Lott says it was tough being in the middle as the Montana-Young drama unfolded.

"We had the Coke Generation and the Pepsi Generation," Lott remembers of the locker room dynamics. "We were able to win with it because the Coke Generation had been there for a while."

Lott and Montana struck a similar chord when describing what it was like to compete against the 49ers after they departed. With Lott and running back Roger Craig, another key to multiple 49ers Super Bowl victories, wearing silver and black, the Raiders defeated San Francisco, 12-6, at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1991.

"It's like playing your big brother," Lott said. "You love 'em, but you want to kill 'em."

That Raiders-49ers game was also striking in that it was the only time in Lott's career that he was summoned to the other locker room — urgently, as he was clad only in a towel — after the contest. He was needed to help calm Charles Haley, who threw a tantrum that included angry words directed at Young.

"The reason Charles felt that way was because of the passionate trait that made him great," Lott says. "He didn't want to lose to big brother."

Montana says a 24-17 Chiefs win against the 49ers did little to relieve the sting of leaving San Francisco under controversy. By the time that game was played, he says he was beyond lingering emotion. He figures Favre might view his case similarly.

"You don't forget about it," he said. "But once you move on and you're playing with another team, it gets put in the back of your mind.

"You look around, and you see Jerry Rice play in another team's uniform. Ronnie Lott didn't finish his career as a 49er. I didn't understand it at the time, but you look back and realize that was all part of it. Typical NFL."

Montana maintains that he's even made peace with the fact that Dwight Clark was one of the people urging him to remain under Young as a backup. Clark, the former receiver who was on the receiving end of "The Catch" — the dramatic 6-yard touchdown pass in the final seconds of the NFC title game in 1982 that propelled the 49ers to their first Super Bowl — became a personnel executive under then-team president Carmen Policy.

"He was like everybody else," Montana says of Clark. "It was an 'organizational' decision. He had to go with the organization, and whatever path they wanted to go on. I don't care about it anymore. Back then, I looked at it as he was trying to move up. That's what it was all about. Yeah, we went down the same path as teammates, but that was different."

In both of his seasons in Kansas City, Montana led his team to the playoffs. But the closest he came to a Super Bowl curtain call was at the end of his first season with the Chiefs — a 30-13 blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC title game.

"In some ways, I really wish it had never happened," he said of his split from the 49ers. "In other ways, it made me think of everything. I could've stayed there and been a backup. As much as I loved Bill (Walsh) and knew the system, I didn't want to leave. But change is good sometimes.

"Maybe that change would have been better if we didn't have to play Buffalo in Buffalo, in the AFC Championship Game."

damaticous
10-30-2009, 06:47 AM
Good article. Interesting. To this day I still think Montana was one of, if not, the best QB in my lifetime.

Wish I could have more memorabilia of him. All I have right now is a signed KC jersy.

Jack
10-30-2009, 07:32 AM
I remember Montana in that Buffalo game. Their D got to him quite a few times. He lost his cool and started yelling at his O line. Couldn't blame him. Line was as porous as it had never been during the regular season.

HemiEd
10-30-2009, 07:35 AM
The loss to Chicago is the reason they had to go to Buffalo. Marty kicked a FG from the 1, instead of going for it on 4th down.

CHIEFS58
10-30-2009, 08:39 AM
Joe Montana is greater than sliced bread. I have the framed SI cover when he came to KC hanging in my office.

Frazod
10-30-2009, 08:45 AM
The loss to Chicago is the reason they had to go to Buffalo. Marty kicked a FG from the 1, instead of going for it on 4th down.

What an awful day. I just knew we were going to get a Kansas City vs. San Francisco Super Bowl. That's the game everybody wanted. Instead, Buffalo vs. New York.

God that day sucked dick. :Lin:

Monty
10-30-2009, 08:52 AM
What an awful day. I just knew we were going to get a Kansas City vs. San Francisco Super Bowl. That's the game everybody wanted. Instead, Buffalo vs. New York.

God that day sucked dick. :Lin:

You mean Buffalo vs. Dallas. :)

Frazod
10-30-2009, 08:54 AM
You mean Buffalo vs. Dallas. :)

Oh yeah, I got my shit sucking NFC East teams that I fucking hate mixed up.

Sorry about that!

BigRedChief
10-30-2009, 08:57 AM
I remember Montana in that Buffalo game. Their D got to him quite a few times. He lost his cool and started yelling at his O line. Couldn't blame him. Line was as porous as it had never been during the regular season.I'm still convinced that if Joe doesn't get knocked out in Buffalo we win the Super Bowl that year.

Monty
10-30-2009, 08:57 AM
Oh yeah, I got my shit sucking NFC East teams that I ****ing hate mixed up.

Sorry about that!

Heh..no worries. That crap is embedded in my memory as well. What's sad is that's the last time our team has even come close to a SB.

Sure-Oz
10-30-2009, 09:00 AM
It's still great to know he was a chief for a short time, gave us great memories

Frazod
10-30-2009, 09:00 AM
Heh..no worries. That crap is embedded in my memory as well. What's sad is that's the last time our team has even come close to a SB.

And what's really sad is we've had teams since then that were better, and they've accounted for exactly zero playoff wins.

Boy this thread has just depressed the hell out of me now. :sulk:

MahiMike
10-30-2009, 09:02 AM
I'm still convinced that if Joe doesn't get knocked out in Buffalo we win the Super Bowl that year.


Me too. On that same play, the pass should have been caught for a TD. Instead, the receiver popped it up in the air for a pick. Game over.

Monty
10-30-2009, 09:05 AM
Me too. On that same play, the pass should have been caught for a TD. Instead, the receiver popped it up in the air for a pick. Game over.

That was Kimble Anders....14 point swing that made the game 21-7 and the rout was on and nothing we could do about it with Krieg in at QB. :shake:

The Franchise
10-30-2009, 09:11 AM
Fuck Brett Favre....he doesn't belong in the same article as Joe Montana.

Jack
10-30-2009, 09:29 AM
**** Brett Favre....he doesn't belong in the same article as Joe Montana.

Agree, farve would have to stand on his momma's shoulders to kiss Montana's arse.

HemiEd
10-30-2009, 09:37 AM
And what's really sad is we've had teams since then that were better, and they've accounted for exactly zero playoff wins.

Boy this thread has just depressed the hell out of me now. :sulk:

Yeah, but it is going to be sweet when this team does finally get there again. Real sweet.

Frazod
10-30-2009, 09:44 AM
Yeah, but it is going to be sweet when this team does finally get there again. Real sweet.

Assuming we live to see it.

HemiEd
10-30-2009, 09:46 AM
Assuming we live to see it.

Well you have a much better chance than I, for sure. Don't think it hasn't crossed my mind, similar to a lot of those poor Cub fans.

The odd part, I jumped on the bandwagon, when it seemed like they were a dynasty.

Frazod
10-30-2009, 09:59 AM
Well you have a much better chance than I, for sure. Don't think it hasn't crossed my mind, similar to a lot of those poor Cub fans.

The odd part, I jumped on the bandwagon, when it seemed like they were a dynasty.

Sucker. :D

ChiefsCountry
10-30-2009, 11:04 AM
The loss to Chicago is the reason they had to go to Buffalo. Marty kicked a FG from the 1, instead of going for it on 4th down.

It was bc Kreig played QB not Montana. Its amazing to look at the how the team was different with Joe running it and Kreig running it.
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ChiefsCountry
10-30-2009, 11:06 AM
I'm still convinced that if Joe doesn't get knocked out in Buffalo we win the Super Bowl that year.

I dont know, that Dallas team was amazing. That is exactly the team I want the Chiefs to be.
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TEX
10-30-2009, 11:28 AM
I dont know, that Dallas team was amazing. That is exactly the team I want the Chiefs to be.
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True - but we were deep. And if anyone would have found a way, it would have been Joe. Look at what he did against the Oilers that year in the playoffs. No way KC should have beaten that team, in the Astrodome. Remember, we got smoked something like 23 to 0 week 2 or 3 that year ( I was there), without Joe and a few O - lineman. Will Shields got his first start.

CoMoChief
10-30-2009, 11:35 AM
**** Brett Favre....he doesn't belong in the same article as Joe Montana.

Yes he does...but anyways...