Despite being long retired, Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana remains a giant of the sport. Now, he dishes on Tom Brady, the state of football and more.
Joe Montana retired after the 1994 season, finishing up his second campaign with the Kansas City Chiefs. His resume is impeccable, including four Super Bowl rings and three MVP awards.
Montana, 61, played the first 13 years of his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers. Upon his retirement, the former Notre Dame quarterback was universally recognized as the greatest player of all time at his position, a mantle that has come into question with the emergence of Tom Brady.
With Brady claiming five Super Bowl titles and three MVPs of his own, many believe that the New England Patriots’ signal-caller is the best that ever was. Montana, speaking with FanSided’s Mark Carman on Tuesday morning, isn’t ready to give away that title when talking about his competitive spirit.
“I think it burns in anybody who has had success down the line,” Montana said. “Just being in the league for any length of time, I think you have to have a certain attitude to survive in it. If you don’t think you are better than somebody else, than hopefully you are on somebody else’s team.
“He’s does make us refer to him as the GOAT around the house,” Jennifer Montana, Joe’s wife, chuckled.
Despite all his accomplishments and a bevy of injuries that includes multiple concussions, back surgery, elbow inflammation and more, Montana wishes he would have played a few more seasons before calling it quits.
“I still look back and think I probably got out at the right time, maybe could have cut down a year to two just to be safe,” Montana said. “But most of my injuries I had had prior to that. I still think I could have played a little longer. You always look back on those things. The career is so short and you love the game so much, it’s just so exciting when you play.”
In that same vein, the first-ballot Hall of Famer also discussed the game’s precarious situation regarding its safety. While the NFL has been taking steps to help reduce violence and unnecessary contact to the head, there are still obvious problems moving forward in terms or health.
“It’s hard to watch the game go through what it is going through, but totally understandable. I always thought that kids at a really young age weren’t quite as susceptible to these things because it was more like bunch-ball. They’d snap the ball, they would all get in a bunch, they’d go and they would all fall down. But at a point in time some kids get more mature quicker and that’s when I think the game gets more dangerous.”
Montana and his wife, Jennifer, are attempting to educate society about the perils of heart disease. The Montanas are working with Breakaway from Heart Disease.