Here is the cover:
Posts Tagged ‘Joe Montana’
Joe Montana had in-season surgery for the second time in October 1991, to reattach the common flexor tendon of his right elbow bone. The tendon was partially torn in training camp, then fully torn in early October when Montana was testing it after seven weeks of rest. He came back for one last 49ers game at the end of the 1992 season, against the Lions at home, but Montana’s 49er career was effectively over. During that October, one of his old teammates said Montana had already had at least 50 pain-killing injections in his right elbow.
Still, he did make a comeback. Mike Holmgren, the 49ers’ offensive coordinator in 1991, said: “I got here in 1986, and the first game in my first year, Joe went down with the back injury. I thought, I’ll never have a chance to coach Joe Montana now. Two months later he was back, and he’s given me five years. So there’s not a doubt in my mind he’ll be back.”
Joe Montana’s retirement followed a very hard hit in the Kansas City Chiefs’ 30-13 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC championship game after the 1993 season, when he was knocked out by three charging defenders. Montana said it “felt like a lightning bolt went right through my head.”
He grabbed his face mask to make sure it hadn’t gone into his skull, and, even though he played for the Chiefs in 1994 and beat the 49ers early that season in the one re-match of Young and Montana after Joe left the team, he said: “For the first time in my life, football began to feel like a job. All of a sudden I was dreading getting up in the morning. When that feeling takes over, you know it’s time, because, chances are, that’s when you’re going to get hurt. You’re not thinking about the game; you’re just thinking about making it through the week, making it through the game. I always thought I’d end up quitting because my skills were deteriorating. But physically, I felt better going into last season than at any time in recent years.”
The 49ers had effectively dominated the NFL in 1987, going 13-2, winning handily in their last three regular season games, and featuring Jerry Rice with his record-breaking season that included 23 touchdowns. It all came to a crashing end with the 36-24 loss at Candlestick to the Vikings in the first game of what was supposed to be a Super Bowl run. Below is the Sports Illustrated cover showcasing Anthony Carter and his fantastic game that led the Vikings to victory:
And here’s a battered Joe Montana in the midst of one of his worst playoff games; people may remember that he was pulled for Steve Young in the third quarter, and that was the start of the Young-Montana quarterback controversy:
This slightly askew picture of a Sports Illustrated cover shows “Joltin’ Joe” Montana readying to pass in the midst of a sea of Niner and Eagle linemen in the September 1989 game in Philadelphia in which he threw four touchdown passes in the fourth quarter for a stirring comeback win.
Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle front page celebrating the 49ers 38-16 defeat of the Dolphins in Palo Alto in Super Bowl XIX:
The 49ers wound up the 1986 regular season with a win over the Rams, in which they outgained the Rams, 408 yards to 229, more than doubled them in first downs, 27-12, and had the ball for 13.5 more minutes.
After 49er Joe Cribbs fumbled with 4:14 remaining, Charles Haley made a sack of Jim Everett on first down, and the 49ers held onto their lead from there. Montana led a 92-yard drive for a touchdown in the second quarter to go up 17-7, got a block on Rams defensive end Doug Reed to help Jerry Rice get a 15-yard run on a reverse in the third quarter, and threw a 44-yard bomb to Rice in the first quarter.
After the game, Jim Everett said of Don Griffin and Tim McKyer, who caught two of Everett’s three interceptions: “Their corners played surprisingly well. They had us confused at times. Some of the things that I did wrong were probably rookie mistakes.”