|Birthdate:||June 11, 1956|
|Team/Year:||San Francisco; 1979-1990, 1992|
Kansas City; 1993-1994
|MVP:||Super Bowl XVI, XIX, XXIV|
|Other:||Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.|
Joe Montana was compared to the legendary quarterbacks who came before him--including Bobby Layne, Sammy Baugh, Johnny Unitas, and Bart Starr--but all who follow Montana will be compared to him. Montana's time to shine was late-December and January when many other contemporary quarterbacks were at home polishing their trophies.
His former mentor and coach with the San Francisco 49ers, Bill Walsh, said of his former star pupil: "When the game is on the line, and you need someone to go in there and win it right now, I would rather have Joe Montana as my quarterback than anyone who ever played the game." Montana engineered 31 winning fourth-quarter comebacks in his career, including a 92-yard drive in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XXIII.
Montana led his team to four Super Bowl triumphs in his 16-year career, and was named most valuable player of the game a record three times. Previously, he demonstrated his ability to direct comebacks at Notre Dame, where he led the Fighting Irish to the national championship in 1977, and capped his college career by bringing Notre Dame back from a 22-point deficit with five minutes left to win the 1979 Cotton Bowl. Despite his college heroics, he lasted until the third round of the 1979 NFL draft.