Tom Brady attended Joe Montana’s last game with the 49ers

Getty Images

It’s well known that Tom Brady attended the game that put Joe Montana firmly on the map. Brady also attended another fairly important game played by Montana with the 49ers: His final one.

“I was at Joe’s last game at Candlestick Park,” Brady told reporters during his introductory press conference with the Buccaneers. “I actually went up there and saw it with my friend. I’ll never forget that. He was an incredible player. He and Steve Young were my quarterback idols growing up.”

That last game for Montana at Candlestick came on a Monday night in 1992, December 28. Young played the first half, which concluded with the 49ers holding a 7-6 lead. Montana entered for the second half of a meaningless Week 17 game, completing 15 of 21 passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Montana added 28 rushing yards, including a non-Montana-like 16-yard gain.

Montana hadn’t played since early in the 1991 season due to an elbow injury, with Young taking over and keeping the 49ers among the best teams in the conference. A then-15-year-old Brady was there to witness it, 11 years after he saw Montana find Dwight Clark in the back of the end zone to lift the upstarts over the old-guard Cowboys, sparking what would become the first of four Super Bowl wins by Montana.

Montana previously advised Brady to finish his career in New England, but it became awkwardly clear that New England coach Bill Belichick was as ready to move on as Brady was — as ready as Montana was 27 years ago.

Brady may have even greater motivation than Montana to find success elsewhere. Montana exited San Francisco as a winner; Brady sputtered to a pair of consecutive home losses, with a postseason pick six capping his tenure in New England and with Belichick’s farewell message containing a phrase that could prompt reasonable minds to differ on the question of whether Belichick possibly was taking a backhanded shot: “Nothing about the end of Tom’s Patriots career changes how unfathomably spectacular it was.”

Brady now begins his Buccaneers’ career, and he will surely driven to match Montana’s AFC Championship appearance in Kansas City, and to take it a step farther than Montana did.

12 responses to “Tom Brady attended Joe Montana’s last game with the 49ers

  1. Mike, are you still beating that “Nothing about the end of Tom’s Patriots career…” line hoping to create a stir? He meant Tom’s leaving the Patriots to end his career for another team, not how he played the last few games.

  2. Montana never played in the 1991 season. He played in the 1990 divisional playoff at home vs Washington in January 1991, which the Niners won 28-10. The next game was the NFC Championship when he got crushed by Leonard Marshall in the 4th quarter and the famous phrase from Pat Summerall “There will be no three-peat” entered the football lexicon as the Giants won 15-13 at the gun. Montana did not play again until the last regular season game of 1992 which is the subject of the article.

  3. I’ll ALWAYS remember Montana laying on the Candlestick turf after Leonard Marshall laid him out.

  4. 49ers should have signed Brady. They’re going to fail to make the Super Bowl next season, and will wonder why they didn’t give it a shot. It’ll be looked back on as another 28-3 moment.

  5. Both Brady and Montana were drafted to be backups. Montana was the last pick in the 3rd round, and Brady went in the 6th.

  6. You can give me thumbs down all you want but Montana’s 49ers career ended on the Marshall hit. Testimonial farewell appearances are irrelevant.

  7. Montana was throwing to Jerry Rice and John Taylor his last game. Brady was throwing to Philip Dorsett and Julian Edelman.

  8. Montana was in the stands watching Bradshaw win his last SB, 1980.
    Brady in the stands watching Montana begin the 49ers run.
    I like the continuity between the greats Bradshaw-Montana-Brady.
    Anyone who knows football knows they were all on about the same level then.

  9. I was at that game too! I’ve been a 49er fan since 1981 and that was the only game at Candlestick that I got to see. Would have been great to see Brady in a 49ers jersey.

  10. Huge Montana fan in spite of the fact i despise the 9ers. The one true GOAT…Brady is no more than the most fortunate system QB ever. 2020 will prove that. Montana just had that indescribable “it” factor.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.