No. 5: It’s hard enough saying goodbye to a 49ers legend when he gets traded, but in the case of Joe Montana it was heartbreaking and messy
Thirteen years. One hundred victories. Four Super Bowls. Three Super Bowl MVPs. One trade.
Quarterback Joe Montana did everything and more for the San Francisco 49ers. Drafted in the third round of the 1979 NFL Draft, Montana was the player the franchise needed to take them to the top.
Unfortunately, Montana was riddled with injuries late in his career, even missing the entire 1991 season, and eventually was forced to pick his fate. He could back up another future Hall of Famer, Steve Young, and retire as a 49er or start for another team.
He chose the latter:
"If I go to Kansas City, I’ll be the man. If I get injured again, they’ll pray for me to get well. If I get hurt here, I’ll be pushed out the door. -Joe Montana Quote from When the 49ers were Kings by Gordon Forbes"
Before his arrival, the city of San Francisco was in disarray. In 1979 Mayor George Moscone and the city’s supervisor Harvey Milk were murdered. It shook the community to its core.
Montana and the 49ers lifted the spirits of the sadden city in the 1980s when they went on to win those aforementioned Super Bowls.
Yes, there was anger on a sports level. But when the city was at it’s the lowest point, there came Montana to help ease them to a better place.