Joe Montana is one of the greatest quarterbacks to have ever played the game, and everyone remembers him running off the field in 49ers colors. But he didn’t ultimately run off the field that way, instead Montana retired with the Kansas City Chiefs after becoming yet another legendary player to ride off into the sunset wearing a different uniform than the one he became famous in.
But if there’s one thing we love as sports fans, it’s “what if…” scenarios involving major transactions or events in sports history. What if the Blazers had drafted Michael Jordan, what if the Hornets had kept Kobe Bryant and not traded him, what if Barry Sanders had been drafted by another team?
The latest, albeit not greatest but still interesting what if scenario involves Joe Montana and that infamous trade from the 49ers in 1993. How it happened was Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs who eventually went to the AFC Championship game under his command.
But in a recent interview on Arrowhead Addict (via the Dan Patrick Show), Montana is quoted as saying he wanted to play for the Steelers and not the Chiefs.
“Oh yeah,” said Montana. “I tried to go there before…when I was looking at Kansas City and they, they said no. I think (Neil) O’Donnell was still there…”
Montana said that the Steelers were offered the chance to trade for the Hall of Famer but elected not to since they had Neil O’Donnell under center already. The 49ers wanted to trade Montana somewhere he wanted to go, and the quarterback had grown up the suburbs of Pittsburgh and clearly would have preferred to go back home to finish his career, but it wasn’t meant to be.
And according to Montana, that’s perfectly alright.
“I was happy in Kansas City,” continued Montana. “It ended up being, you know, I went to another good team. Another good organization. Made the transition a little bit easier.”
The Chiefs almost made it to the Super Bowl that year and ended up knocking off the Steelers in the Wild Card round. Since Montana retired, the Chiefs have yet to win a playoff game and have seldom made it far enough to try. As the Chiefs are hunting for their next franchise quarterback, they have to look back almost 20 years to the last time a capable guy was under center.