San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana has gotten plenty of questions this week about Tom Brady and their dueling legacies. He generally plays it pretty safe, avoiding anything too provocative. However, recently he gave an answer that might be my favorite in hitting the nail on the head.
Montana took some time to chat with SB Nation Radio, and in discussing Brady, he talked about how hard it is to compare eras. He brought up a great point about Sammy Baugh and Otto Graham.
Well, it’s hard to compare guys from different eras. Everybody looks at me, and you look at Tom and what they do now, and you look at me and what we did back then. You look at the guys who played before me, and I think it’s just really hard. Tom is a great player. I’m not saying in that direction. I just think it’s hard, when you look at guys, I always tell people, go look at Sammy Baugh, and look at Otto Graham; two guys that were so far ahead of their time. One of those guys, I can’t remember, won seven or nine championships. And no one even talks about him. I was going up for an award, and Otto Graham came out of the door next to me, and my wife comes up. And he goes, “Oh hey, how you doing?” and then he turns, “Oh I forgot something,” and he goes back inside. She goes, “who’s that?” I go, “that’s the guy who’s going to win tonight.” And he did. I think it’s hard. Tom’s a great, great player, and he’s having a great career. So, I just say, enjoy what they’re all doing now.
Here’s the full interview.