Dave Martin/AP file photoEric Wright (30) said he "no longer had the same passion" for the game when announcing his retirement.

Dave Martin/AP file photoEric Wright (30) said he "no longer had the same passion" for the game when announcing his retirement.

Montana won’t attend Candlestick’s farewell game

As strange as it may seem, 49ers legend Joe Montana will not attend a game during the team’s final season at Candlestick Park.

The Hall of Fame quarterback has been busy traveling all season, and hasn’t attended a game since last year. That means one of the men most responsible for the success the team has had over the past 30 years will not be there to say goodbye when the Niners host the Atlanta Falcons in the Candlestick finale on Monday.

Montana is not exactly the sentimental type, however, preferring to spend time with his family, watching his son Nick play for Tulane in the New Orleans Bowl on Saturday.

“There’s a lot of great memories there,” he said. “But everyone will admit it’s not ultimately the field that you want to be known for. You want to be known for a good field not for, ‘Oh, my god we’ve got to go to Candlestick to play.’ It’s not because they were playing the 49ers, it’s because they knew what the field was like.”

He said the facility was not what he expected from a professional team when he first arrived after being drafted out of Notre Dame in 1979. He went on to play 14 seasons in San Francisco before spending his final two with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Oddly enough, he said the winds themselves didn’t affect the team’s games as much as one might think. Instead it was the dirt from the infield being blown around the field, making it difficult to see at times and making things tough on the kickers should they have to launch a field goal from the crushed brick on the ground.

As many big moments as Montana himself orchestrated, he was on hand for one of the Stick’s biggest moments, which had nothing to do with football. He was in the stadium with his wife and infant son on Oct. 17, 1989, to watch the Giants play the A’s in the World Series, and anybody who lived in the Bay Area can tell you what happened: the Loma Prieta earthquake.

“We were in our seats and we felt the earthquake and the lights went out,” he said. “My wife was going, ‘We’ve got to go, let’s get out of here.’ And I’m going, ‘No, we’ve got to stay, I want to watch the game.’”

Eventually they did leave the stadium, though his wife still gives him a hard time about it to this day.

The memories are what he said he will hang on to, saying those are “all engrained in my memory” and that ceremonies would not change that.49ersJoe MontanaNFLNinersSan Francisco 49ers

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Apprenticeship instructor Mike Miller, center, demonstrates how to set up a theodolite, a hyper-sensitive angle measuring device, for apprentices Daniel Rivas, left, Ivan Aguilar, right, and Quetzalcoatl Orta, far right, at the Ironworkers Local Union 377 training center in Benicia on June 10, 2021. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters)
California’s affordable housing crisis: Are labor union requirements in the way?

By Manuela Tobias CalMatters California lawmakers introduced several bills this year that… Continue reading

People fish at a dock at Islais Creek Park on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What Islais Creek tells us about rising sea levels in San Francisco

Islais Creek is an unassuming waterway along San Francisco’s eastern industrial shoreline,… Continue reading

Organizer Jas Florentino, left, explains the figures which represent 350 kidnapped Africans first sold as slaves in the United States in 1619 in sculptor Dana King’s “Monumental Reckoning.” The installation is in the space of the former Francis Scott Key monument in Golden Gate Park. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What a reparations program would look like in The City

‘If there’s any place we can do it, it’s San Francisco’

Officer Joel Babbs, pictured at a protest outside the Hall of Justice in 2017, is representing himself in an unusually public police misconduct matter. <ins>(Courtesy Bay City News)</ins>
The strange and troubling story of Joel Babbs: What it tells us about the SFPD

The bizarre and troubling career of a whistle-blowing San Francisco police officer… Continue reading

Real solutions to California’s wildfire problems

By Dan Walters CalMatters Physicist Albert Einstein is widely, albeit erroneously, thought… Continue reading

Most Read