I am ecstatic to have one of the greatest football players of all time, Joe Montana, as my guest this month. I could go on forever about his athletic accomplishments: He lead the San Francisco 49ers to four Superbowl Championships during the 1980s, including consecutive wins in 1989 and 1990. An inspirational leader and talented passer, he was named the National Football League’s most valuable player three times. He joined the Kansas City Chiefs 1993–5, before retiring with NFL playoff records for completions, yards, and touchdowns. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
This last Saturday, July 12th, Joe and his former teammates Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Dwight Clark and many other 49er legends took on Dan Marino and a team of NFL All-Stars to play the last game in the iconic Candlestick Park (The Stick). All proceeds from this event went to the San Francisco Police Foundation and the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation. Joe may have shown off his athletic talents on the field on Saturday, but what is more impressive is his dedication to philanthropy via the Four Rings Montana Family Foundation. The Foundation was established in 2004 by Joe and his wife Jennifer to support a variety of charities and causes – primarily in the area of improving the lives of underprivileged individuals who have experienced neglect, abuse, and immigration challenges. Joe and Jennifer have four beautiful children and live in the Northern California wine country.
Conversations with Hilary: Hall of Famer Joe Montana
What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
To have a dream as a boy and to have that dream become a reality. Knowing what I know now, this could only have happened with the love and support of my family along the way.
Do you have a prized possession?
My wife! Though she is not a possession.
What do you love about yourself? What do you think others love about you?
The fact that I never quit, never give up. Those that don’t know me personally might say the way I played the game of football. But those that know me better, Jennifer (I had to ask her) would say my “generosity, kindness and ease in which I converse with others”.
If you could be anything other than what you currently are, what would it be?
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Have coffee and a donut with Jen.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Go to the wine country, make dinner, and just hang with family and friends.
What do you like most about what you do for a living?
What I did was play the most exciting game in the world. It has giving me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and in turn, experience new wonderful opportunities.
What were you passionate about when you were younger?
SPORTS. I went form football season to basketball season to baseball season.
What are you passionate about now?
Spending as much time with my family as possible! When I was playing, I feel as though I missed a lot. I can’t make up for those times, but I can enjoy trying.
What’s your favorite season? Why?
I like summer and winter… Summer for the sunshine and winter for the snuggling up next to a fire.
If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
A Manhattan, because it’s old school and a little bit sweet, a little bit sour.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want to have with you?
Magnifying glass, machete, a blanket.
If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
Be in the cockpit of a F-16 during a dog fight.
What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
Should Have Been a Cowboy.
If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
“Hey Joe, Hey Joe”. It’s what our youngest son Nicholas called me (at 2 years), not “Daddy.” That’s what he heard people on the street say.
Do you have any regrets?
Yes, playing football caused me to miss a fun part of our kids youth.
Having the ability to make your own choices.
What are your personal core values?
Integrity, compassion, honesty.