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The Montana Magic

It's the off season. Sooner or later I was going to post something about my favorite football player of all time. So here you go.

Thanks to YouTube now I can watch the greatest quarterback of all time (and possibly the greatest football player of all time) putting together one of his most memorable fourth quarter come backs of all time (he has so many of them with money games on the line). Here is Joe against Cincinnati in Super Bowl XVI leading the Niners in their game winning drive against the Bengals. It's almost an 8-9 minute drive. But it is ... well just beautiful:

The audio is a little out of sync, but this still gave me chills.

What's the UCLA angle you ask? We hear all the time how Dorrell us running a West Coast Offense (WCO) at the Rose Bowl. Well next time you hear some blow hard talking about WCO, just take a look at how that seamless drive in the ultimate crunch time played out.

Throwing to backs.

Using your fullback (Tom "Tank" Rathman).

Using your tailback (High steppin Roger Craig).

Throwing on first down.

Mixing in passes to the TE (John Frank).

And of course using your wide receivers including the main (superstar) target.

But what made the Niners so incredibly effective during those days was how they never flinched under pressure. I remember watching those games as a kid, and having that "feeling" deep down inside that no matter what the score was in fourth, we were not going to lose. Joe was going to bail us out. It was "magic," an undescrible feeling that just cannot be summed up in Xs and Os no matter how articulate we try to be.

Joe was the QB who pretty much trademarked that "magic" factor. Elway (after his multiple chokes in the Super Bowl) finally got a taste of it. Favre had it. Marino didn't have it. Neither does Payton Manning. And now it's Tom Brady who has "it".

At the college level I am sure a number of fans from other school can make legit claims that their QB had that "Montana" magic. Of course Vince Young's incredible Rose Bowl performance comes to mind. So does the Ball Room Dancer - no matter how much we hate Matt Leinart we have to admit the kid was a winner. Watching Leinert at USC during last two years was the first time I realized how the fans of other teams must have been feeling in their stomach when they saw Montana doing his magic in all those fourth quarter drives. Now I am not saying Leinart will turn out to be a Joe Montana in the pros. I doubt. I am saying Leinart?s performance during his collegiate career was similar (in terms of level of excellence in clutch moments) to that of Montana in San Francisco.

As for UCLA, the only QB I ever saw with the "Montana Magic" in Westwood was none other than this guy.

Now the Southpaw Jesus with all his physical tools perhaps will recapture some of that magic this season. He will have to ... otherwise it could be a long season for all of us here at Bruins Nation. I can hardly wait. By the way speaking of Cade - he is also my favorite UCLA QB of time. I think he is the best UCLA ever had at the QB position. Some may argue Troy was better or Beban was the best (since he won UCLA's only Heisman). But none of them went 4-0 against USC. That is remarkable and unless it is matched, Cade in my book will forever be the greatest QB in the history of UCLA football. If you think otherwise - comment away.

Oh one last UCLA angle on that magical Montana drive. He was taking snaps from a Bruin - No. 51 Randy Cross. Have a great Friday everyone.