What Can Tom Brady Learn from Joe Montana's Time with the Kansas City Chiefs?
As Tom Brady leaves the New England Patriots to end his career in Tampa Bay, Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated took a look at another all-time signal-caller who ended his career away from the team he built his legacy with. Orr says Brady can learn some lessons from Joe Montana's time as the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Orr's piece, which can be read in full on SI.com, begins with a recounting of how the Chiefs pursued Montana, then had a foul-smelling introduction to one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, when a rancid smell made its way through the offensive meeting room before no-nonsense head coach Marty Schottenheimer began to address the team:
As they left the room, players began to wonder who was responsible for releasing the stench—who had dared to cross Marty Schottenheimer before his big monologue. The coach did not tolerate nonsense and was already on edge, having spent the offseason luring Montana away from the 49ers (and the Cardinals, who had offered Montana $5 million more). Breaking open a tube of ammonium hydrosulfide, better known as a stink bomb, seemed like a death wish.
Slowly Montana, 37, a four-time Super Bowl champion, seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time Most Valuable Player, emerged as the primary suspect. And so began two years of epic pranks, decadent meals and undeniable cool: the perfect blueprint for a GOAT switching franchises.
“People were walking on eggshells at this meeting because it’s Joe Montana,” says Danan Hughes, a rookie wide receiver at the time. “But everyone said it was Joe that did it, as an icebreaker. He wanted people to know he was one of the guys, and that he was nothing special.”
Orr's story continues to look at some of Montana's most on-brand moments throughout his time in Kansas City, including tales of quiet dinners and water balloon cannons. Montana also, at least once, played one of his hits.
They all looked over as he sauntered into the huddle, Monday night, Week 7 against John Elway and the Broncos. It was his second season in Kansas City; in his first, Montana had taken the Chiefs to an 11–5 record and within a game of the Super Bowl. Now, they were down by four points late in the fourth quarter and had the ball at their own 25-yard line. In the huddle before calling a pass play to Marcus Allen, Montana looked at his teammates, smiled and said: “Hey, any of you check out the chaps on those cheerleaders?”
This was a recycled Montana bit, of course, but, man, did it feel cool to hear it live. He’d famously asked his 49ers teammates whether they noticed actor John Candy in the stands before embarking on a 92-yard game-winning drive in Super Bowl XXIII. Juxtaposing the outward chaos with an almost equally maniacal sense of calm did not get old. This was football mindfulness at its peak. He did it because it worked.
But against Denver, he kept going.
“Listen, guys, this is what I do,” he said, like a plumber approaching a clogged sink. “Relax, give me some time, and we’re going to win.”
“We knew, at that point, we were going to win that football game,” Grunhard said. “Joe really and truly believed that. So we did too.”
For the full story, with more tales of Montana's time in Kansas City and how Tom Brady can live out a similar experience in Tampa Bay, click here.