Originally posted by billbird2111:
Massive difference between the Montana-Young saga and what is currently playing out before our eyes.
1. Joe Montana had won four trophies at this point in his career. He was God. Joe could do no wrong. The SF Chronicle held a nickname contest for Joe Montana, offering prizes for anyone who could come up with the best nickname. The winner? A nickname that sounds rather familiar: Joe Montana.
2. When the QB controversy was at full tilt was when it became clear that Joe had finally lost a step. He was still the greatest QB to have ever played the game, but he was no longer the class of the NFL. Years of pounding, plus major back surgery, finally caught up with him.
3. Young, at this point, had been sitting on the bench for years. Not less than two full seasons, but YEARS. One of the reasons that Walsh was forced out was his insistence to start phasing in Young and phasing out Montana. Eddie D. objected to the move. Walsh may have been the greatest coaching mind to ever grace an NFL stage, but Eddie owned the team. And Eddie was terribly loyal to his players. Almost to a fault. But fans like me could see that Young had a youth edge that Montana no longer had. And it was clear that Montana's best years were behind him.
Now -- compare that to day's little QB "dustup."
1. Alex Smith will never be mistaken for Joe Montana. He has no Super Bowl trophies on his resume. He has, at best, a love-hate relationship with the fan base. Personally? I thought he'd never be any good. Went out of my way to point this out on this forum year after year. Boy -- did Harbaugh ever shut me down and shut me up. He made Alex a winner.
2. Alex is in his prime right now. But how good can Alex be? Can Alex take us to a Super Bowl? Does he have the talent to get this team over the hump? These are questions unanswered.
3. There are more questions surrounding CK7 than answers. 49er fans knew what they had in Steve Young. I still don't know what we have in CK7. He could be the next great QB in waiting. Then again, he might not. Trouble is, we just don't know. CK7 is still, essentially, a kid. He's got less than two seasons of experience. Is that enough? Can anyone answer that question? I would say the one thing riding in his favor is his name isn't Alex Smith.
Those are the major differences that I see between then and now. There are more. But no two situations are alike, and that is certainly true with this situation. This might be a "QB Controversy." But it's not your daddy's QB Controversy.
lol @ "Not your daddy's QB controversy."
Agreed. Of course these are way different. but the one thing that makes me look back at it through the lens of our current situation is that when you boil it down, don't have hindsight, you're in the middle of a winning season and you're a SB contender. The trophies, MVP awards, and figuring out your future are all tossed aside. You're left with, "Who gives us the best chance to win the SB?" AND, you've got to take more into account than just stats/abilities/on field persona. You've got the effects It'll have on the rest of the team, the effects It'll have on the QB you decide on, while the other watches from the bench!
Starting in '88 the whole thing really ticked Joe off...
Joe's considered one of the greatest QBs, if not THE greatest QB ever!
I honestly just realized this and looked it up, never heard it before: Joe's first Superbowl and last Super Bowl's win are further apart than any other multi-win SB QB.
Totally speculation, but I wonder if what kept Joe on top for so long was the fact that he had something to prove - fight for - that wouldn't have motivated him the same without it? Who knows, maybe that controversy helped get us 5 SBs, and without we'd only got 3-4.
I've heard from both sides.. "Stuck with Joe(/Steve), we'd probably won one or two more." Maybe without the controversy we'd have one or two less....