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83-Steelers-43
02-26-2007, 01:13 AM
Q&A: Joe Montana / These days, all conversations are heart-to-heart
The Monongahela native and Hall of Fame quarterback travels to promote healthy lifestyles as an important way to beat high blood pressure
Monday, February 26, 2007

By Colin Dunlap, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

He's one of the legends, one of the people who used his right arm to help perpetuate the claim that Western Pennsylvania is the cradle of quarterbacks.

Joe Montana.

NFL Hall of Fame inductee, four-time Super Bowl champion with the San Francisco 49ers, three time Super Bowl MVP and Notre Dame great. But before all that, Montana was a strong-armed kid from Monongahela, Washington County, who was tremendous in football, basketball and baseball at Ringgold High School. Montana actually spurned a few Division I basketball scholarship offers and opted for football.

Recently, Montana was in town along with cardiologist James Rippe championing BP Success Zone (www.getbpdown.com), an initiative aimed at achieving and maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle through high blood pressure education and control. Montana, 50, was diagnosed with hypertension in 2002 and has since worked to educate others about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

He sat down with the Post-Gazette's Colin Dunlap to talk a little about his heart and a little more about football.

Q: How much did it alarm you when you heard [you had hypertension] and, then, did you immediately think about your kids?

Montana: The doctor sent me to the cardiologist the same day. I actually had a blockage beginning in one of my arteries, and the doctor always tells you the medical term and I remember the nickname and that is 'The Widowmaker.' ... I still want to be looking down at the grass for a long time."

Q: How important is it for you to use your celebrity to get messages across?

Montana: I think it should be important if you have a means to help other people. That is what I have at this point, still, and I'm fortunate. And, it [high blood pressure] has affected me, and it has affected my mother's side of the family more so than my father's. My mother's father passed away at 54 from heart disease. So, it is close to me, but it is also about the ability to reach out and help people do something so simple that can drastically change their risk of heart attacks and strokes."

Q: Have you ever thought what would have happened if you had chosen to play basketball and not football?

Montana: "No. But, I would have had a lot of fun for as much as I love basketball. But, I don't know..."

Q: What is it like to be back [in Pittsburgh]?

Montana: It is always great coming back and seeing the changes, especially Downtown. Unfortunately, when I was growing up, we didn't have a lot of opportunity to come to Pittsburgh other than when we were playing in some type of sporting event. But I still remember what it looked like then and what it looks like now. It is fun to see. It is great to see. It is a great place."

Q: So, even for someone who doesn't live here, you see the resurgence?

Montana: Definitely. We were driving around, just going through the city last night and along the river, I was going, 'God, my dad used to come to the city this way.' Things started coming back in my mind. It has been so long, but, all of a sudden, you have these memories of us driving with my dad and another friend of his going to basketball games, and I said to people, "That was one of my dad's 'shortcuts' that always took longer."

Q: How does Ben Roethlisberger bounce back from a season in which he won the Super Bowl and then he had a so-so season? What does a young quarterback have to do to get back on track?

Montana: I think that he just has to go out and play. One of the things that happened to him is that there was a lot of pressure on him, coming back from the [motorcycle] accident and then the surgery. It is just one of those things that you have to learn to put behind you. As a quarterback, to be successful like he's been in the first couple of years, you have to be successful at [putting things behind you]. Because if you can't put the last play behind you, then you won't function well on the next play when you have to stick one in or you have to make a decision [such as], 'Should I throw it or should I not throw it?' I don't see it being any different for him. He can look back, and there are a lot of reasons why that season could have happened. But, it isn't just that it happens to him, it happens to everybody. Everybody has been through a year like that where you go, "Oh my God, I'd just like to erase that one and start over." And, I think he'll be fine. As long as he doesn't go out and try to show, hey, well, I can do this again and try to make plays happen when they are not there. That is the biggest thing.

Q: Do you still follow some of the players who come out of here? Like Bruce Gradkowski and Marc Bulger? Do you find yourself rooting for Western Pennsylvania guys?

Montana: You always do. And, you always run into those guys. I always see [Jim] Kelly and [Dan] Marino and those guys, and that is all we talk about half the time. You know, where you are from and what you did and who is new and who is coming up out of here. It is fun and it is great to be from this area. It is a tremendous sports town and area around Pittsburgh. I was happy to grow up here. I was fortunate.

Q: With you and Dan Marino and Jim Kelly, do you think it may have been easier to be a guy from here but not play for the Steelers? How tough do you think it would be for a guy from here to play for the Steelers?

Montana: I tried to come back [and play for the Steelers] before I went to Kansas City. But [the Steelers] were pretty set at that time. I would have loved to come back and finish my career here if I would have had the opportunity. No, I don't think it is any tougher. The only thing tough on you is that you would have to worry about tickets all the time. That is the tough part of it if you live here all the time, you know, that everybody wants to go [to the games.] But, I think it would have been fun playing where you grew up.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07057/765064-66.stm

Atlanta Dan
02-26-2007, 07:07 AM
Nice of the P-G to run the infomercial for the blood pressure med for which Montana is shilling.

Do not think for a minute that incisive interview was about anything other than Montana getting a link to his client's company in a P-G story. Maybe the NFL should have told Montana he could wear a T-shirt with his client's web site address when the Super Bowl MVPs were introduced last year at the SB in Detroit and he would have attended (for those who want to remind me Montana missed that ceremony to attend his son's basketball game, he somehow managed to get over missing another of his son's games last year to attend a card signing with Pete Rose in Vegas).

Joe is all about the Benjamins, which is his choice, but shame on the P-G for running an interview with an advertisement embedded in it.

augustashark
02-26-2007, 09:40 AM
Q&A: Joe Montana / These days, all conversations are heart-to-heart
The Monongahela native and Hall of Fame quarterback travels to promote healthy lifestyles as an important way to beat high blood pressure
Monday, February 26, 2007

By Colin Dunlap, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

He's one of the legends, one of the people who used his right arm to help perpetuate the claim that Western Pennsylvania is the cradle of quarterbacks.

Joe Montana.

NFL Hall of Fame inductee, four-time Super Bowl champion with the San Francisco 49ers, three time Super Bowl MVP and Notre Dame great. But before all that, Montana was a strong-armed kid from Monongahela, Washington County, who was tremendous in football, basketball and baseball at Ringgold High School. Montana actually spurned a few Division I basketball scholarship offers and opted for football.

Recently, Montana was in town along with cardiologist James Rippe championing BP Success Zone (www.getbpdown.com), an initiative aimed at achieving and maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle through high blood pressure education and control. Montana, 50, was diagnosed with hypertension in 2002 and has since worked to educate others about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

He sat down with the Post-Gazette's Colin Dunlap to talk a little about his heart and a little more about football.

Q: How much did it alarm you when you heard [you had hypertension] and, then, did you immediately think about your kids?

Montana: The doctor sent me to the cardiologist the same day. I actually had a blockage beginning in one of my arteries, and the doctor always tells you the medical term and I remember the nickname and that is 'The Widowmaker.' ... I still want to be looking down at the grass for a long time."

Q: How important is it for you to use your celebrity to get messages across?

Montana: I think it should be important if you have a means to help other people. That is what I have at this point, still, and I'm fortunate. And, it [high blood pressure] has affected me, and it has affected my mother's side of the family more so than my father's. My mother's father passed away at 54 from heart disease. So, it is close to me, but it is also about the ability to reach out and help people do something so simple that can drastically change their risk of heart attacks and strokes."

Q: Have you ever thought what would have happened if you had chosen to play basketball and not football?

Montana: "No. But, I would have had a lot of fun for as much as I love basketball. But, I don't know..."

Q: What is it like to be back [in Pittsburgh]?

Montana: It is always great coming back and seeing the changes, especially Downtown. Unfortunately, when I was growing up, we didn't have a lot of opportunity to come to Pittsburgh other than when we were playing in some type of sporting event. But I still remember what it looked like then and what it looks like now. It is fun to see. It is great to see. It is a great place."

Q: So, even for someone who doesn't live here, you see the resurgence?

Montana: Definitely. We were driving around, just going through the city last night and along the river, I was going, 'God, my dad used to come to the city this way.' Things started coming back in my mind. It has been so long, but, all of a sudden, you have these memories of us driving with my dad and another friend of his going to basketball games, and I said to people, "That was one of my dad's 'shortcuts' that always took longer."

Q: How does Ben Roethlisberger bounce back from a season in which he won the Super Bowl and then he had a so-so season? What does a young quarterback have to do to get back on track?

Montana: I think that he just has to go out and play. One of the things that happened to him is that there was a lot of pressure on him, coming back from the [motorcycle] accident and then the surgery. It is just one of those things that you have to learn to put behind you. As a quarterback, to be successful like he's been in the first couple of years, you have to be successful at [putting things behind you]. Because if you can't put the last play behind you, then you won't function well on the next play when you have to stick one in or you have to make a decision [such as], 'Should I throw it or should I not throw it?' I don't see it being any different for him. He can look back, and there are a lot of reasons why that season could have happened. But, it isn't just that it happens to him, it happens to everybody. Everybody has been through a year like that where you go, "Oh my God, I'd just like to erase that one and start over." And, I think he'll be fine. As long as he doesn't go out and try to show, hey, well, I can do this again and try to make plays happen when they are not there. That is the biggest thing.

Q: Do you still follow some of the players who come out of here? Like Bruce Gradkowski and Marc Bulger? Do you find yourself rooting for Western Pennsylvania guys?

Montana: You always do. And, you always run into those guys. I always see [Jim] Kelly and [Dan] Marino and those guys, and that is all we talk about half the time. You know, where you are from and what you did and who is new and who is coming up out of here. It is fun and it is great to be from this area. It is a tremendous sports town and area around Pittsburgh. I was happy to grow up here. I was fortunate.

Q: With you and Dan Marino and Jim Kelly, do you think it may have been easier to be a guy from here but not play for the Steelers? How tough do you think it would be for a guy from here to play for the Steelers?

Montana: I tried to come back [and play for the Steelers] before I went to Kansas City. But [the Steelers] were pretty set at that time. I would have loved to come back and finish my career here if I would have had the opportunity. No, I don't think it is any tougher. The only thing tough on you is that you would have to worry about tickets all the time. That is the tough part of it if you live here all the time, you know, that everybody wants to go [to the games.] But, I think it would have been fun playing where you grew up.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07057/765064-66.stm

That would have been nice.

fansince'76
02-26-2007, 09:56 AM
Montana: I tried to come back [and play for the Steelers] before I went to Kansas City. But [the Steelers] were pretty set at that time.

This has to qualify as the biggest crock I've read in awhile. Our QBs at the time Montana went to KC (1993) were O'Donnell, Tomczak and Rick Strom. Montana could have beaten any one of the three out for the starting job on his WORST day. "Pretty set" my ass.

Counselor
02-26-2007, 10:08 AM
He answered that question as best he could--politically correct. He may have wanted to/tried to get a contract with the Steelers in 1993, but lets face it, the Steelers weren't going to pay him what he wanted at the twilight of his career.

fansince'76
02-26-2007, 10:25 AM
He answered that question as best he could--politically correct. He may have wanted to/tried to get a contract with the Steelers in 1993, but lets face it, the Steelers weren't going to pay him what he wanted at the twilight of his career.

Welcome to the board! :cheers:

I still don't believe it - I don't remember Montana's agent making any overtures about Montana's "desire to play for the Steelers" at the time, either. I don't have the best memory, but I think I would remember something like that.

Counselor
02-26-2007, 12:50 PM
Thanks for the welcome! :wave:

I see your point---I don't recall any rumors to that effect in '93 either. But you must admit, we still wouldn't have paid him what he wanted anyway.

fansince'76
02-26-2007, 02:22 PM
Thanks for the welcome! :wave:

I see your point---I don't recall any rumors to that effect in '93 either. But you must admit, we still wouldn't have paid him what he wanted anyway.

Yep, I admit it wouldn't have made any difference as we wouldn't have broken the bank for him anyway. However, it kinda ticks me off that he would lie about it just to further his cause as a paid shill. Be honest Joe, that's all I ask.

Stlrs4Life
02-26-2007, 08:27 PM
He answered that question as best he could--politically correct. He may have wanted to/tried to get a contract with the Steelers in 1993, but lets face it, the Steelers weren't going to pay him what he wanted at the twilight of his career.



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