Joseph Clifford "Joe" Montana, Jr. (born June 11, 1956), nicknamed Joe Cool and The Comeback Kid, is a retired professional American football player, a hall of fame quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. After winning a college national championship at Notre Dame, Montana started his NFL career in 1979 with San Francisco, where he played for the next 14 seasons. Traded before the 1993 season, he spent his final two years in the league with Kansas City. While a member of the 49ers, Montana started in four Super Bowl games and won all of them. Montana was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, his first year of eligibility. Montana is the only player to have been named Super Bowl MVP three times.
In 1989, and again in 1990, the Associated Press named Montana the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP), and Sports Illustrated magazine named Montana the 1990 "Sportsman of the Year". Four years earlier, in 1986, Montana won the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Montana was elected to eight Pro Bowls, as well as being voted 1st team All-Pro by the AP in 1987, 1989, and 1990. Montana had the highest passer rating in the National Football Conference (NFC) five times (1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1989); and, in both 1987 and 1989, Montana had the highest passer rating in the entire NFL.
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league composed of 32 teams divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The highest professional level of the sport in the world, the NFL runs a 17-week regular season from the week after Labor Day to the week after Christmas, with each team playing sixteen games and having one bye week. Out of the league's 32 teams, six (four division winners and two wild-card teams) from each conference compete in the NFL playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, played between the champions of the NFC and AFC. The champions of the Super Bowl are awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Various other awards exist to recognize individual players and coaches. Most games are played on Sunday afternoons; some games are also played on Mondays and Thursdays during the regular season. There are games on Saturdays during the last few weeks of the regular season and the first two playoff weekends.
The NFL was formed on August 20, 1920, as the American Professional Football Conference; the league changed its name to the American Professional Football Association (APFA) on September 17, 1920, and changed its name to the National Football League on June 24, 1922, after spending the 1920 and 1921 seasons as the APFA. In 1966, the NFL agreed to merge with the rival American Football League (AFL), effective 1970; the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that same season in January 1967. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance (67,591) of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States. The Super Bowl is among the biggest club sporting events in the world and individual Super Bowl games account for many of the most-watched programs in American history. At the corporate level, the NFL is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) association. The NFL's executive officer is the commissioner, who has broad authority in governing the league.
The Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award, or Super Bowl MVP, is presented annually to the most valuable player of the Super Bowl, the National Football League's (NFL) championship game. The winner is chosen by a fan vote during the game and by a panel of 16 American football writers and broadcasters who vote after the game. The media panel's ballots count for 80 percent of the vote tally, while the viewers' ballots make up the other 20 percent. The game's viewing audience can vote on the Internet or by using cellular phones; Super Bowl XXXV, held in 2001, was the first Super Bowl where fan voting was allowed.
Since the first Super Bowl was held in 1967, the MVP award has been given to 42 players. From 1967 to 1989, the Super Bowl MVP was presented by SPORT magazine. Bart Starr was the MVP of the first two Super Bowls. Since 1990, the award has been presented by the NFL. At Super Bowl XXV, the league first awarded the Pete Rozelle Trophy, named after the former NFL commissioner, to the Super Bowl MVP. Ottis Anderson was the first to win the trophy. The most recent Super Bowl MVP was Joe Flacco, the quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, who was named the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLVII, held on February 3, 2013.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame for professional football in the United States with an emphasis on the National Football League (NFL). The hall opened in Canton, Ohio, on September 7, 1963, with 17 charter enshrinees. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is unique among North American major league sports halls of fame in that officials are not inducted. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Hockey Hall of Fame have each inducted game officials as members.
Super Bowl XXIV was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1989 season. Played on January 28, 1990 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, the 49ers defeated the Broncos by the score of 55–10, winning their second consecutive Super Bowl, and tying the Pittsburgh Steelers with four Super Bowl victories. San Francisco also became the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls with two different head coaches; rookie head coach George Seifert took over after Bill Walsh retired after the previous season's Super Bowl.
The 49ers finished the 1989 regular season with a league best 14–2 record. The Broncos, who posted an 11–5 regular season record, entered the Super Bowl looking to avoid tying the Minnesota Vikings with four Super Bowl losses.
The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), the highest level of professional American football in the United States, culminating a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The Super Bowl uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather than the year in which it is held. For example, Super Bowl I was played on January 15, 1967, following the 1966 regular season, while Super Bowl XLVII was played on February 3, 2013, following the 2012 season.
The game was created as part of a merger agreement between the NFL and its then-rival league, the American Football League (AFL). It was agreed that the two leagues' champion teams would play in the AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the merger was to officially begin in 1970. After the merger, each league was redesignated as a "conference", and the game was then played between the conference champions. Currently, the National Football Conference (NFC) leads the league with 25 wins to 22 wins for the American Football Conference (AFC). The Pittsburgh Steelers hold the record for Super Bowl victories with six.
Super Bowl XXIX was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion San Diego Chargers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1994 season. The 49ers defeated the Chargers by the score of 49–26, becoming the first team to win five Super Bowls. The game was played on January 29, 1995 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida (now part of the suburb of Miami Gardens).
This game is regarded as 49ers quarterback Steve Young's final leap out of the shadow of his predecessor, Joe Montana, who had won four Super Bowls with the 49ers (in 1982, 1985, 1989, and 1990), two with Young as the backup quarterback. With Young at the helm, and a defense consisting of several veteran free agents that joined the team during the previous off-season, San Francisco finished the regular season with a league-best 13–3 record, and led the league in total points scored (505). The Chargers, on the other hand, were regarded as a "Cinderella" team, and advanced to their first Super Bowl after posting an 11–5 regular season record and overcoming halftime deficits in both their playoff wins.
Super Bowl XXII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins and American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1987 season. The Redskins defeated the Broncos by the score of 42–10, winning their second ever Super Bowl. The game was played on January 31, 1988 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California, the first time that the Super Bowl was played in that city.
This Super Bowl came at the end of a season that was shortened by a players' strike. Each team only missed one regular season game due to the labor dispute, but three games were played mostly with replacement players until the dispute was settled. The Broncos were making their second consecutive Super Bowl, and third overall appearance, after posting a 10–4–1 regular season record, largely through the strength of their quarterback John Elway. This would be the last time that a team with a tie in their regular season record would play in a Super Bowl until the 2012 San Francisco 49ers played in Super Bowl XLVII with a 11–4–1 record.