Joe Montana: The best quarterback ever

Posted on September 28, 2009

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana poses for a portrait at his home in Atherton, California on January 12, 2000. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Sometimes when we are busy photographing a truly special athlete or a spectacular team we don’t take the time to stop and really appreciate the greatness in front of our camera lens. Often, many years need to pass before we can truly reflect back on a time and realize how lucky we were to witness an era of greatness. This is how I feel about having the special privilege of photographing Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers during their glory years from 1986 through the mid-90s.

Quarterback Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers stands on the sidelines during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1986. Photo by Brad Mangin

Quarterback Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers stands on the sidelines during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California in 1986. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

I was a photojournalism student at San Jose State when I got my first chance to photograph the best quarterback ever and his team. For the next few years I continued photographing Joe and the Niners whenever I could during a time when I worked for the Contra Costa Times, The National Sports Daily and The Associated Press.

Even back then, I knew he was a great player and I shot a fair amount of photos of him and the team. Yet in hindsight, I wish I had shot far more of those beautiful chromes of Joe dropping back to pass in the beautiful Candlestick light from corner of the end zone.

It’s easy, now, to look back on my work and say that I wish shot more. But what can I say? I was young.

Quarterback Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers signals for a touchdown during Super Bowl XXIV against the Denver Broncos at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana in January of 1990. Photo by Brad Mangin

Quarterback Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers signals for a touchdown during Super Bowl XXIV against the Denver Broncos at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana in January of 1990. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

What Others Are Saying

  1. Dustin October 13, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    The b&w shot of Montana is absolutely epic. Inspiration for every event I shoot going forward. Thanks.

  2. Mark Hawk October 25, 2013 at 7:57 am

    It would be my life”s wish to meet a great quaterback like him

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