For those who are promoting Joe Montana as the top quarterback in football history, I say balderdash. Through the years, I have had the opportunity of watching in person all the top quarterbacks since Y.A. Tittle.
Are we to forget about Graham, Layne, Unitas, Griese, Staubach, Dawson, Starr, Bradshaw, Theismann, Brodie, Kilmer, Morrall, Jurgensen and on and on?
Before people go off half-cocked, let them not forget that football didn't begin in the 1980s. Each of these players had their individual talents, playing real football under real conditions. Joe Montana is a master of the underneath pass. He is also the master of the kneel down, the slide, the step-out-of-bounds, with rules which protect him from harm.
For those who had the pleasure of watching the above and more, most would agree that John Unitas, the man with the Golden Arm, tops the list. He tops the list because he was tough as nails and could take all the punishment the opposing players gave him, still completing the pass. He could accomplish the task under all conditions. He could turn upfield upon approaching the sidelines. He could place the ball perfectly, time after time, into Ray Berry's hands. He was truly a football player first, a quarterback second, harder on himself than anyone in the media.
Joe Montana is a very good quarterback with a great supporting cast. He rates in the top 20 of this half century. Number one? No way.