In this revealing, in-depth look at the NFL's greatest quarterback controversy, Adam Lazarus takes readers into the locker room and inside the huddle to deliver the real story behind the rivalry—when Joe Montana and Steve Young battled on and off the field and forged one of the finest football dynasties of all time. From 1987 to 1994, the two future Hall of Famers spurred each other on to remarkable heights, including three Super Bowl wins and four MVP awards, and set new standards for quarterback excellence.
The two men couldn't have been more different in background, personality, and playing style, and their competition created as much tension as it did greatness, forcing Montana to prove that he was still the game's best quarterback and Young to prove that he was a worthy successor.
Featuring candid interviews with Montana, Young, Jerry Rice, George Seifert, and many more, Best of Rivals brings to life the story of two sports legends, the golden era of football their rivalry presided over, and the amazing legacy it produced.
A younger generation of pro football fans might argue that the subtitle of this richly detailed history of two vastly different quarterbacks leans toward hyperbole. But between 1987 and 1993, Joe Montana and Steve Young both future Hall of Famers who played for the San Francisco 49ers during its dynasty years starred in a weekly drama on and off the field. Montana, whose grace under pressure earned him the nickname "Joe Cool," joined the team as a rookie in 1979. Despite leading San Francisco to four Super Bowl titles, Montana suffered frequent head, shoulder, and elbow injuries that jeopardized his career. After a major back problem sidelined Montana, the 49ers acquired Young from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987. A resilient Montana kept bouncing back to the starter's role, bitterly frustrating Young and fueling a sometimes not-so-amicable rivalry that drove both men to become better players. Montana eventually was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993; Young took the 49ers to his first and only Super Bowl in 1994. Lazarus (Chasing Greatness: Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, and the Miracle at Oakmont) relies on detailed game accounts from the period, as well as interviews with both quarterbacks, and former teammates and coaches to capture this one-of-a-kind quarterback controversy. 16 pages of b&w photos.