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As long as football is played, Joe Montana will be synonymous with the heart-pounding rally. Seemingly impervious to the pressure of a scoreboard deficit, the quarterback known as Joe Cool brought a steadying calm to every huddle, especially when the situation seemed especially dire. His reputation for miracles began to take root at the University of Notre Dame. In the 197 As long as football is played, Joe Montana will be synonymous with the heart-pounding rally. Seemingly impervious to the pressure of a scoreboard deficit, the quarterback known as Joe Cool brought a steadying calm to every huddle, especially when the situation seemed especially dire. His reputation for miracles began to take root at the University of Notre Dame. In the 1979 Cotton Bowl, he overcame the flu, hypothermia and a 22-point deficit to lead the Fighting Irish to a stunning victory over Houston. This narrative continued in the NFL, as he engineered 31 fourth-quarter comebacks, including victories known in professional football lore as The Catch and The Drive, forever casting his career in a heroic glow. In MONTANA, acclaimed author Keith Dunnavant sketches the definitive portrait of a man who repeatedly defied the odds, on and off the field. While leading the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl championships over a nine-year period, establishing a new standard for passing efficiency, and twice earning the league's Most Valuable Player award, Montana became the signature quarterback of the 1980s and one of the greatest ever to play the game. Overcoming his own limitations, which caused him to be underrated coming out of Notre Dame, he quickly mastered Bill Walsh's West Coast Offense, and thereby, helped reinvent offensive football. But it was rarely easy. Like the rallies he so often produced, his life was filled with the sort of tension that made his journey seem routinely dramatic: The father who pushed him. The high school coach who challenged his commitment. The college coach who very nearly squandered him. The back surgery that almost ended his career. The younger athlete who tried to take his job. Rich an anecdotal detail, insight and context, MONTANA is a powerful story about a man who was defined by his intense competitiveness, and how this intangible helped him become one of the ionic figures in football history.


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As long as football is played, Joe Montana will be synonymous with the heart-pounding rally. Seemingly impervious to the pressure of a scoreboard deficit, the quarterback known as Joe Cool brought a steadying calm to every huddle, especially when the situation seemed especially dire. His reputation for miracles began to take root at the University of Notre Dame. In the 197 As long as football is played, Joe Montana will be synonymous with the heart-pounding rally. Seemingly impervious to the pressure of a scoreboard deficit, the quarterback known as Joe Cool brought a steadying calm to every huddle, especially when the situation seemed especially dire. His reputation for miracles began to take root at the University of Notre Dame. In the 1979 Cotton Bowl, he overcame the flu, hypothermia and a 22-point deficit to lead the Fighting Irish to a stunning victory over Houston. This narrative continued in the NFL, as he engineered 31 fourth-quarter comebacks, including victories known in professional football lore as The Catch and The Drive, forever casting his career in a heroic glow. In MONTANA, acclaimed author Keith Dunnavant sketches the definitive portrait of a man who repeatedly defied the odds, on and off the field. While leading the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl championships over a nine-year period, establishing a new standard for passing efficiency, and twice earning the league's Most Valuable Player award, Montana became the signature quarterback of the 1980s and one of the greatest ever to play the game. Overcoming his own limitations, which caused him to be underrated coming out of Notre Dame, he quickly mastered Bill Walsh's West Coast Offense, and thereby, helped reinvent offensive football. But it was rarely easy. Like the rallies he so often produced, his life was filled with the sort of tension that made his journey seem routinely dramatic: The father who pushed him. The high school coach who challenged his commitment. The college coach who very nearly squandered him. The back surgery that almost ended his career. The younger athlete who tried to take his job. Rich an anecdotal detail, insight and context, MONTANA is a powerful story about a man who was defined by his intense competitiveness, and how this intangible helped him become one of the ionic figures in football history.

30 review for Montana: The Biography of Football's Joe Cool

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tom Gase

    Pretty good, but a rare time for me when I wish the book was a little longer, maybe another 75 pages. I feel the first half of this book on Joe Montana is great, but it doesn't seem to get too detailed with games or his personal life at all. It's almost like a cliff-note version of his life and too short at around 290 pages, but begins talking about his NFL career around page 90. It's not bad at all and I liked reading about and remembering some big games and years in his career. There are a lot Pretty good, but a rare time for me when I wish the book was a little longer, maybe another 75 pages. I feel the first half of this book on Joe Montana is great, but it doesn't seem to get too detailed with games or his personal life at all. It's almost like a cliff-note version of his life and too short at around 290 pages, but begins talking about his NFL career around page 90. It's not bad at all and I liked reading about and remembering some big games and years in his career. There are a lot of books on Montana, but not as detailed. Maybe if there was another 20 pages written about the game where Dwight Clark made "The Catch" and another 5-10 pages on Montana's years from 1988-1990 as well as another 10 pages on his life playing with Kansas City, then I might have given this book five stars. It's pretty good, but winds up just short of being a classic. Good stuff and I will look forward to reading other books by the author.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    “Unlike many of his teammate, he did not approach the game as an outlet for his boyish aggression. The chance to hit somebody was not what made him tick. A rather timid player who tried to avoid contact, he earned playing time by the projection of his athletic skills and a widely admired competitive streak. Even then, the coaches and players could see how much he hated to lose.” Coming from a collection of sports based books such as: The Missing Ring, Time Out and The 50 Year Seduction. Keith Dun “Unlike many of his teammate, he did not approach the game as an outlet for his boyish aggression. The chance to hit somebody was not what made him tick. A rather timid player who tried to avoid contact, he earned playing time by the projection of his athletic skills and a widely admired competitive streak. Even then, the coaches and players could see how much he hated to lose.” Coming from a collection of sports based books such as: The Missing Ring, Time Out and The 50 Year Seduction. Keith Dunnavant explodes with a heartbreaking, heart racing auto biography that allows us readers to experience, at firsthand what it was like to be the arguably greatest quarterback in NFL history. Set in the 1970s through to the 1990s, Montana spreads the tale of a young man, whose only dream was to play football. Growing up, no matter how hard his father pushed him and no matter how well he performed, he was always looked past. He wasn’t big enough, he wasn’t fast enough, and he had no athletic ability. Through his childhood, to receiving an athletic scholarship the Notre Dame University, through to his NFL career, Montana give the readers a first person view on a true underdog story. A story like no other, Montana is a must read for all the sports loving readers out there. For those non-fiction lovers out there who enjoy love, drama, and excitement, Montana is a perfect blend of all three. From its intense game descriptions to its moments of motivation and inspiration, Montana is a piece of art, in the form of a book. Unlike many other Autobiography’s that focus only one the main character. Montana develops around NFL hall of fame player Joe Montana, as well as his hard headed Coach Bill Walsh. Not only is the books based around the players but it also explains the changes and innovation that was brought to the NFL in the years 1970 to 1990, allowing readers the full backstage pass on how things really went down. In my personal opinion, it was like watching a series of sports game, through reading the book. Dunnavant used such q specific yet easy to understand dialogue, that I could almost picture the whole book in my head, like a movie. There was almost no flaws in the book. From the very in depth setting down to the in depth, Specific plot and characterization. It was almost as if I was watching a movie, while reading the book. The mood portrayed by the author was a general pity for Joe. While reading “Montana” I couldn't help but feel sorry for Joe. He worked so hard and push his mind and body to the limit in order to be the best, but was still being doubted and looked down on. A very strong theme was that Joe was his own worst enemy. No matter how hard he worked, he was always the one to break himself down. He was too hard on himself and was usually the main reason for his mistakes. Out of 5 stars, I would give Montana a solid 4 out of 5 due to its interesting writing style and exciting plot development. i would recommend this book to the 14+ age group only because of the fact that some of the content is not appropriate for younger ages. Also although the writing style in easy to follow and understand, younger ages will probably not enjoy or appreciate the actually meaning behind the book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gabe Yattaw

    Keith Dunnavant's 'Montana: The Biography of Football's Joe Cool' is a very well written story about Joe Montana, the legendary NFL Quarterback, who played for the San Francisco 49ers, as well as the Kansas City Chiefs. Dunnavant's story details Montana's life, from a very early stage, and offers an even deeper view into what his life was like. He describes the setting, as well as some of the history of where he was born and raised, and goes on to explain some of the more detailed aspects of lif Keith Dunnavant's 'Montana: The Biography of Football's Joe Cool' is a very well written story about Joe Montana, the legendary NFL Quarterback, who played for the San Francisco 49ers, as well as the Kansas City Chiefs. Dunnavant's story details Montana's life, from a very early stage, and offers an even deeper view into what his life was like. He describes the setting, as well as some of the history of where he was born and raised, and goes on to explain some of the more detailed aspects of life during this time, focusing especially on what school was like, and how it affected Montana's career. He continues on, and describes what Joe's life was like as he progressed through college, where his legend began, and his professional football career, which he is most known for. Obviously, throughout the story, Dunnavant centers on Montana, as well as those who had a major influence on his career and life. Dunnavant not only does an excellent job of giving the readers an idea of what Montana's early life was like, but also helps them understand what he went through as an adult. He acknowledges what pushed Montana throughout his career, which was his competitiveness, and explains how it drove him as an athlete. Overall, I think that Dunnavant did an excellent job telling the story of Montana's life, especially considering that he not only told the story of his college and pro football life, but also incorporated facts about him from an early age. If I were to recommend this story to anyone, it would be to those who know who Joe Montana is, and would like to learn more about him, and how he came to be the legend that he is today. This is not a story for the average football fan.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paul Kapellas

    Keith Dunnavant has a horrific case of ADD. In his attempt to add drama to an already highly dramatic non-fiction story he dilutes the process and creates frustration by jumping around the actual story line and adding anecdotes that leave you wondering where you're headed. The payoffs from the constant strays from the story have no pay-off and just come across as an attempt to create a highly dramatic narrative. As the book continues Dunnavant drops the dramatic bit and relies heavily on the org Keith Dunnavant has a horrific case of ADD. In his attempt to add drama to an already highly dramatic non-fiction story he dilutes the process and creates frustration by jumping around the actual story line and adding anecdotes that leave you wondering where you're headed. The payoffs from the constant strays from the story have no pay-off and just come across as an attempt to create a highly dramatic narrative. As the book continues Dunnavant drops the dramatic bit and relies heavily on the organic story and uses the games/Super bowls to push the bio narrative forward. As a reader you can sink comfortably back into the actual story of Montana without much resistance. You can even begin to appreciate the small added historical references to the times that the narrative is in. This saves the book but not before a few strays again at the end. All-in-all this is the best biography of Joe Montana on shelves. It gives you insight into his childhood and the town of his youth, the detail of his career and what made him "Joe Montana" and rounds up part of his retirement and family life. It does leave room for a more thorough biography to be written one day but will do for now.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Luke Koran

    Joe Montana - a name revered by millions of football fans whether they witnessed any or all of his countless near-miraculous comebacks as they happened during his legendary professional career or not. Writer Keith Dunnavant attempts to create the complete picture of Joe Montana the player and the person in this 2015 biography, though it appears that those who saw Joe Cool actually play the game were his key demographic and were best placed to benefit from this relatively concise book. Regardless Joe Montana - a name revered by millions of football fans whether they witnessed any or all of his countless near-miraculous comebacks as they happened during his legendary professional career or not. Writer Keith Dunnavant attempts to create the complete picture of Joe Montana the player and the person in this 2015 biography, though it appears that those who saw Joe Cool actually play the game were his key demographic and were best placed to benefit from this relatively concise book. Regardless of whether one is familiar with Montana’s accomplishments (aside from his four Super Bowl rings), the reader should come away with a newfound appreciation of what quarterbacks went through in the old millennium, in particular Joe’s actions under pain and pressure. The saving grace came with the final chapter, as it proved to be a fascinating conclusion to Montana’s tale and gave me one of my most satisfying endings to any biography I have ever read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Meranda

    Seriously this book is a 3 star book based on the fact that I don't care for the authors writing style and injecting a ton of historical information not necessarily specific to Joe, but relevant. I gave it 4 stars because IT'S JOE MONTANA. Period. Seriously this book is a 3 star book based on the fact that I don't care for the authors writing style and injecting a ton of historical information not necessarily specific to Joe, but relevant. I gave it 4 stars because IT'S JOE MONTANA. Period.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vern Wolfley

    A great biography about one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. I enjoyed the flashbacks to the great games and the memories it brought back. I would have enjoyed learning more about Joe Montana and his life outside of football, more on Joe himself.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Great read about the greatest quarterback to ever play the game! The only drawback is the author didn't talk about Joe Montana much outside of the game of football. Would have liked to learn about life after football as well. Great read about the greatest quarterback to ever play the game! The only drawback is the author didn't talk about Joe Montana much outside of the game of football. Would have liked to learn about life after football as well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Stetz

    I would of never guessed Huey Lewis would be in a book about Joe Montana as much as he was. It was a solid biography.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jim Swike

    A very good biography of one of the best QBs ever to play in the NFL. I would have enjoyed more insights from Joe himself. Enjoy!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brett Drzewiecki

    “Unlike many of his teammate, he did not approach the game as an outlet for his boyish aggression. The chance to hit somebody was not what made him tick. A rather timid player who tried to avoid contact, he earned playing time by the projection of his athletic skills and a widely admired competitive streak. Even then, the coaches and players could see how much he hated to lose.” This quote perfectly describes Joe's entire football career. He never took the game for granted, he enjoyed every littl “Unlike many of his teammate, he did not approach the game as an outlet for his boyish aggression. The chance to hit somebody was not what made him tick. A rather timid player who tried to avoid contact, he earned playing time by the projection of his athletic skills and a widely admired competitive streak. Even then, the coaches and players could see how much he hated to lose.” This quote perfectly describes Joe's entire football career. He never took the game for granted, he enjoyed every little piece of it and made sure that he played the game perfectly, unlike the other kids who were just trying to hit as hard as they could. His hatred of losing drove him to becoming one of the most respected quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. Whenever he was in a tricky situation, down two scores late in the 4th quarter he summoned the pure talent within him and was able to lead his team to victory. Whenever the odds were stacked against him, he always found a way to pull through.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    2015 is a brutal year to be a SF 49ers fan. This book will remind you why you are. I'm typing this review while wearing my tattered #16 Joe Montana jersey. He's the reason I started watching, loving football. I think he's probably the reason MANY people started watching football. If you love the game of football, you'll love this book...simply because it's not just a biography of a phenomenal athlete, but also of the development of the game during his days of playing. This is not a deeply person 2015 is a brutal year to be a SF 49ers fan. This book will remind you why you are. I'm typing this review while wearing my tattered #16 Joe Montana jersey. He's the reason I started watching, loving football. I think he's probably the reason MANY people started watching football. If you love the game of football, you'll love this book...simply because it's not just a biography of a phenomenal athlete, but also of the development of the game during his days of playing. This is not a deeply personal biography, mainly due to the fact that Joe Montana is a very private person. You won't know his preferred aftershave or where he went to church as a kid or favorite foods. It's a biography of his football life with the public record portions added in. Mr. Dunnavant did a brilliant job of interviewing people connected with Joe Montana and narrating the pivotal games he played. In fact, reading the game play by plays, I was able to see them clearly in my head and my pulse rate actually went up. I know it did. Mostly because I was holding my breath on games I knew the outcome of ALREADY! It was that good. I'm recommending this book to my football friends...yes, even those who are Cowboys or Patriots fans. And every Niners fan should have it on their shelf, if for no other reason than to remind them of why they wear the red and gold on game day. I received the book in a Goodreads giveaway, but I'd pay good money to own it anyway, folks.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hal

    I had the pleasure of living in the Bay Area in the transition of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana making the 49ers one of football's super dynasties. It was a magical time back then and all that success sprouting from all that history of defeat. The debates that rage over who was the best quarterback of all time I think is rather pointless. Each of the greats did great things for their era and it should be left at that. This book covers the career of one of those greats and it is quite a story. I wou I had the pleasure of living in the Bay Area in the transition of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana making the 49ers one of football's super dynasties. It was a magical time back then and all that success sprouting from all that history of defeat. The debates that rage over who was the best quarterback of all time I think is rather pointless. Each of the greats did great things for their era and it should be left at that. This book covers the career of one of those greats and it is quite a story. I would have liked a bit more focus on his personal life than the detailed play by play it went into. But on balance it covered Joe well and uncovered some of the difficult things he dealt with. One thing that can never be debated about Montana was the value of his quiet understated leadership and ability to deliver.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jackmiles

    Montana, by Keith Dunnavant, was a well written biography of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana. It explained a lot about his life, went into good detail, and made it very interesting to read. It was cool learning about Joe Montana's life off the field as well as on. For example, Joe couldn't even go to the store to buy a loaf of bread without people asking for his autograph! Also it started from the time he was born up until the current date the book was written instead of just his NFL career Montana, by Keith Dunnavant, was a well written biography of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana. It explained a lot about his life, went into good detail, and made it very interesting to read. It was cool learning about Joe Montana's life off the field as well as on. For example, Joe couldn't even go to the store to buy a loaf of bread without people asking for his autograph! Also it started from the time he was born up until the current date the book was written instead of just his NFL career. I recommend this book to anyone who likes football, the 49ers, and obviously Joe Montana. In addition, this book is good for anyone who likes interesting biographies.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    Well-written account of the career of Joe Montana. The book stakes a claim for Joe Cool as the greatest of all time, without ever requiring you to agree or not. If you think he's the greater, the book speaks to why. If you think Brady is better (c'mon, it's either Brady or Montana; nobody else), the book reminds you why you might be wrong. And most importantly, if you simply watched him play, knew he was great, and couldn't care less about "#1 all time", this book relishes in the memories. Well-written account of the career of Joe Montana. The book stakes a claim for Joe Cool as the greatest of all time, without ever requiring you to agree or not. If you think he's the greater, the book speaks to why. If you think Brady is better (c'mon, it's either Brady or Montana; nobody else), the book reminds you why you might be wrong. And most importantly, if you simply watched him play, knew he was great, and couldn't care less about "#1 all time", this book relishes in the memories.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I give this book 4.5 stars. Although it is not an authorized biography, I learned a lot about my favorite quarterback from this book. I appreciated that the author focused on things beyond the football field, including the economic and social climates in western Pennsylvania and the Bay Area while Joe Montana was living in those places. I also think this book does a great job of examining the evolution of the game of football.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Videoclimber(AKA)MTsLilSis

    I love Joe Montana and am a huge fan, but this book was disappointing. I was expecting a biography but what I got was some of how Montana effected the game of football, along with antidotes on others. Joe's family life was almost an afterthought. I personally would not call this a biography. Maybe a better title would have been "Montana and how he changed football". I feel such a great player is worthy of a better written biography. This one is for football fans only. I love Joe Montana and am a huge fan, but this book was disappointing. I was expecting a biography but what I got was some of how Montana effected the game of football, along with antidotes on others. Joe's family life was almost an afterthought. I personally would not call this a biography. Maybe a better title would have been "Montana and how he changed football". I feel such a great player is worthy of a better written biography. This one is for football fans only.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    A biography with several non-sequiturs that disrupted the flow, and an overall rough and disconnected feel. Interesting because Montana is an interesting man, but I'm convinced there has to be a better biography out there on him. A biography with several non-sequiturs that disrupted the flow, and an overall rough and disconnected feel. Interesting because Montana is an interesting man, but I'm convinced there has to be a better biography out there on him.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lars

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tom Espinoza

  21. 5 out of 5

    Clinton Ellis

  22. 5 out of 5

    Orlando

  23. 5 out of 5

    Curtis Moore

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kevin H. Janssen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nick Allen

  27. 5 out of 5

    Doug

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mark Kujawa

  29. 4 out of 5

    Toby Fettig

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chad

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