Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Everyone nowadays has an opinion on the New England Patriots and whether they should be considered cheaters, for various reasons. Everyone except Joe Montana, that is.
The Hall of Fame quarterback was asked Thursday about the Patriots’ reputation and whether it’s unfair to question what they’ve accomplished based on suspicions. Montana cracked a joke, likely to avoid answering the question, and basically provided the most useless take of all time.
But hey, it’s Montana — Tom Brady’s boyhood idol and one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history — so we’d be remiss if we didn’t share his conversation with NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano.
So here goes:
Siciliano: Are you at all suspect of what the Patriots have done over the years, and is it wrong to question what they’ve done?
Montana (laughing): They always say “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.” So they’re trying hard.
Siciliano: Are they cheating hard or are they trying hard is the question.
Montana (again laughing): Could be both.
OK, so one could interpret that as Montana suggesting the Patriots cheat. Whatever. He wouldn’t be the first person to express such, and even though he is the great Joe Montana, so what?
But it’s important to have the full context of the conversation — Siciliano’s questions and Montana’s responses — because it was fairly obvious Montana was uncomfortable with the line of questioning. To say something along the lines of “Montana thinks the Patriots cheat” would be inaccurate, as he never actually said that despite however you want to interpret his weird exchange.
Plus, Montana previously said Brady’s alleged involvement in Deflategate was “no big deal,” so it really sounds like he doesn’t have a dog in the fight and just would prefer to address other topics.
Nevertheless, the conversation continued and became much broader.
Siciliano: Where is the line? How difficult is it to know where the line is?
Montana (yet again laughing): Well, they have this thing called “the rule book” and if you step outside the rule book, you’re fudging it a little bit.
Again, take that however you want. Montana went on to say that some of his former offensive line teammates used to spray silicone on their jerseys — “and everybody did” — so that it was more difficult for defensive linemen to grab hold of them. One would imagine such antics fall under Montana’s “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying” umbrella.
For a perfect snapshot of Montana’s indecisiveness Thursday, look no further than his response to whether he’d rather have Brady or Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers right now.
“Push comes to shove, I’ll take them both,” he said amid his answer.
Sounds like a deep roster.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana
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