Joe Montana made a name for himself as the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980s, but his time at Notre Dame is something he will never forget. This football season, Guinness is the official beer of Notre Dame Fighting Irish alumni and fans, and Montana, who played for Notre Dame from 1974-78, is the face of the partnership. He can be seen in various TV spots this season, and PopCulture.com had a chance to talk to Montana about the commercials and his love for Guinness.
"The connection was there," Montana said. "I don't know if they really understood until we actually had a conversation. I actually fell in love with Guinness while I was in Dublin. My daughters and my wife were jumping horses. The horse park over here at that time was crazy. We were over in Ireland to look for some jumping horses and one of the girls' trainers said to me 'We going to go get a pint of Guinness after this.' And I'm going 'OK.' So we get there, we go to the pub. He goes up and orders the Guinness and he comes back and he doesn't have anything when he returns.'"
Montana continues: "'Where's the beer?' The trainer says, 'You gotta wait for it.' And I go ''What do you mean?' And he said, 'It takes a perfect pour to get it done.' When the beer came, it was well worth the wait. Every day when we were over there, I kept saying 'Charlie, Time for a pint, buddy. Let's go.'" Montana went on to say that it made sense for Notre Dame and Guinness to join forces because of what the two stand for.
"You add in Notre Dame and you look at the two and wonder why it's taken so long to get together because of the things they have in common," he said, noting "their values and tradition that goes along with it. Right now they're looking for ways to make the world a better place for all of us. It just made a lot of sense, the combination of the two in the beginning. I'm just happy and proud to be a part of it."
Montana said they have some commercials coming with one set to release when Notre Dame faces Clemson this Saturday. While at Notre Dame, Montana was part of the team that won the National Championship in 1977. And while Montana wanted to play in the NFL, playing for one of the top college programs of all-time was a lifelong dream.
"It's always fun," Montana said when talking about being able to work with his alma mater. "Notre Dame was a dream of mine. Yeah, it was a dream to go to the NFL and have a chance to play but it really started off with Notre Dame. When I was a kid growing up in Western Pennsylvania, there was a lot of people from that area that were going to Notre Dame. Obviously, playing sports all my life, Notre Dame was on Saturdays back then almost every weekend. Sundays again on the replay. It was just one of those things at the time it was a dream to go there. Anytime, looking back at Notre Dame really is pretty special to me and the time that I had there."