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Playing the Field: Nate Montana, Joe Montana's son, wants to play in the NFL - Metro US

Playing the Field: Nate Montana, Joe Montana’s son, wants to play in the NFL

Nate Montana tried to follow in dad's footsteps already at Notre Dame. It didn't work out. Nate Montana tried to follow in dad’s footsteps once already at Notre Dame. It didn’t work out.

One of the best phrases of all-time, which holds true in nearly every walk of life: “You never want to be the guy to follow THE GUY.”

This phrase rings true in most family structures in addition to professional environments. As fun as being Billy Madison is, you really don’t want to be Billy Madison when all is written. You want to be Billy Madison’s dad. You want to be the creator, the innovator, the guy who gets the credit, the guy who gets the good lookin’ gal, the guy who built the dream.

That’s why, contrary to most reports, it sucks to be Nate Montana.

Nate is the son of legendary 49ers quarterback Joe Montana and, of course, he has big dreams of following in daddy’s footsteps. Save for members of the Manning family, this plan rarely works out.

Nate chucked the ball around Cowboys Stadium on Monday as part of the NFL Super Regional Combine, with NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks calling Jr. Cool (bad ass name he should already be using) a “long shot.”

“It’s going to be hard for him to transition to the next level,” Brooks said. “His passes don’t have zip. He has difficulty making pro throws.”

While the sports geek in me wants to combat Mr. Brooks and say foolish things like, “Yeah, that’s what they said about Tom Brady, idiot,” and “I can’t recall the last time a Super Bowl quarterback won due to having the best ‘zip,’” Mr. Brooks is probably right. I’m guessing Nate will be waking up hungover as hell at the crack of noon at the Montana family pool come late April instead of spending countless hours learning an NFL playbook.

In fairness, Nate Montana did have a decent Division II college career. He led the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in passing last season with 2,480 yards and 19 touchdowns while the starter for West Virginia Wesleyan, a school that boasts just over 1,400 students (but the tailgate scene is amazing.)

The worst thing that could happen to Nate going forward is some NFL team inviting him to camp just because he’s Joe Montana’s son. If Nate actually earns a spot, well, then, great.

Maybe the motivation here is Nate Montana’s need for daddy’s approval (shocker). We know that Joe Cool can be a little ornery at times and we know thathe doesn’t really appreciate underdog stories like that of former teammate Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger.

So maybe Nate just wants to stick it to No. 16? Good luck, Jr. Cool, we’ll be rootin’ for ya.

Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS

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