Joe Montana and Dan Marino haven't met on a football field since the Super Bowl on Jan. 20, 1985. That's 10 years, and both Pennsylvania boys are still around.
On Saturday, they'll introduce themselves as opposing quarterbacks in an AFC wild-card game when the 38-year-old Montana leads Kansas City against Miami and the 33-year-old Marino at Joe Robbie Stadium.The last time they met, Montana led the San Francisco 49ers to a 38-16 victory over the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX. Their teams have met since, but one or the other has been injured, including a 45-28 victory by Miami on Dec. 12 that Montana missed.
"I thought I'd definitely be back to the Super Bowl before, um, before, um . . ." Marino said, his voice trailing off in embarrassment. "Well, I haven't been back."
In the NFC wild-card playoff Saturday, Detroit is at Green Bay. Then, on Sunday, it's New England at Cleveland in the AFC and Chicago at Minnesota in the NFC.
When Miami beat Kansas City this season, Marino threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns. The victory helped the Dolphins win the AFC East title for only the second time since 1986.
Miami won the AFC East with a 10-6 record, while Kansas City came out of the AFC West as a wild-card with a 9-7 record.
Lions (9-7) at Packers (9-7)
Both teams came out of the NFC Central as wild cards, so there are no strangers here. They split the season series, with Green Bay winning 38-30 at Milwaukee on Nov. 6 and Detroit winning 34-31 at home on Dec. 4.
That, of course, was before Sterling Sharpe was injured.
Sharpe, the Packers' magnificent wide receiver, will require surgery to fuse two vertebrae in his neck as the result of a condition that came on gradually over the season. He's out for the season, perhaps much longer.
Sharpe's 314 receptions in the last three seasons is unmatched, and he's the first player in the 75-year history of the NFL with consecutive 100-reception seasons.
This will be the fifth time the Lions and Packers have met in 1994.
The Lions defeated Green Bay last Jan. 2 to win the NFC Central, and one week later, the Packers returned to Detroit and knocked the Lions out of the playoffs.