Quite the Catch

Montana's Excellence

TUES 11/29

In the 1980s, you could find mural-size photographs of 49ers quarterback Joe Montana in the atriums of downtown banks: San Francisco truly loved him. He retired in the mid-1990s, so it's been a while since those giant portraits came down. But here's the thing about Montana: He won all the time. Known as the go-to guy when we were down and the fourth quarter loomed large, he maintained a famous sang-froid (sports fans called him "Joe Cool") that enabled a calm in the midst of chaos. The upshot was plays like "The Catch," a short pass into the end zone that gave S.F. an NFC championship in 1981 with less than a minute to spare.

Compared to today's sports stars, Montana reads a little bland, to be honest. OK, to be completely honest, he was always on the boring side -- no drugs, girlfriend troubles, flashy spending habits, or club hops. The only thing to admire about the guy was all that winning. The three-time Super Bowl MVP reads from his new book, The Winning Spirit: 16 Timeless Principles That Drive Performance Excellence, at 7 p.m. at Borders Union Square, 400 Post (at Powell), S.F. Admission is free; call 399-1633 or visit www.bordersstores.com. Note that he'll sign books but not memorabilia.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

Get Hungry
Race the dunes

THURS 11/24

Running on the beach is no easy feat. First, there's the shit, dog and otherwise. Then there's the lumpy surface, afflicting muscles you never thought you owned. And you might pique the instinct of a feral surfer, who, since you're already running, may give chase. But competitors in the 2005 Turkey Beach Trot get to travel in costume, so it can't be all bad. Come dressed as the bird you plan to eat for the six-mile run, or don your favorite black smock, massage your chin, and stroll meditatively down the three-mile Pilgrim Promenade.

Pick up your bibs at 6:45 a.m. (the race starts at 8) at Ocean Beach, Great Highway & Balboa, S.F. Registration is $27, but spectating is free; visit www.turkeybeachtrot.com.
-- Michael Leaverton

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