Barring another improbable comeback, Joe Montana will miss Monday night's farewell to Candlestick Park.
The Hall of Fame quarterback said Thursday that family commitments make it "most likely" he will be elsewhere at the time of the game against the Atlanta Falcons, the last scheduled game at the 49ers' home since 1971.
Montana is headed to the New Orleans Bowl on Saturday to watch his son, Nick, quarterback Tulane against Louisiana-Lafayette. After that, he said, his family -- including his four children -- will be together for three days for Christmas.
"To be (at the last game) would take as much as a day-and-a-half of that, so most likely I will not be there Monday night," he said Thursday.
Instead, Montana joined a conference call with Bay Area reporters to discuss his home field from 1979-92. Like many other 49ers, he called the goodbye to Candlestick Park "bittersweet."
"You have so many memories there," the three-time Super Bowl MVP said, "but I don't think it was the best place for fans to watch a game."
Montana, 57, recalled the soggy turf, cramped locker rooms and the whipping winds that could blow dirt into his eye right before a play.
"On the whole, the biggest problem was the wind," he said. "You never knew where it was coming from."
In reminiscing Thursday, he laughingly recalled one of his worst crunch-time decisions at the stadium. He attended Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between the Giants and A's. When the earthquake struck, Montana's wife, Jennifer, wanted to leave immediately, in part because they also had Nate, who was only 2 weeks old at the time.
"I said, 'No, let's stay. I want to watch the game,'" Montana said. "We wound up spending hours and hours in the parking lot. I still get grief about that today."
Follow Daniel Brown on Twitter at twitter.com/mercbrownie.