SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Montana, who still looks near his fighting weight, said he works out for 40 to 50 minutes a day.
The Hall of Famer draws the line, however, at the suggestion he should try keeping pace with ex-teammate Roger Craig, who regularly runs marathons.
"I'm dumb, but I'm not stupid," Montana cracked. "I don't know how he's doing it. It's crazy."
Whatever the fitness regimen, both former 49ers stars vow to be ready for one last gasp at their old home field on Saturday. The "Legends of Candlestick" flag football game features a roster of 49ers icons pitted against NFL All-Stars in what is being billed as the final game at the doomed stadium.
The 49ers' side also features Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Charles Haley, Dwight Clark, Tom Rathman and Dwight Hicks. Former owner Eddie DeBartolo will take part, too.
The All-Star side is heavy on players who have a score to settle with the drafty old yard. Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, who lost his only Super Bowl to Montana in 1985, is back for another shot. (The executive who extended the invitation to Marino said the Hall of Famer joked, "I have to lose to him again?")
There is also Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Munoz, who lost two Super Bowls to Montana, and Everson Walls, the Dallas Cowboys defensive back who was covering Clark when he made "The Catch" on Jan. 10, 1982.
"It's all about giving back to the fans and giving our last tribute to a great stadium," Craig said. "We won a lot of games here. We built our dynasty at this stadium."
This contest will look different from the 331 previous 49ers games at The 'Stick. It will be a nine-on-nine flag football affair, with frequent substitutions. Montana, for example, will start the game and finish it. In between, he will be spelled by Young and Jeff Garcia.
Montana participated in a similar event in 2001 when the Denver Broncos ushered out Mile High Stadium with a flag football game starring John Elway. Nearly 40,000 fans watched Elway's squad beat Montana's team 34-33.
"It starts out kind of fun, then as the game gets going it gets competitive," Montana said. "It gets kind of scary at the end, because everybody is trying to win -- and you're trying not to get hurt."
Craig said: "Trust me. It's not going to be an easy run in the park. We're going to go for it."
Marty Garafalo, the COO of Gameday Entertainment, expects the crowd count to reach 40,000.
Garafalo arranged the Mile High game, as well as an alumni baseball game featuring Pete Rose and other members of "The Big Red Machine" to close out Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.
The original idea for The 'Stick farewell was to pit San Francisco stars against a team of Dallas Cowboys. Montana was in favor of that plan, but Garafalo persuaded him to widen the net.
Garafalo called Marino. Montana reached out to Young, his old rival and the other half of the most famous quarterback controversy in NFL history.
"I thought that was important, and so did Joe," Garafalo said.
With the star quarterbacks in place, the rosters filled up quickly. Organizers even had to turn guys away. Garafalo said he got a late inquiry from Anthony Carter -- the former Minnesota Vikings receiver who pleaded his case for the game by pointing out the 227 receiving yards he once had in a playoff game at Candlestick Park.
But there were no roster spots left.
"We pay everybody almost equally -- maybe (Marino) is making a few more dollars -- but a lot of these guys would come for free," Garafalo said. "They look at it as a reunion weekend. It's just a who's who."
Quarterback Steve Bono will serve as the player/coach for the 49ers. Quarterback Dave Krieg will handle that role for the All-Stars.
Marino, 52, set the record book ablaze in 1984 by throwing for 48 touchdowns and 5,084 yards. He, and not Montana, was the most ballyhooed passer in the days leading up to Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium. Instead, Montana threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns and Craig scored three touchdowns as the 49ers rolled to a 38-16 victory.
"I think Dan Marino is going to be motivated to beat us because we made him look so bad," Craig said. "He had a hell of a year that year -- those were just crazy numbers back then.
"But (all the hype) ticked off our defense, and they took it upon themselves to prove that we have a pretty good defense, too."
Craig, 54, still runs 45 to 50 miles per week. He has run more than 25 marathons. But he said nothing compares with the thrill of running alongside Montana.
"This is like a dream come true," Craig said. "You want to just do it one more time."
Follow Daniel Brown on Twitter at twitter.com/mercbrownie.
What: A nine-on-nine celebrity
flag-football game to serve as the
NFL finale at Candlestick Park.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday.
Who: 49ers alumni vs. NFL All-Stars.
Tickets: $30, $40 or $50 at
Legends of Candlestick notables: Joe Montana (shown), Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Roger Craig, Dwight Clark, Ronnie Lott, Brent Jones, Charles Haley, John Taylor, Tom Rathman, Jeff Garcia.
NFL All-Stars notables: Dan Marino,
Tim Brown, Rod Woodson, Drew Bledsoe, James Lofton, Eric Allen, Dave Krieg.