Montana Town Changed it’s Name to Joe in Honor of Football Legend
I was born and raised outside of Kansas City, Missouri so I'm a Kansas City Chiefs fan.
It's easy to be a Chiefs fan these days with Patrick Mahomes, but it wasn't always that way. For years the Chiefs were good enough to make you think "this was the year" only to leave you saying "there's always next year".
However, in the early 90's we really had our first glimmer of hope when we traded for a guy named Joe Montana. Winner of four Super Bowls and now a member of the Football Hall of Fame, to say Chiefs fans were excited would be an understatement.
To cash in on the excitement of Joe becoming a Chief a local Kansas City radio station pulled off what might be one of the greatest stunts of all time. They would try to get a town in the great state of Montana to change their name to "Joe". As a listener of the station and a young radio DJ at the time, I remember thinking "this is brilliant!"
The idea came from a member of the staff that was born and raised here in Montana.
Ismay, Montana at the time had a population of around 22 people. The radio station reached out to the town and asked if they would consider changing the name of the town to Joe for the season. The folks of Ismay agreed to the name change in hopes to raise money for the volunteer fire department and the rest, as they say, was history.
Ismay, Montana became Joe, Montana for a few months back in 1993.
In case you're wondering the name changed worked for Ismay, not only did they raise enough money for the volunteer fire department, they also built a community center. Plus, the residents of the town were flown to Kansas City, where they were treated like celebrities.
They were met at the Airport by the Chiefs Cheerleaders as well as a band. They spent time at the local amusement and water parks, experienced that famous Kansas City Bar-B-Q first hand, plus had the chance to not only meet Joe Montana, but to watch him and the Chiefs play at Arrowhead Stadium.
Joe took the Chiefs all the way to the AFC Championship game that season, and the guy that was from Montana working in Kansas City that came up with the idea? He's back living in Montana again. Oh, and he's my boss. Weird how life works out, huh?