Joe Kapp, the hard-nosed quarterback who routinely bumped into tacklers as an alternative of away from them whereas main the Minnesota Vikings to their first Super Bowl and California to its final Rose Bowl, has died. He was 85.
Kapp was additionally a Boston Patriot! (Pardon us AP, however we needed to edit on this gem).
According to NFL.com: “A rare free agent in 1970, Kapp signed with the Boston Patriots two weeks into the season, leading the AFC team to a league-worst 2-12 record. After the Pats drafted Jim Plunkett No. 1 overall in the 1971 draft and amid a contract squabble, Kapp left the Pats after one year and never played in professional football again.”
Cal confirmed that Kapp died. He had suffered from Alzheimer’s illness for the final 15 years and was residing in an assisted residing facility, his son J.J. Kapp stated.
FROM THE ARCHIVES:
HERALD TRAVELER, November 8, 1970
HERALD TRAVELER, November 2, 1970
HERALD TRAVELER, August 1971
The household made plans to ship his mind to UC San Francisco researchers for research of the potential connection between his dementia and hits he took to the top along with his punishing taking part in model.
After a stellar collegiate profession at Cal that was capped by an look within the 1959 Rose Bowl, Kapp went on to star in Canada earlier than making it to the NFL. He took over for Fran Tarkenton in Minnesota and led the Vikings to a Super Bowl look within the 1969 season earlier than shedding to Kansas City.
Kapp is the one quarterback to guide his workforce to a Rose Bowl, Grey Cup and Super Bowl. He nonetheless holds a share of the NFL single-game file with seven landing passes, in a 1969 win over Baltimore.
“It was kind of like having your own superhero living in your house,” J.J. Kapp stated in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
Known as a fighter on the sphere, Kapp was the topic of a Sports Illustrated cowl story that dubbed him “The Toughest Chicano.” That was the title of Kapp’s autobiography printed in 2019 and co-authored by J.J. Kapp and two different buddies.
Kapp, whose mom was Mexican American, was a fierce advocate for the Latino neighborhood who labored with activist Cesar Chavez for farmworker rights. He additionally dabbled in performing, with credit that embrace a job within the 1974 movie “The Longest Yard” a few jail soccer workforce.
He was a path blazer as one of many first Mexican-American stars in professional soccer and stays with Jim Plunkett certainly one of solely two Mexican Americans to begin at quarterback in a Super Bowl.
Kapp additionally later coached his alma mater for 5 seasons and was on the sideline for one of the memorable performs at school historical past when the Golden Bears returned a kickoff with 5 laterals to beat rival Stanford on the ultimate play in 1982, scoring the landing with the Cardinal band on the sphere.
When he was employed to teach at Cal earlier than the 1982 season, he vowed to not drink his favourite alcoholic beverage tequila till the Bears made one other look within the storied bowl sport. They by no means made it again in his lifetime. Kapp had a 20-34-1 file in 5 years at Cal, his remaining sport being the most important upset within the historical past of the rivalry with Stanford when the Golden Bears received as 21-point underdogs.
“Playing for and coaching at Cal meant the world to him,” J.J. Kapp stated.
His grandson, Frank Kapp, additionally was a member of the Golden Bears final decade. Kapp was cognizant of the toll the game took on his physique and thoughts, however nonetheless he was happy with his profession.
“He used to tell people to put your son in piano lessons and not let them play football, but he let me play and he let my brother play,” J.J Kapp stated, including: “He never regretted playing football.”
Kapp spent his first eight seasons within the CFL with Calgary and the BC Lions. He took the Stampeders to the playoffs in his second season and led the Lions to back-to-back Grey Cup appearances, profitable all of it in his second attempt in 1964.
“Along with helping put the Lions on the map after some lean early years, Joe also served as a trailblazer for quarterbacks making a name for themselves on both sides of the border,” the BC Lions stated in an announcement.
He then went to the NFL in 1967 as a part of a sophisticated commerce between groups in several leagues and changed Tarkenton, who had been traded by Minnesota to the New York Giants.
Kapp helped the Vikings make the playoffs earlier than shedding to Baltimore in 1968 after which threw 19 TD passes and led Minnesota to a 12-2 file the next 12 months when he completed second in MVP voting.
He ran and threw a TD cross towards Cleveland to guide Minnesota to a 27-7 victory within the 1969 NFL title sport. The Vikings then misplaced the final Super Bowl earlier than the merger to Kansas City. Always a team-first participant, Kapp was voted Most Valuable Player by the Vikings that season however refused to simply accept it on his stance that every one 40 gamers on the roster had been equally beneficial. He coined the mantra “40 for 60,” referencing each participant giving his greatest for all 60 minutes of the sport.
“Men like Joe Kapp are the cornerstones the Minnesota Vikings franchise was built upon,” Vikings proprietor Mark Wilf stated. “Joe’s toughness and competitive spirit defined the Vikings teams of his era, and his tenacity and leadership were respected by teammates and opponents alike.”
Kapp left as a free agent the next season and performed briefly for the Patriots in 1970. He refused to signal with the workforce after New England drafted Jim Plunkett first total in 1971 and by no means performed once more. He filed an antitrust swimsuit towards the league that he finally misplaced, nevertheless it helped pave the way in which for the free company system that finally took maintain.
Kapp was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and moved round California as a toddler earlier than turning into a four-sport athlete at Hart High School in Newhall and turning into the primary particular person in his household to attend and graduate from faculty. Kapp helped lead Cal to the Pacific Coast Conference title in 1958 and the accompanying journey to the Rose Bowl, the place the Bears misplaced to Iowa. He additionally performed basketball at Cal.
Kapp was survived by his second spouse, Jennifer Kapp; 4 youngsters and 6 grandchildren. His first spouse, Marcia Kapp, died in 2005.