Joe Kapp, who played quarterback Era and later led minnesota vikings at the Super Bowl, died on Monday at the age of 85.
JJ Kapp confirmed his father’s death to the San Francisco Chronicle, saying it came after a “15-year battle with dementia”.
Growing up in California, Kapp played both football and basketball at Cal. On the field, the All-American led the Golden Bears to the Pacific Coast Conference Championship in 1958 and the Rose Bowl. the bears lost Iowa Last appearance in the Rose Bowl for Cal – in the 1959 game.
Kapp spent eight seasons in the Canadian Football League, twice leading the British Columbia Lions to the Gray Cup title game. He moved to the NFL in 1967, leading the Vikings to a Super Bowl IV appearance in 1969 after a 12–2 season, though the team fell short against kansas city chiefs 23-7.
“Men like Joe Kapp are the cornerstones the Minnesota Vikings franchise is built upon,” Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf said in a team statement Tuesday. “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. We are with his family, friends and Vikings fans around the world mourn the loss of Joe.”
“He was a great leader, a great friend and he really held our team together,” said Pro Football Hall of Famer and former teammate Paul Krause. “He was a guy who loved to have fun and win football games, and that’s what mattered. I respected him for his love for the game and his love for his teammates. We lost a good friend.”
Capp is the only quarterback to lead teams to the Rose Bowl, Gray Cup, and Super Bowl.
“It was like having your own superhero living in your house,” JJ Kapp said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.
“Along with helping put the Lions on the map after some lackluster early years, Joe also served as a trailblazer for quarterbacks who made a name for themselves on both sides of the border,” the BC Lions said in a statement Tuesday. were staying.”
Kapp spent three seasons with the Vikings and signed with the Boston Patriots in 1970 after Minnesota did not offer him a new contract. After the season, commissioner Pete Rozelle intervened and declared the four-year contract he signed with the Patriots invalid. Rozelle ruled that Kapp had to sign a revised contract to continue in the NFL, and Kapp never played again.
He finished his NFL career with a 24–21–3 record as a starter. He passed for 5,911 yards with 40 touchdowns and 64 interceptions.
He filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL and eventually won but was not awarded any damages.
Kapp had small acting roles in the 1970s in films including “The Longest Yard”. In 1982, he took over as head coach at Cal, his first coaching job. He was coach of the Bears during a game against Stanford on November 20, 1982, when Cal improbably won with four seconds remaining in a contest marked by the Stanford band marching onto the field prematurely.
“Playing and coaching for Cal meant the world to him,” JJ Kapp said.
Cal fired Kapp in 1986 after a 20–34–1 record.
In later years, when he lived with dementia, Kapp said in an interview that he feared he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease that affects many former football players.
JJ Kapp said, “He used to tell people to let his son learn piano and not let him play football, but he let me play and he let my brother play.”
JJ Kapp said that his father’s brain would be studied at UC San Francisco to determine whether Kapp had CTE.
This report used information from Reuters and the Associated Press.