Joe Kapp


Football Quarterback
Rose Bowl USC -1959
British Columbia Lions
CFL Grey Cup Champions 1964
Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl 1970
Canadian Football League Hall of Fame


Possibly the most colorful, talked about and remembered pro football player of the 1960's is none other
than former Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp. As close to a living legend as one can get, Joe Kapp is the only
man in sports history to quarterback in the Rose Bowl, Grey Cup Championship and the Super Bowl. As a
collegiate player at California-Berkeley, the tough Kapp captained the California Bears to its last Rose Bowl
appearance in 1959.
Some 23 years later, the University recalled their beloved alumnus to revive their fledging football
program. He turned them into winners, was recognized as PAC-10 Coach of the Year and Seattle Times
National Coach of the Year. But his tenure as a coach at California is best remembered for a spectacular
kickoff return now called "The Play", in which his players defeated a surprised Stanford team. With four
seconds remaining in the game, Kapp's "never say die" players used 5 laterals and a Stanford band member
to score the winning touchdown and beat Stanford 25-20.
In his combined CFL/NFL pro football careers, he passed for 28,649 yards and 272 touchdowns. He also guided the British Columbia
Lions to their first ever Grey Cup Championship in 1964. In the NFL, Kapp quarterbacked the Vikings to their first Division title while in the
following season (1969), he led them to the NFL championship and a trip to Super Bowl IV against the Kansas City Chiefs. To salute his
remarkable team unifying turnaround of the Vikings, Sport Illustrated put him on the cover of the July 20, 1970 issue and called him "The
Toughest Chicano". A badge of honor he has never relinquished. He also played for the Boston Patriots in 1970. However, within a few
years, his pro football career was at a standstill. Kapp legally challenged the NFL for player "free agency" and lost his case on appeal to a
higher court. This ended his playing career, but he found another venue for his talents in Hollywood. There he played character roles in the
movies "The Longest Yard" and "Climb An Angry Mountain". Through the years, he has given his time and money in support of numerous
charitable causes and events, among them the City of Hope.
His annual Joe Kapp Golf Tournament raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Still a man
of action, he continues to motivate people for a living and will long be remembered for his character, perseverance and accomplishments.
Mario Longoria- Chapultepec Sports Research- San Antonio, Texas