Former Vikings QB Joe Kapp dies at 85 after battle with dementia

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Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback and California-Berkeley head coach Joe Kapp died Monday at the age of 85. His son, JJ Kapp, told the San Francisco Chronicle in an email that his father was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and died “after a 15-year battle with dementia”.

Kapp played eight years in the Canadian Football League after his playing days at Cal, despite being drafted in the 18th round by Washington in 1959. Kapp led the British Columbia Lions to their first Gray Cup in 1964, before he signed with the Vikings in 1967. Wild trade-like deal: The Lions waived Cape so he could join the Vikings and Minnesota running back Jim Young trades Young's CFL rights to the Toronto Argonauts BC.

Kapp played only three years for the Vikings, but led Minnesota to their first and only NFL in 1969 – before they merged with the AFL in 1970. The Vikings lost to the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV.

During his time with the Vikings, Kapp threw for 4,807 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 47 interceptions in 40 games. he is sole quarterback To play in the Rose Bowl, Super Bowl and Gray Cup.

Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf said, “Men like Joe Capp are cornerstones of the Minnesota Vikings franchise.” said in a statement, “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.”

Kapp coined the phrase “40 for 60″—meaning 40 men playing each other for 60 minutes—which the Vikings adopted as one of their most important franchise mantras.

Former Vikings receiver and teammate John Henderson said via the team's website, “Joe Kapp was a true inspirational leader.” “… We probably didn't have the greatest talent on our team, but we had an attitude, and that had a lot to do with Joe. He was sore, he'd give up his body, and if he could do it, we figured That we could do the same thing, so we played for each other.”

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Kapp finished his NFL career in 1970 with the Boston Patriots.

Joe Kapp led the Vikings to their first and only NFL title. (Photo by Nate Fine / NFL)

Kapp's post-playing career

After his NFL career ended, Kapp became an actor and Played minor roles in television shows and moviesIncluding two episodes in 1974, “The Longest Yard” and “The Six Million Dollar Man”.

Kapp became the head coach of his alma mater at Cal in 1982 despite having zero coaching experience. Kapp's first season as head coach comes to an end “The Play” – where Cal beat Stanford for a touchdown on a wild game-winning kickoff return When the Cardinal Band ran onto the field. He coached the Golden Bears for five seasons and compiled a record of 20–34–1.

Kapp later became general manager of the CFL's Lions for two years from 1990–1992. He coached the Sacramento Attack of the Arena Football League for one season in 1992.