Joe Cupp, a beefy quarterback who spent eight seasons in the Canadian Football League before joining the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings in 1967 and then made it to Super Bowl IV in January 1970, played Monday in San Jose, Calif. died. He was 85 years old. .
His son, JJ Kapp, said the death in the nursing home was due to complications from dementia.
In the NFL, he earned a reputation for his resilience in the face of injury.
“I played with cracked ribs, a punctured lung, a torn knee, a separated shoulder and half a dozen other injuries,” he wrote in the first-person article. “I’ve been called ‘half a clash looking for another clash.’ You don’t see me running over the limit to avoid a little physical contact with the linebackers. ”
“Maybe this goes back to my Chicano childhood and masculinity,” he added. “Machismo means masculinity, the willingness to act like a man. It was tough being a kid who didn’t have masculinity in the multilingual areas of California’s San Fernando and Salinas Valleys where I grew up. ”
Cup, who was part Mexican, was called “the toughest Chicano” by Sports Illustrated in its July 1970 cover.
The Vikings saw him as the successor to Fran Tarkenton, who was traded to the Giants.
Cup broke the National Football League record for one game (a record held by more than one quarterback) when he threw seven touchdown passes against the defending league champion Baltimore Colts in September 1969. tied.
He threw 19 touchdown passes during the 1969 regular season and led the Vikings to the 1970 Super Bowl against the reigning American Football League champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Purple People Eaters, a formidable defensive line with Karl Eller and Jim Marshall on the end and Alan Page and Gary Larsen on the tackle, were strong favorites, but the Chiefs trailed 23-7. defeated them.
Kapp suffered a serious shoulder injury when he was hit on bootleg play, but remained in the game completing 16 passes for 183 yards despite being intercepted twice. “Kansas City’s defense looked like a redwood forest,” he later told Minneapolis’ Star Tribune.
Cup joined the Boston (later New England) Patriots in 1970. The Patriots finished with his 2-12 record, and Heisman drafted his trophy-winner Stanford quarterback Jim Plunkett.
Cup, already embroiled in a contract dispute with the Patriots, refused to sign a standard player contract for the 1971 season, quit the team in July, and filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. It represents an early challenge in the player’s ultimately successful struggle to obtain free agency rights.
Joseph Robert Kapp was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico on March 19, 1938, the eldest of five children to Florence Garcia Kapp of Mexican descent and salesman Robert Kapp of German descent.
When Joe was young, his family moved to California. He played football and basketball in high school and received an athletic scholarship from the University of California, Berkeley.
The cup led the Golden Bears to the 1958 Pacific Coast Conference Football Championship, where they qualified for the Rose Bowl game but lost to Iowa. He played basketball for his two-time winning Cal team at the Pacific Coast Championships.
At 6 feet 2 inches and 205 pounds of bruises, Cupp set a Cal quarterback rushing record with 931 rushing yards in three seasons. However, the Golden Bears had a split-T formation that favored running plays for quarterback options over passing games, so the 1959 NFL Draft saw the Washington team, now called the Commanders, pick him up in the 18th round. Cup was not chosen until he chose him in the . They didn’t contact him, so he went to the Canadian Football League.
Cup spent a season and a half with the Calgary Stampeders before being traded to the British Columbia Lions after undergoing knee surgery. He led them to the 1963 Gray Cup game of the CFL Championship, where they lost to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but defeated Hamilton 34–24 for the 1964 Gray Cup title. He was his two-time CFL All-Star, threw his passes for 136 touchdowns, and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1984.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
After his NFL career ended, Kapp turned to acting. He appeared in the TV crime series ‘Ironside’ and had supporting roles in the football-themed films ‘The Longest Yard’ (1974) and ‘Semi-Tough’ (1977).
He was named head football coach in California in 1982. This season famously ended with a “play”. He had a record of 20 wins, 34 losses and 1 loss in his five seasons at Berkeley.
Cup was the general manager of the British Columbia Lions for most of the 1990 season, and was the head coach of the Sacramento Attack of the Arena League in 1992.
In his later years, Kapp lived in Los Gatos, California. In addition to his son his JJ (Joseph John), his second wife Jennifer his cup survives. Another son, Will. his daughters Emiliana and Gabriella; his brother, Larry; his sisters Joanie Everson, Linda Lawler and Susie Macdonald; His first wife, Marcia, died in 2005.
Professional footballers aren’t easily intimidated, but the intensity of the cup made a definite impression.
Kansas City defensive end Jerry Mays told Sports Illustrated after his team won the Super Bowl against the Vikings. “I hated playing against him. I felt his presence wherever he was, on the sidelines or on the field. When I think of his eyes.”