Joe Kapp is known to most fans of the Minnesota Vikings, but outside of Minnesota? Well, he is not a household name; after all, Kapp only played four years in the NFL, three in Minnesota and one with the Boston (now New England) Patriots. Kapps’s road to the NFL was a long one. He starred at Cal-Berkley and won a Rose Bowl as the Bears QB. Drafted by the Washington Redskins, Kapp never reported to the team because the two couldn’t come to terms on a contract. So, Kapp went north and played for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League and later the British Columbia Lions. In fact, Kapp led the Lions to the Grey Cup championship in 1964. But he wanted to play in the states and after the 1966 season, he got his wish when the rarest of trades was engineered between the Vikings, Stampeders, Lions and the expansion New Orleans Saints. When all was said and done, Kapp wound up at Met Stadium as the QB for the Vikings and in 1969 led Minnesota to its only NFL Championship. They later lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFL-NFL Championship game (now known as the Super Bowl). But another contract squabble cost Kapp and, after just three years in Minnesota, he wound up with the Patriots. Boston was horrible and that spelled the end of Kapp’s career. But while in Minnesota, he certainly made his mark. Edward Gruver who has written several articles for the Professional Football Researcher’s Association, including a terrific piece about Kapp, and who has a new book coming out about the great rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders called, “Hell With the Lid Off: Inside the Steelers-Raiders Rivalry That Changed Pro Football,” joins the podcast for a look back at the fabulous career of Joe Kapp.
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