Joe Kapp punches former CFL rival, fellow septuagenarian

Joe Kapp is an Old Blue favorite, the fiery quarterback who led Cal to its last Rose Bowl in 1959 and swore not to drink tequila until the Bears return to Pasadena. He has lost none of his grit.

Friday night, the 73-year-old attended an annual Grey Cup luncheon. The 99th edition of the Canadian Football League’s championship game — which Kapp won with the B.C. Lions in 1964 before jumping to the NFL — will be played tonight at 6 p.m. EST. The luncheon is a one of the staple events of Grey Cup week, which is probably something like Super Bowl week with more poutine.

Also in attendance, the Vancouver Sun reported, was former Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive lineman Angelo Mosca. Like Kapp, he is a CFL Hall-of-Famer pushing on into his 70s. And like Kapp, he seems rather ornery.

At the luncheon, Kapp waved some flowers repeatedly in Mosca’s face, and was rewarded with a cane swat. So Kapp responded with his fist. The scene shocked the crowed, including one Dick Dinelle of Ottawa, who is attending his 42nd Grey Cup.

From the Vancouver Sun:

“They showed the clip of the ’63 game, and Ron James introduced Angie, and then they called Kapp up,” said Dinelle. “And he brought some flowers from the table with him and he offered them to Angie and Angie said, ’Get those f—in’ things outta my face,’ but Kapp kept waving them in his face, and finally Angie clubbed him with his cane.

“Kapp’s a big, tall guy, still looks pretty athletic, and Angie is pretty fat and has two bad legs, and Joe drilled him. I mean, laid him out. Ron James ran off the stage, but he’s like five-foot-five standing on a chair … I’d have run off, too. It was scary, and kinda sad, to be honest with you.

The two both played in the 1963 Grey Cup, Mosca’s Tiger-Cats the victors. In that game, Mosca knocked B.C. Lions running back Willie Fleming out of the game with a borderline late hit. Kapp, who was also hit by Mosca during the game, refused to shake hands afterward. Looks like he still holds the grudge.

Friday was an ignominious defeat for a man who, after his CFL career, wrestled as “King Kong Mosca” and “Mighty Hercules” — a personas that would have made for an even more interesting fight.

Image source: Smabs Sputzer, under Creative Commons