We’ve woken up this morning to the news that another significant piece of Minnesota Vikings history has officially left us.
Joe Kapp, the quarterback that took the Vikings to their first Super Bowl appearance, has passed away at the age of 85.
Kapp played for the Vikings for just three seasons, joining the team in 1967 after a successful stint in the Canadian Football League. He led the Vikings to their first-ever playoff appearance in 1968, which saw them lose to the Baltimore Colts, and followed that up by leading the Vikings to the 1969 NFL Championship and an appearance in Super Bowl IV against the Kansas City Chiefs, the final game before the NFL/AFL merger.
Kapp became a free agent after that Super Bowl season, as the Vikings had exercised an option in his contract. The only team that made him an offer was the Boston Patriots, who Kapp played for in 1970 before leaving professional football. He then went on to an acting career with several notable credits, most notably an appearance in the original version of The Longest Yard.
After he left the league, Kapp spearheaded an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL, citing some of their contract rules. It took several years, but the suit was ultimately successful.
Kapp was best known for his tough, hard-nosed style and completing passes that were effective even if they weren’t terribly artistic. He holds a Vikings record that still stands to this day with seven touchdown passes (to seven different receivers) in a game in 1969 against the same Colts team that had knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs the year before.
While the cause of Kapp’s death has not been officially revealed, he did acknowledge publicly in 2016 that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and that he had pledged to donate his brain for examination in the event of his passing.
As always, we’d like to send our condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of Joe Kapp on their loss.
If you have any memories of Joe Kapp that you’d like to share, we encourage you to use this space to do so.