The known facts have been posted on YouTube and written about by those eager to revive the excitement of an enraged quarterback Joe Kapp in action. We’ll review those events before reporting recently discovered facts that now overwhelm the precipitating events which began in Canada’s Grey Cup championship football game in 1963 when lineman Angelo Mosca hurled three hundred hardened pounds into the vulnerable body, stretched on turf out of bounds, of star running back Willie Fleming, Kapp’s teammate, knocking Fleming out of the game and ensuring victory for Mosca and his mates. Kapp, always a warrior in spirit and deed, challenged Mosca, threatened him with fisticuffs and more, and carried his rage almost a half century later when he and Mosca appeared at a Vancouver banquet honoring stars from the Canadian Football League.
Both gladiators entered the auditorium in 2011 at age seventy-three, and Mosca, wielding a metal crutch, had to be assisted climbing onto the stage. Kapp, mischievously holding a flower, watched Mosca struggle to his seat and approached him, extending a floral fist. Mosca raised his microphone and said, stick it up your ass. The audience laughed and hot-blooded Kapp snapped back into the 1963 Grey Cup, stepping over fallen Willie Fleming, and shoved the flower into Mosca’s face and slapped his shoulder with it. The aging lineman wobbled to his feet and threw a weak roundhouse with his crutch. Slender Kapp eased out of range and intuitively left-kicked the crutch before setting himself for a textbook right cross to the jaw that knocked Mosca to the stage where Kapp kicked him a time or two and cursed him more than that. When organizers helped Mosca stand and escorted Kapp back to his side of the stage, the quarterback, a leader but not a master of logic, looked at the audience and said, sportsmanship. Shortly thereafter, off stage at their banquet table, Kapp extended an empty right hand that Mosca ignored.
That was all, we thought, until a video, shot secretly and hidden forty-eight years in the closet of an anonymous fan, emerged last night. When the tense festivities ended, Mosca asked to be taken to an office near the main hall and that Kapp be brought in so they could have a word. Kapp verily pranced into the room, and Mosca said, Joe, let’s put this old battle behind us, and held out an open right hand. Kapp grasped it and Mosca, once a Herculean lineman and thereafter a professional wrestler, closed his vise on endangered flesh and bone. Kapp may not have possessed a left hook or if he did he forgot it and Mosca dipped and thrust his massive head, half again normal size, into the chin of his dashing rival who flew back against the wall and crumpled. Event organizers took away Mosca’s metal crutch, which he’d already raised to strike the stunned Kapp, and escorted him to a chair before helping Kapp get up.
Okay, we’re even, said Mosca.
Like hell, Kapp mumbled as he massaged his jaw.
Notes: In recent years Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca, now age eighty-two and eighty-three, have been battling Alzheimer’s disease that may have partly been caused by a lifetime of passionate collisions. Kapp is in only athlete in history to play quarterback in the Rose Bowl, Grey Cup, and the Super Bowl.