Rivalries never die, but are they so deeply rooted as to instigate fist-fights between septuagenarians after forty years? Apparently, some are. It seems ridiculous, but blows were indeed exchanged last week between two former opponents at a Canadian Football League alumni luncheon in Vancouver, BC. What was meant to be a day of celebration quickly turned nasty. Or comical, depending on your point of view. And it all started with a flower. Yes, that’s right…a flower.
The scuffle began when former Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp—who played for British Columbia in the CFL before joining Minnesota—took the stage with former Hamilton defensive lineman Angelo Mosca. The two were on stage to discuss a controversial hit that Mosca leveled on British Columbia running back Willie Fleming in the 1963 Grey Cup. Unfortunately, the conversation never got started.
As Kapp took the stage, he made a valiant attempt at humor by offering Mosca a flower as a peace offering. Mosca, who was clearly not amused by the stunt, curtly rejected the gesture with an expletive. Kapp responded by gently shoving the flower in Mosca’s face. From there, the fight was on. Mosca retaliated by swinging his cane in the direction of Kapp’s head—a vicious swing that would have done serious damage had it landed cleanly. Kapp then landed a solid right hand to Mosca’s jaw, and followed it with a left-right combo that knocked Mosca to the ground.
All this from two men who are 74 and 73 years old, respectively. Ahhh, the hubris of youth!
“Two old farts going at it,” said Kapp. “I can see the humor in it.”
So what did the two think about their scuffle after the fact? They both agree that it shouldn’t have happened. “The altercation should have been avoided there because it was a celebration of teamwork and togetherness within the country,” Kapp said.
“It’s a shame it happened,” Mosca said.
Despite their remorse, it doesn’t sound like either would have done much differently.
“I don’t care if you’re the King or the Queen. You’re not going to shove something in my face and get away with it,” said Mosca.
“Somebody hit me on the side of the head with a cane,” said Kapp. “So I had to respond. I don’t think there’s a person anywhere that wouldn’t respond the way I did.”
After forty years of not seeing each other, let’s hope that last week’s dustup settled the score once and for all. Then again… “I thought we settled it in 1964 when we won the Grey Cup over Hamilton,” said Kapp.
So much for letting sleeping dogs lie.
Joe Buri is a former high school athletic director who currently works as an attorney in corporate America. In addition to writing for TC Huddle, he also volunteers as an assistant varsity basketball coach at a local Twin Cities high school. Once dubbed “The Human Stump,” he considers holding former NBA forward Devean George to 39 points a highlight of his collegiate basketball experience.