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Joe Kapp, Super Bowl IV Quarterback For Vikings, Dies at 85

Former NFL quarterback Joe Kapp, who led the Minnesota Vikings to their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, has died at the age of 85, his son, J.J., confirmed to the San Francisco Chronicle, noting that his father had passed after a "15-year battle with dementia."

Kapp was a decorated collegiate player at the University of California, where he later worked as head coach from 1982-86 and the Canadian Football League, having played from 1959 to 1966 before joining the Vikings in 1967.

Kapp led Minnesota to its first playoff appearance in 1968 and the then-NFL championship to secure a Super Bowl berth in 1969. The Vikings were defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs, 23-7, in Super Bowl IV, with Kapp throwing for 183 yards and two interceptions on 16 of 25 passing, as well as recording nine yards on two rushing attempts.

The New Mexico native was known for his unique, hard-nosed running style at the quarterback position, playing three seasons in Minnesota and one with the then-Boston Patriots in 1970 before concluding his playing career. Kapp was also instrumental in the NFL's contract rules changes in the mid-1970s, having filed an antitrust lawsuit against the league after playing the Super Bowl without a contract after the Vikings exercised a then-standard option clause.

Kapp publicly acknowledged his battle with Alzheimer's disease in 2016, having pledged to donate his brain for medical research after his death.

"Every single day I live being forgetful. I've got calendars on both of my shoes," Kapp told a reporter at the time, according to the Star Tribune.

Kapp was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1984 and College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

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