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Grumpy Old (Lines)Men
November 28, 2011 7:11 AM   Subscribe

This past weekend was Canadian Football League (CFL)'s title game -- for the Grey Cup. But almost as much as the game itself, a sideshow eruption of an old feud took centre stage this year. 48 years ago, Hamilton Ti-Cats' Angelo Mosca was widely ripped for having levelled BC Lions' running back Willie Fleming with a "questionable" hit in the 1963 title match that took Fleming out of the game. Hamilton went on to win and BC's quarterback at the time, Joe Kapp, has apparently been fuming about the hit ever since. When he and Mosca appeared on stage together at this year's CFL Alumni Luncheon, it was game on all over again. (Some coverage has since suggested it was staged but a viewing of the video, which has since gone viral, leaves that an open question. Mosca, who followed his football career with several years on the pro wrestling circuit, swings a mean cane, while Kapp appears to have kept his right cross in form.)
posted by Mike D (36 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Staged? If that cane swing had connected ... ouch.
posted by brokkr at 7:22 AM on November 28, 2011


leaves that an open question

Have any charges of assault been filed?
posted by three blind mice at 7:25 AM on November 28, 2011


Earlier in the evening Mosca apparently extended his hand to Kapp, who refused to shake it. It seems rather odd, the whole thing. Kapp later recounted a bizarre anecdote that Willie Fleming had a dog named Angelo that he would beat daily.

I don't think this was staged. I think this is 40 years of animosity emerging in the midst of a terrible organizational decision to bring these two goons together on a stage.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:28 AM on November 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Slightly off-topic: Yey BC Lions won the Grey Cup!

(I miss Vancouver.)
posted by andreaazure at 7:36 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Usually the Grey Cup is a pretty good game, but this year... enh. At least there was something going on off the field, I suppose.

Nothing was going to top the firecracker of a game that was this year's Vanier, in any event. Less showboating, more hurdling.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:40 AM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've watched the clip a couple of times. I find it hard to believe that it was staged. I truly think that Kapp has spent way too much of his life fuming over this and, due to incredibly poor planning (or simple naivety) on the part of the event organizers, he had an opportunity to "let it out."

Usually the Grey Cup is a pretty good game, but this year... enh. At least there was something going on off the field, I suppose.

Agreed. The game was dull this year and this story is already overshadowing it.
posted by asnider at 7:45 AM on November 28, 2011


The big story in Toronto was two brothers from Mississauga being on opposing teams. Their father worse a custom jersey split between the Blue Bombers and the Lions.
posted by maudlin at 7:51 AM on November 28, 2011


One of the commenters on the CBC Website made an interesting point - could these actions be indicative of some sort of dementia, rather than being fuelled by a 40-year grudge?
posted by bitteroldman at 8:03 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good on Travis Lulay! (Former Montana State University Bobcat)
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:11 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The gold standard for a right cross by a silver fox: under no circumstances should you call Buzz Aldrin a coward and a liar.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:21 AM on November 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


could these actions be indicative of some sort of dementia, rather than being fuelled by a 40-year grudge?

That would actually make more sense. I mean, honestly, a 40-year-old grudge that causes you to lash out violently seems more insane than genuine mental illness. It could have simply been: "I don't like this guy; I don't remember why, but I know I don't like this guy. I'm going to attack him."
posted by asnider at 8:22 AM on November 28, 2011


Is there /any/ Canadian sport that doesn't involve fisticuffs?
posted by clvrmnky at 8:49 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


watch.tsn.ca has more on this, including footage of the original hit on Fleming from back in the day.

The game was dull this year and this story is already overshadowing it.

That's Blue Bomber football in 2011: play tough defense and hang in there until Buck and the offense wake up. It worked more often than not during the regular season, but I don't think you're going to win many title games with an offense that punches the snooze button for 55 minutes.

The Bombers have lost their last five Grey Cup appearances. Buffalo, I know your pain.
posted by Sauce Trough at 8:50 AM on November 28, 2011


Is there /any/ Canadian sport that doesn't involve fisticuffs?

I was going to say curling but

It seems like the Russians are training hard to be ready for this new Canadian style of curling, so they won't be caught off guard like they were in 1972.
posted by Sauce Trough at 8:57 AM on November 28, 2011


Kapp was clearly backing off even as Mosca was rising, with difficulty, to the stage. That suggests at least that the pre-show confrontation was real, too (although I wonder who really showed more hostility). He exhibited a bit of poor judgement getting in the guy's personal space on the approval of audience laughter, though. Given his response, though, it seemed like Mosca was the one with the grudge, and Kapp certainly seemed within his rights to call it a "sportsmanship" issue.
I know nothing of the CFL.

could these actions be indicative of some sort of dementia

Possibly, as we are becoming more aware of such things, but that would just as likely suggest manifestations that would be logically inappropriate, rather than an over-the-top reaction to something with a rational basis to it. Certainly, though, irritability can be an aspect of many dementias.
posted by dhartung at 9:07 AM on November 28, 2011


Is there /any/ Canadian sport that doesn't involve fisticuffs?

Well, the last sports final we hosted involved tear gas and burning cop cars, so we consider geriatric fistfights to be a sign of progress.
posted by auto-correct at 9:08 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Never having been in the middle of Grey Cup celebrations before, something I found odd about the game was the number of fans in attendance who were cheering for teams that weren't playing. People travelled en masse to Vancouver, wearing their teams jerseys, and partied here for a few days. I saw Hamilton crowds, Saskatchewan crowds, Calgary crowds, and Edmonton crowds all on their way to the stadium yesterday even though the game was between BC and Winnipeg.

Is this common for finals in other leagues?

Also, I had no idea until a couple of weeks before that BC even had a chance to get in the playoffs. The story at the beginning of the year was how terrible they were. Something like 5 straight losses. Never heard about them again until I found out they were in the Grey Cup. That's a hell of a turnaround.
posted by Hoopo at 9:10 AM on November 28, 2011


Well, the last sports final we hosted involved tear gas and burning cop cars, so we consider geriatric fistfights to be a sign of progress.

Well, to be fair, it's not like the Grey Cup could leave Ca.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:14 AM on November 28, 2011


From Kapp's wikipedia page:

"In December 1981, Kapp made a promise to the football team that he would not consume any of his favorite alcoholic beverage, tequila, until the Golden Bears reached the Rose Bowl. As of March 2011, the Golden Bears have yet to return to the Rose Bowl and Kapp has resorted to drinking rum instead."

This is a man with a long memory and an unusual code of honor. Note to self: do not piss off Joe Kapp; he won't forget you and likes to eat a cold dish of revenge.
posted by bukvich at 9:15 AM on November 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is there /any/ Canadian sport that doesn't involve fisticuffs?

Yes
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 9:25 AM on November 28, 2011


Also I completely forgot Kapp was the head coach at Cal when they made the kickoff return through the Stanford band.

The most amazing thing ever.
posted by bukvich at 9:37 AM on November 28, 2011


In 1995 The Baltimore CFL Colts aka Stallions won the 83rd Grey Cup.

1995 was the last year of "CFL South" - the Stallions moved to Montreal and the other four US-based CFL teams closed up shop.
posted by andreaazure at 9:37 AM on November 28, 2011


Metafilter: a long memory and an unusual code of honour.
posted by Sauce Trough at 9:38 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, the last sports final we hosted involved tear gas and burning cop cars.

Hockey riots appear to be a good-luck charm for the Lions; when the Canucks lose in the Stanley Cup finals and the locals trash the city, the Lions follow up with a Grey Cup win at home. (1994, 2011)
posted by Sauce Trough at 9:44 AM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hockey riots appear to be a good-luck charm for the Lions; when the Canucks lose in the Stanley Cup finals and the locals trash the city, the Lions follow up with a Grey Cup win at home. (1994, 2011)

This needs to be deleted from the internet. It will only encourage us.
posted by auto-correct at 10:00 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this common for finals in other leagues?

I think it has to do with the idea that the Grey Cup location is chosen before the season. So big fans of every team will make plans to come whether their team makes it or not. I suspect it's similar at the Superbowl.
posted by auto-correct at 10:02 AM on November 28, 2011


The ironic "SPORTSMANSHIP" at the end really sells this as not being staged.
posted by DU at 10:15 AM on November 28, 2011


Rematch in 2059!
posted by mazola at 10:28 AM on November 28, 2011


Pretty obviously not set up, come on.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:56 AM on November 28, 2011


"And then after I knock you down by punching you in the head, I'll kind of shuffle around the stage awkwardly for a few minutes and finally close by relating a story to this roomful of people you know about how one of your old teammates named his dog after you and kicks it every day, OK?"
posted by stinkycheese at 10:59 AM on November 28, 2011


I saw Hamilton crowds, Saskatchewan crowds, Calgary crowds, and Edmonton crowds all on their way to the stadium yesterday even though the game was between BC and Winnipeg.

I've worn my Bomber blues to Grey Cups when my team wasn't playing, and it's nice to set aside rivalries and commiserate with others whose teams have let them down. You get to see people as fans of the sport and not as fans of a rival team. It's humanizing.

This year I went as a partisan of the visiting team and the vibe was ... different. I was a bit on-edge because I have had runins with aggressive drunks at Lions games before. Out on the concourse I got some shit and I talked some shit back but it all turned out friendly.
posted by Sauce Trough at 12:18 PM on November 28, 2011


I was a bit on-edge because I have had runins with aggressive drunks at Lions games before.

This strikes me as bizarre. Are BC fans dicks or something? I've been at plenty of games in Edmonton where fans of the rival team are there and there is no edge or sense of impending violence.

I was once at a game where a really drunk Calgary fan was booing, heckling and so on at the Labour Day Classic rematch in Edmonton. Instead of simply cheering for Edmonton, my friends and I started heckling Calgary in response. Eventually he was heckling us and we were heckling him. It was all in good fun and when the game was over he came over and introduced himself, half-jokingly apologized and thanked us for making his game-viewing experience more enjoyable.

Would a similar situation at BC Place result in the lone Calgary fan getting beaten up?
posted by asnider at 12:58 PM on November 28, 2011


Would a similar situation at BC Place result in the lone Calgary fan getting beaten up?

Last Ti-Cat home game I went to, there was a very, very lone Blue Bomber supporter. It was a terribly boring game which everyone just wanted to end -- spectators, players, linesmen -- and of course, Winnipeg won. The one Blue Bomber fan wasn't holding back. Nothing happened to him, hell, no-one even talked back. He was just the cherry on top of our collective ennui. At least someone enjoyed that game.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:31 PM on November 28, 2011


This strikes me as bizarre. Are BC fans dicks or something?

Yes. A large portion of the population of Vancouver (and surrounding areas) is comprised of dicks.

Based on my own observations, Lions fans are probably the drunkest of the bunch, with the possible exception of Whitecaps fans--but they're mostly harmless and just like to sing soccer songs. The 'Caps are pretty awful, there's not much to do other than have a drink and a laugh at the games. I've never had a bad experience with Lions fans personally, but yeah they're loud and drunk and I could see the potential for problems there. Hey I'd be mad if I had to pay $7-$8 for crappy beer all night too.

Canucks fans however are the biggest jerks of all. Even if we don't count the riot--which I'm not sure why we wouldn't--previous years' playoffs series against the Blackhawks have been marred by disgusting fan behaviour. A lot of the Blackhawks players involved in those series have been BC-born and raised, and their parents showed up to the games, wearing their kids' team jersey. The news reports at the time relayed that some had been spat on, had food and/or drink thrown at them, or been otherwise abused or threatened. Same goes for visiting Leafs fans I'm told, but that's a rare event and pretty much true of any Canadian hockey city.

I got caught up in playoff fever last year and rooted for the Canucks; it was fun and infectuous and I live right in the middle of where all the celebrations were taking place. But as a general rule, their fans stink, and even after 5 years here in Vancouver I'm still rooting for my Senators, dammit, first and foremost.

PS Capt Renault, my family is from Hamilton and I was always a Ti-Cat fan when I used to follow the CFL growing up in Ottawa. Back then, they actually weren't bad, and they could always rely on the Riders being worse.
posted by Hoopo at 1:36 PM on November 28, 2011


Last Ti-Cat home game I went to, there was a very, very lone Blue Bomber supporter. It was a terribly boring game which everyone just wanted to end -- spectators, players, linesmen -- and of course, Winnipeg won. The one Blue Bomber fan wasn't holding back. Nothing happened to him, hell, no-one even talked back. He was just the cherry on top of our collective ennui.

Ha ha. Hamilton.

/nelson
posted by stinkycheese at 2:10 PM on November 28, 2011


Relevant to this thread.
posted by auto-correct at 8:42 PM on November 28, 2011


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