The turnaround of the BC Lions can be dated to one of the key trades in club history. In mid-August 1961, B.C. sent Bruce Claridge, Ed O’Bradovich, Bill Crawford and starting quarterback Jim Walden to the Stampeders for Joe Kapp. A history of knee troubles preceded his arrival but with the work of Lions trainers and the gradual addition of stronger players around him, Joe was set to lead the Lions to their first real success. In 1962, the team won 7 games and set the stage for the greatest back-to-back seasons in club history. Joe led the Lions and the CFL in passing in 1963 winning the West’s Most Outstanding Player Trophy (the first BC player to accomplish that feat). Over the course of 1963 and 1964 with Joe at quarterback, the team recorded a 23-6-3 record (.766) and went unbeaten at home. His mark of 3,011 yards passing in 1963 was a Western record at the time and he compiled 16,536 yards through the air through his five and half seasons with the club. He has the distinction of starting the most consecutive games as Lions quarterback with 91 in a row never missing a game after coming from Calgary. After the 1966 season, Joe moved on to the NFL where he led the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl and was named the 1969 NFL Player of the Year. Joe was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1984.
Kapp passed away on May 8, 2023.