The news story about two septuagenarian ex-football players mixing it up over an almost 50-year old grudge made me wince. And not in a good way.
From the video clip, I doubt that 70-something is the new 50-something or that it’s even the new 60-something. Furthermore, when someone’s already near capacity, can you still ask them “to grow up”?
Angelo and Joe.
According to Angelo’s Wikipedia‘s entry, “He is famous (or more aptly infamous) for the 51st Grey Cup game out-of-bounds and late hit on B.C. Lions star running back Willie Fleming. The hit was considered by many to be a deliberate attempt to knock Fleming out of the game. With Fleming out of the game, the Tiger-Cats went on to win the Grey Cup and Angelo Mosca’s reputation as being the meanest professional football player was solidified.” Joe Kapp was a member of that B.C. Lions team and obviously, never got over it.
Following his playing days, Angelo joined the professional wrestling circuit as “King Kong” Mosca. Unfortunately for Angelo, the onstage fight manifested no signs of “King Kong” or of his having kept any vestigial wrestling moves. Instead, his cane went flying as Joe laid into him in what’s being called a “Geezer punch-up.”
Now I’m old enough to know about Joe Kapp who back in the day broke thousands of Angeleno hearts by repeatedly beating the then Los Angeles Rams for the conference championship. This was when he quarterbacked the Minnesota Vikings on the ice and snow of Bloomington’s old Metropolitan Stadium.
Joe was old-style sweat, snot, mud and blood football – – – absolutely fearless. And unlike a lot of quarterbacks afraid to get hit, Joe went looking for contact. I also remember he threw one of the world’s ugliest spirals but that he was one tough, effective S.O.B.
But now this little dust-up is something else. It’s embarrassing and not very warrior-like and more reminiscent of “Judicial temperament and choking out justice at the Wisconsin Supreme Court” a.k.a. the simmering Justices’ feud gets physical from this past summer supposedly occurring between two other senior citizens. They were sexagenarians, 68-year old David Prosser: Wisconsin Supreme Court judge and 61-year old Supreme Court Judge Ann Walsh Bradley.
Judge Bradley told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “The facts are that I was demanding that he get out of my office and he put his hands around my neck in anger in a choke hold.”
But never mind that account, the fog of war being what it is, “facts” get misremembered. The Dane County Sheriff’s report later indicated there was no choking, that Justice Bradley “did not recall Justice Prosser squeezing or applying pressure around her neck,” and that Justice Bradley rapidly approached Justice Prosser, going “face to face to confront him,” in her own words.
And video evidence notwithstanding, in Joe’s case, he may want to later explain the punch-up as either a trifling misunderstanding or something stemming from situationally ambiguous awareness. Besides, for all we know, maybe sentimental Joe was just trying to give Angelo a “floral bliss facial.”