1969 PRO FOOTBALL SIM: UP, UP AND AWAY!

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The 1969 season represented ordinals for both the AFL and NFL. The NFL celebrated its 50th season while the AFL played its 10th and final season.

For its farewell campaign, the AFL expanded its playoff field to include the first and second place teams in each division. The NFL format remained with just the four divisional winners advancing to postseason play.

As in real life, the Vikings hosted both the divisional playoff and NFL Championship Game. The temperatures at Met Stadium for the two games were 10 and 8 degrees, respectively.

The season concluded Jan. 11, 1970 at Tulane Stadium complete with the halftime Civil War re-enactment and the gondola of the Vikings hot air balloon crashing into Row 6, that on the heels of a December regular season game at Metropolitan Stadium where another balloon with an 11-year-old occupant got airborne and landed in the nearby Minnesota River.

The sim version of Super Bowl IV came without Hank Stram yakking away on the sideline. Unlike real life, Joe Namath got another crack at the big game after the Jets loss to the Cowboys the previous year. Standing in his way would be a less-heralded Joe, who came via the University of California and the Canadian Football League.

What followed was something not seen in the actual 50 Super Bowl’s played to date..

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Dave Osborn scored in overtime to give Minnesota and Bud Grant the World Championship that proved so elusive in real life, while Namath’s Super Bowl record fell to 0-2. The Vikings also went 13-1 in the regular season, the lone loss came in Week 2 to Baltimore, a team Minnesota destroyed 52-14 in real-life behind a record-tying seven touchdown passes from Kapp.

After the Super Bowl Kapp disappeared from Minnesota and the NFL as quickly as he arrived. The Vikings did not offer him a contract, Kapp held out the following year and ultimately signed with the Patriots with Minnesota compensated two first-round picks in return.

Kapp stunk it up in his one year with Boston, last seen by the Vikings on an icy field at Harvard Stadium that NFL Films set to a football follies theme. The Patriots drafted Jim Plunkett (like Kapp a Mexican-American) the following year and Kapp left football, and like Curt Flood in baseball filed suit against the NFL’s reserve clause.

In 2011 Kapp became remembered for a viral video where he came to blows with Angelo ‘King Kong’ Mosca at an alumni function over a play in the 1963 Grey Cup that knocked one of Kapp’s B.C. Lions teammates out of the game.

Among other notable events in the 1969 sim season, the New Orleans Saints finished their third season with a winning record of 8-6, a feat the real team did not accomplish until 1987. A 5-9 team that year, the Saints got a lot of favorable results due to the mediocrity (outside of the Cowboys) of the NFL’s Eastern Conference that year.

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