Joe Kapp is fired up. If you know Joe Kapp, this is not a unique state of affairs. We are having breakfast Tuesday at a Willow Glen coffee shop, to discuss the 20th anniversary of Kapp's last game as
``Oh, the players played their hearts out,'' Kapp says. ``The Bear will not quit! The Bear will not die! The Bears have played with spirit and they always have! No matter who the coach is. They played hard for me, too! The players always play hard! And the fans root hard!'' At this point, I am ready to put down my fork and run out to tackle the next vehicle on
Well, that's not exactly the lesson I meant. Although it is certainly a good one. But the lesson I am talking about is the famous promise Kapp made after he was hired as Bears coach before the 1982 season. At his first team meeting, he talked about his goal of winning a conference championship, about how everyone would have to make sacrifices for that to occur.
``But I didn't want the players to think they'd be the only ones making the sacrifices,'' Kapp says, revisiting the moment. ``So I told them I would make a sacrifice, too. I said I would not drink a drop of tequila until we won the Rose Bowl again.'' This was no idle pledge, given Kapp's love of margaritas. To show he meant business, he bought a bottle of his favorite tequila brand, Herradura, and kept it on an office shelf. After he was dismissed following the 1986 season, the bottle was moved to his brother's restaurant in
The players' instincts took over in the final seconds against Stanford, famously replayed every year with radio announcer Joe Starkey's frenzied description of Kevin Moen running through the Stanford band to victory. ``Twenty-four years later and I still don't know what Joe was saying,'' Kapp says, laughing. As events transpired, that was Kapp's best coaching moment. In 1986, after losing too many games, Kapp was out at