Angelo Mosca, a colorful former CFL lineman and football broadcaster for the Calgary Stampeders who was known as “The Italian Stallion,” died at age 84.
Angelo Mosca, a colorful former CFL lineman, died at 84. Angelo was diagnosed with leukemia in 2013 and had to retire from the game he loved due to health reasons.
THE CITY OF HAMILTON, ONTARIO — Angelo Mosca, a five-time Grey Cup champion defensive lineman most known for a controversial hit and a following brawl with Joe Kapp 40 years later, passed away on Saturday. He was 84 years old when he died.
Helen Mosca, Mosca’s wife, reported his death on Facebook.
Helen stated, “It is with great regret that the family of Angelo Mosca announces his demise… after a long fight with Alzheimer’s.” “Angelo was a wonderful husband, father, grandpa, great-grandfather, and friend to a lot of people.”
The former Notre Dame and Hamilton Tiger-Cats standout, who was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1987, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease just after his 78th birthday in 2015.
In a statement, CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie stated, “Angelo Mosca was a superstar.” “He survived a difficult upbringing to become a household name, tough as nails.” He was a fantastic football player who won five Grey Cups, one with the Ottawa Rough Riders and four with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
“He created his bad guy personae into a personal brand that was larger than life, savvy, brilliant, and ahead of his time. Although he was a villain in certain areas, his prominence was unsurpassed in Hamilton, where he was a hero, and when he exchanged his shoulder pads for wrestling tights, he thrilled Mosca fans all over the world.”
Angelo Mosca, a five-time Grey Cup winner and former CFL lineman, died on Saturday. Alzheimer’s disease was discovered in the 84-year-old in 2015. Getty Images/Steve Russell/Toronto Star
Mosca, who is 6-foot-4 and weighs 275 pounds, is most known for his hit on Willie Fleming of British Columbia in the 1963 CFL championship game, which knocked the running back out.
On a pitchout, Fleming grabbed the ball and ran to his right. Mosca came flying over on top of the Lions player after he was tackled just inside the sideline and was laying on his stomach. Although no penalty was called on the play, many people, including Lions quarterback Kapp at the time, thought Mosca’s hit was not just late but also filthy.
With Fleming out, Hamilton went on to win 21-10, cementing Mosca’s image as the CFL’s meanest player, which he subsequently popularized as bad boy “King Kong” Mosca during his pro wrestling days.
Following the 1963 Grey Cup, Kapp never shook Mosca’s hand. But he and the Lions avenged themselves in the 1964 CFL title game, defeating Mosca and the Tiger-Cats 34-24 at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium for the B.C. club’s first-ever trophy.
During Grey Cup week in Vancouver in November 2011, the two former rivals were guests at a CFL Alumni luncheon. When the then 73-year-old Kapp sought to give the then 74-year-old Mosca flowers as an apparent peace offering, Mosca rebuffed the gesture with an expletive, the former players were brought onstage in front of the audience.
Mosca attempted to push the flowers away with his hands when Kapp placed them in his face. Mosca replied by swinging his cane and smacking Kapp in the head, after Kapp smacked him with the flowers. Kapp then delivered a right punch to Mosca’s jaw, followed by a left that knocked him out.
Mosca, a native of Waltham, Massachusetts, transferred from Notre Dame to the Tiger-Cats in 1958 before being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 30th round, 350th overall, in the 1959 NFL selection. Mosca chose to stay in Canada and was traded to the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1960, where he won his first of five Grey Cup rings.
Mosca played with the Riders for two seasons before joining the Montreal Alouettes in 1962. In 1963, he returned to Hamilton and played with the Ticats until 1972, when he retired after the team’s home Grey Cup triumph against Saskatchewan.
Mosca spent several years in St. Catharines, Ontario, and co-wrote “Tell Me To My Face” with Steve Milton, which was published in September 2011.
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