My photo
AllStarInc represents Hall of Fame members, Heisman Trophy Winners, and All-Stars from all sports in negotiating and securing appearance and endorsement opportunities. Our representatives provide special individualized attention not available through some of the larger agencies. We are sports marketing experts who will maximize your chances of a long and successful career, both on and off the field. If you are a retired player from any sport seeking appearance and endorsement opportunities, AllStarInc has the winning combination to help you with achieve your goals. Please visit our website at for more information.

Friday, June 1, 2012

In the Dirt with...John Cappelletti

It still comes as a surprise to some people that John Cappelletti is the ONLY Heisman Trophy winner in Penn State University sports history.

How can that be possible?  All those great teams over all of those many years?  Surely somebody else has won a Heisman in Happy Valley?

Nope; just Cappy.

It's even harder to believe that the 40th anniversary of his winning the trophy in 1973 is quickly approaching. 

I have been very fortunate to have become close friends with John.  He's truly a genuine guy.  While Cappy is very proud of his many accomplishments, he's also a very humble person who is quick to talk about other players long before talking about himself.

He built his life after football on the west coast and he now resides a little over an hour north of San Diego.  This has always surprised me a teeny bit because I know how much "FAMILY" means to him.  And in a way, I guess that's why he's still out there.

While his parents and siblings have always lived outside Philly (his Mom still lives in Upper Darby), John was raising a family of his own during his playing days in Los Angeles and San Diego.  He told me often times that he "just didn't want to take the kids away from where they were growing up."

There were a couple of forks in the road that might have changed all of that and made things very different.

After winning the Heisman in 1973, John was eligible for the 1974 draft.  Before the 1973 season began, the Philadelphia Eagles had traded their 1974 first round pick to the LA Rams in a blockbuster trade for quarterback Roman Gabriel.  The Eagles also included other draft picks and players to get the 32 year old QB in hopes that Gabriel could turn a floundering franchise back into the correct direction.

Ironically, when the 11th selection came up in the '74 draft, the Rams used it to select John Cappelletti.  The Philadelphia suburb native COULD have been an Eagle had the team not traded for Roman Gabriel.

Coulda, shoulda, and woulda, I know...but there's more! 

In 1974, the NFL had some competition for fans and players in the United Football League.  Philadelphia had a franchise called the Philadelphia Bell.  The team made a HUGE pitch to Cappelletti to try and woo him away from the Rams and keep him home in Philly.  Despite offering almost twice what the Rams put on the table, the Bell lost out and Cappy went to the NFL.  That had to be a very difficult decision for a 21-year old fresh off the college gridiron.

It turns out that it was probably a wise move as the UFL folded half way through the 1975 season. 

Many people here in Philly aren't aware that John spent parts of NINE seasons in the NFL between his time with Los Angeles and San Diego.  With the possible exception of his last two years with San Diego, John was an extremely productive player and filled a role for his team nicely.

So while his professional history could have possibly been very different, his college history is something that is clearly etched in stone among the record books in State College, PA.

John Cappelletti (PSU '74) with ASI good friend, Lauren Henderson (PSU '12)
at an appearance at Carl's Cards and Collectibles in Havertown, PA
The greatest college player ever to play at Penn State?  It has to be the ONLY Heisman Trophy winner ever there.  Only one... and just one.  John Cappelletti.  That makes the debate pretty short, right?
Penn State Nittany Lions Heisman Trophy Award Winner and AllStarInc client, John Cappelletti, will be appearing at the TriStar Houston Show at the Reliant Center on Saturday, June 2nd from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  For autograph tickets and information contact J&T Sports through their email at or call 210-854-3347.

If you're from the Houston area or will be in the area, please stop by the show on Saturday and hello!

If you live in the Philadelphia area, please visit our good friend, Carl Henderson's store, Carl's Cards and Collectibles, for a great selection of sports memorabilia.  They are located at 22 West Eagle Road, Havertown, PA  19083.  For more information on their store, available collectibles and appearances, contact them at 610-789-4996 or visit their website at

Spread The Dirt around!  Click on the links to invite your friends to get down and dirty with us!

No comments:

Post a Comment