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“I remember thinking, ‘This is what life is supposed to be about,’ " Joe Wynns said after Indianapolis Capitols or Caps claimed its first football title in 1969, winning the Continental Football League championship!
On a frigid cold night John Nice followed the right-side blocking of Ron McCraig and Percy Griffin to run 13 yards into the Bush Stadium end zone during overtime for a 44-38 victory over San Antonio. It was deemed “Indy’s first pro title.” The Caps’ had closeness, from the generosity of late owner Al Savill, the team voted unanimously for equal playoff shares.
In a time when racism was common, the Caps were a team proudly comprised of 70 percent African American players who watched out for each member of the team and stayed together as a team. The Caps were led by an African American quarterback John Walton, which Joe Wolfla was quoted saying, “That was unheard of, in those days.” Quarterback John Walton had a solid arm, and Joe Wynns, who had two NFL tryouts, was the go-to guy. Al Moore was the perfect mix of power and speed as a running back, and middle linebacker Chick Lauck could really stick ball carriers. Defensive tackle Jim Hayes was known as “Yogi Bear” because of his size and strength. Cornerback Chuck “Bo Dollar” Henry would put a dollar sign on his helmet as a tribute to his nickname.
A majority of Caps players were just trying to keep their options open for an NFL shot. The league continued the careers of some destined NFL greats such as Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh, quarterback Ken Stabler and defensive end Otis Sistrunk.
The Capitols folded after the 1974 season, but the legacy lives on for the Caps!