Cuozzo, who for one of the few times in his career (he was used sparingly at Baltimore and spent a desperate year at New Orleans) played behind a line that gave him time to throw, showed that he is capable of taking the Vikings to the Super Bowl. In fact, by the time the game was over, most of the fans in the stadium had forgotten Joe Kapp.
" Kapp?" Mick Tingelhoff, Minnesota's All-Pro center, had said before the game. "We'd like to have Joe back, sure. But Cuozzo's our quarterback."
After the game, Krause said, "Everybody looks to Cuozzo as the leader now. He's proved it. If Kapp comes back, he'll have to beat Gary out."
Naturally, the Vikings won't have as much going for them in the weeks to come. Their feelings, which were more or less hidden before the game, began to surface after it was over. Vellone, bald as a cue ball at 26, then said it for all of them. "What's the difference between this game and the Super Bowl? Eight months. Eight months of thinking."