February 7, 2010, - 11:57 am

Supe Sunday: Once a Sapp, Always a Sapp

By Debbie Schlussel

As in years past, I guess I’ll have to use the word “Supe” instead of “Superbowl,” lest the NFL send its private cadre of  ICE agent speech police my way for violating its trademark to the word.


And on that note, I think it’s no strange coincidence that Warren Sapp was pulled from today’s NFL Network coverage of the Supe, after being arrested for allegedly domestically assaulting whatever bim he brought with him to his Miami hotel room.  Sapp has always been a thug, both on AND off the field.  And that’s, sadly, the problem with far too many NFLers and has been for some time.  You take people off the killing fields of America (and that means some White players, too, like Ryan Tucker, so please spare me the “you’re racist” comments), and then you expect that with a ton of money and nice XXL Armani suits, they’ll be civil.  Not how it works.

This thuggishness and violence is a not a first for Sapp.  And I had my own “experience” seeing Sapp’s rude and violent side (more on that later).  He inspired new NFL rules against “unnecessary roughness” after he deliberately blindsided Chad Clifton of the Green Bay Packers and sent him to the hospital, when Clifton was not in the main action and was merely jogging down the side of the field.  During Sapp’s NFL career he deliberately bumped two different referees on the field in two different games, one of them, after repeatedly swearing and gesturing at the ref.  And that’s in addition to several other altercations and disruptions at NFL games, including threatening to beat up then-Packers Coach Mike Sherman.  Sooner or later you knew this predilection for violence would spread off the field with this guy.  And I’m not just talking about at least four kids he fathered with three different women.

Sapp was charged with one count of misdemeanor domestic battery and is expected to appear before a Miami-Dade County judge today. . . .

The victim had a swollen knee and bruises on her neck, according to an arrest affidavit. She told detectives that she was partying with Sapp and her friends at the hotel and asked for his room key when she grew tired. Sapp reportedly woke up the victim a few hours later and they started to argue. She told investigators that Sapp started to choke her and pushed her down on a couch.

As the argument escalated, Sapp grabbed the woman by her shirt and neck and threw her down again, the affidavit states.

In 2002, I went to meet up with a friend of mine–one of Sapp’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates–after a Detroit Lion’s game. I had the unfortunate experience of being introduced to Sapp and his then-agent Drew Rosenhaus, neither of whom I had any desire to meet. Sapp swore at me and made scary faces because I was not interested in meeting him.  I was waiting for my friend, “Solo,” a former University of Wisconsin player, whom I’d tutored while I was in grad school there, with whom I became good friends,  and who signed with Tampa and invited me to the game, when he and his team played Detroit. I thought Sapp was pretty scary.

And there are plenty more–far too many more–like Sapp in the NFL who are still playing on the field, collecting millions, and acting violently off the field.  Most years, some writer or another tallies up how many convicted criminals–many of ’em violent criminals–are playing in that year’s Superbowl.  Not sure what the tally is this year.  But you can bet it ain’t zero.

Warren Sapp is just an emblem of the continuing problem.  Once a Sapp, always a Sapp.  Nice suits, lots of money, and a job on the field and one in the broadcast booth when you retire, doesn’t make you a decent human being.

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14 Responses

Sapp is a thug. And Hollywood put him on the show Dancing With The Stars to make him look like a decent human being. I was never fooled. Glad you weren’t fooled.

I think colleges should get out of business of being farm teams for the NFL and NBA. It should be like baseball. Those who don’t want to be in college should have a minor league farm team for these thugss Universities shouldn’t have to cater and give them special treatment. It only enables these scumbags.

Glad you weren’t awed by this lowlife. Typical of a street thug, he can’t get he wants from you, he then resorts to swearing at you and intimidation.

CaliforniaScreaming on February 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Nate Newton is my personal “Sapp”. Met him at a sports radio remote broadcast during the Troy Aikman era Supe days. He was a total asshole. After he retired from football, he went into the marijuana smuggling business. Newton was arrested for driving a load up from the border. A couple of months later, while out on bond for the first bust, Newton was arrested driving another load of the chronic from Texas to Atlanta. Maybe Newton was selling the grass at Mike Vick’s dog fights in Georgia. Newton ended up doing federal time. After he was released he immediately began appearing on local (Dallas/Fort Worth) sports shows and broadcasts. Newton ended up appearing regularly on the Michael Irvin Radio Show at the local espn affiliate. That gig ended Friday when Michael Irving was fired. Irvin is being sued civilly in Florida for an alleged sexual assault in 2007. Irvin who also works for the NFL Network and is on the air now.

BonzerWolf on February 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Can’t you say “a complete jerk?” There’s a time and place for everything, including that kind of language, and a public website isn’t the place, unless you’re 15 years old.

    Miranda Rose Smith on February 8, 2010 at 6:27 am

My older brothers both played football in High School. The olderst was always a big fan of the game ond can still tell you most of the players (even the minor players) of the teams of the 60’s into the 70’s. A few years back I asked him why he no longer had a taste for the game and he said simply it was the players like Sapp.
When Micheal Jordan left basketball the NBA went into a tail spin because of all the thugs that it had hired. Viewers and attendence plummeted. The NBA has been trying over the last few years to address that problem with rules like what is appropriate to wear when a player attends a game as a spectator. The NBA will never get back the glory days of the 80’s to mid-90’s.
The NFL saw what was happening to the NBA and tried to quell anything like that from happening to football. It was a little late, but they have, for the most part, stopped the bleeding.
Rush Limbaugh continually gets grief for apparently saying that the NFL is full of Bloods and Crips. The truth is the NFL itself thought the league was full of Bloods and Crips and set rules as to what kind of head gear a player could wear on the side lines. No more blue or red skull caps allowed. And no more flashing gang signs. When black sports commentators bring Rush’s supposed statements up, I wish some talking head would ask why it is that the NFL has these rules then?
Have fun watching the game. I say The Colts in a blow-out by the end of the 1st half. Many want The Saints for sentimental reasons. I think The Saints are loaded with thugs, personally, but besides that, The Colts are a better team and Manning is far too great a quater back.
Pass me a beer and some chips.

Bob on February 7, 2010 at 3:06 pm

In my opinion the NFL is a holding tank for criminals who would otherwise be knocking off liquor stores or mugging little old ladies. At least they are kept off the street and by earning ridiculous salaries they can by all the bling and fast cars they want..and pay taxes too.

Chuck on February 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm

In response to Chuck…there is something to be said to them being payed lots of money and having no idea how to keep that money. The money quickly gets put into circulation. Trickle-down economics at work.

Bob on February 7, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I think that XXL suits would be suitable for one of the kickers not for that land whale. After reading PROS AND CONS IN THE NFL, I really haven’t watched much of the game. I remember watching a Lion flash gang signs after a touch down about 10-15 yrs ago and yelled at the t.v. I continue to look at the culture of criminals that is successfully intruding upon so much of our lives. Football sucks and a lot of the fans do to. I remember a few years ago a couple of local dj’s interviewed Irvin about his antics in the locker room. He openly spoke of many times when he’d hear there was a female sports interviewer roaming the locker room and he purposely strolled around nude JUST FOR LAUGHS. Real gentleman. Too bad he wasn’t arrested for CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT.

Joe on February 7, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Hard to imagine that people who are paid to commit violence profesionally wouldn’t be more prone to violence in real life. As an aside, wonder if anyone has studied NFL felony violence by position? My bet: defensive ends are #1.

adam on February 7, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    You’d like the book Pros and Cons in the NFL. The race politics are addressed as well. The authors were threatened and harassed by the justice brothers.

    J: I’ve written about it on this site and elsewhere many, many times over the years. Use the search engine, and you’ll see. DS

    Joe on February 7, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I’m old enough to wonder if maybe a female sports interviewer shouldn’t be roaming a (men’s) locker room.

Miranda Rose Smith on February 8, 2010 at 6:34 am

    It’s a common practice in todays world for females to have a job like that. The routine that takes place is that the guys in the locker room all yell around that there’s a female present. So this degenerate, Irvin figures that it’s his cue to present himself in all his nakedness. How’d you like your boss to hear that you are ready to enter his office and he whips his thing out?

    Joe on February 8, 2010 at 11:08 am

Why did that young woman ask for Sapp’s, of all the people’s room key, when she wanted to lie down and rest? She must have been aware that he had violent tendencies. He was vicious, but she was-not smart.

Miranda Rose Smith on February 8, 2010 at 6:36 am

No American who has any right to complain about crime or terrorism would be caught dead at one of these games. Every member of the audience is an active enabler to violent trash. Whenever I’m feeling down I re-read the chapter in Tom Clancy’s “Sum of all Fears” where terrorists nuke the Stupid Bowl.

Then I usually feel much better.

The Terrorist's Advocate on February 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Why is Sapps still on Inside the NFL?
The other distinguished cast members
laugh and joke with him, as if he were
I don’t get it.

Cara on February 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm

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