Warren Sapp’s playing career may be over, but his career smack-talking is just reaching its prime.
In Sapp Attack (nice name), Warren chronicles his NFL career from start to finish, finding time to jab former teammates and coaches (some of whom now work for ESPN) along the way. Aside from an admission that he admired former teammate Derrick Brooks, and liked coaches Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden, the marks are poor for just about everyone else, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
On joining the Bucs.
Everything about the organization was bad; bad coaching staff, bad practice facility, bad bright-orange team colors, even a bad team logo. Bucco Bruce was the logo. The NFL had lions and giants, cowboys and panthers. We had the sappy pirate. C’mon, how intimidating is that, Bucco Bruce? He was this sad-looking pirate who actually had his earring in the wrong ear. What kind of pirate has an earring in his wrong ear? He was supposed to be sneering but actually looked like he was winking.
On his first head coach, Sam Wyche.
Sam Wyche and I never did arrive on the same planet. … Wyche thought you motivated people by making snide comments, by belittling people. … So it wasn’t a surprise his coaching staff was disloyal. We spent the whole season watching defensive coordinator Rusty Tillman trying to sabotage Wyche so he could get the head coaching job.
On former Tampa wideout and current ESPN commentator Keyshawn Johnson.
“Among the biggest problems we had on that 2003 team was Keyshawn Johnson. … It wasn’t a big secret Keyshawn didn’t fit into our locker room: he came to us from a different football culture, and he never could make the adjustment. Everything was about him.”
On former Tampa quarterback and current ESPN commentator Trent Dilfer:
“Dilfer … basically was an interception waiting to happen. There were times we practically pleaded with him, ‘We know you’re not going to score a touchdown, but please, just don’t turn it over.’ “
On former Tampa defensive lineman Brad Cooper, whom Sapp outed for illegally putting Vaseline on his jersey.
Now that Whitey (his nickname for Culpepper) also is retired, I’ll confess for him that he was one of the people who did that. He practically bathed in silicone before a game. Trust me, if he had ever tried to hug his wife before a game, she would have slipped right out of his arms and gone straight up in the air.
Sapp isn’t the first athlete to have strong words about his former team after retiring from the game. Tiki Barber, if you’ll recall, had some choice words for the Giants after he left the club in 2007 (the joke, of course, was on Tiki when the Giants won the Super Bowl later that year — although don’t expect a similar recourse from the Bucs).
But anyway, this is absolutely the worst way to go about airing your grievances. In fact, the best way for a former professional athlete to air his or her grievances is to not. A gold seal on the cover of Sapp’s book reads, “Big Man, Big Mouth, Big Laughs.” Big mouth for sure. All the Buccaneers did was pour millions of dollars into Sapp’s pockets, have its fans endear themselves to his persona, and eventually land him a Super Bowl ring.
Yeah, Sapp really got the raw end of that deal.