“He’s Killin’ Me”April 12th, 2012
The man charged with presenting Warren Sapp’s case for entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in a matter months is unhappy about the high-profile negativity surrounding Sapp in recent days.
Tampa Tribune NFL writer Ira Kaufman, the Tampa Bay area’s only representative on the Hall induction panel, joined Tom Krasniqi of WHBO-AM 1040 yesterday and painted a grim picture of Sapp becoming a first-ballot Hall of Famer with the class of 2013.
“He’s killin’ me. He’s killin’ me,” Kaufman said of Sapp. “And by that I mean that in nine months it’s going to be my pleasure, my privilege to present the case for No. 99 in front of the Hall of Fame panel. Forty-four people are going to be looking at him. I have very powerful ammo to get this man in [to the Hall of Fame,] I believe, based on the merits of what he did on the football field.
“But you’re right. Some of those people in that room are looking for a reason to vote, ‘No’, on this guy based on the way he treated them. We don’t need anymore ammo. We don’t need him getting fired from NFL Network, which could happen. We don’t need the bankruptcy. We don’t need him getting him in trouble with Jeremy Shockey; Whether it’s true or not, he shouldn’t have said it. All these ancillary things are not helping my case. So from a very selfish and personal point of view, he’s killin’ me.”
Kaufman said he doesn’t want to accept the consensus that Sapp won’t get into the Hall of Fame on his first try. Kaufman said he’ll feel like he failed if that’s what plays out. Thought Kaufman added that if Sapp were to be inducted into the Hall the following season with Tony Dungy and Derrick Brooks, that wouldn’t feel so bad.
For Joe, it’s just beyond weak that scribes who elect members of the Hall would make the whole process personal and keep Sapp — or anyone — out because they think he’s a jerk. There’s not much point to the whole thing without an objective, intelligent process.