Today Could Be Warren Sapp’s DayFebruary 2nd, 2013
OK folks, this could be the day of days for former Bucs great Warren Sapp.
It is today that the Cusitodian of Canton, eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, presents Sapp, in his first year of eligibility, to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Sapp, one of 15 finalists, must beat out at least10 other finalists in order to have his bust cemented into the great of greats.
The electors cannot elect more than five “current day” candidates, which include coaches and contributors, who are eligible. Joe actually likes this. This ensures the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of the Pretty Good or the Hall of the Most Popular, which in some ways baseball has turned into.
(For example, Joe once got into a row on Twitter with a Hall of Fame elector who thought it was a crime against humanity that Don Coryell was not in the Hall of Fame. He never won a championship game for crying out loud!!! What next, Jerry Glanville for the Hall of Fame? Shoot, Joe loved George Allen but didn’t think he was worthy of the Hall of Fame. Same with Marv Levy.)
Joe is pleased that players who pass muster must endure a difficult path to be among the game’s elite. So, let’s say Sapp is not elected today/tonight. For a fan to grumble fairly, one must also state who shouldn’t have been elected if Sapp was robbed. Again, the cap on inductees per season is five. Joe applauds this restriction.
This week, while in New Orleans, by chance Joe got to sit and BS with a very, very, very NFL heavy hitter for about 45 minutes who is deeply involved with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Joe won’t mention his name because the conversation was not for publication, but Joe was told by said person that two years ago when Kaufman was chosen as the presenter for Ed Sabol to be elected as a contributor — the ultimate of difficult elections — Kaufman absolutely nailed his presentation of Sabol out of the park and moved many in the room. Joe was told that if not for Kaufman, it is likely Sabol would still be on the outside looking in. That’s impressive.
So, based on that information, Sapp’s fate is in good hands.
Joe knows for a fact Kaufman has taken this task, his first presentation of a Bucs player since he became a Hall of Fame elector representing the Tampa Bay franchise, very, very seriously. Joe saw with his own eyes how Kaufman spoke to other voters seeking input into how to form a winning presentation, voters from Peter King down to those who represented visiting teams at the Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway.
The election process is rigorous, last year taking over seven hours. So we shall all know by late this afternoon, or very early this evening, if Sapp will have his bronze bust in Canton this summer, or if he will have to wait a while for that honor.
Remember, Sapp has to beat out (at least) 10 other finalists. It won’t be easy.