“They’re Waiting In The Weeds For Him”

February 8th, 2011

Every sane Bucs fan surely sees Warren Sapp as a surefire Hall of Fame inductee. The guy defined his position, was the dominant force on one of the best defenses in the history of the NFL, racked up the stats, and every year NFL teams look for “the next Warren Sapp” in the draft.

But the Tampa Bay area’s lone Hall of Fame voter, eye-RAH! Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune, says many of his fellow voters don’t like Sapp because he wasn’t kind to the media as a player and will let their disdain for him corrupt their votes.

Kaufman shared all this with “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig of WDAE-AM 620, last week during an interview on Radio Row in Dallas.

Kaufman was fired up and said he was saddened that other Hall of Fame panelists would bring their anger at Sapp into the mix, a practice that violates Hall of Fame induction voting rules.

Kaufman: People have absolutely a wrong misconception about No. 99. He was a great teammate. Sapp was a tremendous teammate. People want to lump him and Keyshawn Johnson together. That is crazy. Him and Keyshawn didn’t like each other, but don’t dare put those two guys [together].   Because Steve, if Keyshawn caught eight balls and the Bucs lost 21-17, Keyshawn was ok in that postgame locker room. If Sapp made 11 tackles and two sacks and the Bucs lost 21-17, you better not go near Sapp. They were totally different. I’ve got so much more respect for a Sapp.

Duemig: But the guys in that Hall of Fame room don’t like him do they?

Kaufman: You’re right and they’re waiting in weeds. They’re waiting in the weeds for him.

Duemig: You think they’ll take that out on him?

Kaufman: Some of them will, and shame on them. Shame on them. …Here’s my opening[presentation] line for 2013, if Sapp makes the final list, which I think he should: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, there’s nobody in this room from a personal standpoint that has more of a reason not to vote for Warren Sapp than the guy that’s standing right in front of you. He didn’t talk to me for three years because I didn’t put him on my All-Tribune team one year. I put Gary Walker from the Jaguars and I didn’t know he hated Gary Walker. And he didn’t talk to me for like three years.

After two years I go, ‘Sapp, what’s the statute of limitations?’ He goes, ‘Forever, Kaufman.’ 

How petty do you have to be [a Hall of Fame voter] to put out a personal vendetta and lay in the weeds? If you want to argue that Sapp wasn’t a Hall of Fame player, ok, let’s make that argument. But don’t say, ‘I’m not voting for him.’ …You hear those whispers.

Yes, Sapp often was an ass to the media. It’s no secret. Frankly, Joe thought it was quite funny.

Though back in 2002, Joe covered a Bucs game for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. And, specifically, Joe was asked to hit Sapp up with one detailed question and get an answer. Sapp gave Joe one of his “next question” responses, but Joe had no “next question.” So Joe kept asking Sapp.

Sapp stared down Joe and said, “You really need this quote, huh.” Joe said, “Yes.” Sapp laughed and then said, “Ok.” And Sapp proceeded to give Joe an answer that seemed completely bogus, essentially messing with Joe’s head. Of course, that response never made the newspaper. 

But all that kind of stuff should be meaningless to voters. Like Kaufman, Joe hopes the Hall of Fame panelists do the right thing and put Sapp on the first ballot.

If you’re drawing up sides for an all-time NFL team, not just a Hall of Fame, Sapp makes your front four. It’ll cheapen the entire process if he’s not a first-ballot inductee.

23 Responses to ““They’re Waiting In The Weeds For Him””

  1. sunrisejeff Says:

    Agree 100% He may not have been the nicest guy to fans or media but that shouldn’t matter one bit when it comes to HOF worthy. The guy was unstoppable on the field and that is all that matters.

  2. Snook Says:

    It’d be a shame if Sapp didn’t make it in on the 1st ballot. But if he made it in the 2nd year instead, that would put him in the same HOF class as Derrick Brooks, right?

    That’d be one helluva ceremony!

  3. bucfanjeff Says:

    Do the same people that vote for COTY vote for HOF? If so, we’re screwed.

  4. Blake Says:

    I know he’s older, but how does Kaufman have a HOF vote and Stroud not? I feel like at this point, Stroud has more national notoriety than Kaufman…not that I’m really a big fan of either.

  5. nick Says:

    I know times have changed. All this kiss ass media stuff is ridiculous. I can’t imagine Butkus being a nice guy in the media

  6. Fire Greg Olson! Says:

    Passing on Charles Haley for public masturbation is one thing. Holding Sapp out cause he’s a prick is another.

  7. CreamsiclePasties Says:

    Sapp was an unbelievable player and more than worthy of the HOF in his first year of eligibility

    But as a Buc’s fan, I give him more credit than any other player in turning around this franchise. The swagger and attitude that he brought to the defense made the entire organization strive for greatness. Warren Sapp made it his mission to turn around this lowly franchise, and he succeeded.

    Not only that, but the guy loves the game. Not just playing….Sapp is highly educated on the history of the league and the players who came before him. That is refreshing to see…..Can’t wait to see his acceptance speech.

  8. Capt.Tim Says:

    Buuuut, then again- why did he have to be a prick? This town wanted to embrace him, and still does. But his reputation as a rotten person made it so much harder. Nobody forces a public figure to treat people like crap- no one! Again, I am basing this solely on what I’ve heard, I only met Mr. Sapp briefly on several occasions, and didn’t have enough info to say. But if he was really Rude to all( I’ve heard worse allegations), then meybe missing the first ballot in isn’t unwarranted. I loved watching Sapp play, and what he did here. But like being a pro musician- dealing with the press/ public is part of your job, just as much as the playing. There’s always a price for not doing that part of the job. Plus- why be a dick to the people paying your check anyway??

  9. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Sapp was dominant for about 3 or 4 years. He was one of the biggest A-holes I have ever met. I had the displeasure of being at places with him rather frequently in the late 90’s and have stories about how rude he was to people including fans for absolutely no reason. I don’t care how he acted to the media.

    I never understood it. With that said he probably deserves to be in the HOF. For one of those years (the 16 sack year) he was a beast for a DT. I cant recall the last time a DT had those kind of numbers – Suh is probably the closest.

  10. Brad Says:

    What a shocker, Ira voted for another non-Buc and pissed Sapp off. Good for Sapp not giving this guy the time of day.

  11. Dave Says:

    I have heard a TON of stories about Sapp being an assss to fans (some times I understand where it comes from when he is out in public, but most the stories… he’s just an assssssssssssssssssss)

    That said: it makes no difference. He is a HOFer. He is a no brainer. He should be first ballot.

    BUT we all know what the media is like today. They can’t even pretend to tell us simple facts without injecting their own comments and thoughts on a subject (Yes, I’m talking about the liberal press).

    I wouldn’t mind if he was held back a little and then him and brooks went in together.

  12. nick Says:

    I actually hope he gets denied first ballot and goes in with Brooks. I’m already planning my trip Canton. Joe, you should get that bus of yours and drive us up

  13. Dimitrios Says:

    sapp is a football player who got drafted to the bucs.. yes he was an asss to many people but so am i.. so what.. the man was the most disruptive dtackle to ever live in my mind.. lets not forget, you can take the player out the U but you cant take the U out the player

  14. oar Says:

    In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary… come again?
    His NFL career started off with a case of the “weeds”, and allowed us to take him in one of our greatest drafts. Now it looks like his ticket to the Hall of Fame is in the hands of a bunch of guys in the “weeds”!
    Seriously, he should be first ballot, period! He defined that positon and changed our defensive game!

  15. Dimitrios Says:

    i hope more players take his rout before the draft and fail a marijuana “drug” test… we need another gem to fall to us in the 20th spot!

  16. McBuc Says:

    Thomas, I have to disagree on your opinion of Sapp only being great for 3 – 4 years of his 13 years in the NFL. 7 pro bowls is my first argument, and my second argument would be the fact that he is ranked 2nd all time for sacks from the DT position. The entire sporting world seems to disagree with you on his importance to the game.

  17. oar Says:

    Don’t forget 19 forced fumbles, 10 sacks in 2006 with Oakland, and oh yeah, he was DOUBLED TEAMED 90% of time and still performed! BTW what other DT has 4 receptions(9.8 yd/rec avg) and 2 of those for TDs?

  18. McBuc Says:

    OAR…great points as well. Sapp was great his entire career. He had a slow start in year one, but still had solid numbers. How anyone could say he only had 3 or 4 years is beyond me…oh well, we all have an opinion. BTW, that virgin mary comment cracked me up.

  19. oar Says:

    “Sapp was great his entire career.” That sums it up! I have to agree!

  20. BigMacAttack Says:

    Imagine Sapp and Weed in the same headline. Professionals should be able to cast personal feelings aside to make the right call. It just doesn’t happen very often in today’s society, from Refs to reporters, journalists and networks. Everybody seems to have their personal agenda. So Warren, don’t hold your breath for that first ballot, or second, maybe third.

  21. Capt.Tim Says:

    BigMacAttack- meybe there should be some personal accountability? I loved Sapp, thought he was the greatest talent here since LeRoy Selmon. but why give him a pass if( and I say if, I never saw it)he tested the fans like crap. We give Ateletes too damn many passes. I still can’t believe how many people embrace Rapistberger. Last spring his bodyguard was keeping a young girls friends from helping her, while he raped her in a bathroom. A week ago, half the country didn’t care- because he can throw a football? Disgusting! Sapp absolutely belongs in the hall of of fame – if my health allows- I wanna be there! But if the sportswriters hold off a year, because he acted like an ass, then meybe it’s a message that doesn’t hurt to be sent. If everyones life, the day comes when they turn off the cameras. The fans stop screaming. You become average. You have to be careful about the bed you made for yourself.

  22. Rebecca Jill Says:

    Fact — Sapp should be a first ballot Hall of Famer. If childish sports writers can’t be professional, can’t get over themselves and can’t get away from holding petty grudges, then I have absolutely no respect for them. (And there’s some I currently don’t have any respect for, because they act childish and high and mighty, because some player or coach wouldn’t talk to them or whatever. They’re not required by law to speak to the media.)

    He should be judged by what he did on the football field, unless there’s proof he violated the NFL personal conduct policy, and you can be found guilty of violating it for being an ass, because you were rude to the media. Being rude and an ass isn’t against the law.

    It’s bad enough when a lot of players are divas; we don’t need the sports writers to be divas, also. Good for Sapp for not talking to Kaufman for 3 years for his reasons, and kudos to Kaufman for getting over it. Hopefully, his colleagues will, otherwise, shame on them for even thinking about violating Hall of Fame induction voting rules, because the star player was mean to them. Boo freaking hoo!

  23. oar Says:

    Exactly! It’s not the Etiquette Hall of Fame, unless your Brian Bosworth!