Beating 49ers Personal For Sapp

July 6th, 2013

niners nightmare

A lot of Bucs fans point to the Bucs pounding the San Francisco 49ers in the heat and humidity of a midday game at the Old Sombrero in 1997 as the turning point from the Yucs to the powerful Bucs.

Warren Sapp doesn’t disagree. Sapp spoke about this and more to Joe and other reporters this spring, shortly after Sapp learned he’d be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in a few scant weeks.

While Sapp was quick to point out it took hard work off the field, lots of it, to get the Bucs over the hump, Sapp had a fire burning bright inside of him to exact revenge against the 49ers for what happened some 16 years prior.

“You talking about that summer, going 5-3 at the end of the 1996 year, and that Yuc game out in San Diego,” Sapp said. “We are building it. We are coming along. I remember that summer me and Brooks coming in here. We put in some work. We put in some work that year. We were ready to roll. Warrick was with us, so we had some punch (Mike Alstott) and some wiggle. We had a little something in the backfield.

“For me, [the 49ers game] was personal. Cause I was a nine-year old kid watching [Dwight Clark’s] “The Catch” to beat Dallas for the 1981 NFC title]. I was a Cowboys fan. And I cried that night. I remember my brother ragging me for the next three months. “You crybaby, you. You’re soft.” And I remember driving to the stadium [prior to the 1997 49ers game] I was so focused I forgot to leave my homeboy’s tickets at the will call window. They went to will call and there were no tickets. I forgot the tickets I was so focused. [The 49ers] were going to pay for that.”

Sapp vividly remembered the plays where he knocked out Jerry Rice and, later, was in on the tackle where Steve Young took a knee [not Sapp’s] to the head. In the week leading up to the game, Sapp said then-defensive line coach Rod Marinelli harped to Sapp about stopping Rice on an end around.

In fact, Sapp has a permanent reminder of the play he sees daily.

“He’s not getting around me,” Sapp thought. Then, on a particular snap, “I took a bad step and I look up and he was coming. This finger [holds up a bent pinkie finger] is still crooked because of Jerry Rice’s facemask. That pinkie caught it.”

Sapp said he asked Rice if he wanted help up as Rice lay on the field and Sapp wasn’t aware of the extent of Rice’s injury. Rice did not answer Sapp’s offer and Sapp said to himself, “I knew there was something wrong.”

18 Responses to “Beating 49ers Personal For Sapp”

  1. Luther Says:

    I remember that game. There was definitely a statement made that day. I felt proud to be a Buc’s fan that day.

  2. RachelWatson'sthong Says:

    I was at that game. It most definitely was the turning point game! We saw Carmen Policy and Dwight Clark walking out of the Sombrero and they were both very shook up about that game.

  3. Adam Says:

    I was at that game too. The girl I was dating got 3rd row seats behind the Bucs bench at the Old Sombrero.

  4. Amar Says:

    Wow, only 3 comments…Most of yall on this page must not have been Bucs fans for that long.

  5. nick Says:

    it was the best day of my life…

  6. Dan Says:

    So how many Bucs games will be blacked out this year? I say 6

  7. @eric Says:

    One of my favorite memories in my Buc life…..worst to first… Then the monsoon play off game with the Rams….the SD Chargers come back game on the road and this one……Bucs defense destroyed the 49ers top on opening day……hoping to see a glimmer of the glory days here soon.

  8. Brent Says:

    My last game at the “BIG Sombrero” was the 1997 Bucs-Lions playoff game 20-10 Bucs victory!!!!

  9. RastaMon Says:

    I was there…

  10. scubog Says:

    If you are referring to 1979, the “monsoon game” wasn’t the Rams eric. It was the last game of the regular season against the Chiefs. Although not a true “playoff” game, it certainly felt like one as it clinched the NFC central Division championship. The Bucs earned a Bye, upset the Eagles and then player the Rams in the NFC Championship game. It was a little cold (as was our offense that night) but no “monsoon.” That 49er’s game was the “statement game” and absolutely “shocked the world” as Ali would say. This 2013 team reminds me a lot of that 1997 team.

  11. teacherman777 Says:

    Warrick Dunn was the man!

    I loved those teams!


    Great team Spirit!

    Shout out to Brad Culpepper. Donnie Abraham. And Karl the Truth Williams. Dave Moore. And all the unsung guys who helped turn the entire franchise around.

  12. stanglassman Says:

    That SF game Sapp spoke about was definitely one of the top non playoff games in Buccaneer history. I was out having a beer the night before that game at a little dive bar in HP next to Berns and in walks Bryan Glazer and he sat down next to me and when his girl went to the bathroom He ask about my Bucs hat and how long I had been a fan, I congratulated He and his family’s on the purchase of the team and welcomed him to Tampa. He was surprised to be recognized and to know that there was fans that hadn’t missed a home game since ’76 and we spoke about the SF game and I told him I felt really good about our chances and gave him a cigar to him to enjoy after the Bucs win. For the record the next day when I saw him running off the field after the game with a big smile on his face he had a cigar in his front shirt pocket, I’d like to think it was the one I gave him.

  13. stanglassman Says:

    Remember the old sombrero little stairs that became brisk waterfalls when it poured rain? What a dangerous hazard those were. And remember the Steelers home game the on Christmas eve when it was so cold and the town was experiencing blackouts and someone made a bunch of counterfeit tickets so all the aisles were full of people. There must have been 100k people in the stadium that game.

  14. @eric Says:

    It’s was the Rams game I was referring to…..9 to 0 in a rain storm where the goal post were waving in strong winds…..1979…….unless I need some Ginko for memory….

  15. Bojacksonsucks Says:

    It disgusts me that Sapp was such a huge Dalass fan. Floridians have such little regional pride it annoys and frustrates the hell out of me.

  16. Luther Says:

    It most definitely was the Rams game 9-0 that was the monsoon. I was at the game as a kid selling cokes. I joined the Boy Scouts just so I could go to the games.

  17. stanglassman Says:

    That 9-0 Rams vs Bucs playoff game is on Utube in its entirety, I watched it the other day. I went to the game to but I was only 11 years old so it was interesting seeing it now. The Bucs LBers just beat up the Rams a few games before and the Rams said they didn’t want to see the Bucs defense again after the first beating they took at the end of the regular season.

  18. scubog Says:

    No it wasn’t Luther. It was the Chief’s game when rain flowed down the aisles like a waterfall! I don’t remember it even raining at the Rams game; but I do remember it being a little cold.