Football Catching Up With Sapp

June 21st, 2017

Disturbing confession.

This is just sad as hell.

If a Bucs fan had to point to one person who personified both the turnaround of the Bucs from Yucs to Super Bowl champs, who with the power of a cult of personality defined the Bucs and turned them from puppies into feared dogs, it was No. 99 Warren Sapp.

The Hall of Fame defensive tackle was the face of the franchise back when a defender could be a face of a franchise.

And now, a decade after he retired, he offered up wincing details about his life. It seems all the years of hard-hitting football took its toll on Sapp, who confessed on his mind is beginning to slip.

I’ve also started to feel the effects of the hits that I took in my career. My memory ain’t what it used to be. And yeah, it’s scary to think that my brain could be deteriorating, and that maybe things like forgetting a grocery list, or how to get to a friend’s house I’ve been to a thousand times are just the tip of the iceberg.

Sapp, in the article he wrote, is now worried he may have CTE. It is a condition thought to be caused by too many hits to the head.

This troubles and saddens Joe. A sharp, bright guy like Sapp who isn’t even 45 yet might be losing it already.

26 Responses to “Football Catching Up With Sapp”

  1. tnew Says:

    Sad. I know the NFL is doing all that it can to limit exposure to multiple helmet to helmet contact but it can literally be called on every play on both the offensive and defensive lineman. I don’t know how that is slowed down without huge alterations to the game. I predict that the NFL will continue to make holding on running plays more and more a point of emphasis. At some point I wonder if a drive block will be illegal.

    The big wow shots that lead to the concussions get the most attention and are being taken out but from my understanding it is the cumulative moderate level hits that the lineman and linebackers take that do the most damage over time. I saw something come across a scroll that Sapp wanted his brain donated to science for research. Scary that he realizes whats going on and that he has no way to slow it down or counter act it.

  2. Pok Says:

    Sorry to hear this- unfortunately it seems to fit the pattern for players of that era. Hopefully advances in helmet technology can greatly reduce the incidence of this over time. It will be necessary to save the sport I think- who wants their kids to play a game that can change your brain by your 20’s? In another sport- extreme “Red Bull” mountain biking, helmet developers have been working on ways to reduce rotational and other impact injuries to reduce concussions. Kali helmets has some very interesting technology that may prove useful and transferable to football and I thought this would be a good read for those interested in this stuff.

    There are ways to make helmets safer still and a number of engineering groups are working on it. I hope they fix it soon- You just can’t take contact out of football.

  3. Dooshlarue Says:

    Could be true, and if so, sad.

    Could also be Sapp trying to squeeze money out of the NFL to help him with his well known financial woes.

    The later seems more probable to me.

  4. Michael Duggan Says:

    Then don’t play the game. Become a policeman or fireman or soldier who put their lives on the line everyday and earn a lot less money. Any rookie coming in now should know what’s at risk before they sign that contract.

  5. Phil Says:

    At least he has all that money. Oh wait maybe he was never that sharp after all.

  6. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Joe, you should ban the last three posters. Tasteless

  7. BucfaninMi Says:

    Weed doesn’t help.

  8. Casual Observer Says:

    Comment on weed is accurate. Likely part of the problem.

  9. Teacherman777 Says:


    Actually weed does help!!

    Israeli scientists at the Hebrew University have proven it!!!

    Cannabis is great post-concussion medecine!!

    Spread the word!

    One Love

  10. Casual Observer Says:

    Tell Sapp.

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    It is very unfortunate.
    It is also very unfortunate that some of what has been said could also be true. It’s a violent sport. I think that you have to weigh that when you decide to play, especially professionally. At the end of the day, you could argue that it was his CHOSEN profession and those are the risks.
    I hope it’s not too severe. Sapp always treated me well when encountered.

  12. DEFF JEFF Says:

    I feel for Sapp even though most of you probably don’t. There’s not many players that went harder than he did and he was certainly an extremely physical player. His onfield attitude was one of the catalysts that transformed the buccaneer culture from pathetic to winning and we need to be grateful for that.

    Hopefully this doesn’t develop into CTE and he can become a productive person throughout the rest of his life. I definitely miss his personality and opinions as he was truly unique and very misunderstood. Miss you man!

  13. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Thanks for injecting some FACTS into the discussion…I saw the piece on that…think it was Bryant Gumbel’s HBO show?

    Again sadly this is the cost of doing business…kind of like losing your life was for Dale Earnhardt…Neil Bonnett…Davey Allison…Fireball Roberts..Dan Wheldon and other race car drivers.

    The helmets have just about reached the limits of what technology can do. The helmets can cushion the blows but as a race car drive told me once it’s not the collision force against your skull…a helmet can protect that…but inside your head when the skull comes to a sudden stop the brain is still moving forward hitting the skull resulting in concussions and over long term CTE.

    Ironically helmet technology may have led to creating a worst situation. If you look back on the very old days of football with the leather helmets, no facemasks or real padding inside…players tackled they didn’t “hit”. Shoulders and arms were used not heads. But the protection afforded by today’s helmets has allowed players to use them as weapons and throw their heads into harms way…something guys in leather helmets just did not do. And while the new helmets certainly protects the outside of the players head and limits fractured skulls…it does nothing for that sudden stop the brain makes inside the skull.

  14. ben Says:

    Mr.Sapp was a beast on the field. I think one of the top 3 players to ever play for the bucs . Wish him the best.

  15. tnew Says:

    St. Pete.. 100%. Great and perfect take. There was a great confluence of players getting bigger/faster and equipment getting better. Both took away some of the fear. The “big hit” concussions are not as concerning as the multiple below the concussion threshold that occur over a great period of time. And correct St. Pete, its the slamming of the brain into the skull thats the issue.

    You don’t have to hit head to head. Body to body hits that are totally legal that slam the brain into the skull are just as bad.

    Someone mentioned Dale Earnhardt, this was on a magnitude that will never be replicated with two humans running but he was killed due to the brains impact with the skull, if you believe the coroner’s report.

    I can’t understand some of the lack of caring on this board. You might have despised the guy but I can’t imagine wishing this or being the “he should’ve known” which no-one did before Mike Webster’s death in 2002. It was well after that that anyone allowed it to become public. Sapp had done all of his damage well before he had any knowledge of the possibility of CTE. Does he play with the Raiders with this knowledge? Is he as fearless with this knowledge?

    I don’t know. I personally know several players from this era. Most of them are 50 going on 80, but the lineman.. they are in the worst shape.

  16. Supersam Says:

    I love sapp, I hope he lives a long healthy life. That being said how do we differentiate memory loss from “football injuries” to just plane ol old age? Lol. I read somewhere that by 40 everyone will experience some sort of memory loss.

  17. Michael Says:

    My point is I’m sure John Lynch knew his style of hitting could have an effect on his health. Even Chris Conte said…….. I’d rather have the experience of playing in the NFL and die 10 to 15 years earlier than not play in the NFL and have a long life,” he said. “I don’t really look toward my life after football. I’ll figure things out when I get there. ” As a side note, drugs and alcohol can also have an effect on memory. That said, I wish Sapp the best…. “Go Bucs”

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucsfanman Says:
    “Sapp always treated me well when encountered.”

    That would put you in the minority. Sapp was a d!ck to fans more often than not. I respect the hell out of his play but he put a lot of bad Karma out there with his behavior and attitude towards people who would approach him just wanting to talk for a minute or ask for an autograph.

    Sorry to hear he is having CTE type issues though.

  19. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Pickgrin- I know man, and I witnessed it firsthand when other people tried to speak to him. I can’t really say why my experience was different other than I gave him space and saw him more frequently than most fans. There’s no doubt that his reputation with fans was well-earned.

  20. 813bucboi Says:

    what goes around…comes around….wish him the best….GO BUCS!!!!

  21. Mike Johnson Says:

    WE all wish Sapp the very best. We might not agree with a lot of his off field antics. But HE of the best..ever done it in a Bucs uniform. god knows we need another Sapp ASAP. But people, the game is football. Its brutal and vicious. I’m not sure even if we did other things, its gonna be safer. You still gotta hit, tackle, and impact others with speed. And its a poor man game from the get go. You don’t see millionaires sons playing football. They just sit and be entertained. And we..the football Junkies just say, Get well guys. Next gladiator up!

  22. BigMacAttack Says:

    Sapp, brother you’re not alone. Be strong.

  23. unbelievable Says:

    Can we get those unis back though? Just sayin…

  24. DalvinTheBeast Says:

    Good lord, you people actually buy this? Sapp is dead broke and has been for years now. This is a fast (and desperate) money grab, nothing more.

  25. TampaTown Says:

    This is so sad. I had two personal interactions with Warren. I don’t know what I did or didn’t do but he was wonderful to me both times. The truth is none of us know these guys. As a season ticket holder, I’ve seen him play every home game in his Buc career. And I do know I got my money’s worth every time he was on the field. That’s all any of us can ask for. He will live in history as our first ever first ballot Hall of Famer. God Bless you and I wish the best for you and your family.

  26. Blake Miller Says:

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