You may know Warren Sapp from his 13 years as an All-Pro NFL defensive tackle, or perhaps from his recent legal foray, the YouTube series "Judge Sapp." Or maybe you watch him on the NFL Network or follow his busy Twitter feed. Well, if you didn't have enough platforms to access Warren Sapp, now you have another: His memoir Sapp Attack hit shelves yesterday and it's full of all sorts of interesting little goodies.
According to Sapp, Bill Belichick (then the head coach of the Cleveland Browns) was quite impressed with his pro day workout. Maybe a little too impressed:
"I had a good workout. I ran a 4.65 40, did some drills. I did everything they asked me to do. I just blazed through everything. I was in the locker room after the workout when someone told me the Cleveland Brown's coach Bill Belichick was outside waiting for me. I put on my shorts and ran outside. "I'm sorry, Coach," I said. "I didn't know you were waiting on me."
"That's okay," he said. "Go take a shower. I'll wait." We started talking about my workout and he told me, "Son, I want to draft you so bad my dick is hard."
The Jon Gruden Sapp writes about isn't so out-of-character. Loud and obnoxious in the Monday Night Football booth, Gruden was apparently the same way as a coach:
In preparation for [the 2002 NFC Championship Game] Jon Gruden have the single best motivational speech I've ever heard. In reality, most coaches' speeches aren't like in the movies, where the coach builds up and up the momentum until the team charges hell-bent onto the field ready to rip down the entire stadium. If a coach does give that type of speech it's usually Saturday night. The Sunday speech is the matter-of-fact review of what we need to do to win the game. All business. Gruden gave this speech at the beginning of the week. He stood up in front of us and explained that there were 10 things we needed to do to beat the Eagles. Ten Things! He went down the list one by one, blah blah blah, blah blah blah, we'd heard it all. But then he got to the number one thing we needed to do, and he started talking about their kick returner Brian Mitchell. "I want Brian Mitchell's ass on a plate," he said. "And once we finish with the Philadelphia Eagles we are going to go to San Diego for the Super Bowl..." he paused, grinned and concluded, "Where the coach is gonna get two hotel rooms for all my bitches!"
The room erupted. Exploded. That was it, that was the greatest motivational speech ever. There isn't even a second place. "The coach is gonna get two hotel rooms for all my bitches!"
I said to Gruden, "Yes, you are one sick fuck! Let's go get this done."
Sapp's feud with Keyshawn Johnson is no secret. Here's why the two don't get along:
Everything was always about him. His ego barely fit in any locker room, but the first practice we had in 2003, the first practice we had after winning the Super Bowl, was the day I officially stopped speaking to him.
We had drafted quarterback Chris Simms, Phil Simms's son. He was a big left-handed kid who could throw the ball. I mean, throw it. Me and (Derrick) Brooks were standing on the sideline calling each other champ, "How you doing, champ?" "Pretty good, champ," when Chris Simms dropped back and threw a perfect spiral to Keyshawn—who dropped it. Okay, dropping a pass in practice is not a big deal. It always takes a receiver time to get used to working with a new quarterback. But Keyshawn looked back at Simms and shouted, "Your ball spins funny."
Your ball spins funny? It spins funny? Simms was left-handed so his passes did have an opposite spin. But this was the kid's first professional practice, he wanted so badly to start earning respect and prove himself, and Keyshawn dropped a pass and turned around and blamed him. My goodness. Right at that moment I'd had enough with him. I shook my head and said to Brooks, "I swear to God I will never say another word to him. He is too stupid and too arrogant to know when he's wrong." Oh, I was getting into it, all my frustrations with him were rolling out. "He's been here three years, and if you can tell me one time he said 'my bad' I'll talk to him again. One time, Brooks, just tell me one time. All those times he ran the wrong route, all those times he didn't know what the hell he was doing, never one time did he say 'my bad'."
He skipped team meetings, twice he missed the curfew the night before a game, and when we went to San Francisco he missed the plane coming back without telling anyone where he was. And I saw people following his lead.
We finally had to deal with the Keyshawn situation in midseason. Once we started losing, some people started looking out for themselves. So after a team meeting one morning I was walking into Gruden's office, and Keyshawn came out of the office and walked right past me. We didn't say anything to each other. The lights were on in Gruden's office, and he had this totally mystified look on his face. I asked, "You all right?"
He sat back in his chair and asked, "What the fuck did I do?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Can you believe this fucker Keyshawn comes into my office and tells me he don't like me, he don't like my offense, and he'd rather retire than play for me next season. He wants out of here."
That was all I needed to hear. "Just hold on," I said. "Don't go nowhere." I got our other five captains and brought them back into Gruden's office with me. Johnny wears his emotions on his face, and it was obvious this was really bothering him. "Tell them," I said.
Gruden repeated what he'd told me, and we sat there and voted Keyshawn off the team. Six-zero, there wasn't one of us who was interested in keeping him. We didn't believe we needed him either. It was Keenan (McCardell), not Keyshawn, who'd caught two touchdowns in the Super Bowl. McKay deactivated his ass for the last six games of the season; he wasn't even allowed back inside One Buc.
But Sapp is secretly sappy. In the final game of his career, Sapp barreled through the offensive line and knocked the ball from Philip Rivers' hands before he had a chance to give it to LaDainian Tomlinson, something he had never done in his NFL career:
For a few happy seconds I forgot it was my last game. "I waited 13 years for that and I got it!" But a few plays later I went from happy to the end. Right before halftime I banged up my shoulder, and as I came off the field I knew I was never going to go back on. I told (defensive line coach) Keith Millard, "I can't go no more." I put on my jacket and cried.
If you want more Sapp Attack—and why wouldn't you?—you can buy the book on Amazon.