Canton-Bound Warren Sapp Can't Screw Up This Second Chance







Warren Sapp rejoices as he prepares to join Bill Parcells, Cris Carter and three others in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer. Michael Strahan, like Sapp, a first-time nominee, was denied.

Warren Sapp rejoices as he prepares to join Bill Parcells, Cris Carter and three others in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer. Michael Strahan, like Sapp, a first-time nominee, was denied.

Warren Sapp is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Think about that for a second: Did anyone think that would have been possible after the hectic year he’s had?

I’ll admit I didn’t.

Granted, his thirteen-year body of work in the NFL punched his ticket to Canton. So I was in no way against him being an enshrinee.

I just never thought that he would do so on the heels of a tumultuous year.

And yet, there he is, alongside Bill Parcells and Cris Carter, two retired NFL figures (who are also current or former ESPN personalities) that have been left at the altar several times before, and four others.

And the most notable name not making it into the Hall of Fame this year, FOX analyst Michael Strahan – like Sapp, a first-year Canton nominee who played at the defensive end position – has to wait another year. And with the Super Bowl taking place in the New York/New Jersey area next year, it would be ideal if Strahan, who spent his entire fifteen-year career with the Giants, just one more year of waiting to be enshrined would be ideal in his case.

But with Sapp making it into the Hall of Fame his first time out, he effectively erases a year full of twists and turns.

He fingered former New Orleans Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey as the “snitch” in that team’s “Bountygate” scandal.

Incidentally, he would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy just two weeks later; shortly after, Sapp vowed he would not go to jail. Meanwhile, there would be questions about whether or not NFL Network would bring him back after his contract expired in August; obviously, Sapp is still with NFLN – but he lost his gig appearing on the revamped “Inside The NFL” show on Showtime.

He was lucky to retain his employment at NFLN, but given his financial situation, he ended up losing his South Florida condominium, which was sold for $7 million last fall.

Needing every penny he could get, it was an opportune time for his autobiography, “Sapp Attack,” to hit bookstores. But the promotional tour fell on deaf ears in some radio circles.

And he decided to dole out some marital advice for former NFL colleague Chad Johnson (nee “Ochocinco”) – who, if not the NFL Hall of Fame, will likely be a shoo-in for┬áNFL Network soon.

Now that Sapp’s bankruptcy case is behind him, and he’s maintaining a steady job at NFL Network – and I must say, he has certainly matured as an analyst this past year; the Chapter 7 thing must have really lit a fire under him – it is up to him to remain an upstanding citizen, now that he’s going to officially be a Hall of Famer this August.

As someone who follows the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was painful to watch him go through financial hardship. And how on earth do you lost both a Super Bowl ring and a National Championship ring?

I want this enshrinement to be a wake-up call to Warren Sapp.

I don’t want to see him playing a non-licensed judge on the Internet because he has to. I would rather that be an extracurricular activitiy for him.

I want to see him invest his money, and not blow it on dozens of boxes of sneakers, many of which would never greet his feet.

And for Roger’s sake, Warren: watch who you’re calling a “snitch.”

He was extremely lucky to be retained by NFL Network after his accusation of Shockey right on their air.

And after a hellish 2012, personally and financially, Warren Sapp should be blessed to make it into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

Again, his induction was inevitable – I just didn’t think he’d make it in right after the year that he’d went through.

And lucky for Warren, it’s next to impossible to lose your Hall of Fame bust.

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