Can We Stop It With Sapp’s Bankruptcy Yet?
April 13, 2012 at 09:42am by Scott • 1 Comment »
Warren Sapp filed for bankruptcy a week ago and people are still writing articles about it. The latest one is from Gary Shelton who reports on Sapp’s response to all the coverage, but really it’s platform to shame him for being bad to fans ten years ago.
I wrote a column about Sapp in Tuesday’s paper, and the email still hasn’t eased. To be honest, there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of sympathy for Sapp. Imagine the same financial troubles falling on another Buc, such as Derrick Brooks or Mike Alstott or Warrick Dunn, and more fans might try to feel their pain. Not so much with Sapp.
Ahh, yes, let’s talk about that article he wrote on Tuesday. Here’s how it starts:
Gone. All of it, gone.
Warren Sapp has worked his way through most of the fortune and most of the good will. He has lost both his championship rings, and almost all of the opportunity to be admired forever.
For Sapp, 39, all that remains is a house filled with sneakers, a life filled with debt and a plea for the legal system to make his problems go away. Everything else has vanished as quickly as his youth.
Sapp, poor Sapp, is broke.
First of all, everyone knows there’s a difference between rich person “broke” and everyone else “broke”. Sapp isn’t going to hold a cardboard sign at an intersection anytime soon. People file for bankruptcy because the law affords them the opportunity to do so when they get in trouble. He still has a good paying gig at NFL Network for a while and when/if they let his contract expire, he’ll find another job. He made a mistake reporting on the Jeremy Shockey thing, but he’s still a good TV personality and is very smart about football — much more so than a lot of the others out there.
He lost a good chunk of his money in bad real estate investments. It’s not an uncommon problem. Mark Brunell filed for bankruptcy a couple years ago for the same reason and I don’t remember anyone writing in such a scathing and sarcastic tone about it. I don’t recall anyone combing his list of assets and making fun of whatever artwork or quirky collections he had. Shelton blames this on Sapp’s reputation for being rude to fans:
It’s a shame. I’ve said it dozens of times: At his best, Sapp could have owned this town. Most people in Tampa Bay wanted to love the part of Sapp that was torn out of a comic book character. In return, he treated fans the same way he treated opposing quarterbacks: Rough. Rude. Blunt. All of the descriptions fit.
Who saw that coming?
How the fuck do those two things relate? I’ll tell you how. Shelton is getting satisfaction from seeing Sapp’s bankruptcy as his comeuppance for not being friendly to fans. And him. Don’t think for one second that Shelton wasn’t remembering every time Sapp chewed him out or ignored his questions when he learned about the bankruptcy. He may be using “the fans” to make his point, but it’s about him. This story and Sapp’s reputation in Tampa should have no connection. On one hand, you have a former NFL player filing bankruptcy. That should be a one-paragraph story buried on a back page somewhere, or if you want to go into his real estate loses maybe a little more. On the other hand, you have a NFL player who was rude to fans. That story was covered to death when Sapp was in Tampa and several years since. It’s over and definitely not worth multiple news stories.
And while I’m at it, I don’t believe Sapp about losing his championship rings nor do I blame him for telling the lie. Sapp is a huge competitor and his rings are the symbols of being #1 those years. Someone is holding them for him and they should. The monetary value of those would be pretty high, but the sentimental value to a guy like Sapp is priceless. No way he just lost them.
The only thing I’m going to blame Sapp for is not paying his child support. Inexcusable. If he doesn’t get that settled up soon, I’ll probably change my opinion on the rings because your kids have to come before yourself no matter what. But everything else is just piling on a guy when he’s down.