Warren Sapp was a terrific football player. We wanted him in New York the year he came out of college, and with good reason. He recorded 96.5 sacks during his 13 year career, and his status as a first ballot Hall of Famer cemented his place in NFL history.
But there is a progression that occurs for the players of our past, and that is the one that Warren is not handling so well. I’m talking about the comparisons to current players. Specifically, Warren being compared to our young lineman, Sheldon Richardson.
Similarities have been noted in the game of both of these players, so the comparisons have been made. Yes, Sheldon has one year under his belt, but the nature of the beast is to make the comparisons, right or wrong.
When told that Sheldon is a top-flight run stopper, he was asked if he would concede that Richarson was skilled, despite his low(3.5) sack totals. Here is what Warren had to say:
“You said that. I didn’t,” Sapp said. “So if you’re highly skilled, you should be able to rush the passer, right?… Was he defensive player of the year in college? Was he an All-American? You’re comparing him to a first-ballot of Hall of Famer?”
That was actually part of the follow-up answer, his initial response to Sheldon being stout against the run says all you need to know about Warren as a man:
“Yeah. A run stuffer in a pass-first league,” Sapp mocked.
That response tells you how arrogant Warren Sapp is. Did mocking Sheldon Richardson make Warren feel better? What exactly did he gain by responding that way? Nothing, that’s what.
Players like Sapp think that complimenting another, means that it takes away from what THEY have done. It doesn’t. It’s called “paying it forward”.
First of all, to insinuate that Sheldon is not a good pass rusher is kind of silly, considering he recorded more sacks that Warren Sapp did in his rookie year. Yes, Richardson recorded 3.5 and Sapp recorded three, but still. Sapp is making it sound like he came into the league at ten sacks per season. Stop.
Warren’s actual thought at the beginning of the interview was a good one. Sheldon has been very obsessed with where he was drafted, even saying he would be number one if the draft were to happen again. Whether that is true or not, Warren Sapp is right on that point. Still be concerned about that is silly. It’s time to forget about that and just play.
However, the distance that Warren took it was childish, and was arrogant. Mocking Richardson was not necessary. He didn’t make the comparisons of himself to Sapp, other reporters did. Instead of making fun of him, mocking him for not being an All-American…etc., he could have just accepted the comparison, and politely turned it away. Something to the effect of, “Sheldon had a nice rookie season, but let’s see if he sustains it before making lofty comparisons.”
But Warren couldn’t let his childish arrogance down for five seconds. Sad.