Football player turned analyst turned YouTube judge turned author Warren Sapp has a book coming out next month. Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Sapp Attack (a book we’ve previously mentioned) includes explanations from the player regarding two of the serious injuries that he caused during his career.
First, as to the torn ACL suffered by Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice after being tackled by Sapp in 1997, Sapp bristles at the notion that Rice wanted an apology.
“I found out later that season that Jerry Rice was upset that I hadn’t called him at the hospital to apologize,” Sapp writes. “Apologize? You don’t apologize for a clean hit. I had absolutely nothing to apologize for, but I was very sorry he was hurt.”
The only flaw in that logic? It wasn’t a clean hit.
Sapp grabbed Rice’s face mask and dragged him to the ground while Rice was running with the ball behind the line of scrimmage. The downward jerking of the head and neck and shoulder and torso awkwardly twisted Rice’s body, tearing up the knee.
Sapp also defends his hit on former Packers tackle Chad Clifton, which came after an interception while Clifton was, per Sapp, “la-di-da’ing.”
“People complained that he was out of the play when I hit him,” Sapp said. “Except that’s not the way football works. On an interception return the only people out of the play are on the sidelines or in the stands. If he was on the field, he was in that play. I didn’t realize I was supposed to be kind to him. He was loafing across the field. After I hit him I celebrated. . . . I did not know he was hurt when I celebrated.”
Whether you agree with Sapp or not, his book likely contains plenty of the same candor. Hopefully, though, the facts are generally more accurate than those contained in his description of the season-ending injury to Jerry Rice.