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Warren Sapp Reflects On Ring Of Honor With Ron And Ian

From the large auditorium reserved for special occasions at One Buccaneer Place, Bryan Glazer announced that the first draft pick his family selected would be entering the Bucs' Ring of Honor. 

The Glazer family and Warren Sapp without question have a special connection. Not only was he their first pick (12th overall in the 1995 NFL Draft), but he also represents the "new" versus the "old."

In 1995 when the Glazers bought the franchise from Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. for $192 million, it was found that the team was close to bankruptcy. The Glazers worked tirelessly to build not only a successful team off the field, but on the field as well. 

Sapp represents that commitment and gave the Bucs defense, which would go on to be one of the most iconic in the modern era, a face and an identity.

The Glazers allowed the Plymouth, Florida native to showcase his larger-than-life personality, and Sapp repaid them with 77 sacks; the first coming in his first game in an NFL game.

Sapp and the Glazers remain close to this day, despite Tampa Bay not re-signing him following the 2003 season.

"A good one," Sapp said in response to what kind of relationship he and the Glazers have. "I call Ed [Glazer] when I go out West to the job out in California, I check up with him, he's always up in the hills hiding. And then whenever I come down, Bryan and them - Bryan was just talking, 'you go to Polo [International Polo Club Palm Beach] that much?' because I have a couple friends down in Wellington, I'm like, 'yeah, I'm right around the corner from you, boss, three or four weekends a year' he said, 'I never knew that, you need to call me,' and I'm like, 'ok, no problem.' Sapp laughed.

"It's just one of those owner-player relationships that grows as you become an older, wiser guy, because I was a nut when I played here." Said said.

Both a blessing and a curse, that "nutty" personality often found Sapp at odds with fans and even some media outlets as his nine years in Tampa came to an end. The charismatic Sapp would eventually become part of the media, joining the NFL Network after the final four seasons in Oakland came to a close. 

Mostly, Sapp's personality stemmed from a man who loved what he did. Growing up in Plymouth without air conditioning or cable TV made Sapp want to play in the NFL his main goal.

During an entertaining interview on WDAE Friday morning, Sapp joked with former teammate Ian Beckles and Ron Diaz how he would teach Manti Te'o how to use Skype if he was on a team with him.

Sapp was an outspoken and passionate leader when he wore the pewter and red, and that passion for the Bucs hasn't left.

The 1999 Defensive Player of the Year told Diaz he'd like to know where the video of the current Buccaneer players hanging out "when they're not in OTAs, not a time when [head coach Greg] Schiano is making them come here," is and added, "Tampa is a great place, we used to go fishing the mangroves, jet skiing, go to Shepherd's on Sundays.

"We grew this city from a pea and now it's a full-grown blossoming mango tree and nobody wants to pick fruit off of it. Where are the players?"

Sapp played at a time when the organization was being redefined, and now, forever, his name and his number will be a reminder that he was one of the key pieces of the Bucs' rebirth.   



 

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