Just read this weeks voice of the fan. There were a couple of problems with the premise that if Sapp was a dirty player he could have gone after Favre instead of Ferguson.
The league has taken great steps to protect quarterbacks and "skill position players. Leaving your feet for a block on a QB, even after a pick, or hitting QB's away from the play have been outlawed. Last year the league gave out a $75,000 fine for a very similar play to Sapps, except it was on a QB, not a lineman.
It shows, to me at least, that the league isn't concerned too much about anyone but money players. Folks don't pay for tickets to see many lineman (Sapp included), they want to see
As for the confrontation after the game, the writer must have watched a different tape than the rest of the world. Mike Sherman only said that it was a cheap hit, he wasn't the guy who started tossing f-bombs like grenades on D-Day. Yes, Sherman's response was wrong, but Sapp had the opportunity to say "it was a legal hit, coach, get over it" and walk away. He didn't, he proved his mental prowess by swearing a blue streak that would have made a sailor blush. I did blush, and I've been a sailor for 20 years.
As for Sapp not going to see Clifton in the hospital, I don't care what Sherman did, it's still the right thing to do. Players a supposed to leave it on the field. After the game, they pray together, hang together in many cases, especially with free agency. But ignoring a guy who you whacked into next week and maybe out of a career is classless.
Warren Sapps actions this week, along with Terrell Owens cheap act at Dallas Stadium a while ago show what's wrong with the NFL these days. Players have become to enthralled with themselves, and forgotten they play a team sport. The desire to see themselves on Sportscenter after the game has taken over too many players.
The leagues inaction, along with Sapps action are just more reasons to watch High School and Division I-AA college ball and leave the pro's alone.
I can't believe a "loyal" Packer fan could ever conceive of a time when their coach should apologize. But expecting him to apologize for something that his players should have taken care of is inconceivable. What are you thinking? You must have last donned a uniform when they were wearing leather helmets and probably received one hit too many to the cranium.
The National Football League has been making great strides in the last few years at protecting its players. This year they are throwing flags for offensive lineman "picking off" defensive players standing around the pile before the whistle has blown. That was always a part of good, clean football. Now it is a penalty.
There is no difference between the hit that Warren Sapp delivered on the other side of the field from the play and offensive lineman hitting guys hanging around the pile except that Sapp's was even more vicious. The NFL needs to crinkle a little more tin foil on their antenae and make running, blindsided hits away from the play a penalty too.
I have had the misfortune of watching the antics of Warren Sapp on too many occassions, dating all the way back to his University of Miami days. He's a thug! He's always been a thug! He will always be a thug! The only difference between him and a gangsta is he wears a football uniform. His actions after the play only demonstrate what a jerk he really is.
My only grudge with Mike Sherman is that he didn't take it to the mat with Warren Sapp. That only shows what a class act he really is! What I can't believe, though, is that none of the Packer linemen got a good lick on him after the fact. But what comes around, goes around. We'll see them again in the playoffs at Lambeau (New Orleans and Atlanta are going to do us a favor).
Your hypothesis that Warren Sapp won't apologize because Mike Sherman has backed him into a corner is tabloid material. The true professional apologizes for his actions when confronted with his wrong but "fools despise wisdom and discipline." Mike Sherman confronted Sapp for his wrongdoing. Let's see which one Sapp is. We're waiting Warren!
Dear Mr. Poplawski,
I am a Packer fan from Madison, Wisconsin, and I recently finished reading your article. I agree with your sentiment that the Pack wasn't hustling all out on every play, and Sapp's hit was legal, but there are also unwritten rules in the NFL, enforced on the field. This is why Sapp will be cut blocked to death if they meet the Pack again. Hitting a defenseless man as hard as you can when you are 310 pounds when he is trotting toward you is as dangerous as running into a brick wall as fast as you can. Sapp had a certain responsibility to protect the livelihood of his fellow player, just as he does Favre every time they play. Perhaps his letup on the return block on Favre was somewhat of an admission of guilt for Sapp, and at the very least a display of the protection and respect he showed so little of towards Chad Clifton. Kelly had no realistic chance of cutting back on the play, and Sapp was 20 yards from it. (How many crucial blocks occur when the camera cuts it out because it's too far behind?) Now I know you in the media are infatuated with Sapp for his chew stained quotes that put food on your table, but the incident after the game is on him. Sapp could have taken Sherman's opinion for what it was worth and trotted off the field with a big win anyway, but he had to avoid "humiliation" by unsuccessfully trying to frighten a 55 year old man. Sherman owes Sapp no apology. The only man owed an apology is Chad Clifton, and the only man who was man enough to demand it was Mike Sherman.
Thanks for your time,
Sorry Mike I don't agree. Warren Sapp was not representing football in it's best interest when he applied that devistating hit to Chad Clifton. He did not visit Clifton in the hospital as of yet, he did not check on Clifton's status on the field, and he Did celebrate the hit. Now none of this was illegal, but I think you are missing the point. Mike Sherman said he felt Sapp was out of line with the ethics of the game, I happen to agree with him.Mike was defending something above and beyond the actual event...and that was the honor of the game. Did you happen to see the response of the 49er's on Monday night, after Coy Detmer was injured? Now that was class, and respect. Warren Sapp has no class, and someone had to tell him. You said it yourself when the next interception occured, Warren bypassed Favre to go hit someone else.... Why didn't he go after the guy who actually made the tackle ???? Is he picking his targets based on friendship ? Choosing non "star" players to get a cheap blow on? Warren left his feet for this hit and knew his massive body would inflict a major blow to the player, was this hit necessary in this situation...I think not. I visited Warren's official web site yesterday. There was no mention of Clifton, or any messages about a speedy recovery. But I did see sections listed for Warren's "hitlist" and "victims". Oh yah, his E-mail address for this site is qbkilla'. That is a class act isn't it? Maybe Mike's actions were more directed at Brett Favre.... ie... Don't get buddy, buddy with the guy who wants to wipe out the players who are protecting you. Yes I think that may be the real message. you see Mr. Poplawski, Mike Sherman wants to win the Superbowl too, just like Warren Sapp, but he wants to do it with class.v Matt Koltz (long time Packer Fan)