Best Local Boy Gone Bad - 2012
Like a demonic version of Santa Claus, Warren Sapp tore around offensive tackles to deliver packages of hurt to opposing quarterbacks for 13 seasons in the NFL. But long before he was one of the most feared men in the pros, he was a football phenom from a shack in Plymouth, Florida. As a linebacker for Apopka High School, Sapp set records for sacks, tackles, and — bizarrely — the longest field goal in school history. He joined the Miami Hurricanes in their early-'90s heyday and quickly earned a reputation as one of the nation's best defensive tackles. He was picked 12th in the 1995 NFL draft and signed a $36 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But Sapp's stellar career was punctuated by scandal. In 2002, he threw a cheap shot that sent an opposing player to the hospital. The same year, he strangely began skipping around opponents before games. When he was fined $50,000 for it, he called the NFL a "slave system." Yet the self-styled "QB Killa" still went on to win the 2003 Super Bowl. He officially crossed over to the dark side a year later when he joined Al Davis's evil Oakland Raiders. Even Sapp's retirement in 2008 didn't stem the flow of bad news. In 2010, he was arrested in South Beach on domestic violence charges (which were eventually dropped). The Sapp really hit the fan a year later when PNC Bank won a nearly $1 million court decision against the Pro-Bowler for a failed real estate project. This March, Sapp — who made $77 million in the NFL — declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Court records revealed he had just $826.04 in his checking account and $339.31 in savings. His debts, meanwhile, totaled $6.7 million, including $75,000 a month to his ex-wife and four other women with whom he's had kids. The motor-mouth Sapp has only made things worse for himself since filing for bankruptcy. He recently fingered fellow footballer Jeremy Shockey as the "snitch" who brought down the New Orleans Saints in a bounty system scandal. Shockey has demanded an apology and a retraction. Sapp, meanwhile, hasn't appeared on the NFL Network since his remarks. It seems that after a career spent crushing quarterbacks, in the end it's Sapp who has been blindsided.