In recent retirements, we see the iconic number four step down as the epitome of longevity. His longevity could be used to spokesperson Viagra but that's for another story or topic. He announced his retirement, ending his brilliant career and bravo to him.
However, a man who defined a position and had just as brilliant of a career announced his retirement the same day as the Packer Posterboy. Warren Sapp (yeah, remember him?) deserves credit and some of the spotlight as he walks away from the game.
Warren, we hardly knew ya. Favre was the definition of tough at QB and laughed and cried with us and danced about the field like a little kid—and we loved him for that.
Sapp meanwhile, ate offensive linemen, bumped refs, spit on people, slapped offensive coordinators, and also was a scary, feared player. Ask Glenn Dorsey who he wants to be, ask Jake Long who he looked up to, and ask any offensive linemen who ever went against Sapp who was the hardest, toughest, scariest man they played was. All of them will say Warren Sapp.
He not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk. He was a B.A.M.F. (ignore his touchdown dance bunny hop) and say what you want about his temper tantrums, his flair for getting personal fouls, and his nastiness that went over the top sometimes; but he played with as much heart as Brett did. He got those penalties protecting teammates, being a leader, arguing, being human, and showing he will not back down to anyone.
He never quite got 100 sacks (97 1/2) but all of those sacks as a defensive tackle gains respect in my book. Many teams could still use his services and will more than likely call him up over the course of this season as injuries pile up and players under-perform.
We all have our favorite Sapp moments from the touchdown dance from earlier, an appearance on MTV's Wild N' Out, his Mike'd Up Moments, and his uncanny ability to make us all laugh. He and Favre have an intertwined history. They played often and now the two most iconic players at their positions in our decade have retired on the same day. Like Favre, he can still play. So as we raise our glasses to number four let’s take a moment and remember number 99.
Embrace the man that is Warren Sapp, because like Brett Favre, we will never again see a player like this in our lifetime. We lost not one, but two of the greatest, so while Favre has his day let's give credit where credit is due. After all he deserves it. He even walks out in style and leaving us the memories of why we love him.