When the next season of “Inside The NFL” is underway, Warren Sapp will be on the outside looking in.
In a move anticipated back when he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month, Sapp has been dumped by Showtime’s seasonal weekly NFL digest. The news of his Showtime contract non-renewal was first reported by Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Sapp is an alumnus of the University of Miami). Jackson was also told that the other three “Inside The NFL” regulars, James Brown and Phil Simms from CBS (Showtime is a division of CBS) as well as NBC’s Cris Collinsworth, will all be returning when the show begins its fifth season on Showtime, and its 36th season overall – you may recall the series was waived back in 2008, when then-HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg cited changes in “the television landscape” as the reason for its dismissal.
This year at the Sports Emmy Awards, “Inside The NFL” was nominated for “outstanding weekly studio show,” while Brown and Collinsworth also earned “outstanding” host and analyst nods.
Not too shabby for a show that’s been canceled by HBO. So I guess you can call “Inside The NFL” the “Family Guy” of sports shows.
As we learned from Sapp’s bankruptcy report, Showtime paid him $45,000 annually during his four-year tenure with “Inside The NFL.” Right underneath that listing, on page 34 of the report, is a blurb that read, “Debtor’s employment contract with NFL Network ends on August 31, 2012, and unknown if contract will be renewed.”
What led to Sapp’s removal from “Inside The NFL” – his calling out former Saints player Jeremy Shockey in the team’s “Bountygate” ordeal – is likely what will also lead to his eventual departure from NFL Network, where he’s been an analyst since his retirement from the NFL. Following his labeling Shockey “the snitch,” Sapp finished out that week on “Total Access,” but with his Twitter handle at the time, @QBKilla, being stripped from his on-air chyrons. He would then be absent from NFLN’s air for the entire month of April, and then some. He would return to the network’s “Total Access” program on May 2 – the day Junior Seau died in what has been ruled a suicide. And as I recently reported, his NFLN chyrons now include his current Twitter handle, @WarrenSapp.
While Sapp will desperately be searching for a new source of income in an attempt to overcome his financial woes, he’ll most likely find ways to keep himself busy. In addition to finishing out his stint at NFLN, he’s also appearing on a celebrity dating show on Fox. Titled “The Choice” (not to be confused with an “American Idol” ripoff on another network whose name rhymes with “The Choice”), Sapp and a cast of celebs ranging from Dean Cain to Carmen Electra choose regular Joes and Janes who throw themselves at the celebs, begging to go on dates with them.
He’ll also probably be going on a book tour to promote “Sapp Attack,” a new memoir, of which excerpts appeared in a review of the book by the Tampa Bay Times’ Gary Shelton.
As for that side project of his that we blew the lid off of - “The Judge Sapp Show”? The website of the firm that paid people to be in the audience of the show has announced that taping has just about wrapped up. And I’ve come to find out that when the shows, which were taped in late April, see the light of day, it will be via the YouTube channel of NOC (“Network Of Champions”), as opposed to a broadcast television outlet.
But who knows. If the “Judge Sapp” web pilot takes off – or, if you prefer, “goes viral” - it could potentially lead to a major distribution deal.
Lord knows Warren Sapp could use it, now that both of his television revenue streams are all but adjourned.