Today is the day that “Sapp Attack,” an autobiography from former NFL player and current NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp, officially hits the shelves (provided the bookstore in your neck of the woods hasn’t closed up shop yet).
And as you would expect, Sapp has been going on a whirlwind promotional tour to talk about his book. He even showed up on Fox News Channel last night.
But most of Sapp’s interviews to promote his book will be on radio shows, mostly sports radio programs. For instance, he spent two-thirds of an hour with WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Monday.
The next day, on KILT-AM/”Sports Radio 610′s” morning show, “In The Loop With Nick And Lopez,” Sapp was lucky to get two-thirds of a ten-minute segment.
You can tell based on Sapp’s attitude during most of the interview that it wasn’t going to end well. Co-host Nick Wright set the tone when, upon introducing Sapp to the program, he told listeners Sapp’s Twitter handle is @QBKilla. “Bad follower,” Sapp scoffed at Wright, who then asked why Sapp would drop the “iconic” @QBKilla handle for his current eponymous one, @WarrenSapp? “Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble… in corporate America, that “killa” thing kind of scares you,” he explained. So he did not dump the old @QBKilla handle because NFL Network had excluded it from his chyrons in the wake of that Bountygate “snitch” situation? That’s news to me.
Anyway, halfway through the interview – at around the three-minute mark or so – co-host John Lopez apparently hit a nerve with Sapp. He didn’t bring up the Bountygate thing (he still stands by his word that Jeremy Shockey was the snitch, by the way). Nope, Lopez opted to go on a tangent and asked Sapp what his “stance” was on whether or not the NFL should employ certified financial advisers to look after its alumni’s funds. “Clearly, it’s been in the headlines, you’ve had some difficulties financially,” reminded Lopez, who eventually asked for Sapp’s take on why “so many pro athletes have trouble with their finances one they’re done playing sports.”
“You have to ask so many athletes having financial problems doing whatever they’re doing,” Sapp countered. “I’m only one man.”
Shortly after, Lopez gave Sapp’s book a plug, referring to “Sapp Attack” as his “memoir.”
“It’s not a memoir,” Sapp instructed. “More than anything, it’s my story… I didn’t do this like the President… Mine’s just one life, one voice, one brand.”
For the record, Warren: A memoir, according to the all-knowing Webster’s Dictionary, is indeed an autobiography. And I know what Warren’s getting at – he did this book all on his own, without any help. If that’s the case, then who’s this David Fisher fellow sharing author credits with him?
Back to the interview: In an attempt to have Sapp provide listeners with a preview of what to expect in the book, Wright asked: “So tell us about you… Aside from football, what is your story?”
“What are you asking me, my man, are you asking me about the bankruptcy or whatever?,” replied Sapp as if he thought Lopez had still been speaking to him at that point. He then exhibited some unnecessary roughness when Wright said it was Lopez “was referring to” Sapp’s bankruptcy.
“No, I’m asking you the question, I mean, not referring to it. If you have a question, ask a question, but if you refer anything, that’s not a question; we’re just sitting here having a general discussion, then, right?”
“Right,” Wright responded. “Correct, Warren.”
Sapp then went on a 45-second diatribe which he called “general discussion about the NFL.” At one point toward the end, it sounded like he shed a little light on an ill-fated low income housing construction deal which served as the catalyst for Sapp’s filing Chapter 7. Sapp started talking about how the league “does a wonderful job” with “resources” and for any potential people with which one may plan to do business, “the NFL will run ‘em through the ringer and give you a report on what they think that person is… My situation was totally different from that. I had a real business partner that did some crazy things, and I needed to pull the ripcord, and I pulled the ripcord.”
Wright’s next question was why Sapp was “selling Jordans on eBay.” Sapp vehemently denied that, then explained that it was the bankruptcy court that was selling his lot of over 200 pairs of Air Jordan sneakers. “You’re sitting here reading a story, and now you want to tell me what I’m doing,” Sapp exclaimed. “You’re putting me in a ringer… sitting there, telling me something you’re reading.”
At that point, Wright urged Sapp to “tell your publicity people to send out better press releases,” referring to the part that labels Sapp’s book “a no-holds-barred memoir” – hey, didn’t Sapp put a moratorium on the “M-word”?
“You’re doing a press tour, and then you get pissed when people ask about the questions of the day,” Wright told Sapp. “I don’t know if this is the best approach, but I appreciate you joining us; good luck with the book.”
That’s right: just as Warren Sapp was lecturing the Sports Radio 610 co-hosts about the difference between a question and a “general discussion,” Nick Wright went ahead and pulled the ripcord on him.
After the abbreviated interview, Wright complained about how “we couldn’t ask [Sapp] a question without getting pissed.” He also claimed that Sapp “did the exact same thing” with Francesa on WFAN as well as Howard Stern on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. (Yet he still managed to have up to six times as much airtime on those shows as he would on that Houston station.)
Lopez also read from the aforementioned press release and focused on how Sapp promised he would “share… opinions about the state of pro football today and its future” – hence why Lopez sprung the “financial planners” question on Sapp.
“Listen, the guy’s too sensitive to do a book tour right now,” Wright told listeners. “I cherish my Jordans. If I had to sell them on eBay, I’d be pissed, too.”
Wake up on the wrong side of the bed and excoriate a couple of hosts to the point that they decide they’ve heard enough and cut the interview short. Way to promote your book, Warren.
He sure looked happy to be there at a book signing in New York City earlier today.
“Sapp Attack”. If it doesn’t fly off the shelves, its author will fly off the handle.