Two More Side Notes From Miami: Warren Sapp and Michael Irvin


Now picture a woman where the ref is

Feel free to read the following as part 2 in an argument for why the Super Bowl should be permanently moved to Lincoln, Neb. For part 1 on Donte Stallworth, click here. Let me also state up front that neither of these two men have been convicted of anything. But damn, guys, come on.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Worldwide Leader and every other sports-centric media outlet shed some pretty flattering light on Miami over the last seven or so days.

Did you catch ESPN’s Super Bowl counterprogramming? That’s right, “30 for 30” doc “The U.”

So a former Hurricane thought he’d take advantage of the face time, and now “repping The U” has struck again – this time, quite literally, against a woman.

Perhaps Warren Sapp thinks they still keep track of knockdowns?

Michael Irvin – also a Hurricane – had an eventful Super Bowl week as well.

As far as one can tell, the commotion surrounding University of Miami greats Sapp (battery) and Irvin (alleged – stress on alleged – rape) put the “bitter” in a bittersweet week for exactly three groups:

  1. The “Dancing with the Stars” community, who also had two past contestants – Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith – elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame 
  2. The NFL Network, which struck ratings gold but lost two of its more charismatic employees
  3. The University of Miami, which was indirectly involved in the Saints’ game-winning touchdown (TE Jeremy Shockey), but also had to contend with the bad pub from the Bash Brothers

It’s funny, because when the jovial Sapp shared the South Beach “Pardon The Interruption” stage with Mike Wilbon on Wednesday, you probably didn’t think to yourself, “This big teddy bear’s gonna go choke a woman half his size three days from now.”

Early Saturday morning, Big Number 99 stumbled up to his Shore Club Hotel suite looking for a nap only to find a dance floor partner from earlier that night in his room.

This has never happened to me. Let’s find out what happens…

According to the alleged victim, the two started to argue about a mutual male acquaintance (man, jealousy is a bitch) when Sapp started to choke her and threw her against the sofa.

The middle-aged, 300-pound, former defensive tackle doesn’t see things as happening this way. Sapp told police that he allowed the woman to stay in his room, and then changed his mind. On her way out, she fell on her knee.

And if you know anything about human anatomy, you know that the knee, and the neck, always break a fall.

Until Saturday, many a “Lost” fan thought they had a handle on alternate realities.

Bottom line: she’s got a swollen leg and black and blue wrapping her throat.

For Irvin, the timing is actually just coincidental – Eighty-Eight’s actions, or lack thereof, nailed him retroactively. He wasn’t partaking in the proud pre-Super Bowl ritual known to so many high-profile athletes as “abject stupidity.” (Ask Ray Lewis or Eugene Robinson about this should you have questions.)

The Playmaker filed a $100 million countersuit against one “Jane Doe,” who on Thursday accused Irvin in a civil suit of, um, making an overly aggressive play – namely, rape.

It isn’t clear if “Jane Doe” is the accusers court-necessitated alias or dancer name. What is clear is that the two met up at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in 2007.

Irvin calls the allegations an extortion plot, and no criminal charges have been filed.

He might be 100 percent innocent – $100 million suggests as much. And his phantom involvement in a 1996 sexual assault fiasco also involving Cowboys teammate Erik Williams turned out to be completely fabricated by some opportunistic crackpot.

Howevvva! as Mike’s main man Stephen A. might say, “benefit of the doubt” only extends so far should your track record include, off the top of my head: a coke rap, stabbing a teammate, more drugs… And, of course, the fact that you’re a 44 year-old man who’s been continually forgiven by a sympathetic public, and yet still seem to find yourself in these situations.  

ESPN, for one, has had enough. Of Irvin’s 103.3 Dallas radio show, the network released a statement Friday reading, “His contract was up and the show has not performed… We had previously decided to cancel the show and decided this morning to make it effective today.”

Translation: Strike three, Mike. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

The meek shall inherit... Never mind

If there’s a lesson here, it’s this – go to bed early.

I’m not Skip Bayless the Curfew Nazi, but maybe he’s got a valid point: nothing good happens after midnight. Especially not in South Miami, especially not at 6 a.m. (ahem, Warren).

Honest to goodness, this kind of stuff pains me. I always have and always will have a soft spot in my heart, in particular, for Irvin. Allow me, then, to finish up here by a shining some light on a ‘Cane who gives the “305” a good name.

Jonathan Vilma was “Repping The U” last week not by plunging himself into the hot waters of the law, but by playing a championship-caliber linebacker and, more importantly, by leading the charge in the NFL’s Haiti cleanup efforts.

Vilma looked like a big kid when my father and I would see him walk home from the Orange Bowl with his parents in tow after UM home games.

He’s since grown into a big man – a much bigger man than Sapp or Irvin.

– Robbie

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