What kind of speech could we have expected from Warren Sapp? The brash, boisterous defensive lineman was always outspoken and an excellent storyteller. I would have expected stories about his hometown, about his days in college, about Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden
We got some of that. But mostly, we got 11 minutes of number 99 giving thanks to everyone in his life. His grandparents, his mother, his siblings, his coaches, his teammates, his children, his ex-wife -- and everyone he may have missed.
Sapp's speech wasn't about him, or his accomplishment. It was about the people who had impacted him, who had helped him along the way. It was about his friends and family. It was a personal speech, and we got to see a little bit of the gracious, personable Sapp we only rarely saw during his playing days. In those days, he wore a snarling, abrasive mask.
He discarded that mask for his Hall of Fame speech. In it, he was simple, gracious and personal.