A few weeks ago, Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan announced that he'd be switched to number 99 in tribute to Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. The latter was not amused, but we didn't really know why.
@Ravens how do I stop this??— Warren Sapp (@WarrenSapp) May 26, 2016
Now, we do know why. Mark Cook of Pewter Report talked to Sapp and got the reasons for Sapp's rude reaction. I mean, aside from it being Sapp. Turns out, he and Jernigan had talked before the draft when he was at Florida State, and Sapp had invited him to come work out in Florida at some point. But Jernigan never got in touch with Sapp, and he's not happy about it.
"That was the last conversation I had with the young man (in 2014). So for someone to say, ‘Hey, I want to pay tribute to someone, and I have their phone number,’ I would think you might want to try and call that person and say, ‘Hey dawg, I was thinking something…’ You know what I am saying?"
Honestly, that's a fair point. It is a pretty weird thing to never talk to the guy you're supposedly paying tribute to. Especially when, as Sapp details, you have a shared defensive line coach in Joe Cullen. Sapp also points out that the number doesn't belong to him, but that Jernigan put him in the conversation -- and that there's a history of Hall of Fame defensive tackles, not just Sapp. Go read the entire interview, it's pretty enlightening.
So we've cleared that up now. I'm not sure that makes Sapp any less rude, though.