Most football fans know who Warren Sapp is. This former American football defensive tackle and NFL Hall of famer played for 13 seasons, mostly with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sapp was in seven Pro Bowls and was part of the team that won the franchise’s first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXVII. Moreover, he earned first-team All-Pro honors four times.
Since his time as a pro football player, he’s been on a variety of shows including Dancing With The Stars, The Choice, BBQ Pitmasters, in addition to time spent with the NFL Network as an analyst.
These days his life is a lot different. For starters, there’s no football. Family takes priority. He’s been involved in several podcasts over the past couple of years, including episodes that involve his favorite past time of fishing, and his own called 99 Problems Podcast with Warren Sapp. His latest podcast, SappNotFishing, will be coming out soon.
That said he jokes he still keeps his line open in case he feels like calling his boys and fellow former pro-football players and NFL analysts Adam Schefter or Shannon Sharpe to “harass” them over something he saw while watching games. All and all, “No, I doesn’t miss the game, I’m not involved in it. I walked away on my own terms,” he says.
Since his football playing days, his major accomplishments include helping his four children graduate college, one of which is getting her Masters Degree from the University of North Florida. “I take pride in watching my kids do their thing Dad’s just a spectator now,” he jokes. “I’m a cheerleader now, I wear their colors and everything!”
Another big interest? Food. Sapp is big on fishing, good food and bringing his family together through quality time and meals. Living in Hollywood, Florida, some of his top restaurant picks include Sardelis, the upscale Italian Steakhouse that offers entrees such as Colorado lamb Chops, Veal chop Parmagiano and Sweet & Spicy Maine lobster.
Papi Steak, another high end steakhouse and seafood restaurant with entrees such as Prime Porterhouse, Wagyu Calotte De Boeuf, and Kosher Chicken Schitzel. And a third spot is Komodo in Brickell, a swanky, elegant spot for Southeast Asian cuisine that offers dishes like the Branzino Toban Yaki and Chilean Seabass and a selection of sashimi, nigiri maki and dumplings.
We chatted with Warren Sapp on hobbies, giving back, his favorite restaurants and Thanksgiving plans. Here’s what he had to say.
What are some of your major hobbies?
I scuba and I fish — I hook it, I cook it, I kill it, I grill it. I’ve done over a hundred dives. I’m always fishing.
What are some of your favorite restaurants in your area of Florida? What do you like to order?
Sardellis is my favorite, it’s the Italian steakhouse up the road. They’ve got some incredible specials like the porcini rubbed ribeye, bone in and the filet mignon bone in. Then there’s Prime 112 with its dry-aged beef and steaks. It’s a fan favorite where I take anyone coming in from out of town. It’s the spot.
And then there’s Papi Steak. Oh my goodness. If you ever go to Papi Steak, they have a smoked Wagyu pastrami and a potato with caviar. You must have it. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it! I’m a big fat foodie! That restaurant is next level!
When you’re looking for a new restaurant to try, what do you look for?
I’m a word of mouth type of person, cuz I’ve been in Miami since 1999 when I came for college. I’ve been here thirty years; they’ve been wonderful. I’ve watched the progression of Art Deco; Fat Tuesday’s become Fat Tuesday’s; Wet Willies become Wet Willies… you know what I’m saying? I’ve seen every type of restaurant pop up in Miami. 9 times out of 10 a restaurant in Miami going to be good. Because if it’s bad you’re getting shut down fast.
You’re a big foodie. What are you doing for Thanksgiving!
Going to mom’s! Are you crazy? That’s the best place you can go! Mom cooks everything with her eye’s closed, on cruise control. What I’m going to do is get two nice smoked turkeys from a good friend of mine. Terry French. And I’m going to drop them off to the two mothers in my life that I know and love on Thanksgiving. Then I’m gonna go to my mama’s house and get some sides. I’m taking care of the meat, because I’m a grilling freak! So I’ll grill and she’ll make sides!
You’re also big on giving back, tell us about The Warren Sapp Foundation and what’s new.
I work with The Global Incubator on my Warren Sapp Foundation where we give underprivileged children school supplies, including books and backpacks and stuff like that. We’re currently working on ways to keep them learning after school, including providing accessible WiFi and internet. I’ve also gotten involved in the crypto world thanks to Cole Moye and Kamil Blaszczak who are also founders of The Global Incubator.
So I’m invested in the new NFT cryptocurrency project Bezoge Earth, and it’s game Legends of Bezogia. They explained to me how crypto and play2earn gaming is the future. Once I heard how Bezoge was able to help disadvantaged children by not only teaching them about crypto but also creating an income stream for them through something that every child loves which is playing a game, I was in. I love the idea of helping children around the world improve their lives.