Buccaneers fans celebrated former linebacker Warren Sapp during training camp practice Saturday morning, just hours before his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Sapp was drafted by the Bucs in 1995 and last played a game for them in 2003 before retiring five years later following a stint with the Oakland Raiders, but he remains a larger-than-life figure at One Buccaneer Place.
"Warren Sapp, probably one of the most popular Bucs known throughout the country when you think of Tampa Bay," said Brian Leonard, a longtime fan who was there with his family.
Sapp wore number-99 on the field, but fans say his place among all-time Bay-area athletes is much closer to number-one.
"I think he's in the top three," said Stephanie Dubriel, who sported a Sapp Hall of Fame shirt she picked up after it was announced that he would be in this year's Hall of Fame class. "I picked it up in Canton at the Hall of Fame when they first put them out and I thought this was the best place to wear it today."
The former Bucs defensive tackle joins Lee Roy Selmon as the only to Tampa Bay players enshrined in Canton. His number will be retired by the team later this year.
One fan said she's already planning a return trip to honor one of her favorite players.
"I think he has been really important to the community. He does a lot of charitable work and, as far as the team, if it wasn't for Warren I don't think we ever would have won a Super Bowl," Dubriel said. "I can't wait to make another trip and get a picture next to his bust."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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