Helping Tampa Forget Sapp

The Rays open in Tokyo. The Lightning are in the hunt for the Stanley Cup. And we’re still talking about football. But then the Bucs make it easy.

How is this for timing? On behalf of the John Lynch Foundation, John and Linda Lynch recently took out full-page ads in both metro dailies thanking everyone from “the fans that supported me and the community that embraced my family” to “Michael the Mailman.” The ad also underscored that the community work of the Foundation will continue — even though John Lynch will now suit up for the Denver Broncos.

It was the sort of classy gesture we’ve become accustomed to. And it was a reminder of the cheesy manner in which the Bucs let him go. Another day at the orifice.

Then just a couple of days later the Bucs announce the signing of mammoth defensive tackle Darrell Russell, a likely replacement for the departed Warren Sapp. Russell comes with baggage, as in serious issues with drugs, women and video cameras. According to Russell, he’s too often been in the wrong place at the wrong time, hanging with the wrong crowd — including those all-too-familiar with the date-rape drug GHB. To most others, he IS the wrong crowd.

When given yet another chance by Washington last year, he showed his gratitude by not showing up on time for a meeting — and was axed.

Now the Bucs are hoping he helps fans forget about Sapp. Multiple paternity suits and generic belligerence and arrogance never looked so benign.

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