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NFL Player Bitten by Shark While Participating in Florida's Insane Lobster Hunt

"I was sticking my hand in a hole and a monster locked on me."
Photo via Flickr user Elias Levy

Anybody who has spent a decent amount of time in South Florida can tell you just how big of a deal the spiny lobster season is to locals. While there are technically two seasons in Florida for harvesting spiny lobster, most of the hype and fanfare associated with spiny lobster stems from the frenzied, two-day mini-season that always falls on the last Wednesday and Thursday in July. For 48 hours straight, it seems as if all of Miami and the Keys are solely focused on the clawless crustacean.


It also happens to be a pretty notorious time for bringing about a ton of accidents and the occasional death among overzealous or amateur divers.

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This is a fact that former NFL hall of famer Warren Sapp learned the hard way after being bitten by a shark while diving for spiny lobster two days ago at the start of the mini-season.

Lobstering Crew today! @Twoconchs

— Warren Sapp (@WarrenSapp) July 27, 2016

Sapp, who previously played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was lucky enough to receive only a minor injury to his left arm after being bitten by what is believed to be a nurse shark during a dive in the Florida Keys. "I was sticking my hand in a hole and a monster locked on me," Sapp told the Tampa Bay Times. "You've got to be careful sticking your hand in some holes down here. It went past the white meat, up to the gristle," he said.

Warren Sapp attacked by a shark while lobstering #EpicBattle #WarrenSapp #SappDiving #Shark #SharkBite #SharkAttack #TwoConchs @warrensapp A photo posted by Two Conchs Charters (@twoconchs) on Jul 27, 2016 at 1:48pm PDT

Fortunately, Sapp seems to be taking the whole affair pretty damn well and it hasn't soured his opinion of spiny lobster in the least. Hell, he's already selling a Sapp vs. Shark t-shirt on his website. What do think the chances are that we'll see Sapp as a bit character in the next Sharknado?


Out in Marathon trying to be like my BFF "JC" #NotOnTheFootballField

— Warren Sapp (@WarrenSapp) July 27, 2016

Being the salt-stained shitshow that it is, the mini-season saw at least one other additional casualty. A 60-year-old man unfortunately died while diving for spiny lobster in Cudjoe Key.

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Just to give you an idea of how things routinely go down during a mini-season, check out what Bobby Dube, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman for the Keys, told the Miami Herald: "In past years we've had people shooting flares at one another, throwing rocks at one another, shooting spear guns because someone is in their lobster hole or spot." In 2006, five people died in the short recreational fishing season.

Shark got a little chuck of Me. We got Dinner! #Winning — Warren Sapp (@WarrenSapp) July 27, 2016

All things said, it seems as if Sapp is fine with shedding a bit of flesh in exchange for some freshly caught spiny lobster.