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Warren Sapp, a voteworthy dancer

November 24, 2008 | 10:31 pm

I admit it.

If I was a "Dancing With The Stars" voter (and I'm not, really), Warren Sapp just might get my ballot. In Monday's throwdown freestyle dance, when the final three couples could go crazy with jumps and lifts and were generally charged with dazzling the audience and the three dance judges, Sapp and his Aussie partner Kym Johnson threw themselves into a snappy series of hops, skips, jumps, throws, leaps, tippy-toe spins and had a generally good time.

In football talk Sapp played until the final buzzer.

Sapp, the former NFL star and Super Bowl winner, has actually kept working his day job during this competition. Sapp even had Johnson come with him to Pittsburgh last week while he was completing his NFL broadcasting tasks but he and Johnson were peppy as can be dancing to a rollicking version of the Credence Clearwater Revival hit Proud Mary.

Technically, the favorites from the start, model/talk show host Brooke Burke and her pro partner Derek Hough, won the judging Monday and will probably win the competition, thus ending a run of athlete winners that included another former NFL star, Emmitt Smith. But Warren was the crowd pleaser Monday. But don't count the underdog Sapp out.

-- Diane Pucin