Despite his success, Culpepper admits to still getting nervous on cut-down day at the end of each training camp. He's been in Tampa for six years now—the Bucs picked him up after he was cut by the Minnesota Vikings, who'd drafted him in the 10th round in '92.
As if he's afraid his ship might sink at any moment, Culpepper, 30, soaks up every minute of life in the NFL, every play and every perk that comes his way. Last week he went to a Dillard's department store in Tampa for a complimentary seaweed facial, manicure and pedicure, and left with his toenails painted red and pewter. He has weekly radio and television gigs in Tampa. As part of his TV deal Culpepper receives an outfit for each appearance from a Ralph Lauren store. Last Thursday, as he left with a new gray cotton roll-neck and blue slacks, Culpepper turned to the clerks to clarify the fine print of their deal.
"I get new clothes for each game," he said with a wink. "So you guys better get two more sweet outfits ready for me."