When Joe DeLamielleure was with Cleveland last year he got into a fight with Patriots sackman Andre Tippett. Now that isn't the best idea, because Tippett has a black belt in karate. "I was going to write him a letter and apologize," said DeLamielleure, who recently signed with Buffalo. "I wanted to tell him, if he was going to drive up to Cleveland the next time, I'd wash his car."
Tippett teaches karate in North Attleboro, Mass., where seven of his teammates are enrolled in his classes. "Once, in practice, I got into it with [tight end] Lin Dawson," Tippett said. "I had him on the ground, on his back, so fast. He was shook. Now he's one of my students."
Tippett, who took up karate at 13, says, "Karate gives me hand and arm quickness and strength for dealing with tight ends and linemen. It also helps my hand-eye coordination and allows me to better read the different centers of balance in my opponents. Both [sports] take so much self-discipline. A punch in karate hurts more than a hit in football. But you can't let it."