Strahan wonders why the Giants took so long to remove their jersey 92
Professional Football Hall of Fame member Michael Strahan can’t wait to see his No.92 jersey retired by the New York Giants and wonders why it took so long.
On Wednesday, the ever-shy Strahan took a hit against the team’s property for the delay in the retirement of his jersey; bit the fans of the rival Philadelphia Eagles; and added that he’s as frustrated as any Giants fan with the squad’s struggles over the past decade.
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Strahan, 50, commented on a Zoom call arranged by the Giants, who plan to withdraw his number at halftime in Sunday’s game against the Eagles.
Now a television personality, Strahan played 15 seasons as a defensive lineman for the Giants. He retired after the team defeated the previously undefeated New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl in February 2008. He finished with 141 1/2 sacks, fifth all-time. left the match.
Strahan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.
“All the things I’ve done with the Giants I would have expected a little bit sooner, but it’s still an honor,” Strahan said of Sunday’s event at MetLife Stadium. “Things happen when they’re supposed to happen and not when you want them to happen, sometimes. That’s the way I see it. I don’t want it to sound like I’m ungrateful or I’m not honored, because I really am, I probably would have expected it to happen a little sooner than it did.
It’s fitting that the Giants host the ceremony during a game against the Eagles. Strahan had 21 1/2 sacks against Philadelphia, his most against any team.
The Eagles (5-6) are currently playing better than the Giants (3-7), so Strahan knows there will be a number of Philadelphia fans at his ceremony, likely booing him. He won’t have it any other way.
“So if they boo, it’s an honor to me that they boo,” Strahan said. “I’ll take it that way. I’ve always enjoyed playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. They’ve always been good for a few sacks a game.”
Strahan attends as many Giants games as he can, but said he walked away from the squad soon after retirement when a player called him one of the leaders of the team. He noted that once he stepped away, it was up to the current players to lead, not him.
The Giants have made the playoffs once, in 2016, since winning their fourth Super Bowl in February 2012. They’ve had four straight losing seasons and a fifth is a distinct possibility.
“Do I watch every game like I’m still playing and I’m the Giants’ biggest fan? Absolutely,” Strahan said. “Am I frustrated like all the other fans? Absolutely. Do I look at him and think I could sometimes get up off my couch and go play and help the team? Absolutely.”
Strahan said he played golf with quarterback Daniel Jones and wide receiver Sterling Shepard during the summer. He also said he would help any current Giant who asks for his advice.
Looking back on his career, Strahan said winning the Super Bowl 17-14 was the highlight. He added that he could have played another season if the Giants lost the game.
Strahan learned early on that the things he said can quickly grab the headlines. As a rookie he said he wanted to have 10 sacks. It was tabloid news the next day. He finished with 4 1/2 in a season in which he missed four games with a foot injury. He learned – and never spoke about the goals of the season again.
Working as a co-host with “Good Morning America,” Strahan said his experiences as a player with reporters helped him develop his interview skills and taught him how to be a good listener. It also taught him to respect the industry.
“The only thing I’ve learned (in) journalism is that my job is to report the news, not to be the news,” he said.
Strahan had some advice for the current Giants.
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“Don’t wait for someone to save you because no one in this league has mercy on you when you lose,” he said. “No one is coming to save you. You just have to go to work and save yourself. That would be my message to them.”
Strahan’s footballing career hasn’t just helped him make his mark on TV. He’s going to space in a few weeks on a Blue Origin flight run by the company run by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Strahan will join Laura Shepard Churchley, eldest daughter of late astronaut Alan Shepard, and four paying clients on December 9 for a 10-minute mission.