Michael Strahan may be the most beloved player in the rich history of the New York Giants. In 2014 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame; a yellow jacket was the only fitting end to this legend’s career.
Strahan was one of the greatest defensive ends of all time. He recorded the 5th most sacks in NFL history, with a whopping 141.5 times taking quarterbacks to the ground. In 2001 he had an NFL record 22.5 sacks; it is one of the greatest seasons any player has ever had in any season.
The most impressive aspect of the Strahan legend is the longevity of his career. For 15 years he wore the Giants red, white and blue. For 15 years he was one of the best players in the league. He had 6 seasons with 10 or more sacks. Long story short, he was a great player for a long time.
Aug 3, 2014; Canton, OH, USA; Michael Strahan at the 2014 Hall of Fame game at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
In a day when we discourage children from choosing athletes as role models, Strahan is the perfect role model for our youth. His game was all about heart and dedication to his teammates and to the game.
He had to continuously reinvent himself as a football player, to keep strong and healthy in the most physical of professions. The manifestation of his passion was a consistent grind, a standard of work ethic that we should all aspire to match.
Strahan will always be an original, a character that is larger than life, even larger the Big Apple, the city he has called home for so long. He was a joy to watch on the football field and he was an easy man to root for.
In his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech, he talked about being picked on as a child, and how that drove him to be the man he is today. It was a touching moment when he declared himself an improbable Hall of Famer. It was a very relatable beginning to a very not relatable level of greatness.
At the end of the day there is nothing to say but he was a great man on and off the field. It is not sugar coating it, you cannot say enough kind words about him. Strahan finished his football career with 854 tackles and 141.5 sacks. That being said, his legacy as a football player cannot fully be quantified by statistics. Everything he meant to the Giants and the game of professional football, now that is something that cannot be measured, but can still be felt.