Should Michael Strahan be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, he’ll be the latest player to win a Super Bowl in his final game and move on to Canton. Former Broncos quarterback John Elway is the most recent player to ride off into the sunset with the Lombardi Trophy before getting a nod on his first ballot in 2004. Strahan will find out on Feb. 2 if he’s next in the exclusive line.
Pittsburgh’s Jerome Bettis (Super Bowl XL winner) will try to do the same in his third year of eligibility, but it could only be a matter of time before linebacker Ray Lewis, who announced he’ll retire at the end of the season, supplants them if his Ravens win the upcoming Super Bowl XLVII.
Five years ago Strahan was in the same position heading into the NFL’s premier game.
“I think for Ray, just as for me, I just kind of soaked up the entire situation,” Strahan told ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” Thursday morning. “I didn’t look at the magnitude of the game or anything like that. I just looked at it as, ‘I better just enjoy the experience’ because this is the last time he’ll experience that in a uniform. So I think that’s the way that he’s looking at it, and he’s fortunate enough to announce that he was going to retire weeks ago and still be in the hunt in the biggest game of the year.”
To close out his career, Strahan recorded three tackles, one sack and a pass deflection in the Giants’ 17-14 victory over New England in Super Bowl XLII.
“During the game, I wanted to put everything I had into it,” Strahan said. “I wanted to limp off the field, be carried off the field like Kellen Winslow back in the day. I wanted to be so exhausted because I had put all my energy into my final game just as I had tried to do throughout the rest of my career. And that’s what Ray’s going to do. He’s always done that. So Ray is going to play and put everything he has into it and that’s why he’s the future Hall-of-Famer and the great player that he is.”
On Feb. 2, the 44-member Selection Committee will hold its annual meeting at the site of the Super Bowl and the Class of 2013 will be announced during a live, nationally-televised show from media headquarters in New Orleans.
Strahan was asked what his reaction would be if his name is called.
“I’d be happy,” Strahan responded simply. “When you talk to guys who are in the Hall of Fame and who have Super Bowl rings, and you ask them which one would they choose, and everyone chooses the Hall of Fame. And I think that’s for a reason. I never played thinking I’m going to make it to the Hall of Fame. I played because I loved the competition, I just wanted to be the best at it, and I wanted to be respected. And this is the ultimate sign of respect for playing professional football. It would be overwhelming, to be honest with you,because it’s just kind of one of those things that creeps up on you. It’s still hard to believe I’ve been gone for five years, anyway.”
Strahan also spoke about the flipside of his first year of eligibility.
“Of course, I mean who wouldn’t be disappointed if you made it this far?” he said. “I mean I definitely would be disappointed, but at the same time, if I don’t make it in and somebody else does, that means they were just more deserving of it at that time. So I would love to make it in on the first ballot – that would be an incredible thing – but I understand how it works. And for me, that’s why I try my best not to get too excited because I don’t want to be too upset if I don’t make it in.”
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Tags: Hall of Fame, Michael Strahan
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If you watched Thursday Night Football, you may have noticed the Pro Football Hall of Fame patches that the Broncos and Raiders were wearing. The Giants and the rest of the NFL will be wearing the same ones for the next two weeks, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Hall, which opened on September 7, 1963 in Canton, Ohio.
All clubs with home games during Weeks 14 and 15 will also feature in-stadium banners, while there will be moments during broadcasts recognizing and honoring Hall of Famers who are present at the game.
“We are pleased to celebrate the great men who built this game as well as 50 years of the Hall where they are enshrined and honored,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier this week. “The Pro Football Hall of Fame preserves the history of our game and is an important resource for educating generations of fans.”
Speaking of Canton, three Giants greats are up for enshrinement in the 2013 class: defensive end Michael Strahan, coach Bill Parcells and the late general manager George Young.
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Tags: Bill Parcells, George Young, Hall of Fame, Michael Strahan
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Ready or not, the 2012 NFL preseason is officially underway.
With yesterday’s Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio — where New Orleans beat Arizona, 17-10 – all 32 teams are on the clock and a month away from making it count.
That means the Giants are in game mode this week, having three practices until Friday’s preseason opener in Jacksonville. Kicked off by the induction ceremony on Saturday, it also means former Giants great Michael Strahan is a year away from possible enshrinement.
The NFL’s single-season sack record holder and 2001 Defensive Player of the Year will join the likely pool of candidates along with defensive tackle Warren Sapp, offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, and guard Larry Allen. That’s not to mention past nominees, including coach Bill Parcells and wide receiver Cris Carter.
While teams open their gates to the 2012 season and all that unfolds, we’ll wait to see whose busts are unveiled in a year’s time.
It was a proud weekend for University of Pittsburgh football fans and alumni, including Giants fullback Henry Hynoski.
Two of his fellow Panthers – running back Curtis Martin and defensive end Chris Doleman – were enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, bringing the school’s total up to eight players (tied for third among NCAA programs).
“They’re two great players that really exemplify what it takes to be a Pitt Panther,” Hynoski said before Monday’s practice. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication and we’re just happy they’re on our side.”
After their respective college careers, Martin (drafted out of Pitt in 1995) became the NFL’s fourth all-time leading rusher at the time of retirement, while Doleman (1985) finished his pro career fourth on the career sack list.
“I never met them personally, but I just heard stories about how great of guys they are and how unbelievable they were when they were there as players – and as people, too,” said Hynoski, whose father, Henry Sr., was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 and was drafted as a running back by the Cleveland Browns.
The Hynocerous was a prolific runner himself, finishing sixth in Pennsylvania history with 7,165 career rushing yards in high school.
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Tags: Hall of Fame, Henry Hynoski, Michael Strahan
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He said as much in a USA TODAY article, where Simms, the franchise leader in passing yards and touchdowns, reiterated how far Manning has come from the days people questioned him and his coach.
“Here we were five years ago, before the Giants won their first Super Bowl, and all the talk that year was maybe the Giants need to bring another quarterback in and Tom Coughlin’s in trouble,” Simms told USA TODAY Sports.”Now they both absolutely one day will go in the Hall of Fame.
“Eli has been a real clutch quarterback. When you talk about why, never underestimate who he plays for and how he’s been groomed.”
Over the offseason following Super Bowl XLVI, Manning said his arrow is still pointing up and there’s no slowing down anytime soon.
“There’s no doubt his best football is still ahead,” Simms says. “With two Super Bowl MVPs, two game-winning drives in the Super Bowl, his confidence deep inside is as good as anybody’s.
“Now, from proving it so many times on the field, the true Eli is coming out.
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Tags: Eli Manning, Hall of Fame, Phil Simms, Super Bowl, Tom Coughlin
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