NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They are the Hatfields and the McCoys of the NFL’s all-time great defensive linemen.
For whatever reason, Warren Sapp has a real problem with Michael Strahan getting into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which could very well happen Saturday when the inductees for 2014 are announced. Strahan, like last year, is a finalist.
Sapp, who entered the Hall of Fame last year after a stellar 13-year career as a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders, has been all over the former Giants great since an infamous incident in 2002 when Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre appeared to fall down purposely to allow Strahan to set the league’s single-season sack record of 22.5.
Sapp called the record a “travesty” and Strahan responded by calling Sapp “a jackass.”
Since retiring following the 2007 season, Strahan, who played defensive end for 15 years with the Giants, has moved into the booth with Fox and co-hosts Live! with Kelly and Michael on ABC. But he and Sapp have been going at it ever since in the court of public opinion.
Every now and then this old feud reignites, as was the case Tuesday when Sapp lit into Strahan’s football resume on the NFL Network.
“I don’t think his resume stacks up when you put Tony Dungy, Walter Jones, Marvin Harrison and Derrick Brooks up,” Sapp said. “Those are four first-ballot Hall of Famers.”
Sapp said he and Brooks are among six players with seven consecutive Pro Bowl appearances, a Defensive Player of the Year award and a Super Bowl championship. Strahan has been named to the Pro Bowl seven times, including three years in a row twice, was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2001 and was an integral part of the Giants’ Super Bowl XLII championship team.
Yet, Sapp, either because his relationship with Strahan is beyond repair or he honestly believes it, said his contemporary “doesn’t have that resume.”
But he was just getting started.
“When you stack it up,” Sapp said, “and he only has four straight Pro Bowls and a mythical sack record that y’all still walk around like it’s something to be praised — I mean y’all have got to get off your high horse in New York and speak about the real. And when you really measure him up, he comes up short,” Sapp said.
Sapp said Strahan’s good guy image has convinced the public he’s something he’s really not.
“When you talk about stacking it up it just don’t stack that high, except y’all are giving to him. Y’all don’t take that same critical eye as when you’re looking at somebody else. Oh, it’s Michael, aww, he’s our guy, he’s on TV with Kelly [Ripa] and oh, he’s such a good guy!” Sapp said.
“I thought you got into the Hall because your resume stacked up with the echoes of the game — not just the good, the great. And four straight Pro Bowls [is good], but it ain’t great and we’re talking about the Hall, right?”
Saturday should be interesting, and, if Strahan gets the call, the induction ceremony next August in Canton, Ohio, will be even more than must-watch TV considering Sapp will likely be in attendance.
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