- Dan Graziano, ESPN New York Giants reporter
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NEW YORK -- A friend called Michael Strahan last year on the night before the Super Bowl and told him he hadn't been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Strahan's reaction?
"All right, let's go get something to eat," the former New York Giants defensive end recalled Tuesday.
One of 15 finalists in this year's election, the results of which will be announced Saturday night, Strahan continues to insist that he doesn't give his Hall of Fame chances much thought until someone asks him about them. As the co-host of the syndicated morning talk show "Live! with Kelly and Michael," and a member of Fox's NFL pregame show, Strahan's card is extremely full these days. So he uses that fact to support his claim that he hasn't even imagined what it would feel like if he got a call this year telling him he made it.
"To be honest with you, I don't have enough time right now to imagine things," Strahan said. "I wake up, I work, I go to sleep and I wake up and do it again."
Strahan spoke Tuesday as part of Fox's pre-Super Bowl media availability with its on-air personalities. Earlier in the day, Hall of Famer Warren Sapp created a stir by saying he didn't think Strahan's case stacked up with those of others on this year's ballot. Strahan waved off Sapp's criticism by mentioning his 15 years in the the league, his 141.5 career sacks (a figure that ranks fifth in league history) and his belief that his career didn't tail off toward the end the way many do. And he said he believed making the Hall of Fame would be about more than just himself.
"This is about my family, my teammates, my coaches, the people who helped me get to this point," Strahan said. "I'm just trying to teach a lesson here that it isn't about yourself. I don't hang onto statistics from football. I've done everything I could do. So it's not up to me to vote whether I make it to the Hall of Fame. It's not up to the opinion of another player. It's howling into the wind, because who cares?"
If Strahan gets the votes he needs this time, he admits he could be singing a different tune come Saturday night. But if he doesn't, he's got plenty to do to keep his mind off of it for another year.
NEW YORK -- A friend called Michael Strahan last year on the night before the Super Bowl and told him he hadn't been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot.