- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Warren Sapp was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year. Former New York Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan was not. This apparently has not settled whatever issues Sapp has with Strahan, which appear to be significant.
In an interview with Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, Sapp asserted that Strahan was not as good a player as Sapp's former teammate, Simeon Rice. Sapp is apparently annoyed that Strahan gets considered for the Hall of Fame and Rice does not. He thinks The New Regis benefited from playing against weaker competition:
"[Rice] didn't rush the worst lineman,'' said Sapp, who beat out Strahan for a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013. "You know the right tackle is the worst of the five. Strahan played right end his first four years. When they were putting the label on him as a bust, they put 'B-U-S . OK, let's transition him on the other side and see if he can play in his fourth year.'
"They put him at right end and he couldn't do it, so they moved him to the weak guy. One-on-one with the (Eagles right tackle) Jon Runyans for eight quarters every year. Sim won't ever have his name brought up (for the Hall of Fame), and that's a shame. He's one of the best pass rushers I've ever encountered in my life.''
I mean, sure. Rice was great. But why you gotta run down Strahan to make that point? Let alone poor Jon Runyan. What did he ever do to anyone? Is this some sort of political vendetta?
Anyway, this isn't the first time tensions have flared up between these two, as Kaufman's story points out. I couldn't tell you why Sapp has it in for Strahan. Maybe he wishes it was him interviewing celebrities every morning next to Kelly Ripa. I'd just be guessing. But it sure is funny. And a bit odd that a guy who's about to go into the Hall of Fame is still worried about comparisons like this. You won, dude. You're in the Hall of Fame. Try and enjoy it a little, huh?