Strahan, who spent his entire 15-year career with the New York Giants, won a Super Bowl, owns the all-time single-season sack record and is ranked fifth on the all-time sacks list. If he doesn't get in on the initial ballot, who does?
Warren Sapp did, of course, which made last year's rejection even harder for Giants fans to swallow. After all, those two are long-time rivals. Just this week, they were embroiled in a war of words in New York when Sapp declared that Strahan still doesn't deserve a spot in Canton.
That, of course, is ridiculous, especially when you consider that Strahan's raw numbers dwarfed those of Sapp. I know it's not all about stats, but they do play a large role.
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Pro Football Reference
Shaun O'Hara, who went up against Strahan plenty of times in practice when the two were teammates, told Bleacher Report that he believes he jinxed it a year ago by sending Strahan the following text message before the Hall of Fame announcement:
"Good luck," O'Hara wrote. "Pretty sure they won't be able to mess this up for ya."
Turns out they were indeed able to mess it up.
"I'm hoping," said O'Hara, "that they don't mess it up this year. ... Michael was one of those guys that, even while I was playing with him I was saying to myself, 'He's a future Hall of Famer.'"
If voters were to pass once again, this time in Strahan's adopted home city of New York in a Super Bowl technically co-hosted by his former team, it'd be criminal.
On the bright side, O'Hara joked that the one-year pause "gives him an extra year to perfect that gap in his bust."
Sixty-four players have been inducted on the first ballot. It's a shame that voters failed to make that 65 with Strahan, but it should be a foregone conclusion that they'll make it right on Saturday in New York.
But don't start booking your trip to Canton just yet. I mean, this is a world in which the super-smooth Cris Carter had to wait five years to be inducted. And Carter himself isn't convinced Strahan will walk in, despite the fact he was one of the 10 finalists last year.
“I think people think that just because it’s in New York it’s going to happen," Carter said this week, per Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star-Ledger. "But let me tell you, I’ve been there five times: There ain’t no certain sequence or certain city. When those guys get in that room, they’re not thinking, ‘Oh, we’re in New York, let’s give this to Strahan.’ It’s going to be tough.”
I know there are a lot of strong candidates and that logjams are being created, but let's hope the voters don't do to Strahan what they did to Carter.