When you own the NFL record for most sacks in a single season, you don't need to worry about portraying a menacing facade on your NFL Hall of Fame bust to be remembered as a tough guy.
That's part of Michael Strahan's line of thinking, as he revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he'd like to have his image of immortality feature the unique gap-toothed smile that has become synonymous with his career.
"You go in and they measure your head," Strahan said, per FoxSports.com's Sid Saraf. "I have to meet with the guy, because I think I want mine to be smiling."
Really, it's hard to imagine it any other way. In almost any picture you see of the former New York Giants star, he's smiling. Why make it any different now?
In an interview with Elle's Mickey Rapkin back in December 2012, Strahan revealed that he was very close to closing up the gap early in his NFL career. He had visited the dentist to entertain the idea but ultimately chose against getting any procedure done:
I was in my twenties. I was playing with the Giants. There’s so much pressure to be perfect. You can fix everything now. For me, I made the conscious effort to say “This is who I am.” I’m not perfect. I don’t want to try to be perfect. At this point, I don’t think my kids would recognize me without it. They’d be like, “Who is this stranger in the house? Call 911!”
That smile helped Strahan become one of the most recognizable stars in the league during his 15-year playing career. In retirement, he parlayed that star power into a co-hosting role with Kelly Ripa, replacing Regis Philbin on Live! with Kelly and Michael.
A Hall of Fame bust is supposed to present an image of a player as we remember him—a brief snapshot into a legendary career. Everywhere Michael Strahan goes, his smile goes with him.
And Canton looks to be the next destination.