November 03, 2014

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Michael Strahan rushed onto the field at MetLife Stadium. The fierce pass rusher did not pull down any quarterbacks, but he did accept his Hall of Fame ring.

Strahan gave low-fives to his former teammates lined up along a blue strip of carpet Monday night, and then bowed to all four corners of the stadium as the crowd roared at halftime of the Colts-Giants game. He then whipped the crowd into a mini-frenzy, getting the fans to wave white towels handed out by the team in celebration of Strahan's induction into the hall during the summer.

It was an emotional night for Strahan and three other Giants Hall of Fame members: Frank Gifford, Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson.

''It's really something, and to have the other Hall of Famers with me as well. I never thought about any of it,'' Strahan said. ''You realize what you miss when you stop playing, and I do miss the guys.

''When it's all said and done, you know it's the best relationship you ever had, but you never know if you're going to see any of the guys again. A lot are out of town and some are on business and couldn't be here. But it means the world to me and it lets me know the relationship we had was real. And it makes you appreciate the game and sports and camaraderie.''

Strahan said before the game that he would have preferred to suit up one last time.

''Believe me, there's still a part of me that wishes I could put on a uniform and play tonight. That would be nice,'' said Strahan, the Giants' career leader with 141 1/2 sacks and the league's single-season record holder with 22 1/2, set in 2001. ''But if I did, I don't know how many plays I'd make.''

Now a TV personality, Strahan credited his pro career with helping him to transition into another lucrative profession.

''I recognize that I have what I have now because of what I did in the past,'' said Strahan, who was joined by his son, mother, and father. ''Without this, there's none of that. I owe my life now to the Giants, to New York, and to them letting me hang around for 15 years.''

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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