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When Michael Strahan retired in 2007 after helping the franchise win its third Super Bowl and the first of two in the Tom Coughlin-Eli Manning era, his No. 92 jersey was put into storage, never to be worn again by another member of the franchise.

On Sunday, the franchise will make the unofficial retirement of Strahan's jersey official at halftime of the team's home game against the Philadelphia Eagles, a team against whom Strahan logged 23.5 (including postseason) of his 141.5 career sacks, the most he had against any opponent over his 15-year career.

"I mean, it's huge," said the 50-year old Hall of Fame defensive end. "I guess it's the ultimate honor that you can have from your team, and, you know, after 15 seasons, been in a few Super Bowls with the Giants and, and all of that, and it's a huge honor. It's, you know, 'Well. What took you so long? But it is an honor."

Strahan, who spent most of his early years growing up in Houston, came to the Giants in the second round of the 1993 draft (the Giants didn't have a first-round pick that year after exercising a first-round supplemental draft pick on quarterback Dave Brown out of Duke).

Strahan, who these days juggles multiple jobs that include co-hosting Good Morning America, serving as a studio analyst on FOX Sports' NFL pregame and halftime shows, and who will be getting a free courtesy ride on the next flight conducted by Blue Origin, the Jeff Bezos rocket company, has come a long way from his early days with the Giants.

Back then, the former Texas Southern defender was a far cry from the outgoing personality he is today, and he credited being thrust into the New York spotlight for helping to bring that out of him.

"I just think being in New York and being a Giant, you have little choice--either you, you think, or you swim. You adapt to it, or you don't," he said. 

"And I adapted to what was required of me to play here. It did bring out a lot of my personality because it was almost forced out of me. But there's no city like New York City. 

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"This is the best place in the world to be, the best place in the world to play. It's the best place in the world to have success. And, and it is true," You do something in New York, you can do anything, and my life is a living testament to that."

Strahan said he hasn't had much contact with his former team, partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and partially by choice.  

"One reason I kind of pull back is I retired and they asked one of the players who the leader of the team was," he said. 

"And one of them said my name. And I realized at that point I needed to really remove myself from the team, because if I'm not even there and someone said I'm kind of leader of the team, that's not a good thing for the guys who are currently there and trying to fill that leadership void."

But that doesn't mean Strahan is so far removed that he doesn't keep up with how the franchise is doing.

"I played golf with (quarterback) Daniel Jones and (receiver) Sterling Shepard in the off season. And I'm always open to conversation with guys about anything that they want," he said. 

"Do I watch every game as if I am field playing and the biggest fan of the Giants? Absolutely. Do I get frustrated like every other fan out there? Absolutely. Do I look at and think that I could get off my couch sometimes and go play and help the team? Absolutely. But I think that the team right now--we need to find a way to get back to where we were to be competitive."  

 


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