NFL GIANTSDEFENSIVE END

Putting theperfect hit on an opponent gives you a warm, comfortable feeling, like wakingup and smelling your mama's cooking.

I'm 34, and Isometimes feel like an old-timer. One rookie told me, "I was in fourthgrade when you started playing." I said, "That's cool. Now shut up andget back to work."

The gap betweenmy front teeth is a badge of honor. People say I must be confident to have onethat big and not get it fixed.

Playing defensiveend is like idling in the middle of a four-way stop with cars coming at youfrom every direction. In the collision, you get twisted. Later, you wonder howthe human body could bend that way.

A lot of rookiesshow up wearing a Mr. T starter kit. They've got chains with the NFL logo andcustom-designed emblems. Even the chains are diamonds. Talk about expensivewatches! Guys walk around with a house on their wrists. You could buy Vermontwith some of those watches.

Sportswritersthink I'm mean because I won't discuss my recent divorce with them. But myprivate life is private, and no amount of prying is going to get me to talkabout it. A reporter once called me a nice a------. I laughed and took it as acompliment.

My greateststrength is not taking things seriously and rolling with the punches.

The scariestthing in my fridge is a jar of mayonnaise. It's been in there so long it hasevolved into another life form.

The Gap ismissing out by not offering me an endorsement deal. I could look straight intothe camera, say, "Get into the Gap" and then smile.

I would neverwant to be a sportswriter. Athletes are too difficult.

If the NFL hadits way, we'd all be the same player, making the same amount of money withnothing spontaneous ever happening. The league office should loosen up andallow for more individuality.

No opponent'sever called me a name that made me want to beat him up in the tunnel after agame. My brothers are another story. They used to call me BOB, which stands forBooty on Back. They'd say, "Your butt's so big, you have to reach over yourshoulder for your wallet."

I'msuperstitious. If there's something on the floor, be it a newspaper or a candywrapper, I have to walk over it backward before it moves, or put both feet onit and stand over it.

I saw one playerwho had been caught using steroids and figured he must have bought a discountbrand over the Internet. He had the worst body on the team. I'd never seen abutt with so much cellulite.

If I could be anyvegetable, it would be a zucchini. Nobody likes zucchinis, and nobody eatsthem. They just sit on your plate. Sure, I'd only be a vegetable, but I'd stayalive.

I wish I knewwhen death was coming so I could spend my money down to the last penny.

FILL IN THEBLANKS:

My secretpassion: Antique shopping.

My most overused expression: "Let me tell you something...."

Most influential children's book: Charlotte's Web. Childhood idol: HerschelWalker.

Favorite movie: Braveheart.

Favorite household chore: Cooking and washing the dishes simultaneously.

Favorite dish to cook: Chicken Marsala.

Favorite cereal: Frosted Flakes.

Favorite kitchen appliance: Blender.

Opponent I most dread facing: The Grim Reaper.

Favorite actress: Meryl Streep.

Favorite item of clothing: An old, frayed pair of Binn jeans.

Favorite T-shirt: Anything with the FCUK logo (French Connection UnitedKingdom).

Number of cars I own: Eight.

Favorite one: 1998 Bentley coupe. It's sexy and has a big body, just likeme.

Question asked most at parties: Do you really wear Right Guard?

Biggest secret (that I can reveal): I wear Secret.

Talent I most covet: Playing guitar or piano.

Favorite movie line: "I'm Maximus Meridius. Father to a slain son, husbandto a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance." (Gladiator)

Motto: The best way to break a bad habit is to never start it.

Stats

1
Schools (Texas Southern) that offered him a scholarship.

22 1/2
Sacks in 2001, an NFL record.

7
Seasons his Uncle Art played in NFL and CFL.

9
Age at which his family moved to West Germany; his father served there as amajor in the U.S. Army.

27
Length, in days, of his run for a seat on the Montclair (N.J.) Township Councilin 2004; he dropped out, saying he'd probably be too busy to serve.

2:42
Time left in the final game of 2001 when Strahan got his record-breaking sackagainst Green Bay; on that play Brett Favre rolled out and then fell to theground at Strahan's feet.

If I ever met the guy who invented football, I'd slaphim.

PHOTOMICHAEL STRAHANINSINK
Strahan caught himself in a good mood at a Giants Stadium lockerroom.
PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)