As you have heard, former Giants DE Michael Strahan was included in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014. He will become the 20th member of the Giants organization to have his bust displayed in Canton.
Strahan had this to say after he was introduced as part of the class at Radio City Music Hall last night, as per the Giants website:
“I’m excited to have made it and to join the other members of the Hall of Fame. And to be inducted with the class I’m inducted in, guys that I admired when I played against them, guys I admired when I watched them, even though they’re from a different era. They’re guys of high character. That’s all you can ask for, to be with a group like that, and I’m honored to be with this group.
I heard a little bit before the formal announcement, which is great. It gives you a chance to kind of take it in and I had a chance to call my parents and let them hear it from me. It was nice to get it a little bit ahead of time. The years I played went by really fast. And it feels good that all the hard work I put into it and all the dedication I put into it and all the teammates that I played with that helped me get this far, it all paid off.
There are a lot of great players in the Hall of Fame. But you don’t go in by yourself. You have all your teammates, your coaches, your family, your friends and a lot of people that encourage you along the way. I have to thank every one of them as well.”
On if being a Hall of Famer will change his life: “It’s incredible. Football changed my life, period. And now I’m sure this will definitely change my life as well. I just think about being recognized as one of the best that’s ever played in the greatest sport in our country, and being respected for the way that you played it. That in itself changes my life. Maybe not for anybody else, but it does for me, and that’s very important to me. I don’t know what’s going to happen from here on out. I guess we’ll see everything that hits. It’s one of those things that’s overwhelming at first. But once the Super Bowl is over and once I have a chance to sit back and reflect, and have some time off to think about it, then I think all of the emotions are really going to hit me.” On the importance of being a complete defensive end: “I was taught by Earl Leggett, my defensive line coach my first four years and then by Denny Marcin and Mike Waufle, you can’t be one-dimensional, you’re not in the game just to rush the passer. You’re in the game to be a complete player. I never wanted to be that player that if a team needed a yard, you were the guy they looked at and say, ‘We’re going to get them right there.’ I wanted the opposite. I wanted them to look at me and fear even thinking about running at me. I enjoyed playing the run more than I enjoyed playing the passer. I think that’s why I took so much pride in it. I wasn’t a pass rusher converted to a run player. I was a run-stopper who happened to be able to rush the passer pretty well, also.” On being the 20th member of the Giants organization in the Hall of Fame: “I remember the first day I walked into the locker room like it was yesterday. Mr. (Wellington) Mara, Lawrence Taylor – Harry Carson was already gone, but I remember the first time I meant him. Frank Gifford – the first time I met those guys I learned more about the history of the Giants. And now to be included with the great players in the history of the NFL, going in as a New York Giant, it’s unbelievable.” On how his parents reacted: “They were happy as all can be. My dad claimed he knew two weeks ago. He reads his Bible, and he knew two weeks ago. He wasn’t nervous about it. And I have to believe him, because he’s the one who told me we were going to win the Super Bowl. Whatever he says seems to work out. They were really happy for me. My mom was extremely happy. Whenever I received an award when I was playing, I was only really happy when I could share it with them. I can’t wait to have them in Canton. This makes it special, and this is their award. They’re in the Hall of Fame with me.” On getting elected to the Hall when the Super Bowl is in New York: “Everything is better in New York.” On the presenter for the induction ceremony: “I’ve thought about it and I have a few ideas. Actually, one.”