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Michael Strahan on NFL sack record: If you don't like it, break it

  • By NFL.com
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Like Ahmad Bradshaw's Super Bowl XLVI-winning touchdown, Michael Strahan's record-breaking sack of Brett Favre in the 2001 season is destined to forever be anticlimactic, spoiled by the inconvenient fact that the opposition -- for reasons strategic or personal -- decided to lay down (or in Bradshaw's case, stand up).

In Tuesday night's "A Football Life" on NFL Network, Strahan let on just how much the flak he's taken over that one play continues to bother him.

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Michael Strahan through the years

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"I just hate that it got caught up in the wash of the record-breaking sack," the former New York Giants defensive end said.

"The sack record's great -- absolutely phenomenal, but I almost feel like in a sense it was diminished, because everyone goes, 'Oh, Brett Favre gave you a sack.' I caught so much flak over it. It's not worth it, because everyone looks as if one sack that they question is the defining moment of my career.

"I didn't have a sack in the first three weeks of the season. So from four weeks on -- 13 games, 22-and-a-half sacks. That's hard to match, and I've never spoken like this about it, because I've always kind of taken it, but I always have to say, if you don't like it, then break it."

Favre widely is perceived to have taken a dive on the play in question, which gave Strahan 22.5 sacks. That broke Mark Gastineau's single-season record of 22, set in 1984.

Appearing on NFL Network's "A Football Life: Backstory" after the Strahan documentary, Jim Fassel -- Strahan's coach in 2001 -- said that when a respected athlete like Strahan gets close to an all-time record, sometimes opponents want him to break it.

"It happens in athletics," Fassel said. "If players have respect for that person, and he's close to breaking a record -- I mean, you know, you've seen it in baseball, a guy's going to have a home-run record, an RBI record, if it doesn't matter to the game they'll put a fastball (down the middle) and let him knock it out of here. So if they have respect for the player, sometimes, 'I'm gonna let you get it.'"

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