A Time for Football Hero’s – Not Zero’s
~ Amy Lignor
The Hall of Fame induction is a class-act event. It is a time when the best of the best get placed among the other ‘masters’ of the game who changed
football for the better when they were on the gridiron. The event is one that has nothing to do with reports of charges, arrests, etc., that seem to fill the pages of newspapers and sports media sites. It is a moment in time where the NFL looks as shiny as the Oscar statuette.
Canton, Ohio is the home of the Hall. Beginning in 1920, Canton won the right to build the Hall of Fame in their city, lobbying the NFL, and also owning the Canton Bulldogs – which were a successful team in the NFL once upon a time.
Inductees on Saturday night included: Michael Strahan, Derrick Brooks, Aeneas Williams, Andre Reed, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey and Walter Jones – men who were honored for their good work when it came to helping their teams achieve glory and success.
Undoubtedly, there is one among the list of inductees who is someone everyone knows; even people who don’t know anything about football laugh at his jokes and find him to be an excellent addition to their morning cups of coffee. Michael Strahan was a fantastic player in the NFL, but up on stage, he does not look the part of the mentor – white-haired, Yoda-‘esque’ type that many of the inductees mirror when they are given this honor. In fact, Strahan looks even better than he did in uniform, because his face has become even more of a presence in our everyday lives since his retirement in 2008.
Turn on your T.V. and you get Strahan. “Live with Kelly and Michael”; “Fox N.F.L. Sunday”; “Good Morning America”…and, probably most popular of all, his appearance with Kelly Ripa in the most campy (and most popular) movie TV had to offer this year: “Sharknado 2: The Second One.” And, no, that is not a joke. This is one of those television movie series that seem to have gotten fans from across the world to talk about it just as much as they did Twilight…course, the sharks were way cooler than the vamps.
But Strahan is a natural – the natural smile, the fun, he makes people feel good while also giving educated football news when it comes to that arena. Media loves the guy, and Strahan has become a household name. Oddly enough, he is a lot like the ‘Sharknado’ phenomenon, because fans want to sit and talk to the guy. They want to enjoy his company…and Strahan, oddly enough, feels the same way about them, which means this is one football master that has a long, long future that will not end just because the stadium lights are no longer on him.
It is no surprise for Strahan to be an inductee. We are talking about the Giants’ career leader in games played, as well as sacks. He is also the NFL record-holder for sacks in a season. Playing with New York from 1993 to 2007, Strahan was the captain of the 2007 Super Bowl XLII championship team, and his records of 216 regular-season games, and 141.5 sacks for his team will, most likely, stand as the ‘best of the best’ for a long time.
Yet, in the end, it’s his humor and kindness that everyone loves about Strahan. Even the headlines regarding his Hall of Fame bust have people smiling. Why is that? Because of HIS smile, of course. Seems that the Hall of Fame chief sculptor asks everyone to remain smileless when they are posing for him. Reason being, teeth apparently do not look good on a bronze bust. But Strahan did the one thing all fans wanted: He made sure that his signature, gap-toothed smile will most definitely be immortalized in Canton, Ohio.
This was work for the sculptor, to say the least. But fans of football, the New York Giants, and all the fans Strahan has made in his huge media career wish to thank him for his decision.
We wish to say congrats to ALL the inductees. You all deserve the honor. And, Michael, you continue to make us smile each and every day!