Dave Klein was the Giants' beat
writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books
and he is one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls.
Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.
STRAHAN WILL GET HIS HALL OF FAME RING
AT HALFTIME MONDAY NIGHT VS. COLTS
By Dave Klein
Defensive end Michael Strahan, the last member of the Giants to be inducted into
the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will receive his ring at halftime Monday night
- on national television (ESPN) - when the only team he ever played for takes
on the Indianapolis Colts.
a list of 21 Giants (31 if you count the 10 who made it but played or coached
for another team) in the Canton, O., edifice. Those 21 Giants include founder
Tim Mara and his son, subsequent co-owner Wellington Mara.
The halftime ceremony will include the actual bronze bust of Strahan, which has
been shipped in from Ohio for the presentation. Strahan will also preside as the
Giants' honorary captain for the coin toss prior to the game.
In addition, more than 100 former players will be present for this so-called "Homecoming
Weekend." A short list includes Ottis Anderson, Carl Banks, Mark Bavaro, Tucker
Frederickson, George Martin, Joe Morris, Gary Reasons and Bob Tucker, and the
halftime ceremony will include the presence of some of Strahan's former teammates,
including Jessie Armstead, Howard Cross, Rodney Hampton, Antonio Pierce, Jason
Sehorn, Amani Toomer, David Tyree - and Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor, Frank
Gifford and Harry Carson.
a second-round draft pick in 1993 and played through the 2007 season. He was on
two victorious Super Bowl teams and was an outspoken leader in the locker room
and on the field - sometimes to the discomfort of the team's management.
the Giants made the blockbuster trade in April 2004 secured quarterback Eli Manning,
Strahan was publicly and vehemently opposed to the deal. "We don't need a rookie
quarterback," he said. "It will take too long for him to learn the position. The
rest of us will have to wait and that's just not right."
Then general manager Ernie Accorsi calmed him down, and tried to do the same with
veteran quarterback Kerry Collins, but with less success. Collins burst into Accorsi's
office a few days after the trade, violently objecting to the draft. "I ain't
no [expletive deleted] baby-sitter," he screamed. "I'm outta here."
Accorsi tried to explain to the former Penn State All-American that he would not
lose any money, and that he would, in fact, receive more, but Collins would have
none of it. He left, signed with the Oakland Raiders and later played for the
Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts, and Accorsi was right - he never earned
as much as the Giants were willing to pay him to stay and be that "baby-sitter."
Instead, the Giants signed veteran Kurt
Warner, who started the 2004 season but gave way to Manning at the midway point.
He has never relinquished the position since.
It would be difficult to forget Strahan on the sideline of Super Bowl 42, when
he was racing up and down the bench exhorting the team for one more defensive
stand. "Just one more and it's ours," he was screaming. "Just one more stop."
The Giants got that stop and got the
championship, and it turned out - fittingly - to be Strahan's final game.
He played at Texas Southern University, having grown up in Germany while his father
was in the U.S. Army. Strahan only played football in his senior year in high
The coaches and players will
take the field Monday night by running through a gauntlet of the former Giants
during pregame introductions, and the National Anthem will be performed by Grammy
Award winner Chris Botti.
Tom Coughlin is impressed by the more than 100 former Giants who will attend the
Strahan ceremonies. "It's a tribute to Michael, and it upholds the old saying
that Mr. [Wellington] Mara used to say: ‘Once a Giant, always a Giant.' It's a
special night for him and for all of us."
EXTRA POINTS - Guard Geoff Schwartz, who has missed the entire season thus far,
is "kind of ready" but Coughlin says "it would be a reach" to see him in the game
Monday night. ... "But he's close now," he added.
Newly-acquired cornerback Michael Harris may see game action, and since he was
a nickel back in Jacksonville there is a chance that he'll get the same position
Monday night - except the Colts' slot receiver is superstar T.Y. Hilton, which
might be something of an over-match. ... The Giants are 3-point underdogs against
Despite early-week rumors,
running back Rashad Jennings will not be available for the game Monday night.
... That leaves the job to rookie Andre Williams again, and he'd better mature in
a rush to give the Giants a running game they can play off the passing game.
out Dave's website at E-GIANTS
where you can subscribe to his newsletters which
run much more frequently than what is available here.
- Team Giants
- Send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
for a free week's worth of news!