Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan

Michael Anthony Strahan was born on November 21, 1971 in Houston, Texas however his father Gene was a major in the U.S. Army and the family moved to Germany in 1980. People do not often think of an All-Pro football player and sack specialist growing up overseas that makes Michael that much more of a multi-talented player and performer. It was not until an insult by his brother about his size that young Michael became interested in physical fitness. When he was 13, Michael started getting up at dawn with his father and go for five-mile runs. Since the only kind of football in Germany was soccer, Michael enthusiastically watched Monday Night Football live that meant it came on at 3 AM on Tuesday mornings in Germany! By his junior year of High School, Michael was an excellent weight lifter and in outstanding physical condition.

Although an Army brat, Major Gene Strahan believed that his son had the full potential to play college football and even receive a scholarship. Michael left Germany and went to live with his uncle in Houston for his senior year of High School where he was able to play his first and last High School season for Houston’s Westbury High. While Michael did fully comprehend the complexities of the game just yet having only played one season, his impressive size and strength earned him a football scholarship to the Division I-AA (Double AA) school Texas Southern. Unfortunately Michael was quite unhappy at Texas Southern. He felt very inexperienced on the playing field and was very homesick fitting in on an American campus. After a visit back to Germany for Christmas, Michael did not plan to return to school after the holiday break. However a talk from his influential father told him to give it all another shot and go back to Texas with a new resolve of not being “just another player.” Upon returning to Texas Southern, the young Strahan became a breakout star on the football field. By the time his college football career was over Michael he had set a school record of 41.5 sacks. He received the honor of Black College Defensive Player of the Year in both his junior and senior seasons and was an AP All-American in 1992.

After being drafted by the New York Giants, Michael regressed into an adjustment period to NYC the same way he did in Texas. However he slowly began to come into his own and after an injury-prone rookie season, Strahan really began to hit his stride. By his second year he started in 15 of 16 games and in his fifth season he tied for third in the NFL with 14 sacks and received starting honors on the Pro Bowl Squad. 1998 was more of the same as he led the team in sacks for the fourth straight year. After a number of troubling and unproductive years for the New York Giants especially after Strahan signed a big money contract, Strahan knew that both he and his team needed to turn things around. In 2001 Michael set a single season NFL record with 22.5 sacks. Despite a losing trip to the Super Bowl against the Baltimore Ravens in 2002, Michael was determined to make another big comeback. In his return to the Super Bowl in 2007, Michael got his coveted Championship ring with the Giants.

Michael’s post-football life has been pretty amazing so far. After Regis Philbin exited from his long time post on “Live with Regis & Kelly,” Michael has stepped into the role and become an ambassador of good will. His easygoing persona and friendly manner has made the All-Pro and future Hall of Famer a staple in the American TV landscape.