THE KID IN THE HALL
The 42-year-old former NFL sackmaster joined football's immortals last weekend, when he was enshrined in Canton. He can be seen every morning alongside co-host Kelly Ripa on Live! with Kelly and Michael.
DAN PATRICK:Who's the quarterback you didn't get to sack?
MICHAEL STRAHAN: These young guys who are real pretty. Quarterbacks used to score touchdowns and be like Eli Manning: O.K., I've been here before. Now they have dances and celebrations. I'd love to bust one of them up a little bit.
DP:Like Cam Newton's Superman pose?
MS: Cam is bigger than me. That's a problem.
DP:Then maybe you'd wait for Johnny Manziel.
MS: Yes, that little cash money thing he does—I'd try to bust Johnny up for that one. I'm a big Johnny fan. I hope he does well. I must admit, if I was playing, he'd probably be my No. 1 target.
DP:If you were his teammate, would you say anything to him?
MS: Yup. I would let him know, if you're going to party, that's cool. You just make sure when you show up for the season, you're the best football player you can be.
DP:When did you know Eli Manning was a championship quarterback?
MS: We all were lost when we first came into the league, and Eli was no exception. It's more his disposition. He looks kind of spacey. For me, it was that season he won the Super Bowl. He was quiet, but he was confident. He went from being Peyton's little brother to his own man.
DP:Are sacks a true measure of how great someone is?
MS: Absolutely not. So many guys were great at sacking the quarterback but couldn't stop the run. I've always looked at Deacon Jones, Reggie White and Bruce Smith and said, That is a defensive end. It's not a guy who runs in and rushes the quarterback. It's a guy who could take the pounding and dish out some tackles.
DP:Any feuds that were never settled?
MS: Not for me. I never feuded with anybody. I'm not going to fight you just because your team beat my team. What's the point?
DP:How nervous were you when you auditioned to take over for Regis Philbin?
MS: Good thing I was wearing a jacket. I would have had pit stains down to my hips.
DP:If I said 20 years ago you're going to be in the Hall of Fame and you're going to be hosting a talk show, which one would you be more surprised at?
MS: A talk show, no doubt. Physically you think, If I work hard enough, I can make it happen. But if you told me 20 years ago that I would be either of those, I would have probably asked you to take a drug test.
New Fox Sports broadcaster Brady Quinn looked back at the intense feelings elicited by football at his alma mater, Notre Dame: "People loved you in a very passionate, almost psychotic way. Or it was the opposite, where people hated you so much that they threw stuff at you: hot dogs, a shoe, a hat—I kept that." ... Ohio State coach Urban Meyer talked about the pressure of national-title expectations: "I felt it on our team last year when we went on our win streak.... No one forced these players to come to Ohio State. No one forced these coaches. You have to win every game you play, embrace it and try to do it." ... Today host Matt Lauer told me he's a big Derek Jeter fan, but he's had trouble interviewing the Yankees star: "I find him hard to crack. Maybe he won't until he's played that last game and really breaks open and shares his raw emotions."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
TONY DEJAK/AP (STRAHAN)
MEL EVANS/AP (QUINN)
AL TIELEMANS/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MEYER)
ROBIN MARCHANT/GETTY IMAGES (LAUER)