Feel that? It’s a tiny ripple in the sports universe. Football is starting and Michael Strahan is giving us a taste of what’s to come.
Michael Strahan offered his Instagram followers a peek behind-the-scenes of what’s happening this weekend in the NFL.
“Hanging with the fellas for Hall Of Fame Game for NFL On Fox. Our busts decided to join us also! Jimmy’s will be revealed later. Can’t wait to see Jimmy Johnson finally go into the HOF!!”
The Hall of Fame game is the traditional start of the NFL exhibition season. The NFL and college teams already have started preseason training camps. So that means football regular season is weeks away. It’s like five-plus months worth of holidays for sports fans.
We’re already getting back to football normal. The NFL canceled all preseason games in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So there wasn’t a Hall of Fame Game or an induction ceremony.
Michael Strahan Returns to His Football Roots in the Fall
Michael Strahan, who is a co-host on Good Morning America, works weekends for NFL on Fox. Since he’s one of the best players ever to suit up in the NFL, he’s a natural to analyze the game.
And Thursday night, the preseason exhibition kicked off in Canton, Ohio, with the Dallas Cowboys against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s the seventh appearance in the exhibition game for both teams. The next NFL prime-time games are Aug. 12 with Washington at New England and Pittsburgh at Philadelphia.
Jimmy Johnson, who Strahan mentioned, works with him on Fox. Johnson is the former coach of the Dallas Cowboys who was picked in the 2020 Hall of Fame class.
The game also kicks off a weekend of celebration for the players and coaches who earned entry into the Hall of Fame. Because of the cancellation of last year’s ceremony, the NFL is celebrating two classes. These men earned entry in 2020 and will be honored, Saturday. They are Steve Atwater, Isaac Bruce, Harold Carmichael, Jimbo Covert, Bill Cowher, Bobby Dillon, Cliff Harris, Winston Hill and Steve Hutchinson. Also selected — Edgerrin James, Alex Karras, Troy Polamalu, Steve Sabol, Donnie Shell, Duke Slater, Mac Speedie, Ed Sprinkle, Paul Tagliabue and George Young.
The 2021 class goes in Sunday. It features Alan Faneca, Tom Flores, Calvin Johnson, John Lynch, Peyton Manning, Bill Nunn, Drew Pearson and Charles Woodson.
Michael Strahan earned his spot in the Hall of Fame in 2014. He was a no-brainer to the Hall. Strahan, who played defensive end for the New York Giants, set the NFL record for sacks in 2001. He also helped lead the Giants to a Super Bowl win over New England to end the 2007 season.
There Will Be Fewer Exhibition Games, But More in Regular Season
This year, the NFL is trying something new. Each team plays only three exhibition games. That’s down from the normal four. The regular-season schedule then expands to 17 games.
Michael Strahan said from a player’s standpoint, he’s not a fan of more games.
“I wouldn’t be too happy,” Strahan told USA Today. “Hard enough to get through 16. Why do I have to do a 17th game? I wouldn’t have been happy at all about it. I don’t even know how this happened. It’s tough on the body.”
But Michael Strahan, as a football fan, sees it like we all do.
“As a fan,” he said, “it’s going to be great.”