Michael Strahan and Amani Toomer still are terrific friends more than a decade after the two finished their dazzling playing careers for the New York Giants.
The two were beloved Giants, with each spending their entire careers with the team.
Strahan, the defensive end who made the smooth transition to morning network television after his NFL Hall of Fame career ended in 2008, shared some Giants nostalgia on social media earlier this week.
He captioned it: “My brother Amani Toomer was always one of my favorite teammates and the jokes were endless. He’s probably making fun of me as usual.”
The two were teammates on the Giants Super Bowl team in 2000. And they helped lead New York to the Super Bowl after the 2007 season. The two were the only Giants to play in both those Super Bowls. They formed a tight friendship. The Giants drafted Strahan in the second round in 1993. The team selected Toomer in the second round three years later. The spent their entire careers with the Giants. They retired within a year of each other.
Michael Strahan and Amani Toomer Were Huge Kidders
As teammates often do, the two have kidded each other since they met. Strahan once talked about all the nicknames he had for Toomer.
“Amani and I have a funny relationship,” Strahan said in 2008, months before he retired. “I love Amani. He is one of my best friends on the team. But every day, he just has gap-tooth jokes, and I talk about how big his nose is. I mean, really, that is it. He looks like Gonzo from ‘Sesame Street.’ ”
But Strahan said Gonzo nicknames changed to GOAT on game day. That’s because Strahan believed Toomer to be the greatest of all time. That’s love.
Toomer, the ex receiver, described Strahan as his big brother.
“It is kind of like an older-brother-type thing,” Toomer said in the same Times interview. “I can always mess with him, and we always have fun in the locker room together talking back and forth to each other. We have always kind of been close. I think after we get done playing, we will probably be closer than we are now.”
When Toomer retired, he owned just about all team receiving records. Like Strahan, his second career is in the media. But he’s now talking about football far away from the United States.
Toomer’s wife is from Denmark. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the New York area especially hard this spring, Toomer moved his family to Denmark.
“Stuff started getting so bad in the U.S. that we just decided it would be best,” Toomer said, per the New York Daily News. “The kids are the reason why, because the schools are open, so the kids can just go to school, and they speak Danish, so it’s easy for them. It’s just an opportunity. Instead of looking at it as a negative, we viewed it as a positive.”
And despite the differences in time zones, Strahan and Toomer still can still love and kid each other. It’s what teammates do.