There could be a sack attack and/or a “Sapp Attack” in Canton this year.
Former NFL stars-turned-NFL broadcasters Michael Strahan and Warren Sapp are two of fifteen finalists named for induction into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame class of 2013.
Since both players retired after the 2007-08 season, this was the first year of Hall eligibility for them. Strahan left football immediately after helping the New York Giants, with whom he spent his entire fourteen-year career, win Super Bowl XLII, and has since been a Fox employee, most notably as a panelist on “Fox NFL Sunday”; as of last year, he also started moonlighting as the new co-host of a daytime talk show with Kelly Ripa.
Like Strahan, Sapp, who spent a majority of his thirteen seasons in the league with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – they won Super Bowl XXXVIII with help from Sapp and the rest of their defense – immediately made the jump from the field to the studio, joining NFL Network upon his retirement from the NFL; he also appeared on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL” until recently.
Both Strahan, who set the single season sacks record in 2001 – which still stands today despite some competition from Houston’s J.J. Watt and San Francisco’s Aldon Smith this past season – and Sapp have a great shot of being first-ballot Hall Of Famers; the latter may have sullied his chances somewhat after fingering former New Orleans Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey as “the snitch” (according to his reliable “source”) in that team’s “Bountygate” scandal that emerged last spring, for which he was reprimanded by the network; and despite subsequent reports that his contract would not be renewed, Sapp shot them down, and remains on NFLN’s air to this day.
In addition to Strahan and Sapp, other former NFL players or coaches with current or past broadcasting experience who have previously been considered for Hall induction include Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter (ESPN); Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders wideout Tim Brown (FSN); Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis (NBC); and Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and New York Jets and Giants head coach Bill Parcells (ESPN). Of this group, the latter two have won Super Bowls, and Brown’s Raiders appeared opposite the Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
The 2013 Hall Of Fame inductees will be announced on Saturday, February 2, the eve of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans; no fewer than four and no more than seven players will be inducted.