Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Michael Strahan does new job, expressing opinions
Here is my Wednesday newspaper article about Michael Strahan's introduction by Fox, in which he suggests the Giants grant Jeremy Shockey his wish to depart. And here is a complete transcript of his remarks about the grumpy tight end.
This seems to have created a bit of a message board stir during a very slow time of the year in the NFL world.
Fox's feelings about the magnitude of the Strahan hiring were illustrated by the turnout for its announcement in Manhattan Tuesday. The other four pregame show panelists - none of whom lives in New York - were on hand, as were Fox Sports' top two executives - neither of whom lives in New York - as was Fox information man Jay Glazer, who lives in Arizona. (Strahan was in Glazer's wedding party and gave a speech at the reception; Glazer is the godfather to one of Strahan's young daughters.)
Click below for much more from Strahan that didn't fit into the newspaper column.On possibly moving from the studio to the game booth someday: "I never say never to anything. I havent thought about that. Im going to do what David [Hill] and Ed [Goren] tell me to do. Thats my job. Im the rookie. Its been a long time since Ive been a rookie. I think I remember what to do, basically learn from the guys who have kept this show going and kept it the number one pregame show since I can remember. My job is to fit in and make sure I add to the show. As long as they dont make me get the coffee and donuts, well be straight."
On Jimmy Johnson thinking seriously about drafting him for the Cowboys in 1993: "I waited 15 years to get a ring. If Id have played for you I could have gotten one a lot sooner. But it all worked out and now were in the same place."
On whether he might be gun shy after watching Tiki Barber get severely criticized for his own criticism of the Giants on NBC last year: "Now, Neil, I've known you for 15 years. Do I have to say I'm not gun shy to you? I think my situation and personality, Im different than Tiki. If I say something Im just going to tell you the truth. I think a lot of people expect that. For Tiki I think its a little bit out of his comfort level, what was expected from him. I look at it now as that Im on this team now. I have to speak objectively and speak the truth, or what I see, regardless if I were in the locker room last season or not and if those guys are my friends or not. One of the best ways to be a friend is to be honest, so if I see it I have to say it, and I cant worry about the ramifications of it. Im not in any way shape or form going to go out of my way to vilify or come after any team or any individual. Thats not what Im here to do. Im basically here to give my opinion and let that be what it is."
On Plaxico Burress' contract dispute: "I think in the case of Plaxico Burress obviously he is underpaid for what he does and brings to the team and in light of the situation when it comes to contracts as a player, the ability to go in and renegotiate and get more money, you have a very small window for that. So for him, in his defense it is the right time to do that. Also, when you sign a contract, you look at the contract and everyone says you should fulfill it. But to be honest with you, in professional football there is no loyalty, there really is no contract, its a one-way contract, so the players, you have no rights, they can come in and say, 'You suck, get out of here,' but I cant walk into the team and say, 'You know, this team really sucks, I want to go somewhere else.' So when a player has the opportunity to do what he can do to provide for himself, he should do it, because at the end of the day when the next season starts the fans care how you play. Theyre not going to care about your contract situation and when you retire theyll remember you as a player; theyre not going to remember how many times you went back [to negotiate]."
More on the differences between his situation this year and Barber's last year: "Im not leaving with any animosity toward anybody, and if I have an opinion about Eli or Coughlin, Ill have to give my opinion, but people will understand my opinion. Ive been very honest. You expected it when I told you he was a tyrant when I went there. That doesnt surprise you Id say that, and now it doesnt surprise you Id say, you know what, the guy is a great coach, I loved playing for him because he became like a different person. Im not angry. It was like [Barber] had a vengeance toward the Giants, and it came to the point where when he gave an opinion about anybody else people really just wanted to hear about the Giants. I know I played for the Giants for 15 years, but I want to be able to talk about everything and every team. Was it fair to Tiki? In a lot of ways no, because hes paid to give his opinion, and thats what he did, and I can respect him for that and in a lot of ways maybe he was right and in some ways maybe he was wrong."
On what kind of shape he is in: "I feel great man, great shape. I've been running. I weigh 250."