Warren Sapp would put Simeon Rice in Hall of Fame over Michael Strahan

NFL former player Warren Sapp reacts after being selected to the pro football hall of fame during a NFL Network presentation at the New Orleans Convention Center. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

NFL former player Warren Sapp reacts after being selected to the pro football hall of fame during a NFL Network presentation at the New Orleans Convention Center. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

It is going to be hard for Michael Strahan to laugh this one off on his daytime television show. The effusive former New York Giants superstar was left out of the Hall of Fame’s 2013 class. One of his former verbal sparring partners in Warren Sapp, however, was voted right on in.

Now, if the former Buccaneers and Raiders pass rushing extraordinaire had his way, Sapp would keep Strahan out of the Hall forever.

Whom might he choose to gain the prestigious recognition in Strahan’s place? His own former Tampa Bay teammate, Simeon Rice.

“Simeon was a better rusher than Michael Strahan any day of the week and twice on Sunday,” Sapp told the Tampa Tribune.

A quick look at the numbers shows that Sapp might just be hyper-biased in his opinion. Whereas Rice ranks 13th on the career sacks list with 122 (including eight different seasons with double-digit totals), Strahan is currently seated fifth with 141.5.

Strahan’s number also includes the single-season record of 22.5 set in 2001. Of course, that number is also a point of contention between the two. Packers quarterback Brett Favre basically laid down in the final game of the season. When Strahan hopped on top of him, the sacks record was officially his — but not in Sapp’s eyes. After the fact, Sapp stated that there should be an asterisk beside Strahan’s name after how the record was broken.

To which Strahan responded by saying there should be a McDonald’s next to Sapp’s house because he’s so fat.

This is Grade A trash talk, people.

But let’s get back to Sapp’s argument for Rice for a moment, shall we? Obviously, the raw numbers weigh heavily in Strahan’s favor. However, in this situation, Sapp believes that numbers do, well, lie.

“[Rice] didn’t rush the worst lineman,” Sapp said. “You know the right tackle is the worst of the five. Strahan played right end his first four years. When they were putting the label on him as a bust, they put ‘B-U-S . OK, let’s transition him on the other side and see if he can play in his fourth year.’ They put him at right end and he couldn’t do it, so they moved him to the weak guy. One-on-one with the [Eagles right tackle] Jon Runyans for eight quarters every year. Sim won’t ever have his name brought up [for the Hall of Fame], and that’s a shame. He’s one of the best pass rushers I’ve ever encountered in my life.”

Sapp brings up a good point, but there is obviously an issue. Perhaps over the first handful of years Strahan was in the league, he struggled. However, he spent 15 years in it, winning two Super Bowls.

You would assume that after a while coaches might put a running back out there to help the “weaker” offensive lineman or a tight end. but Strahan still managed to put up his numbers.

And far better ones than Rice.

But that is simply a counter-argument. Apparently the Hall of Fame voting committee agrees with Mr. Sapp for now, at least with regards to Strahan’s worthiness.

[H/T: Pro Football Talk]

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