The New York Giants field goal in overtime to defeat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday may have left the Cheeseheads on Lambeau Field with heavy hearts, but Giants fans rejoiced at the 23-20 win, and the chance to vindicate their embarrassing loss to the Baltimore Ravens in their last Super Bowl appearance.
While quarterback Eli Manning’s post-season performance has generated the most ink, the Giants’ Super Bowl spot has spurred new speculation over the possible retirement of star defensive end Michael Strahan.
Strahan has been frank about his plans to leave the game, telling the The New York Times last month that he’d “have to call it a day” if the Giants do finally win that elusive Lombardi Trophy.
Strahan has certainly been in the press a lot lately. First came Strahan’s notoriously costly $15.3 million divorce settlement early last year; then came pre-season shenanigans during which Strahan refused to show up for training camp, incurring huge fines and fueling the retirement-rumor mill in the process. Some thought the stunt was a bargaining tactic to get more money after his divorce, while others suggest Strahan was wary of Coach Tom Coughlin’s notoriously brutal training camps.But one thing is for sure: after a shaky start, Strahan came back in style, racking up 9 regular season sacks and another in the playoffs. His performance this season, at the age of 36, “further cements his legacy as one of the greatest Giants of all time and one of the best defensive players in NFL history ,” says Doug Levine, writer for Giants 101 (www.mvn.com/nfl-giants).
Regardless of the outcome for Strahan on Super Bowl Sunday, February 2nd, retirement is a tough decision both economically and emotionally for anybody. And even if you’re making $4 million a year, retiring at the age of 36 and maintaining a certain lifestyle can still be a tall order.