Former New York Jets great Mark Gastineau has been done rushing quarterbacks for quite some time but he still has a bone to pick with Hall of Famer Michael Strahan.
Strahan set the single-season sacks record in 2001 when he was credited with sacking Brett Favre against the Green Bay Packers in the final game of the season. It was his 22 1/2 sack of the year. The New York Giants defensive end got it when Favre slid behind the line of scrimmage and right in front of Strahan.
Gastineau, the leader of the “New York Sack Exchange” in the 1980s, originally set the single-season sacks record in 1984. He told ESPN on Monday that Strahan’s record was cheapened by the Favre slide.
“It’s my record, and I want it to be known that it’s my record,” Gastineau said. “I’m not going to say, ‘I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.’ It’s my record.”
Gastineau said he wanted to set the record straight on how he felt about Strahan breaking the mark.
“It’s a good record and it took me a long time to get that,” he said. “It took a lot of work, a lot of work to get that record. So many years I worked my butt off to get it, and I finally got it, and it shouldn’t have been cheapened like it was. It’s like a tarnished record.”
He added that the record – the way Strahan got it – wasn’t good for the NFL.
Strahan said in 2013 he felt like the record was “diminished,” according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
“I just hate that it got caught up in the wash of the record-breaking sack,” he said at the time. “The sack record’s great — absolutely phenomenal, but I almost feel like in a sense it was diminished, because everyone goes, ‘Oh, Brett Favre gave you a sack.’ I caught so much flak over it. It’s not worth it, because everyone looks as if one sack that they question is the defining moment of my career.”
According to the New York Post, Strahan also said in 2018 he would be fine with Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald achieving the record.