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Michael Strahan Talks Football, Family And His Life On TV

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at September 23, 2021

Whether you are a sports fan, a morning news watcher or a game show enthusiast, Michael Strahan is quickly becoming more and more of a central figure on your television screen.

To NFL lovers, Strahan is remembered as the powerful defensive end from his 15-season Hall of Fame career with the New York Giants and now a television analyst on game day with NFL on FOX. Others might know Strahan as the welcoming presence that starts their day, co-hosting Good Morning America alongside Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos. And if tuning into primetime network television is more your thing, you can catch Strahan hosting the popular game show $100,000 Pyramid on ABC.

So did he ever think he would be doing all of this today? “Oh no, absolutely not,” Strahan reveals to me at Forbes. “I never imagined really doing sports TV. I seemed somewhat foreign to me. And once I started doing that, I just kind of thought OK, this is where I will be and probably the only thing I will do on TV will be sports related. So now, to do what I’m doing, it just blows me away because it’s so unexpected, even for me.”

Though he was born in Houston, Texas, Strahan recalls living much of his childhood between the United States and Germany, geographic circumstances that he says ultimately benefitted his growth into his adolescence and early adulthood.

“I think living in Germany, it added value because living on a military base, you’re just surrounded by all different types of people, different backgrounds, different financial situations, all these different things but you’re on a base, so you realize how great a sense of community is because you’re all American in a foreign country. But then, to move off that military base and then be in a foreign country as an American where you’re not surrounded by that ecosystem of people from where you are, takes you to another level of understanding. You learn to understand that everybody has a different culture and you have to just be very open and not afraid to learn about people. It just opens you up to realize that the world is a big place, bigger than that little community where you grow up or that city or that state.”

Strahan opens up even further about his childhood and other aspects of his life on the four-part series UNINTERRUPTED’s More Than An Athlete, which is currently streaming new episodes weekly up to September 30 on ESPN+. For a man who is now used to being in front of the camera, this documentary-like filming experience still took some getting used to for Strahan.

“The process was actually pretty easy, as long as I didn’t mind the camera being outside my door when I walked out of my house in the morning or behind the scenes filming me when I didn’t know it or suspect it. It was interesting to sit in front of a camera and be asked these questions about your career and your life and have to re-live some of the things that have happened. It reminded me how far I have come and a lot of the things that I had to go through and it was great to see my friends and hear their opinions on what’s happened in my life from their eyes. It’s a cool process.”

On November 28, exactly one week after Strahan will celebrate his 50th Birthday, he will be honored for his 15-season NFL career with the New York Giants when the organization holds a ceremony for Strahan during a Giants regular season game to retire his number 92 jersey.

“Without the Giants, I’m not here,” Strahan says of his former team. “It gave me a start, brought me to an amazing city where I thought I was going to be overwhelmed when I first got here because I thought there was no way in the world I could live in this place. Giants retiring my jersey just kind of says You did very well by us and I’ve always just wanted to earn my keep with the Giants. I never wanted them to feel disappointed, I never wanted them to feel as if I did not pull my weight and give it everything that I had. Them retiring my jersey means that they felt that I had done all those things. I pulled my weight and I gave them everything I had on the football field.”

Strahan goes on to tell me that the moments he used to travel for away games as a Giant and the attention to detail he would put into his wardrobe when heading to the locker room on game days inspired the men’s apparel and fashion looks he has a hand in today with his MSX “athleisure” line and M by Michael Strahan Collection available now.

“It’s a way for me to express my style outside of what people see on TV and inviting them to join me in that. The public has been fantastic. The fans and support for the brand has been amazing, beyond anything I imagined, and hopefully we can just continue to grow it and become better at what we do.”

Even with his variety of television jobs, clothing line and even his partnership with SMAC Entertainment to create even more opportunities, Strahan still somehow is able to not only make time for his four children Tanita, Michael Jr., Sophia and Isabella, but he continues to make them the top priority in his life.

“It’s not easy but it’s necessary,” Strahan continues. “We make time for things that we want to do. That’s just the bottom line. That’s how I look at my kids. I want to be their father, so I make the time for that. Like today, I have a volleyball game and in order to go to the volleyball game, I have to not go to something business-related that would be great for me, but you know what? My kids come first, so I’ll skip that. I’ll go to the volleyball game and sit on those hard plastic benches that hurt your butt after about five minutes and I’ll love every second of it and then I’ll talk to my daughter about the game in the car on the ride home. That’s the best feeling in the world. I just appreciate those moments more than I appreciate or really focus on anything else. That’s how I find the time, because I prioritize.”

As his diverse television career continues to grow, Strahan realizes what he has learned most from these high-profile jobs. “I think they taught me that your reputation proceeds you. Your reputation is the one thing that it takes a lifetime to build it up and an instant to lose it, or for it to go bad. It just taught me to make great decisions about your life. Do the right thing. There are no shortcuts and there is no easy way. Everything in life requires work and I think with More Than An Athlete, I hope that people see that my life hasn’t always been wake up and you’re a star football player and then wake up and you’re on TV and then wake up and you’re on the news. I think that it has taught me that the way you conduct yourself throughout your life determines in a lot of ways what your future will be.”

For Strahan, there is no doubt that just like his present, his future is also incredibly bright, with what seems to be endless opportunities well within his grasp. “My life has gone the way it has gone because in a lot of ways, I just kind of show up and see what that day brings. I mean, who knows? Maybe it’s another TV show, maybe it is building on another great business, maybe it’s owning a sports team. Anything’s possible!”


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