The single-season sack record stands at 22.5. Last year, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen finished with 22, tying Mark Gastineau, the guy who held it before Michael Strahan set the record 11 years ago.
And many (OK, most) football fans believe that the record rightfully belongs to Allen and Mark Gastineau, given that Strahan’s final sack came when former Packers quarterback Brett Favre called a one-man audible and rolled in Strahan’s direction and slid into his waiting arms.
Gastineau says in one breath that he’s not paying attention to the latest three-man chase for the single-season sack record, but then in the next he expresses hope that someone will set the record and remove the taint that the current high-water mark carries.
“Well, like I said, I really haven’t been keeping up on it,” Gastineau recently told Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. “If somebody does get the record, though, I would acknowledge him in a respectful way and that would be almost something I would really enjoy, to see him get a record that he deserves.
“It would be nice if there was no negativity toward it.”
Gastineau still has some negativity toward Favre. “It really tarnished that record,” Gastineau said of Favre’s maneuver. “But I think the one that suffers the most is Strahan because so many Jets fans still give him a hard time whenever they see him.”
Favre was far more elusive after the game, when Gastineau waited with a Packers helmet that he wanted Favre to sign for Gastineau’s brother. “[H]e shot out of the locker room like he had been shot out of a cannon,” Gastineau said. “I don’t know. People probably thought I was going to sack him. He told me he was going to send it to me. I’m still waiting on that. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.”
If Gastineau has lost any sleep over the manner in which his record was broken, he won’t if/when Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (who has 20.5) or 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith (19.5) or Broncos linebacker Von Miller (who has 17.5) can pull it off on Sunday.