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Hall of Fame sculptor struggled with Strahan’s teeth

strahan AP

Blair Buswell, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s chief sculptor, urges players not to smile when they’re sitting for him because Buswell says teeth don’t look good on bronze busts. But Michael Strahan insisted.

Strahan’s bust, which will be unveiled when he is enshrined in the Hall of Fame tonight, will display the gap-toothed smile that is his signature, because Strahan doesn’t want to be immortalized in Canton without his most recognizable feature.

“I presented a unique challenge, ’cause I told him I wanted to smile,” Strahan told the New Yorker. “If I close my mouth, people won’t know who it is.”

So Strahan sat for four hours while Buswell painstakingly measured his mouth with calipers and attempted to get those teeth exactly right. Buswell is still not sure that was enough.

“I’ll just say it’s not the most popular choice,” Buswell said of Hall of Famers showing off their teeth.

Players don’t have final say over how their busts look (the Hall prohibits busts from including jewelry, eye black or any type of headwear), but Buswell does let them decide whether or not to wear a toothy grin. Strahan hasn’t seen his bust yet; he’ll find out how it looks when the bust is presented at his enshrinement ceremony. But it’s safe to say Strahan made the right call: Fans for generations to come should see with that well-known grin.

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36 Responses to “Hall of Fame sculptor struggled with Strahan’s teeth”
  1. cobrala2 says: Aug 2, 2014 10:37 AM

    I felt 75% of the busts look pretty darn poor over the years.

  2. raiderinva says: Aug 2, 2014 10:41 AM

    I hear that Ray Guy’s bust is a clear six inches taller than the rest.

  3. mortimeryoung says: Aug 2, 2014 10:43 AM

    >I felt 75% of the busts look pretty darn poor

    For you to be qualified to make such a pronouncement, you’d have to know what at least 75% of the HOF’ers actually look like, which I frankly doubt.

  4. dedelvis5757 says: Aug 2, 2014 10:47 AM

    Come on people, we all know what busts look like. They’re purple and gold and have silly-looking horns on their helmets!

  5. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Aug 2, 2014 10:48 AM

    What. They can’t do the bust with his mouth shut? Although his mouth is always open.

    BTW can anyone please explain how Warren Sapp and Strahan get in at all, let alone on the 1st ballot and Jerome Bettis is not in. Can you honestly say that Sapp and Strahan were better d linemen than Bettis was a rb. No you can’t. And if you disagree you Don’t know how the game of football is meant to be played.

    These 2 are in because they are loudmouths and everyone loves flashiness over skill.

  6. kd75 says: Aug 2, 2014 10:48 AM

    Lil Wayne laughs at Strahan’s bronze teeth.

  7. ccc23454 says: Aug 2, 2014 11:05 AM

    you think he struggles with it, ask Strahans dentist about it…

  8. pftisfulloftrolls says: Aug 2, 2014 11:14 AM

    handsofsteelhartofstone says: Aug 2, 2014 10:48 AM

    What. They can’t do the bust with his mouth shut? Although his mouth is always open.

    BTW can anyone please explain how Warren Sapp and Strahan get in at all, let alone on the 1st ballot and Jerome Bettis is not in. Can you honestly say that Sapp and Strahan were better d linemen than Bettis was a rb. No you can’t. And if you disagree you Don’t know how the game of football is meant to be played.

    These 2 are in because they are loudmouths and everyone loves flashiness over skill.
    ————————————————————-
    Strahan is the NFLs 5th all time sack leader and even if you take away Favre’s sack it still counts. Bettis is the NFL’s 6th all time leading rusher. Strahan was better. Get over your Steeler bias.

  9. mykelane says: Aug 2, 2014 11:23 AM

    I thought he was most noted for sacking a sliding quarterback?

  10. canedaddy says: Aug 2, 2014 11:30 AM

    handsofsteelhartofstone says:

    Aug 2, 2014 10:48 AM BTW can anyone please explain how Warren Sapp and Strahan get in at all, let alone on the 1st ballot and Jerome Bettis is not in.
    ———————————————————

    Sure. Sapp and Strahan were dominant players, two of the best defensive linemen of all time.

    Bettis was never dominant. Even though he played behind a very good line for most of his career, he had sub 4.0 career average. Even though he got a ton of goal-line carries, he only had two years with double-digit TDs. He’s in the same class as Ironhead Heyward and Jamal Anderson, not Walter Payton, Jim Brown and Earl Campbell.

  11. wallypecans says: Aug 2, 2014 11:36 AM

    Sack stat has not always been a part of the game. Rushing yards is one of the “king” stats. #6 rushing > #5 Sacks.

    -Not a steelers fan

  12. pdubb48 says: Aug 2, 2014 11:47 AM

    He shouldn’t have had that challenge because Strahan isn’t a hall of famer

  13. stampnhawk says: Aug 2, 2014 11:57 AM

    The bust maker, and most who visit Canton, are still thanking their lucky stars that Elway decided not to do a full on smile.

  14. GBwomenrhot says: Aug 2, 2014 12:00 PM

    Weakest HOF inductee ever….had he not played in NY he’d be flippin burgers somewhere.

  15. greenwhodat26 says: Aug 2, 2014 12:25 PM

    Lil Wayne laughs at Strahan’s bronze teeth.

    And Strahan laughs at Lil Wayne’s “IQ”

  16. andrewluck12 says: Aug 2, 2014 12:25 PM

    I wonder if they’re going to have the same problem with peyton’s forehead.

  17. uglydingo says: Aug 2, 2014 12:45 PM

    The real reason for the lack of smiling busts is finally revealed. It is a lot more work by the sculptor to create the bronze teeth than expressionless lips. The sculptor prefers the easier work.
    Michael Strahan has the most distinctive gap of all. He was correct to insist on it. Congrats Michael. This is due recognition. Have a great weekend.

  18. rajbais says: Aug 2, 2014 12:49 PM

    Maybe he should have gotten advice from the guy who made Strahan’s birthday cake on Fox NFL Sunday.

  19. jjrs89 says: Aug 2, 2014 12:56 PM

    “If I close my mouth, people won’t know who it is.”

    Understatement of the century

  20. radar8 says: Aug 2, 2014 1:02 PM

    Great choice, Michael (at least until I see the bust). You deserve to be in the HOF. You played with class.

  21. kuranda84 says: Aug 2, 2014 1:06 PM

    Very cool by Strahan. I respect that. It’s definitely his trademark.

  22. bucsorbust says: Aug 2, 2014 1:23 PM

    Nothing hard. Just carve out a square chunk, then drive a circular saw down the middle about 9 times…and there you have it. Strahan’s teeth. Definitely his trade mark…

  23. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Aug 2, 2014 1:26 PM

    You are wrong. Jerome Bettis is not in the Same class as iron head or Anderson. I didn’t say he was Peyton or brown, but he certainly deserves to be In Canton. The fact that you disagree tells us that you have little knowledge of the game. he was one of the most punishing backs to ever play. Ask Urlacher if trying to tackle him was fun

  24. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Aug 2, 2014 1:29 PM

    And you are an idiot if you think Sapp and Strahan are two of the best dl of all time. Completely inaccurate.

  25. dumplingsrbrown says: Aug 2, 2014 1:54 PM

    What kind of artist struggles with an empty space?

  26. aa1829 says: Aug 2, 2014 1:56 PM

    As long as the bust has a little comment at the bottom saying that he has never really held the sack record, because the much, much disliked bert favray gave that to him on a silver platter. That is only one reason why bert is really, really not welcome back in Titletown. Yes, this is really about bert, just like everything else.

  27. boogerhut says: Aug 2, 2014 2:03 PM

    “I had as much trouble with his teeth as he does with a cob of corn”

  28. catquick says: Aug 2, 2014 2:42 PM

    He should just tape those novelty clacking teeth to it!

  29. Big Blue On You says: Aug 2, 2014 2:54 PM

    All that the sculptor needed to do was take a bust of Alfred E. Newman (of MAD Magazine fame), make it a little less masculine, and instant Strahan bust, teeth and all.

  30. themagicfanguy says: Aug 2, 2014 3:25 PM

    Except that Sapp and Strahan ARE two of the best DLs ever, that’s why they’re in the HOF while your precious and overrated Bettis is sitting around waiting. Idiot.

  31. kev86 says: Aug 2, 2014 3:33 PM

    He ruined 19-0 for the Patsies. Big part of it at the least.

  32. footballfundamentals says: Aug 2, 2014 3:51 PM

    I would have googled ‘jack o lantern’ and modeled those chicklets closest to his awesome toothy grin.

  33. jints10 says: Aug 2, 2014 4:14 PM

    Lol, Jerome Bettis?????? Tiki Barber deserves the Hall before Bettis!…Bettis is #20 on the all time yards from scrimmage list…Barber is #12.Bettis lol BTW Strahan is #5 all time sacks and was even better vs the run, certainly deserves the Hall!!!

  34. mortwannabe says: Aug 2, 2014 6:39 PM

    Bettis is also a loud mouth so that blows your theory. Sweetness is in a class all his own.RIP #34

  35. excessivedrinking says: Aug 2, 2014 10:22 PM

    Hey hands, it great to see that those Stress Management classes are really paying off.

  36. wyrdawg says: Aug 3, 2014 2:55 AM

    kudos to the sculptor cause they knocked that one out of the ball park. Wow..

    Great, great work. That cannot be said more.

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