Nineteen years after Packers quarterback Brett Favre gifted Giants defensive end Michael Strahan the single-season sack record, the guy who previously held it wants it back.
“It’s my record, and I want it to be known that it’s my record,” former Jets pass rusher Mark Gastineau told ESPN on Monday. “I’m not going to say, ‘I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.’ It’s my record.”
Gastineau held the record with 22.0 until Strahan capped the 2001 season with Favre going rogue, rolling out to Strahan’s side of the field, and sliding toward the player “tackled” Favre for 22.5.
Yes, it was clearly an inside job. But if the NFL didn’t wipe the sack off the books at the time, the NFL isn’t going to do it now.
“I feel like there’s just something wrong,” added Gastineau, who personally congratulated Strahan on the day the record was broken. “This is on my head all the time. It goes through my head all the time. I want to clear things up. . . . I just want to be recognized for the record. . . . I don’t think it’s good for the NFL. It was never good for the NFL, and I’m surprised the NFL didn’t step in.”
Technically, 22.0 is no longer Gastineau’s record alone. In 2011, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen racked up 22.0 sacks. Three years later, Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston matched 22.0.
Here’s hoping someone eventually gets a legitimate 23.0 sacks so that we won’t have to keep thinking about and acknowledging Strahan’s asterisk-worthy record. Because Gastineau is absolutely right. The record was flawed in 2001, and it’s still flawed now. The record will continue to be flawed until it’s no longer the record.