Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/24/14

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 26: Defensive tackle Warren Sapp #99 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Super Bowl XXXVII against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium on January 26, 2003 in San Diego, California. The Buccaneers defeated the Raiders 48-21. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images Sport) Before anything, this is all Warren Sapp’s fault. To take a page out of ESPN’s Rick Reilly, if Sapp hadn’t opened this mouth, this article would not exist, but nevertheless… Sapp told the Tampa Bay Tribune that his former Tampa Bay Buccaneer teammate, Simeon Rice was better than New York Giants legend Michael Strahan. Sapp’s evidence to back up his conjecture was that Strahan was lined up on the weak side which made it easier for Strahan to have success, unlike Rice who was lined up against left tackles, the strongest tackles on the offensive line. Rice was an excellent pass rusher without a doubt. He recorded 122 sacks in his 12-year NFL career, while recording double digit sacks in eight of those twelve seasons. Rice was the second fastest player to join the 100 sacks club behind legend Reggie White. He also played a major role in the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl season in 2002, narrowly missing the Super Bowl MVP honors to teammate Dexter Jackson. It is no question he has hall of fame caliber numbers, but the counterexample to Sapp’s conjecture is Rice is not comparable to Strahan. It is without question that Strahan was a better defensive end the Rice and the numbers prove it. 854 tackles. which is almost twice the number of tackles Rice amounted in his career. 141 sacks, which placed Strahan fifth all-time including the 2001 season where Strahan broke the record for most sacks with 22.5. Both have a Super Bowl championship, but Rice didn’t attain his ring against an undefeated Tom Brady like Strahan did. So Sapp, if Strahan had it a little easier, then why do his numbers immensely eclipse Rice? This isn’t about Strahan and Rice, it’s about Sapp trying to downplay all of Strahan’s success. It’s clear Sapp doesn’t like Strahan. It all began when Strahan broke the record for most sacks in a single season given that the record-breaking sack appeared to be given to him as Brett Farve fell to the ground as Strahan sacked him. Watch the video and then come back to the article. Now, let’s review. Imagine if the sportscasters said nothing about Farve and Strahan being buddies or that the play looked design. Think back to what quarterbacks are told to do when they know they are about to be sacked. See, this rivalry between Sapp and Strahan didn’t start because Strahan broke the record, but because of two ordinary people’s perspective on a play that was fundamental, not scripted. Their opinion sparked the controversy, which sparked Sapp’s comments about Strahan not earning the record, which now brings us to June 27th, 2013 where we are still talking about Sapp’s dislike for Strahan twelve years later. What’s funny about this whole Sapp vs. Strahan debacle is that Sapp was elected into the Hall of Fame before Strahan. What does putting a former teammates of his over his rival do for him, a hall of famer? Nothing, except make Sapp look like, to quote former Giants running back Tiki Barber, “an idiot.” At the end of the day, this isn’t about Rice, it’s about Sapp continuing to try to cement himself to be better than Strahan when all Strahan does is allow his play, his accolades, and his image speak for itself instead of his mouth. Strahan earned his success and will earn the vote into the Hall of Fame. Because right now, by talking about Strahan, Sapp is only validating just how good Strahan really was.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Alex Rodriguez's season-long MLB ban comes to an end

Madison Bumgarner pitches Giants to World Series title

Giants fans get rowdy celebrating World Series win

Roy Williams' response to criticism over academic scandal

Jerry Jones challenging Tony Romo to play Sunday?

Wizards make rapper Wale new 'creative liaison' for team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Joe Maddon to become Cubs manager

Rockets Harden and Ariza visit Julius Randle in the hospital

Dan Gilbert asked if he 'deserved' to have LeBron back

Brady: Maybe at Manning's age I'll be playing that well

Dolphins LB brings kid from stands to field before each game

NFL and MLB spending big money on mid-term elections

WATCH: Randle offers money for massage in jailhouse video

Top storyline for each Week 9 NFL game

WATCH: Chevy guy bombs World Series presentation

WATCH: James Ennis throws down dunk of the season

Kris Humphries shares nasty photo of gruesome finger injury

WATCH: Joe Panik makes play of the game in Game 7

Russell Westbrook wears aluminum foil-like outfit

WATCH: Capitals' Chimera suffers nasty broken nose

Robert Griffin III to start against Vikings

WATCH: Navy raps about Notre Dame, set to ‘Anaconda’

Rulon Gardner selling Olympic memorabilia to pay $3.9M debt

Mike Pettine says he ‘can sense’ Johnny Manziel’s frustration

Giants News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Top storyline for each Week 9 game

Williams' response to criticism

WATCH: Chevy guy totally bombs

Bumgarner pitches Giants to title

Report: Cubs to hire Maddon as manager

Tom Brady talks Peyton Manning

Best Game 7s in World Series history

NFL, MLB spend on mid-term elections

Gurley suspended four games

Gordie Howe suffered stroke

WATCH: Kobe and Dwight get into it

Notre Dame WR will not be punished

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.