- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPNNewYork.com
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NEW YORK -- Michael Strahan admits he is glad he is retired and doesn't have to go through the uncertainty created by the NFL labor strife which threatens the sport and its upcoming season.
"I think the lockout is not going well at all," said the former New York Giants star who was being honored at the Founders Dinner for the Jewish Childrens Center for the Arts on Thursday night. "I thought when [owners and players] took that extra week [to negotiate], oh, they are going to work it out. They came out of that more upset than when they went in. That is not a good sign. So now I think the realities of possibly missing some time and some games is setting in."
And if the labor strife goes into the season and players start missing game checks, Strahan believes that will be very bad news for the players' solidarity.
"Put it this way, if it goes into the season where you are missing checks, that hurts the players at this point," Strahan said. "They wouldn't be able to sustain. There are a lot more players first of all; secondly, they are not as rich as the owners. They are not going to be able to sustain as long as the owners would if it came down to a battle of the checkbook."
Strahan, currently an analyst for Fox, feels worse for those financially affected by a lockout who aren't a player, owner or coach such as stadium employees.
"It will get worked out," he said. "Just a matter of time."
Once an agreement is reached, Strahan says his old team, the Giants, should waste no time in signing Plaxico Burress.
Burress is scheduled to be released from prison in June. Strahan, who has visited with his former teammate in prison and plans to make another visit at the end of April, would spare nothing in order to make a Plaxico reunion happen.
Strahan said if he were the one making decisions for the franchise, Burress would "be a Giant on a private plane back here. He is a talented player, he had a great connection with Eli [Manning], a comfort level, a blanket [for Manning]. [Hakeem] Nicks was phenomenal this year in filling that void as well as Steve Smith and all those guys. But I believe Plaxico is a special-type player, [who] made a mistake."
Strahan says the former Giants wide receiver is physically ready for a comeback.
"He is in good spirits and as he said, 'I feel better, I haven't been beaten up so finally my knees and my ankle and all these things that kept me from practicing and participating and I am going through games and I'm in a lot of pain, I don't have those issues anymore,'" Strahan said. "Which I think is dangerous for a defensive back and great for an offensive coach, whoever gets him."
As for Strahan, he hopes the next major step in his budding post-football career includes replacing Regis Philbin on "Live with Regis & Kelly." Philbin is retiring and Strahan would love to be the next Regis. He co-hosted the show one day last year and he says he will co-host again on April 19.
"Regis Philbin is Regis Philbin, there is no replacement for him," Strahan said. "But he is spontaneous, he is fun, he is current. No one knows how old Regis is but he is very current and up to date with what is going on. He is a pillar of New York City. For me, I feel the same in a lot of those ways but maybe with a little twist on some things. I don't know what I am going to say half the time but I hope it is entertaining."
Michael Strahan admits he is glad he is retired and doesn't have to go through the uncertainty created by the NFL labor strife which threatens the sport and its upcoming season.