Today is the first day of the NFL Draft 2019, and there are so many incredible, eligible players out there this year. For everyone involved, from the players to their families, it’s a day filled with so much excitement and a whole lot of nerves. I remember my Draft Day like it was yesterday: It was 1993, my daughter was a year old, and I’d just graduated from Texas Southern. When I got the call, all I remember thinking was, “Why do they need me when they have L.T. (Lawrence Taylor)?” and “It’s cold up there in New York!”
The whole experience of my first year playing professional football was the most exciting and intimidating experience a young guy could ever have. Unfortunately, my parents were not with me that day; they were living in Germany at the time. But I wanted to know what my Mama had to say about it because if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Michael: Did you always know I’d play professional football one day?
Mama Strahan: People always ask me that. And I’ll be honest; the answer is, no, I didn’t. I did not know, but I was hoping that you would be able to play professionally because that was what you really wanted for yourself.
Michael: What’s your earliest memory of me playing football?
Mama Strahan: When we were living at Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, that was the first year you started playing football. You were around seven. I remember that I had four of you boys in football, and every week and weekend, we would run from one field to the other taking each one of you to practice on a different field at the same time.
Michael: As a parent, what was the hardest thing about watching my journey to the NFL?
Mama Strahan: Well, you know I wasn’t with you that much when you were playing in college. I think I saw one college game, and the team ended up losing. But your father and I were always hopeful because football was what you wanted. I remember there was an article done on you about how good you were, so we were always hopeful and prayed that you would get what you wanted—and you did. We are very thankful for that.
Michael: What do you remember about when I got drafted?
Mama Strahan: Your father and I first found out that you had been drafted by the Giants from the local newspaper. We were living in Germany at the time, and there was the time difference and we were in another town working. But we were and are so very proud of you and we love you. Continue to be yourself no matter what, and most important of all: Be happy.
Michael: Thanks, Mom.