Michael Strahan amused that Jon Runyan has to root for Giants

It’s no secret by now that New York Giants Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan and former Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Jon Runyan are long-time friends.

It didn’t start out that way. The two men were fierce rivals on the field with Runyon charged with keeping Strahan off Donovan McNabb’s back.

Strahan recently told’s Michael Eisen the story of how their friendship was forged back in 2002 at the Pro Bowl by Runyan’s wife, Loretta.

“We’re hanging out by the pool, and there’s this nice lady talking to me,” Strahan said. “She said, ‘You should meet my husband. There’s just families hanging out.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ll meet your husband.’ Freaking Jon Runyan. It was his wife (Loretta). She set me up.

“I’d never had a conversation with him, never desired to. We literally talked there, and from then on, I could play tough and hard against him, but I couldn’t hate him. I had to channel something else besides thinking I had to hate the guy to play well against him because he’s such a nice guy, such a good guy, and his wife was such a sweetheart. I can’t hate this guy.”

Runyan was mentioned in Strahan’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech, an event in which Runyon — and his son, Jon Jr. — attended.

This week, when the Giants signed Jon Runyan Jr. to a free agent contract, the relationship came ‘full circle’ as the younger Runyon stated.

Strahan got a kick out of his old team adding the son of his nemesis/friend this week.

“One of my favorite things is knowing that Jon Runyan has to root for the Giants,” Strahan said, laughing. “That was the first thing that came to my mind, ‘Thank God, now Jon has to actually root for the Giants. This is going to be awesome.'”

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire