CANTON, Ohio — Michael Strahan is pleased to know he is scheduled to go last during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.
That means the former New York Giants star pass-rusher won’t be the first to break down in tears once the 2014 seven-member class is inducted Saturday.
“I am not going to be the first one to crack,” Strahan pronounced with a familiar gaptoothed grin Friday. “But it’ll be interesting. I just told the guys, ‘It’s OK. If you’re going to cry, this is the opportunity to cry where nobody can say anything to you.’ ”
There will be plenty of emotions given the varied backgrounds of the inductees.
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It’s a group that includes two first-time ballot selections, Seahawks offensive tackle Walter Jones and Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks. Then there’s Arizona/St. Louis defensive back Aeneas Williams, Buffalo Bills receiver Andre Reed and Oakland’s Ray Guy, the first full-time punter inducted.
And don’t forget Atlanta/Philadelphia defensive end Claude Humphrey, who waited 28 years to hear his name called.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell defended himself against criticism he was too lenient in suspending Ray Rice two games for his “horrible mistake.”
“We just can’t make up the discipline,” Goodell said. “It has to be consistent with other cases. And it was in this matter.”
Goodell stressed that the Baltimore running back has assumed responsibility for his conduct, has no history of assault and is following a court order to enter a diversionary program following his domestic-violence arrest.
• Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon spent 10 hours in the NFL’s offices in New York for his appeal hearing before the sides decided to stop and will resume Monday. Gordon is contesting a possible one-year suspension for failing another drug test.
• Shaun Suisham, the most accurate kicker in Pittsburgh Steelers history, parlayed his consistency into a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2018 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.
• Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley won’t spend time in jail after being convicted of drunken driving and reckless driving in his hometown of Mobile, Ala. He received one year’s probation and was fined $750.