When  I asked Mark Gastineau Thursday what he thinks of Rex Ryan, he started by saying he and the Jets coach were born in the same hospital in Ardmore, Okla.

"I know he and I would enjoy sitting down to breakfast and having biscuits and gravy together. We’d probably be fighting for who has the most."

Gastineau earlier had recalled his roughing-the-passer penalty against the Browns in January of 1987 that probably cost Gang Green a divisional round victory.

"God willing there'll never be another mistake like that by a Jet in a playoff game," he said.

But enough about the Jets. After waiting eight years for the opportunity, I asked Gastineau whether he was bothered by the Giants' Michael Strahan surpassing his single-season sacks record on a dive by Brett Favre at Giants Stadium.

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"No, no, no," he said. "After I got saved [by religion] I realized there is more than a sack and more than a record."

But what about at the time? "No, no, it never did," he said. "It's OK. It was all right. I said before the game when it happens I’m going to go in and congratulate him . . . Now when I talk to Strahan it doesn’t even come up."

Photo: Newsday/Tracy Swartz