Giants fans nostalgic for happier times are encouraged to watch "A Football Life" on the NFL Network on Tuesday as the series profiles a TV chat show host who in a previous life tackled football players for a living.

Michael Strahan is in fine Strahan form throughout, demonstrating the charisma that made him a world-class quote as a player and later landed him on "Live with Kelly and Michael."

Perhaps the most newsworthy revelation: Strahan admitting bitterness about how the sack of Brett Favre that gave him the single-season record of 22½ in 2001-02 has been discounted because Favre appeared to take a dive.

Strahan's message to doubters: "If you don't like it, then break it."

He also revisits his early relationship with Giants coach Tom Coughlin, saying, "I hated him. And when I say 'hate,' I don't mean 'hate' as [if] I'm just saying 'hate' as a loose word. No, I mean I absolutely hated the man."

The most poignant story, which I won't spoil here, concerns a bicycle he bought when he was 9.

The show avoids darker issues in Strahan's past, including from his personal life and his mercurial relationship with the media. But it is a quick, entertaining look that should (briefly) lift the spirits of Giants fans in a dispiriting season.

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