Breaking Big: How Michael Strahan Learned American Football in Germany

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Why you should care

The American media and NFL star spent much of his youth in Mannheim, Germany, where he first played organized football.

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After an incredibly successful NFL career, where he set the record for most sacks in a season, Michael Strahan went on to become one of the most recognizable faces in television as co-host of Good Morning America. But before Strahan rose to prominence, he spent his childhood in an unlikely place for a future NFL star: Mannheim, Germany.

Though he was born in Houston, Texas, Strahan, the youngest of six kids, was primarily raised in Germany, where his father was stationed as an Army major. Strahan was an avid football fan, but options to actually play American football were few and far between in Europe. Thanks to encouragement from his father, Strahan still managed to train hard and pursue his dreams of going pro. He went on to earn a scholarship to Texas Southern University, and was drafted by the New York Giants in the 1993 NFL draft.

Since retiring from football, Strahan has appeared on Fox Sports as an analyst, co-hosted Live! With Kelly and Michael alongside Kelly Ripa for four years and has been a full-time host on GMA since 2016. Strahan attributes the majority of his success to thinking on his feet. “I’m just a figure-it-out type of person,” he says.

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