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Super Bowl sideshows: Former NFL players revel in chance to be back in spotlight

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Super Bowl weekend is finally here. All the hype and hoopla is finally going to come to an end when the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, February 2 at 5:30 p.m. at MetLife Stadium in East Rutheford New Jersey.

But a week it's been. Peyton Manning vs. Russell Wilson. Marshawn Lynch against the Denver defense. John Fox vs. Pete Carroll. Richard Sherman against the World. Warren Sapp against Michael Strahan.

What?

Super Bowl week is full of entertaining side angles from retired players in and out of the NFL. It's the time of year where everyone has an opinion. And boy, does Sapp sure have an opinion on Strahan, according to media reports surfacing throughout the week. Anyone with a microphone or tape recorder is working hard to get an interview with players of the past and everyone has an opinion. Sapp and Strahan may have one of the more comedic and pointless beefs going on this week.

Sapp, a 2012 Hall of Fame inductee and one-time Super Bowl champion with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has stated that Strahan doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame, citing the fact that Strahan "only has four straight pro bowls and a mythical sack record," said Sapp. "When you really measure him up he comes up short."

The truth: Sapp and Strahan both were selected for seven Pro Bowls, both were named to the NFL All Pro team four times and each won one Super Bowl.

Sapp is still steaming about Strahan's single-season sack record - he's upset Brett Favre appeared to fall down with Strahan near him to give Strahan the single-season sack record of 22.5 sacks.

Strahan has taken some shots back at Sapp, as Profootballtalk.com writer Michael David Smith pointed in the article titles Sapp says Strahan doesn't belong in Hall of Fame. where Smith wrote "Sapp has been complaining for years about Strahan’s sack record of 22.5, which Strahan set in the last game of the 2001 season when Brett Favre appeared to slide down in front of him intentionally to hand him the record. Sapp said while they were both still playing that there should be an asterisk next to his record because it wasn’t a real record; Strahan responded that there should be a McDonald’s next to Sapp’s house because Sapp is fat."

Sports fans have to love Super Bowl week for its side show and constant barrage of opinions from former NFL players, coaches and pundits. Earlier in the week Chicago Bears great Mike Ditka stated his opinion on a cold-weather Super Bowl, saying "it's stupid".

Many agree, as the Super Bowl weather has been a constant topic, so much that CNN even wrote an editorial on why the Super Bowl should be played indoors.

The topics this week even turned to medical marijuana, with one former NFL player stating that players smoked pot before the Super Bowl. The topic came up when Commissioner Roger Goodell and then Seahawks coach Carroll referenced they would be open to considering allowing medicinal marijuana for NFL players. Add to the fact that two states that legalized marijuana - Washington and Colorado, have teams in the Super Bowl, and it was sure to be brought up. Side Note: Good thing the Broncos no longer play at Mile-High Stadium.

There were numerous other former NFL players who had a voice (Ickey Woods was paid big bucks to do his Super Bowl Shuffle ), celebrities and even some wannabes – Jenn Sterger apparently started trouble with Goodell hanging out in New York this week.

For more on Sterger see Brett Favre textgate from Deadspin.

The parties will kick into full gear Friday and Saturday - former NFL backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels said on Twin Cities radio this week he's heading to some parties Friday and Saturday and to the game Sunday - so there is sure to be more banter between former NFL players, other retired and current professional athletes, celebrities and even the not-so-famous.

Super Bowl XLVIII could be a great game. The week leading up to it was a great week for retired athletes to get one more chance to shine in the spotlight.

What's next, will Dennis Rodman make an appearance?

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