After digesting Warren Sapp's slash-and-burn of Michael Strahan -- loosely cloaked as a defense of Simeon Rice -- I have one question.


Sapp didn't just trash Strahan; he napalmed him, and don't ask me why.

What started as a defense of Rice -- a terrific pass rusher on an terrific Tampa Bay defense -- turned into a full-frontal assault on Strahan, who (unlike Sapp) failed to make the Hall of Fame in his first try this year.

OK, big deal. Strahan gets in sometime, presumably next year when the game comes to the New York area, and not because of geographical proximity or Super Bowl connections or pressure exerted by someone from somewhere ... but because he deserves it.

Of course, that might come as news to Warren Sapp, the same guy who revealed Jeremy Shockey as the "snitch" in last year's Bountygate probe ... except that he wasn't. Now Sapp tells us Rice was a better pass rusher than Strahan, partly because he played against better tackles (left tackles) and wasn't cleaning up garbage on a side of the defensive line where, if you believe Sapp, virtually nothing of consequence happens.

OK, fine. It's a free country and all that. Except maybe someone should explain to Sapp that Hall-of-Famer Reggie White lined up at left end, too. I know, the Packers liked to move the guy around. But he was a left end. Period.

"Last time I checked," said one NFC defensive coordinator, "they didn't delineate sacks from the right and left side. It doesn't matter. They count the same. So for someone to say they do doesn't make sense."

Yeah, well, that's Sapp.

Then there's this: Strahan played the run and the pass. Rice played the pass. That's not a knock on Rice. As one of his former coaches told me, the guy had "unbelievable flexibility and could play the run if he had to." But he didn't. He was an edge pass rusher whose job was to get to the quarterback, and he did -- producing five straight seasons with 11 or more sacks.