The year was 2009.
Texas Southern product Michael Strahan was more than a year removed from announcing his retirement from the NFL, having put the cap on a 15-year career with a victory in Super XLII as member of the New York Giants.
Before Strahan’s warm gap-tooth grin became a staple in households across the country as a co-host on “Good Morning America,” the former defensive end simply needed a new hustle.
Strahan briefly starred in “Brothers,” a sitcom loosely based on his life. It debuted on Fox in late September 2009 before being cancelled after 13 episodes.
The 6-5, 255-pounder played Michael “Mike” Trainor a retired football player who moves back to his hometown of Houston from New York. Once back in H-Town, Strahan’s character tries to aid his estranged brother, a recent paraplegic portrayed by Daryl “Chill” Mitchell of “House Party” fame, who’s struggling to run a restaurant.
To make matters worse, Mike must deal with his father’s memory loss and, and of course, the ups and downs of traversing the dating world as an ex-ballplayer. Rapper Snoop Dogg made a guest appearance and comedian Arsenio Hall and professional wrestler Kevin Nash had cameos.
Directed by Ted Wass (Remember Nick Russ from “Blossom”?), the show produced a few laughs, but not nearly enough viewers during its run. It originally aired Friday nights at 8 p.m. ET, but endured two time changes, moving to Sundays at 7 p.m. and later 7:30 p.m., before the network’s brass decided they’d seen enough.
Nonetheless, the show put Strahan, then a future Hall of Famer, on the way to one day becoming a legend in two games. A two-time daytime Emmy winner and an analyst for Fox’s Sunday NFL coverage.
Reminisce over “Brothers,” an often forgotten piece of HBCU sports history.
If you’re really feeling commemorative, you can cop the entire series on DVD from Amazon.