Rosenthal, Mike : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Rosenthal, Mike

Michael Paul Rosenthal

A star offensive lineman at Notre Dame, the 6'7" Rosenthal was drafted by the New York Giants in 1999, and was the Giants' starting right tackle in 2002. An unrestricted free agent after the 2002 season, Rosenthal signed with the Minnesota Vikings and then signed a six-year, $15 million extension just prior to the 2004 season. The team's starting right tackle, Rosenthal injured his foot in the team's second game of the season and is out for the year. The Vikings finished the regular season with a record of 8-8, but made the playoffs and defeated arch-rival Green Bay in the wild card game before losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. June 10, 1977

Career Highlights:
After beginning his career at Notre Dame as a tackle, Rosenthal moved to guard in 1996. In the season opener, Rosenthal played in Notre Dame's 1,000th game. That season, the Irish finished with a record of 8-3-0 and were ranked in the top 25; they averaged 37.0 points per game and 463.3 yards per game, the third highest in school history. In 1997, Mike played guard again; the Irish compiled a regular season record of 7-5-0 and lost to LSU in the Independence Bowl, 27-9. Rosenthal was named Football News All-America honorable mention and All-Independent first team All-America.

In 1998, Rosenthal was named team captain (yes, there is an irony there) and made the difficult transition back to tackle. He said before the season opener with Michigan: "I'm a rookie. It's my first game at tackle. I haven't started there since my freshman year here. It will be an adjustment to really don't notice the difference when you go from tackle to guard. But when you go from guard to tackle it's a major difference to me. I'm going against smaller, faster guys that can go outside, inside or run over you." Rosenthal made a successful transition to the tackle position and helped lead the Irish to a regular season record of 9-2-0; the line allowed only nine sacks all season. In the Gator Bowl, the Irish lost to Georgia Tech 35-28. That season, Mike was Walter Camp Foundation first team All-America, and Football News second-team All-America.

In 1999, Rosenthal was selected in the 5th round (149th overall) by the New York Giants in the NFL Draft. He began his rookie season on the inactive list for six of the first eight games, seeing action only on the special teams. In November, Mike moved into the starting spot at left guard and started the final seven games of the season for the Giants (7-9-0).

In 2000, Rosenthal was a back-up as New York signed two free agent offensive lineman. He still managed to play in eight games (two starts) for the NFC Champions (12-4-0). In the 2001 NFC Championship game, Rosenthal played when starting left guard Lomas Brown was injured, and helped the Giants defeat the Minnesota Vikings, 41-0, to reach the Super Bowl.

In 2001, as a back-up at both guard and tackle, Mike appeared in seven games as the Giants finished the season 7-9. The folowing year, Rosenthal stepped into the starting line-up. The Giants finished the regular season with a record of 10-6, second place in the NFC East. A wild card team for the playoffs, the Giants blew a 24-point lead in the second half to the San Francisco 49ers and lost 39-38 in one of the "wildest" playoffs games in NFL history.

In 2003, Rosenthal left the Giants and signed with the Minnesota Vikings, who finished the season with a record of 9-7 and in second place in the NFC Central.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Career Dates:
Rosenthal played for Notre Dame University from 1995-1998. He played in the NFL for the New York Giants from 1999-2002, and is currently a member of the Minnesota Vikings..

Physical description:
6'7", 315 lbs.

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Jewish Sports Review, September/October 2000 issue (Vol. 2, No. 8, Issue 21)