Okay, remember how I said that I was living in mortal fear of an NFL lockout? You don’t? Well, I did, and you know what? I may have spoken too soon…
Tiki Barber, proud owner of one of the top-3-shiniest heads of all-time, is on the comeback path. Always a polarizing figure, Tiki has most recently been in the news for the following set of shames:
1) Caught cheating
2) Left his pregnant wife for a 23-year-old intern
3) Too broke to pay his divorce settlement
4) Lost his on-air job at NBC
To further pile on to Tiki’s heap of misery, he also managed the brilliant act of retiring while still playing at a high-level…just in time to miss the Giants win an epic Super Bowl. Well played, sir. Well played indeed.
Not surprisingly to anyone who followed his playing career, Tiki is already receiving some barbs from a former teammate: Antonio Pierce, former Giant’s linebacker who shared the Meadowlands with Tiki for 2 years. Pierce basically says that Tiki was poison in the locker room and, since the Giants won a Super Bowl the year after Tiki retired, the implication is that the Giants became an infinitely more cohesive team once Barber was removed from the equation.
In the same interview, however, Pierce did compliment Barber as a tremendous football player and it is entirely possible that Tiki might find himself a niche as a 3rd down/situational back, if he really can get back into the kind of shape he needs to be in. Part of me doubts it, if for no other reason then I don’t trust his motives. It’s hard for me to believe that he is really doing this because he truly wants to be an NFL football player again. Here’s what Tiki said to FoxSports.com:
“After seeing my brother still have fun at our age, it reignited the fire. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of seeing if I can get back to the level of where I was…”
Here’s what I heard:
“I’m jealous of my brother; his life is in way better shape than mine. I’m flat broke, publicly scorned, and totally out of the spotlight. I am ashamed & mad at the same time. It’ll be really awesome if I can actually pull off getting a sizeable paycheck from an NFL franchise after a 4 year hiatus.”
It takes some serious commitment to play in the NFL, especially at a position as punishing as RB. Greed & jealousy are not enough to catapult a 36-year-old man, retired for 4 years, back into the NFL…Might desperation do the trick?
-by Max Joice