Thursday, February 15, 2007

Is Tiki Barber Whining? It Sounds Like He Is Whining. Yea, He's Whining.

Could someone please take two minutes out of their day and explain to me the appeal of Tiki Barber? I mean, he's a nice enough guy - I guess - and he doesn't stutter when he talks, which is nice, but what is so unique and desirable about him that he was the centerpiece of a bidding war between NBC and ESPN?

I don't know what other talking heads pull in, but it seems like NBC broke the bank to get Tiki. ESPN offered him 10 mil over 4 years, but he turned that down to do the Today Show and some NFL stuff with NBC for between 2.5 and 3 mil per.

I just don't see what is that overwhelming about the guy. I mean, has anyone ever said to you, "Hey man, you shoulda heard what this athlete just said" and you thought of Tiki Barber? Not at first, but at all? How about "Man...can you believe what that NFL player said?" or "I just heard the most insightful thing from this NFC East running back" and Tiki Barber popped into your head? To be honest, if someone said "Guess what Giants running back said this" I would have a hard time deciding between the Tiki Torch and Brandon Jacobs. And he's raking in 3 mil per?

Isn't it going to be weird hearing him talk about stuff besides football? What's he going to do on the Today Show, exactly? I hope it isn't interviews or human interest pieces, because he always crept me out a little. He would do that thing where he talked just above a whisper and acted like what he had to say was much, much more important than anything else. He was eerily condescending, if that makes any sense. I don't know how smart he is, but he comes off as thinking he is easily the smartest man in the room, so well-rounded around all these other people who are just athletes.

Maybe I am just too caught off guard by all this to make any sense of it. Has any other player been this coveted before? Was any other player basically talked into retirement because he had a lucrative career as a talking head lined up? Because that is the one and only reason Tiki left football; if he had no post-NFL plans, he would be lifting and running right now. OK, he would be getting ready to go to Vegas for the All-Star game and confuse the hell out of some groupies with Ronde. But next week, he would be lifting and running. As it is, he gets to spend Sunday Nights sitting in one of those big comfy leather couches listening to Jerome Bettis laugh.

I hope he bombs.

I don't know why, exactly. Maybe it is because he walked away from pro football for no real good reason. And now he's gonna sit around and talk about it. It's his life, and if he wants healthy knee caps when he's 60, I'm not gonna judge him. But it still pisses me off. At least when Barry Sanders walked away in his prime, he had some real issues and then disappeared from the spotlight.

Or maybe it is because Tiki is whining as he walks out the door.

"Coach Coughlin is very hard-nosed, and I didn't get a lot of time off, couldn't sit down and rest myself, and so it was a constant grind -- a physical grind on me that started to take its toll."
Man, I'm sorry to hear that Tiki. Really, that does suck. Sounds like some petty whining but at least you are being humble and mature about it.
"The grind took its toll on me and really forced me to start thinking about what I wanted to do next. And that's not a bad thing. That's a good thing, for me at least. Maybe not for the Giants, because they lose one of their great players, but for me, it is," Barber said.
Well, then. So much for that humble thing. "One of their great players"? Listen man, you were pretty good. You weren't great. You know why your TD numbers were down? Because you couldn't punch it in from five yards and in. And that is a real nice slap across the face to all your ex-teammates. "Hey fellas, I'm sittin' pretty, but tough cookies for you cuz you don't got me."
"[Coughlin] has changed in little ways, but I think he still has to more," Barber said. "The game has changed, players are different, and you have to understand them and get to know them in order to encourage and motivate them to be successful. We'll see what happens this season."
Man, doesn't that sound like he is just going to sit back, kick his feet up and cheer for Tom Coughlin to run the Giants into the ground? And how the hell does he take cheap shots at Coughlin? Before Coughlin was in the picture, the best thing Tiki Barber was known for was fumbling. That Escalade commercial is full of shit; Barber did not take advantage of opportunities - Coughlin, for not getting to know him, turned him into an All-Pro back.

I guess the thing that has me the most pissed off is that I was looking forward to not seeing or hearing from Tiki Barber ever again. That whole "let the fact that I am retiring thing out early so that I can bask in the limelight a little longer" thing was pretty much bullshit, and now I have to watch him act like he's better than everybody on the NBC set.

I hope Chris Collinsworth just owns him week after week.

1 comments so far. Might as well add your own.:

3bsaver said...

I’m with ya on your opinion of Tiki Barber. Tiki gets too much attention, for no reason. Did you ever notice how much the announcers mentioned his name during a game? Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, like he was the only one playing. That would be pretty good if he was a one-man team. Simms even threw his name in during the Super Bowl. Why? Who Knows? They have to give Tiki Barber something to do on TV, how else would people get to say his name a million more times? Look you just made a blog about him, and I made a comment!! See it’s working all ready…