Is Tiki Barber broke? He used to be one of the most likable guys in football. He and twin Ronde have smiles that light up the room and skills that light up the field. Then something happened and his image took a tumble. He insulted former teammate Eli Manning, retired from the NY Giants mid-season, was hired by NBC's Today Show, had an affair with a 23-year-old intern, divorced his wife of 11 years while she was pregnant with twins, and was fired from NBC under their moral clause, which specifies that on-air talent cannot be involved in public scandals. Sheesh!
A year ago Tiki said he couldn't pay his divorce settlement because without his $300,000 paycheck from NBC, he's broke. So what does one do when one's broke? Start working, of course. Thirty-six-year-old Tiki has filed papers with the NFL to come out of retirement.
Is this for the love of the game, or love of the money?
Tiki was a Pro-Bowler back in 2006 and did have an illustrious ten-year career with the Giants, rushing for nearly 10,500 yards over the decade. When asked why he wants to get back on the field, Tiki told Fox:
After seeing my brother still have fun at our age, it re-ignited the fire. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of seeing if I can get back to the level of where I was. I started working out again recently. It kind of shocked myself. I still had a lot of the strength I had before. I’m really looking forward to making a return.
What an out. I mean, he has a twin who's still playing. What kind of dumb luck is that. It would be one thing if he just pulled out his get-out-of-retirement-free card and wanted back in, but the fact that he can say he was inspired by his brother is pure gold.
I for one have got to believe it's all about the cash money, but we'll never know. The Giants say they plan to release him from his contract (Tiki is still signed to the Giants) and he'll be free to go to any team that will take him.
I can remember going to UVA home games to watch Tiki and Ronde play, and I dare say I had a crush on them. I've always been a Barber fan, but it's hard to support Tiki any longer ... I'm not so sure I want to watch him anymore. He just seems kind of smarmy, desperate, and sad.
Do you care about the reason why Tiki is coming out of retirement?
Photo via alexa627/Flickr