One of the key elements of being a great running back in the National Football League is an excellent sense of timing. Knowing when to cut, juke or change direction as to avoid defenders.
Former New York Football Giant running back Tiki Barber’s timing is definitely askew. He surprisingly retired from the NFL four years ago as the Giants’ career rushing leader with 10,449 yards when he still had the skills and talents to play, when he still had great football instincts and was in great football shape, and most significantly, when he still had two years left on his contract that would have paid him millions. After leaving the team to pursue a job in media, the Giants win the Super Bowl the very next year over the New England Patriots. Tiki’s chances of entering the Hall of Fame at this time go from slim to none.
He then goes to work for NBC as a “Today” show correspondent at a significantly reduced pay rate. While there, he unceremoniously leaves his beautiful wife of 11 years for a 23-year-old NBC intern.
Bad timing? Yes because his wife is 8-months-pregnant with twins.
Unsurprisingly, NBC not being happy with the fact that Tiki is having a relationship with an intern (such is usually frowned upon since it may lead to litigation) and since Tiki’s actions embarrassed the Network, they immediately terminated his “Today” show contract.
Since being fired by NBC, Tikii has continued with his “media” career by working with Yahoo Sports but has not endeared himself to the fans or the Giant franchise. While at Yahoo, he has publicly criticized head coach Tom Coughlin, was booed by fans when the Giants unveiled their ring of honor last season, and stated that former teammate and Giant quarterback Eli Manning lacks the necessary leadership skills to be a winner. He made this statement even though Eli has a Super Bowl ring but he does not.
Now, as the New York Post reported, being broke and unable pay his divorce settlement with his ex-wife, Tiki has decided to give the NFL another go around and has asked the Giants to take him off the reserve-retirement list.
Bad timing? Yes, because the NFL is in the middle of the biggest labor dispute since 1987. The NFL and the NFL Players’ Association failed to agree to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the owners locked the players’ out, the players have sued alleging antitrust violations, the District Court has ruled, the District Court’s ruling has been appealed to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeal and all of this means that there may not be a season come September.
Tiki – great timing. Returning to the NFL since you are broke and unable to provide for your children at a time when there may be no league to go back to. Is this all just a “PR” stunt to revive your “media” career and become relevant again? Or is it just bad timing as usual?