If not for Charlie Sheen, this would be one of the most bone-headed moves by a sex-addicted celebrity in all of 2011. Tiki Barber has chosen to dust off his cleats and return to football after retiring following the 2006 season. For those of you doing the math at home, that’s a four year hiatus. He says his brother Ronde Barber inspired it, but who really knows what inspired Tiki’s comeback. It may be a desperate need for attention. It might be the fact he’s broke after leaving his wife for a 23 year-old intern when she was eight months pregnant. It may be that he needs to repair his image after that move, or that his career as a broadcaster hasn’t quite panned out. It might be that the last two times I saw Tiki Barber he was filming online interview segments for Yahoo and judging an Iron Chef competition next to Lou Diamond Phillips. Who knows, but this is the BS reason he floated to Jay Glazer.
“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,” Barber, who turns 36 in April, said to Glazer. “I started working out again recently. I kind of shocked myself. I still had a lot of the strength I had before. I’m really looking forward to making a return.”
Barber filed all necessary paperwork and the Giants have agreed to activate him and release if and when there is a new CBA. Which is another interesting point, nice timing right as there’s a potential work stoppage. Obviously with the fact Tiki is the (less virtuous) twin of Ronde, the moronic question arose as to whether or not Tiki would want to team up with his brother in some kind of bizarro world Disney special reunion tour for a year in Tampa. Something that no Bucs fan would ever actually want to see.
Aside from the healthy dose of smug that would arrive in Tampa along with Tiki, he would probably be a bad influence on the young offense. Ok, maybe not, but that didn’t stop his former teammates from bashing his leadership and influence on ESPN today. The real reason is if the Bucs want a past-prime veteran back to spell LeGarrette Blount, they can find that exact player with more miles left in the tank in Cadillac Williams. Williams is younger, has less rust to kick off and knows the Bucs offense extremely well. I doubt Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris are going to make a sub-par personnel choice just for sentimental reasons.
That’s why I was pleased to see Raheem Morris keeping it real.
“When you’re talking about those type of great players, you’ve always got to have interest,” Morris said. “And if he’s got the heart and the desire and the fire, I say you do it. It’s no different than his brother. He’s one of those guys who doesn’t know when he’s going to run out of gas. It happens to all of us. It happens to the best of us. But if he’s got a little bit left, I encourage him to doing it. Highly.
“You know me, we always discuss those guys who can help us. Obviously, we haven’t been going in that direction and coming off the layoff and all that stuff and where it’s going to go, where our young football team is, I don’t know if we have the ability to do that. I’m sure he can help someone, if not us, if it ever came to that.”
To summarize Morris’ sentiment, ‘if this were a movie Tiki would be the missing piece to put us over the edge, he’d learn about himself from playing with his brother again and get back together with his wife in Tampa and everyone would live happily ever after. They would write a book about it and Oprah would put it in her book club. But this ain’t imagination-land and the odds of us taking a flier on a 36 year-old coming off a half decade layoff when our team is young and loaded is so low I just don’t see it happening. Let’s not bring this up again.’
Ok, maybe it wasn’t exactly that. But don’t hold your breath for Tiki in Tampa. And I must qualify this article at least a little bit. Much of this was in jest, aside from one particularly grievous blemish on his reputation Tiki has always at least seemed to be a person of good character. I do wish him the best, I just hope for the Bucs sake it’s not in Tampa.