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March 9, No Love Lost for Tiki Barber

March 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Hey guys,

So in today’s news, Tiki Barber made the announcement that he will be returning to the NFL. Tiki retired from the Giants after the 2006 season, and has now become one of the least popular sports figures in New York sports history.

Tiki Barber hunts for one of his fumbled balls. IMAGE // sportsmed.starwave.com

When Barber retired from the NFL he had delusions that he was some great journalist / reporter. Barber’s ambitions of being the next Tom Brokaw has fallen flat on its face, so now he is looking to make a pay check in the game that he once played pretty well. Do I like Tiki? Absolutely not, but it would be ignorant to say that he was not a good player at the peak of his career. Barber had a nasty little habit of fumbling the ball at points of his career. In 2002 and 2003, Barber fumbled the ball six times in each season. When Tom Coughlin arrived as the coach in 2004, he taught Tiki a new style of carrying the football, and his fumbling woes went away.

Although 36 is way past the prime of most (all) running backs, Barber is an interesting case, and I am interested to see what he has to offer the game. I feel that the few years leading up to his retirement were the best of his career. I don’t think he will be the starting running back of any team, but I would be interested to see if he can help a team out. There is a 0% chance that he will be on the New York Giants however. The way his career in New York ended was too ugly to repair. Tiki made public criticisms of his coach, and also criticized his quarterback Eli Manning. In the season after his retirement, Tiki went public with his disdain for Eli, calling his pre-game┬ámotivational┬áspeeches, “almost comical.”

To further the New Yorker’s fire against Tiki, the Giants went to the Super Bowl the very first season after Barber’s retirement, and defeated the Goliath that was the New England Patriots, ruining their attempt at a perfect season. Barber officially became an after thought in New York, and if anyone did miss him before, they surely did not anymore.

Tiki the Man

Enough about the football career of Barber. He is a hypocrite and is only coming back for a pay day.

Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond. IMAGE // http://www.tower.com

Last year, in April, it was reported that Barber was leaving his wife of 11 years for a 23-year-old woman. At the time that it was made public that he was leaving his wife, she was in her eighth month of pregnancy. Not that I am excusing his actions, but I really wouldn’t care about this if he hadn’t made so many public statements against his own father.

In Tiki’s book Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond, Barber was highly critical of his father’s abandonment of him, his brother, and his mother.

What did I feel for my father? Not love or hate. Those emotions are too strong. It was something worse. Indifference. But in another sense, I realize that I still have hang-ups about not growing up with a dad. Maybe my life has been like that of other abandoned sons: a long search for a father figure.

Not to say that Tiki will not be there for his children when they grow up, but it is clear that the dynamic of their relationship will never be the same. To add to the hypocrisy, Barber was highly critical of his father’s abandonment of his mother in a 2004 New York Post article.

Not only did [my father] abandon her, I felt like he abandoned us for a lot of our lives. I have a hard time forgiving that.

In conclusion, I do not care for Barber at all. I don’t respect his personal life, I don’t respect his criticism of his then coach and quarterback, and I don’t respect his pie-in-the-sky notion that he would be the next great reporter. I hope Tiki falls on his face in his return to the NFL. No love lost in New York, Tiki.

** Quote excerpts courtesy of The Week.

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Happy Belated Birthday Steve McNair

February 21, 2011 3 comments

Steve McNair, born on Valentines Day 1973, would have been 38 this year. It is a shame his life had to end so abruptly, but he will be remembered for his play on the field, his toughness to play through injuries, the philanthropic efforts made, and unfortunately the bizzare nature of his demise.

McNair was drafted by the Houston Oilers with the third overall pick of the 1995 NFL draft. McNair played his collegiate career for Alcorn State, a traditionally African-American college. He was a Walter Payton Award recipient in 1994, a three time pro-bowler with the Titans, (’00, ’03, ’05) and a one time Co-MVP of the league with Colts quarterback Peyton Manning in 2003. McNair also led the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV, where they fell just one yard short of tying the game and sending it into overtime. McNair also spent two seasons in Baltimore with the Ravens before ending his career in 2007.

When I think of McNair, this is the drive that comes to mind. McNair made one of the greatest escapes in the history of the game on the second to final play…. RIP Steve.

February 20, A look back at Charles Woodson

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Charles Woodson showing off his Vertical leap in his days as a Wolverine. Image courtesy of http://www.infoplease.com

Wolverines
Charles Woodson is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL right now, and will certainly be remembered as one of the greatest to ever play the game. If you watch the highlight above (1:09), it is clear that Woodson was simply playing on a different level than anyone else on the field. Simply put, he was a man amongst boys. It was Charles Woodson and the 1997 Wolverines that put Michigan on the map in my eyes as the team to root for in College Football. It marked the first National Championship for the Wolverines since 1948, making Woodson, Griese, and the rest of the team immortal in College Football history.

Woodson would go on to win the Heisman Trophy that 1997 season, making him only the third recipient of College Football’s highest individual honor in the history of Michigan Football. Woodson was the first defensive player to ever receive the award, and no defensive player has won it since. Following his dominant college career, Woodson entered the draft and was selected fourth overall in 1998 by the Oakland Raiders, following the likes of Peyton Manning, Ryan Leaf, and Andre Wadsworth.

Raiders
Woodson’s career in Oakland was memorable, and he played well from day one. Some of the most notable accomplishments for Woodson and the Raiders of this era were the AFC Championship game of 2002 against the would be Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, and the Super Bowl appearance they made the following season when they were beat handily by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The AFC Championship is of course remembered for the tremendous snow, and the “Tuck Rule.” Who else would knock the ball loose than Charles Woodson, a master of the blitz. The call of course was incredibly controversial, and don’t bring it up to Woodson because he takes that call very seriously (Maybe not as much now that he has his ring.)

Packers
Woodson’s career would then move to Green Bay in 2006, at a time when not many people around the league thought he had much more to offer. Woodson proved his doubters wrong, and continues to do so with his spectacular play on the field. Although he was a great player at every level, and with every team he played for, he lacked the leadership qualities you look for in a player of his caliber. This would change in Green Bay, where he is now the heart and soul of that defense, and the team in general. He was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, and led his teammates to the Super Bowl the following season, where the Packers took down the Steelers 31-25.

Congratulations to Charles Woodson, my brother (Huge Packers fan,) and the rest of the Green Bay Packers on their big win.