Wednesday, March 09, 2011

In sports there are always those talented athletes who have no problems telling you how smart they are, and how football was an option not the only one. On one hand its refreshing to see a well-rounded athlete buck the stereotype and articulate their thoughts and feelings in a respectable manner. But on the other side, I find myself wondering if they ever alienated their teammates with their behavior..after all, it seems like more athletes--especially in the major sports--are playing sports out of necessity, not because it is simply one of their options.

Tiki Barber was this kind of an athlete when he played for the Giants. He was always smart, but early in his career he had a problem with fumbling the ball, so he wasn't a respected member of the football team. Then he rectified his issues, and became a major, contributing member of the football team who combined brains and brawn. But on the side, he was doing occasional work with NBC..flexing his intelligence and his journalistic skills--and he did a great job I might add.

So Tiki became bored with football and he decided that the taste of journalistic success via the Today show and the NFL broadcast on NBC was way too much to ignore. He retired at the early age of 31 to pursue this career, and made it a point to stress how nice it was to have options as a smart man..and I didn't blame him at all, given that some football players are pushed out or forced to retire--not Tiki though.

Tiki's career got off to a strong start, when he immediately starting criticizing his former NY Giants team, because of their early struggles. He had the inside track because he just been with the team the prior season, but he was violating the locker room code by dry snitching on his teammates. Tiki came off looking like the ultimate insider, because his criticisms were right on point. But when the Giants turned things around and won the Super Bowl, and then made a point to mention they won it without Tiki, things got weirder and Tiki got quieter.

Tiki's decline as a journalist was a slow and painful one. He appeared on the Today show less, and the NFL in America show on NBC starting featuring him less frequently. Then Tiki left his 8 month pregnant wife for a 21 year old woman, and his wife tried to take him to the cleaners, and Tiki cried broke given that his once bright star as a journalist had faded like Big Daddy Kane's old haircut. Money wasn't coming in like he had anticipated, and neither were those NFL checks. This was all last year by the way..

So when Tiki announced yesterday that his recent workout with his trainer had him feeling like he wanted to come back to the NFL for the love and challenge of the game, I quietly said to myself, "We don't believe you Tiki, and frankly, you need more people."

1 comment:

Sab D said...