Tiki Barber is Still an Unlikable, Self-Centered Jerk
Apparently, ex-Giant running back and current radio show host Tiki Barber decided it would be a good idea to attack Gary Myers of the New York Daily News regarding “personal shots” Myers allegedly made in an article earlier this week. Barber utilized his morning radio show (which no one in New York can hear) to get on his high horse and essentially yell at Myers about “the evisceration [he] threw [Tiki’s] way” (whatever that means).
The main problems with Tiki’s attack are that Myers never wrote an article about Barber and never made personal attacks.
During his radio show on November 18th, Tiki Barber called for the New York Giants to fire head coach Tom Coughlin, and Myers posted two tweets about Barber’s declaration. Essentially, Myers called it how he saw it:
Tiki Barber hasn’t changed. He’s calling for Tom Coughlin to be fired. Coughlin was turning Tiki into HOF player before he abruptly quit.
— Gary Myers (@garymyersNYDN) November 18, 2014
Tiki quit football to become next Matt Lauer. How did that work out? Then when he trained for a comeback in 2011 nobody signed him.
— Gary Myers (@garymyersNYDN) November 18, 2014
Everything Myers said was true. And, noticeably, there are no personal attacks.
Tiki Barber’s decision to ask Myers onto his morning talk show to ambush him with a verbal assault would be wrong even if Myers had made personal attacks. Given the context, Tiki’s antics were disgraceful. All Tiki’s rant did was confirm for me that he is self-entitled and petulant. The little baby’s feelings were hurt because Myers pointed out Barber’s hypocrisy and stated out loud that Barber failed as a television personality and failed in his attempted comeback in football (which was to be expected given both his age and that Barber had trashed his coach and quarterback on his way out).
This is what I wrote in January 2013 when it was announced that Barber would be hosting a morning radio show, and I believe it still holds true:
Why Would Anybody Want to Listen to Tiki Barber‘s Radio Show? So, CBS has a new national sports radio station based out of New York City. The new morning show (dubbed “TBD in the AM”) features Dana Jacobson (last seen on – gulp – ESPN’s First Take), Brandon Tierney (longtime sports radio host), and Tiki Barber (former New York Giant running back and wife dumper). The decision to hire Barber at all – let alone as a co-host of a morning show – simply baffles me.
Let’s look at Tiki Barber’s qualifications:
- He was an above-average running back for the New York Giants from 1997-2006.
- In 2002, Barber asserted that Michael Strahan was greedy for negotiating a new contract: “Michael is not thinking about the team; he’s thinking about himself.”
- Despite the facts that Tom Coughlin (the Giants head coach) corrected Barber’s fumbling problems and that Barber enjoyed his best years under Coughlin, Barber publicly criticized Coughlin on numerous occasions (after a playoff loss in 2005, after a regular season loss in 2006, before his final game in the NFL, and immediately upon retiring).
- After publicly announcing his retirement during the 2007 season, Barber retired to pursue a career in broadcasting as a television personality.
- Barber’s first act as a “personality” was to publicly criticize Giants quarterback Eli Manning for his lack of leadership skills. Manning ignored the criticism and promptly led the Giants to a Super Bowl victory. (Good call, Tiki.)
- In 2007, Barber wrote a memoir entitled: Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond, which almost no one read.
- Beginning in 2007, Barber was a correspondent on NBC’s The Today Show and an analyst on Football Night in America. By 2009, Barber was no longer used as a correspondent and his appearances as a football analyst dwindled. It was widely reported that NBC executives found Barber cocky and impersonal. His contract was not renewed when it expired in May 2010.
- In 2010, Barber left his wife of eleven years (with whom he had two sons) and who was pregnant with twins. Barber dumped his pregnant wife for a 23 year-old NBC intern named Traci Lynn Johnson.
In 2011, it was reported that Barber and Johnson would hide out in Barber’s agent Mark Lepselter’s attic so his affair would not become public. Barber compared his situation to Anne Frank attempting to hide from Nazis during World War II (“[I]t was like a reverse Anne Frank thing”).
- In March 2011, Barber attempted a comeback in the NFL that was “not about the money” even though it was completely about the money. No team signed Barber.
- In 2012, Barber founded Thuzio.com, a company that permits fans to pay money to hang out with famous and not-so-famous professional athletes. For example, for $500 you can eat lunch with Tiki or for $3,000 you can have Tiki attend “your birthday, bar/bat mitzvah, wedding, or anniversary party.”
Based on Tiki Barber’s track record recounted above, I again pose the question: Why would anybody want to listen to this man? What about Barber’s history made the CBS executives think, “I really think the public wants more Tiki Barber and would be very interested to know what a jerk like that has to say about sports?” What audience is CBS hoping to attract? New York Giants fans don’t even like Barber. I certainly have no desire to ever listen to Tiki Barber talk about anything, ever. Based on the early comments from listeners, it does not appear that many others do either.
You can now add Barber’s dust-up with Myers to the list. I do not why Barber thought going after Myers in this way was a good idea (perhaps, the ratings for his show are just that bad?). I hope Barber wasn’t so narcissistic to believe the public would take his side in this manufactured fight.
Regardless, this incident again brings to the forefront one inescapable conclusion: Barber is simply not a likable guy. His track record shows that he is a self-absorbed egomaniac who will do anything in order to ensure people pay attention to him. It bears repeating: I have no idea why CBS hired him and I have no idea why anyone would want to listen to him.
I’d call for Barber to issue an apology to Myers but that would require him to demonstrate some humility and self-reflection.