Tiki Barber Comes Out Of Retirement
Tiki Barber, 36, may not be the most beloved of retired sports stars, after two less than stellar television stints (on the Today Show and NBC's NFL pregrame show), an ugly split from the New York Giants in 2006 (when he announced his retirement mid-season), and a sex scandal involving a 23-year-old intern, which led to a nasty divorce with his wife (who was pregnant with twins), but Barber is back and wants to play for the NFL again.
He cites his twin brother, Ronde Barber, who plays for the Tampa Bay Bucs, as his inspiration. "After seeing my brother still have fun at our age, it re-ignited the fire," Barber told reporters on Tuesday. "I'm really looking forward to the challenge of seeing if I can get back to the level of where I was. 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."
After ten years playing for the Giants and five years in retirement, Barber is still considered property of the the Giants' property, but they plan to release him as quickly as possible. His sudden change of heart have many wondering if Barber is facing financial trouble, as his television contract was terminated due to a moral clause, and he recently claimed he was unable to pay a divorce settlement to his ex-wife.
Regardless of the motivation, Barber has burned bridges with the Giants, who want nothing to do with him. It's been heavily implied that he held them back from winning the Superbowl, since they won in 2007, a year after his retirement. He also publicly insulted the team, saying that Tom Coughlin's coaching style forced him to quit.
Though Barber was known for getting better with age — his final two season were his best — his current age will be a liability. "Somebody might give him a tryout. Nobody is going to give him any money," one GM said, reports the New York Daily News. "What running back plays at 36? Who wants to bring a guy in for one year?" —KIMBERLY STEELE