With running back Tiki Barber’s intended return to football — and his effort to call his broadcasting career anything other than a failure — making news lately, the subject made for a compelling topic on the latest edition of The Rich Eisen Podcast.
NFL Network’s Warren Sapp had the first word.
“I didn’t think much of him when he did play,” Sapp said. “I mean that’s the whole point. He was a fumbler all the way through his life, and then all of a sudden, somebody taught him how to hold the ball up high and then he [left the Giants] and said, Eli [Manning] can’t lead them and they’ll never win a championship.
“That kind of lends to who I’m talking about. This is the same guy. This is all encompassed into the same thing. There’s no way you turn your back on your teammates that block for you, that gave you the ball on short fields and did whatever they did. . . . There’s still no reason for you to attack your teammates.”
One of those former teammates agreed.
“Sapp is 100 percent right,” FOX’s Michael Strahan said in response. “Only thing is, if it comes to playing football, he can play.”
We’re all assuming Tiki can still play, after four seasons out of the game and at age 36. Though he had three straight incredible seasons to cap the first phase of his career, with more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage each year, he plays one of the most fungible positions in football, and most teams presumably would rather have a no-name, low-priced rookie with minimal wear and tear, who can move the chains if he gets blocking — and who can maintain possession of the football without holding it like a baby he’s trying to keep out of waist-deep water.
That said, two teams supposedly are interested. And even if 31 teams say “no way,” all it ever takes is one to say, “OK.”