The shelf life for running backs in the NFL is, at best, brief. The longevity of a runner listed at 5-foot-10, 200 pounds is, well, shorter. So how is it that [Tiki] Barber, in his ninth season at the age of 30, is getting better and better?
-- Greg Garber
ESPN.com, after Saturday’s game in which the NY/NJ Giants’ Barber ran for a franchise-high 220 yards.
Here's a potential one-word answer to that question: Steroids.
Seriously, why is no one – especially in the Media Capital of the World – bringing up the possibility of this? It seems to be as good as explanation as anything else out there.
Thirty year-old running backs, particularly small guys who’ve carried the ball as much as Tiki Barber has the past nine years, just don’t get better with age. Instead, they atrophy and lose their skills and quickness. And then the Raiders sign them for a long-term contract. It’s an NFL axiom.
Yet Barber gets a free pass on the questions about tapping into the fountain of youth. Even though his head – which, admittedly, has always been a little goofy-looking – is now approaching Barry Bonds’ noggin in terms of bizarro-size. I mean, look at his jaw, it’s Alien-esque. And what is happening to the top of his head? Is he evolving into a sleestack?
The photo on the left is taken from 1997 and the one on the right is from present day. Does this even look like the same guy to you? And just like Bonds, Barber has mysteriously started getting much bigger, better and stronger when normal athletes start to fall apart. Yet Bonds is presumed guilty because he’s a press-hating jerk, but nice-guy Barber gets spreads in GQ.
I’d venture to guess that Visa no longer films ads with Tiki and his twin brother Ronde because, well, they look nothing alike anymore.
(Or, it could because the Visa commercial would fly against the newly-mandated NFL rule requiring every freaking ad to involve the Eagles. Christ. Chunky, Madden, Chunky, Kangaroo Guy in the Eagles Locker Room, Chunky, TO deodorant spot, Chunky … enough already! No amount of funny advertising is going to change the fact that the Eagles are chokers and Eagle fans are dirt bags and a-holes. So just stop it already and go back to beating on that kid in a Redskins jersey.)
Sorry, where was I?
Oh yeah, ‘roids. Would Barber fail a drug test? Of course not, because a league-imposed suspension for the Giants’ best player would fly in the face of the NFL’s season-long campaign to hand over the NFC title to the Shams from the Meadowlands.
- Extra home game – check.
- Patsy schedule that includes freebie away games at SF and Oakland.
- Dead Owner(s) to rally around – check, and check.
- Not-even-funny-anymore beneficial calls from the refs – check. (With Amani Toomer’s TD ‘catch’ on Saturday just the latest bad call not to get overturned. Hey refs, try growing a set already).
Man, I hate the Giants.
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