Broadcasters really love Tiki Barber. It's true. NBC, FOX and ESPN have gone out of their way to give Tiki a sendoff that would be better suited for a guy who actually, you know, won a rushing title or Super Bowl or was at least considered the best player at his position. ESPN invited Tiki’s brother Ronde into the booth on Monday night. Not sure why, other than to prove—once and for all—that the Barber brothers are whiter than the Gumbel brothers. Seriously. Bryant Gumbel looks like 50 Cent compared to Ronde and Tiki.
The only question is why stopped at only inviting Ronde to the booth? Where was Tiki's wife, Yoko? Tiki's mother? They could have held a This is Your Life tribute to Barber during the game. And sure, you might reason that Ronde does have some football insight, seeing that he is an NFL player. But it wasn't like they were actually talking about football anyway. Instead they jabbered about who was born first, Tiki's major in college and hawked the twin's book (available in bookstores now). During that time Eli Messiah was throwing the game away for the Giants.
You have to give credit to Tiki. He has long had the reputation of being a sharp person with his eyes looking beyond football. The leak of his retirement was a perfectly orchestrated move to get people talking about Tiki. Instead of going out like Robert Smith, this retirement has built him into some sort of mythical figure. The retirement of Kareem Abdul Jabbar wasn’t this extravagant.
IS THERE anybody who would trade Philip Rivers straight up for Eli Messiah right now? (And the Chargers also received Shawne Merriman in the deal.) Rivers has started ten games and he looks much more polished than Messiah who has been a starter since his rookie season. This is going to doom the Giants franchise.
Messiah looked like a rattled rookie during points of Monday's contest. Though, that seems to be a genetic Manning-family trait. And how convenient was it that likely the worst play of Messiah's career was washed out by a dubious penalty, 60-yards from the play? (Hey, at least the Giants finally lost a challenge, but only because it was so obvious, they had no choice.)