The New York Giants have years upon years of timeless performances and classic stars. And while names like Eli Manning will be remembered for generations to come, Tiki Barber broke numerous records du...
The New York Giants have years upon years of timeless performances and classic stars. And while names like Eli Manning will be remembered for generations to come, Tiki Barber broke numerous records during an era of the team that was marked more by its broader context rather than the individual achievements of its players. However, the three-time Pro Bowler retired in his mid-thirties to become a broadcaster - an unfamiliar world that Tiki Barber also found to be unwelcoming. Although his attempted return to the NFL in 2011 was ill-fated, few could argue that Tiki Barber seemed ready to leave football entirely behind, having already been one of the most athletically gifted running backs to have ever played the game. <p> Tiki Barber was born Atiim Kiambu Hakeem-Ah Barber on April 7th, 1975 in Blacksburg, VA. His father, a former World Football League star, divorced Barber's mother in 1979. Tiki experienced ravaging seizures as a child, which discouraged him from playing any contact sports for fear of exacerbating his delicate medical condition. Still, Tiki would go on to play baseball, basketball, and football in high school, and following his 4.0 grade point average at Cave Spring High School, quickly found himself playing college football alongside his identical twin brother Ronde at the University of Virginia. </p><p> Tiki and his brother were roommates at the University of Virginia, and shared playing time on the football field. Ronde was the team's star cornerback, and Tiki found himself quickly moving to being the team's lead running back after his freshman year. He set a University of Virginia record of 1,397 yards with 265 carries, which earned him the attention of NFL scouts. Barber was then selected by the New York Giants in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft. His brother Ronde would follow suit in the third. </p><p> Barber's rookie season found him playing primarily on punt returns, giving him three touchdowns on the year. But after years of hard work and proving himself as a viable option on the receiving end of the football, Barber entered training camp as the starting running back in 2000 - a career year which also saw him breaking the Giants franchise record with 2,089 all-purpose yards. And although a broken arm saw his breakout year fall short of making a Super Bowl appearance, he was well regarded as the team's most valuable player, leading him to six-year, $25.2 million contract. </p><p> After a rough 2001 season, Barber emerged as one of the league's dominant running backs in 2002, leading the Giants back into the playoffs and making his case for a Pro Bowl start, which he would finally receive in 2004. Years of successive accomplishments on the field would engender his name both in the hearts of New York fans and national pundits. However, it was his 2005 season that drew the attention of <i>Sports Illustrated</i>, as he landed their prestigious NFL Player of the Year award. </p><p> His tremendous play continued into the 2006 season, which saw him rushing for 1,662 yards with five touchdowns. At a game with the Washington Redskins, Barber broke the Giants' franchise single game rushing record with 234 yards and three touchdowns in one game, securing a playoff berth for the team, while also earning Barber the all-time NFL record for single-game yards by a player over 30. His final game was the 2007 NFL Pro Bowl, after which he retired. With football now behind him, Barber looked forward to a new career as a broadcaster. </p><p> The very next year, the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLII. Barber's presence as a broadcast journalist was met with hostility by his former teammates, following a series of statements in which he criticized Giants' quarterback Eli Manning for being a weak leader. Although Barber attempted to create the same success in his broadcasting career as he had as an athlete, he quickly saw his stock dwindling, and alleged rumors around his finances led some to speculate that his announced 2011 comeback to the NFL was financially motivated. But despite announcing his availability in July of 2011, no NFL team showed any interest in signing the one-time prolific running back. </p><p> </p>
University of Virginia
Has an identical twin, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber.
Criticized his New York Giants teammate, Michael Strahan, over turning down a $17 million dollar contract, thus igniting an inter-team conflict between the two.
Started a conflict with Giants head coach Tom Coughlin in 2005 after criticizing Coughlin's coaching techniques.
Struggled with his former New York Giants teammates after leaving the NFL for a broadcasting career, specifically feuding with quarterback Eli Manning after allegedly criticizing Manning's leadership skills.