Tiki Barber Talks Giants, Coughlin, Strahan, Eli, Past Comments

By Jake Brown

The New York Giants are playoff bound for the first time since 2012, when they won a Super Bowl against the Patriots. Big Blue will take on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field next Sunday. It’s a similar setting, the same place they beat the Packers on their Super Bowl run not only in 2011, but also on their Super Bowl run in 2008.

Unfortunately, Tiki Barber just missed out on that 2007-2008 run, retiring after the 2006 season. Barber had a tremendous run with the Giants, making three Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl. He had over 10,000 rushing yards and 55 rushing touchdowns in his 10 seasons in New York. Barber was undoubtedly right there as one of the best, if not the best, at the position in franchise history.

Unfortunately, some Giants fans choose to remember Barber for his comments made after he retired on Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning. Barber joined me on The Jake Brown Show on CBS Radio’s Play.it podcast network to discuss those comments and those things that were spread that weren’t said.

“I was a really good player for the New York Giants. When I left the New York Giants my job was to be a journalist,” said Barber. “Now the things with Eli most people never even heard it. They heard it second hand and really heard it in response to Eli responding to someone running to him saying did you hear what Tiki said. Obviously Eli and I have cleared the air on that and I apologized. As far as Tom Coughlin is concerned I challenge people. I had this conversation with many; tell me what I said about Tom Coughlin that is causing so much ire. I think there’s this assumption that I said something about Tom Coughlin which I actually didn’t. We all know who he is so it’s not like I was pulling back the curtain on him being tough and hard on us as players. I’ve always said, I respected the hell out of him as a coach, but he had to treat guys differently, which he ultimately did and he became a great head coach and a Hall of Famer in a lot of people’s minds, including mine.

“So, I think it’s two things, it’s a lack of distinction of what I was doing professionally and then two, not fully understanding what my take actually was. But I can’t fight people’s inability to not go find the answers themselves and it’s not worth me telling them. I’m not a victim, I’m not gonna play the martyr, I’m an opinionated person, I’m a New Yorker, I grew up in Virginia, but I’m a New Yorker I have an opinion and if I didn’t have one I don’t think you’d respect me for being on this side of the mic and that’s how I’ve always looked at it.”

Barber went the media route as soon as his career ended. He currently hosts Tiki And Tierney on CBS Sports Radio every weekday morning with fellow New Yorker Brandon Tierney. Barber wasn’t the only Giant to have success taking the media route. Michael Strahan was a Hall of Fame defensive end, but is raking in cash off the field. He formerly hosted Live with Kelly and Michael, and now is a part of Good Morning America and the NFL on FOX pregame show.

The crowds around Mike have changed since his NFL career ended.

“Strahan’s unbelievable and the reason is he’s so authentic to who he is and that’s how he was when he was in the locker room…the jovial, loose person that you see on television whether it was on Kelly and Michael and now on ABC’s Good Morning America and on FOX, that’s just who he is so his personality translates well on television,” said Barber.

“I remember I went to lunch with him a couple of years ago and he was doing ABC with Kelly and we went to a lunch that was two blocks away from his studio and I’m used to hanging out with Mike and seeing like 25 year old boys and men come up to him and say ‘Oh Mike you’re awesome, unbelievable, Super Bowl’ like all those things. It was 40 and 50-year-old woman like mom’s who love him and I was like man you’ve fully crossed over. It’s one of those things where he transitioned and he did it seamlessly. It fits him, it fits his personality and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Jake Brown is the Digital Program Manager at CBS Sports Radio and a columnist for CBS Sports Radio, CBS Local Sports, and CBS Local. You can catch him on The Jake Brown Show on CBS Radio’s Play.it, iTunes, and Spotify. It’s a weekly sports show mixed in with a bit of entertainment and interviews as well every week. He occasionally hosts SportsTalk1240 on WGBB in Long Island, and formerly hosted Brown and Scoop, Brown and Troupe, and on ESPN Radio NH. Jake lives in Queens and being a Mets fan is finally paying off.

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