First off, I was going to write a blog defending Bill Belichick for his actions at the end of Super Bowl XLII, but since every member of the media outside the New England area and ESPN is against him, it would be pretty pointless for me to do so. I'm not in the mood to be torn apart right now.
But my main point. Did anyone else watch Today on Monday morning? Did you notice anything about who was reporting on the Super Bowl? Yep, that's right, NBC had former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber covering Super Bowl XLII from Glendale.
Now that has to be one of the most awkward television moments ever, but I have to applaud Tiki, as he did a fantastic job. But still, the sight of Tiki Barber interviewing a champagne-drenched Eli Manning about just winning the Super Bowl after essentially saying that the Giants had no shot at winning under Tom Coughlin or with Manning at quarterback just brings out all the awkward emotions in me.
As most of you know, Barber left the Giants after the 2006 season at the ripe age of 31 and was publicly criticized for letting his team down and walking away from the game. Personally, I agree with him in his agreeing to walk away from football. When you're 60-years old, do you want to be able to walk around or do you want to be stuck in bed reminiscing about the glory days? I'd like to have my health.
When I used to ask my mom if I could play football, she would tell me a story about Johnny Unitas and his son. The story goes that young his son was deciding between golf and football and went to his dad, the legendary quarterback for guidance. According to the story, the elder Unitas said that if his son wanted to be able to walk, he should play golf. I don't know how true that anecdote is, but it is still powerful.
Barber may not have had a good "football reason" (ie injury, fatigue, contract dispute, no playing time) to retire, but he had a career waiting for him in TV, a job he rightfully took. I don't know how good his performance on the tube has been, however. His early season criticisms of the Giants provided extra drama and really made him look stupid. I thought he would do a good job, but he has not really lived up to expectations.
This blog was supposed to be about Belichick.
But instead, it is about Barber.