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Wallace Matthews

 

Lesson in Tiki's leaving

February 15, 2007

 

 

It is more than a little distressing that here in the 21st century, too many of us still have a plantation mentality when it comes to our professional athletes. Too many of us want ballplayers, even the best and brightest of them, to say nothing more than "yes sir," and "no sir."

 

It is not racist, per se, but it is certainly classist. No matter how good they are or how much they get paid, they are the entertainers, the hired help. They are supposed to just shut up and hit the baseball, shoot the basketball or carry the football.

 

 

 

 

 

Case in point: Tiki Barber. The other day, to kick off his new career as a television commentator, Barber made the perfectly reasonable observation that his former coach, Tom Coughlin, could be a tad inflexible.

 

In doing so, Barber implied that his decision to walk away from the NFL at the peak of his career was aided in no small part by the realization that if he were to come back, he would have to play another season for a man so obsessed with some warped version of discipline that he would not allow his 31-year-old running back, who had more touches than anyone in the league over the past four years, to take it a little easier on Wednesdays.

 

For this, Barber has been roundly criticized as disloyal, egotistical, self-centered and a headache the Giants will be better off without. And that's just from members of the media, who ought to know better and who ought to want more from the people they cover than a lowered head, a shuffle and an "Aw, shucks, ma'am" brand of false modesty that should have been banished from the vernacular around the time Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.

 

It is bad enough when the fickle fans start bashing a player such as Barber, who brought his A-plus game every Sunday and never missed a start in the last five years, for talking out of turn. But when journalists start becoming more concerned with what people say rather than what they do, then the world has officially gone nuts.

 

Now, white is black, day is night, down is up and wrong is right.

 

Today, Tiki Barber is the bad guy, Tom Coughlin the victim. Doesn't he know that only fans, commentators and journalists are allow to analyze, criticize, pontificate?

 

The truth is, six months from now Barber will be missed a hell of a lot more than Coughlin will be wanted. The "headache," Barber, may be gone, but the tumor, Coughlin, lingers on.

 

The Giants knew Barber was leaning toward retirement more than a year ago, but did nothing to plan for his absence and took no steps to procure his replacement. And as this past dreadful season wound down and it was obvious the only Giant worth holding onto was Barber, the Giants made no known effort to dissuade him from his decision, even out of respect.

 

Can you imagine if a week from now, Derek Jeter tells a reporter he is thinking of retiring after the season? You can bet your baseballs the Yankees would spend all season trying to talk him out of it. Yet there is no evidence anyone in the Giants organization, from John Mara to Ernie Accorsi to Jerry Reese to Coughlin himself ever sat down with Barber to ask what, if anything, could be done to change his mind.

 

Instead, they treated the best player to wear their uniform since LT, and arguably the best offensive player in their history, as if he were Barry Bonds, saying goodbye but thinking "Good riddance!"

 

And all because he had the temerity to say what he was thinking, rather than what they would have wanted him to say.

 

You ask me, he should have gone all the way and told the whole truth, said that it was running backs coach Jerald Ingram, not Coughlin, who really taught him to kick his fumbling problem; that the Giants will never win with a befuddled kid like Eli Manning at quarterback; that the sainted Accorsi was actually a failure as a GM, and that Reese, his successor, was a willing accomplice as his head of player personnel.

 

He could have said that without him, there will be no real reason to watch the Giants offense next season, and that unless they overhaul the defense and pick up some linebackers, there will be no reason to watch a Giants game for the next several seasons.

 

He could have pointed out what an injury-prone malcontent Michael Strahan has become since he signed that big contract a couple of years ago.

 

And he might have added that while running backs like Tiki Barber come along once in a generation, losing coaches like Coughlin, guys who lose their tempers, their players, their teams, their games and ultimately their jobs are a drug on the market.

 

But we don't want that from our athletes. We want them to shut up and do their jobs, and leave the talking to those of us who can't do anything else.

 

From here

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the Giants made no known effort to dissuade him from his decision, even out of respect.

 

That's a lie. Reese made a comment about trying to convince Barber to come back and Barber said on his radio show "NO".. among other words.

 

Obviously this writer is trying to show the other side of the coin which is perfectly fine. I agree with some of what he said but I still think Barber should've handled his retirement with humility.

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The truth is, six months from now Barber will be missed a hell of a lot more than Coughlin will be wanted

 

 

 

Yeah, like Giant fans wanted TC to stay and Tiki to go. :doh:

 

 

 

I don't have a problem with what Tiki said, and as far as i know apparently the only people really critisizing him for that comment is the media. i think Giants fans are more tired of a guy opening his mouth about the sport he wanted to get out of so bad, and a team he wanted away from so bad. I also can't help but feel, that even though there might be alot of truth in what Tiki said, he was trying top ease the shit he was hearing about retiring early. like, "Well Coughlin worked me too hard so i had no choice but to retire. " Cmon, Tiki's been talking about reiring for at least 2 years.

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Yeah, like Giant fans wanted TC to stay and Tiki to go. :doh:

I don't have a problem with what Tiki said, and as far as i know apparently the only people really critisizing him for that comment is the media. i think Giants fans are more tired of a guy opening his mouth about the sport he wanted to get out of so bad, and a team he wanted away from so bad. I also can't help but feel, that even though there might be alot of truth in what Tiki said, he was trying top ease the shit he was hearing about retiring early. like, "Well Coughlin worked me too hard so i had no choice but to retire. " Cmon, Tiki's been talking about reiring for at least 2 years.

 

 

well hasn't coughlin been the coach the last two years :confused: ?

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Tiki is a asshole. All the years I defended him, and his fumblidice. Just for him to quit when he finnaly gets it right. Then to top it off, he throws a sucker punch to the Organization on his way out the door. Does he not think his comments are going to hurt the team? You think FA's arent going to think twice about coming here after those comments? Thanks for nothing Tiki, you peice of trash. Come to find out, you never gave a shit about anyone but your self.

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Another thing, Lets not pretend Tiki wasnt becoming the joke of the league before Coughlin got here, and FIXED tiki's fumbling ass. If it wasnt for coughlin, Tiki would have been CANNED by now anyway. He needs to STFU, and be greatfull Coughlin didnt can his ass the first day he got here. Now people talk about Tiki possibly going to the HOF, who do you think he should thank for that? Classless peice of trash.

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Another thing, Lets not pretend Tiki wasnt becoming the joke of the league before Coughlin got here, and FIXED tiki's fumbling ass. If it wasnt for coughlin, Tiki would have been CANNED by now anyway. He needs to STFU, and be greatfull Coughlin didnt can his ass the first day he got here. Now people talk about Tiki possibly going to the HOF, who do you think he should thank for that? Classless peice of trash.

I think the Giants are proving themselves to be a joke without any of Tiki's comments. He isn't out of line and I don't know how much of Coughlin's COACHING has really helped us as much as Accorsi getting a good deal of talent together and us Out-Talent-"ing" the opposition to 11-5 in 2005 and when our coaches really needed to coach, we got 8-8. The whole orgainzation is the laughing stock of the NFL, I am truly embarassed of this team. Tiki has every right to say what the hell he wants to say. He played hard as hell at the end of the season knowing this team wasn't even going to make it past the first round. You don't start bashing Tiki just because he's making bad comments about a fuckwit coach the Giants fans FUCKING HATE!

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That's a lie. Reese made a comment about trying to convince Barber to come back and Barber said on his radio show "NO".. among other words.

 

Um did you even read the context of that comment? It was directed at in-season efforts, not post-season.

 

And I couldn't disagree with you more JD.

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well hasn't coughlin been the coach the last two years :confused: ?

So in comes a hard ass coach and Tiki wants to retire at his peak? Bullshit. if so thats even worse yet, thats lazy. I'm no TC fan, but if Tiki is telling me that he retired because he had to go full pads, thats just lazy.

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Um did you even read the context of that comment? It was directed at in-season efforts, not post-season.

 

And I couldn't disagree with you more JD.

 

 

Thats cool. Im not saying everyone should feel that way. So your cool with Tiki discouraging players from coming here?

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In doing so, Barber implied that his decision to walk away from the NFL at the peak of his career was aided in no small part by the realization that if he were to come back,he would have to play another season for a man so obsessed with some warped version of discipline that he would not allow his 31-year-old running back, who had more touches than anyone in the league over the past four years, to take it a little easier on Wednesdays.

 

No agenda here--move along...nothing to see but unbiased journalism...

 

Didn't he just get a contract extension? That's not enough of an indication that they didn't want him to retire? Do you guys seriously think he wasn't asked to stay? We didn't draft a running back in 2005? This isn't a crock?

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As a rather dusky fellow myself... :P , when Tiki came out and said that we were out-coached during the playoffs I supported him lock stock and barrel. However I lost a lot of respect for him when he caved to some in the media who said he should not have done so. Fuck it....everyone with eyes to see said the emperor had no clothes and Tiki along with a couple of other Giants (Flaxico and Strahan) echoed these comments. Of them Tiki was seen as the biggest "traitor" (in Cheer Leader's eyes) so he "had" to be publicly be brought back into line. Fuck that...Cheer Leader and his ilk sucked then, now and forevermore. But with the Giants being such a conservative law and order old line team, the only player who could have brought off a midnight coup would have been LT himself if he were still playing. And that is pretty iffy as well since the reason why Cheer Leader was brought in was to settle down a rebellious out of control "plantation". However all that being said .... I do not buy into the whole "cry for Tiki" routine that has been going on in some segments of the media. I think if Tiki had stuck to his guns and perhaps presented it to the ownership and some of his more "responsible" team mates (fuck perhaps even meeting with Cheerleader himself) and then gone to the media if nothing panned out he would have had more of an ass cover. And there would have been less of a likelihood that he would have been accused of being as self-interested as he appears to be right now. Please shove the whole plantation diatribe...because a lot of the players perpetuate it themselves. Tiki needs to move on and let Cheer Leader self-destruct on his own...as most ticking time bombs do. The Giants are definitely a lesser team without him, but thats the way it is and lets move on.

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Yeah, like Giant fans wanted TC to stay and Tiki to go. doh.gif

 

 

I thought the exact same thing.

 

 

Is there negative media regarding Tiki's comments, anyway? I sure as hell haven't read any (but working three jobs, I don't really have time to).

 

Wasn't it just a year ago that the entire media was bitching about how Coughlin was "too tough" and had "no credentials to back up the reputation?"

 

And now he's a great guy and Tiki's the asshole... the guy who's been the media darling in New York for at least the last five years... so much so that they had a bidding war to see who he would end up working for?

 

 

What the fuck? :confused:

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