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Tiki Barber would still be Giant if Tom Coughlin was not coach, former RB's memoir reveals

 

BY JONATHAN LEMIRE

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

 

Tuesday, September 4th 2007, 4:00 AM

 

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In his memoir, 'Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond,' Tiki Barber writes: 'If Tom Coughlin (below) had not remained as head coach of the Giants, I might still be in a Giants uniform.'

 

 

The recently retired star running back has used his new memoir to rip Big Blue boss Tom Coughlin, blaming his former head coach for driving him from the game he loved.

 

"If Tom Coughlin had not remained as head coach of the Giants, I might still be in a Giants uniform," Barber wrote in his upcoming book "Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond," excerpts of which were obtained by the Daily News.

 

"[Coughlin] robbed me of what had been one of the most important things I had in my life, which was the joy I felt playing football," Barber wrote. "I had lost that. He had taken it away."

 

Barber has unleashed a steady stream of verbal jabs at his former coach and teammates since he walked off the gridiron in January at the age of 31 to pursue a TV career.

 

Barber, who landed a regular gig on NBC's "Today" and its upcoming "Sunday Night Football" telecasts, most recently engaged in a war of words with Eli Manning, accusing the young Giants quarterback of not showing enough leadership.

 

Most of his vitriol in the book is reserved for Coughlin. Though he credits his former coach for helping solve a chronic fumbling problem, Barber believes his on-the-field performance saved Coughlin's job.

 

"It's a double-edged sword, because as much as Coach Coughlin helped me, I also helped Tom Coughlin," he wrote. Barber says he believes the Giants' win over the Redskins in 2006 - which put them into the playoffs - allowed Coach Coughlin to keep his job.

 

In last season's final game, Barber rushed for a career-best 234 yards against Washington. The Giants were knocked out of the playoffs the following week in his last game.

 

He says he came to resent the way he was being treated so much by the end of last season that he decided to quit even though his love for football never waned.

 

In the book, Barber defends his decision to walk away from football even though he was still clearly at the top of his game, having just become the Giants' all-time leader in rushing yards and receptions.

 

"The fans normally only see me suited up on Sunday," Barber wrote. "They never witness the agony of Monday morning, or all the muscle-straining workouts, the practices, the blood, the sweat, and tears it takes to walk out onto the field.

 

He wrote that fans who don't witness the pain athletes go through can't understand why so many sports figures quit. He said that by walking away, true-blue fans saw him as a heretic, while those who saw football as a war considered him a deserter. He also slams the Giants for underpaying him, claiming he made about half of what some of the NFL's other top running backs made.

 

Barber says Big Blue shorted him about $10 million over his career.

 

He said the Giants should have won more championships over the years, but failed to do so because they have never been too smart about attracting and retaining high-caliber players or coaches.

 

Longtime Giants fans have never forgiven the owners for letting two of the best coaches in football - Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry - get away. Both took head coaching jobs after the Giants failed to promote them. Barber angrily rebutted those in the media who slammed his decision to announce his retirement during the middle of last season.

 

"It was overwhelmingly negative," he wrote. "One theme: I was a 'distraction' to my teammates. I was labeled self-centered, a loose cannon, not a team player."

 

The 240-page book, which Barber co-wrote with Gil Reavill and was published by Simon Spotlight, goes on sale Sept. 18.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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while im probably the driver of the 'anti-tiki' bandwagon i probably dislike coughlin more. these excerpts only prove what most of us figured--that tiki quit because of coughlin. again, i dont like tiki as a person, but he was our best player and is gone now because of our coach. as a fan that's extremely depressing

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while im probably the driver of the 'anti-tiki' bandwagon i probably dislike coughlin more. these excerpts only prove what most of us figured--that tiki quit because of coughlin. again, i dont like tiki as a person, but he was our best player and is gone now because of our coach. as a fan that's extremely depressing

 

 

I don't buy it. Tiki quit because Tiki is a self righteous asshole. If he had any class at all he wouldn't talk shit about Eli, blame the coach, and fucking write a book about it. Instead admitting to what you are......which is a quitter.....you decide you are gonna blame everyone around you in a book.

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while im probably the driver of the 'anti-tiki' bandwagon i probably dislike coughlin more. these excerpts only prove what most of us figured--that tiki quit because of coughlin. again, i dont like tiki as a person, but he was our best player and is gone now because of our coach. as a fan that's extremely depressing

 

This is what confuses me the most. We dont like him, cool. Tiki dont like him, problem. :huh:

 

But I dont want to open this can of worms again, Ive enjoyed getting along with everyone, please dont pelt me with grapefruits. :o

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I don't buy it. Tiki quit because Tiki is a self righteous asshole. If he had any class at all he wouldn't talk shit about Eli, blame the coach, and fucking write a book about it. Instead admitting to what you are......which is a quitter.....you decide you are gonna blame everyone around you in a book.

 

Amazing how he passingly thanks Coughlin for helping him with fumbling but if it hadn't been for Coughlin he would not have been in the league last year. He would have been a nobody. I guess now that he is a talking head he needs the publicity.

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while im probably the driver of the 'anti-tiki' bandwagon i probably dislike coughlin more. these excerpts only prove what most of us figured--that tiki quit because of coughlin. again, i dont like tiki as a person, but he was our best player and is gone now because of our coach. as a fan that's extremely depressing

 

 

I'd buy into that for about 10 seconds Midas and then realize that there were 52 other guys who didn't quit the team in the offseason because of Coughlin. Look, I'm not a fan of Tom either, but everyone in their lives work for someone they don't like. You deal with it.

 

However, the reason why I don't fully buy into this, it's Coughlin's fault theory is this. With a new GM coming in, I don't think for one second that if Tiki really wanted to continue, that he didn't have enough clout to say "hey Jerry, I'll stay but he has to go". It wouldn't be the first time a player has gotten a coach fired, but since Coughlin was tetering on the edge anyway, maybe this pushes him out the door. Coughlin would have very little support from other players and Jerry gets a guy to stay on the team that has provided more than half your offense. It's obvious to me Tiki didn't want to play anymore and he's using Tom as his excuse. I absolve Coughlin of any blame on this one.

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I'd buy into that for about 10 seconds Midas and then realize that there were 52 other guys who didn't quit the team in the offseason because of Coughlin. Look, I'm not a fan of Tom either, but everyone in their lives work for someone they don't like. You deal with it.

 

However, the reason why I don't fully buy into this, it's Coughlin's fault theory is this. With a new GM coming in, I don't think for one second that if Tiki really wanted to continue, that he didn't have enough clout to say "hey Jerry, I'll stay but he has to go". It wouldn't be the first time a player has gotten a coach fired, but since Coughlin was tetering on the edge anyway, maybe this pushes him out the door. Coughlin would have very little support from other players and Jerry gets a guy to stay on the team that has provided more than half your offense. It's obvious to me Tiki didn't want to play anymore and he's using Tom as his excuse. I absolve Coughlin of any blame on this one.

 

 

And if he did stay and get TC fired, you wouldnt be angry at him for that?

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And if he did stay and get TC fired, you wouldnt be angry at him for that?

 

No. I think we'd be a lot better off. You have a lame duck coach and missing almost 2000 yards of offense this year, as opposed to a new coach and have Tiki on the field. Tiki on the field would mean he's talking less.

 

 

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:LMAO:

 

This is getting comical. This man told USA today he wanted to go onto greater things. His agent already had deals in place by week 12 last year. Now this guy was gonna come back if Coughlin was gone? Get the fuck out of here. Absolute bullshit and an easy copout with the fans, who it seems do not like him anymore. This is a case of you hate me, so I will blame the guy you all hate even more.

 

WHat an asshole this guy is.

 

Now he was underpaid :LMAO: This man was overpaid for 2 years when he fumbled more than he scored Tds.

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Sometimes the players have to talk up. Sure it gets out of hand sometimes, but if you are a guy like Strahan/ Toomer or Tiki, that's been here a while, those guys perform at a high level on the field and deserve a coach who's on the same curve as them. Tom isn't.

 

Hell, remember the Don Nelson era with the Knicks. Not really, because Ewing put paid to that. And look what happened, they pulled Van Gundy out of the fire. Sometimes it works. If the coach is good enough, it's not an issue.

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No. I think we'd be a lot better off. You have a lame duck coach and missing almost 2000 yards of offense this year, as opposed to a new coach and have Tiki on the field. Tiki on the field would mean he's talking less.

 

So, by this answer, it seems Tiki DOES, have a reason to talk, right?

 

Youre gettin mad at Tiki, for saying out loud what we all believe.

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So, by this answer, it seems Tiki DOES, have a reason to talk, right?

 

Youre gettin mad at Tiki, for saying out loud what we all believe.

 

 

I think Tiki had a right to talk when he played, he had a right to go to management and expressed his concerns. I feel all employees do. I mean apart from the Strahan/Plaxico incident which was total nonsense, when Shockey spoke up he wasn't exactly wrong in what he said and when Tiki spoke up after the Panther game, he was telling the truth.

 

A few years back Peyton Manning called out his offensive line at a press conference, now Peyton Mannning can do no wrong.

 

 

However Tiki has no right to bitch now, none. He can answer questions, sure, but to bellyache like is right now is just bad. It would be nice if he just disappeared. That's why I started my hampton thread, because it highlighted how you should handle yourself.

 

By the way, my feelings on Coughlin are the same feelings I had when he was in Jacksonville, all he has done since then is reinforce the idea. I think his team wins in spite of him sometimes. I think he'd be a very good college coach, in fact he was a good college coach

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I don't buy it. Tiki quit because Tiki is a self righteous asshole. If he had any class at all he wouldn't talk shit about Eli, blame the coach, and fucking write a book about it. Instead admitting to what you are......which is a quitter.....you decide you are gonna blame everyone around you in a book.

 

i don't disagree with any of this regarding tiki's character, all im saying is that if it is indeed true that tiki quit because of coughlin that is yet another reason why he blows as a coach.

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I'd buy into that for about 10 seconds Midas and then realize that there were 52 other guys who didn't quit the team in the offseason because of Coughlin. Look, I'm not a fan of Tom either, but everyone in their lives work for someone they don't like. You deal with it.

 

However, the reason why I don't fully buy into this, it's Coughlin's fault theory is this. With a new GM coming in, I don't think for one second that if Tiki really wanted to continue, that he didn't have enough clout to say "hey Jerry, I'll stay but he has to go". It wouldn't be the first time a player has gotten a coach fired, but since Coughlin was tetering on the edge anyway, maybe this pushes him out the door. Coughlin would have very little support from other players and Jerry gets a guy to stay on the team that has provided more than half your offense. It's obvious to me Tiki didn't want to play anymore and he's using Tom as his excuse. I absolve Coughlin of any blame on this one.

 

that's a good point and i agree tiki didn't HAVE to quit because of coughlin. i guess it all comes down to whether or not you believe he quit because of coughlin. personally i am of the belief that coughlin was definitely a contributing factor in tiki's retirement. i remember tiki indicating as much last season and considering how much he dislikes coughlin it's tough for me not to believe this assertion. and if someone holds that belief i think it's fair to say that because tiki disliked coughlin enough to allow his presence to be a factor in his retirement it can be be yet another negative quality about this coach. i mean as much as i don't like the guy he WAS our best player, and if it's indeed true that he would've stuck around if coughlin was fired then i feel compelled to chalk this up to another failure on coughlin's part.

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This is what confuses me the most. We dont like him, cool. Tiki dont like him, problem. :huh:

 

But I dont want to open this can of worms again, Ive enjoyed getting along with everyone, please dont pelt me with grapefruits. :o

 

you are definitely entitled to your opinion on tiki and while i disagree with it i do respect it and can appreciate it's basis: that you are defending tiki because he was a great giant. if i've ever come across as crass in arguing with you about this issue i apologize, to me it's all just friendly debate

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that's a good point and i agree tiki didn't HAVE to quit because of coughlin. i guess it all comes down to whether or not you believe he quit because of coughlin. personally i am of the belief that coughlin was definitely a contributing factor in tiki's retirement. i remember tiki indicating as much last season and considering how much he dislikes coughlin it's tough for me not to believe this assertion. and if someone holds that belief i think it's fair to say that because tiki disliked coughlin enough to allow his presence to be a factor in his retirement it can be be yet another negative quality about this coach. i mean as much as i don't like the guy he WAS our best player, and if it's indeed true that he would've stuck around if coughlin was fired then i feel compelled to chalk this up to another failure on coughlin's part.

 

 

You have to think that there are 31 other teams out there that he could have played for if Coughlin is that bad. Tiki could turn a superbowl pretender into a champion, he had that kind of ability. He had options.

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you are definitely entitled to your opinion on tiki and while i disagree with it i do respect it and can appreciate it's basis: that you are defending tiki because he was a great giant. if i've ever come across as crass in arguing with you about this issue i apologize, to me it's all just friendly debate

 

No, not at all admiral, but thanks anyway. I too, see it as friendly debate and respect everyones opinions.

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You have to think that there are 31 other teams out there that he could have played for if Coughlin is that bad. Tiki could turn a superbowl pretender into a champion, he had that kind of ability. He had options.

 

Bingo. Which is exactly why I stand behind Tiki on this. He wasnt going to be with anyone else, he was a Giant, true blue.

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