Hit that hole, Tiki, and don’t look back.
NY Giants running back Tiki Barber told the New York Times he’s “leaning towards” retirement. The Giants’s all-time leading rusher this season, Barber added that he’d “pretty much” made up his mind that this is his last year. Barber, 31, is in 10th season and says it takes longer to recover from the weekly punishment, and that he no longer feels his career needs to be “validated” by winning a Super Bowl. “I know I did the best I could do,” he says.
Barber is a borderline Hall of Famer, at least as a player. He’ll creep up the all-time list but without at least 12 years in the league and being at least among the top- ten runner all-time, he probably falls short. Face it: Right now, Edgerrin James has more career yards and no one is talking about the ‘Zona Cardinals back as a HOFer.
And yet, should he retire after this season, Tiki will join an elite group of athletes who leave their sport prepared and ready for the rest of their lives. Forget Dr. Phil. Today’s jocks should just call Tiki.
He’s been getting ready for years. He’s got TV and radio gigs, both outside of sports, another unique aspect of his transition. Barber makes $4 million this season and could become one of the few athletes who’ll actually slide right into a gig that pays comparably. And if he can do that, he should put his head down and not look back.