As Ronde Barber retires after an illustrious career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tiki Barber wonders: “Why do so many people like Ronde and dislike me?” He asked this question on Monday on CBS Sports Radio, when Tiki had Ronde on the show as a guest.
Ronde is a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro while Tiki is a three-time Pro Bowler and one-time first team All-Pro. Granted, Tiki only played ten seasons, while Ronde played 16. Nevertheless, their reputations couldn’t be any more different.
While all New York Giants fans appreciate Tiki’s outstanding contributions to the Giants, his post-career antics are the main reason why so many fans are against him. Firstly, Barber announced his retirement in October of his final season, not after. The year after, as an analyst for NBC, Barber criticized Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning remarkably harshly. Having literally just played with both of them and given Coughlin and Manning’s widespread popularity, Tiki was not received well following his comments.
Further, soon thereafter Tiki left his wife, pregnant with twins, for an NBC intern named Traci Johnson, whom he is currently married to. Added to him deeming his evasion of the media following revealing his relationship with Johnson as “a reverse Anne Frank thing,” Barber’s popularity has dwindled tremendously.
This was most evident when he was awarded a spot in the Giants Ring of Honor in 2010, only to be “showered with boos” while other former Giants were showered with cheers. His response? A smile, and a wave. Unfortunately for Barber, who was a fan favorite during his time with the team, he is not only disliked by many–he doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring, or two like his former teammates he so famously denounced.