The one time teammate relationship between former New York Giant running back Tiki Barber and current quarterback Eli Manning appears to be on shaky ground. This stemming from a now war of words between the two that the loudmouth Barber started on Sunday night at halftime of the Giants-Ravens broadcast on NBC, as Barber threw out some stinging comments about the leadership qualities of his former QB. Barber went so far as to say that the Manning’s delivery of a motivational speech last season was “almost comical the way he would say things.”
Much like his older and wiser brother Peyton, Eli took the high road, for the most part, in this verbal war with the now retired back, and even laid question as to Tiki’s heart last year when he announced mid stream that he was retiring at the end of the season. “I guess I’m just happy for Tiki that he’s made a smooth transition into the media world,” Manning said with more than a hint of sarcasm. “I’ll be interested to see if he has anything to say [about other teams] besides the Giants and what his comments will be on that.”
Barber it seems, trying to make amends for opening his mouth when he shouldn’t have, came back on his radio show on NFL Radio last night and said he was glad to hear that Eli was “sticking up for himself.” “You know what? I thought what I said was tame,” Barber said. “I’ll tell you this. It was not said maliciously.” With the type of smart mouth attitude that Barber seems to have with everyone from coaches, to fellow and now former players, to those in the media, he will not be making friends at record pace. Sure he comes across as Mr.Nice Guy, but by throwing stones at the Giants or being unfair to players of today, Barber might just find himself as one of the more despised former players turned media the league has seen in some time.
Back to Manning, who seemed to be more peeved than he let on about Barber’s comments, he was quick to point out it may be a case where Barber is quickly and with bad intentions trying to make a name for himself in the new world of media that he finds himself in. “It’s just one of those deals, when a guy goes to the media he’s got to say stuff, he’s put in a situation where he’s got to talk, that’s just the way it is,” he said. “That’s the world we live in and you’ve got to deal with it.” For Barber, unless he wants to find a lot of enemies, he’d better learn to take his attitude down a notch.