Tiki Barber to Retire? Say it ain't so!! Today, President Bush signed into law the greatest challenge to American civil liberties since WWII, when Japanese-Americans were forcibly interned in 'relocation' camps. There is so much I could say about this stain on America, the dimming of the shining light that has been the American legal system, this abdication of Congressional and Executive responsibilty to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Frankly, sports is more fun. I'll get to Tiki Barber, but first a little baseball chatter:
NLCS: Game 4 (in progress - come back for an update later). Early impressions: The Cardinals are playing some great defense that is making it very difficult for the Mets to break through. But the Mets' bullpen kept them in the game in the 5th, and the Mets will get their chance against the Cardinals' bullpen, beginning in the seventh inning. The Mets did some damage in Game 4 against the Cards' pen. So, I'm hopeful -- of course, as I write this, Chris Duncan makes Tony LaRussa look like a flippin' genius for using Duncan as a pinch-hitter against the Mets' lefty Pedro Feliciano (Duncan hit a home run to increase the Cards' lead to 4-2).
No one associated with the New York Giants could be happy to see Wednesday's piece in the New York Times on Tiki Barber. nytimes.com/2006/10/18/sports/football/18giants.html.
Though he is only 31, Barber is now talking definitively about retirement after the season. He wants to go into broadcasting. I can only hope that Barber reconsiders his timing, once the season is over. He is not only at the top of his game, he is probably the best back in the NFL right now. Only Barry Sanders, arguably the greatest running back ever, retired at a similar level. Sanders didn't really want to retire, so much as he wanted to get out of the mess in Detroit. If the Lions had agreed to trade him, Sanders would have kept playing.
Tiki has already had a nice career. He is in 17th place in all-time receiving yards, and that's not even his strength -- which is running the ball. When he breaks the 10,000 career rushing yards mark, before the end of this season, he will probably assure his place in the Hall of Fame.
I never saw Frank Gifford or Kyle Rote play, but I feel pretty comfortable in stating that Barber is the all-time greatest offensive player the Giants franchise has ever had. He can be mentioned in the same breath as Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson, as the best players to ever wear a Giants uniform.
Yes, Barber's had a pretty good career. As a fan, though, I'd be really disappointed to see him walk away, when he is still the best back in the league. I know Tiki would like to earn a Super Bowl title before retiring. As a Giants fan, I would love to see them win it this year. There's nothing in fandom that can compare to the thrill of seeing your team win the title. But, I think I might rather see Tiki suit up in a Giants' uniform for at least another year. He's that exciting...and that important to the team.
NLCS Update - OK, the Mets went down meekly in the seventh inning, but they have two more innings to get two runs back.