Tiki Barber will be on your televisions again this weekend. Well, not all of your televisions. Actually, only those of you that get the regional sports network SNY and choose to watch a local studio show. Only a few short years ago, it wouldn’t be a surprise for Tiki Barber to be a major force on TV this week of the NFL Conference Championship games. Heck, at this point a few years ago, Barber was on the track to media stardom as a part of the Today Show. But, several wrong turns later, Barber has found himself in the TV version of Purgatory. Here’s the news from Fang’s Bites:
“Starting this weekend, Tiki Barber joins New York regional sports network SNY for its Giants playoff coverage. Barber who was a running back for the Football Giants and then an analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America as well as a correspondent for the Today Show, has not been seen on TV regularly since 2010 when the Peacock quietly dropped him after reports surfaced that he had an affair with a network intern.
Barber will be part of SNY’s Big Blue Live program that will air after the NFC Championship goes off the air. He’ll join hosts Chris Carlin and Gary Apple as well as fellow analyst Shaun O’Hara.”
Yes, it’s been a long time since Barber was the toast of the media as one of the rising stars on televsion. Let’s document the fall from grace, shall we? First, there was that messy divorce from his pregnant wife while he was having an affair with an NBC intern. Then there was getting kicked off the Today Show. Oh yeah, and there was also that silly notion of a comeback to the NFL before the start of this season. There’s also the overwhelming reality that Barber just wasn’t good on television. It was almost like Tiki was so hyped, so destined for stardom, that he was doomed to fail against the expectations set for him by so many in the sports media. Sure, you might find it difficult as well to be a part of the 4th hour of the Today Show, currently masquerading as the 7th Circle of Hell featuring Kathie Lee Gifford as one of the gatekeepers. But, Barber never succeeded in making a connection to any audience, whether they were sports, general interest, or anywhere in between.
So after repeatedly being kicked down the ladder of relevance, Tiki Barber is now clinging to life support by being a studio analyst on a second tier regional sports network in the New York area. Unless a drastic reversal of fortunes reveals itself very soon, Barber is looking squarely at being one of the biggest athlete-turned-media flops in TV history.