Blog Entry

Francesa: NBC said Tiki 'did a bad job'

Posted on: June 22, 2011 6:15 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 8:13 pm
Posted by Ryan Wilson

After an introspective, and at times poignant appearance on HBO's Real Sports Tuesday night, the Tiki Barber Comeback Tour marches on. Next stop: Mike Francesa's radio show.

Barber announced in March that he was un-retiring from the NFL after a four-year layoff, citing money and depression as factors. Not surprisingly, his Wednesday chat with Francesa was at times contentious, especially when the conversation turned to Barber's broadcast career.
  • Francesa: “The guys at NBC, and I know all of them, they felt that you did a bad job and they said that they thought you were entitled. I mean, they were not complimentary about your work. Let’s not run away from that, this is part of the story.” 
  • Barber: “If you tell me who it was and you get that person on air, I will have a debate with them. I think that’s cowardly of someone to talk behind someone’s back and not tell them, because the truth of the matter is, I don’t know what I could have done better at NBC.” 

    “I respect you because I think you have a great knowledge about sports and about the game of football. Do you always do it the correct way? I’m not sure. Do you interview people the correct way, because we’re talking about my life here. I’m not so sure.” 

    “Mike, I understand what you’re saying. You’re not wrong but you’re also not right. Because to characterize the three years that I had at NBC as abject failure is just wrong. It’s just not correct.” 
Francesa's comments sound familiar. Even when Barber was playing with the Giants. "Most [of his teammates] hated Barber,"'s Mike Freeman wrote last month. "I mean, hated him. They thought he was a pompous putz on a lifelong journey to show the world he was smarter than most of his football peers."
Tiki's Return?

It's also interesting that Barber thinks its "cowardly of someone to talk behind someone’s back" since, you know, that's sort of what he did during his first season with NBC when he questioned the leadership skills of Giants QB Eli Manning. Of course, Manning no doubt enjoyed the schadenfreude of Barber having to admit in a sit-down interview more than a year later that he was "clearly proven wrong."

Barber contends that his tenure at NBC wasn't an "abject failure." Francesa disagreed, as did Barber's agent, Mark Lepselter. At least in the sense that he knew early on that Barber's television career could be in trouble. In April,'s Ian O'Connor wrote that "Lepselter … didn't like the early vibe he was getting from his client's first months as a broadcaster." Lepselter said that he was "pushing hard" for Barber to sign with the Bucs in 2007 "because I already knew things weren't going in the right direction for Tiki (on television)."

But those are just footnotes to the bigger story that Barber's failures at NBC, along with personal struggles, led him to this point. The chances that he makes an NFL roster are slim. Being closer to 40 than 30 doesn't help, nor does the perception that he's pompous, selfish and not much of a locker room presence.

People love comeback stories, especially in sports. And, in general, fans are a forgiving bunch. It just helps that if the person seeking redemption doesn't confuse hubris for humility.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 7:21 pm

Francesa: NBC said Tiki 'did a bad job'

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 8:17 am
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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:23 am
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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 10:52 pm
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Since: May 14, 2011
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:29 am

Francesa: NBC said Tiki 'did a bad job'

Tiki was no better and no worse than any other analyst crammed into the broadcast booth. How many analysts do we really need should be the question. And Francesa is no better or worse than his fellow hosts. He is just another non-athletic college educated  sports enthusiast who was in the right place at the right time.  I watch the game on SNF..thats all that should matter. Who needs these pompous jerks opinions on anything.

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2011 12:47 am

Francesa: NBC said Tiki 'did a bad job'

Barber is no different than any other player turned analyst. Everyone of them is on TV to tell it like it is without regard to former players or coaches. As I recall, Baber's comments got more people to watch SNF on NBC, so NBC wasn't crying about it.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: June 23, 2011 11:44 pm

Francesa: NBC said Tiki 'did a bad job' he left his wife to hook up with an obvious gold digger who will leave him once the football injuries kick in....oh wait, that's right he didn't play long enough to sustain the severe ones.  Maybe he'll definitely get those if he somehow returns to the NFL.  And honestly, his wife looked like kind of a bitch...I mean, who else would marry a guy like Tiki if he really is like this guy in the interview says.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: June 23, 2011 11:29 pm

Party on Tiki

sure, tiki sucked at his broadcasting gig, but he gets to bang that wild 23 year old girlfriend instead of his old wife, who couldn't bring the energy tiki need.

Since: Jun 23, 2011
Posted on: June 23, 2011 8:44 pm

Francesa: NBC said Tiki 'did a bad job'

This man left his pregnant wife for a young girl...Im sorry but this a...hole does not deserve a second chance.

Since: Aug 29, 2010
Posted on: June 23, 2011 6:02 pm

Francesa: NBC said Tiki 'did a bad job'

Love it TwistedMoFo... very fitting...

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