(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.


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Thursday, September 30, 2010

And How Many Super Bowl Rings Do You Have, Tiki?

Around 2006, there was talk about how Tom Coughlin might have lost control of his New York Giants. The next year, he won a Super Bowl.

Now, I like Tiki Barber, and he was a great player. In 2006, he was in a position of leadership for the Giants, but he retired after that season and then the Giants won the Super Bowl under the same Eli Manning whose maturity/leadership at times Barber seemed to question before that year. Then, after Barber's retirement, Manning supplanted him as the leader of the offense, as every quarterback should. No offense to Tiki, but it might have been the case that his presence as the preeminent voice on offense eclipsed his quarterback and prevented him from emerging as a team leader.

Well, now Barber is talking about how Giants' coach Tom Coughlin might have lost his locker room.

Sounds like an old, familiar tale, doesn't it?

Could it be that Tiki Barber is right (this time)?

It's a young season, and while the Giants haven't gotten off to a great start, let's face it, their O-line is getting older, their big running back isn't bowling over people the way he used to, their defense isn't the same as it was in 2007, so the Giants might have personnel issues that go beyond Coughlin and the locker room. It might be that they're just not that good, it might be that they haven't gelled yet and that it's a young season.

Remember, in a 16-game season, sometimes panic buttons get pushed too early and, at the other end of the continuum, people can get too giddy too early too.

Most surely, Tiki Barber's comments will draw attention from beyond the New York fan base. The question is whether there is something to it.