‘I’m a little bit biased:’ Tiki Barber playing favorites for Super Bowl LV
By Neil A. Carousso and Joe Connolly
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Tiki Barber, who played ten seasons for the New York Football Giants, is playing favorites ahead of the big game.
The three-time Pro Bowl running back opened up to WCBS 880’s Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso after recording a Small Business Spotlight interview about his events company Thuzio, which is set to publish on Wednesday.
“I’m a little bit biased,” Barber admitted, revealing, “Bruce Arians, who is the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was roommates with my father at Virginia Tech and so I’ve known him since I was born, basically.”
The “Tiki and Tierney” co-host on CBS Sports Radio and CBS Sports Network said he grew up with Arians who started as a quarterback for the Hokies and won two Super Bowls as the wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005 and 2008.
“The thing that I look for, that I’m looking for, is how these two teams are coached and how are they prepared to take on these extraordinarily amazing challenges in competition.”
Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid coached against Barber’s Giants as the long-time leader of their NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles. Reid won his first Super Bowl as a head coach last year when the Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20.
“We have two amazing stories at the head coaching position whether it’s Bruce’s long journey or Andy Reid who is now in the top four, five of all time because of how successful he’s been,” Barber said. “I think that story besides all the great ones with the players that’s the one that I look to and it gives me the most interest mainly because I have a personal connection.”
Barber has another connection to this year’s Super Bowl: His twin brother, Ronde, was the star cornerback for the 2002 Bucs championship team. That was Tampa Bay’s only Super Bowl appearance until this season.
“That was the last time they won a playoff game was back in 2002 as crazy as that sounds,” said Barber.
While the 2002 Buccaneers were known for their impermeable defense, the 2020 Bucs are riding on their high-flying offense orchestrated by their 43 year old quarterback, Tom Brady, who has won six Super Bowl titles in his nine appearances in the big game as a member of the New England Patriots.
Brady’s first of three Super Bowl losses came at the hands of Eli Manning and the Giants – one-year after Barber retired, which he humorously brought up with Connolly and Carousso.
“Tom Brady’s two years younger than me. I’m retired for 14 years; he’s still playing,” Barber said, laughing. “It’s unreal how successful he’s been.”
In fact, this week, when Brady was asked if he’d be up for playing past age 45 he said, “I would definitely consider that.”
Tiki told WCBS 880 he never thought any team was just “one player away,” noting the team sport. “That’s never true until this year.”
Watch Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso’s conversation with Tiki Barber about Super Bowl LV above.