Monday, January 08, 2007

Hall pass?

Now that Tiki Barber's career is over, football enthusiasts have began kicking around the idea that he may one day end up in Canton.

I'd like to go ahead and make a final ruling on Barber's Hall of Fame candidacy:


To quote Mugatu in Zoolander, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

I don't mean to say Tiki Barber is not a good player. He is. Or was. He is most likely leaving 3,000 yards on the field, and I'm okay with that. It's his decision when his career is over and his alone.

But the Hall of Fame? I'm sorry, but Tiki is not one of the all-time greats.

Perhaps standards for the Pro Football Hall of Fame are dropping. Having a minimum requirement of inductees per year will do that.

My definition of a Hall of Famer, or a legend in any right, when you cannot tell the history of the game without mentioning that player. Jim Brown. Marcus Allen. Walter Payton. Barry Sanders. Emmitt Smith. Even now LaDainian Tomlinson if he keeps his current pace and can add a Super Bowl ring.

But Tiki Barber doesn't fit that category. He's not at the same level as those other backs. He's No. 17 all time in rushing yards with 10,448, and he holds several Giants records.

When I think of Barber, I think of a former fumble-machine who righted the ship for three solid seasons to close his career.

He leaves the game as a good player. Maybe even a borderline great player.

Borderline, however, does not qualify you for Canton.

Sorry to extinguish the Tiki-torch.

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