Though former Giants RB turned broadcast journalist TIki Barber proved quite adept at fumbling the football, he can be credited with a rare interception this week. Fred Wilpon nearly captured The Week’s Dumbest Quote(s) Award, only to have stolen from his grasp with the following excerpts from L. Jon Wertheim’s profile in Sports Illustrated. As you might’ve already guessed, Tiki reading “Wuthering Heights” on the team charter isn’t close to the most embarrassing passage.
In New York there was only one place this narrative was headed. The confluence of sex, sports, money, media and race was irresistible. On April 7, 2010, the New York Post’s back page blared: tiki barber dumps pregnant wife for hot blonde, accompanied by a salacious story. It was Barber’s 35th birthday. “That’s the day I stopped believing in coincidences,” says Barber, implying that the story was leaked by someone with a vendetta. The same New York media and buzz generators that had helped him ascend—that had made him so different from his twin in sleepy Florida—were now going to accelerate his fall.
Barber and Johnson went into hiding in the attic of agent Mark Lepselter’s house in New Jersey. “Lep’s Jewish,” says Barber, “and it was like a reverse Anne Frank thing.” (Here is Barber writ small: He has the wit and smarts to make an Anne Frank allusion and the artlessness to liken himself—an adulterer trying to elude gossip columnists—to a Holocaust victim.)