Tiki Barber, the one-time New York Giants great running back who became known as an insensitive, irrational adulterer (leaving his pregnant wife for a younger woman), has a very normal explanation for why he’s attempting an NFL comeback: depression.
In a special interview with HBO’s Real Sports, Barber expressed a desire to return to the NFL because it is key to restoring some semblance of balance to his life. He said that it came to a point where he would wake up, have coffee, have breakfast, and then “sit on the couch and do nothing for 10 hours” in the aftermath of his post-playing days and failed attempts at broadcasting.
“I started to shrivel. I didn't have that confidence. I didn't have that aura anymore,’’ Barber says in the June episode of HBO’s “Real Sports,’’ which is set to premiere this coming Tuesday, at 10 p.m.
“The game never needs you because there's always someone else to come and take your place," described Barber. “But right now, I need the game. I need to prove to myself that I can be successful at something. I know I'm going to be successful as a football player. I don't know why. The odds say 'No.' I'm 36 and I haven't played in four years. But I just know.’’
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For what it’s worth, Barber never cited depression as a concern in the past at any point during his playing career, extramarital affair or self-described periods of hiding in his agent’s basement like a “reverse Anne Frank.”
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