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Tiki Barber is Hall of Fame Worthy

Growing up, every Sunday morning I made sure to grab my Tiki Barber jersey out of the closet and find a seat right in front of the TV.

For any New York Giants fan, Tiki Barber was a joy to watch on Sundays. When Barber was on the field, anything was possible. He was arguably the best running back in the NFL, doing things most running backs could only dream about. Barber was never the fastest or the strongest, but the way he picked apart a defense was incredible. He was like an artist at work, finding holes only he could see, and exploiting them to their fullest potential. That’s how each of his runs were; he got the most out of every carry. He is a one of a kind running back, and one day fans will realize just how special he was.

Tiki Barber is Hall of Fame Worthy

Tiki Barber is last known for his antics after the 2006 NFL season in which he criticized his former coach and quarterback. However, this minor character flaw shouldn’t overshadow his performance on the field. He followed the route of Barry Sanders (and now Calvin Johnson) and retired during the peak of his career. Pundits say that this will diminish his chance to sneak into the Hall of Fame. However analysts should not forget what he did during his extraordinary 10-year career. He was a three-time Pro Bowler. He is a member of the 10,000 Yard Club. Barber is 12th all time in total yards from scrimmage with 15,632 yards (10,449 rushing, 5,183 receiving). He averaged 4.7 yards per carry and also added 67 total touchdowns (55 rushing and 12 receiving).

Perhaps Barber’s best argument for the Hall of Fame revolves around his total yards from scrimmage tally. Being 12th in this category, he is behind nine Hall of Famers (Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Marshall Faulk, Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen, Curtis Martin, Thurman Thomas, and Tony Dorsett), and two future Hall of Famers (LaDainian Tomlinson and Terrell Owens). This is elite company. These players were all game changers and some of the most feared offensive weapons in NFL history. Based off this statistic alone, Barber definitely deserves a seat in the Hall of Fame.

Other Hall of Famers

Furthermore, Tiki Barber’s numbers are either comparable or better than other running backs in the Hall of Fame. Thurman Thomas played 13 seasons in the NFL and racked up 12,074 rushing yards and 4,458 receiving yards. Earl Campbell amassed only 9,407 yards in his 8-year career. Since Barber’s numbers are comparable to other Hall of Famers, nobody would think twice if he was enshrined in Canton based off statistics alone. The fact that Barber managed to compile so many yards in a brief time period should help his case. He didn’t become a regular starter until the fourth season of his 10-year career, yet he still has comparable numbers to other Hall of Famers.

Tiki Barber is a Pro Bowl caliber running back with great finesse and elite backfield vision. Numbers aside, the only way to truly understand his impact is to watch his film. He was like a magician, using his elusiveness to make defenders miss and his strength to run right through them. If he had one or two more seasons, an article like this would never even be written because his spot in the Hall of Fame would be locked up.

Tiki Barber has gone down as arguably the best running back to don the New York Giants signature blue jersey, holding most of their rushing records. Barber was the complete package, not just a scat back like Darren Sproles or a situational catch-first running back like Danny Woodhead. He was an every-down back who could do anything he was asked to do. It would be a shame to see the best running back in New York Giants history not have his name enshrined in Canton, Ohio.

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