Two-thirds of New York Giants fans who voted in our recent poll believe that former Giant running back Tiki Barber deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
There were 702 voters in our poll, with 460 (66%) saying yes he belonged, and 242 (34%) saying no he did not.
Barber was booed by fans at MetLife Stadium when the Giants inducted him into the team’s Ring of Honor. The common opinion goes something like this:
Outstanding player, burned a lot of bridges with the Giants, at least earlier on not a great guy. Might be a Hall of Famer. Might not be a Hall of Famer because he didn’t play quite long enough.
Reader comments illustrate Giants’ fans complicated feelings about Barber:
So, what do I think? It’s complicated.
Barber was named one of 25 semifinalists on Tuesday morning, the first time he has made it that far in the selection process. Each Tuesday I do a radio appearance on the Syracuse-based ‘Manchild Show’ on The Score 1260.
When I was asked by the hosts if Barber deserved Hall of Fame enshrinement I said no, defaulting mostly to the longevity argument.
I have re-considered.
Let’s start with that longevity argument. It’s bunk. Barber actually played 10 NFL seasons. That qualifies as a long carer.
Yes, Barber retired at age 31 when he was playing at peak performance, right after compiling three straight seasons of more than 2,000 total yards from scrimmage.
Only three running backs — Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk and Walter Payton — have had four 2,000-yard seasons. Faulk is the only one to do it in four consecutive seasons. Barber denied himself the opportunity to join them.
Only three other backs, LaDainian Tomlinson, Priest Holmes and Edgerrin James, have had three seasons of 2,000 total yards.
Those three seasons alone probably make him Hall of Fame worthy.
Then, there is the Terrell Davis argument.
The former Denver Broncos great reached the Hall of Fame with only a seven-year career on his resume. Davis’s four great seasons came at the beginning of his career, two of them seasons of more than 2,000 total yards and one a pure 2,000-yard rushing season. Knee injuries wrecked his career, though, and he totaled only less than 1,300 yards from scrimmage his last three seasons combined.
In 10 years, Barber had just one season — 514 yards as a second-year player in 1998 — below 800 total yards from scrimmage for a season.
If Terrell Davis is a Hall of Famer, Tiki Barber should be one, too.
Barber is 15th all-time in career yards from scrimmage (15,632) and 17th in all-purpose yards (17,359). He made three Pro Bowls. Was named All-Pro one time. Had five consecutive seasons with 1,200 or more rushing yards — in 16-game seasons. Had six 1,000-yard rushing seasons in his career.
Whatever you think of Barber the person is irrelevant. None of that had anything to do with his football career. On the field, the resume says Barber is one of the best of all-time.
Which means he should be in the Hall of Fame.
Does Tiki Barber deserve enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
This poll is closed