1. Welcome to CowboysZone!  Join us!  Come on!  You know you want to!

Tiki, Strahan Commit False Starts On Broadcast Careers

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by LaTunaNostra, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

    14,987 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    MEDIA BLITZ
    TIKI, STRAHAN COMMIT FALSE STARTS ON BROADCAST
    CAREERS

    By Mike Vacaro, New York Post


    December 1, 2006 -- THIS isn't the first time a Giants locker room has doubled as a finishing school for the broadcast networks, a simulated soundstage for players with ambitions extending beyond the trainer's room.

    Almost half a century ago, the Giants roster included Frank Gifford and Pat Summerall and Kyle Rote, and all three of them would become just as famous wearing coats and ties on television as they ever did wearing shoulder pads. Sam Huff also gravitated to the microphone.

    That's always been one of the perks to playing in this city, after all. It's just that most of the men who've made that jump, from Walt Frazier to Keith Hernandez to Phil Simms, had the good sense to wait until they were done with one career before fully embracing another.

    Tiki Barber and Michael "Be A Man" Strahan long ago decided to go a different way, and that was certainly their right. Both are superior athletes and naturals for their inevitable second careers as broadcasters. Good for them. We should all be as certain with what we want to do with our lives.

    But there is a distinct "Culture of Me" that has strangled the Giants for years. For a time, it was easy to blame that on nice-guy coach Jim Fassel, but now that it's extended into a third year of the irascible Tom Coughlin regime, it's apparent that the fault for this lies not in an enabling coach, or with Ernie Accorsi, the gentlemanly GM.

    It lies in and around Barber, in and around Strahan - who have been the team's brightest lights for a decade, who are gathering places for flashpoints and firestorms no matter who the coach is, no matter what the record is, and who have no problem speaking as if they have safe-deposit boxes stuffed with championship rings. That's how it's been. That's how it is. That's how it will remain until both men are full-time broadcasters. They are the ones who developed the culture. They are the ones around whom it still festers and thrives.

    Some of the media around the Giants have grown weary at their regular lectures, for all those times - most recently with Barber last week, and Be A Man Strahan on Wednesday afternoon - when they tell us how to do our jobs. I have no problem with that, actually, because what do sports reporters do if not tell them how to dotheir jobs? Quid pro quo.

    The difference is, we don't dabble in this stuff. We second-guess for a living. We do it full time. We rip and have to stand behind what we say, so whoever we rip stays ripped. We don't have to answer to a coach we've just compared (unfavorably) to a rocket scientist, as Tiki Barber did last week. We don't have to resort to bullying techniques the way Be A Man Strahan did Wednesday afternoon, asked only to defend the very words he uttered (for pay) on the radio two days earlier.

    Pat Riley once famously said of being part of a team, "You're either in or you're out." There is no no-man's-land. But in this odd buffer of Barber's career, of Strahan's career, all they seek is middle ground. They dip the occasional toe in the deep waters of candor, they want you to believe they are the last honest men, but they aren't yet ready to quit scurrying back to the safe cocoon of the clubhouse. They want it both ways in a sporting landscape where the First Amendment is this: You can't have it both ways. You're with us, or with them. You're either in or you're out.

    Barber will be out soon enough. Be A Man Strahan will join him not long after. They will become exponentially more famous than they already are when they no longer have to hide their faces beneath helmets, and when they no longer have to face coaches and teammates targeted by their barbs. When they make that separation, at last, maybe then a culture of normalcy can redescend on Giants Stadium.

    And maybe they'll realize that while the people who cover them may never have played a down in the NFL, we've gained something else. Accountability may not be as sexy a skill as running the football or sacking the quarterback. But as they'll learn, soon enough, it does come in handy in their second careers.

    michael.vaccaro@nypost.com

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/12012006/sports/giants/media_blitz_giants_mike_vaccaro.htm

Share This Page