Tiki Barber has shocked the world this week. The 36 year old former New York Giants running back has decided to file papers with the NFL to come out of retirement. He has started training again and he says he is still in good shape. He honestly thinks he can come back. In my estimation, he's still holding on. Still holding on to his past glory.
Tiki is a symbol of what a lot of retired athletes go through. Athletes have a hard time letting go of the spotlight. Michael Jordan, as great of an athlete as he was, couldn't get enough of the spotlight. After he retired from the NBA, he joined the Washington Wizards front office as a minority owner. He couldn't take the team losing and he got the bright idea that he could help this team by playing. But, all of us know that the move wasn't just for the chance of him helping his team, it was because he wanted to be the reason the team came back. The team ultimately didn't even make it to the playoffs.
Chris Carter is another example of a player who tried to hold on too long. After his stellar NFL career in Philadelphia and Minnesota, Carter decided to be an analyst. He was doing good being an analyst, until he thought he could come back with the Miami Dolphins. Well, he thought wrong because his time with Miami was some of the worst football he played. Great player, just tried to hang on too long.
Barber is going to continue to train. He's going to continue to believe he can contribute and enter the limelight again. I'm hoping he realizes why he retired and doesn't go through with this comeback. He could only damage the memories he created over his career.