When athletes or entertainers go on sports radio talk shows you usually get a series of canned questions and careful, generic 'non-answers' to questions. That was not the case today on WFAN when former New York Giant running back Tiki Barber was interviewed by Mike Francesa on WFAN.
Ego is one thing neither Barber nor Francesa lack, and this interview turned really contentious. Francesa questioned Barber about the 'failure' of his career in the media and Barber took exception, questioning Francesa's badgering interview methods. This was great stuff. Follow the jump for exceprts, and check out Sports Radio Interviews for the full transcript.
Whether he opted to return to football because his time in broadcasting was a failure:
"No I think you’re going a little bit into hyperbole there Mike because I didn’t have a big failure in broadcasting. I think if you laid the stage that you and Chris tried to at the time that I would be the next Matt Lauer, then yeah it was a failure. But I had a lot of fulfillment at NBC. I did a lot of stories that I think had a lot of impact over the three years that I was there. So I don’t think it was a failure. I think it was a learning experience. It turned out to not be the direction of broadcasting that I wanted to be in, but I think it’s unfair for you to label it that way."
Why is that unfair considering he got an incredible job with The Today Show?
"I think you’re mixing words a little bit Mike. My relationship with NBC started in a way that was very fulfilling. I was doing a lot of big stories, a lot of great stories, but the media world changed a little bit, we all know that. The way that stories are reported and filmed and budgeted is very different. You’re putting it in simple terms, and if that’s how you need to do it, Michael, fine, you put it in simple terms. But I don’t consider my time at NBC a failure. I learned a lot. Yeah, I wasn’t trained to be a network television correspondent, I was trained for doing things on FOX News for a couple of years and doing things at WFAN and WBCS, etcetera. It’s a different animal and what that I maybe I wasn’t ready for, but not one that I would say I failed at."
Francesa then asked once more why they shouldn’t be talking about his time in the media because it might be related to why he decided to come back to football:
"Mike, your question is leading, and a lot of people would say you don’t do a good job because you badger your listeners, you badger your interviewers. You have a lot of people who don’t respect you because of the way you do things. I respect you because you have a great knowledge about sports and the game of football. Do you always do it the correct way? I’m not sure. Do you interview people the correct way? Because we’re talking about my life here…I’m not so sure."