Michael Strahan vs. Peter King: The Tiki Barber Twitter War has begun

Ever since the news broke that Tiki Barber was coming out of retirement to play football again, most fans and media members have taken it upon themselves to ridicule him via blogs, Twitter and carrier pigeons. (One writer even compiled a list of 10 reasons why Barber’s un-retirement is a great thing, although the 10 reasons were all cheap shots.)

But at least one prominent media member is in Barber’s corner and that’s SI.com’s Peter King. His Twitter page reads more like a Tiki Barber fan page than a NFL reporter.

New York Giants running back Tiki Barber carries the ball against the Dallas Cowboys in the third quarter of their NFL football game in Dallas, Texas in this October 23, 2006 file photo. The all-time leading rusher, took the first step towards returning to the NFL on Tuesday and ending a four-year retirement. Barber filed paperwork with the league to remove him from the reserve-retirement list, according to a report on Sports Illustrated magazine’s website, clearing the way for a return. REUTERS/Mike Stone/Files (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

At start of 2011 season, Burress will be 34, Tiki 36. It’d be pretty interesting if the Giants bring Burress back but not Tiki.

One last thing on Tiki: If he wants to play, I think he still can. Retired healthy. No reason why he shouldn’t try. TB makes most sense.

RT @B_Frigo: Tiki did dirt when he retired, should have kept lips sealed … You’re wrong. At NBC, he was paid to call ’em as he sees ’em.

But it was this tweet that has drawn the most attention:

Strahan’s been critical of Giants on FOX. It’s like nobody hears that. Tiki criticized Eli’s leadership and Coughlin’s way. So what?

The Strahan that King is referring to is none other than Michael Strahan, a former teammate of Barber’s and someone who didn’t take kindly for King’s statements.

Strahan fired back via his own Twitter page:

@SI_PeterKing Why am I even in your conversation?? This isn’t about me so don’t make it so!!!

Regular readers know that I’m a big King fan, but I’ve got to side with Strahan on this one. When Barber criticized Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin, he was doing so because he wanted to make a name for himself in television. Barber wanted to be a TV star, which is one of the reasons he retired from football in 2007. He probably figured that he could cause a stir with his comments and thus, wasn’t shy about ripping his former quarterback and coach.

When Strahan has been critical of the Giants on FOX, it’s in a constructive manner. It’s not like he criticized Manning by saying his motivational pre-game speeches sounded “almost comical” like Barber did in an interview before the start of the ’07 season. Granted, I haven’t heard every single word that has ever come out of Strahan’s mouth about the Giants, but I’m under the impression that he keeps his comments related to the team as a whole and not about individual players.

In other words, I think King is reaching with his comparison between Barber and Strahan. One has fans’ respect, while the other has turned into the butt of jokes.

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Ten reasons why Tiki Barber’s un-retirement is a great thing

How can you not love Tiki Barber? Dude retired in 2007 because of the physical toll the game took on his body (not to mention he also wanted to be a TV star), yet on Tuesday he filed paperwork with the NFL so that he could officially come out of retirement…at age 36.

I’m sorry Tiki, did you think the NFL has gotten any less physical since the last time you buckled your chinstrap?

Either way, I love the idea. In fact, here are 10 reasons why I love it.

10. The Giants needed a new towel boy.

9. For once, somebody actually stole Brett Favre’s unretirement thunder.

8. Maybe this will inspire Barry Sanders to also come out of retirement, because who among us wouldn’t pay to watch Barry lace ‘em up again?

7. He’ll stop torturing us with his “analysis” on television.

6. Last time I checked, Al Davis and Dan Snyder are still in the league…and you know they’re going to be interested.

5. Because chicks dig the fumble.

4. If things work out, he can become the spokesperson for Divorce.com. “Hi, I’m Tiki Barber reminding you that alimony isn’t cheap. Had I gone to Divorce.com, maybe I wouldn’t have had to unretire at the age of 36 and play football with men who are 10 years younger, faster and flat out better than me.”

3. He just birthed about 20 new ideas for fantasy football team names.

2. He and Charlie Sheen can promote Gatorade’s new “Tiger Blood” drink line. Because if you’re going to play running back in the NFL at age 36, you better have tiger blood in your veins.

1. This is proof that karma does, in fact, exist. You can’t cheat on your pregnant wife with a 23-year-old NBC intern and not be publicly ridiculed when you have to unretire from the NFL just because you need money to pay for your divorce.

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