The interview just concluded. Here's a summary of what Barber said:
- HBO's Armen Kateyian did a great job; allowed him to tell his story. The interview was therapeutic.
- He feels great. A year ago he felt depressed, didn't have a goal or purpose, but things have changed over the last five or six months.
- Doesn't regret quitting football. It wasn't the right time for him to play the game anymore. He wanted to step away from the game and do what was engaging. Broadcasting was fulfilling for him.
- His comeback is not about the job or money, it's about redemption.
- He knows he can do it physically and mentally.
- The passion for football slowly started to come back as he watched the Steelers win the Super Bowl and as he followed his brother.
(This is where the interview took a turn.)
- Doesn't think he failed in broadcasting. He had a lot of fulfillment at NBC. It wasn't a failure, it was a learning experience. It's unfair for it to be labeled a failure. (Mike really pressed him on this one, insisting that his time at NBC was a failure, which Tiki strongly objected to. At this point, the interview became contentious. You're going to want to listen to this part.)
- Focus is on playing football, not finding another broadcasting job.
- Realizes that every person in New York has an opinion and he can't change opinions. Doesn't hurt him that Giants fans have a negative opinion of him.
- He wasn't attacking Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning, just giving his opinion. That's who he is.
- Success as an athlete got him a lot of notoriety and you get held to a standard. When you fall it gets exploited.
- Physically stronger than he's ever been; his mentality is right. Won't know about muscle fatigue until he starts playing.
- Believes he'll be successful. Won't settle for mediocrity.
- He'd be happy in situational role or as an every-down back. The way league has changed with regard to running backs benefits him.
This is classic Francesa. He's not afraid to ask tough questions and more than willing to challenge his guests. Click here to listen to the interview.