Tiki Barber is 36 and hasn’t played a down of NFL football since retiring in 2006. He still feels as though he’s got a shot to make a return if and when football starts again. However Barber’s story goes deeper than just a desire to play football. According to an interview he gave to HBO Sports, Barber’s return is an attempt to climb back from the depression that has racked his life in the last year.
“The game never needs you because there’s always someone else to come and take your place,” he said. “But right now, I need the game.”
“I need to prove to myself that I can be successful at something,” told HBO. “I know I’m going to be successful as a football player. I don’t know why. The odds say ‘No.’ I’m 36 and I haven’t played in four years. But I just know.”
Since retiring, Barber has been fired from his promising career as an NBC football analyst and watched a marriage to his high school sweetheart crumble.
For now, Barber still has to wait for the NFL to sort itself out before he has a shot to make his case.