Skip to main content

Tiki Barber Comes Out Winner in Feud With Saquon Barkley

Also in Traina Thoughts: NCAA tournament announcers; people love to make Kirk Cousins Kohl’s Cash jokes; ESPN personality takes issue with colleague and more.

1. We had quite a kerfuffle here in New York on Monday after running back Saquon Barkley agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.

With Barkley leaving for a division rival, former Giant and current WFAN host, Tiki Barber, said the following during his afternoon show: "He's dead to us now. He's dead to us. You're dead to us, Saquon. Good luck. You're dead to me."

Now, when you see those words in print, they seem extremely rough. However, when you watch the video of Barber saying this, it's more than clear he's kidding around and his tongue is firmly planted in his cheek while having fun about a star player leaving for a bitter rival.

Clearly, Barkley saw a bunch of tweets that blared, "Tiki Barber says Saquon Barkley is dead to Giants fans." instead of actually watching the video, because Barkley ripped Barber on Twitter.

This is a win for Barber on multiple fronts. 

First, Barkley comes off as super sensitive here. He literally just signed a $38-million deal and he's fighting with people on Twitter. 

Second, as I said, it's apparent Barkley just reacted to a headline instead of listening to the context.

Third, it makes zero sense for Barkley to accuse Barber of being a "hater." Zero. Just look what Barber has said about Barkley over the years.

Sorry, Saquon. That's not a hater.

Lastly, any time a sports talk radio host can get a reaction from an athlete, whether it’s positive or negative, is a win for the radio host. When you host a show, whether it’s on TV, radio, podcast, whatever, all you want it attention. Barkley gave Barber a lot of attention on Monday.

2. CBS and Turner Sports announced their broadcast crews for the upcoming NCAA tournament.

Before we get to that, there is one piece of studio news. Greg Gumbel will miss the Tournament while dealing with a family matter Ernie Johnson and Adam Zucker will fill in for Gumbel. 

Here are the broadcast pairings for the Tournament:

Ian Eagle-Bill Raftery-Grant Hill
Brian Anderson-Jim Jackson
Kevin Harlan-Dan Bonner-Stan Van Gundy
Andrew Catalon-Steve Lappas
Lisa Byington-Steve Smith-Robbie Hummel
Spero Dedes-Jim Spanarkel
Tom McCarthy-Deb Antonelli-Avery Johnson
Brad Nessler-Brendan Haywood

3. People really love making Kohl's Cash jokes about Kirk Cousins. Like, really, really love to do it. Here's what happened after Cousins got a $180 million contract from the Falcons on Monday.

4. ESPN's Kimberley Martin took issue with Shannon Sharpe comparing Russell Wilson to a "fine chick" who is available on Monday's First Take.

Here's Sharpe's analogy, which certainly didn't land well.

5. If you're an NBA bettor, this is trend you'll want to be aware of.

6. The latest episode of SI Media With Jimmy Traina features a conversation with ESPN legend Bob Ley.

Ley shares memories of NFL reporter Chris Mortensen, who passed away last week, and explains why Mort was so special to so many people.

Ley also weighs in on the state of sports media, whether he feels he got out at the right time when he retired in 2019, ESPN's addition of Pat McAfee and how Stephen A. Smith gets the "Jordan Rules" treatment.

Ley also explains why cutting the cord was one of the first things he did when he retired, how he keeps up with the day-to-day sports news and what he’s been doing in retirement. Ley, who is a New York Mets fan, also finds out during the podcast that the Mets will have a dance team this year, which generated quite a response.

Following Ley, Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY joins Jimmy for the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week’s topics include functioning without football, the NFL combine, muting people on Twitter, A&E’s great shows on WWE history, the passing of comedian Richard Lewis and more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Google.

You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Sports Illustrated’s YouTube channel.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: On this date in 1988,  Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” hit. No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. In honor of the occasion, here's Astley performing the song with the Foo Fighters.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.