This is a conversation that actually happened. Even after hearing the intonations with which the words were delivered, there's no way of knowing whether Tiki Barber was dead serious or being ironic. History and a general lack of self-awareness suggest the former, but we'll let you decide.
Tike Barber, who played for the Giants before retiring after the 2006 season to pursue a (short-lived) television career, now has a radio show. On Monday, he asked his recently retired twin brother, cornerback Ronde Barber, "Why do so many people like you but don't like me?"
(You can listen to the entire interview here.)
There are countless responses to this question, most having to do with the way that Tiki comported himself both on and off the field. But instead of pointing out what might seem obvious to most folks, Ronde instead opted for the diplomatic approach.
“That's a great question," Ronde said, according to the New York Daily News. "[It's] probably because you live in New York and I don't know if New Yorkers like anything more than loving their stars than hating them. They look for faults and exploit them, or failures and exploit them and it's a national story when it's up there.”
Other, more realistic possibilities:
* In 2002, Tiki called then-teammate Michael Strahan greedy for not accepting the Giants' contract offer.
* In 2005, Tiki suggested publicly that Tom Coughlin had been outcoached during a playoff loss to the Panthers.
* In or around January 2010, Tiki left his pregnant-with-twins wife for an NBC intern.
* In the summer of 2011, Tiki hinted at a comeback. He had been out of the league for four years, and there was speculation that he needed the money. But, despite a successful NFL career, there was virtually no interest. And that, it turned out, had more to do with the perception of the person over the football player.
Here's what CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote back in September 2011:
"One general manager, on a team that actually needs running back depth, explained why he didn't even call Barber for a tryout: 'I don't trust him. That's pretty much it.' Well, um, alright then. But that, I think, is the general consensus of many team front-office types. The lack of interest in Tike Barber isn't as much about his age or time away from football as teams don't trust his motivations for returning or, more explicitly, don't trust him period. He's seen as a bit of a locker room politician, and that's putting it kindly."
Put another way: the clues for why fans like Ronde better than Tiki can be found in the five bullet points above. Just in case there was truly any confusion.