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Obviously, NBC didn't hire Tiki Barber to simply discuss politics, fashion and food on the Today Show, and with a hand -- and voice -- still involved in the NFL as part of the network's pregame Sunday night telecasts, the former Giants running back (below) is certain to be heard from on a variety of football topics.

And frankly it would be surprising if one of Barber's frequent subjects and more pointed observations didn't involve his old team which, of course, is in the country's No. 1 TV market. That's just, as the saying goes, good television.

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All of which brings us to Barber's remarks Sunday night during the Giants-Ravens game that New York quarterback Eli Manning lacked leadership qualities and that when Manning the Younger did try to assert himself last season, the effort was "comical." That was Barber's word. Comical.

Eli, certainly the quieter of the Manning brothers, actually spoke up for himself and, for the first time, ripped Barber for his announcement last year that he was retiring  -- while his team was fighting for the playoffs. What Eli didn't say was this: That Barber's announcement could have been interpreted as a calculated move based purely on self-interest that was meant to create bidding for his post-career services over the course of several months, even though it was potentially damaging to his team.

Photo credit:  Associated Press

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