Tiki Barber hasn’t even begun his NFL comeback yet, and already he’s catching grief for a comment he made in the current issue of Sports Illustrated. In case you missed it, he was talking about his marriage breaking up last April and – to escape the media’s prying eyes – having to hide out in the attic of his agent’s house with his new 23-year-old squeeze.
“Lep’s Jewish,” he said of his agent, Mark Lepselter, “and it was like a reverse Anne Frank thing.”
OK, it was a clumsy, unthinking thing to say. We’re all pretty much agreed on that. But can we at least give Barber credit for actually knowing who Anne Frank was? Seriously, if there was an Anne Frank question on the Wonderlic, how many guys would get it right? One in 10? One in 100? One in more than 100?
I call your attention to a post-game rant last season by the Dolphins’ Channing Crowder, who accused the Ravens’ Le’Ron McClain of spitting in his face. The officials, he said, ignored his complaints, “then they said something about [how] they let [Miami’s] Karlos Dansby get away with a face mask the play before. Who the [expletive deleted] cares? A guy just spit in my face. I don’t give a [semi-expletive] about Karlos pulling somebody’s face mask. Like they didn’t see [Dolphins quarterback] Chad Henne get hit twice when he slid. Yeah, a little Stevie Wonder and Anne Frank.”
Naturally, reporters asked Crowder what he meant by the Anne Frank reference. His reply: “Who was that? Is that the blind girl? Helen Keller … . I don’t know who the [another expletive] Anne Frank is. I’m mad right now.”
So, yes, Barber could have found somebody more appropriate to compare himself to. (Osama bin Laden, maybe?) But give him credit. He knows the difference between Anne Frank and Helen Keller. This, generally, will serve you well in life.