Tiki Barber gets real

The former Giants runner seemed destined for crossover success, but hubris and scandal doomed his postfootball plans. Now, at 36, he wants to get back in the game...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

From Sports Illustrated

If nothing else, we now know an answer to this question: What exactly does a star athlete have to do to go from hero to heel in the eyes of the hometown fans? Play poorly, demand a trade, act like a jerk? Hardly insurmountable. Get arrested, even do a stretch in jail? Forgiven if you play well. But walk away from the game in your prime?

It’s hard to win back hearts. Use your new position in the media to rip your old teammates, who go on to win a championship? That’s risking serious wrath. Shred your meticulously cultivated image by having an extramarital affair with a younger woman while your wife is pregnant? Consider yourself toast.

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