Chat with Roger Director
Check out an excerpt from the book on ESPN.com's Page 2.
Send in your questions on the book, the New York Giants and the NFL now and join Director in The Show on Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:02 PM)
We've got Roger!
Matt (Watertown, NY)
Roger, do you believe that if Coughlin had left this year, Tiki would still be playing?
Roger Director (1:05 PM)
No. I don't. I think the main part of Tiki's decision had to do with jumping off into his new broadcasting career. But it would have been a harder decision for Tiki if Coughlin had made being a professional football player more fun than being an inmate. I didn't see anyone having fun there last year.
Roger Director (1:05 PM)
In fact, Matt, you're probably having a lot more fun now than Tom Coughlin, or even Jeremy Shockey.
If Tiki is now in TV, do you think he has any obligation to the Giants any more? That is to say, if he's an NFL TV analyst, shouldn't he be able to say what he wants to about the Giants without Eli throwing a fit?
Roger Director (1:08 PM)
I agree absolutely. Two things: I think Tiki's comments about Eli not only reflect Tiki's independence as a broadcaster, but also Tiki's not-so-subtle way of motivating Eli Manning. Second, Tiki Barber is to the New York Giants what Walter Payton was to the Chicago Bears. In over 80 years of existence as an NFL franchise, Tiki is the greatest New York Giants running back of all time. When he speaks, you better believe he has major cred.
So, roger, let us know, did you get Tiki in your will as your daughter's legal guardian?
Roger Director (1:09 PM)
At the last minute, my wife persuaded me that it would not be in the best interests of our marriage. And so, I deferred to her.
How long did it take you to write the book?
Roger Director (1:10 PM)
I wrote the book over about 16 months. First I had to write a proposal, describing what I wanted to do. Then the people at ESPN.com were nice enough to run a few of my pieces. That encouraged the book publisher - Harper Collins - to green light the project. I worked very intensively to get it done before the start of this new football season.
What was the dynamic like on that team after Tiki's retirement announcement?
Roger Director (1:16 PM)
I don't think that Tiki's announcement had a major negative impact. The dynamic on the team, which was not great, had to do more with a) the coach and b) the death of the teams' two owners the previous year. I believe the team was still, if you will, in shock and mourning. As far as Tiki's announcement goes, I work as a TV producer in Hollywood. I frequently work alongside other writers, producers, actors who are only working on a 13-week contract or who we all know, for various reasons, will not be back with the show next year. This does not stop anyone in the company from performing up to the peak of their professional capabilities. Far from Tiki's announcement having a negative impact, it seems to me we should all grow up and recognize that if Tiki's announcement signified anything, it was that he was saying to the world "I am going to play each game as if it was the last game of my career." He broke his thumb. He was knocked out against Dallas. And he didn't miss a beat. He proved that he was a complete gamer as evidenced the Redskins game in Washington that carried them into the playoffs. Far from being a quitter, Tiki Barber was an example of leadership. He set an example of professionalism.
Roger Director (1:16 PM)
Get off his case.
Ken (Trenton, NJ)
Did you ever tell your dad how much you blamed him for getting you to root for a team like the Giants, especially considering the last few seasons?
Roger Director (1:18 PM)
My dad felt guilty enough when he saw what kind of a nut case he had brought up and unleashed on the world. I think that was cause enough for him to regret ever introducing me to the New York Giants.
What do you make of the Giants' chances this season?
Roger Director (1:19 PM)
I think it's going to be a typically difficult season but I'm confident the Giants will go undefeated.
Roger Director (1:20 PM)
Seriously, my qualms have to do with the defensive secondary and seeing whether Brandon Jacobs can carry Tiki's load. I'm happy with the defensive line, particularly with Robbins. I think Eli will have a great year. I agree with Brandon Jacobs that the Giants are the team to beat in the NFC East. Remember, they won the division the year before last. If they didn't have so many injuries last year, especially Strahan and Amani Toomer, their crucial third-down WR, they would have won the division last year too.
Roger Director (1:22 PM)
Order your Super Bowl tickets now.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about the Giants/NFL/Tiki while researching for this book?
Roger Director (1:24 PM)
The most interesting thing is how smart and studious the players are. They are nearly all college graduates. They review their work and are graded and criticised on their performances to an extent that few of us in the real world could possibly tolerate. As I say in my book, there is no corporate board room or command bunker with sharper people in it than the men sudsing up in an NFL shower.
What do you make of Strahan's hold out?
Roger Director (1:27 PM)
If you were making millions of dollars a year, would you want to have to go to a training camp, at some stupid college campus? Where you lived in a dorm? With a roommate? And had a bed check every night? I don't think so. Strahan doesn't need training camp, obviously. He, and stars like him, are way beyond the concept of training camp. They could chopper in on game day and play, which is essentially what Michael chose to do.
Roger Director (1:28 PM)
He wanted more money, obviously, because of his nasty divorce settlement. The Giants said no, we won't renegotiate your contract. Michael did what he had to do and chilled out on the West Coast, which if I was making $4 million a year is exactly what I would do. And I bet you would too, Greg.
Roger Director (1:29 PM)
I'd like to say to all of you, check out my book. Go to my website. I will be blogging all this season about the New York Giants, the NFL's most important franchise.
Roger Director (2:27 PM)