Another moment that brought the Barbers together (from left, Ronde, Geraldine and Tiki): Super Bowl XXXVII
(by Greg Solomon, NFL.com)
Although Hawaii is the perfect setting for your typical family vacation, this is not your typical family.
But then again, your typical family does not have two Pro Bowl football players. The Barber family does.
Identical twins Tiki, from the New York Giants, and Ronde, from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are here in Hawaii preparing for their first Pro Bowl as teammates on the NFC squad. The 2005 Pro Bowl will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
"We don't get the chance to spend as much time together as we would like," Ronde said. "So having the opportunity to bring both of our families together and our mother is special."
"I was more excited for Ronde," Tiki said of his brother's Pro Bowl selection. "It just shows how blessed we are as a family and the hard work we both put into our careers, and it pays off."
The Barbers became the first twins and seventh set of brothers selected to the Pro Bowl. Shannon and Sterling Sharpe were the most recent brothers to make the Pro Bowl, taking the trip in 1994.
This is the first time the Barbers will be playing on the same team since they played together at the University of Virginia. From youth leagues to Cave Spring High in Roanoke, Va., Tiki and Ronde were always teammates.
"We haven't played on the same team in more than seven years," Ronde said. "We have been looking forward to this week for a long time now."
Tiki enjoyed his best season since being drafted by the Giants in 1997. His 1,518 rushing yards set a single-season team record and he became the Giants' new career rushing leader (6,927). He finished the season with an NFL-best 2,096 yards from scrimmage, which was also a new Giants record, breaking his old mark of 2,085 yards set in 2000.
Tiki finished the season with 15 touchdowns (13 rushing and two receiving), tying Joe Morris for the third-highest total in team history. He also hauled in 52 receptions for 578 yards and his 474 career receptions place him first in Giants history. Barber is only the third player to lead a franchise in both rushing yards and receptions, joining Hall of Famer Walter Payton (16,726 rushing yards and 492 catches for Chicago) and James Wilder (5,957 rushing yards and 430 catches for Tampa Bay) in accomplishing the feat.
Tiki became the first Giants running back since Rodney Hampton in 1993 to make the Pro Bowl and is the only Giants player selected this year.
"Individual accomplishment is great," Tiki said. "I'm happy that we get to be here at the Pro Bowl, but this game is about the team and it's about winning."
Ronde is making his second trip to the Pro Bowl. The cornerback finished the 2004 season with 98 tackles, three interceptions, three sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. He was the only Buccaneers player who had a hand in each of the defensive categories compiled by the team: tackles, sacks, tackles for loss, interceptions, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries and passes defensed.
Although the two brothers don't get to see each other often during the season, they took time during last offseason to write their first book. The children's book, By My Brother's Side is about the twins growing up and playing sports in Roanoke.
"We had a great time doing the book because we did it together," Ronde said. "It's about perseverance and we hope it teaches some nice lessons to children."
Perseverance is something these two brothers know very well.