Ronde Barber Never ChangedMay 9th, 2013
Joe sort of touched upon this yesterday, but if there was a rock among the Bucs, it was Ronde Barber.
The name of the franchise for so many years let loose yesterday he was retiring. He makes it official this afternoon.
Barber was simply a class act. Even Tampa Tribune columnist Martin Fennelly was moved.
Barber was the last connection to the Super Bowl Bucs, and he just kept on lasting and lasting.
His career was his job, his business, and he approached it that way — he was feeding Claudia and the girls. Here was one of the great professionals in Bucs or any franchise’s history.
“I’ll be as proud of my last game as I was of my first,” he once said. “My mom tells me the same thing every time I play: Play proud.”
That’s the thing that impressed Joe. Whether he was pushing 30 or pushing 40, Barber was Barber. Durng the last two seasons of Derrick Brooks’ tremendous career, Brooks signs of age. Same with Warren Sapp. Same with Simeon Rice. Even Father Time was dishing out injuries to John Lynch in his final NFL days.
Not Ronde Barber. Even with a move to safety, Barber was still among the NFL’s elite and could have easily been named to a Pro Bowl his final season, playing not corner, but safety.
Selfishly, would it have been cool to see Barber for one more season? Yes. But now, Barber goes out on top. Never missing a step, never missing a beat.