TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Families with brothers playing together in the NFL are nothing new, but the Barber brothers carved a unique place in sports history. Rondé and Tiki are maternal twins and share a bond that is as heart-warming as it can be comical.
The two brothers take their best shots and enjoy a laugh when talking about their relationship. Growing up in Roanoke, Virginia, they played multiple sports, eventually discovering that football was their best sport.
The twins were also excellent track and field athletes, competing together and winning state titles in the hurdles as well as the long jump and triple jump.
“Being together always allowed us to push one another,” Tiki said. “This happened in middle school when we were running track or high school; we were wrestling or playing football. Having an identical twin forces you to be good.”
The inseparable bond continued at the University of Virginia, where Tiki was the first to excel as a running back. Rondé was not far behind, earning All-ACC Rookie honors and eventually three All-ACC team honors.
“We did everything together,” Ronde said. “Being able to bounce experiences off one another is largely the reason we always had success.”
The first time the Barber twins were separated was when the two entered the NFL. Tiki was drafted by the New York Giants and Rondé to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
That competitive nature eventually entered their life pursuits beyond football.
Tiki worked in television in New York, which inspired Rondé to consider his own TV career. Rondé began making regular appearances on News Channel 8, Sunday nights after games, then landed a role as an NFL broadcast analyst for Fox Sports.
The bond will be shown in Canton when Tiki presents his brother, removing the cloth to reveal Rondé’s Hall of Fame bust. Rondé did not disclose details, but his speech will also include his reasoning for why Tiki deserves to be considered for the Hall of Fame.
As for who’s first?
Rondé proudly says he was born seven minutes before Tiki.
The younger brother, without a laugh this time, explained why Rondé made it to Canton first.
“I always wanted to be great,” Tiki said. “Ronde wanted to be the best.”
For a complete look at Barber’s career and life away from football, don’t miss “Rondé’s Road to Canton” Friday at 7:00 p.m., only on WFLA News Channel 8.