With the premiere of season 12 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Tiki Barber’s wife Traci Lynn Johnson will be a friend of the cast throughout the season. While the 46-year-old NFL star and his wife will be making their debut on the show, Tiki has been in the spotlight for decades, first as a football player and later as a sports commentator. Even though he’s been famous for years, he’s still a fresh face to the Real Housewives franchise. Here are five things you need to know about Tiki before he pops up during this season of RHONJ!
1. Tiki played in the NFL for 9 years.
Born Atiim Kiambu Barber, Tiki is most famous for his tenure in the NFL. He played in college for the University of Virginia, before he was drafted to the New York Giants in 1997. He was a running back for the team until 2006, when he retired. He was part of the team that lost Super Bowl XXV to the Baltimore Ravens in 2001. Tiki never won a Super Bowl during his time on the Giants, but the team won against the New England Patriots the year after he retired. While he never got a Super Bowl ring, he did go to the Pro Bowl three times in his career.
2. Traci is his second wife
Before becoming romantically linked to Traci, Tiki was married to his college girlfriend Virginia Barber for over 10 years. The pair wed in 1999, and they split in 2010. The exes have four children together. They have two sons AJ, 19, and Chason, 17. The former couple also have a pair of twin daughters Riley and Ella, 11. The couple’s divorce was finalized in 2012.
3. He’s been married to Traci for almost 10 years
Tiki married Traci in a small ceremony in July 2012. Tiki allegedly began seeing his now-wife when he was still married to Virginia, and Traci was 21, according to The New York Post. Tiki and Virginia separated while she was seven months pregnant with their twin daughters. Despite their rocky start, Traci and Tiki are still going strong nearly a decade after tying the knot, a few days after his divorce from Virginia was finalized. Tiki and Traci have two daughters Brooklyn, 8, and Teagan, 5.
4. He became a football commentator after retiring from the NFL
After he stepped away from the pros, Tiki took a contract with NBC, and he became a football analyst for TODAY. He was with the show from 2007 until 2010. After his contract expired, he’s had plenty of other broadcast experience. He spoke on the BBC as part of the British network’s Super Bowl XLV coverage in 2011, and he also co-hosts the Tiki and Tierney show on CBS Radio on weekdays.
Other than some of his commentating positions, Tiki has dabbled in acting, playing himself in shows like Orange is the New Black or the 2016 TV movie Pearl. He’s also made appearances on shows like MasterChef USA and Chopped, and served as the host of Ultimate Beastmaster. The ex-running back also showed off his theater chops during a short run in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots in 2019.
5. He has a twin brother
Football comes naturally in the Barber family, and that’s proven by Tiki’s twin brother Ronde Barber. The Barber bros are identical twins, and they were even drafted to the NFL in the exact same year. Ronde kicked off his pro career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1997, and he even won a Super Bowl with the team in 2003. Ronde’s pro career outlasted his brothers, and he was in the NFL until announcing his retirement in 2013. The two brothers have collaborated on a number of occasions, most notably for a series of children’s books. The pair have co-authored nine books for kids, starting with 2004’s By My Brother’s Side.