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Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Tiki Barber speaks unclearly, causes blogosphere stir

The video was nine days old by the time it became a minor blogosphere sensation Thursday, but it was difficult to ignore:

Was that really the famously buttoned-down former Giants running back Tiki Barber aiming a wildly offensive word at MSNBC colleague Jenna Wolfe?

MSNBC and Barber insisted it wasn’t, no matter how it sounded.

Barber, Wolfe and Brian Williams were in Beijing debating whether it is more important for a country to finish atop the total medal count in the Olympics or atop the gold medal count.

At one point Barber turned to Wolfe and said, “You’re a total medal ----.’’

To many ears, it sounded like an offensive word usually aimed at women. But MSNBC said Barber meant to say “You’re a total medal count,’’ meaning Wolfe was on that side of the ongoing debate.

“I would never disrespect a colleague and friend with that kind of language,’’ Barber said from Beijing through an MSNBC spokeswoman, who said Barber had no idea of a budding controversy until she informed him of it.

“It’s disappointing someone would intentionally misrepresent the hard work Jenna and I are doing.’’ Barber and Wolfe co-host “Olympic Wrap-up’’ from 5 to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

MSNBC said in a statement, “Tiki and Jenna were discussing total medal count versus gold medal counts and Tiki’s words were unclear.’’

Tags: olympics

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