While NFL superstars Tiki and Ronde Barber play for different teams, they are inseparable as brothers.
The Barber brothers have written a new children's book, called By My Brother's Side and it's all about the important bond of brotherhood.
The brothers talked about their lives and their new book in the following Q and A.
A Conversation with Twin NFL Stars: Tiki Barber & Ronde Barber, authors of By My Brother's Side
Q: You both played a lot of sports as kids. At what age did you two decide that you were most serious about football?
Tiki: We probably didn't exclusively focus on football until our second year in college. We just enjoyed being athletes.
Ronde: I don't think it was ever a case of deciding that football was the right sport to get serious about. We were both great track-and-field athletes as well, and we competed into our college days. I would guess that our senior years in high school, after we accepted our football scholarships, was when we said this is what we are best at.
Q: Tiki: did you ever have any trouble with the leg you broke as a child? Ronde: have you had any injuries playing sports?
Tiki: After I was healed up and competing again I never had trouble with it (for the record, I only lacerated my leg, albeit to the bone, nothing was broken). Ronde: I have had many injuries playing football. Far too many to recall, actually. I have recovered from five different surgeries from my second year in college through my last one in 2003.
Q: Did you ever try to switch places on the field?
Tiki: No, our positions are too different, it would be a disaster.
Ronde: No. I never felt a need for that. At some point we became fairly specialized at what we do. Of course, in recreational football and even through prep ball, we played everywhere.
Q: Do you have a favorite childhood book?
Tiki: The Little Engine That Could.
Ronde: I would guess it was a Dr. Seuss book because his are the ones that come to mind. Q: Since you play in different regions, are you able to see each other's games? Do you talk about the games, plays, and outcomes afterward?
Tiki: I try to watch as many games of Ronde's that I can. I usually only can see them when he's on national TV. We do talk after every game, whether I see it or not, about what and how each of us did.
Ronde: Only occasionally do I get to see his games. And we do talk after every game, but it's not too much about football.
Q: You played each other last year on November 17, 2003. What was the outcome of the game, and on which side did your mom sit?
Tiki: Ronde's team, the Bucs, won the game. My mom sat in a box on Ronde's side (home teams get better tickets).
Ronde: Tampa won, and Mom always sits with the home team.
Q: What would you each say is the single greatest characteristic that is necessary to make it to the NFL? Is that any different from what it takes to have a long career in professional football?
Tiki: I think they are the same thing. A lot goes in to being a NFL player and having a long career, so it's hard to narrow it down to the one most important characteristic. However, I think having a strong belief in yourself and not seeing failure as an option is at the top. Make your self-fulfilling prophecy a positive one.
Ronde: Based on what I've been through, I would say perseverance. I think I've overcome a lot of uncertain times to be where I am now. I think people always doubt you in some way or other and my perseverance allowed me to never forget my goals. I think that, too, is what is necessary to stay a long time in our league.
Q: You have both been advocates of children and reading through the literacy program Verizon Reads, your volunteer work in Read Across America, and other national organizations that support reading. Who were your early influences in your love of reading?
Tiki: My mom always kept books around the house, so we were drawn to them.
Ronde: That's a really good question and the only good answer I have is my mom and Tiki. It's important to support literacy programs because the ability to read comprehensively is the rock that successful people really unconsciously rely on.
Q: Were you always good students? Did you always hand in your homework on time?
Tiki: I was always a good student; my mom instilled in us the importance of academics early on and it stuck with us. She wouldn't let us go to practice until we did our homework.
Ronde: We were always good students simply because we have always been competitive people. Just as in sports we had the ambition to be the best. That attitude definitely spilled over into our academic lives.
Q: Have you ever wanted to play another position on your team other than the one you currently play?
Tiki: I've never wanted to be anything except a running back.
Ronde: Not particularly. Like I said earlier, we are more or less skilled professionals, and I know how to do what I do very well. There are more than enough skilled athletes to play all the other positions.
Q: You are great role models for young people. Who were your role models growing up?
Tiki: Walter Payton was my favorite player. He was great all the time even when his teams weren't very good.
Ronde: My mom and some of my coaches.
Q: What was your best moment on the field or most memorable game?
Tiki: My most memorable game was in 1995 while I was still at UVA. We played Florida State (ranked number two in the country at the time) on ESPN-Thursday Night Football. I had the best game of my college career and we beat them on the last play of the game, becoming the first team in the ACC to beat them.
Ronde: For me it is without question our NFC Championship game in Philadelphia in 2003. It could easily be considered my best game against a team that seemingly had our number. And, oh yeah, I had the game-clinching interception for a touchdown that sent us to Super Bowl XXXVII.
This interview is provided by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing and can be reprinted for publication either in full or excerpted as individual questions and answers, as long as they are reprinted in their entirety.