GLENDALE, ARIZ.- Giants co-owner John Mara of Harrison reminisced today about his late father and legendary team founder, Wellington Mara. He was asked how his father would feel about this year’s Super Bowl-bound team.
“He really would’ve been delighted,” Mara said. “All the road games we won and the close, tough games we won is something he really would’ve enjoyed.”
Wellington Mara died in 2005 at the age of 89.
“The patriarch of the Giants was the last scion of one of the great football families,” Whitney Radio’s Bill O’Shaughnessy observed in a moving tribute at the time.
“They are all gone now: George Halas, Art Rooney, Leon Hess, Sonny Werblin, George Allen, Paul Brown and Vince Lombardi. Only hustlers, lawyers and MBAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s remain to preside over this game of choreographed violence. And only boxing, rugby and hockey celebrate violence more.”
Noting that Mara was born “the son of a bookmaker,” O’Shaughnessy observed how Mara was generous with everyone from drivers to doormen to caddies at Winged-Foot Golf Club.
That was a nice sendoff, but John Mara said that his father often took abuse from the fans during the team’s awful years in the late 1960s and the entire decade of the 70s.
“He wasn’t always this revered figure,” Mara said. “Back then, there were days when he was hung in effigy at the stadium.”
Throough good time and bad, however, the Giants patriarch remained a football purist, his son recalled. The old man would have particularly been proud with Big Blue’s current set of linemen.
“He would’ve loved the way the offensive line is playing,” he said. “That was always his favorite offensive unit.
“When he would got out to practice, he would spend more time with them than anybody else.”