sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

.....N.Y. Times obit on Wellington Mara, longtime owner of the New York Giants.

It's hard for some of us to imagine a football team actually in New York, considering the fact that both the Giants and the Jets have been in New Jersey for almost 30 years now. The thing I found fascinating is how Mara built the franchise in a city dominated by baseball, right down to the venues:

"After 30 seasons in the Polo Grounds, Mr. Mara took the Giants to Yankee Stadium in 1956, and they became the glamour franchise of the NFL, winning the league championship that season and playing in the title game five times in the next seven years."

Interesting note:

Mara "scouted, supervised draft selections and during the 1950's became one of the league's early eye-in-the sky aides, taking photos of opposing defenses with Polaroid cameras from atop Yankee Stadium and dropping them in weighted socks to Vince Lombardi, the offensive line coach and his Fordham classmate."

Pull quote from Tiki Barber:

"One of the things I miss the most this year is seeing him at every practice, sitting in that golf chair he always had. After games, you'd walk into the locker room and he'd be standing right there to shake your hand, win or lose. He was such a dignified and in some ways regal character who always respected the game and respected what this league was about."


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