Giants co-owner, NFL Hall of Famer Mara dies

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MacNut, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    I didn't see this posted anywhere but I think its important to realize what this man did for the NFL and sports in general.

    NEW YORK -- Every NFL fan owes a huge debt to Wellington Mara, who died Tuesday at 89.

    So does every owner, executive and player.

    Mara, who joined the New York Giants as a ballboy the day his father purchased the team 80 years ago and became co-owner as a teenager, was the face of the franchise for more than a half century.

    But he also was the patriarch of the NFL, a man who was willing for more than 40 years to split the millions in television revenues he could have made in the nation's largest market with the Green Bays and Pittsburghs of the league.

    It put the NFL at the top of America's sports hierarchy.

    "He shaped nearly every rule and philosophy we have in our league today," said Ernie Accorsi, the Giants general manager. "Most of all, he was the moral conscience of the National Football League. He now joins the pantheon of incredible men who made this league what it has become."

    Said commissioner Paul Tagliabue: "Wellington Mara represented the heart and soul of the National Football League. He was a man of deep conviction who stood as a beacon of integrity. When Well Mara stood to speak at a league meeting, the room would become silent with anticipation because all of us knew we were going to hear profound insights born of eight decades of league experience."

    The last of the NFL's founding generation, Mara, elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997, died of cancer at his home in Rye, the team said.

    One of Mara's greatest contributions came in the early 1960s when he and brother Jack agreed to share television revenue on a league wide basis soon after Pete Rozelle became commissioner. That deal allowed the NFL to thrive and remains in place today.

    "Wellington Mara was a true pioneer who understood what it took to make the National Football League great," said Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association. "History will show that his vision, integrity and willingness to share with small market clubs paved the way for economic success."
  2. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I saw this the other day; I knew he had cancer and had got weaker in recent months. It's a great shame and the NFL will be weaker because of it.

    He was one of the few owners who cared more about the game than the potential money he could make and the NFL wouldn't be in its current position without him.

    I'm hoping that at the next league owners' meeting, they remember Mara's legacy and unselfishness that has allowed their investments to grow so much and agree the new collective bargaining agreement, continuing to share revenues and keep the league strong.

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