The last time we heard from John Mara, the longtime and well-respected owner of the Giants, he was extremely proud of his team making the Super Bowl. Then, Mara hammered home the point about the NFL season being even more unpredictable than ever. Mara’s claims were reinforced in the final game of the season, as Super Bowl XLVI lived up to the hype in terms of dramatic momentum swings and exciting big plays.There were many ups-and-downs for the Giants this season as Mara chronicles the emotions of the season in the following interview.John Mara joined ESPN Radio New York with Mike Lupica to discuss the moment where he felt the New York Giants could win the Super Bowl this season, his reaction to Ahmad Bradshaw scoring the final touchdown to win the Super Bowl when he clearly looked like he had been instructed to not score if the Pats’ defense was trying to surrender the TD, what his father would think of the Giants winning Super Bowl XLVI and moving forward to next season.
When was the moment this season where you thought you know what we can do this?
“There were a few moments during the year where I thought that was possible and then there were a few moments where I thought that wasn’t possible. We go into Foxborough and beat the Patriots and come out of there and we are 6-2 and we are feeling pretty good about ourselves right there then we lose a tough game in San Francisco. We still feel pretty good about ourselves. Then we have a disastrous game against the Saints in New Orleans. It was hard to walk out of the Super Dome that night feeling like we were going to be a Super Bowl team or even in the playoffs for that matter. Then we had a terrific victory down in Dallas where we had that great come from behind victory scoring twice in the last 3 minutes or so and Jason Pierre-Paul blocked the field goal. You start to think again you know what maybe we got a chance now? Then we played a horrendous game against the Redskins the following week, so we are 7-7 at that point and we are just trying to survive and hopefully get into the playoffs. That Jets game gave us a lot of confidence. I thought we finally played a complete game there and then beating Dallas the final week I think started to make people believe anything was possible.”
What was your reaction to the Giants final touchdown when Ahmad
Bradshaw stopped before he fell into the end zone?
“My feeling was that they were going to let us score. I remember turning to my brother Chris and saying I think they are going to let us score. I just assumed take a knee right here because I’d rather take a chance on Lawrence Tynes hitting what would basically be an extra point rather than give the ball back to Tom Brady with too much time left. I thought Bradshaw would go through the line and go to the the end zone. You can’t blame the guy for doing that. That is just an instinctive play and at least by doing that it made him [Tom Brady] have to come down the field and score a touchdown as opposed to a field goal, but if you look at it and ask 10 NFL coaches you probably would have a split opinion on what they should have done in that situation so I was happy to get the points, but I was scared to death with 50 seconds left to put the ball in Brady’s hands. The last play of the game the ball was in the end zone being batted around anything could have happened.”
Was there a moment during the celebration where you thought I wonder what dad would think of all this?
“I thought about that a lot and wish he could have been there because he would have just reveled in all of that and I’m sure he would have had a great line or two on the podium. It would have been a great experience to see him there. Fortunately that I got to see him accept that trophy in Super Bowl XXI and Super Bowl XXV, but he was always on my mind throughout that period.”
Is it still this season or when you showed up today to work is it next season?
“I think we’ve already started to turn the page. We got two tight ends that both unfortunately tore their ACL’s in that game, so we got some work to do now. We got a bunch of guys who are going to be free agents, so we have some tough decisions we are going to have to make. We’re already starting to turn the page. I don’t know if those memories will ever be far away from me because that experience of being at that parade and then coming back here to that stadium. That is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”