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#1
Old 10-31-2005, 11:48 AM
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The Feud between Wellington and Tim Mara

I figure that this is GQ material, rather than CS. Move if appropriate.

With the great Wellington Maras passing, so much well-deserved tribute has been paid to him.

However, I remember from the 70s (maybe it was earlier) a feud developing between Wellington and his nephew, Tim, who also owned a significant interest in the team. I read that their aversion to each other became so severe that adminstrative staff arranged so that the two could work in the same building, and be assured of never even laying eyes on each other. This, as I understood it, was a major, divisive factor in the Giants organization, and resulted, at least in part, in the many of the drafting, trading, and hiring blunders that the team had through most of the 70s, at least. Remember Andy Robustelli, General Manager?

The Fumble in 1978, and especially its aftermath, seemed to compel some manner of reconciliation in the name of the team (and to the credit of both parties), but I still believe that the two still avoided each other as much as possible for many years after that.

I know, at least, that there was a feud. What was it about? Was it ever resolved before Tim died, I think in the early 90s? Did it have a substantial effect on the administration of the team over the time it existed?
#2
Old 10-31-2005, 11:52 AM
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I should have mentioned that Wellington Mara was the principal owner of the New York Giants football team for decades, and an elder statesman in professional football. He passed last week.
#3
Old 10-31-2005, 12:04 PM
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http://forbes.com/2003/08/29/cz_mb_0829giants.html

from google groups

Quote:
You're wrong here. Robustelli took over for Wellington after the media
began to make his life unbearable. Wellington was on the sidelines
telling Alex Webster what plays to run. He was the original Jerry
Jones in that regard. You should check into this a little more.
Robustelli was named GM in the late 70's until then Mr. Mara called
ALL the shots. That's what the crux of the Tim Mara jr.vs. Wellington
feud was all about. Later it became Tim and Parcells vs. Wellington
and George Young. As soon as Tim Mara sold his half to Bob Tisch
Parcells quit.
NY Daily News

Quote:
Wellington and Jack ran the franchise together in the early years - Wellington in charge of the football side and Jack the business side. From 1958-63, the Giants appeared in five NFL championship games. They lost all five, including the 1958 overtime game to the Baltimore Colts, which has been called the greatest game ever played. Wellington Mara was in charge of personnel in those days and his trades helped bring in Y.A. Tittle and Andy Robustelli and he drafted players like Gifford and Rosie Brown.

When Jack died in 1965, his 50% went to his son, Tim. These were tough times for the franchise. After losing their third straight NFL Championship Game in 1963, the Giants didn't make the playoffs again until 1981.

The darkest moment came after the 1978 season, a few months after the famed "Fumble" loss to the Eagles. Robustelli followed through on his plans to resign as the director of football operations and coach John McVay was fired.

It was time for a leadership change.

But Wellington Mara and his nephew could not agree on the direction of the franchise. They could not agree on a general manager. They could not agree on a coach. On and on it went until Feb. 8, 1979 where, with Tim standing in the background, Wellington announced he was asserting his authority as team president to pick a coach and worry about a director of operations at a later date. Then, with Wellington not sticking around to hear what his nephew had to say, Tim criticized his uncle over the previous 15 years.

"All our wash came out in public," Tim Mara said years later.

The franchise was fractured.

But with the help of commissioner Pete Rozelle, the Giants hired George Young from Miami as the compromise choice as general manager. Young hired Ray Perkins as coach and in his second season he brought Parcells onto his staff. By Perkins' third year, the Giants were back in the playoffs.

Perkins left after the 1982 season and Young promoted Parcells. The glory days were back. Parcells was close to Mara and despite the suddenness of Parcells' departure five months after the second Super Bowl championship, they remained good friends. A couple of summers ago, Mara invited Parcells to his summer home in Saratoga, although Parcells could not attend
#4
Old 01-02-2015, 08:30 PM
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Tim learned and continued his father's work in the business after Jack died in 1965. Uncle Wellington continued running the on field work such as the draft, trades & coaches and took on more responsibilities in the front office. As the years went on, Tim learned enough to know Wellington was running the team into the ground. Bad trades and worse drafts. Tim wanted to fire Allie Sherman, but kept his mouth shut. He rubber stamped Sherman's firing when Wellington was ready and went along with Alex Webster's hiring. He watched as Wellington continued screwing up the team and convinced Wellington to hire a Director of Football Operations for the sake of his health. Wellington agreed and they hired Andy Robustelli and agreed with Robustelli's choice of Bill Arnsparger for head coach.

Things were OK between Tim, Well & Andy until Robustelli signed Larry Csonka behind Tim's his back. Tim was furious and believed Uncle Welly was still calling the shots, Robustelli was his puppet. This started a series of disputes between the 2 "owners" (Tim represented himself, his mother & his sister as 50% ownership). Pete Roselle mediated over several non-public disputes between them over the next few years. After The Fumble, Wellington was ready to hire a new coach and GM. Tim came out in public for the first time and announced that he wanted to run the team in a different direction, Wellington's way didn't work anymore. That's when it got ugly and went public.

Pete Roselle was credited with recommending and pushing them to hire George Young, but his real legacy to the Giants was convincing Wellington to allow Young full control without his interference, which was what Tim wanted all along. Young succeeded because Uncle Welly was finally out of the picture. It took Tim 13 years, but he saved the team. Sadly, we'll probably never see Tim's name in their ring of honor as his cousins continue to erase his name from Giants history.
#5
Old 01-03-2015, 04:54 PM
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I think this is better suited to the Game Room than GQ. Note that this thread was started in 2005.

Colibri
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#6
Old 01-04-2015, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Note that this thread was started in 2005.

Colibri
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This thread comes up on a Google search so I felt it OK to update it from my personal knowledge.
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