While the Knicks are showcasing to everyone how not to run a sports team, New York Giants John Mara and Steve Tisch are keeping it classy.The controversy surrounding the Knicks has become the talk of the town in New York sports over the past week, but realistically, it will come as no surprise to any fan who has followed the team over the past 20 or so years.
Jame Dolan’s bumbling interviews, inability to connect with fans and poor judgment of people’s character have been a staple of the Knicks for decades. He has slandered his players, embarrassed his fan base, and produced one of the least successful runs in New York basketball history.
Truly, he has earned his spot among the worst owners in all of sports.
However, something that is not celebrated nearly enough is the solid side of ownership in New York. While many fans may not even think about what an owner does, their job is oftentimes the most important in any organization.
Owners are tasked with hiring and firing key personnel. They decide what team functions will be outsourced and what will be done in house. More often than not, it’s the ownership group that serves as the lynchpin for key decisions that lead to either championships or failure.
In that respect, New York Giants’ fans could not be luckier to have John Mara and Steve Tisch as their owners.
Since taking control of the team in 2005, Mara and Tisch have not only won two Super Bowls, but they have presided over one of the most well-respected organizations in the entire NFL. In fact, in that time period, only Bob Kraft and his New England Patriots have produced more championships. Only the Pats, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys are considered more valuable NFL franchises.
Quite frankly, the Giants have won both on and off the field during the 10 years Mara and Tisch have been in charge. That can’t be overlooked.
In fact, that team has seemingly made some of the most important personnel decisions for the Giants over that period of time. Keep in mind this is the group that not only fired Tom Coughlin, but gave him a chance in the first place.
Way back in the mid-2000s, with Coughlin struggling to right the ship after Tiki Barber‘s fumbling problem cost the Giants numerous games, Tisch and Mara opted to keep their veteran coach despite pressure to get rid of him. Coughlin delivered a championship in 2007.
However, Tisch and Mara also had the foresight to determine when it was time for Coughlin to move on, as they let him go following the 2015 season. Certainly, this was not an easy decision, but considering how well the Giants played in 2016, it seems like it was the right one.
In contrast, Tisch and Mara knew it was not the right time to unload Jerry Reese, despite the call from huge swaths of the fan base for the Giants to fire their GM. Instead, they kept Reese, and he helped the Giants construct one of the best defenses in the entire NFL over the course of one offseason.
It certainly seems like these two know what they’re doing.
While great owners rarely get appreciated in sports, Giants’ fans can rest easy knowing that they have some of the best in the business. Fans tend to focus on executives and coaches as the backbone of an organization, but realistically it’s the owners.
So here’s a big thank you to John and Steve, who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to produce a championship level football team over the past decade. Even if the fans don’t know exactly who is behind the magic, they certainly appreciate it.