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Wellington Mara

There are few sports executives that are actually loved, but Wellington Mara was the exception.

Wellington's dad was a Irish ( legal ) bookmaker in Manhattan who bought the NY Giants football team as a lark for $500 in the days when the NFL was small beer. Wellington grew up around the team, holding every position from " ballboy " to General Manager. He was and is widely respected as being one of the architects of the NFL as the most successful US sports league.

But it was his personal decency that stands out. He showed kindness to his star players, but was equally kind to the lesser players who " did the best they could " .

Any fan who wrote a letter to the Giants was likely to get a personal note back from Mara. All the little people were treated with the greatest respect.

Yesterday, his grand-daughter sang the National Anthem before the Giants game, surrounded by Wellington's many grandkids. It was a beautiful, emotional performance.

And then the Giants, not favored to win the game, crushed the Washington Redskins 36-0.

I'm not a big reader of obits, but they are occasionally of interest. Not only do you read interesting things, but you occasionally get unspoken tips on how to live one's life.

Goodnight, Mr. Mara.

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