The pain in John Mara’s face reflected the pain in his big blue heart because the giants have been his life will always be his life, a football life where he endured the pain during The Fumble, celebrated the euphoria of Bill Parcells and then Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning , and now Rock Bottom, NJ
He was asked if this – the empty seats, the mockery of social media, the record of 22-59 the last five years – was his lowest moment, if this was as embarrassing as he has been like a giant, and he said: ” “Honestly, I would have to say yes. Yes it is. I kept believing during the season that we had hit rock bottom, and then it got a little worse every week.”
So once again, the fan base is running out, tired and tired of being sick and tired, just as tired of being sick and tired as Mets fans were during too much of the Wilpon era.
His once proud franchise has fallen and it cannot rise.
And he is the reason it has fallen.
Another mea culpa, a realization that he has never been more embarrassed by the situation of his giants, will not stop the angry emails coming to him again, will not soothe the wild beast inside the Giants tab. Neither should it.
So there he was on a Zoom call, naked to the world without a general manager or a head coach, the presence of his brother Chris and nephew Tim inside 1925 Giants Drive a source of controversy for many who choose to hold them a little responsible for failure of The Mara Way.
You wonder how Mara can walk past the four Lombardi trophies inside the glass cabinet in the lobby without a yen to go and see “The Way We Were”.
“We’re getting it right this time,” Mara swore.
Now there’s a promise that will surely fall on deaf ears if there ever has been a… unless there are Giants fans desperately clinging to the hope that the average law will save him and them.
No one knows better than the Giants tab – yes, maybe the Jets tab, maybe the Lions tab – that there are no guarantees that Mara will get it right this time.
More than ever, now that he’s acknowledging and acknowledging that he finally had to blow it up, the message is simple:
Don’t just tell us, John.
Show us that, John.
He’s been talking about losing credibility with fans so often since Coughlin left Giants fans considering him Wellington’s Boy Who Cries Wolf.
“I’ll have to earn their trust again,” Mara said.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will not play the role of Pete Rozelle, who delivers any George Young facsimile, not that there is one, to the Giants.
This will be Mara’s baby.
“I’m very happy with the group of candidates for the post of director general that we’re planning right now,” he said. “I think any of a number of them would be an excellent general manager.”
But how can he know for sure that he has not been seen? He interviewed Bill’s assistant GM Joe Schoen on Wednesday morning, and then Cardinals vice president of scouting Adrian Wilson. Who has he leaned on for the scout reports? Mara indicated that he had done his due diligence on the referee and here we are again.
“I am convinced that we have the resources to make the right choice here,” Mara said.
Giants fans can find solace in the fact that Mara is now committed to something other than All in the Family Way, which resulted in Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge staying too long with Jerry Reese and then Dave Gettleman. So much the better if Mara is enlightened by what he hears from his GM graduates and becomes better equipped to see the light shining outside 1925 Giants Drive.
We were told that the new GM and the head coach he hires – with the obligatory last word from Mara and co-owner Steve Tisch – will determine the respective destinies of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. Not his brother Chris. Not his nephew Tim.
“I’m always aware of staff around the league,” Mara said. “I always keep a list of possible head coaches, possible general managers. I look at the successful teams and what they do. I have a lot of people around the league that I talk to whose opinions I respect. At the end of that day Steve and I put together the list. “
Mara is a good man, but loyalty to a mistake has been his fault in football. He has long believed in stability and continuity, but incompetence wherever he has turned lately, in the front office and on the playground, has shaken his penchant for patience. Patience is a virtue, yes… until it is not. You can not blame him for firing McAdoo after two years, for firing Shurmur after two years, for firing Judge after two years, for letting Gettleman retire now (cough, cough), just as stomach-churning as it has been for him. The fan in him can not force himself to be patient when he cries inside.
“In terms of forcing myself, I would very much like to do it this year,” Mara said, “but I just saw no end in sight. I just thought we had reached a point where I did not see a clear way to make significant progress, and just thought we should press the reset button. “
The reset button has been pressed.
Giants fans will be asking for a Maracle in the Meadowlands.
So just do not tell us, John.
Show us that, John.