SBD/February 6, 2012/People and Pop Culture

The Leaders Of The Pack: Giants, Patriots Owners Talk Prior To Super Bowl

Giants President & CEO JOHN MARA and Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT were each separately featured in NBC's Super Bowl XLVI pregame show. NBC’s Bob Costas said to Mara, “Few people around the NFL have connections going back over the whole history of the league as you do.” Mara: “I remember taking a course in college about family businesses and one of the first things they tell you is that they rarely survive the third generation.” Costas replied, “So don’t screw this up.” Mara said, “That’s what I’ve been thinking for many, many years. It’s been our family business since 1925. It’s personal for us and we take a lot of pride in it.” Mara said he is “very aware” of the media and fan criticism the team receives because “they write me letters, they call, and it seems like that’s an annual occurrence” wanting coach TOM COUGHLIN to be fired. Mara: “I do respond to all those letters. I’m a little behind right now in doing so ... I appreciate the fact that people care enough and have that kind of passion that they take the time to write those letters. I just wish sometimes they’d be a little bit more patient.” Meanwhile, Kraft spoke with NBC’s Al Michaels about last summer’s CBA negotiations at the same time Kraft’s wife, MYRA, was battling cancer. Kraft: “It was one of the toughest periods of my life. I spent the last four-and-a-half months with Myra. The only thing I spent time at was this negotiation and did it with her blessing. She knew I could help and if we had missed games, I think we would have injured the NFL seriously for a long time” ("Super Bowl XLVI Pregame," NBC, 2/5).

RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE: Giants co-Owner STEVE TISCH appeared on NBC Sports Network Friday and talked about the relationship between the Tisch and Mara families in running the club. Tisch touched on the perception that the Maras control more of the Giants than the Tisches and said, “The reality is we are 50/50 partners in business, in the passion of football and running the Giants organization. It’s a new generation and I believe over time, the perception -- if it exists -- is going to start to be diluted.” Tisch added ticket sales at MetLife Stadium "have been brisk." The club has "less than 1,000” season tickets unsold "in the entire stadium.” Meanwhile, Kraft said of the experience fans have at home watching the NFL versus going to the games live, “We have to continue to strive and work and make sure that being in-stadium is a special experience. I still think that people want that communal experience, but we’re going to have to do things in-stadium for the interactive part of the game” CNBC’s Darren Rovell said, “Owners matter. While management style is always apparent to fans, how the owner treats the business and those that work for him does translate down to all the coaches and players. Robert Kraft and Steve Tisch are passionate guys who deserve their run of success” ("CNBC Sports Biz: Game On!,” NBC Sports Network, 2/3).

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