Tim Mara introduced the city of New York to pro football when he purchased the franchise for a re-ported $500 in 1925, thus giving the National Football League a vital showcase in the nation's largest city. Mara withstood heavy financial losses his first year until the Giants were saved in the last home game of the season. Mara needed a good showing at the gate to keep the team alive. The Chicago Bears arrived at the Polo Grounds with the most heralded college player of the era, Red Grange, who helped draw a crowd of more than 70,000 people. After seeing so many people attend a Giants game, Mara decided that professional football could be a big success under the right circumstances. He bore the brunt of the fight against the rival American Football League in 1926 and the All-American Football Conference from 1946-49. Mara helped build the Giants into a perennial powerhouse and was honored in 1963 as one of 17 charter members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jan 01, 2015 at 12:21 AM