They were the epitome of determination during a season that seemed lost on more than one occasion. To be sure, they looked overmatched at times, pretenders who had no business being mentioned among the league’s elite teams. But their coach preached a single word—finish—and eventually the message took hold.
And so the Giants finished their season in high style, winning their second Super Bowl championship in five seasons. Like their title run in 2007-08, this one seemingly came out of nowhere. A season that seemed like the very definition of mediocrity became, almost in an instant, a magical, memorable season of brilliant moments and unforgettable images.
Through it all, through the depths of a four-game losing streak that seemed to doom their playoff chances, through the blitz of called-in demands for coaching changes and doubts about the quarterback, the Giants’ owners did precisely what Giants’ owners traditionally do.
They did nothing. More to the point, they did nothing rash. They said nothing to incite back-page headlines. They issued no demands of their players. They ended no sentences with the phrase “or else.”
The Mara and Tisch families run the Giants with a sort of patience and class that seems so very old-fashioned in the 24-hour sports-media cycle. The antics, tirades and ambitions of Jerry Jones, Daniel Snyder and Mark Cuban are made to order for ESPN’s SportsCenter. John Mara and Steve Tisch, the Giants’ top two executives, prefer to keep their media appearances to a minimum—preferably to postgame interviews with the Vince Lombardi Trophy in their hands.
Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch stood by their coach, Tom Coughlin, when fans were convinced that he was too rigid, too old, too unimaginative for today’s NFL. They saw no reason to give up on a struggling young quarterback named Eli Manning when championships did not immediately materialize during his first few seasons.
They have been repaid, and then some, for their integrity and loyalty. It was hard not to miss the genuine affection among coaches and players for the two families during the postgame ceremonies on Sunday. Typically, when Mr. Tisch accepted the trophy named for his team’s most famous one-time assistant coach, he thanked the Giants’ fans first.
There are some famously voluble characters in professional sports these days—one of them, a large fellow whose team shares Met Life Stadium with the Giants, periodically issues guarantees of championships—but the Mara and Tisch families have chosen to let their team speak for itself. Not with attention-grabbing predictions or outrageous antics, but with championships.
Their team reflects their values, and their values reflect New York’s confidence and style.
They surely are champions.