Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

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Giants' owners are named Ann and Joan

Giants co-owner Ann Mara poses with the Vince

Giants co-owner Ann Mara poses with the Vince Lombardi trophy after defeating the

Everyone knows who owns the Packers: the more than 100,000 shareholders with pieces of the only community-owned team in major pro sports.

But what about the Giants, their opponent Sunday night? Most fans and journalists identify John Mara and Steve Tisch, sons of the late Wellington and Bob, as "co-owners." Wrong.

"It is a misnomer to refer to me as a 'co-owner,'" said Mara, the team president. (Tisch is the chairman.)

"I own a very, very small percentage of this franchise. My mother is still the co-owner and reminds me all the time that she owns the franchise and I'm just an employee who can be replaced."

When Wellington and Bob died in 2005 their widows, Ann and Joan, retained most of the ownership. As surviving spouses they were not obligated to pay estate taxes.

John Mara, the eldest of 11 children, said his mother, now 83, remains a passionate, feisty follower of the team, attending every home game and many on the road, most famously the NFC Championship Game in January..

After the victory over the 49ers, she confronted Fox analyst Terry Bradshaw over his habit of picking against the Giants. "She is totally unapologetic about that and I think would do it again in a heartbeat," John said, laughing.

He said the current plan is for Ann to continue owning the Maras' half of the team. "I’m in charge until my mother tells me otherwise," he said. "She still owns most of the shares and it will stay that way for the foreseeable future."

Tags: Giants

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