Steve Weatherford on his love of playing for the NY Giants as he is honored at the 35th Annual Thurman Munson Awards (Video by William Perlman | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)
NEW YORK — Ann Mara, the woman known as the matriarch of the Giants organization, touched a lot of people's lives during her life. Count Steve Weatherford among them.
While at the New York Hyatt to be honored by the AHRC NYC Foundation during the Thurmon Munson Awards, the Giants punter shared his favorite story about Mara, who passed away this weekend.
"She was probably my favorite person within the franchise," Weatherford said. "She loved the character. She loved the personality. One small story about her that I'll never forget is, about a month ago, it was the Giants' Christmas party. They have the ugly sweaters, well I had an ugly suit which just looked like Santa Clause puked on me. It was awesome. But we didn't have a great season. I was a little bit nervous wearing it because my birthday was a few days before the party, one of my best friends bought me the suit. I'm like, 'Screw it, I'm going to wear it'.
"I walked into the party a little sheepish and then Ann Mara spotted me out of a crowd of 200 people from like 50 yards away. She pops up out of her seat, runs right over to me and she's like 'There's nobody on this team that could wear that suit better than you. I need a picture'. Then she brought the professional photographers over.
"She was a very, very special lady to me. All class, all integrity. But at the same time she had a sense of humor and she was a lot of fun. My heart's broken for that family because the Mara family is a first class family. They do things right. The way John Mara treats people, from the head coach of the New York Giants all the way down to the manager, Jose, who cleans up in the locker room when we're done - he treats everybody the same. That's one of my takeaways that I'll never forget from building a relationship with him is it doesn't matter what your title is, who you are, what you've done, it's important to do the right thing and treat people the way you would want to be treated without expecting anything in return. John Mara is a living testament to that."
Mike Vorkunov | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com | February 3, 2015