With less than a minute to go, a mix of emotions came over the longtime Giants owner: One, we have the lead. Two, we're handing the ball back to Tom Brady and the Patriots, and that has not gone well for teams in the past.
"My feeling was that they were going to let us score," Mara told ESPN Radio New York this week, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "I remember turning to my brother Chris (Mara) and saying, 'I think they are going to let us score.' I just assumed, take a knee right here because I'd rather take a chance on (Giants kicker) Lawrence Tynes hitting what would basically be an extra point rather than give the ball back to Tom Brady with too much time left.
"I thought Bradshaw would go through the line and go to the end zone. You can't blame the guy for doing that. That is just an instinctive play and, at least, by doing that, it made him (Brady) have to come down the field and score a touchdown as opposed to a field goal, but if you look at it and ask 10 NFL coaches, you probably would have a split opinion on what they should have done in that situation, so I was happy to get the points, but I was scared to death with 50 seconds left to put the ball in Brady's hands. The last play of the game, the ball was in the end zone being batted around -- anything could have happened."
What did happen, however, put Mara's fears to bed. Brady's final prayer fell incomplete, the Giants won their fourth Super Bowl, and -- because New England had one last chance -- we are spared from thousands of what-if conversations. No questions remained at the end of Super Bowl XLVI, and that's how Mara likes it.