Giants lauded as Super Bowl champs in NYC parade
Thousands of fans roared as New York Giants quarterback Eli
Manning hoisted the team’s Super Bowl trophy from a glittering
blue-and-white float Tuesday during a victory parade through New
York City, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg quipped should now be
nicknamed the ”Big Blue Apple.”
The parade set off from the southern tip of Manhattan and moved
slowly north to City Hall as fans stood dressed head to toe in
Giants gear and confetti wafted slowly down from the high-rises
that line the street.
The MVP Manning, joined by coach Tom Coughlin, Bloomberg, Gov.
Andrew Cuomo and other teammates, waved and grinned from the float
as a deep roar rose from the crowds.
Defensive end Justin Tuck, who led the team’s defense and sacked
rival quarterback Tom Brady twice during the 21-17 victory over the
New England Patriots, said he was glad to be part of the team.
”We made it here by believing in each other. We believe in
every guy on this team,” he said. ”Honestly, we wouldn’t be here
today without your support.”
The team was introduced at a City Hall Plaza ceremony with
thunderous applause from the thousands of fans outside. A lucky 250
fans received tickets to the fete, where the Giants were honored
with symbolic keys to the city.
The crowd went wild for running back Ahmed Bradshaw, who plopped
down in the end zone to score the winning touchdown. Wide receiver
Victor Cruz did his trademark salsa moves as he accepted his
Manning joked about the team’s record of fourth-quarter
comebacks. ”Make it tough but make it possible,” he said,
laughing about how the team blew an early lead to come back and
win. The Giants had eight fourth-quarter comebacks to win games
during the season.
”Finish games, finish fourth quarters and finish the season
strong. That’s what we did,” Manning said.
Coughlin said the Giants were successful because they never gave
”The key thing was to remember this: All things are possible
for those who believe,” Coughlin said. ”We always believed.”
Some fans had waited since 6 a.m. to catch a glimpse of their
favorite players. About half of a Long Island high school class
skipped school to see ”a whole nation coming together in one place
– this parade,” said Mike King, 16, of Wantagh.
King and seven school friends got up at dawn, arriving by subway
in lower Manhattan to join the crowds packed behind police
barricades lining Broadway. He attributed the win to Manning’s
stellar performance and the hold-your-breath catch by Mario
Manningham that led to the game-winning drive.
Frank Capogrosso, 11, from Staten Island, leaned against a
barricade at the beginning of the parade route with his dad and
”This is better than TV. I love the cop cars, the toilet paper
and the ecstatic fans,” he said. ”I love the Giants. I love their
style. They play, they don’t talk.”
The parade for the Super Bowl champions could bring the city as
much as $38 million, depending on the number of spectators,
Bloomberg said. As many as 1 million people were expected – about a
third of them from outside New York.
After the parade, the team traveled to New Jersey for an
afternoon rally at their home turf, MetLife Stadium. Tens of
thousands of fans roared as the team walked onto the field in East
Rutherford, making it feel like a regular Sunday game for Big
It’s the second Super Bowl championship parade for the Giants in
four years. They beat the Patriots in the NFL title game in
Bloomberg asked the crowd: ”Are you feeling deja blue all over
again?” referring to the team’s 2008 win. Fans cheered.
Workers in high-rises tossed confetti – and later entire pieces
of papers – from their windows.
Jun Kim, 28, a Korean linguist at the law firm Kenyon &
Kenyon, reserved his biggest batch for Manning. ”You are a star!”
he yelled as the quarterback passed by. ”People thought he would
crumble under pressure, but he didn’t. He’s the best.”
Just moments after the parade passed by, a lineup of sanitation
plows scraped their way up Broadway, pushing mounds of confetti –
some as high as 5 feet.
As the parade ended around noon, fans stood on sidewalks ankle
deep in the paper that was later sucked up by sanitation workers
armed with hand-held vacuums.
Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said he expected about 40
tons of paper to be thrown. That’s a lot but not one for the record
books: The city threw 5,438 tons of ticker tape on returning
veterans at the end of World War II in 1945.
The actual ticker tape from those days has been replaced by
recycled paper that’s shredded into confetti. About 34 tons of
paper were cleaned up after the Giants’ 2008 parade.
Mindy Forman, 53, of Yorktown, was one of the lucky few who
scored a ticket to the festivities at City Hall. She said the win
was a much-needed victory at a time when many could use some
cheering up. She counted herself among that group: She was laid off
two weeks ago from her job as a college administrator.
”It celebrates New York,” she said. ”It celebrates the city.
It celebrates the state. And it gives people something to believe
in in very hard times.”
New York has feted its public heroes since 1919, with the first
parade for World War I General John Pershing and his victorious
They were followed by more than 200 parades honoring such people
as aviator Charles Lindbergh, scientist Albert Einstein, Pope John
Paul, South African leader Nelson Mandela and pianist Van Cliburn.
Their names are chiseled into the Broadway sidewalks.
Associated Press writer Samantha Gross in New York and David
Porter in East Rutherford, N.J., contributed to this report. Gross
can be reached at www.twitter.com/samanthagross .