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Giants edge Patriots in thriller; it was Madonna dance party at half

By Phil Gast, CNN
updated 11:16 PM EST, Sun February 5, 2012
The New York Giants celebrate their 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
The New York Giants celebrate their 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Quarterback Eli Manning named game MVP in 21-17 thriller
  • Ticker-tape parade planned Tuesday in New York
  • Madonna dresses as Roman soldier, cheerleader
  • Game hosted by Indianapolis, which featured popular zip line

(CNN) -- Triumphing in a thriller, quarterback Eli Manning led the New York Giants on Sunday to their second Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots in four years.

Clutching the championship trophy, Manning, the MVP award winner, said "I just stayed positive" during the seesaw struggle in Indianapolis. The Giants prevailed 21-17.

New York City wasted no time in celebrating the Super Bowl XLVI victory.

The Empire State Building was bathed in Giants blue late Sunday. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a ticker-tape parade and ceremony for Tuesday.

Assisted by crucial late receptions by Mario Manningham, Manning marched the Giants down the field in the closing minutes of the game. The go-ahead touchdown was scored by running back Ahmad Bradshaw from 6 yards out with 52 seconds remaining.

But the Patriots and Tom Brady, who was vying for his fourth championship ring, weren't quite done. They moved the ball, but had only enough time for a "Hail Mary" pass that bounced away in the Giants end zone.

After trailing the Patriots 17-9 early in the third quarter, the Giants put up the last 12 points of the game.

The Super Bowl victory was the fourth for the Giants, which defeated the Pats 17-14 in the 2008 title game.

An estimated 111 million U.S. viewers were expected to tune in, with many as interested in the ads or halftime show as much or more than the game.

Halftime entertainer Madonna had an eclectic set, joined by Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj and MIA.

Madonna morphed from a Roman Empire theme to a high school cheerleader, complete with pom poms and a marching band. She sang "Vogue", "Music," "Like a Prayer" and "Give Me All Your Luvin."

The Material Girl's performance ended with a bright flash of flight, and white smoke -- with her not to be seen.

The American president who saved football

A bevy of celebrities, including Jerry Seinfeld, Clint Eastwood and Elton John, showed up in commercials this year.

David Beckham provided eye candy in an H&M ad, which tended to spend more time on his chiseled and tattooed looks than the briefs he was wearing.

"No commercial this Superbowl will top #BeckhamforHM Yummy & in love!!," said one Twitter feed on an HLN TV blog.

Another commercial featured a slimmed-down dog chasing after a Volkswagen Beetle.

Pop singer Kelly Clarkson performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" on Sunday, managing to get through the lyrics without a problem, unlike unfortunate Christina Aguilera, who got some flak after botching the words at the 2011 Super Bowl.

Of course, there was more than football and music in the lineup.

Refreshment and apparel producers and advertisers have a lot at stake in the annual bash.

The average game-watcher was expected to spend $63.87 on Super Bowl merchandise, snacks and apparel, up from $59.33 last year, according to a survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association. Of those watching the Giants-Patriots, nearly 27.1% planned to attend a party, according to the association, and another 15.3% planned to throw a party.

The host city of Indianapolis poured hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and corporate coin into building new hotels, sprucing up landscaping and resurfacing miles of streets.

What does Indianapolis have to offer?

The Super Bowl zip line was the talk of the town.

For $10, you could climb the zip line's 95-foot tower, attach yourself to a metal cable and fly 80 feet above the crowd to another tower 650 feet down the street. "It's the new version of the bungee jump," one woman said.

Indianapolis strove to prove it could be a major player.

It kept one key goal in mind.

"I honestly think the best report would be people saying, 'The game was great and -- oh yeah, by the way, Indianapolis was really nice. I had a really good time,' " said Tom Griswold, longtime co-host of the Indy-based syndicated radio program "The Bob & Tom Show."

CNN's Thom Patterson and Dan Moriarty and HLN's Jonathan Anker contributed to this report.

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