NEW: Super Bowl parade wraps up in New York
Estimates put crowd at between 500,000 and 1 million people
The parade lasted an hour and a half
Sunny and 45 degrees. That’s the weather for New York City on Tuesday, perfect for the thousands of football fans who lined Manhattan sidewalks to welcome home “The G Men,” champions of Super Bowl XLVI.
The city made way for a ticker tape parade for the New York Giants, who again defeated the New England Patriots during a last-minute drive in the league’s biggest game.
Their 21-17 Super Bowl victory on Sunday night was the Giants’ fourth, and the team’s second title win over New England in the last four years. The Giants bested the Patriots 17-14 in a heart-stopping match-up in 2008, which made imperfect the Patriots’ then-perfect season.
“Big Blue gave us a game to remember,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said before the festivities started, promising “to give them a parade to remember.”
The 1½-hour victory march began at 11 a.m. and wound its way through the city’s Canyon of Heroes, which in years past has feted other Big Apple victories, such as the New York Yankees’ World Series championships.
Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning rode atop a float, flanked by teammates and city officials and wielding a glimmering Vince Lombardi Trophy as confetti rained down on the crowd.
Bloomberg called Manning “the coolest customer in town,” a nod to his fourth-quarter heroics, which orchestrated a comeback and cemented New York’s upset win.
With 57 seconds left, the team’s defense held off a last-ditch New England effort, batting down a hail Mary toss by Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady as the game clock expired.
“Thank you to all the fans and all the supporters who believed in us,” Manning told the crowd.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who mentioned that he received a call on Tuesday from President Barack Obama, said the Lombardi Trophy was now “where it belongs, right here in New York.”
“All things are possible for those who believe,” Coughlin told the crowd.
Between 500,000 and 1 million people are estimated to have attended, half of them out-of-towners.
As a result, the celebration could add up to $38 million to city coffers, Bloomberg said. The cost of the parade is thought to be offset by corporate sponsors.
Once the parade wrapped up, the mayor presented each Giant with a “key to the city” during a City Hall ceremony.
The event was in part moderated by the team’s former star defensive end, Michael Strahan, who broke into an on-stage salsa dance alongside Giants receiver Victor Cruz, who uses the dance as a signature for his end-zone celebrations.
“After nearly missing the playoffs, the Giants have made history by becoming the first NFL team to win the Super Bowl after going 9-7 in the regular season,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “I look forward to celebrating this victory with all New Yorkers.”