NEW YORK (Reuters) - After a late night of Super Bowl celebrations, New Yorkers kept the party going on Monday following a Giants victory that fans said was made sweeter because it was over the exalted New England Patriots.
Commemorative hats and T-shirts flew off the shelves at Modell’s Sporting Goods in Midtown Manhattan, while nearby a wax figure of Giants quarterback Eli Manning was a popular photo opportunity with fans outside Madame Tussauds.
Up to a million fans were also expected to line the streets on Tuesday to welcome back the Giants with a ticker-tape parade through the Wall Street district. Mayor Michael Bloomberg will also present the team with the keys to the city.
Bloomberg said the parade would generate up to $38 million for the city and that almost 50,000 people had entered a lottery for 500 tickets to the City Hall ceremony. He said it was estimated that about one-third of those attending the parade would be visiting from outside the city.
“To beat (New England Patriots quarterback) Tom Brady twice in the Super Bowl and for Eli to have that on his resume, it makes it even sweeter,” said Jason Johnson, 38, a chef from Huntington, Long Island, who was wearing a Giants jacket marking the team’s 2008 Super Bowl victory -- also over the Patriots.
The Boston Globe front page headline read “History Repeats” with a photo of a somber Brady leaving the field after the game.
Four years ago, the underdog Giants ruined an undefeated season for the Patriots, who had won three Super Bowls with Brady at quarterback. Brady is still stuck on three.
“Brady got out-played by Eli Manning, which hurts to say,” said Ryan LeStrange, 29, a Patriots fan who traveled to the Boston area from Philadelphia to watch the game with family. “I didn’t really feel (the Patriots) had it in hand at any point.”
Not all Patriots fans handled the loss so well. On the campus of University of Massachusetts in Amherst police used smoke bombs and flash bangs to disperse an unruly crowd of about 1,500 after the game finished. Fourteen people were arrested.
A photo of Manning holding aloft the Lombardi Trophy graced the front pages of the New York Post and the Daily News, both with the headline “Champs!” New Jersey’s The Star-Ledger had a picture of wide receiver Victor Cruz under the headline “Again!”
“To beat New England itself is big. Yankees/Red Sox and New England/Giants, it’s a big rivalry,” said Ricardo Arias, 39, restaurant owner from Weehawken, New Jersey, who had just bought a commemorative Giants cap.
“It feels like everybody is recovering this morning,” Arias, who watched the game at a bar in Hoboken, said of the late night celebrations by Giants fans.
Modell’s Sporting Goods flagship Times Square store sold memorabilia until 1 a.m. Monday and reopened at 5 a.m.
“It was crazy, it was unbelievable. We’re getting merchandise every hour, keeping it filled,” said Jim Buoni, vice president of Modell’s asset protection and innovation, adding that locker room caps and T-shirts were the hot ticket items.
“It seems like there is a little bit more of a frenzy. Obviously in 2008 it was crazy and unexpected. Both games were very similar, last minute wins. We were a little more prepared and we have more merchandise than we did last time,” he said.
Nancy and Ed Chobrda, from Fayetteville, Pennsylvania, were in Modell’s buying T-shirts for relatives in Salt Lake City who were big Giants fans. “It’s good for everyone’s moral,” Nancy Chobrda, 61, said.
“What would Mr. Modell do with all this merchandise if the Giants had lost?” Ed Chobrda, 66, pondered.
New York’s Bloomberg will also be collecting on a friendly wager he made with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. The City of Boston will provide a New York family -- chosen through an online lottery -- with a super tour of the city.
“Giants won. It’s unbelievable, it’s awesome,” said Deedee Stephens, 28, from Brooklyn, as she handed out free newspapers outside the Times Square subway station. “People this morning have been excited, happy, a lot of smiles on their faces.”
Additional reporting by Lauren Keiper in Boston; Editing by Daniel Trotta