New York fans bask in title

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NEW YORK — The repeat performance was just as good as the first for New York Giants fans as they watched their team again beat the New England Patriots 21-17 Sunday in the Super Bowl.

At Stout, a packed sports bar in midtown Manhattan, fans erupted into cheers and dancing as Queen’s We Are the Champions blared over speakers.

“Eli Manning is the greatest fourth-quarter comeback quarterback ever,” said Andrew West, 28, of Manhattan. “Overall, it was a great game for both teams, but the Giants sort of pulled it out,” West said.

Frank Gerald, 39, of Manhattan called the win, “destiny,” and said the Giants had “incredible spirit all year long.”

“It seems like every time people count them out, the Giants come through and prove everyone wrong,” said Keith Panzarella, 23, of Queens. “They are the best when their backs are against the wall.”

The last time the teams met in the big game in 2008, the Giants upset the undefeated Patriots 17-14 in one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever. Two days later, massive crowds cheered the Giants as they paraded up Broadway’s Canyon of Heroes.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who planned to attend the game in Indianapolis, announced the City would host a ticker-tape parade and ceremony for the Super Bowl champions on Tuesday.

“Big Blue gave us a game to remember, and on Tuesday we’re going to give them a parade to remember,” said Bloomberg in a statement released after the game.

At Stout, New Jersey native Maria Meniola had her eyes focused on the television screen.

One of the few women wearing a football jersey (90 Jason Pierre-Paul), Meniola said if the Giants lose “it’s been a good season anyway.”

“We didn’t think we’d even be here,” she said. “I’d cry and go home sad.”

With the Giants down by five in the third quarter, Meniola kept the faith the Giants would prevail because “come on, Eli, fourth quarter, the guy has some of the best fourth-quarter comebacks ever.”

Now a New Yorker, Meniola has been a Giants fan since she was little.

“My dad and my brothers have always been Giants fans,” she said.

The Giants play in East Rutherford, N.J. And if there’s cause for celebration, shouldn’t it be in neighboring New Jersey?

No, say New Yorkers. A Quinnipiac University poll released Friday found that 75 percent of New York City adults believe the victory celebration should be a parade in the Big Apple. Just 14 percent favored a Garden State bash.


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