NEW YORK — 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.
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 signature salsa moves as he accepted his key.
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 up.