Champion Giants celebrate in NYC

Updated: February 8, 2012, 10:05 AM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- After winning Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants were treated to a ticker-tape parade in Manhattan, presented the keys to the city and then honored in a ceremony at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Tuesday.

Nearly one million fans attended the Giants' second ticker-tape parade in five years along the Canyon of Heroes.

The parade began at 11 a.m. at Battery Place and Washington Street, before continuing north up the Canyon of Heroes to Worth Street.

Tons of blue and white confetti fell and fans chanted "Let's Go Giants!" as a float featuring Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, defensive captain Justin Tuck, coach Tom Coughlin, general manager Jerry Reese, co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo drove past. Manning, Tuck and Coughlin all took turns hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

Fans threw footballs from the sidewalks to the players, who signed them and threw them right back.

As they prepared for the City Hall ceremony, running back Andre Brown grabbed the mike and started with "I Gotta Ring!" the song he sang while the Giants were on their charter plane coming back to Newark International Airport from Indianapolis.

Shortly after 1:30 p.m. every member of the Giants organization was presented with a key to the city by Mayor Bloomberg and former Giants great Michael Strahan. Before the ceremony began, Giants fans chanted "MVP! MVP! MVP" at Manning, yelled "Cruuuuuuz!!!" at wide receiver Victor Cruz and cheered loudest for Coughlin. After Cruz received his key, he salsa'd on the stage.

"Two months ago the experts doubted the Giants would even make the playoffs, but we're here today because the Giants believed in each other, and you believed in them," Mayor Bloomberg said during his speech.

"I haven't asked the mayor yet, but we should do this every Tuesday," Tisch joked.

"There's a group of guys in Dallas that call themselves America's team, but looking out at all of you and the millions of people in the streets [Tuesday], we're 'America's Dream.'"

During his speech, Coughlin mentioned that he'd had a five-minute conversation with President Obama. The major themes of the conversation were about "finishing" and "being resilient."

"All things are possible for those who believe," Coughlin said. "We always believed, we always knew we could get here."

"We made it here by believing in each other," Tuck said. "And obviously we wouldn't be here without your support. Why would you not love to play for these Giants, baby?"

Then Tuck called up Brown and he performed "I Got a Ring!" again.

"And guess what?" Tuck said. "I got two."

Manning said the team bought into two messages.

"Make it tough, make it possible" and "finish," he said.

"Finish games, finish the fourth quarter and finish the season strong," Manning said, citing the team's eight fourth-quarter comebacks and six straight wins to end the season.

Approximately 30,000 people showed up at MetLife Stadium, with Tuck bringing in the Lombardi Trophy as a highlight video of the season played on the giant video screens.

Mara said it was great to be honored in New York City.

"But when you pull into this place and see all you fans out there, you realize one thing, there's no place like home," Mara said. "And we are very proud to call New Jersey our home. And we are even more proud of the fact that we have the greatest, most loyal fans in the world. Thank you so much for your support."

"On Sunday night, millions of people saw the Giants cancel 'The Brady Bunch,'" Tisch said.

Tuck asked fans to wish his 2-year-old son a happy birthday. In a shot at the co-tenant Jets he then said:

"It's MetLife Stadium. But the one thing you can be sure of is whose house this is."

He then bowed to the crowd.

Running back Brandon Jacobs took a lap around MetLife Stadium with the Lombardi Trophy so that fans could touch it. After he was done, he held it in the sky and let out a scream.

Cruz and safety Antrel Rolle were high-fiving fans around the stadium, while running back Ahmad Bradshaw and a couple other players stayed late to sign autographs for as many fans as they could.

The Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17 on Sunday to capture Super Bowl XLVI. Heading into their Week 16 matchup against the rival New York Jets, the Giants were 7-7 and on the verge of missing the playoffs for a third consecutive season. But they wound up winning their last six games to claim the ultimate prize.

The Giants have won four Super Bowl championships but have had only two ticker-tape parades. The Giants also had a ticker-tape parade after beating the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. In 1987, New York City Mayor Ed Koch wouldn't let the Giants have a parade because they moved to New Jersey. In 1991, the Giants didn't have a parade due to the Gulf War.

Injured tight ends Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard sat on one float. They were both sporting crutches. The Giants announced Tuesday that Ballard tore his ACL during the Super Bowl. Initially, the team thought it was a sprain. Beckum also tore his ACL in the championship game.

Kicker Lawrence Tynes and punter Steve Weatherford jumped off their float briefly to join the marching band.

"It's unbelievable, celebrating this in front of the greatest fans in the world," Weatherford, who at one point sported a Giants helmet and a drum, told NBC.

The parade for the Super Bowl champions will have an estimated economic impact of up to $38 million for the city, depending on the number of spectators, Bloomberg said.

New York City Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said he expected to see about 40 tons of paper showered down. That's a lot, but not one for the record books. The city threw 5,438 tons of ticker tape on returning veterans at the end of World War II in 1945.

Even before the parade started, city sanitation crews with hand-held vacuums were ready to suck up the piles of confetti that would rain on Broadway.

The second-highest amount of paper was thrown to honor astronaut John Glenn in 1962 -- 3,474 tons. The actual ticker tape from those days has been replaced by recycled paper that's shredded into confetti.

Sanitation spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins says the department picked up 34.2 tons of paper after the Giants' last parade in 2008 following Super Bowl XLII.

The only two Giants who did not participate in the festivities were cornerback Justin Tryon and wide receiver Domenik Hixon, who were both on season-ending injured reserve.

Linebacker Mark Herzlich attended the parade, but was not at the pep rally because he had to attend another function.

ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk, Jane McManus and Ian Begley contributed to this story. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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