Thousands Cheer Super Bowl Champ Giants

Players, coaches and dignitaries rode on floats as fans went wild.

By Katherine Creag
|  Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012  |  Updated 1:31 PM CDT
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    Thousands of screaming, cheering Giants fans wearing team gear and throwing confetti celebrated the Super Bowl champions in their second victory parade in four years up Manhattan's Canyon of Heroes Tuesday.

    Players, coaches and dignitaries rode on floats as fans went wild below on the street and tossed confetti from up above, out the windows of office buildings. On one float, Eli Manning clutched the Vince Lombardi Trophy, hoisting it over his head at times.

    Mike King, 16, of Wantagh, N.Y., and seven school friends got up at dawn to join the crowds packed behind police barricades lining Broadway. He attributed the Giants' win to the stellar performance of Manning and the hold-your-breath catch by Mario Manningham that led to the game-winning drive.

    "It was one small step for the Giants, and one giant leap for the fans and the nation," King said.

    After the parade, the players received keys to the city at a City Hall ceremony open only to the lucky 500 people who received tickets through a lottery on Monday. The mayor handed the keys to the team members on stage, where Victor Cruz did his signature salsa before receiving his.

    Running back Andre Brown reprised his now-famous song seen in a cell phone video taken on the Giants plane, singing "I got a ring" as fellow teammates joined him on stage.

    Coach Tom Coughlin told the crowd that New York is the "greatest city in the world."

    "And it's wonderful that we've returned the Lombardi Trophy to exactly where it belongs -- right here in New York," he said.

    Three large screens set up around City Hall allowed members of the public to watch the ceremony. Streets are closed between Broadway and Church Street from Canal to Pearl streets. 

    Coughlin spoke with President Barack Obama by phone just before the parade, he said. The president sent his regards to the players and invited the team to the White House.

    "He was very gracious -- he praised our football team, he praised our mental toughness, our resilience, our leadership," Coughlin said. "But the key thing was to remember this: that all things are possible for those who believe."

    The Giants returned home Monday, welcomed by fans after another thrilling win over the Patriots, just four years after they accomplished the same feat.

    About 1 million people were expected to witness the parade spectacle Tuesday. The procession started at Battery Place and Washington Street  and continued up to Worth Street.

    One fan from Brooklyn said the weather may be a little cold and windy, but added: "I have so much adrenaline pumping, I'm not feeling it."

    A 3 p.m. rally is scheduled at Met Life stadium, where Gov. Chris Christie is expected to attend and Naughty By Nature is scheduled to perform.

    New York has feted its public heroes since 1919, with the first parade for World War I General John Pershing and his victorious troops.     

    They were followed by more than 200 parades honoring everyone from aviator Charles Lindbergh to scientist Albert Einstein, Pope John Paul, South African leader Nelson Mandela and pianist Van Cliburn. Their names are chiseled into the Broadway sidewalks.     

    The Giants were showered with at least 30 tons of manufactured confetti from skyscrapers lining Broadway.     

    Sunday night's win was the Giants' fourth Super Bowl title.

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