New York celebrates Super Bowl win with parade
By Edith Honan
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Confetti rained down on a sea of New York Giants blue on Tuesday as fans celebrated the team's surprising Super Bowl victory with a parade up New York City's fabled "Canyon of Heroes."
The Giants produced a 17-14 upset victory in the American football championship game on Sunday that denied the New England Patriots a perfect 19-0 season and gave New York its first NFL crown in 17 years.
Thousands of cheering fans, many dressed in the Giants' blue and white, lined the parade route, up Broadway in the financial district. Others leaned out office windows and showered the unlikely champions with confetti, torn newspaper and toilet paper.
Previous parades for championship teams in New York have generated about 50 tons of waste paper, city officials said.
"This is monumental. Just to have the opportunity in this lifetime or at least in this decade to bring the new year in this way," said fan Dewayne Ford, 25.
It was the first parade on the Canyon of Heroes route since baseball's New York Yankees won the World Series in 2000. Past parades have honored foreign heads of state, returning astronauts and war heroes, such as Gen. Dwight Eisenhower.
This was a parade widely expected to be held in Boston, but the Giants broke the hearts of confident New England fans.
Many fans chanted "18 and 1," underscoring the lone blemish on the Patriots' final record.
"There's an arrogance that comes from Massachusetts sports fans, so victory against any Boston-based team is extra special," said Bill Bodei, who had a front-row spot.
Giants players riding on flatbed trailers waved and gestured to the crowd while many videotaped the events.
Some of the biggest cheers were for Eli Manning, the mild-mannered Giants quarterback who was named the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player.
Manning rode with long-time defensive star Michael Strahan and they took turns holding aloft the Vince Lombardi Trophy, awarded to Super Bowl champions, as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg stood dwarfed between them.
The parade ended at City Hall, where the Giants were given symbolic keys to the city.
"I've had goose bumps so many times in the past week that I'm starting to think it's normal," Giants coach Tom Coughlin told the crowd.
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, noting that the festivities were taking place on the same day as the state's presidential primary, joked that he had written in Coughlin's name onto his ballot.
(Writing by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Bill Trott)