Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Toast of New York

On Tuesday, members of the 2008 World Champion NY Giants football team, rode floats headed up The Canyon of Heroes (Broadway) to the cheers and admiration of thousands of their most die-hard fans. There were painted faces, babies with miniature football helmets on; even a woman spray painted her hair red and blue for the occasion. And of course, there was the gear. For every Umenyiora jersey, you saw two matching fitted caps. For every vintage sweater or leather coat, you saw three long sleeve Super Bowl Champion tees underneath.

For some, it was less about the memorabilia and the hooping and hollering as coach Tom Coughlin rolled by holding the Vince Lombardi trophy, and more about the emotional spell the winning team has cast on the city. "I stayed up and watched the Super Bowl again last night" said one spectator to his buddy. "I have every game this season tivoed, and I will burn copies of them all and give them out to my friends." "I just cant believe they won" his buddy replies back. "Every time I watch the fourth quarter over again, tears come to my eyes" he said as he choked up right then and there.

He wasn't alone. Once the parade came to an end, the masses flocked to the gates of City Hall where there was a Jumbo Tron replaying all the best plays from Super Bowl XLII. The crowd ooohed at every completed pass by Manning and aaaahed every time Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was sacked by the defensive line. Then everyone stood in the rain to watch Mayor Bloomberg present the team with keys to the city. After a rousing speech by defensive end, Michael Strahan and MVP quarterback, Eli Manning, the crowd ripped and roared again-never minding the rain.

For some, it was an excuse to take off from work and get drunk before noon. For others, it was a chance to celebrate a team they've stood behind for years. Either way you slice it, the NY Giants returned home, to a hero's welcome. New York City may be surrounded by water, but yesterday, it was the streets of downtown Manhattan, covered in a sea of blue.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Cinderella Team

"We shocked the world, not ourselves!"
-Antonio Pierce, New York Giants Linebacker

You'll be able to crack open your laptop, flick on the TV or flip through the pages of any newspaper and find tons of coverage on yesterday's Super Bowl - and with good reason. The game was an incredible display of how faith and hard work can persevere and translate into some good football.

The Giants were not supposed to win. They were a 12-point underdog entering the game against the undefeated 18-0 New England Patriots. Needless to say, the New York Giants have gone on to become the second wild-card team in league history to win the Super Bowl and the first from the NFC.

I find myself speechless yet proud of a team that defied the odds, silenced the critics and inspired a city. I'll turn to the words of David Tyree, who after making five catches for 43 yards and one touchdown, became the most unlikely go-to-guy of the night, having only totaled five catches, 40 yards and zero touchdowns all season. "You can't stand in the way of destiny."

'Nuff Said. Now let the ticker tape fall.