Giants lauded as Super Bowl champs in NYC parade

NEW YORK -- Eli Manning hoisted the Lombardi Trophy from a glittering blue-and-white float, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg joked that New York City should now be nicknamed the "Big Blue Apple," as thousands of fans crowded lower Manhattan on Tuesday to celebrate the New York Giants' Super Bowl victory amid tons of confetti.

The parade set off from the southern tip of Manhattan and rolled slowly north to City Hall, past fans dressed head to toe in red, blue and white Giants gear, with confetti wafting slowly from the high-rises lining Broadway.

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"NFL Replay" will re-air the Giants' 21-17 win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. ET.

Manning, the Super Bowl MVP, 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 said he was glad to be part of the team, leading its defense and sacking New England quarterback Tom Brady twice during the 21-17 victory over the Patriots,

"We made it here by believing in each other. We believe in every guy on this team," he said later during a ceremony at City Hall Plaza. "Honestly, we wouldn't be here today without your support."

The team was introduced with thunderous applause from the thousands of fans outside the City Hall gates. 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 Sunday to score the winning touchdown. Wide receiver Victor Cruz did his trademark salsa moves as he accepted his key.

Manning joked about the team's 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.

Coughlin said the Giants were successful because they never gave up.

"The key thing was to remember this: All things are possible for those who believe," Coughlin said. "We always believed."

After the parade, the team traveled to New Jersey for an afternoon rally at their home turf, MetLife Stadium. Tens of thousands of fans roared as the team walked onto the field in East Rutherford, making it feel like a regular Sunday game for Big Blue.

Some fans even got to touch a piece of history when Giants running back Brandon Jacobs capped the boisterous celebration by taking the Lombardi Trophy and walking it around the stadium to give delirious fans in the lower rows a chance to lean over and put their hands on it. It was an impromptu moment that fit the mood of the afternoon.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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