With a snowstorm of confetti and paper raining down from skyscrapers, Michael Strahan cradled the Super Bowl trophy like a baby Tuesday as thousands of New York Giants fans celebrated on Manhattan’s streets and saluted their improbable champions.
“I still can’t believe it,” Strahan said as the team was leaving New Jersey to come to New York. “I’m still in some kind of shock.”
The Giants rode in floats and many players carried video cameras to record the moment, waving to the throngs and basking in the delighted screams. A huge cheer went up when MVP quarterback Eli Manning joined Strahan, a star defensive end, at the front of a float.
The float also carried Mayor Michael Bloomberg as well as the Vince Lombardi Trophy, which was well protected in Strahan’s massive arms.
The parade, featuring 50 tons of confetti, came two days after the Giants upset New England 17-14 to ends the Patriots’ perfect season. Fans threw hats to the players, who signed them and threw them back. Bloomberg was to give team officials the key to the city after the festivities.
Mehdi Machkour, a 26-year-old restaurant worker from Brooklyn, wasn’t quite sure which two players signed his hat. The Morocco native is more of a soccer fan, but this day brought a big change.
“Now I love football,” he said.
The parade began at the tip of lower Manhattan in Battery Park and proceeded north on Broadway, going past the financial district and the site of the World Trade Center before a finale at City Hall Park.