NEW YORK — After the hype, the bragging and the cheesecake-for-chowder bets came the actual game: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
Fans packed Stout sports bar Sunday in midtown Manhattan and there was plenty of salsa dancing as the Giants took an early lead.
"We're going to dominate the rest of the game, too," said a confidant Samuel Person, 47, of Manhattan.
The last time the teams met in the big game in 2008, the Giants upset the undefeated Patriots 17-14 in one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever. Two days later, massive crowds cheered the Giants as they paraded up Broadway's Canyon of Heroes.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who planned to attend the game in Indianapolis, would not say last week how the city would respond if the Giants won. He said he would take things "one play at a time."
The mayor urged those who couldn't make the trip to cheer the team on at an Upper East Side bar that changed its name in honor of the Giants.
Decked out in blue and white balloons, the tavern, owned for 50 years by a family named Brady, was called Brady's. But since the Patriots' star quarterback happens to be Tom Brady, the tavern owner changed the name to Manning's, as in Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
But about a celebratory parade: The Giants play in East Rutherford, N.J. If there's cause for celebration, shouldn't it be in neighboring New Jersey?
No, say New Yorkers. A Quinnipiac University poll released Friday found that 75 percent of New York City adults believe the victory celebration should be a parade in the Big Apple. Just 14 percent favored a Garden State bash. Conducted last week, the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has said that the Giants should hold any Super Bowl parade in New Jersey. Christie likes to call the team the New Jersey Giants.Comment on this story
But wherever a parade, the celebration would surely spill over state lines. State troopers in New Jersey planned to bring in extra patrols on the state's highways to target drunken drivers, speeders, texters and those who weren't wearing seat belts.
In 2008, the last time the Giants played in the Super Bowl, there were 176 drunken driving arrests in New Jersey, said state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa. That's the second-highest total in New Jersey for a Super Bowl Sunday.
Associated Press freelancer Khristopher J. Brooks contributed to this story.