Super Bowl XLVI: Fans have rituals to ensure a Giant win
Wearing a white Eli Manning road jersey with dark sunglasses, and clutching a red and blue football, a giddy Dylan Bisch arrived in Tompkins Square Park Sunday afternoon with a clear objective.
“If it’s gonna be Super Bowl Sunday, and the Giants are gonna be in it, I feel like you have to come out and throw a football,” said Bisch, a 30-year-old artist and East Village resident.
Accompanying Bisch was his 23-year-old roommate, Tim Morley, a recent transplant from California and self-described Giants fan “by osmosis.” The friends tossed the pigskin back and forth on this cool, sunny afternoon, with Bisch, a devout Giants follower since childhood, maintaining that the activity was putting him “in the [Super Bowl] mindset.”
To millions of Americans, the Super Bowl is a national holiday and television extravaganza, a social gathering that revolves around food, beer, commercials, and the country’s most popular annual sporting event. But to others like Bisch, and to many in the Northeast, the day carried greater emotional significance. To these faithful, it was a day of carefully planned rituals, superstition, and thoughtful wardrobe selection.
Bisch said he planned to watch the big game at Lucy’s, the Alphabet City dive bar where he’d experienced the Giants’ nail-biting Super Bowl win over the Patriots to end the 2007 season. His rationale for heading back, however, bordered on the bizarre: it was the tale of a dusty pub, a mysterious old man, and a magic lamp.
“The game was in the balance,” Bisch recalled of the dramatic finish. “And this old dude went over to this lamp in the corner of [Lucy’s] bar that hadn’t been working the entire time.”
“He touched it, and it [turned] on,” said Bisch, with wonder. “and the Giants won. That was like a magic moment. So I’m gonna go back to Lucy’s to watch the game today, and I’m gonna look out for that lamp.”
Across town and on the Upper West Side, Jami Brown, a Giants season ticket holder since she was “in the womb,” was en route to Prohibition, the bar where she and her sister Sam had watched the last Giants-Patriots Super Bowl, four years ago. Wearing Giants socks, hats, shirts, and “undergarments” Sunday, the pair was “super nervous but excited,” reported Jami, 38. To help ease the tension, the siblings had spent a chunk of Sunday baking a cake, a red velvet special featuring blue and white icing and a ‘NY’ logo.
“I’ve been making a cake out of nervous energy,” said Jami, who works in fashion sales and lives on the Upper West Side. “I’ve done that for all the playoff games. It’s a pre-game tradition.”
Jose Romero, a 45-year old building superintendent from the East Village, didn’t bake any cakes Sunday, but he too was spirited in the fashion realm. Donning an “official” Victor Cruz jersey, the offensive lineman-sized Romero appeared confident as he walked down East 14th Street roughly three hours before kickoff.
“[The Giants] are gonna win. I got a good feeling about it,” he said, predicting a 37-20 New York triumph.
“I’m calm right now, but once 5:30, 6 o’clock comes, there won’t be a quiet moment in my house,” said Romero, who mentioned that he was hosting a large Super Bowl party with a food menu that’s “off the hook.”
“I got a 60 inch [TV] and surround sound,” he said.
A few blocks west, Anthony Lopez, a 27-year-old maintenance worker who lives in the East Village, was also showing much devotion to his beloved squad.
“This is a commemorative jacket from the past Super Bowls that the Giants have won,” said Lopez, pointing at multiple patches stitched to his blue and white coat. The goateed Lopez, wearing a Giants cap angled backwards and sideways, said the jacket had cost him $125.
“I can’t wait for tonight,” Lopez said.
About six hours later, the Giants would win an instant Super Bowl classic, 21-17. Hopefully Lopez had space on his jacket for another patch.