After many mistakes by Dallas quarterback Tony Romo and Green Bay's Brett Favre in the playoffs, all eyes are on Eli Manning. Let's hope he's ready for what lies ahead, because Giants fans are getting fired up for Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3 when the Giants go to Arizona to battle the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
The next Super Bowl champions?
The Giants are definitely the underdogs going up against the Patriots, who are 18-0 and determined to break the NFL record for an undefeated season, but Giants fans have high hopes.
The New York team made it to the Super Bowl in 2001, but lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34-7. Before that, the Giants claimed victory over the Buffalo Bills 20-19 at Super Bowl XXV in 1991.
So now the big question is: Can they beat the odds and come out on top again?
Are they going to pull off an upset or what?
Whether you love the Giants or just hate the Patriots, football fans in Hudson County are uniting to cheer on New York come Feb. 3.
"I'm rooting for the Giants, because I'm a huge Dolphin fan, and I don't want the Patriots to go undefeated," said Darin Wagle, of Bedminster, while sitting at the bar at Willie McBride's in Hoboken, where there's not a bad seat in the house and Wagle insists it's a great crowd. "Going to be here partying, rooting for the Giants. Hopefully, Eli Manning has a great game. Their defense has to step up a little to take on Tom Brady. That all comes together, I think they can win."
Dane Ferber, a Hoboken resident, realtor, and member of the Hoboken Ski Club, has faith that Manning will rise to the occasion.
"I think everybody was doubting Eli for the longest time," said Ferber. "Everybody was getting ready to kick him out of town, but he's proven that he's worth being a quarterback and the leader of a team. People were ganging up on him, saying he didn't have it, comparing him to his brother [Peyton, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, who won the Super Bowl last year]. And his brother's not in it [this year], and now he is. He's the leader of this team, and he's the one who has to take them to the next level. The team's on his shoulders."
Ferber likes to go to Willie McBride's, Onieal's, or Avenue to watch the games, and he saw the Giants beat the Packers in their last game of the playoffs at the Shannon, and he said, "That was a great Giants crowd."
Even football fans who aren't big on the Giants are pulling for the New York team.
"I'm not a Giants fan; I'm a Jets fan," said Neil, a Hoboken resident who works in advertising in New York City. "But being a local team, I'm going to give my total support to the Giants, because the last thing I want to see is Boston/New England win baseball, football, and they'll probably win at basketball. That would be totally horrendous."
Bobby Pilger, a Jersey City fire captain, who was enjoying a night out at the Park Tavern in Jersey City, is convinced the Giants are on a roll.
"It's their season," Pilger said. "I'm not even a Giants fan, but they're going to win."
Where to watch
Want to watch the game on big, high definition screens with lots of other fans partying for the Giants showdown against the Patriots? Here are some places to go and get out to the bar for drinks, appetizers, and lots of excitement on Super Bowl Sunday:
Black Bear Bar & Grill, 205 Washington St., Hoboken, (201) 656-5511; $9.99 Bud Light pitchers, $3 Blue Moon and Smithwick's pints, Super Bowl prize pool.
Feelgood Restaurant & Lounge, 1309 Paterson Plank Road, Secaucus, (201) 223-5670; 92-inch projection TV, 60-inch plasma screen, two 48-inch TVs, appetizers, hot buffet, desserts, all drafts $2, pitchers $6, imported $4, domestic $3, free wings at halftime; wear a Giants jersey and get half price on beer every time they score; call for reservations.
Gaslight, 400 Adams St., Hoboken, (201) 217-1400; $15 80-ounce beer towers of Coors Light and 10 wings, $3 Blue Moon pints, $3 Brooklyn Brown Ale pints, prizes, giveaways, new sliders.
The Madison Bar & Grill, 1316 Washington St., Hoboken, (201) 386-0300; 13 22-inch HD TVs, all night happy hour, reduced price drinks and wine.
O'Connell's, 111 Montgomery St., Jersey City, (201) 333-3633; six 42-inch screens, food and beer specials, giveaways, starting at kickoff.
P.J. Ryan's, 172 First St., Jersey City, (201) 239-7373; call for reservations.
Park Avenue Bar & Grill, 3417 Park Ave., Union City, (201) 617-7274; 11 flat screen plasma TVs, 8-by-10-foot mega HD projector, $2 Bud Light drafts, $10 Bud Light pitchers, $15 pitcher & wing special, specialty bar menu during the game.
The Park Tavern, 575 West Side Ave., Jersey City ; four flat screen HD TVs at the bar and one in the back, $2 domestic drafts and $3 import drafts from 4 p.m. to midnight, halftime buffet, and kitchen will be open all night.
The Quays, 310 Sinatra Dr., Hoboken, (201) 656-2521; party includes open bar, big screen, halftime buffet, and giveaways; call early for tickets; cost is $40 per person.
The Shannon, 106 First St., Hoboken, (201) 656-9820; halftime Touchdown dance contest with grand prize 42-inch Bud Bowl plasma, wireless speakers and beer towers, raffles and giveaways during game; call for reservations.
Texas Arizona, 76 River St., Hoboken, (201) 420-0304; free food buffet during game, must purchase tickets in person; cost is $20 per person, cash only.
Three A's, 500 Grand St., Hoboken, (201) 217-1650; half price appetizers, drink specials.
Willie McBride's, 616 Grand St., Hoboken, (201) 610-1522; 11 widescreen HD TVs 50 inches or better in the front bar area and others in spacious backroom with pool table, $2 domestic drafts, $8 pitchers, $5 basket of wings.
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