Giants, Jets ecstatic about local Bowl
Justin Tuck and Darrelle Revis celebrated with fans after the big announcement
NEW YORK -- For an hour, New York's two best defensive players stood together, unified with one purpose in the Brecht Room on the fourth floor of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.
New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck and New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis waited and watched the New York-New Jersey 2014 Super Bowl bid together on television while a pep rally went on outside in Times Square. At first, both stars traded jokes and laughed it up. But once the voting started and it went to a second and third round with no winner, Tuck and Revis got as jittery as if they were playing in a championship game.
"It became a nail-biter a little bit," Tuck said. "When the first vote went by and the second vote went by, I started to kind of feel the pressure a little bit."
The New York-New Jersey bid eventually prevailed after four rounds, meaning the 2014 Super Bowl will be the first to be played in an open-air cold-weather location.
Tuck and Revis celebrated in Times Square with a few hundred onlookers and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who promptly put Empire State-sized pressure on the city's two best defensive players to make Super Bowl XLVIII an all-New York affair.
"It's going to be a great game," Bloomberg said in an interview with the NFL Network. "And my prediction is it's going to be the Jets versus the Giants and it's going to be decided by one point and New York's going to win."
Almost as soon as New York-New Jersey was awarded the biggest game on the planet, Giants and Jets players began dreaming of playing in the Super Bowl in their own $1.6 billion house.
"This is great news," Giants running back Brandon Jacobs said. "Our goal every year is to be Super Bowl champ. If it's even possible, knowing our home stadium will host the Super Bowl gives us even more incentive."
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez agreed with his New York rival for once.
"I am thrilled about the opportunity to play a Super Bowl in New York," Sanchez said. "While it is always our goal every year, it would be extra special to make history in our own stadium."
Nobody knows how the Giants' and Jets' rosters will look four years from now. But almost all the players -- with a few exceptions, like Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes -- say that New York City and northern New Jersey is the perfect place to hold the Super Bowl.
"Nobody knows how to host an event like the greatest city in the world," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said. "The Super Bowl is the greatest event and I think meant to be played on the greatest stage."
Tuck took it one step further.
"I am not going to compare this to the first man walking on the moon but it is right up there, it is big," Tuck said of the Giants' and Jets' ownership groups making history with the Super Bowl being held outdoors in cold weather. "I am going to go on record and say it is going to be the most-watched event to ever be on TV. It is going to be something people aren't accustomed to. People from this country and outside will tune in to see if this is something that is going to work or are we going to fall on our face. And I think it is going to work."
While Revis said he feels bad for fans if they have to sit in cold or inclement weather that day, both Giants and Jets players are excited about the prospect of a Super Bowl being played in the elements. The Giants still fondly remember defeating Brett Favre in bone-chilling weather on a frozen Lambeau Field in the NFC Championship Game during the 2007 season.
"I know a lot of people have talked about the weather," Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. "All I know is that when we won the NFC Championship Game in Green Bay in minus-23 wind chill, it felt like Miami Beach to our team and our fans. I was ready to have an umbrella drink on the 50 [yard line] when Lawrence [Tynes'] kick went through in overtime, and I don't drink."
Tuck can think of only two potential negatives when it comes to the Super Bowl being played in New Jersey -- the Giants not being in it, and the potential for massive traffic jams.
Cold weather? Bring it on.
"When you are in the Super Bowl, you are so wrapped around the fact that it is the Super Bowl, it could be 140 degrees or negative-30, it doesn't matter," said Tuck, who wore his 2007 Super Bowl ring to the pep rally on Tuesday. "When that first kickoff comes and you see all those flashing bulbs, that is what the Super Bowl is about and it doesn't matter what the weather is."
And if both New York teams were to somehow make it all the way to Super Bowl XLVIII, New York City and northern New Jersey will be faced with something bigger than any Subway Series.
"If that happens, the city will just shut down completely," Jets offensive lineman Damien Woody said. "It would be like a Subway Series but the New Jersey Transit series. I can't even imagine that scenario."
While waiting in the room together for the league owners' verdict, Tuck and Revis asked each other what a Giants-Jets Super Bowl in New York-New Jersey could possibly be like.
At least after Tuesday, it is now a possibility.
"We basically just talked about it being crazy," Revis said of an all-New York Super Bowl. "This city is going to erupt like a volcano [if it happens]. It would make it that much more exciting and memorable. [Just winning the bid is] almost like I won the Super Bowl."
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