NORWALK, Conn. – Less than 24 hours after the New England Patriots and New York Giants ensured a Super Bowl rematch, Fairfield County fans and bars were already getting pumped for the big game. Giants fans, in particular, were out in full force in South Norwalk on Monday afternoon.
Bradford’s Grill and Tavern and O’Neills Pub and Restaurant in South Norwalk displayed Giants paraphernalia and had already listed Super Bowl specials almost a full two weeks before the big game. Owners and managers at the restaurants (all mysteriously Giants fans) are anticipating their biggest crowds and sales night of the year, thanks to the rivalry.
“It probably doesn’t get any better than this,” O’Neills owner Ollie O’Neill said. “We throw a big Super Bowl party every year, and our biggest one by far was four years ago when [the Patriots and the Giants] met the last time. We expect it to be big again.”
Bradford’s manager Shannon Ianni of Stamford said the crowds have been getting bigger and bigger through each week of the playoffs. “We have a ton of Giants fans and a ton of Patriots fans around here so we were all hoping for a rematch,” she said. “It’s been crazy and loud and a lot of fun. I’m almost positive it’s going to be packed.”
The thrilling Giants win (or heartbreaking Patriots loss) from four years ago is still fresh in the mind of both O’Neill and Ianni.
“What jumps to mind first is people crying – both sides, too,” O’Neill said. “There were a lot of emotions running high with the game coming down to the wire like it did. Hopefully, we get another exciting and close game this time as well.”
Ianni, who said she has been a Giants fan since she was 3 years old, said the Giants victory in Super Bowl XLII over the Patriots was “probably the best night of my life.”
David Stratford of Stamford, who was walking through South Norwalk sporting a jacket with a big Giants logo, remembered the last time the two teams matched up in the Super Bowl and was looking forward to another Giants-Patriots showdown. “I remember Eli Manning dodged the sack and won it all,” he said. “I think the Giants will win it again.”
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