The Giants' Super Bowl victory is a super giant bonanza for sporting goods vendors.
Fans began flooding stores and websites minutes after the Sunday night win looking for locker room hats, jerseys, foam fingers and commemorative coins -- anything emblazoned with the big news that a little team called The Giants won the XLVI Super Bowl.
"We'll make in the next day or two what would usually take us until the third week in February," said Rich Lampmann, a spokesperson for Modell's. The flood of customers has been unprecedented in store history, said Lampmann, who added that the chain is staying open 20 extra hours this week and renting fleets of vans to keep continuously emptied shelves resupplied.
The Herald Square Modell's was a feeding frenzy yesterday as Giants-garbed fans and excited tourists kept the conquering hero spirit alive with high fives and laughter. Among the shoppers was Patrik Hart, 35, of Washington Heights, wearing a $29.99 championship cap (the store's most popular item) purchased at 7 a.m. -- shortly before they evaporated into eager hands. "It's like when you graduate -- you get the hat with the tassles," explained Hart.
"They're buying for themselves. They're buying for their friends. One guy got 20 shirts and 20 hats for his whole office," observed Herald Square Store manager Niguel Murray. Many of his customers already had Giant wardrobes which they were eager to augment with Super Bowl fan gear, he noted. Murray posited the Giants' nailbiting, "will they or won't they" roller coaster ride to the playoffs helped fuel the mania for mementos.
Michael Pattiasina, 32, a Harlem stock clerk clad in a Giant's warm up sweater, emerged with a Super Bowl blanket and two towels. "I don't care about the prices," he said when asked how much they cost. The proud new additions to his home decor and personal comfort would not be critiqued by any aestheticallly conscious spoilsports, he conceded, because he was not married.
NFLShop.com did not respond to requests for comment. But a worker at the Melbourne, Fla., call service center for the company said that many of the people calling for Super Bowl souvenirs and memorabilia did not live in New York: "They're transplants," he said. "They are just really proud of their team."