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Super scene at Stick

Well, hello, Giants fans! Team Newsday is on its way back from soggy, sullen San Francisco, somewhere over Nebraska, and soon will be at your service for the next two weeks. Should be interesting.

Before all that, though, some final man-on-the-scene stuff to share from a wet and wild night at Candlestick, since Newsday was nice enough to spend the money and manpower to send me there.

The situation outside the visiting locker room at the worst stadium in the NFL was as chaotic as any I have seen in my three decades of chaotic postgame locker room situations.

In some ways that was bad, what with agitated security guards arguing with everyone from Tom Coughlin’s family members to members of the media in the rugby scrum of people trying to get into and out of the locker room.

On the other hand, there also was joy and celebration amid the angst, with the drama enhanced in a weird way by the tighly packed nuttiness.

Eli Manning emerged, pretty much trapped by humanity, which gave him the time to bend down and get a kiss on the cheek from Tom Coughlin’s beaming wife, Judy.

The actresses Rooney and Kate Mara walked by, on hand to support the team founded by their great grandfather, and for which their father, Chris, is a key executive.

Peyton Manning got in a few words with Eli in a loading dock outside the stadium, and told reporters it's been fun watching little brother in action this year, a diversion from his season-long neck injury.

Pat Hanlon, the Giants’ senior VP of communications, celebrating his 51st birthday in style, reached out to shake my hand as he tried to maneuver Coughlin toward the interview room.

Coughlin then good-naturedly chided me for the interruption, smiled and was on his way. TC smiles a lot these days.

Super Bowl postgames are chaotic in their own way, but they are tightly scripted and carefully organized by the NFL’s p.r. machine. This was different: a mostly out-of-control circumstance that even the mighty NFL couldn’t quite get its hands around.

It made for a night both infuriating and invigorating.

On to Indy!

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