For those who knew where to look Sunday night, local fans of the New York Giants could be sporting official NFC Conference Champions t-shirts almost as soon as Lawrence Tynes kicked a game-winning overtime field goal to send the Giants to the Super Bowl.
“There was like five or six of us sitting in the back listening to the game,” said Andy Gonzalez, assistant manager of ’ in Nanuet. “The store closed at 8, we took out everything and set it up, and then just waited. Pretty much as soon as the game ended we opened the doors and within 10 minutes people started coming in.”
Gonzalez said the store received its shipment of Giants NFC Championship gear a few days before Sunday and they just hid it off to the side. The store hung signs in the windows to alert customers that if the Giants won, they’d open right after the game Sunday night, then at 6 a.m. Monday morning and at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
“That’s one great thing Modell’s does,” he said. “They really like to cater to the local fan bases, so stores in New England did the same thing for the Patriots, just like stores in San Francisco and Baltimore would’ve done if those teams won.”
He said the store got a decent crowd Sunday night, and that they stayed open until about midnight.
“It was like a party in here,” Gonzalez said. “Everyone was so happy and people kept yelling out ‘Go big blue!’”
He said a few people drove by after the game and were surprised to see the store open.
“There’s nothing else open in this shopping center at 10 at night on Sunday,” he said. “And still people were coming by to see if we were open.”
He said Monday morning was a bit busy with people stopping in on their way to work to pick up the official gear, as well as plenty of other Giants clothes, which were placed front and center in the store. Gonzalez said one popular shirt is a Modell’s exclusive that says the name of Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz on front and has steps on how to perform Cruz’s signature touchdown celebration salsa dance on the back.
Gonzalez added the plan is the same for the store should the Giants win the Super Bowl.
“This isn’t just for the Giants,” he said. “We do this for all the local teams. We’ve been lucky to be a part of this for a few other teams recently as well. We haven’t gotten a chance to do it for basketball, though. The Knicks haven’t won in a while. I’d love to do this for basketball at some point soon.”
Sports Authority at the Palisades Mall also opened up right after the game Sunday night, also selling official championship gear.
“We got a bunch of people coming in who watched the game at a bar or restaurant in the mall,” said Jerry Singleton, store manager at Sports Authority.
Singleton said they opened at about 10:30 Sunday night and stayed open until midnight as well. He said that when a local team advances far into the playoffs, the store definitely sees an increase in business.
“We are a mall location, so like [Monday] and [Tuesday] we won’t see too many people in the morning or afternoon, but in the evening once people get home from work we’ll get pretty busy with people buying the Giants stuff.”
Al Rauch, footwear manager at Cleats ‘n’ Sneaks in Nanuet said they had a few people come in Monday morning to pick up Giants stuff, but not too many. He said the locally-owned store can’t compete with some of the bigger chain stores when it comes to playoff merchandise.
“We don’t order the NFC Championship stuff,” he said. “It doesn’t sell as well as the Super Bowl clothes, so we just order those and if the Giants win, we get it. But just the playoff stuff isn’t that big of a draw for us. The Super Bowl is huge, though. Everyone wants something if the Giants win the Super Bowl.”