By Sonja Sharp and Matt Draper
TIMES SQUARE – There’s giant Super Bowl excitement brewing in New York.
After the Giants’ nail-biting 20-17 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night in the NFC Championship Game, Giants fans across the city are snatching up merchandise and making plans for the team’s Super Bowl rematch against the New England Patriots on Feb. 6.
Sporting goods stores such as Modell’s moved quickly to stock their shelves with championship merchandise. Modell’s Times Square location stayed open up until the end of Sunday’s game and reopened Monday at 5 a.m., three hours earlier than usual.
“Customers came in right when we opened the doors,” said store manager Jamal Miller.
Stu Miller of New Jersey said he came early Monday to buy T-shirts for his kids and a hat for himself – primarily because that's what he did in 2008 when the Giants beat the Patriots to win the Super Bowl.
"I did this the last time they won the NFC championship and they won the Super Bowl,” Miller said. “We had a party when they beat the Patriots. I'm superstitious, so I'm trying to remember who we invited to that one."
Wilfredo Ortiz, 30, of the Bronx, said he wasn’t sure the Giants were going to pull out the overtime victory against the 49ers, but is confident the team can top the Patriots.
"I thought the Giants were about to lose — I was about to turn off the TV," said Ortiz, who was perusing beer and shot glasses at Modell’s. "I think it's a pretty tough match coming up, but the Patriots were a better team in 2007 than they are now.”
Ortiz wasn’t the only Giants fan who sweated out Sunday’s victory.
"It was very nerve-wracking," said Asharee Williams, 31, from Queens, who bought Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks T-shirts. "I was so nervous."
Even so, Williams is confident the Giants will win the Super Bowl: "They're going to take it home for us."
While many Giants fans are making plans for Super Bowl viewing parties, not all supporters will be watching the big game.
Erica Harper, 44, of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, has listened to the last two games on the radio. Her brother, a rabid Giants fan who lives in Florida – for whom she was buying a Giants hat and sweatshirt at Modell’s – instructed her to maintain her routine.
"He told me to do what I did last week,” said Harper, “which is listen to the radio.”