NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Big Blue is back home!
The New York Giants touched down at Newark Liberty International Airport just before 2 p.m. Monday. The Super Bowl champs arrived to a heroes' welcome with a water cannon salute by the Port Authority -- which mimicked the team's champagne-dousing celebration -- as their plane taxied to the hangar.
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Bagpippers played "America the Beautiful" as the team got off the plane to a cheering crowd of team officials and several hundreds airport staff.
"Back in the land of the Giants," tweeted defensive end Justin Tuck. "World Champs #ALLIN #BrickStrong."
As the players got off the aircraft, most were all smiles, including coach Tom Coughlin as he waved to the crowd. Others used cameras of their own to record the moment.
Several hundred fans basked in the mid-winter sun to hail the returning heroes. From head-turning haircuts to outrageous attire, fans were filled with pride and gratitude after Sunday night's nail-biter of a finish.
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"That felt like the longest I've ever held my breath, but when that ball hit the ground, I hugged more men than I normally would do, but it was a great feeling," said one fan who spoke with CBS 2's Tony Aiello.
"My mood is 'Oh my God.' It's unbelievable, I've been a believer since the beginning. Everyone said they're not going to beat Green Bay, they're not going to beat San Fran, they're not going to beat the Patriots, oh yes were are - we did," said another fan.
Several players, including Justin Tuck, rewarded fans patience with high fives. It was just the beginning of the love that will shower the Super Bowl champs over the coming days.
The Giants then jumped on their team buses and headed over to the Meadowlands in East Rutherford where hundreds of fans were waiting to welcome the champions home.
The Port Authority is also honoring the Giants by lighting the control towers at John F. Kennedy International and Stewart International airports in blue Monday and Tuesday night.
On Tuesday, New York City will host a ticker tape parade for the Giants followed by a ceremony at City Hall.
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