Hours after the New York Giants’ defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Conference Championship, fans began flocking to the stores in a big way looking for the latest championship gear.
“Money’s no limit if you love a team. That’s just part of being a fan,” said Tommy Serrante of Centereach, who was shopping for an Eli Manning jersey at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Lake Grove. “We’d spend hundreds of dollars on gear.”
Some went to more than one store for their Giants gear. Joey Giambrono of Centereach spent $28 on a hat at Modell’s in Commack on Sunday night after the game, then trekked to Dick’s on Monday to find a long-sleeved t-shirt.
“There were a lot of drunk people at Modell’s. It was funny,” Giambrono said.
In Stony Brook, opened at 11 p.m. on Sunday and stayed open until 12:30 a.m., with fans cleaning out the store’s stock of NFC championship hats, according to a manager. On Monday afternoon only t-shirts remained, piled up on tables at the front of the store and ranging in price from $18 to $22.
Port Jefferson resident Tony Macchia, a former Smithtown football coach, showed up at The Sports Authority ready to spend around $100 on Giants merchandise for himself and his family. He said he was happy to lay out the cash.
“It was a great game,” Macchia said. “It looks like 2007 all over again. Déja vu.”
Don Morabito of Smithtown spent $35 on a t-shirt and a license plate ring. “I’m a Giants fan since I’m five years old,” he said.
The mad rush for all things Giants has business owners and chain stores working non-stop to keep merchandise on the shelves.
Employees of in Commack are still unpacking boxes of Giants gear from the morning rush with a steady stream of customers opening up their wallets.
Jessie Diamond, owner of Kelly’s Sports Corner in the Smith Haven Mall, stocked up on championship hats and t-shirts after the win, but legions of fans emptied his shelves and racks hours before closing.
“We already sold out of one batch and we’re waiting for another batch tomorrow,” he said.
Diamond said the Giants’ win drastically increased his customer traffic on Monday.
“We’re up I would say about 300-percent,” he said.