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Carib nationals as XLVI pioneers

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“The key thing is to remember this: that all things are possible for those who believe. And we always believed, we always knew we could get here.” -- Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said at City Hall.

The Superbowl-winning Giants coach may have been making a statement relevant to every athlete; however, the poignant message might have resonated most on Caribbean nationals who shared the victory and comprised the championship team.

Among the Big Blue champions, Kevin Booth a 320-pound New York-born Jamaican represented. Although he was not born on the island, the guard and offensive lineman for the New York Giants boasts roots from Jamaica. Both his parents Charles and Patreca Langley-Boothe hail from the parish of Clarendon.

The tourist board of Puerto Rico could not have had a better promoter than Victor Cruz who may be forever known as Mr. Salsa. During the deciding game in Indianapolis the wide receiver had fans, young and old mimicking his trademarked Latin dance steps each time the Giants made a touch-down.

And 6ft 4in, 328-pound, Linval Joseph hails from St. Croix. The 23 year-old, defensive tackle for the team made history for the Virgin Islands by being first from his country to play in the Superbowl. Joseph skipped his final year at East Carolina University to enter the National Football League. He signed a four-year deal earning $4.1 million. The contract also includes a guarantee of making 2.5 million.

They were among the players New York City showered with love and ticker Tuesday as they rode through the Canyon of Heroes cheered by millions of adoring fans.

Afterwards at City Hall they joined teammates to shout: “We got a ring.”

As the nation watched live, television coverage, friends and family members from the region cheered the milestone achievement.

Either way, Superbowl XLVI will be remembered for representation on both teams from Caribbean nationals born in Spanish, French and English countries in the region.

Jamaican Patrick Christopher Chung bolstered the opposing team playing defensive back for the New England Patriots.

Born in the capital city of Kingston, Christopher was probably cheered most during the game by his mother Sophia George Chung who music lovers might recall as the singer to score a hit in 1985 with the tune “Girlie, Girlie.”

Jason Pierre Paul a 23-year-old from Haiti also played defense. He was a first draft pick for the Patriots.

Also representing the region in other capacities, Nicky Minaj made history for Trinidad & Tobago by becoming the first Caribbean national to perform during a half time Superbowl show.

Melanie Amaro of the British Virgin Islands performed with Elton John and Flavor Flav in a commercial for Pepsi.

She is the first winner of the reality television show, “X-Factor.”

At the ceremony where Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg led a cheering crowd he said attribute to the success of his team.

“Only in New York,” Coughlin said.

“I had the honor of speaking to President Obama as we traveled over here this morning. He was very gracious. He praised our football team. He praised our mental toughness, our resiliency, our leadership, the great ability that this team possessed to finish, to win so many games in the fourth quarter.”

Four years ago when the Giants claimed the Vince Lombardi, Superbowl trophy, their ticker-tape parade was held on a cold, blustery, Super Tuesday when the Democratic Primary was held.

Illinois Senator Barack Obama lost to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

However, when the nation’s total primaries were completed it was Obama who was able to clinch the nomination and ultimately the nation’s confidence to emerge president of the U.S.

Updated 5:05 pm, February 10, 2012: 2012_02_10_VKP_Super Bowl flashback Caribbean Life all Page 12 2012_02_10_VKP_Super Bowl flashback.jpg Kevin Booth. 2012_02_10_VKP_Super Bowl flashback.jpg Victor Cruz. 2012_02_10_VKP_Super Bowl flashback.jpg Jason Pierre Paul. 2012_02_10_VKP_Super Bowl flashback.jpg Linval Joseph. 2012_02_10_VKP_Super Bowl flashback.jpg Patrick Christopher Chung. Carib nationals as XLVI pioneers By Vinette K. Pryce
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