Dreams Come True For Eli Manning (February 4, 2008)

04 February 2008

GLENDALE, ARIZ. – From the Super Bowl “field of dreams” to the place “where dreams come true,” Super Bowl XLII MVP Eli Manning of the New York Giants Sunday night became the latest sports hero to seal victory by shouting the famous phrase “I’m going to Disneyland!”

The pronouncement, captured on tape at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., just moments after the Giants’ dramatic 17-14 upset victory over the previously undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, became the latest episode of the “I’m going to Disneyland/I’m going to Disney World” commercial produced over a 22-year span.
Manning led his team on an improbable, 83-yard drive where he scrambled, broke tackles and completed clutch passes before tossing a 13-yard touchdown pass to receiver Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left in the game.

When the first of the series appeared in 1987 (featuring New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms following his team’s triumph in Super Bowl XXI), the commercial was instantly  regarded as a groundbreaking concept – a produced national commercial involving a current event, airing on major networks hours after the event.  Since then, the commercial has created a national catchphrase, shouted by people of all ages following moments of great accomplishment.

With Manning’s appearance, the commercial that started with a member of the New York Giants has come full-circle, featuring the latest New York Giants Super Bowl hero.

This latest installment – the 38th in the long-running series – continues in the tradition of  airing only hours after the conclusion of Super Bowl XLII.

On Monday, Manning is scheduled to live out another dream – heading to Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., for a celebratory parade down Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park.  It’s all part of Disney Parks’ Year of A Million Dreams celebration.

Manning’s visit to Disneyland will include a dream-come-true meeting with young football players from the Tustin (Calif.) Pop Warner football team.  The Tustin team also will be part of the gala parade down Main Street, U.S.A.

Manning joins a star-studded lineup of sports heroes such as Tom Brady,  Emmitt Smith, Michael Jordan, Kurt Warner, Coach Jon Gruden, Joe Montana, John Elway, Jerry Rice, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Doug Williams, Magic Johnson, and Super Bowl XLI winning coach Tony Dungy, who have been featured during the two decades of “I’m going to Disneyland/I’m going to Disney World” commercials.


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